Digital Photography Review | Digital Camera and Imaging News Blog
The number one destination for everything digital photography related. Find all the latest digital camera reviews and digital imaging news. Lively discussion forums. Vast samples galleries and the web's largest database of digital camera specifications.
Bag company WANDRD has launched its new DUO Daypack on Kickstarter, where it has already greatly exceeded its funding goal. The backpack is designed for 'dawn-to-dusk' use, according to the company, with features for photographers in addition to travellers, commuters, and everyone else.
DUO Daypack features the InfiniteZip system, which involves a single zipper with multiple sliders for accessing the part of the bag that contains the needed item. The bag is described as weather-resistant against rain (and power washers, as demonstrated in the campaign).
The bag's interior features a POP cube that can be expanded to create a 'multifunctional space' within which items, such as a camera, are better protected. The cube includes a padded EVA foam divider for accommodating different types of gear.
Joining the protective cube are a number of pockets, including two padded expansion pockets for lenses, hard drives, or other modestly sized items. Those two slots are joined by small mesh pockets, a large mesh pocket, zipper pockets, and a hidden passport pocket.
The DUO Daypack has a 20L capacity and measures 29cm x 16.5cm x 49.5cm (11.5in x 6.5in x 19.5in) with a weight of 1.2kg (2.6lbs). WANDRD is offering the bag to Kickstarter backers with an 'early bird' price of $175 USD, a discount off the anticipated $219 USD retail price. Assuming the campaign is successful, WANDRD expects to start shipping to campaign backers in December 2019.
Disclaimer: Remember to do your research with any crowdfunding project. DPReview does its best to share only the projects that look legitimate and come from reliable creators, but as with any crowdfunded campaign, there's always the risk of the product or service never coming to fruition.
Canon Imaging Plaza, an official Canon YouTube channel dedicated to showing off the latest Canon technologies and cameras, has shared a video highlighting the benefits of its new full-frame RF lens mount and the advantages it has over older lens mounts, such as its own EF mount.
The four-and-a-half-minute video uses CGI renderings and example images to show off the various benefits Canon's RF mount offers and the technology that goes into its RF lenses.
A rendering comparison from the video showing how the light can be better controlled through elements when the elements are able to be placed close to the imaging sensor.
The narrator addresses the shorter back focus distance and larger diameter mount, which allows Canon to move the rear-most elements in lenses closer to the sensor, which helps to minimize chromatic aberration and allows engineers to get more creative with lens designs. Having the rear-most lens elements close to the sensor creates its own problems though, which leads the video to Canon's SubWavelength Structure Coating (SWC) and Air Sphere Coating (ASC) technologies, which are designed to minimize ghosting and flaring in images.
A comparison shot from the video that shows how the shorter back focus distance and larger diameter mount can yield better image quality—especially near the edges of the frame—thanks to better aberration control.
The video also mentions the additional contacts found in the RF lens mount, which are designed to increase the bandwidth of data and power that flows to and from the lens through the camera.
While this video is clearly about Canon's RF mount, the pros (and cons) of larger-diameter lens mounts and shorter back focus distances also apply to Nikon's new Z mount, which is both larger in diameter (55mm to the RF's 54mm) and features a closer flange focal distance (16mm to the RF's 20mm).
One of the smaller updates inside the recently-announced iOS 13 is the addition of Automation, a feature within Apple's Shortcut app that allows you to automate various functions on your iOS device through the use of pre-defined triggers.
While the options are seemingly limitless with the new Automation feature, one particular Automation has all but resolved an issue iOS photographers have faced since the first iPhone—you can now make it so a third-party camera application opens by default when opening the Camera app from the home screen (or Control Center). Technically, this Automation doesn't change the default app that's opened, but it will make it so the camera app of your choice opens instead of Apple's default Camera app.
As we walk through in the video embedded below, the end result is achieved through the Automation trigger of opening a certain app. In the example we provide, we've made it so the camera app Halide opens when the Camera app icon is press on the home screen. Beneath the video is a text explanation of the process we used to create the Automation.
iOS 13 Automation Camera App Setup - YouTube
If the video isn't clear enough, here's a brief text explainer of how we set this Automation up: First, open the Shortcuts app and select the Automation tab (the middle tab in the navigation with a clock as its icon). From there, press the '+' icon in the top-right corner of the app and select the 'Create Personal Automation' button. At this point, you'll be provided with three distinct sections: Events, Travel and Settings. Each of these have a subset of triggers that can be used for Automations.
