"Φωτογραφικό Ταξίδι"

Ελληνική Λέσχη Φωτογραφίας

Stelios Kritikakis
  • 43, Άντρας
  • Kalamata
  • Ελλάδα
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Φίλοι του/της Stelios Kritikakis

  • Βασίλης
  • λυμπερης
  • katerina xatziavramoglou
  • Κλεοπάτρα Μανωλιού
  • georgia
  • Katerina I. Risaki
  • Βασίλης Πρωτόπαπας
  • Nikos Tzan
  • Τσακριλής Λάμπρος
  • Σοφιάννα Αγγελοπούλου (Αφαία)
  • elisavet
  • Καιτη Κουναλακη
  • Giorgos Tsoumpas Photography


Γεια σας

Ονομάζομαι Στέλιος Κρητικάκης, Γεννήθηκα στη Πάτρα αλλά εργάζομαι και ζω στην Καλαμάτα ως προγραμματιστής / αναλυτής. Περισσότερα...

Οι φωτογραφίες ανήκουν στον δημιουργό Στέλιο Κρητικάκη και απαγορεύεται η χρήση, η αλλοίωση και η επαναδημοσίευση τους εκτός από άδεια του ιδίου.

Πληροφορίες προφίλ

ΠΛΗΡΕΣ Ονοματεπώνυμο (Σε περίπτωση ψευδώνυμου ή ελλιπούς ονοματεπώνυμου, η αίτηση απορρίπτεται) - Name+Surname (NOT nickname)
Stelios Kritikakis
Πόλη - Town/Country
Από πού μάθατε για το "Φωτογραφικό ταξίδι" - Where did you learn about the "Photo Trip"
facebook invitation from mr Tsoumpas
Ασχολείστε με τήν φωτογραφία και εάν Ναί, πόσο διάστημα - Involved in photography and if so, how long
obsessed since 2006
Επιθυμείτε αυστηρή κριτική ή μόνο θετικά σχόλια ή και τα δύο, στις αναρτήσεις σας;

Πίνακας σχολίων (257 σχόλια)

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Στις 27 Σεπτέμβριος 2013 και ώρα 23:56, ο/η Kostas Popis είπε...

πολύχρονος και ευλογημένος!

Στις 27 Σεπτέμβριος 2013 και ώρα 10:14, ο/η Καιτη Κουναλακη είπε...

Στις 26 Νοέμβριος 2012 και ώρα 22:40, ο/η Giorgos Tsoumpas Photography είπε...
Φίλε μου Στέλιο ολόψυχα σου εύχομαι Χρόνια Πολλά γεμάτα με υγεία,χαρά,αγάπη,χαμόγελο και αισιοδοξία!!!!!

Οι συζητήσεις του/της Stelios Kritikakis

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Tutorial: How to photograph fireworks for 4th of July (or any celebration for that matter)

Photography by Stewart Marsden

Editor's note: This tutorial was written by photographer Stewart Marsden, the official photographer for the London New Year fireworks display and a National Geographic contributor. You can find more of Marsden's images on his portfolio, read more of his writing on his blog and purchase his images through his online shop.


The first time I went into London to photograph the London New Year Fireworks Display I ended up sat on the side of a road shooting them. I had planned with a friend to shoot the display from a construction site somewhere in South London, but as we didn’t have permission to be there it ended up with us being escorted from the premises by the police. We ended up in a street where we could just see the London Eye and waited for the display and hoped for the best. I was pleased to get a couple of cool images that night and enjoyed the high spirits and energy of a city in celebration, but this left me strangely energised, determined to do better next time.

In 2015 and 2016 I was commissioned by Visit London to photograph the London Fireworks which gave me some opportunity to really produce something special. With the vast array of images of the London Fireworks that get posted on Social media every year I wanted to make images that were iconic and different. Context is key, the images must scream London, before they scream Fireworks. This sent me on a journey around the capital looking for some locations to shoot from and I was given exclusive access to some really great locations.

A location scouting image captured on a Pentax K3 with a 50mm F1.2 M Lens.

