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✇ News: Digital Photography Review (dpreview.com)

Another one bites the dust: Sony suspends orders of its ZV-E10 camera, citing chip shortage

Just two weeks after announcing it would no longer take orders for its a7 II series, a6400 and a6100 camera systems, Sony Japan has announced the next casualty of the ongoing chip shortage is its ZV-E10 compact camera system.

In an announcement posted to its website, Sony Japan says ‘there is a delay in procurement of parts for digital imaging products due to the global shortage of semiconductors.’ Specifically, the announcement says that as of December 3, 2021, Sony would no longer be accepting orders from dealers and customers for the ZV-E10, a vlogging-oriented camera released just five months ago.

Sony says it ‘deeply apologize[s] for any inconvenience this may cause’ and says it ‘will do [its] best to deliver as soon as possible.’

Sony Japan doesn’t specify whether it’s unable to procure parts specifically for the ZV-E10 or whether it’s prioritizing other camera models in its lineup as the chip shortage continues to cause problems for nearly all manufacturers.

✇ News: Digital Photography Review (dpreview.com)

Researchers shrink high-res color camera down to the size of a grain of salt

Researchers from Princeton University and the University of Washington have developed a high-resolution color camera roughly the size of a coarse grain of salt.

This new sensor technology combines meta surface optics and machine learning models to reconstruct images via the nano-optic imager. Specifically, the research paper detailing the technology says 'Nano-optic imagers that modulate light at sub-wavelength scales could enable new applications in diverse domains ranging from robotics to medicine. Although metasurface optics offer a path to such ultra-small imagers, existing methods have achieved image quality far worse than bulky refractive alternatives, fundamentally limited by aberrations at large apertures and low f-numbers. In this work, we close this performance gap by introducing a neural nano-optics imager,'

Previous micro-sized cameras (left) captured images with low detail, false color and distortion. The new system, neural nano-optics (right), produces sharper, full-color images. Image courtesy of the researchers.

The camera relies upon a technology called a metasurface, which includes 1.6 million cylindrical posts. Each post is roughly the size of the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). Each post features unique geometry and functions like an optical antenna. Per Princeton, 'Varying the design of each post is necessary to correctly shape the entire optical wavefront.'

Machine learning-based algorithms turn the light information from each post into an actual image. Further, the image quality surpasses anything other previous ultracompact cameras have been able to achieve. 'A key innovation in the camera's creation was the integrated design of the optical surface and the signal processing algorithms that produce the image. This boosted the camera's performance in natural light conditions, in contrast to previous metasurface cameras that required the pure laser light of a laboratory or other ideal conditions to produce high-quality images,' said Felix Heide, the study's senior author and an assistant professor of computer science at Princeton.

'Our learned, ultrathin meta-optic as shown in (a) is 500 μm in thickness and diameter, allowing for the design of a miniature camera. The manufactured optic is shown in (b). A zoom-in is shown in (c) and nanopost dimensions are shown in (d). Our end-to-end imaging pipeline shown in e is composed of the proposed efficient metasurface image formation model and the feature-based deconvolution algorithm. From the optimizable phase profile, our differentiable model produces spatially varying PSFs, which are then patch-wise convolved with the input image to form the sensor measurement. The sensor reading is then deconvolved using our algorithm to produce the final image. The illustrations above “Meta-Optic” and “Sensor” in (e) were created by the authors using Adobe Illustrator.'

Image and caption credit: Ethan Tseng, Shane Colburn, James Whitehead, Luocheng Huang, Seung-Hwan Baek, Arka Majumdar & Felix Heide / Princeton University and the University of Washington

Previous micro-sized cameras captured fuzzy, distorted images. The new nano-optics technology produces much crisper, better images with more accurate color and expanded field of'It's. 'It's been a challenge to design and configure these little nano-structures to do what yo' want,' said Ethan Tseng, a computer science Ph.D. student at Princeton who co-led the 'tudy. 'For this specific task of capturing large field of view RGB images, it was previously unclear how to co-design the millions of nano-structures together with post-processing algo'ithms.'

Co-lead author Shane Colburn, Ph.D. student at the University of Washington Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, dealt with this problem by creating a computational simulation to automate testing of different nano-antenna configurations. Colburn is now an affiliate assistant professor at the University of Washington.

'Compared to existing state-of-the-art designs, the proposed neural nano-optic produces high-quality wide FOV reconstructions corrected for aberrations. Example reconstructions are shown for a still life with fruits in (a), a green lizard in (b), and a blue flower in (c). Insets are shown below each row. We compare our reconstructions to ground truth acquisitions using a high-quality, six-element compound refractive optic, and we demonstrate accurate reconstructions even though the volume of our meta-optic is 550,000× lower than that of the compound optic.'

Image and caption credit: Ethan Tseng, Shane Colburn, James Whitehead, Luocheng Huang, Seung-Hwan Baek, Arka Majumdar & Felix Heide / Princeton University and the University of Washington

Fellow Ph.D. student and coauthor James Whitehead, fabricated the metasurfaces based on silicon nitride. The metasurface design can be mass produced at a lower cost than lenses in a traditional camera, per the study.

The team's approach itself is not novel. However, combining surface optical technology with neural-based processing is. The micro camera may have significant use in medical settings to enable minimally invasive endoscopy. It can also improve imaging for robots with size and weight constraints. Possibly thousands of the tiny cameras could be placed in an array, turning a surface into a camera.

The study can be read in full here. Its authors include Ethan Tseng, Shane Colburn, James Whitehead, Luocheng Huang, Seung-Hwan Baek, Arka Majumdar and Felix Heide.

✇ News: Digital Photography Review (dpreview.com)

Vietnamese shop crafts brilliant wooden camera models with interchangeable lenses

The Wooden Model Design store in Vietnam has crafted a beautiful wooden Olympus camera. Better yet, the camera accepts wooden interchangeable lenses.

The camera is a wooden replica of the Olympus OM-1 film camera, complete with operational dials and levers. It features intricate detail, and accents and logos appear to be applied using wood-burning techniques. The included detachable lens is a Zuiko 50mm F1.8. The total cost for the package worked out to around $35 USD.

The Wooden Model Design store has crafted many other wooden cameras, including a Sony A1 and FE 35mm F1.4 GM lens for a customer in the US, which you can see below. The A1 cost around $70 USD after currency conversion, which seems like a very fair price for a hand-crafted item like this.

A Sony A1 wooden model with an FE 35mm F1.4 GM lens. Click to enlarge and appreciate the fine detail in the model. Credit: The Wooden Model Design

The shop has also crafted a wooden Nikon F model, a vintage Argus C3 camera, an old Hasselblad 500C/M medium format camera and even a Sony FS7 Mark II cinema camera. Beyond photography items, the shop has built model cars and motorcycles, plus more. Head over to the Wooden Model Design Facebook page for more information and to see more photos of the fantastic models.

✇ News: Digital Photography Review (dpreview.com)

DPReview TV's Best and Worst Gear Of 2021 (In pictures!)

It's that time again!

The time has once again come to select the best and worst of all the gear Chris and I have looked at this year while shooting DPReview TV. Due to circumstances involving a Spelling Bee and a bunch of Moscow Mules, we may not have been as eloquent as usual in our video, so here we will use carefully chosen words to let you know why we think these products deserve the respective honors and shame.

- Jordan

Best M4/3 Lens Runner Up - Panasonic/Leica 25-50mm F1.7

Most of the time when I’m using a Micro 4/3 camera, the Panasonic/Leica 10-25mm F1.7 is attached. I love the image quality, video functionality and handling of that lens, but I often find myself wishing for a longer focal length.

Panasonic clearly heard my cries, and responded with this ‘sister lens’ for the 10-25mm, sharing the same great ergonomics and capabilities, but now covering a normal to short-telephoto focal range. This is ideal for portraiture and head-and-shoulders interviews, and the constant aperture means you never have to worry about changing exposure when re-framing a shot.

You certainly pay a premium for the video functionality which may scare photographers away, but hybrid shooters will be able to tackle nearly any project with the 10-25mm & 25-50mm combination. That makes this lens worthy of being our runner up.

- Jordan

Best M43 Lens - Olympus 8-25mm F4 Pro

One recent trend I’ve really been loving is ultra-wide zoom lenses that extend into 'normal' focal lengths. This makes, for instance, both the Pana/Leica 10-25mm F1.7 (20-50mm equiv.) and full-frame Panasonic 20-60mm F3.5-5.6 L-Mount lenses extremely flexible for travel. With one of the final Olympus-branded lens designs (subsequent lenses are to be known as OM System), we now have a lens that goes even wider, yet still reaches 50mm equivalent at the long end.

While very small and light, the 8-25mm F4 Pro still manages to include weather sealing, a fast focus motor and a favorite feature of mine, a manual focus clutch. Image quality is still very consistent, with even sharpness across the frame and minimal aberrations. We didn’t love the look of out-of-focus specular highlights, but that was our only complaint. Breathing is well controlled, so this would be a great video lens as well, especially on a gimbal.

When going on a short hike or even out with the family, this lens keeps finding its way into my bag and I can offer no higher praise for a lens than that. This will be remembered as one of the last lenses to be stamped with the Olympus brand, and it’s a hell of a great note to end on.

- Jordan

Best APS-C Lens Runner Up - Fujifilm 33mm F1.4 LM WR

There is no discussing APS-C lenses without mentioning Fujifilm. Every year we praise Fujifilm for having an extensive line of excellent APS-C lenses, and this year in particular, for bringing out some new versions of old favorites. Both the new XF 23mm 1.4 and XF 18mm 1.4 (the older XF 18mm was an F2 lens) performed well, and outperformed the older versions.

Our favorite, however – and the runner-up for best APS-C lens of 2021 – is the newly designed XF 33mm 1.4. It is somewhat larger and heavier than the existing 35mm 1.4 lens – which it does not replace, by the way – but that added bulk does bring some excellent improvements to the table. These include weather sealing, faster autofocus, and improved bokeh while maintaining the beautiful character of the original XF 35mm 1.4. All of that puts this lens at the top of the pack of our runners-up for APS-C lens of the year.

- Chris

Best APS-C Lens - Sigma 18-50mm F2.8 DC DN

Sigma gave us a near-perfect standard zoom with a bright constant aperture and impressive sharpness throughout its zoom range, even wide open. Video shooters will love the smooth focusing, and almost complete lack of lens breathing. The Sigma 18-50mm F2.8 is so compact, and therefore so handy on a Sony APS-C body, especially ones that incorporate IBIS. Add to all that an affordable price tag, and the 18-50mm 2.8 DC DN is a no-brainer for best APS-C Lens of 2021.

- Chris

Best Full Frame Lens Runner Up - Sony 14mm F1.8 GM

The Sony 14mm 1.8 G Master proves that a very bright ultra wide angle lens can be compact, and still deliver top quality results. In one of our most enjoyable videos to date, Jordan and I ventured to Writing-On-Stone Park for some night photography. Astrophotography taxes lenses at their widest aperture, but the 14mm did not disappoint – excellent sharpness combined with minimal coma produced excellent star shots. In addition to the Sony's excellent low light performance, it's also a fantastic lens for architecture and landscapes.

Its compact nature makes it a joy to carry around in the camera bag for when you really need the look of an ultra wide.

- Chris

Best Full Frame Lens - Tamron 35-150mm F2-2.8 VXD

Our winner for best full frame lens of 2021 goes to the Tamron 35-150mm F2-2.8 Di VXD III. The instant you pick up this lens, you know you have something rare in your hands. The 35-150mm focal range is a unique one, yet proves itself to be very versatile. Couple this lens with an ultra-wide zoom, and Jordan and I both felt that we could cover with two lenses what would normally require three. I loved how sharp it is, Jordan loved the lack of lens breathing, and we both loved the way it renders bokeh. And what about the awful way that it handles flare? Well as we stated in the video, it's so bad that it's almost good. If you get a chance, do yourself a favor and try this one out.

- Chris

Best Camera For Video Runner Up - Nikon Z9

This was a surprise! While Nikon has been improving its video game in recent years, I tended to consider them great stills cameras that could record solid video in a pinch. Then the Z9 was released and, suddenly, the video features are no longer just competitive, but class leading! There's 8K capture, oversampled 4K and internal ProRes – all features that caught me by surprise.