For this Automation, you'll want to scroll all the way to the bottom of the 'Settings' section and choose the 'Open App' option. On the next screen, iOS will ask you to pick an app that you want to be the trigger. In the case of this particular Automation, you want to choose the Camera app as the trigger. After selecting the Camera app, press 'Done' and then 'Next' to move to the next step. Here, you will choose what you want to happen when you open the Camera app. Tap on the 'Add Action' button and choose the 'Apps' icon (it will be the first icon in the options presented).
From there, choose the 'Open App' action. This is where you will select what third-party camera app will be opened in place of Apple's default Camera app. As we mentioned, we opted to open the third-party camera app Halide. After selecting the app and pressing both 'Done' and 'Next' again, you're at the final stage. You can choose to have iOS 'Ask Before Running' or turn that option off to remove an extra step. Now, click 'Done' and you should be good to go.
Again, this doesn't technically change the default camera app. As you can see in the below video, the default Camera app still opens, albeit very quickly, before triggering the Automation to open Halide. Still though, it's a pretty quick transition, even on the first beta of iOS 13.
iOS 13 Automation Camera App - YouTube
Keep in mind that this particular Automation is being run on a developer beta version of iOS 13. Apple will release a public beta for those interested sometime in July (you can sign up to receive an invite here), but even if you get the invite to test the public beta of iOS 13, we suggest not putting it on your main device(s). The developer beta of iOS 13 has proven fairly bug-free since we've downloaded it, but there's always the risk that certain apps and features won't work and the last thing you want to do is effectively render your iOS device useless.
Disclaimer aside, it's a neat little trick. There are countless other photo-related Automations that could be made, but we had to start somewhere. Between the Automation feature, the ability to access external storage and other features, iOS 13 should prove to be a substantial update for photographers and their workflows.
It's fair to say account security at Instagram has been shaky in recent months, with large numbers of passwords exposed and reports on a rising number of intrusion attempts.
Now the company is taking measures that won't prevent account hijacking but should make it much easier to recover your account in such an event and serve as a deterrent to potential hackers.
Instagram is currently testing an updated in-app account recovery process. In the event of an 'unfriendly account-takeover' users previously had to email Instagram or complete a support-form and then wait for a response.
With the new process the app requests user-specific information, for example the email and phone number originally linked to the account and then sends a six-digit code sent to the contact info of your choice.
Hackers will then be prevented from using the account on other devices and the new method also ensures that your account can be recovered even if user name and contact information have been changed by an intruder. In addition a user name cannot be claimed for a certain period after a name change, so you can get your user name back after your account has been recovered.
While the simplified recovery process should be welcome by all users who have suffered a hacked account it will also be beneficial to Instagram itself. If users can recover an account themselves in the app, this means less work for the security team.
Meet FlexTILT Head 3D, a version of Edelkrone's popular tripod head that can be 3D-printed and pieced together as a DIY project for a fraction of the cost of Edelkrone's FlexTILT Head 2.
As we noted in our review, the Edelkrone FlexTILT Head 2 is a wonderful little tool for both videos and stills. The articulating head allows for unique possibilities, especially when paired with dollies and other motion units—but it doesn't come cheap.
The areas in red are the components that are 3D printed, while the dark grey components and silver screws are those Edelkrone ships to you for $29.
Edelkrone's solution to this is a new line of products called ORTAK. The ORTAK lineup is a co-manufacturing collection that will allow you to 3D print the basic components of Edelkrone products and buy the more integral pieces from Edelkrone at a much lower cost than the fully-produced version.
For the FlexTILT Head 3D, Edelkrone will handle manufacturing the metal components required, including the hex screws, washers, brackets and mounting points, which will sell for $29. The body of the FlexTILT Head 3D is up to you to print using the files provided, for free, by Edelkrone on its ORTAK webpage. In addition to a document detailing the building process, Edelkrone has also created a detailed video:
FlexTilt Head 3D Assembly - YouTube
Edelkrone specifically mentions the ORTAK FlexTILT Head 3D has been tested on the Ultimaker S5, Ultimaker 3 and Zaxe 3D printers. However, the STL file Edelkrone provides is more than capable of being printed with other units. Even if you don't own a 3D printer yourself—or know someone who does—there are other options, including online platforms like Shapeways—not to mention many libraries now offer access to 3D printers at low or no cost if you're a member.