Based on this experience I realized that deciding where to take the photos is the most important element of great fireworks photos. Not only do you need to take into account where the explosions will be, but also what is in the foreground of the shot. If there’s no context in the shots there is nothing to separate them from the millions of other images on the web. What you are looking for, ideally, is an uninterrupted view of the fireworks. To ensure you get this, you will need to consider wind direction too. This is because you don’t want the smoke blowing towards you and dulling the shots. If there is no wind, you will find the first photos you take will be the sharpest so check the weather forecast.

As a result, a great location can help your shot stand out from the crowd, or just enhance your shots for your personal portfolio


Once you are happy with your location, set up your tripod and frame the shot you want. This is easier if you have been to the event before and know roughly where the fireworks will explode. It is at this point you need to take a photo, without fireworks, of the illuminated foreground exposing for the scene as it is. This image comes in handy later, keep reading and I’ll explain why.

Initial composition
It is vitally important that once you are happy with your composition and you have your “scene” image, you do not move or accidentally kick your tripod.

A Tripod

While any camera will do, a steady tripod is a must for good firework photography as you will be using long exposures to capture the patterns effectively. You can't take decent fireworks photos without a tripod because you will be using long shutter speeds. If your camera moves while you're taking the photos they just won’t work. I used a Hasselblad H6D100C with a collection of lenses and having a brute of a medium format camera to hold rigid, I reached out to Vanguard UK who sent me two Alta Pro 2+ tripods, one with a 3 way pan head, the other with a video head as I was filming the display also which worked brilliantly.

Planning out your shots before the show starts will help ensure you know what the baseline scene will look like when the fireworks start to pop.

Remote Release

For the same reason you need a tripod, you need a remote shutter release to keep your camera completely still. Pushing the button will move your camera despite what you might think and the shots will end up blurry. If you don't have a shutter release, you can use a 2 second delay as a last resort, but you will definitely miss photos using this option.


Set your camera to manual. This is vital to getting good shots. You need to set up your focus beforehand. Simply, you can set your lens to infinity for the fireworks, however this depends on location. If you are near buildings you might want them to be in focus, it is best to decide based on surroundings. If you try to use autofocus, it can 'hunt' and you will miss photos as it tries to focus on something in the dark.

Camera Settings

  • Shutter Speed - Bulb mode is going to be your best friend. With your remote release, you will be able to keep the shutter open for as long as the burst of fireworks goes for. I recommends exposure time of between 8 – 15 seconds for a large display. It might need to be longer for a smaller show. Be aware, the longer your shutter is open the brighter the image will end up, so keep an eye on your aperture - adjust if needed.

  • Aperture - Once you have your settings for your pre-composed photo, it is simple to set the aperture for fireworks. Because the Fireworks are so bright, I recommend dropping your aperture anywhere between 1.5 – 3 stops depending on how bright the display is.

  • ISO - You want to keep your ISO as low as possible (100-200) to minimise 'noise' in your shots

  • RAW - It’s important not to fuss over the camera display image, this isn’t any representation of what your finished image is likely to be. It is because of this, we recommend shooting fireworks in RAW because the files are very forgiving. While it is better to achieve the 'correct' exposure in camera, the ability to post produce on RAW files increases your chances of getting the shot you want.

Post Production

"It’s important not to fuss over the camera display image, this isn’t any representation of what your finished image is likely to be like because you will need to process your files" Remember that photo I told you to take while setting up the composition? Here is where you use it. Because the fireworks are so bright, in order to maintain the integrity of the highlights, the foreground will become darker, if not completely black in some sections. Also the city lights are often switched off before the display.

You need to overlay the foreground of the pre-composed image over the under exposed areas of the fireworks image. This can be done using layers in Photoshop and luminosity masks for selection where you brush in (or out) the aspects of the image you do or don’t want in each layer.

Further adjustments can be made very specifically using curves and levels again targeting specific areas of each layer using luminosity masks. The resulting image is something more balanced than with a single exposure. With preserved shadow details and highlight details from both sets of exposures.

Creature Comforts

It is also worth mentioning that while the camera and settings are important, so are creature comforts. Remember to pack a chair, jacket, food, drink and a flashlight so you can enjoy the experience more. Overall it’s important to have fun, because if it’s not fun, it’s not worth it.