Not only are the Z9’s specs good, but using one while filming our review episode was an absolute joy. The autofocus was consistently reliable, the interface is well thought out and the IBIS worked great for static shots. The Z9 is also one of the only hybrid cameras that doesn’t rely exclusively on the touchscreen for autofocus selection. On a bright day, I could comfortably stick to the EVF, and not lose any functionality. My only gripe is that I would have loved a fully articulating screen, but the two-axis tilt display is still a big step up from the previous vertical tilt-only displays.

The Z9 is already incredibly impressive today, but the upcoming firmware shows that Nikon is really listening to video shooters. In 2022, the Z9 will be able to record internal 8K/60P Raw (RIP storage space), and we’ll hopefully see even more functionality added through software. The appeal of a hybrid camera for me is the ability to do professional stills and video with one device, and for right now, the Z9 is the most flexible camera on the market.

- Jordan

Best Camera For Video - DJI Ronin 4D

It’s been years since I’ve smiled so much when learning to use a new camera (smiles admittedly not pictured). The Ronin 4D is basically a full-frame camera built into a gimbal (or a gimbal attached to a full-frame camera), but under the hood, there are so many clever innovations included here that it had to be my video camera of the year.

Let’s start with my favorite feature, the manual focus wheel. This small wheel is attached to the handle and operates like most electronic 'follow focus' controllers. It’s comfortable and responsive when changing focus. However, I then popped the camera into ‘Automated Manual Focus’ and was delighted to feel the wheel moving under my thumb as the camera’s LiDAR-based autofocus did its thing. At any moment you can spin the wheel to override the autofocus. Cool, intuitive and very useful. Then, when changing my ISO or ND strength, another huge grin jumped across my face as the focus wheel switched to strongly defined ‘clicky’ steps for those adjustments.

The focus waveform is another example of DJI’s ingenuity. It uses the LiDAR unit to build an 'overhead' map of your scene, and can clearly see where the camera is currently focused. Again, intuitive and useful. Once I had used the Ronin 4D for a few weeks, I missed this feature on every other camera I used.

These are just two examples, but they point to DJI not only making a compelling product if you need a stabilized camera, but also thinking carefully about the features that can improve your experience on a professional set. I’m very excited to test the 8K version of the Ronin 4D, but I’m also incredibly excited about their next steps into the camera world.

- Jordan

Best DSLR - Pentax K-3 III

Let me first state that Jordan and I have loved, and always will love the Pentax brand of cameras. Ricoh creates utterly reliable, rugged cameras, under the Pentax name. Ricoh/Pentax DSLRs handle well and take beautiful photographs. As a brand, they innovate, and incorporate helpful features into their designs, and as such, we always endeavor to review their products on DPReviewTV. Will those statements shield us from the impending vitriol? ...I doubt it.

Let's be honest. Do Pentax DSLRs hold only a tiny share of the market? Has there been a failure to transition Pentax into effective mirrorless designs? Have they become a boutique brand, largely held together by a passionate fan base? Can those fans be over-zealous crusaders for the faith? Do we make jokes at Pentax's expense?

Yes to all of the above.

Clearly the 'Best DSLR of 2021' category, and us naming the Z9 as a runner up due to its size and appearance in our full YouTube video, are Jordan and I making light of the situation. The formal retirement of the Olympus name shook a lot of people up. Change is scary. Despite occasionally finding myself on the receiving end of the Pentaxians' criticisms, I get it. I understand. I even in some ways appreciate it. Someone has to fight the good fight to keep the fire burning. No one wants to see the Pentax name retired any time soon.

All joking aside, we feel it's right to celebrate the Pentax K-3 III as a powerful new DSLR. The DSLR will never be at the forefront of camera design again, but no one can call them ineffective photographic tools. The K-3 III proves this with a contemporary sensor, improved auto focus and a more effective IBIS unit, in an already excellent SLR body design. It's clear that Ricoh put a lot of thought into the K-3 III and it represents a significant upgrade, if only to current Pentax camera users. I consider myself very lucky to shoot with Pentax DSLRs every time a new one comes onto the market, and I hope to be evaluating them for many years to come.

- Chris

Best Camera For Stills Runner Up - Fujifilm GFX 100S

I loved the images produced by the double-grip Fujifilm GFX 100, so much so that I would put up with the bulk and poor ergonomics of that camera. Imagine my delight when the GFX 100S was announced, packing the same unbelievable picture quality into a smaller, cheaper, more comfortable body. Not since the Pentax 645Z have I enjoyed the experience of shooting medium format this much, and the Fujifilm is a much more capable camera.

Sure, the GFX 100S is at home shooting landscapes and lit portraits, but it's equally adept at capturing family candids and street photography. The accurate, responsive autofocus and IBIS make this the most versatile medium format camera on the market. Surprisingly, it’s also a capable 4K hybrid camera as well. If both the GFX 100 and the newer GFX 100S were the same price, I’d pick the latter, but as an added bonus, the newer camera also happens to be thousands of dollars less expensive.

As expected, the GFX 100S gave me the nicest files of any camera I tested this year. What I didn’t expect is how much the ergonomics and interface helped me enjoy taking those photos. That’s why it’s the runner up for Best Stills Camera.

- Jordan

Best Camera For Stills - Nikon Z9

Back in the DSLR days, whenever Chris and I needed to accurately focus on difficult subjects, we reached for a Nikon. The company's 3D Tracking autofocus was the gold standard, and it was sorely missed on the early Z-series cameras. We both wondered how long it would take before Nikon got its mojo back.

The answer came with the Z9. The headline feature may be the lack of a mechanical shutter, but the revelation was how well everything else performed. While sorting through thousands of images for our video, I was floored by how many demanding subjects were in perfect focus. The 3D Tracking interface combined with machine-learning based tracking algorithms is truly outstanding.

We’ve had a tough time coming up with reasons to recommend Nikon Z series cameras to non-Nikon shooters, but that all changes with the Z9. We think it’s the best flagship mirrorless full frame camera on the market.

- Jordan

Worst Camera For Video - Sigma fp L

If the word ‘baffling’ were to take physical form, it would be the Sigma fp L. While billed as the more photo-centric of the fp models, there are still a huge number of video features which make it look like a compelling video/cinema package. With internal Raw recording, shutter angle, waveforms, a nifty 'Director’s Viewfinder' mode, on paper it didn’t look half bad.

What made it fully bad was the decision to use a very slow scanning 61 megapixel sensor. Sure this means the rolling shutter is quite severe, but also means that every record mode has a serious compromise. Internal Raw? That's 8-bit only with massive file size. External Raw? Now you're at 12 bit, with less rolling shutter, smaller file sizes but far less detail. Internal H.264? No log recording means there’s very little dynamic range. You get the idea.

Richard Butler and I spent hours trying to figure out the endless trade-offs and compromises involved every time you hit the record button on this thing. It’s not an experience we would wish on any of our viewers and readers, and for that reason this is our pick for Worst Camera For Video.

- Jordan

Worst Lens - Laowa Argus 35mm F0.95

So, the worst lens of 2021 has to go to the Laowa Argus 35mm 0.95. The main draw of this lens, at least on a technical level, is the extremely bright 0.95 aperture. Unfortunately, when photos are taken at 0.95 there is no region of the photograph which one could describe as sharp. As you stop down sharpness only improves slightly.

This results in some of the most pleasing portraits we've shot this year.

Furthermore, this lens, although delivering soft and smooth bokeh, has lots of cat's eye around the corners, even stopped down.

This results in some of the most pleasing night portraits we've shot this year.

When shooting towards the sun the Argus suffers from a distinct lack of contrast, and shows strange flare characteristics.

This results in some of the most pleasing sunstars, and interesting characterful images we've shot this year.

This lens also has severe LoCA, with distracting colors being painted over any out of focus areas. These colored fringes are incredibly hard to remove in post.

This results in some of the most pleasing black and white images we've shot this year.

The Argus also has...

I think you get where I'm going with this.

- Chris

Look. It just doesn't perform that well by any metric we use to test lenses, so this distinction makes sense. I still really dig the look of our sample gallery though...

- Jordan

Worst Camera For Stills - Sigma fp L

It's fair to state that 2021 introduced some powerful and innovative cameras to the field, especially in the realm of full frame bodies. We are seeing a shift towards capable electronic shutters, and Nikon made a big push with their innovative Z9 that does away with a mechanical shutter altogether. But are they the first high-res photo-centric camera to do this? The answer is a definitive no!

In 2021 Sigma beat them to the punch with their fp L. Not hard to believe, as Sigma has a well deserved reputation for forward thinking camera designs. The fp L is firmly aimed at the still based photographer, with a major emphasis on high megapixels. Jordan and I cannot, however, recommend that anyone purchase the fp L.

The fp L is for the most part, the same as the original fp, simply with a 61 megapixel sensor inside it. Now the fp looks, in spite of any of Sigma's intentions, to be a video camera first and foremost. Its compact and simple design lends itself well to specialized uses. Think car cams, crane and drone shots, and gimbal usage. Unfortunately the video-centric control scheme does not translate well to a photo based camera.

The fp L's lack of customizability and a body design that was intended to be mounted in video rigs makes for a poor-handling body in the hand. Nothing about the menu design, or interface, is quick to adjust in an action photo scenario, and rolling shutter rears its ugly head constantly. In fact the only situation where the camera does seem to work well is for landscapes on a tripod. Mounted on a tripod, the lack of IBIS and poor ergonomics are mitigated.

One can slow down and take their time. The stable platform, and the lack of mechanical shutter slap, now allow the 61 megapixels to shine. The glaring lack of versatility, however, ultimately places the fp L way down any prospective holiday shopping list.

Unfortunately for Sigma, there are so many excellent alternatives that offer far more versatility with a control structure intended for photographers. Worst photo camera for 2021 goes to the Sigma fp L.

- Chris

✇ News: Digital Photography Review (dpreview.com)

Drone technique: How to shoot 4K hyperlapse video on the DJI Air 2S

A hyperlapse sequence was captured using the DJI Air 2S in Course Lock mode (discussed below).
Video by Kara Murphy

One of the many valuable features of the DJI Air 2S is its ability to capture 4K hyperlapse videos. For those unfamiliar with the term, a hyperlapse is essentially a time-lapse sequence with the added element of motion – which is achieved by moving the camera slightly between each frame.

The Air 2S has some features that make it particularly useful for shooting a hyperlapse: it can capture photos with exposure times up to eight seconds, which is ideal for low-light conditions, and the interval between shots can be as low as two seconds, allowing for smooth hyperlapse sequences.

However, shooting a hyperlapse clip requires more effort than simply taking off and hitting the record button. In this article, we'll walk you through the process of planning your first hyperlapse sequence, as well as the four different modes DJI provides for shooting hyperlapses with the Air 2S.

It's all about the timing

The first thing you'll need to consider is how long you want your hyperlapse sequence to last. Each photo in the sequence represents one frame of video. Depending on the mode you select, the number of waypoints you designate, and the interval between shots, it can take anywhere from a few minutes to a half-hour to record one hyperlapse. For example, if you want to record a ten-second sequence, and you plan to play the clip back at 30p, your drone will need to capture a total of 300 photos in the sequence.

Next, consider the time interval between each photo. A short interval, such as two seconds between shots, will generally result in a smoother sequence than a longer interval, such as six seconds. So, our hypothetical ten-second hyperlapse would take ten minutes to capture using a two-second interval but 30 minutes using a six-second interval.

Keep in mind that it's always easier to speed up your hyperlapse after it's been shot than to slow it down

So why wouldn't you initially select the shorter interval? It depends on what you're shooting. If your goal is to move the drone slowly down a beach while capturing a sunset over the course of 20 or 30 minutes, a longer interval might make sense. If you're not sure, keep in mind that it's always easier to speed up your hyperlapse after it's been shot than to slow it down.

It's important to consider battery life in your planning as well. The Air 2S has a maximum flight time of 30 minutes. By using a short interval between photos, you may be able to shoot two or three hyperlapse sequences on a single battery. If you choose a longer interval, it may limit you to a single hyperlapse sequence before it's time to land.