Regardless of how you get the components printed, it's safe to say the end result should come out for a good bit less than the $149 Edelkrone's FlexTILT Head 2 retails for.
Nikon D3500 vs. Canon T7: Which one should you buy?
You don't need to know much about photography to know that Canon and Nikon are two of the major brands in the business of selling photographic equipment. And there's a good reason why those names have so many fans: they make really good cameras and lenses, and have done so for generations.
It makes sense that many beginning photographers would turn to those same companies when looking for an inexpensive DSLR for the first time. The Canon EOS Rebel T7 / 2000D and Nikon D3500 are certainly two of the least expensive interchangeable lens cameras (meaning the lens comes off as opposed to being fixed to the body) you'll find on the market now: at the time of writing, they're each selling for about $400 with an 18-55mm kit lens.
So which one is better for a beginning photographer? We think that the Nikon D3500 will be the better choice for most people. The bundled 18-55mm F3.5-5.6G VR kit lens is superior to Canon's, battery life is more robust and users who plan to do significant post-processing will find Raw files more malleable. But as usual, there's more to the story than just that.
Read on for a detailed feature-by-feature comparison and find out how we came to our conclusion.
Photo quality vs. a smartphone
If you're considering either of these cameras, there's likely one question at front of mind: How much better will it be than my smartphone? The answer is a bit complicated.
Both the D3500 and T7 use 24 megapixel APS-C sensors, which are many times larger than anything found in a modern smartphone. Bigger sensors come with benefits: more flexibility processing image files, and all things being equal, better low light performance.
But things aren't exactly 'equal' anymore. Smartphones are now using computational techniques to reach beyond the limitations of a smaller sensor: Night Sight in the Google Pixel is an example of this. In short, the advantages of a big sensor are somewhat diminished, especially if your photos will only ever be viewed on a computer screen or a mobile device.
However, 24MP of resolution comes in handy if you'd like to make large prints, or if you plan on making substantial post-processing edits. And there's the potential for zoom: the bundled kit lens provides a bit more reach than the telephoto lens on most smartphones, and there's always the option to buy additional, longer zoom lenses.
The advantages of a big sensor are somewhat diminished, especially if your photos will only ever be viewed on a computer screen or a mobile device
And then there's bokeh: the lovely blurry background effect imitated by portrait mode. Without getting too in-depth, smartphones with portrait mode will generally produce synthetic bokeh that looks close enough to the real deal to satisfy most users, and in many cases will produce a stronger blurred effect than either camera's kit lens is capable of.
If highly convincing bokeh is a priority though, you can add an inexpensive 50mm F1.8 lens to either camera and the results will (for now, at least) outperform a smartphone. And if you don't have a recent smartphone with a good portrait mode, a camera with additional lens will cost quite a bit less than a $1000 flagship smartphone.
This is a long way of saying that yes, the 24MP sensor in either the D3500 or T7 is better than what's in your smartphone, but that doesn't necessarily translate to the image quality advantage that you might expect.
Photo quality vs. each other
Comparing the two cameras, you won't see any dramatic differences in image quality. The Nikon offers a higher ISO sensitivity, which will allow for shooting in very dark conditions without a flash (and quite a bit of unpleasant splotchy noise as a result). Some people prefer Canon's out-of-camera color rendition and tendency toward deeper reds, but the differences are subjective and subtle.
The Nikon does offer more malleable Raw files if you intend to push shadows in post-processing, but it's not something we find a lot of beginning photographers wanting to do.
Each camera sells with an 18-55mm F3.5-5.6 lens, which will be wide enough for landscapes and long enough to frame a head-and-shoulders portrait. While they both offer stabilization and cover roughly the same focal range, the lenses are quite different in age: Nikon's 18-55mm is about three years old, surprisingly sharp and collapsable when it's not in use. Canon's lens dates back to 2011 and isn't as sharp.