I hope that helps...

I believe photography teaches you how to see and fully experience life in the decisive moment and this is particularly true of photographing fireworks. Fireworks pass in seconds, but a great photograph can capture the moment for life. This in turn helps you live your life with more vitality. Sharing those photographs brings people together so we can feel connected, and bring joy to the lives of others as well.

I have a complete archive of all my images from the New Year on this page

Image credits: All photographs provided by Stewart Marsden

Xiaomi teases 12S Ultra smartphone with brand-new 1"-type Sony IMX989 image sensor

In January, Xiaomi announced its 12 series flagship smartphones. Since then, Xiaomi has entered a partnership with Leica and announced the Xiaomi 12S Ultra smartphone. Per Xiaomi on the social media platform Weibo, the 12S Ultra will use Sony's IMX989 image sensor. It's a 1"-type sensor, measuring 13.2 x 8.8 mm, giving a crop factor of 2.72, relative to full-frame.

Sony has previously used a 1"-type sensor in its Xperia Pro-I smartphone. However, in that smartphone, not the entire 1"-type sensor is used, but Xiaomi reportedly intends to use the entire sensor area in its 12S Ultra smartphone.

Android Authority also reports that Sony and Xiaomi co-developed the IMX989 image sensor and Xiaomi took on half the development cost of the sensor. The total development cost is said to be around $15M.

The new Sony IMX989 is much larger than some other heavily-used image sensors, including the IMX766 sensor in the Xiaomi 12 and the IMX707 that debuted in the Xiaomi 12 Pro.

Aside from the Xperia Pro-I, other smartphones have included 1"-type sensors in the past, such as the Sharp Aquos R6, Leica Leitz Phone 1 and Panasonic CM1. All three phones offer 20.2MP resolution. There's no word yet on the resolution of the Sony IMX989 sensor.

However, Xiaomi promises better low-light performance, faster focusing and improved dynamic range thanks to the new image sensor. The company also claims that the new sensor captures 76% more light than the iPhone 13 Pro Max's 12MP main camera, although the technical details behind that claim remain unknown. As part of the partnership with Leica, the 12S Ultra will include a Summicron lens coating.

Xiaomi will unveil its new flagship smartphone on July 4, so we should know much more about the IMX 989 and the rest of the phone's features next week.

James Webb Space Telescope’s first color images to be ‘farther than humanity has ever looked before’

We're only 12 days away from seeing the first full-color scientific images from NASA's incredible $10B James Webb Space Telescope. As the excitement builds, NASA has suggested that the first images will be just the beginning of what we can expect to see from Webb.

'This is farther than humanity has ever looked before,' said NASA Administrator Bill Nelson during a media briefing earlier this week. 'We're only beginning to understand what Webb can and will do.'

To recap, Webb was launched last December and has undergone extensive testing (https://www.dpreview.com/news/7026993143/james-webb-space-telescope-sees-its-first-star-using-all-18-of-its-primary-mirror-segments) since reaching the second Lagrange point (L2).

While we don't know precisely what we'll see when the first images are unveiled on July 12 at 10:30 AM ET, Thomas Zuburchen, associate administrator for NASA's Science Mission Directorate, confirmed that 'images of an exoplanet's atmospheric spectrum will be shared with the public on July 12,' per TechCrunch. Webb's ability to capture the infrared spectrum allows it to detect even small molecules in an exoplanet's atmosphere, meaning that Webb may unlock a greater understanding of different planet's capacity for life.

NASA also confirmed that its estimates for Webb's fuel capabilities were accurate and that the JWST will be able to capture images of space for around 20 years. 'Not only will those 20 years allow us to go deeper into history and time, but we will go deeper into science because we will have the opportunity to learn and grow and make new observations,' said NASA deputy administrator Pam Melroy.

Image Credit: NASA/STScI

Some other news has come out since we last checked in with Webb. On June 23, NASA released a 'selfie' that Webb captured using a specialized pupil imaging lens inside Webb's Near Infrared Camera (NIRCam). The specialized lens is designed to aid with mirror alignment, but as you can see above, it's also useful for a self-portrait of Webb's 18 primary mirror segments.