Planning your shot

Location

It's helpful to pre-visualize what the final sequence will look like. Moving elements can make a hyperlapse video clip more dynamic. Boats, cars, waves, clouds and people moving about will add depth to an otherwise ordinary scene. Mountains and city skylines make for an interesting backdrop.

Wherever you shoot, always remember to abide by your country's respective drone laws. For example, in the United States, flying in restricted airspace or directly above moving vehicles or people is prohibited unless you have acquired the proper waiver beforehand.

Fifth Third Ballpark, located in Grand Rapids, Michigan, is the perfect location to shoot a Circle hyperlapse. The field is an interesting subject to track; numerous cars are driving along the freeway behind it, there's a bit of city skyline in the upper-left-hand corner, and, on this particular day, there were clouds for dramatic effect.

Weather and timing

One challenge you may encounter when shooting hyperlapse videos is that weather factors, such as wind, can impact the quality of the results. Because hundreds of images are combined to make one video, the drone's exact position is crucial. If a gust of wind knocks your drone slightly off its course, you'll end up with choppy footage. When testing hyperlapse on the Air 2S, it captured higher-quality hyperlapse clips only when there was a moderate breeze at best.

Keep in mind that winds are often much lighter around dawn and dusk. Most photographers refer to these times of day as the golden hour(s) due to warm, dramatic light. They're often the ideal time to shoot a hyperlapse. The changing conditions and colors of the sky as the sun rises or sets are also fascinating to watch on a hyperlapse clip.

When shooting a hyperlapse with the Air 2S, ensure you have both 4K video and Raw photos selected. If you decide to post-process the hyperlapse yourself, you'll have a lot more flexibility with the Raw files. Areas that are completely blown out cannot be recovered in post-processing. 'Overexposure Warning' in the DJI Fly app allows you to identify these areas, so make sure you activate that as well.

Camera settings

When the Air 2S was introduced, DJI emphasized that it didn't want users to think too much about camera settings and encouraged the use of Auto mode. However, we recommend shooting in Manual mode to yield the best results.

While shooting in Auto mode may seem convenient, it's too easy for areas of your image, especially during sunrise and sunset, to get overexposed. In contrast, shooting in Manual mode provides control over ISO and shutter speed. It also helps prevent any unexpected exposure changes.

To ensure that you're shooting hyperlapse clips in 4K, you'll need to take several steps. Above the shutter button in the DJI Fly app, select 'Video', then scroll down to 'Hyperlapse', where the settings will automatically default to 1080p. To change the resolution, click on the 'RES&FPS' icon on the lower right-hand side of the screen, then select '4K' for your resolution.

It's also a good idea to activate the Histogram and Overexposure warning so you can identify any areas that might be blown out when you're initially adjusting your settings.

Hyperlapse captured using Waypoint mode, which allows you to set up to 45 waypoints that define the exact path the drone will travel and where the camera is pointed.
Video by Kara Murphy

Most importantly, you can create nice motion blur with objects in your video by throwing out the 180-degree shutter speed rule and slowing the speed down to anywhere between 1/8 second to 2 seconds. This is where ND filters come in handy by allowing you to use slow shutter speeds even in daylight.

We recommend purchasing the Air 2S Fly More Combo if you plan to shoot a lot of hyperlapses. In addition to two extra batteries, it includes a pack of four filters – ND4, ND8, ND16, and ND32.

The aperture on the Air 2S is fixed at F2.8, so you may need stronger ND filters to achieve slower shutter speeds in the brightest conditions. DJI offers another four-pack of ND filters, sold separately, including ND64, ND128, ND256, and ND512 filters. You'll probably want to invest in these filters for smooth motion blur shots, especially when it's bright and sunny.

While the Air 2S Fly More Combo comes with a set of four ND filters, ranging from ND4 to ND32, we recommend DJI's stronger set, which goes up to ND512. The latter allows you to slow the shutter speed to the point where you can capture smoother footage, even in bright daylight.

The DJI Fly app, which powers the Air 2S, provides a scroll bar for dialing in the correct white balance. The closer you set it to 2000 K, the cooler the image. Shifting up toward 10000 K will make everything warmer. A range of 5000 K to 6600 K is ideal for most daylight conditions. Set the white balance so that it's correct for your scene.

File format

Although the Air2 S can capture 5.4K/30p video, the hyperlapse clips it generates are limited to 4K resolution. However, if you're willing to post-process the hyperlapse sequence yourself, you can take advantage of the drone's larger 1"-type sensor by also saving copies of each photo it takes in DNG Raw format.

Make sure to select Raw as your photo format and MOV as your video format. When you access the video clips created by the drone on the memory card or internal storage, you'll also find a folder containing all the Raw images. These files provide a lot more flexibility for making exposure adjustments and white balance corrections than out-of-camera JPEG images.

Raw images are helpful if you want to edit or color grade using Lightroom or After Effects. Always make sure you're shooting in Raw for maximum flexibility if you plan to edit your images. Drone Supremacy created an excellent tutorial covering post-processing techniques in Adobe Lightroom and After Effects.

Four hyperlapse modes to choose

Now that we've covered the steps for setting things up let's look at the four hyperlapse modes available on the Air 2S. Hyperlapse mode can be accessed by clicking on the button above the shutter, selecting the video icon, and scrolling down the menu to the hyperlapse option.

In each of the hyperlapse modes below, you have the option to set interval speed, total clip length, and the overall speed that the drone will travel while recording. The exception is Waypoint mode, which won't let you select the drone's speed since that will be determined by the plotted course and the duration of the sequence. DJI's latest update allows you to set up to 45 points in Waypoint mode.

Once you've dialed in your settings, the Air 2S will automatically calculate the time needed, go about its mission, and stitch the photos together once they're captured.

Free mode

This mode gives you the flexibility to fly your drone in any direction, altering altitude, location, and speed, while tilting the camera at an angle you prefer whenever you choose. Let's say you want to follow a boat in motion. Having this level of flexibility makes sense.

While having complete control of the drone's movement at all times sounds appealing, it's much more difficult to capture smooth, cinematic footage as you have to be extremely precise and deliberate in every movement of the drone or camera.

This hyperlapse was captured in Free mode. Although Free mode sounds appealing, it's challenging to make extremely deliberate and precise motions that look smooth. In this example, the camera remains stationary.
Video by Kara Murphy

Course lock

This mode is helpful for capturing cityscapes or scenery in a straight line. It is also useful for flying through tight spaces, like in between buildings. It's an automated mode: the drone flies in a straight line toward your target, or facing in another direction when unlocked, and doesn't deviate from that course.

Once you've determined your main parameters (intervals, clip length, and speed), designate your target by drawing a box around it with your finger, hit the record button, and let the drone fly. You can adjust the altitude while in flight, but you cannot alter the direction or camera angle while recording the hyperlapse. You also can't preselect distance, so it may require some trial-and-error with intervals and total clip time.

Course Lock and Circle modes allow you to select a target for the drone to focus on while recording the hyperlapse. Simply use your index finger to draw a frame around your desired object.

You can find an example of a Course Lock hyperlapse at the top of this article.

Circle

If you want to focus your hyperlapse on one subject in particular, like a cathedral, as illustrated above, Circle is an ideal mode. This is another automated mode that programs your Air 2S to fly in a circular path around your designated target. You can choose either a clockwise or counterclockwise direction. Once you hit record, the drone will fly for a few seconds, calculate how far away the subject is, and then begin its course.

Circle mode flies a circular path around your subject. As you can see from this example, you may need a long hyperlapse to orbit a large area.
Video by Kara Murphy

After you've set the direction of rotation, you can't alter it once the hyperlapse is recording. You also can't change the altitude during flight. Depending on how far the drone is from the subject or how large that subject is, you may need to select a clip longer than 10 seconds if you wish to make a full rotation around it.

Waypoint

We saved the best mode for last. This one is especially useful for smooth, slow reveal shots, like when you want to surprise your viewers. What's wonderful about Waypoint is that, unlike Course Lock and Circle, you can determine the exact path you want the drone to fly, along with the camera orientation and angle at each waypoint. It will automatically fly the course once you hit record.

When viewing the Waypoint hyperlapse earlier in the article you can see this in action; both the drone and camera shift position during the hyperlapse.

When selecting waypoints, the drone will tell you if the angle and direction are too wide. This will ensure the footage doesn't look jerky as the drone changes its orientation.

In Waypoint mode, you won't be able to set your next target if you position the drone at too large of an angle. This will prevent jerky footage.

To get started, manually fly to each waypoint and tap the plus sign in the waypoints box at the bottom of the menu. As mentioned above, you can select up to 45 different waypoints. Once you hit record, the drone will fly back to the starting point and fly the course you plotted out. If you're running low on battery, or want to start at the final point in the course, simply select 'Reverse' for a reverse sequence, and the drone will automatically start from that last location.

Final thoughts

Always make sure you have the latest firmware installed on your Air 2S. This will help prevent errors while using the DJI Fly app. One final tip: flying at a longer distance from your subject, in any mode, generally gives you more interesting footage. A Circle hyperlapse focusing on a subject close up, for example, isn't very interesting to watch. Make sure to include more skyline and other surrounding elements for the best possible outcome.

Did we miss anything? Let us know in the comments. If you've created any hyperlapse sequences with the Air 2S, share a link with us!

✇ News: Digital Photography Review (dpreview.com)

Review: Great Joy's new 60mm T2.9 1.33x anamorphic lens, 1.35x adapter offer squeezed shots on a budget

We’ve seen numerous lower-cost anamorphic lenses come to market over the past few years. Sirui has been behind many of these budget-friendly anamorphic lenses, including four focal lengths designed for APS-C and MFT cameras, and more recently a 50mm for full-frame. While Surui's lineup has been a welcomed addition to the filmmaking world, there are those who've complained the 1.33x squeeze of these lower-cost lenses doesn't offer enough of a dramatic anamorphic effect. Enter Great Joy, with its new 60mm T2.9 1.33x anamorphic lens and 1.35x adapter.

The lens is designed for full-frame sensors and on its own produces a 1.33x squeeze. To satisfy those wanting more squeeze, Great Joy has also developed an optional adapter that multiplies the built-in squeeze by 1.35x to give us a much more anamorphic 1.8x (well, 1.7955x) effect.

This new pair is exciting because we don’t usually get 1.8x anamorphic lenses on a budget–and certainly not for full-frame sensors. The next lowest-cost 1.8x anamorphic for full-frame cameras comes from Vazen, and will cost you $8000. This Great Joy lens and adapter combination costs just $1,600: $999 for the lens and $599 for the adapter–though the two cost $1249 on the company's Indiegogo campaign page. Shipping begins next month, so the lenses are already in mass production.

The lens

We don’t often come across 60mm lenses, so this Great Joy lens stands out from the field. Of course, with its 1.33x anamorphic factor, the lens gathers light from the same horizontal angle of view we’d expect from a 45mm lens.

The lens has a metal barrel with a smooth semi-gloss black finish and engraved markings filled with white paint indicate distance and apertures. The aperture markings are visible from either side of the lens, but focus information is displayed only on the left side of the barrel. The focus and aperture rings feature built-in metal gears for follow-focus equipment.

Inside, we find 13 elements in 10 groups, including four cylindrical elements that make up the anamorphic group to distort the image. Other features include an eleven-blade iris, a minimum focusing distance of 70cm (27.5") and a focus throw of 196°. The minimum aperture is T16, and remarkably we get evenly spaced markings in third-stop increments right through to the maximum T2.9 position. Low-cost lenses often compress the space between the extreme aperture settings, so Great Joy's attention to detail here is a welcome change.

When you look through the glass cover at the front of the lens you’ll see the usual oblong-looking baffle, and the oval shaped opening created by the anamorphic group’s position at the front of the lens construction. Placing the anamorphic group at the front and forward of the iris gives us a better chance of achieving some flare (we see you Michael Bay) and those much-loved oval bokeh.

The front section of the lens also carries a 67mm thread. This is obviously to accommodate filters, but also to allow us to attach Great Joy’s 1.35x adapter that increases the squeeze effect.