Viewfinder and Live View
Both the T7 and D3500 offer 3" 921k-dot non-touchscreens primarily for image review and navigating menus. It's possible to use the screens for still image composition and shooting, but live view (as it's called) on both cameras uses a much slower autofocus system. Shooting with your eye to the optical viewfinder means you don't get a live preview of your exposure, but you do get a faster autofocus system.
The viewfinders on these cameras are comparatively small, and less comfortable to use than that of a bigger, more expensive DSLR. There's plenty to be said for having an optical viewfinder at all: they're much easier to use in bright light than a rear screen, and provide a sense of 'being there' that many photographers prefer.
There's no clear winner in this category: neither provides a great viewfinder, and for live image composition on an LCD (perhaps even with tap-to-focus!), you'll want to look elsewhere.
There's not much to separate the T7 and the D3500 in terms of video recording capabilities. Both offer 1080p recording; the T7 provides up to 30 fps, the D3500 records up to 60 fps, which will represent fast motion better. However, you'll be using live view to record video on these cameras and as we've already established, autofocus while shooting via the rear screen is not very good.
Both will record decent video clips, but if you own a smartphone that was launched in the last couple of years, chances are your phone will do just as well (or in some respects, even better).
Wireless image sharing
As is required of a digital camera in 2019, both the T7 and D3500 provide the means to beam images wirelessly from your camera to your phone. They go about this in slightly different ways. Canon has built Wi-Fi into the T7 which will connect with the company's app. If you have an Android phone with NFC, the connection process is made even simpler.
Nikon takes a different approach, including only Bluetooth rather than Wi-Fi. This allows the camera to maintain the wireless connection and transfer 2MP images as you're shooting, something not possible with Wi-Fi. The downside is that 2MP is your only image size option: which to be fair, is big enough for social media and 4x6" prints.
For most users, the benefits of the constant connection will probably outweigh the need for high-resolution images, and we'd recommend the Nikon if easy image transfer and sharing is a priority.
At last! A category in which either of these cameras will run circles around a smartphone. If you rely mostly on the optical viewfinder for shooting, the T7 or the D3500 will get you through days of shooting without ever flashing the dreaded low-battery signal. The T7 is officially rated to 500 shots per charge (which tends to be lower than most people's real-life results) which is quite good, so the D3500's 1550 shots per charge rating is insanely good.
Relying heavily on live view or recording a lot of video footage will drain the battery faster, but as we've established, these aren't strong suits for either camera so that's kind of a moot point.
The D3500 comes out on top but both cameras are really winners here.
If you tally up the 'points' for the D3500 and you'll see how we drew our conclusion that it's the better pick between the two. However, the two cameras are incredibly similar in most ways, so it's really only details like a nicer 18-55mm kit lens and incredibly robust battery life that tip the scale.
It's pretty remarkable what both of these cameras offer for their price, but it's also worth noting what you aren't getting, like a touchscreen, faster autofocus in live view, robust continuous autofocus, subject tracking for sports and action photography, 4K video... you get the idea.
It's pretty remarkable what both of these cameras offer for their price, but it's also worth noting what you aren't getting
If any of those features strike you as important, and you aren't too attached to having an optical viewfinder, then it would be in your interest to consider options like the Canon EOS M100: we think it's actually your best bet for under $500.
But there is something quite appealing about an optical viewfinder, the ergonomics of a DSLR and the way a traditional camera engages you in the process of taking pictures that smartphones can't touch. If it's these qualities you're after, then we think the D3500 is well worth your time.
A Texas appeals court has ruled that the University of Houston does not have to pay the photographer of a picture it has been using in online and print promotional materials. Houston photographer Jim Olive says the university removed copyright markings from an image downloaded from his stock library, failed to credit him when it was used and wouldn’t pay when he sent a bill, but the university claims it has sovereign immunity and that it can’t be sued.
The case surrounds an aerial image Olive shot from a helicopter hired specifically for making pictures for his library. In an online image search, he found the university was using it on its website and then in printed materials. When it failed to pay an invoice he sent for the usage Olive tried to sue the university, but it claimed that under the Eleventh Amendment it couldn’t be sued as it is a state institution.
In an attempt to get around this Olive tried to sue the University of Houston for taking his property – in which case even government agencies would have to compensate the owner. The Court of Appeals though has said that the university’s actions didn’t comprise ‘taking’ and that Olive will have to pay the university’s legal costs.