Today, NASA announced that Webb's Mid-Infrared Instrument (MIRI) is good to go and has passed its final postlaunch preparations. NASA writes, 'The last MIRI mode to be checked off was its coronagraphic imaging capability, which uses two different styles of masks to intentionally block starlight from hitting its sensors when attempting to make observations of the star's orbiting planets. These customized masks allow for scientists to directly detect exoplanets and study dust disks around their host stars in a way that's never been done before.'

'We are thrilled that MIRI is now a functioning, state-of-the-art instrument with performances across all its capabilities better than expected. Our multinational commissioning team has done a fantastic job getting MIRI ready in the space of just a few weeks. Now we celebrate all the people, scientists, engineers, managers, national agencies, ESA, and NASA, who have made this instrument a reality as MIRI begins to explore the infrared universe in ways and to depths never achieved before,' said Gillian Wright, MIRI European principal investigator at the UK Astronomy Technology Centre, and George Rieke, MIRI science lead at the University of Arizona. MIRI is a joint effort between NASA and the European Space Agency (ESA).

After many years of hard work, the Webb team is very close to releasing its first images. To follow the countdown, click here.

Film Friday: A tribute to the Olympus OM-1 on its 50th anniversary

The Olympus OM-1 changed the way photographers viewed SLRs – small could also be serious (Photo by Jim Grey)

In honor of the 50-year anniversary of the Olympus OM-1, Kosmo Foto founder Stephen Dowling has written up a comprehensive tribute to the camera that redefined what an SLR camera could be by keeping the design simple and compact without sacrificing too much functionality.

As we’ve covered before, the Olympus OM-1 wasn’t the original plan. Olympus designer Yoshihisa Maitani had originally conceptualized and eventually developed a prototype for a camera that we now know was called the Olympus OM-X. This camera was similar in style to Hasselblad cameras, but used 35mm film instead of the 120 rolls its medium format counterpart used.

Maitaini’s original concept was for a modular camera much like the 120-format Hasselblad (Image by Olympus Japan)

Unfortunately, that design proved too complicated to produce at scale, so it stopped at the prototype stage. Eventually, Maitani settled on making the OM-1, a camera he had envisioned as an incredibly compact 35mm camera from the get-go. So small, in fact, that he used the Nikon F as the measuring stick and told his engineers that he wanted the OM-1 to be 20-percent smaller in all dimensions and weigh just half of what the Nikon F did.

Although not easy, the Olympus team eventually pulled through with Maitani at the helm, delivering a camera that measured only marginally larger than his original concept. To achieve this, Maitani and his team used new technologies and materials to make the most of every component. While the camera was originally named the M-1, Leica took issue with that due to its own M1 camera, so it was eventually named the OM-1 to minimize confusion.

A 1970s advert which emphasises the OM-1’s quiet shutter (Image by Nesster/Flickr)

Eventually, the camera was revealed at the Photokina photographic fair in Cologne, West Germany, in May 1972. The first units started arriving at stores just under a year later in February 1973 and started what Dowling refers to as an ‘arms race’ amongst the other major camera manufacturers, paving the way for the likes of the Canon A-1 and others.

Dowling concludes the article saying the OM-1 is ‘a testament to Maitani’s skill at finding new directions in camera design.’ To read Dowlings full tribute, which includes extensive amounts of details and images not featured here, head on over to Kosmo Foto:

Olympus OM-1: The small, quiet revolution in SLR design

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.

It's magic: Using an IR camera and Raspberry Pi to scan an invisibly marked card deck during a magic performance

Card tricks would be a lot easier if the magician knew the location of every card. Paul Nettle created a Github project, 'The Nettle Magic Project,' that uses special markings and a camera to identify and locate every card in a deck.

Each card in the deck is marked with a unique barcode. Of course, if the cards were marked in traditional ink, that would disrupt the illusion, so the cards are marked with ink only visible under specific IR conditions. Nettle and Van Goey designed a Raspberry Pi device with a NoIR camera to see the marked cards.

The device runs a scanning server, and it's connected to an iOS client application, Abra, that shows what the server's camera sees and the decoded deck. With the technology, magicians can know the ordered list of every card in the deck, which card(s) are missing, and even which cards are face-up in the deck. The device can be run while performing as it can scan/decode a 1080p image to an ordered deck in 'as little as 4ms.'