The rear of the lens features a plain mount that does not offer electrical contact with the camera, so EXIF data isn’t recorded and all aperture and focusing adjustments need to be handled manually. The lens comes in fittings for L-Mount Alliance, Nikon Z, Canon RF and Sony E cameras.

The adapter

If the 1.33x squeeze from the 60mm T2.9 lens isn’t enough, you can add the 1.35x Great Joy anamorphic adapter. When the two anamorphic factors are multiplied together we get a new squeeze factor of 1.8x, which will make many filmmakers happy. The adapter screws onto the front of the main lens via the 67mm thread, which means the adapter can be used on any other lens with the same sized filter thread and turn regular spherical lenses into 1.35x anamorphic lenses.

The adapter has its own focus ring which comes into play once it is fitted in place. The host lens should have its focus set to the infinity position and all focusing from then on is done via the adapter’s focus ring. This is a neat arrangement as it allows the whole contraption to be focused via a single ring – unlike some other adapters.

Equally exciting, I discovered it's possible to use AF with the adapter when I set it to infinity and left the host lens in AF mode. All of the new Lumix S F1.8 lens series have a 67mm filter thread, as does the 20-60mm F3.5-5.6–though those wider than the 35mm suffer mechanical vignetting. However, I was able to shoot in AF and found the Lumix S5’s AF was able to (mostly) keep up.

I also used the camera’s AF system to adjust for changes in the lens-subject distance by focusing with the adapter and allowing the camera and host lens to make corrections automatically. This was an effective strategy in bright light and when the focus shifts required were not too dramatic, so it works as a manual focus assistant rather than a default way to shoot. The system loses a little sharpness too when you allow the host lens to be on anything other than infinity, but it isn’t as noticeable in moving scenes.

At 855g (1.9lbs), the adapter is quite heavy. And while it sits comfortably enough on the front of the Great Joy 60mm lens, it may well need a little more support when hanging off the front of lenses designed only to have filters in their front threads. The 60mm lens has its own mounting thread on the underside of the barrel, but the adapter does not, so a well-placed resting post in your rig might be useful, especially if your lens has a plastic filter thread.

Although Great Joy mentions using this adapter on zoom lenses we need to be careful of actual focal lengths when focusing close. I found on the Lumix S 20-60mm F3.5-5.6 lens I could get away with the 40mm position, but when using prime lenses the widest focal length that avoids vignetting is 35mm.

Achievable formats

This lens and its adapter allow us to create quite a range of different formats depending on the way we shoot. Obviously, most cameras will allow 16:9 video recording which provides a 2.36:1 format with just the lens, and 3.2:1 with the adapter added to the mix. But, some cameras give us alternative recording aspect ratios so the choice also is brand and model specific.

Even without the main lens, the adapter can be used on spherical lenses to achieve a decent anamorphic effect, hence the inclusion of a 1.35x column in the table above. While 2.4:1 will keep lot of photographers happy we have to remember that there’s a limit on the focal lengths we can apply this adapter to, so wide angle work is somewhat restricted.

The important figures in the table though indicate that a 4:3 sensor behind the lens/adapter combination will deliver the 2.39:1 aspect ratio that is the standard for projection set by SMPTE (Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers) in the early 1990s.

In use

Local university drama students reviewing their performance

The Great Joy 60mm T2.9 1.33x anamorphic lens is really very nice to use. It's a solid lump of metal and glass, so it'll add a significant amount of weight to the front of your system. But, it does offer a reassuring feel of durability and that it isn’t going to break if you drop it. It also feels very nicely engineered, with a smooth gliding rotation in both focus and iris rings. My example has an L mount which seems to have been constructed with a good enough degree of accuracy that it twists on and off with no bother at all. That isn’t always the case.

Screwing the adapter to the front of the main lens is as easy as screwing in a filter, but with the added weight of the adapter. The threads are made well though and the two come together without grinding and grating, and the adapter can screw in securely. Once the adapter is screwed in all the way we need to rotate the whole until the forward oblong is aligned perfectly upright, and then when we are happy we tighten the retaining thumb screws to hold it all in place. That might sound like a lot of effort, but once you've done it a few times it's easy. It would've been nice if the adapter naturally aligned with the main lens once it comes to the end of its thread, but having it adjustable then means we can use it on third party lenses whose threads Great Joy has no control over – so ultimately it is a price worth paying.

This lens and its adapter allow us to create quite a range of different formats depending on the way we shoot

To use this combination, we set the main lens to infinity focus and then can achieve focus in the shot solely with the focus ring of the adapter. It pays to regularly check the main lens is still at its infinity position as it is easy to knock it away from its mark by accident. While the rear of the adapter has a 67mm thread to allow it to attached to the main lens, the forward thread is 77mm – so we never need to step into big-boy-filter-system territory.

Is it any good?

The short answer is yes, it is very good, so long as you are aware of a few caveats. On its own, the 60mm main lens works very well and provides a level of detail and optical quality I wasn’t really expecting. It is very sharp and there are few signs of chromatic issues, despite the image being stretched horizontally every time it is used. It flares nicely enough to keep the anamorphic fans happy, and those who prefer a little moderation will be glad the luminous blue streaks of some other brands are not present in this model. The flare streaks are quite neutral in color, which I rather like, and spread more evenly so we don’t have sharp lines dissecting the screen in two.

The oval out-of-focus highlights so often referenced as a mark of a worthwhile anamorphic lens are also present, but the fact that this lens has a 1.33x squeeze factor lets you know from the off that they aren’t going to be dramatically oval. Fortunately we are able to make the most of what the lens can achieve as the anamorphic factor appears reasonably consistent throughout the entire focus range, and we don’t have to revert to smaller de-squeeze adjustments when focusing on closer subjects.

The film above was recorded using the Great Joy 60mm lens with the adapter on the Lumix S1H, and was shot in 4K 16:9. The timeline is 2:66:1 to remove the vignetting of the combination that shows when the full width of the sensor is used.

The lens comes into its own though when the 1.35x adapter is used with it – to the point where I had to keep reminding myself to test the lens on its own. The width of the view is glorious, as that 60mm focal length translates to the horizontal angle of view we’d expect from a 33mm lens while the vertical angle of view remains 60mm. The width of the frame is perhaps a little greater than most film makers will want to show and a crop to 2.66:1 is minor enough to plan for without wrecking your composition.

A crop is actually essential when using the 60mm and the adapter at the same time if your camera is set to record using the full width of the sensor as the combination creates quite serious mechanical vignetting that encroaches some way into the frame from all corners and at all focus distances. It may be quite a surprise when you first see it, but it's completely removed once the 3.2:1 or 3.4:1 image is cropped to a sensible set of aspect ratios–such as 2.66:1 CinemaScope. This, of course, also reduces the horizontal width of the effective angle of view of the lens, but you’ll be able to see on the rear screen or on your monitor how much of the image needs to be cropped away.

The scene above was recorded in 3840x2160 with the adapter attached to the lens. When dropped onto a 6912x2160 timeline the vignetting can be clearly seen even before the footage is de-squeezed. Once de-squeezed to fit the timeline the vignetting is even more obvious, but it is also obvious the 3:2 aspect ratio of the timeline is uncomfortably wide.

Dropped onto a 2.66:1 timeline with a 5746x2160 resolution the vignetting is neatly cropped away and the image comfortable to look at. The widest aspect ratio you can get away with when avoiding the vignetting is about 2.8:1, which is still wider than most film makers would regularly use.

If you use a 4:3 recording area, as you would with a Lumix camera in Anamorphic Mode, or your camera crops to an APS-C area of the sensor for video, you won’t have to face this issue at all as the recording area will be within the clean sector of the imaging circle. Recording in the 3:2 ‘open-gate’ format that the Lumix S1H allows gives us slight vignetting in the corners, that gets more obvious as we focus more closely.

On the Sirui lenses

The adapter is a very useful addition for anyone already shooting with Sirui’s 1.33x lenses for APS-C and MFT as it will convert them to a 1.8x anamorphic factor. Most of these lenses have a 67mm filter thread and a thread made in metal, so the adapter fits nicely and securely. Setting the Sirui lenses to their infinity position also ensures we get the full 1.33x squeeze from them, though infinity may not always be their strongest position when it comes to resolution and wide apertures. I found closing them to F4 is a useful strategy for ensuring best sharpness. The squeeze of the adapter will of course exaggerate any aberrations inherent in the host lens, so it pays to play safe.

The adapter on the Sirui lenses gives us a look that blends well with that of the adapter on the Great Joy lens, and I found I didn’t have to make any adjustments to match footage shot via both methods. For one scene of the video above I recorded footage using the Great Joy combination mounted on the Panasonic Lumix DC-S1H and then recorded different angles with the adapter mounted on the Sirui 50mm and 75mm lenses via the Panasonic Lumix DC-GH5M2, and was pleased that they all worked very nicely together.

The three angles here were shot with different lens/camera combinations using the Great Joy lens as well as the Sirui MFT 1.33x anamorphics. The top angle was recorded with the Great Joy 60mm 1.33x anamorphic with the 1.35x adapter, while the middle angle was shot with the Panasonic Lumix DC-GH5M2 with the 50mm Sirui lens with the 1.35x adapter attached. The bottom angle was shot with the 75mm Sirui with the adapter. All were recorded in 4K 16:9 format, and in V-Log and V-LogL. They blend together rather nicely.

The Sirui 35mm, 50mm and 75mm lenses work well with this adapter, but the 24mm doesn’t as it has a 72mm thread and a too-wide angle of view. If you shoot in the 16:9 or 17:9 formats with a Micro Four Thirds cameras you will find the angle of the 35mm lens pretty much matches that of the Great Joy 60mm when both are used with the adapter – and once the vignetting is removed from the full-frame footage.

Conclusion

It would have been a Godsend to headline writers had this lens offered users Great Sadness or Great Disappointment, but fortunately for everyone else, it lives up to its name rather well. I really didn’t know what to expect when I took it out of the box, but have been very pleased with it from the moment it went onto the camera. It takes a while to get used to the aligning process for the adapter as it is tempting to tighten the retaining screws without realizing they lock the rotation mechanism as well as preventing the adapter from unscrewing from the lens, but once you understand that, it's easy to work with it.

I would also prefer if the lens wasn’t so heavy, but cinema lenses tend to be, so I guess we just have to deal with that. I’d rather it be heavy and well-made though, than lightweight and not.

I’m very pleased with the resolution of both the lens and the lens with its adapter

I’m very pleased with the resolution of both the lens and the lens with its adapter, and have been impressed with the lack of fringing and generally how clean the image is. With the adapter in place the optics of the 60mm are somewhat tested but they hold up extremely well. The adapter also lends the kit much more flare and those oval out-of-focus highlights, but it is the nice background distortion that appeals to me – that exaggerates how out-of-focus the background is and which consequently makes the focused subject jump out of the frame.

This adapter is clearly designed to work best with a 60mm lens, or one of a similar angle of view, so I look forward to when the company launches one compatible with wide lenses – and indeed to the day Great Joy brings out more host lenses. The company tells me it is working on more lenses, but for now at least won’t let on what we should expect next.

In all, this is an excellent lens and adapter kit. The lens is good on its own but I recommend the adapter to deliver the heighten anamorphic feel even if you are going to show your 16:9 footage in 2:39:1. Great Joy indeed!

For more information see the Great Joy Facebook page, and the company’s Indiegogo campaign page. The lenses are due to begin shipping this month.

What we like:

  • Great image quality
  • Flexibility of the adapter
  • Nice to use
  • Moderate streaks
  • Well made
  • The price

What we don't like:

  • Weight of the lens
  • Weight of the adapter
  • Heavy vignetting, though usually removed in crop


Note/disclaimer: Remember to do your research with any crowdfunding project before backing it. Pledges to crowdfunding campaigns are not pre-orders. DPReview does not have a relationship with this, or any such campaign, and we publicize only projects that appear legitimate, and which we consider will be of genuine interest to our readers. You can read more about the safeguards Indiegogo has in place on its ‘Trust & Safety’ page.