The Court of Appeals though has said that the university’s actions didn’t comprise ‘taking’ and that Olive will have to pay the university’s legal costs.
According to a report in the Houston Chronicle, which described the success of the university as ‘a big win’, Olive said 'It just doesn’t seem fair to me.'
If this ruling is allowed to stand it would seem that any state institution can use images and other intellectual property without having to pay the originators, a precedent that would be damaging to photographers across the country, because if that's the case in Texas, it may well be true in all other states covered by the Eleventh Amendment.
DPReview TV: Photo Lingo 101 - A beginner's guide to common photography terms - YouTube
It's back to basics in this week's episode as Chris and Jordan break down some common photographic terms that might not be familiar to newer photographers. Learn all about IBIS, BSI and CIPA, as well as a, shall we say, 'creative' origin story for the word 'bokeh.'
Japan's parliament passed a law this week outlawing the operation of a drone while under the influence of alcohol. If authorities catch anyone flying an unmanned aerial vehicle while intoxicated, offenders will face up to a year in prison and a fine of 300,000 yen (roughly $2,763.00). 'We believe operating drones after consuming alcohol is as serious as (drink) driving,' a Japanese transport ministry official told the AFP news agency.
This latest legislation was passed to also address the growing popularity of drones coupled with the reckless and illegal activity taking place in the country's more tourist-friendly areas. Dangerous stunts, which have become more common, including quickly plunging a drone towards crowds, can result in a fine of up to 500,000 yen ($4,607).
Areas where drones are now banned include a distance within 985 feet of Japan's armed forces, U.S. military personnel, and 'defense-related facilities' without prior permission from the Minister of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism. The new restrictions follow an earlier ban on approaching nuclear power plants, Japan's parliament buildings, and the prime minister's office. Stadiums and other sites hosting the forthcoming 2020 Olympic festivities are also off-limits.
The new law covers drones weighing more than 200g (close to half a pound). Operating a drone in Japan does not require a license. However, remote pilots much abide by a series of regulations including:
Staying below 150 meters (492 feet)
Avoiding crowded areas
Only flying during daylight
Keeping the drone in sight at all times
Anyone who is caught violating any of the established regulations could face a fine of up to 500,000 yen (or $4,607).
Detecting Photoshopped Faces by Scripting Photoshop - YouTube
Researchers with Adobe Research and UC Berkeley are working together on the development of a method for identifying photo edits made using Photoshop's Face Aware Liquify tool. The work is sponsored by DARPA's MediFor program, which funds researchers who are working to 'level the digital imagery playing field' by developing tech that assesses the 'integrity' of an image.
Both DARPA and Adobe highlight the issue of readily available image manipulation technologies, including some tools that are offered by select Adobe software. The company says that despite being 'proud of the impact' these tools have had, it also recognizes 'the ethical implications of our technology.'
Adobe said in a blog post on Friday:
Trust in what we see is increasingly important in a world where image editing has become ubiquitous – fake content is a serious and increasingly pressing issue. Adobe is firmly committed to finding the most useful and responsible ways to bring new technologies to life – continually exploring using new technologies, such as artificial intelligence (AI), to increase trust and authority in digital media.
As such, Adobe Research and UC Berkeley researchers have published a new study detailing a method for detecting image warping edits that have been applied to images of human faces. The technology involves a Convolutional Neural Network (CNN) trained on manipulated images that were created using scripts with Photoshop and its Face Aware Liquify tool.
To ensure the method can detect the types of manipulations performed by humans, the image dataset used to train the AI also included some images that were altered by a human artist. 'This element of human creativity broadened the range of alterations and techniques used for the test set beyond those synthetically generated images,' the study explains.
To test the deep learning method's assessment skills, the researchers used image pairs featuring the original unedited image and the image that had been altered. Humans presented with these images could only detect which had been altered with 53% accuracy, whereas the neural network was able to pick the manipulated image with accuracy as high as 99%.
In addition, and unlike the average Photoshop user, the technology is able to pinpoint the specific areas of a face that had been warped, which methods of warping had been used, and calculate the best way to revert the image back to as close to its original state as possible.
Adobe researcher Richard Zhang explained, 'The idea of a magic universal 'undo' button to revert image edits is still far from reality. But we live in a world where it’s becoming harder to trust the digital information we consume, and I look forward to further exploring this area of research.'