The testbed applications provided are written for macOS and iOS, although there's also support for Linux and the Raspberry Pi platform. There currently aren't Windows or Android versions. The full documentation outlines the testbed application in detail.

There's also a high-level overview of how the device works. While speed is important, correct results are critical. An error during a live performance is problematic. While scanning results can be incorrect, it's very unlikely. Performance is improved by scanning several video frames rather than a single frame. The results of multiple frames are analyzed and combined. However, efficiency concerns are important, as the device will likely be hidden on a magician's person and can't become too hot or run out of power.

High-level overview of the Nettle Magic Project system and its steps

There's an input video frame augmented by configuration parameters and a deck definition. The deck is searched, decoded, resolved and analyzed before a report is generated for the user. Each of these primary steps includes secondary and even tertiary processes, which are extensively outlined here.

Each playing card is about 0.3mm thick, and they're scanned under low-light conditions using a narrow-band IR camera. Further, cards become worn, and some cards are held in someone's hands, so the scanning process isn't perfect. However, it's 'generally' reliable. The 'analyze' phase tries to overcome a lack of confidence by combining results from scans that are 'mostly' correct with scans that 'may actually be' correct to generate a single 'confident' result.

The Abra client shows the full results of the scan. We can see that this scan generated a high confidence value (98).

Different scenarios produce failures, including the deck not being in the frame or too small, the readability check failing because the scanned video isn't sharp, there being too few cards or just some other more generalized failure. There are also different success conditions, including low and high confidence results. Once all steps are complete, the final result is sent to the Abra client.

One of these decks is marked. Can you tell which one?

The documentation also shows how to generate marks using a Sharpie or a custom-printed stamp. The section on UV reactive inks isn't complete yet, but there are some interesting details about creating a marked deck that looks normal to the naked eye.

If you like card tricks, you can try the Nettle Magic Project for yourself. All packages, tools and documentation are available on Github.

Image credits: Nettle Magic Project / Paul Nettle and Jeroen Van Goey / Github

Meike announces new $250 50mm F0.95 manual lens for APS-C mirrorless cameras

Meike has announced the release of a new 50mm F0.95 lens for APS-C mirrorless camera systems. The lens, which offers a roughly 80mm full-frame equivalent field-of-view, is fully manual and available for Canon EF-M, Fujifilm X, Micro Four Thirds, Nikon Z and Sony E-mount camera systems.

The lens is constructed of seven elements in five groups and has an aperture range of F0.95 through F16. Its minimum focusing distance is 45cm (17.7”), it uses a 13-blade aperture diaphragm and it has a 62mm front filter thread.

Below is a small collection of sample images taken with the lens and provided by Meike:

Meike doesn’t provide the exact dimensions of the lens, but does note it weighs 420g (14.8oz). The Meike 50mm F0.95 lens is available to purchase today for $250, although it appears as though the Nikon Z-mount version is out of stock at this time.

Hands-on with Nikon's new Nikkor Z 400mm F4.5 VR S super-telephoto Z-mount lens


Nikon recently announced its new Nikkor Z 400mm F4.5 VR S, a super-telephoto lens for the company’s expanding lineup of Z-mount cameras. While DPReview TV has already shared its thoughts on the new lens, we wanted to share a few hands-on details of the compact super-telephoto prime.

Who’s this lens for?

Considering its focal length and respectable F4.5 aperture, it’s clear this lens is designed with wildlife and outdoor sports photographers in mind. Its relatively compact form factor means it can be used without the need of a tripod and should relatively easily fit into even modestly-sized camera bags for photographers needing to make a trek to their end destination.

If you’re a wildlife photographer who needs a little more reach, this lens has been designed to work seamlessly with Nikon’s 1.4x and 2x teleconverters, which effectively turn the lens into a 560mm F6.3 or 800mm F9 lens, respectively. The lens can also give a 600mm equivalent field of view when mounted on one of Nikon's 'DX' APS-C bodies, or an FX body with its 'DX Crop' mode engaged.