✇ News: Digital Photography Review (dpreview.com)

DPReview TV: Best and Worst photo/video gear 2021

It's that time of the year when Chris and Jordan look back on the year's best and worst releases of photo and video gear. As has become traditional, they've devised a drinking game to help ensure that their recollection ends up as hazy as the output of the worst lens...

Subscribe to our YouTube channel to get new episodes of DPReview TV every week.

✇ News: Digital Photography Review (dpreview.com)

Twitter bans posting photos of people without their explicit consent to do so

Twitter has announced a ban on nearly all pictures and videos containing people who haven't given permission for that media to be posted. The new rule is an extension of the company’s privacy protection policy and is intended to uphold the human rights of its users and was put in place just a day after former CEO, Jack Dorsey, stepped down and announced Parag Agrawal, who joined Twitter in 2011 as an engineer and previously held the title as Chief Technology Officer, as his successor.

In a thread, posted to its @TwitterSafety account on November 30, Twitter said ‘Beginning today, we will not allow the sharing of private media, such as images or videos of private individuals without their consent’ and an additional Tweet states ‘Sharing images is an important part of folks' experience on Twitter. People should have a choice in determining whether or not a photo is shared publicly. To that end we are expanding the scope of our Private Information Policy.’

Sharing images is an important part of folks' experience on Twitter. People should have a choice in determining whether or not a photo is shared publicly. To that end we are expanding the scope of our Private Information Policy. 🧵

— Twitter Safety (@TwitterSafety) November 30, 2021

The blanket ban seems to imply that users may not post any content that includes people whose permission has not been sought first, though certain exceptions will be made. The blog post below states ‘This policy is not applicable to media featuring public figures or individuals when media and accompanying Tweet text are shared in the public interest or add value to public discourse.’ If that exception feels vague, you're not alone in thinking that. No guidance is offered to help users understand what is meant by ‘public interest’, ‘public discourse’ or ‘public figure’ and neither under what qualification these terms will be decided.

Photograph by Damien Demolder

Twitter says later in its statement that offending content won't automatically be removed. Instead, Twitter will only step in once the subject—or someone acting on their legal behalf—makes Twitter aware of their lack of consent in having the image posted. When this happens, the poster’s account will be locked until the offending Tweet is removed. The new rule seems to ignore the right of anyone to take pictures in public places and to publish them in an editorial or artist context, and even those of people posting vacation pictures of famous sites that might include other members of the public.

Photograph by Damien Demolder

For street, travel and documentary photographers the rules are very concerning, as they suggest candid images can’t be used at all, and indeed any image that contains a third-party whose permission hasn’t been granted whether they appear in a landscape or an architectural view. For posed pictures, it isn’t clear whether having someone’s consent to take the picture is the same as having consent for that image to be posted on Twitter, or how recognizable someone needs to be in the picture or video in order for them to object.

More importantly, perhaps, is that the rule seems open to abuse by those seeking to avoid public scrutiny from independent journalists exposing corruption, crime and wrong doing, as they can just complain to Twitter and have posts, including screen shots, removed.

Instances of this have already appeared, according to social journalist Chad Loder, who pointed out that some journalists' accounts are being locked after complaints by the people they have exposed for allegedly illegal activity. In theory, many of these posts could be covered by the exception ‘contains eyewitness accounts or on the ground reports from developing events;’ but the concern is who is making the judgement calls in these instances.

.@TwitterSafety just forced photojournalist Kelly Stuart (@SkySpider_) to remove a video under their new "private media" policy.

The video shows two right-wing extremists (in public) planning a criminal assault on reporter @emilymolli, documented here: https://t.co/o5Zjj26zN0

— Chad Loder (they/them) (@chadloder) December 1, 2021

As is often the case with new policies open to interpretation, only time will tell what impact this new policy will have on photographers and journalists alike. The privacy of non-consenting parties should certainly be corrected, but additional clarification from Twitter and its Safety team would help policy-abiding users better understand how their images, which are otherwise legal and taken within the means of the law, could impact their status on the social media platform.

For more information see the Twitter Safety account and the Twitter Blog.

Twitter statement:

Expanding our private information policy to include media

By Twitter Safety

As part of our ongoing efforts to build tools with privacy and security at the core, we’re updating our existing private information policy and expanding its scope to include “private media.” Under our existing policy, publishing other people's private information, such as phone numbers, addresses, and IDs, is already not allowed on Twitter. This includes threatening to expose private information or incentivizing others to do so.

There are growing concerns about the misuse of media and information that is not available elsewhere online as a tool to harass, intimidate, and reveal the identities of individuals. Sharing personal media, such as images or videos, can potentially violate a person’s privacy, and may lead to emotional or physical harm. The misuse of private media can affect everyone, but can have a disproportionate effect on women, activists, dissidents, and members of minority communities. When we receive a report that a Tweet contains unauthorized private media, we will now take action in line with our range of enforcement options.

While our existing policies and Twitter Rules cover explicit instances of abusive behavior, this update will allow us to take action on media that is shared without any explicit abusive content, provided it’s posted without the consent of the person depicted. This is a part of our ongoing work to align our safety policies with human rights standards, and it will be enforced globally starting today.

What is in violation of this policy?

Under our private information policy, you can’t share the following types of private information or media, without the permission of the person who it belongs to:

  • home address or physical location information, including street addresses, GPS coordinates or other identifying information related to locations that are considered private;
  • identity documents, including government-issued IDs and social security or other national identity numbers – note: we may make limited exceptions in regions where this information is not considered to be private;
  • contact information, including non-public personal phone numbers or email addresses;
  • financial account information, including bank account and credit card details; and
  • other private information, including biometric data or medical records.
  • NEW: media of private individuals without the permission of the person(s) depicted.

The following behaviors are also not permitted:

  • threatening to publicly expose someone’s private information;
  • sharing information that would enable individuals to hack or gain access to someone’s private information without their consent,e.g., sharing sign-in credentials for online banking services;
  • asking for or offering a bounty or financial reward in exchange for posting someone’s private information;
  • asking for a bounty or financial reward in exchange for not posting someone’s private information, sometimes referred to as blackmail.

When private information or media has been shared on Twitter, we need a first-person report or a report from an authorized representative in order to make the determination that the image or video has been shared without their permission. Learn more about reporting on Twitter.

Sharing private media

When we are notified by individuals depicted, or by an authorized representative, that they did not consent to having their private image or video shared, we will remove it. This policy is not applicable to media featuring public figures or individuals when media and accompanying Tweet text are shared in the public interest or add value to public discourse.

However, if the purpose of the dissemination of private images of public figures or individuals who are part of public conversations is to harass, intimidate, or use fear to silence them, we may remove the content in line with our policy against abusive behavior.. Similarly, private nude images of public individuals will continue to be actioned under our non-consensual nudity policy.

We recognize that there are instances where account holders may share images or videos of private individuals in an effort to help someone involved in a crisis situation, such as in the aftermath of a violent event, or as part of a newsworthy event due to public interest value, and this might outweigh the safety risks to a person.

We will always try to assess the context in which the content is shared and, in such cases, we may allow the images or videos to remain on the service. For instance, we would take into consideration whether the image is publicly available and/or is being covered by mainstream/traditional media (newspapers, TV channels, online news sites), or if a particular image and the accompanying tweet text adds value to the public discourse, is being shared in public interest, or is relevant to the community.

Feeling safe on Twitter is different for everyone, and our teams are constantly working to understand and address these needs. We know our work will never be done, and we will continue to invest in making our product and policies more robust and transparent to continue to earn the trust of the people using our service.

✇ News: Digital Photography Review (dpreview.com)

Canon says it could take half a year for your EOS R3 order to ship

The ongoing chip shortage and general supply chain constraints has impacted nearly every camera and lens manufacturer. Just last week, Sony announced it would no longer take orders for some of its older mirrorless cameras. Now, Canon has published a notice informing consumers that orders for its flagship EOS R3 mirrorless camera could take up to six months to ship.

In the announcement, shared on Canon’s website under the headline ‘Apology and guidance regarding the supply status of products,’ Canon says it could take ‘a lot of time’ for its new EOS R3 and RF 14–35mm F4 L IS USM to ship out to consumers. Canon says ‘the products are scheduled to be shipped one-by-one,’ but it’s not going to happen at a rapid pace.

According to Canon, ‘it may take more than half a year to deliver when you place a new order’ for its EOS R3 camera and RF 14–35mm F4 L IS USM lens. Other lenses and accessories are also being impacted. Specifically, Canon says the RF 16mm F2.8 STM, RF 100–400mm F5.6–8 IS USM and RF 400mm F2.8 L IS USM will ‘take longer than usual to ship.’

It shouldn’t necessarily come as a surprise considering the current state of the market. But it’s worth keeping in mind that you might want to plan accordingly if you’re anticipating needing Canon’s EOS R3 camera in hand anytime soon.

✇ News: Digital Photography Review (dpreview.com)

Film Friday: The film photography community has a math problem

If you’re at all in tune with the film photography world, you know film stocks from various manufacturers are either being discontinued or rapidly getting more expensive. The latest example of this came last month when Kodak announced it was increasing the price of its various film stocks by between 9–15%.

As is often the case with sudden price changes, Kodak immediately faced criticism from members of the film photography community, many of whom suggests Kodak isn’t supporting film photographers as much as they believe it should be. In response to this criticism, two respected entities in the film photography world, Silver Grain Classics and Nico from Nico’s Photography Show, attempted to contextualize these price increases in an effort to calm down the community.

Photo by Matthew Wright

While their respective efforts appear to have been taken well by the film photography community, Matthew Wright, writing on 35mmc, has a slightly different take on the price increases of film.

In his essay, titled ‘The Film Community has a Math Problem. Not a Film Price or Kodak Problem,’ Wright breaks down a number of ways film photography is being impacted beyond simple price increases to account for inflation, supply chain constraints and more.

It’s a well-written piece that looks more into the economics and history of the film photography community than more the more topical rationale we’re used to hearing. You can read his entire writeup, which comes in at just over 3,000 words, below:

The Film Community has a Math Problem. Not a Film Price or Kodak Problem (35mmc)


About Film Fridays: We've launched an analog forum and in a continuing effort to promote the fun of the medium, we'll be sharing film-related content on Fridays, including articles from our friends at 35mmc and KosmoFoto.

✇ News: Digital Photography Review (dpreview.com)

Qualcomm reveals the three benefits it expects from its partnership with Sony Semiconductor Solutions

During the opening keynote at its annual Snapdragon Summit where it revealed its new Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 mobile platform, Qualcomm announced it has partnered with Sony Semiconductor Solutions to work alongside one another inside Qualcomm’s San Diego headquarters to push mobile imaging into the future.

While the exact details of this partnership remain under wraps, Qualcomm mentioned three specific benefits it expects to gain from the partnership as it pertains to camera advancements.

The first benefit is the ability to expedite image processing development on Snapdragon 8 devices. Imaging capabilities of smartphones are some of the most important features of newer flagship devices and it seems Qualcomm’s plan is to use Sony’s expertise in the area to more rapidly improve its image signal processing technology.

A photograph of Qualcomm's San Diego headquarters. Image credit: Qualcomm

The second benefit is the ability to quickly and easily prototype each other’s newest technology and even co-develop joint prototypes together. By being in the same building and sharing the same facilities, both Qualcomm and Sony save the extra steps and bureaucracy involved when the partnership isn’t under a single roof.

This brings us to the third benefit, which is optimized architecture between each company’s hardware. Being in close proximity means faster iteration cycles and improved communication to get better camera systems to market faster than ever and to ‘create the camera of the future [that] will take professional image quality to the next level.’

Sony's 1" image sensor inside its Xperia Pro-I smartphone.

Time will tell what fruit this partnership bears, but it seems promising to have two leaders in their respective industry working together to push technology forward. Could we one day see the benefits of this partnership ‘trickle up’ to larger camera sensors destined for more traditional camera systems? It’s very possible. But, for now, let’s just see what will come of this collaboration in the smartphone world.

✇ News: Digital Photography Review (dpreview.com)

Slideshow: the Winner and Finalists for the 2021 International Wedding Photographer of the Year competition

Winner and Finalists for the 2021 International Wedding Photographer of the Year competition

The overall winner and finalists for the 2021 International Wedding Photographer of the Year (IWPOTY) competition have been announced. More than 1,500 images from 415 photographers in 58 countries were submitted to 9 categories including Black & White, Epic Location, and Couple Portrait.

Fabio Mirulla, from Italy, was declared the overall winner for his brilliant composition of a light shade cleverly concealing a bride. He will receive a Canon EOS R5 camera and other accessories from additional sponsors. The runner-up was taken by duo Willow & Wolf. It depicts a couple that hiked all night to reach a mountain top at sunrise, before marrying in the afternoon.

All winner and finalist photos can be on IWPOTY's website.

2021 Winner: Fabio Mirulla

Artist Statement: I love shooting creative photos with everyday life objects, that can turn out to be the best props just looking at them with different eyes, those of a child that can never get enough of dreaming.

Great couples give me the chance to do one of the things that I love about my work, experimenting, that’s what happened during this shoot thanks also to a great friend of mine.

This photo is part of an amazing wedding that I loved to shoot since the first moment.

Sometimes it happens to me when I meet a new couple to have good vibes about them and that was the case. Both the bride and the groom were wonderful and when I feel the connection with them and they trust me, my work gets really easy to do.

Their day developed in a roller-coaster of laughters and tears, starting with the getting ready where I had the chance to shoot this great photo, then the ceremony with the little children waiting for the bride outside the church, the moving moments of the couple that went to visit the grave of bride’s father and the happiness again during the party.

2021 Runner Up: Andrew Pavlidis

Artist Statement: This summer we hiked more than ever! We have finally had the time to sit and reflect on what an amazing season it was. We are absolutely exhausted but our hearts could not be more full. We were so lucky to meet so many adventurous humans who decided to embrace the outdoors on their wedding day.

Throughout the summer we hiked over 200km and gained over 70,000 ft in elevation (the equivalent of hiking Mt Everest nearly 6 times). All with backpacks full of cameras, lenses, blankets and coffee!

We saw the moon rise and set in all of its phases. Experienced thunderstorms, snowstorms, rainbows, inversions, meteor showers and northern lights. We photographed our couples in all weather and embraced everything that came our way.

With each year that passes we only become more grateful for the couples we meet, the love we get to witness, and the experiences we gain. Thank you all from the bottom of our hearts for following along.

Dance Floor, Finalist: Ken Pak

Artist Statement: After taking a few random photos of the tent with sunset, I sighted the shadow of the poles projected by my freestanding speed-lights. I then ran back to the dance floor to ask my second photographer to keep only one of the speed-lights on. I ran outside of the tent and I was barely able to capture this moment before the couple walked away from the dance floor.

Couple Portrait, Top Scoring: Dane Tucker

Artist Statement: Once upon a time in Canberra. My brain isn’t working this morning. That’s all I got.

Couple Portrait, Top Scoring: Fabio Mirulla

Artist Statement: Irene and Danielle wedding.

Epic Location, Top Scoring: Sergey Laprovsky

Artist Statement: Not available.

From Above, Top Scoring: Sergey Laprovsky

Artist Statement: Not available.

Single Capture, Top Scoring: Adriana Ortiz

Artist Statement: Viernes de ver esta secuencia mínimo 12 veces y de ahora en adelante querer besuquear a su pareja siempre y únicamente con humos de colores atrás.

Solo Portrait, Top Scoring: Anna Tarabrina

Artist Statement: Not available.

Solo Portrait, Top Scoring: Serafeim Serafeimidis

Artist Statement: Not available.

Engagement/Non Wedding, Top Scoring: Gaelle Mehuet

Artist Statement: Not available.

Black & White, Top Scoring: Catherine Ekkelboom-White

Artist Statement: I love that so many of my couples aren't bothered about a little wind in their hair on their wedding day.⁠

It certainly adds to the drama and epic vibes of the photos!⁠

E & M definitely had some of the strongest wind on their wedding day, with crazy gusts from the Atlantic Ocean bringing in the fog during their intimate wedding in Ireland.⁠

They were absolute champs though, and nothing was going to stop them having their ceremony outside.⁠

Afterwards, we all headed to the pub to warm up with a hot toddy which is definitely one of the best ways to warm up on a cold day!⁠

Bridal Party, Top Scoring: Lucy Spartalis

Artist Statement: In case you’ve ever wondered, this is what a spontaneous group acapella rendition of ‘Spice Up Your Life’ looks like.

Highly recommended.

✇ News: Digital Photography Review (dpreview.com)

Have your say: Vote now for best prime lens of 2021

Best prime lens of 2021

Prime lenses aren't what they used to be – while today's 'nifty fifties' are bigger, and typically more costly than their SLR-era forebears, they're also typically far more advanced. Meanwhile, specialized wide and tele primes and macro lenses just keep getting better and better.

Our editorial team has had its say already, in our annual DPReview Awards, but which of this year's new prime lenses was your favorite? This your chance to let us know. And if you think we missed something, please leave a comment.

Voting in three categories (cameras, prime and zoom lenses) runs through December 19th, and once the vote has closed we'll run a fourth and final poll drawn from the winners of the first three to determine your choice for overall product of the year. Look out for that one early in the new year.

Canon

Canon released four new prime lenses this year, including native mirrorless mount versions of existing EF 400mm and 600mm tele primes. Of more interest (and actually within financial reach) to enthusiast photographers, however, are the RF 100mm F2.8L Macro IS USM and RF 16mm F2.8 STM – very different lenses, but potentially equally attractive to owners of one of Canon's R-mount range of mirrorless interchangeable lens cameras.

The 100mm macro is a powerful, stabilized lens for closeup shooting and portraiture, while the 16mm F2.8 is a compact, lightweight ultra-wide for landscapes and everyday photography. They're pretty hard to find in stores, but let us know if any of Canon's latest primes take your vote for best lens of 2021.

Fujifilm

Fujifilm has kept up a breakneck pace of new lens releases, and 2021 was no exception, with a grand total of five new primes entering the market, four for the company's APS-C X line, and one for medium format. The GF 80mm F1.7 is a fast, versatile 63mm equivalent lens, which we love for portraits and low-light work, while three new F1.4 options for X-mount refresh some of Fujifilm's earliest mirrorless lenses, while adding an attractive 18mm (27mm equiv) option. Meanwhile, the XF 27mm F2.8 is a (relatively) cheap but very cheerful everyday lens, that now gains weather sealing.

Do any of these optics earn a place in your personal list of the best prime lenses of the year? Cast your vote and let us know.

Leica

Leica released two new prime lenses in 2021, both full-frame, but technologically totally different. The APO-Summicron-M 35mm F2 is a superbly sharp medium wideangle lens for the company's rangefinder M-mount, which will work just as well on an M4 from the 1960s as it will on the latest M10 models (assuming you don't mind guesstimating focus in its closest focus range). The APO-Summicron-SL 28mm F2, on the other hand, is designed to autofocus on the latest L-mount mirrorless interchangeable lens cameras. Both are excellent lenses, and, as you might expect, neither comes cheap.

Have you used and loved either of them? Let us know.

Nikon

Nikon had a busy year when it comes to lenses, releasing four primes, all for its native mirrorless Z mount. At the top of the line is the impressive Z MC 105mm F2.8 S, an effectively stabilized macro lens which is equally capable of creating stunning, aberration-free portraits. The MC 50mm F2.8 also offers true closeup shooting, at a shorter but arguably more 'general purpose' focal length.

Falling squarely in the 'go everywhere, do anything' category are the Z 28mm F2.8 and Z 40mm F2 – two compact and budget-friendly primes which we've been enjoying on both the full-frame Z6/7 II and the APS-C Z50 and Z fc. What do you make of Nikon's latest selection of prime lenses? Let us know by casting your vote.

NiSi

We added one NiSi lens to our database this year – the 15mm F4 'Sunstar', the first lens the company has released. The 15mm F4 is an all-manual ultra-wide prime lens for Canon RF, Fujifilm X, Nikon Z and Sony E mount cameras. The 'Sunstar' name comes from the lens's characteristic 10-point sunstars, but its great build quality and good cross-frame sharpness make the 15mm F4 useful as an everyday ultrawide, wherever the sun is in the sky.

Is it one of your favorite lenses of the year? Let us know by casting your vote.

OM Digital Solutions

2021 saw OM Digital Solutions release the first lens under its new brand name, 'OM System'. The OM System 20mm F1.4 Pro is a fast, 40mm equivalent prime lens for Micro Four Thirds, designed for high-resolution multi-shot imaging and general use. It also comes with the same 'feathered bokeh' look as some previous fast-aperture Olympus-branded 'PRO' lenses when shot wide open.

Is the OM System 20mm F1.4 Pro one of your favorite primes of 2021?

Panasonic

Panasonic continues to expand its L-mount lens lineup, adding three more prime lenses to its range, to accompany last year's 85mm F1.8. The main characteristics of all of these lenses are relatively small size and weight, affordability, and solid image quality including good sharpness across the aperture range. But what's really clever about them is they all share basically the same ergonomics – and have similar centers of gravity – which allows them to be used interchangeably by filmmakers in built-up rigs and on gimbals, without affecting the geometry or balance of the setup.

What do you make of them? Let us know.

Ricoh / Pentax

Ricoh released four Pentax-branded prime lenses in 2021, three of which are revamped versions of popular older designs, with welcome tweaks, including improved coatings. The 21mm F2.4ED Limited, meanwhile, is a totally new design, released very recently. Are you a Pentax fan? Or have any of these lenses tempted you to try out the system? Cast your vote and let us know.

Samyang / Rokinon

The Samyang / Rokinon (depending on where you look) AF 24mm F1.8 FE is another high-quality, low-cost option for Sony E-mount shooters. Offering a very respectable performance for the price, we love lenses like this, but how do you feel? Let us know by casting your vote.

Sigma

Sigma released three lenses this year, all designed from scratch for mirrorless. These included two lovely 'Contemporary' branded primes, covering 24mm and 90mm respectively. Slower but smaller than Sigma's 'Art' series, the 24mm F2 and 90mm F2.8 make great everyday companions for L-mount shooters and users of the Sony E mount, and maintain Sigma's reputation for mechanical as well as optical excellence.

The 35mm F1.4 'Art' is the greatly improved successor to one of our favorite of Sigma's original Global Vision primes, and like the 24mm and 90mm it's designed for full-frame shooting on L and E-mount. Did any of these lenses take your fancy this year?

Sony

Sony had an even busier year when it came to lenses than it did for cameras, with no fewer than six prime lenses being released in 2021, all of which cover the full-frame imaging circle of its a1, a7 and a9-series mirrorless interchangeable lenses.

The FE 35mm F1.4 GM and FE 50mm F1.2 GM update older versions of these classic focal lengths, providing improved optical quality and ergonomics. Meanwhile the FE 14mm F1.8 GM is a stunningly sharp lens, ideal for astrophotography. Lower down the range (and the price scale) the FE 24mm F2.8, FE 40mm F2.5 and FE 50mm F2.5 offer solid performance, great build quality and are genuinely compact.

Did any of these lenses impress you enough to make it your favorite prime of 2021?

Tokina

Tokina spent 2021 on a trio of really lovely small prime lenses for APS-C Sony E-mount and Fujifilm X-mount shooters. In a world where third-party support for some mirrorless mounts (including Fujifilm X) is still pretty thin, we love to see brands like Tokina step up and provide options to enthusiast photographers building out a system.

Did any of Tokina's F1.4 primes earn a place in your camera bag this year? Cast your vote and let us know.

Venus Optics

Venus Optics is one of the most imaginative lens makers out there, with a tendency towards filling gaps in the market that, honestly, we didn't know existed. The Argus 33mm F0.95 CF APO is an ultra-fast manual focus lens for APS-C mirrorless bodies, available for Sony E, Fujifilm X, Nikon Z and (rather oddly, for an APS-C lens) Canon RF mount cameras, while the Argus 35mm F0.95 FF is available for Sony E, Nikon Z and Canon RF mounts and is designed for full-frame.

Both are fully mechanical, fully manual lenses, with all the fun and challenges that come with such optics. Did either of them rock your world this year?