Optical Construction

The 400mm F4.5 VR S is constructed of 19 elements in 13 groups, including one Extra-low Dispersion (ED) element, two Super ED elements and one Short-wavelength Refractive (SR) lens element. Comparable to Canon’s Blue Spectrum Refractive (BR) elements, Nikon’s SR element refracts blue light more than green or red, which aides in better controlling longitudinal chromatic aberration in images.

Nikon has also designed the lens so that all of the corrective elements are at the back of the lens. This not only improves the balance of the lens when mounted to a camera, but also means the lens can weigh less, since those elements can be much smaller and lighter.

Optical Performance

While Nikon is known for its Phase Fresnel telephoto lenses, it acknowledges that PF elements can have a negative impact on bokeh. So, through its design process, Nikon sought out a happy medium where it was comparatively small and lightweight while sacrificing as little image quality as possible.

While we're still working on more extensive testing, our pre-production unit has so far impressed us. Images are sharp across the frame, bokeh is pleasing enough and the Nano Crystal Coating on the front-most element does help to dramatically limit flare and ghosting.

The VR image stabilization is CIPA-rated for 5.5EV correction, but gets bumped up to 6EV when used with the Z9's 'Synchro VR' system, which combines the effect of the lens and in-body image stabilization to correct for pitch and yaw shake (as opposed to other Nikon models that disengage in-body pitch and yaw correction and pass responsibility to the lens).


Autofocus on the 400mm F4.5 VR S is driven via a stepping motor, as is the case with nearly all of Nikon's Z-mount glass. This makes for smooth transitions, as we've noted in our experience with the lens, but it does mean slightly slower transitions when making larger leaps between one subject and another.

However, being a super-telephoto, subjects tend to be relatively close to one another from a distance, so the impact should be somewhat minimal, be it for wildlife or sports.


The 400mm F4.5 VR S is similar in both look and feel to the Nikkor 800mm F6.3 VR S super-telephoto lens Nikon released back in April. It has the same overall aesthetics, a very similar button array and even has the same style of tripod collar and foot, for better or worse (considering it's not Arca-Swiss compatible).

It's worth noting the tripod collar doesn't have click-stops at the usual 90-degree increments, so depending on personal preference, that may go under either the pro or cons header. Nikon has also included the same quick-release lens hood we saw on the 800mm, making it easy to pop on and off as needed. There's also a Kensington lock for additional security when you're not with the lens.

Buttons and toggles

Much like the overall design of the lens, the button arrangement is very similar to its 800mm sibling. Just behind the focus ring is a gripped ring with four FN2 buttons that can be customized to activate whatever function you want quick access to while shooting. There's also a single L-Fn button on the rear of the lens, which can also be customized to suit your needs.

As for the toggles, the lens features both a focus switch (Automatic/Manual) as well as a focus limiter (Full/6m-Infinity). As with the 800mm option, there's no switch to control the VR function, so all of that will need to be done in-camera, which is less than convenient for anyone used to making those adjustments with a physical switch.

There's also a 'Memory Set' button that lets you define a pre-set focus distanct with the press of a button. You can then use one of the lens's function buttons to jump back to that preset point.

Size and weight

One of the main selling point for this lens is its relatively compact and lightweight frame. The lens measures 104mm (4.1”) in diameter by 235mm (9.3”) long and weighs 1245g (2lb 12oz) with the tripod collar. For comparison, that's only slightly larger than Nikon's 70-200mm F2.8 zoom lens in both diameter and length – by 15mm (0.6") in both dimensions – while also weighing 195g (6.9oz) less.

While a bit older (and slower), another comparison is Canon's old 400mm F5.6L USM lens designed for (D)SLRs. Canon's 400mm F5.6 lens measured 90mm in diameter by 257mm long and weighed 1250g, without its collar attached. That's 14mm (0.56") narrower but 22mm (0.87") longer and 90g (3.2oz) heavier than Nikon's new 400mm F4.5 VR S lens for a much simpler (7 element, 6 group) design that was 2/3EV slower and didn't have image stabilization.