Viltrox

A new entrant in this years' polls, Viltrox released two prime lenses in 2021, and in doing so provided a rare third-party alternative for native Canon and Nikon mirrorless shooters respectively. The 35mm F1.8 is an affordable alternative to the Nikon Z 35mm F1.8 S, while the 85mm F1.8 AF provides a portrait option for Canon RF photographers. Both lenses are priced at a very attractive MSRP of $400.

Have you been tempted? Or maybe you own one and love it? Let us know.

Vote now!

.


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Canon RF 100mm F2.8L Macro IS USM
Canon RF 16mm F2.8 STM
Canon RF 400mm F2.8L IS USM
Canon RF 600mm F4L IS USM
Fujifilm GF 80mm F1.7 R WR
Fujifilm XF 18mm F1.4 R LM WR
Fujifilm XF 23mm F1.4 R LM WR
Fujifilm XF 27mm F2.8 R WR
Fujifilm XF 33mm F1.4 R LM WR
Leica APO-Summicron-M 35mm F2 ASPH
Leica APO-Summicron-SL 28mm F2 ASPH
Nikon Nikkor Z 28mm F2.8 / SE
Nikon Nikkor Z 40mm F2
Nikon Nikkor Z MC 105mm F2.8 VR S
Nikon Nikkor Z MC 50mm F2.8
Nisi 15mm F4 'Sunstar'
OM System 20mm F1.4 PRO
Panasonic Lumix S 24mm F1.8
Panasonic Lumix S 50mm F1.8
Panasonic Lumix S 35mm F1.8
HD Pentax-FA 31mm F1.8 Limited
HD Pentax-FA 43mm F1.9 Limited
HD Pentax-FA 77mm F1.8 Limited
HD Pentax-D FA 21mm F2.4ED Limited DC WR
Samyang / Rokinon AF 24mm F1.8 FE
Sigma 24mm F2 DG DN | C
Sigma 35mm F1.4 DG DN Art
Sigma 90mm F2.8 DG DN | C
Sony FE 14mm F1.8 GM
Sony FE 24mm F2.8 G
Sony FE 35mm F1.4 GM
Sony FE 40mm F2.5 G
Sony FE 50mm F1.2 GM
Sony FE 50mm F2.5 G
Tokina 23mm F1.4 (E, X)
Tokina 33mm F1.4 (E, X)
Tokina 56mm F1.4 (E, X)
Venus Laowa Argus 33mm F0.95 CF APO
Venus Laowa Argus 35mm F0.95 FF
Viltrox 35mm F1.8 (Nikon Z)
Viltrox 85mm F1.8 AF (Canon RF)

Voting is easy - you pick your favorite products by dragging and dropping. You can pick as many products as you like, and rank them in order of priority.

Please note that for the best experience, we recommend voting on our desktop site.

Poll Rules:

This poll is meant to be a bit of fun. It's not sponsored, promoted or paid for in any way and DPReview doesn't care how you vote. Our readers' polls are run on the basis of trust. As such, we ask that you only vote once, from a single account.

✇ News: Digital Photography Review (dpreview.com)

Have your say: Vote now for best zoom lens of 2021

Best zoom lens of 2020

2021 was a bad year for lots of things, but a very good year for new lenses. Within that category, some of the highest-performing optics of the year were zooms. Plenty of great new gear was released this year, and while we've reviewed a lot of it, we can't get our hands on everything. And that's where you come in.

Our editorial team has had its say already, in our annual DPReview Awards, but which of this year's new zoom lenses was your favorite? This your chance to let us know. And if you think we missed something, please leave a comment.

Voting in three categories (cameras, prime and zoom lenses) runs through December 19th, and once the vote has closed we'll run a fourth and final poll drawn from the winners of the first three to determine your choice for overall product of the year. Look out for that one early in the new year.

Canon

Back when Canon came out with the RF mount, many of the lenses it immediately released were on the, well, high-end of the price and performance spectrum. While we expect this years' lenses to still offer solid performance, they're perhaps a bit more attainable and should attract a ton of users looking to dabble in wildlife or landscape shooting.

Up first is the RF 100-400mm F5.6-8 IS USM. Coming in as a sort of affordable companion to the RF 100-500 F4.5-7.1L, this 100-400mm model looks to serve as a spiritual sibling to the affordable 600mm and 800mm F11 primes. Adding to the 100-400mm's versatility is an impressive 0.41x reproduction ratio, the ability to use Canon's 1.4x and 2.0x RF teleconverters, and built-in optical stabilization, which will be great for users of the non-stabilized EOS R and RP cameras.

On the opposite end of the focal length spectrum is the RF 14-35mm F4L IS USM. Stepping in as the more affordable option to Canon's 15-35mm F2.8L, the 14-35mm is nonetheless very capable optically. With its fast Nano USM focus motor, maximum magnification of 0.38x, and excellent yet compact build, we expect it to find its way into many an RF user's camera bag.

Are either of these your top picks for zoom lens of the year? Then let it be known, and cast that vote.

Fujifilm

Fujifilm released a pair of zoom lenses in 2021: A tele-zoom for the its APS-C format X lineup, and a 'kit' zoom for its GF medium format cameras. The compact GF 35-70mm F4.5-5.6 WR is a great companion for Fujifilm's DSLR-sized GFX 100S and 50S II, offering a useful focal length range in a genuinely small and lightweight package.

The XF 70-300 F4-5.6 R LM OIS WR on the other hand is a more traditional lens, which offers X-mount shooters a high quality 105-450mm equivalent telephoto option for wildlife and sports shooting. Did either of these lenses take your fancy this year? Cast your vote and let us know.

Nikon

This is a tricky one, since of the three zoom lenses that Nikon released in 2021, we've only used one, and none of them is currently available widely in stores. We have shot a fair amount on the Z 100-400mm F4.5-5.6 VR S on the new Z9 though, and we're impressed by its performance and handling. If the forthcoming Z 24-120mm F4 S and Z DX 18-140mm F3.5-6.3 VR are even half as useful, we'll be happy. Fortunately, this is a poll, not a scientific test. So what do you think? Do any of Nikon's latest zoom lenses earn your vote?

OM Digital Solutions

2021 was the year that the Olympus camera division became 'OM Digital Solutions' under new ownership and inevitably, the newly reformulated company spent much of the last 12 months consolidating. The first lens under the new 'OM System' branding was released very recently, but before that came the M.Zuiko Digital ED 8-25mm F4 Pro, still sold under the old 'Olympus' brand (are you confused yet?)

The M.Zuiko Digital ED 8-25mm F4 Pro is a really nice lens for Micro Four Thirds, offering a focal length range equivalent to 16-50mm, and the solid build quality and excellent weather-sealing that we've come to expect from optics in the 'Pro' line. Was it one of your favorite zoom lenses of the year? Let us know.

Panasonic

Panasonic came out with two zoom lenses this year, one for Micro Four Thirds and one for full-frame L-mount. The Panasonic Leica DG Vario-Summilux 25-50mm F1.7 ASPH has become a fast favorite at DPReview for both video and stills, providing an equivalent focal length range of 50-100mm with a usefully fast maximum aperture and great sharpness. The S 70-300 F4.5-5.6 Macro OIS meanwhile gives full-frame L-mount shooters a versatile telezoom option for wildlife and casual sports shooting. Did either of these lenses catch your attention this year? Let us know!

Ricoh / Pentax

The HD Pentax-DA* 16-50mm F2.8 ED PLM AW is a high-quality standard zoom lens for Ricoh's Pentax-branded APS-C bodies. Built to a high standard, and sealed against dust and moisture, the 16-50mm F2.8 ED PLM AW is a great companion to the K-3 III. Have you shot with it? Is it one of your favorite lenses of the year? Cast your vote and have your say.

Sigma

Sigma had a strong year, releasing three really nice lenses - two for full-frame, and one for APS-C, but all 'DN' (digital neo) denoting that they were designed from scratch for mirrorless cameras, with native support for Sony E and L mounts. For full-frame, the 150-600mm F5-6.3 DG DN OS | S is set to become a firm favorite of wildlife photographers, and the 28-70mm F2.8 DG DN | C is an attractive and nicely balanced standard zoom for every day use. The Sigma 18-50mm F2.8 DC DN C meanwhile is that rarest of things - an affordable, but practical and high-quality third-party standard zoom for APS-C.

What did you make of them? Let us know.

Sony

Sony only released one zoom lens this year but it was a good one - the FE 70-200mm F2.8 GM OSS II updates the original 70-200mm f2.8 GM in just about every important way, offering better image quality, better ergonomics and improved build quality and sealing. As one of the most versatile lenses in the so-called 'holy trinity' of standard pro F2.8 zooms, this was an important lens for Sony to get right. So did they succeed? Cast your vote and let us know what you think.

Tamron

Tamron is on a tear the past couple of years, and 2021 was no exception, with five zoom lenses being released for Sony E-mount mirrorless shooters. These range from versatile zooms for APS-C to high-performing specialist optics for full-frame. The 35-150mm F2-2.8 Di III VXD is a particularly good example of the latter type of lens - a fast zoom covering an uncommon but useful focal length, designed specifically for portraiture and event shooting. Meanwhile the 28-75mm F2.8 Di III VXD G2 has become one of our favorite fast standard zooms for everyday shooting.

Is one of these lenses glued to your camera? Cast your vote and let us know.

Vote now!

.


Have your say

Have your say: Best zoom lens of 2021
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Canon RF 100-400mm F5.6-8 IS USM
Canon RF 14-35mm F4L IS USM
Fujifilm GF 35-70mm F4.5-5.6 WR
Fujifilm XF 70-300 F4-5.6 R LM OIS WR
Nikon Nikkor Z 100-400mm F4.5-5.6 VR S
Nikon Nikkor Z 24-120mm F4 S
Nikon Nikkor Z DX 18-140mm F3.5-6.3 VR
Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 8-25mm F4 Pro
Panasonic Leica DG Vario-Summilux 25-50mm F1.7 ASPH
Panasonic Lumix S 70-300 F4.5-5.6 Macro OIS
HD Pentax-DA* 16-50mm F2.8 ED PLM AW
Sigma 150-600mm F5-6.3 DG DN OS | S
Sigma 18-50mm F2.8 DC DN C
Sigma 28-70mm F2.8 DG DN | C
Sony FE 70-200mm F2.8 GM OSS II
Tamron 11-20mm F2.8 Di III-A RXD
Tamron 150-500mm F5-6.7 Di III VC VXD
Tamron 18-300mm F3.5-6.3 Di III-A VC VXD
Tamron 28-75mm F2.8 Di III VXD G2
Tamron 35-150mm F2-2.8 Di III VXD

Voting is easy - you pick your favorite products by dragging and dropping. You can pick as many products as you like, and rank them in order of priority.

Please note that for the best experience, we recommend voting on our desktop site.

Poll Rules:

This poll is meant to be a bit of fun. It's not sponsored, promoted or paid for in any way and DPReview doesn't care how you vote. Our readers' polls are run on the basis of trust. As such, we ask that you please only vote once, from a single account.

✇ News: Digital Photography Review (dpreview.com)

Have your say: Vote now for best camera of 2021

Best camera of 2021

2021 has been another disrupted year, with global supply chain problems still a major factor in the availability of all consumer goods, including new camera equipment. However, plenty of great new gear was released this year, and while we've reviewed a lot of it, we can't get our hands on everything. And that's where you come in.

Our editorial team has had its say already, in our annual DPReview Awards, but which of this year's new cameras was your favorite? This your chance to let us know. And if you think we missed something, please leave a comment.

Voting in three categories (cameras, prime and zoom lenses) runs through December 19th, and once the vote has closed we'll run a fourth and final poll drawn from the winners of the first three to determine your choice for overall product of the year. Look out for that one early in the new year.

Canon

Canon went big in 2020 with the EOS R5 and R6, so we didn't expect the company to release a ton of new cameras this year, but the delayed Tokyo 2020 Olympics provided a showcase for Canon's first truly flagship mirrorless camera, the EOS R3. Combining some of the the best technologies from the EOS-1D X Mark III and EOS R5 in a new body with an ultra-fast stacked 24MP CMOS sensor, the EOS R3 is a powerful tool for pros and enthusiasts alike. Is it your camera of the year?

Fujifilm

Fujifilm had a busy year, releasing no fewer than four mirrorless ILCs, two each in the company's X and GFX APS-C and medium-format lineups. The X-E4 and X-T30 II are relatively minor updates of two popular older models, while the GFX 100S is an all-new (mostly) 100MP medium format monster, in a form factor not much bigger than a high-end full-frame ILC.

Meanwhile, the GFX 50S II takes the excellent ergonomics and exterior design of the 100S and combines them with the company's first-generation 50MP sensor, to save cost. As a result, the 50S II is the least expensive medium-format ILC we've ever seen, and, like its big brother, it's an absolute pleasure to shoot with.

Do any of these four cameras get your vote?

Leica

Leica had a quiet year on the camera front, and while rumors are starting to swirl about an M11 coming potentially in the next few weeks, the company hasn't (yet) announced a camera in 2021. We're including the SL2-S in this year's poll, though, because it sneaked onto the market in the very final weeks of 2020, and missed out on a spot in last year's readers' poll. Essentially a lower-resolution, more affordable alternative to the flagship SL2, the SL2-S is at least targeted at a more mass-market audience – so did it appeal to you?

Nikon

It's amazing to think that only last year, Nikon released a new flagship DSLR, the D6. Following the recent announcement of the Z9, that launch, like so much of what happened in those few pre-pandemic weeks of 2020, feels like the distant past. The Z9 is starting to ship now, and so far, we're impressed. Not only is it a vast improvement over the D6 in terms of resolution and technology, it's a significant upgrade from the previous-generation Z-series Z6 II and Z7 II.

Meanwhile, the Z fc sits at the opposite end of Nikon's mirrorless lineup, bringing retro styling and photographer-friendly ergonomics to the company's APS-C camera line. Did either of these cameras spark joy for you this year? Cast your vote and let us know.

OM Digital Solutions (formerly Olympus)

2021 was the year that Olympus cameras and lenses became OM Digital Solutions cameras and lenses, but inevitably, even after the sale of the old Olympus imaging division, there were still some products in the existing pipeline. The PEN E-P7 appears to be one of them – a midrange mirrorless ILC, released this summer in Europe and Asia at a fairly attractive price-point, but not widely available elsewhere.

We've never seen one in person... but maybe you have, and you love it, and you've been waiting for months to make your feelings known! Let us know by casting a vote.

Panasonic

Just like last year, Panasonic's 2021 camera launches this year have been notably video-focused. Both the BS1H and GH5 II offer powerful video features and are aimed at high-end users and production companies. The BS1H is a full-frame 'box' design, intended for use in modular and remote setups, whereas the GH5 II is a more compact camera built around the Micro Four Thirds mount, which includes support for mobile live-streaming.

Did either of these cameras rock your world in 2021? Let us know.

Ricoh / Pentax

Ricoh released two cameras this year, the Pentax-branded K-3 Mark III and the GR IIIx. While both might appear to be (and strictly speaking are) iterative updates, K3 Mark II and GR III owners alike will find much that's different.

The K-3 III is a vastly better camera than the K-3 II, reflecting the several years that separate their introductions onto the market. With a suite of smart, photographer-friendly features and excellent build quality, the K-3 III is one of the best (and probably one of the last) APS-C DSLRs on the market. Meanwhile, the Ricoh GR IIIx takes the form and functionality of the popular GR III and marries them with a new 40mm equivalent lens, providing a slightly longer option for fans of the pocketable GR series.

Do either of them earn your vote?

Sigma

Speaking of iterative updates, Sigma's only camera release this year was the fp L, a development of the original fp with a new 61MP sensor, aimed more at stills photographers than its 24MP predecessor. The fp L offers almost the same ergonomics though, built around the same 'modular' concept, and launched alongside an add-on electronic viewfinder.

The fp L is a unique camera and won't be to everyone's taste, but if it's compact, high-resolution full-frame imaging that you're into, it's worth a second look. Does it earn your vote for camera of the year?

Sony

2021 was a busy year for Sony, with no fewer than four new cameras, including two full-frame stills models, a high-end video camera, and the compact, vlogger-friendly ZV-E10. Technically, Sony also released 'A' variants of the older a7R III and a7R IV, but we're not counting them in this year's poll.

Of the cameras that Sony released this year, the a1 is arguably the most impressive, offering high-resolution, high-speed shooting in a pro-grade body which is half the size of contemporary sports and action DSLRs (and smaller than both the Canon EOS R3 and Nikon Z9). The a7 IV, meanwhile, is almost a third of the cost, but aimed at enthusiast and hobbyist photographers and videographers who don't necessarily need the sharpest of cutting edge technologies. The FX3 is effectively the important bits of the a7S III inside a more specifically video-focused body, and, lower down the lineup, the ZV-E10 is being marketed to vloggers and online content creators.

Did any of these cameras earn a place in your gear bag this year?

Vote now!

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Canon EOS R3
Fujifilm GFX 100S
Fujifilm GFX 50S II
Fujifilm X-E4
Fujifilm X-T30 II
Leica SL2-S
Nikon Z fc
Nikon Z9
Olympus PEN E-P7
Panasonic Lumix DC-BS1G
Panasonic Lumix DC-GH5 II
Pentax K-3 III
Ricoh GR IIIx
Sigma fp L
Sony a1
Sony a7 IV
Sony FX3
Sony ZV-E10

Voting is easy - you pick your favorite products by dragging and dropping. You can pick as many products as you like, and rank them in order of priority.

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Poll Rules:

This poll is meant to be a bit of fun. It's not sponsored, promoted or paid for in any way and DPReview doesn't care how you vote. Our readers' polls are run on the basis of trust. As such, we ask that you only vote once, from a single account.

✇ News: Digital Photography Review (dpreview.com)

Video: Reviewing Canon’s PowerShot Pro1 'red ring' bridge camera 18 years later

Gordon Laing, founder of CameraLabs, is back with another Retro Review, this time taking a look at the PowerShot Pro1, a bridge camera that served as the flagship offering in Canon’s fixed-lens PowerShot Pro series lineup.

At the time of its release, back in February 2004, the PowerShot Pro1 retailed for roughly $1,000. Inside the camera is what was then a top-of-the-line 8MP Sony 2/3in CCD sensor that could capture photographs between 50 and 400 ISO. In Gordon’s own words, ’50 ISO looked great, 100 was just about ok, but at 200 there were visible losses, while at 400 ISO the quality took a big hit. This was sadly common at the time though.’ VGA (640 x 480 pixel) video recording was also possible, albeit at a rough 15 frames per second and limited to 30 seconds.

A cutaway view of the Canon PowerShot Pro1, shared in our original review of the camera.

The camera featured the one and only L-series PowerShot fixed lens that was branded with the iconic red ring usually reserved for Canon’s expensive SLR lenses. The lens was a 7x zoom lens that offered a full-frame equivalent zoom range between 28–200mm. As we noted in our original review, Canon said the lens was given its red ring because it featured both ultra-low dispersion (UD) and flourite elements and offered impressive image quality given its compact nature.

Below are a collection of sample images captured by Gordon on the PowerShot Pro1, shared with permission:

As Gordon notes in the video, Canon made the most of the camera’s real estate, packing it full of controls, including a mode dial, a joypad, a front finger dial and dedicated buttons to switch through certain shooting modes. The PowerShot Pro1 featured a 2” articulating rear 235K-dot LCD display, as well as a top-mounted display for quickly getting a glance at the settings. The electronic viewfinder was relatively high-resolution (235K-dot) for its time and offered a DSLR-like shooting experience in a more compact form factor.

Ports on the camera included a standard USB connection, a DC input for powering the camera externally, a 3.5mm AV output for sharing images on a TV or monitor and a hotshoe that worked with Canon’s array of lighting accessories. Photographs taken with the camera were stored on a Compact Flash card and measured roughly 3–4MB in the highest-quality JPEG setting (there were three levels, as well as a Raw setting).

A photograph of the PowerShot Pro1's 7x optical zoom fixed lens, complete with the iconic red ring. Photograph by Gordon Laing.

Despite Canon throwing nearly everything it had into the PowerShot Pro1, it would be the last of its kind for years to come, as the high-end bridge camera market was being taken over by entry-level DSLR cameras, such as the Nikon D70 or Canon’s first Digital Rebel camera, the 300D. To close out his 18-year review, Gordon says:

‘Back in the 2000’s I had a soft spot for pro-sumer cameras like the PowerShot Pro or Sony F series, even as basic digital SLRs finally matched them on price. I loved how the manufacturers would not just throw everything they could think of into them, but also use them as testbeds for innovative new ideas or unusual body designs.’

You can read Gordon’s full review and find additional sample images on Gordon’s website, Cameralabs. You can also keep up with his latest Retro Reviews on his YouTube channel, DinoBytes.

✇ News: Digital Photography Review (dpreview.com)

You can now pre-order Sony's $9,000 Airpeak S1 professional drone

Sony has announced its Airpeak S1 drone is now available to pre-order. After nearly a year of teasing its drone and showing off its capabilities in behind-the-scenes videos, Sony’s first professional drone is available to purchase—but it won’t come cheap.

The Airpeak S1, which Sony calls ‘the world’s smallest drone that can be equipped with a full-size mirrorless interchangeable lens Alpha camera,’ is available to pre-order starting today, December 1, 2021, for $9,000. The Airpeak S1 is compatible with many of Sony’s mirrorless camera systems, including the a1, a7S series, a7R series, a9 series, FX3 and other E mount mirrorless cameras.

The Airpeak S1 will ship with two sets of propellers, a remote controller, two batteries and a battery charger. There will also be accessories available to purchase, including a third-party Gremsy gimbal that Sony says is ‘made specifically for the Airpeak S1.’ Sony is also offering an optional $300 per year subscription called ‘Airpeak Plus’ that covers accidental damage to the drone and includes Airpeak Base, a web app that serves as a hub for integrated management of flight plans, flight logs and equipment.

Below is an Airpeak Training video, created by Sony, to show off the features and capabilities of its professional drone:

You can read more about the Sony Airpeak S1 in our initial coverage and dive into the details on Sony’s product page. The first orders are expected to ship starting December 24, 2021.

✇ News: Digital Photography Review (dpreview.com)

DPReview TV: USB power explained - what you need to know

There's an old adage about standards: the great thing about them is there are so many to choose from. That pretty accurately describes the state of USB power in 2021. In this video, Chris explains everything you need to know about USB power including the different types, how to calculate power delivery, and the terminology you need to know.

Subscribe to our YouTube channel to get new episodes of DPReview TV every week.

✇ News: Digital Photography Review (dpreview.com)

Video: An incredible X-ray view of what goes on inside a zoom camera lens

Have you ever wondered what goes on inside a zoom lens as you turn the ring through the various focal lengths? If so, this brilliant X-ray video will help you better understand what mechanics are involved in moving the various optical elements around inside the lens.

Ben Krasnow, the human behind the YouTube channel Applied Science, took a broken X-ray sensor and repaired it so he could capture timelapse and stop-motion animation films. While much of the 21-minute video explains how he built his at-home X-ray camera system, a very small clip shown within the video (1:50 time mark) shows what a zoom lens looks like as it expands and contracts through its focal length range.

Krasnow says this stop-motion sequence was captured with between 200–300 frames and notes he used a stepper motor to drive the zoom ring of the camera in-between each shot. What we see in the resulting video is three independent optical groups moving in conjunction with one another to achieve the proper focal length inside a Panasonic 14–42mm F3.5–5.6 ASPH MEGA O.I.S. Lumix G Vario lens attached to a Panasonic Lumix G1 Micro Four Thirds camera system.

In his introduction, Krasnow says ‘I strive to share something unique in each of my videos.’ To that end, I think it’s safe to say Krasnow achieved his goal. If you have the time and enjoy technical DIY videos, I suggest watching the entire video to see how Krasnow got his DIY X-ray camera up and running (safely, mind you). To keep tabs on his latest happenings and to support his work, you can follow him on his YouTube channel, Applied Science and follow his blog.

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