Pricing and availability

The Nikkor Z 400mm F4.5 VR S lens will be available starting in June for a suggested price of $3,295. That's just over half the price of the 800mm F6.3 VR S ($6,500), which means you're more or less getting the same value from a per-millimeter perspective.

It's also around $600 more than the recent Nikkor Z 100-400mm F4.5-5.6 VR S, which is undoubtedly a more flexible lens. If you consider the rule-of-thumb that a one-stop faster lens approximately doubles the price, then you'll see that the 400mm F4.5 is 63% brighter than the 100-400mm is, at 400mm, but only 22% more expensive. The prime is also lighter and only a fraction longer than zoom in its retracted state, so shorter when actually set to 400mm. We'll have to do more testing to see how they compare optically.


Overall, Nikon has managed to create an incredibly capable lens that offers respectable reach and speed without breaking your back or the bank. And it's managed to do it all without the use of Phase Fresnel (PF) elements, which sets our expectations of image quality pretty high.

Profoto's new A2 monolight is about the size of a soda can

Profoto is well known for its wide range of studio-quality lighting solutions. The new Profoto A2 flash head is Profoto's latest compact light. It can be used handheld, mounted or rigged in ways that larger, heavier lights cannot because the Profoto A2 is roughly the size of a can of soda.

The Profoto A2 delivers up to 100Ws of power and is compatible with Profoto's Clic light shaping tools, including softboxes, domes, grids, gels and more. The A2 comes with a removable umbrella stand attachment as well. The A2 may not have the 250Ws of power of Profoto's B10X, but the A2 is much smaller and lighter, so there's a tradeoff there. You give up a bit of power for a lot more portability.

Portability is the primary focus of the A2. With its battery and stand adapter, it weighs about 770g (1.7 lb.). It's 12.6 cm (4.96") long with a maximum diameter of 7.9 cm (3.11"). The A2 includes a display on the back to manage power, connectivity and other settings. The A2's removable battery delivers about 400 flashes at full power and can recharge in under two hours. The A2 uses the same A-series Mk II battery as the A10 on-camera flash, plus the same CLIC modifier system. The A10 delivers 76Ws of power.

Regarding connectivity, the A2 includes Profoto AirX. You can connect with other Profoto lights, transmitters and triggers. The A2 works well with Profoto's relatively new Connect Pro wireless transmitter, which is available for nearly every major manufacturer and also comes in a non-TTL version. Using a connected smartphone or tablet, you can also control the A2 via Bluetooth.

The A2 has a 10 f-stop power range (0.1 to 100Ws) and recycles in 0.1 to 1.6 seconds, depending on power level. The light has a 5,800 K (+/- 100 K) color temperature. You can also use the A2 as a continuous light source with 2.1 W max power and a 3,500K color temperature. The continuous light's color rendering index (CRI) is greater than 80.

The Profoto A2 comes with the A2 itself, of course, plus a Clic stand adapter, battery, battery charger, case, power cable and USB-A to USB-C cable. Extreme portability and promised ease-of-use don't come cheap. The Profoto A2 is $995. For more information, visit Profoto.

DigiKam, a free and open-source raw photo management app for macOS, Windows and Linux, has been updated

DigiKam is a free, open-source digital photo management app available on Windows, macOS and Linux. The app has just been updated to version 7.7.0, adding numerous new features, bug fixes and camera support.

DigiKam 7.7.0 supports the AOM AV1 Image File Format (AVIF), an open-source video coding format. It's similar to HEIF. The app also adds read/write support for the JPEG-XL image format in all supported bundles. JPEG-XL support first appeared in digiKam 7.6.0, but there were some issues with animated files, which have now been addressed.

The update uses an updated Libraw version, supporting the OM System OM-1 camera's raw image files. More than 1,180 different cameras have raw file support in digiKam 7.7.0. The company also notes that the KDE framework has been updated to the latest 5.95 release and Qt 5.15 LTS is used in the Windows and macOS bundle.

9to5Linux reports that the latest version of digiKam includes improved support for SVG files, improved DNG file support, better GIF support and Flatpak support. The software also has a new 'Ignore face' button for unrecognized faces when using the app's thumbnail view. Issues with detecting the Hugin open-source panorama photo stitching and HDR merging program have been addressed. There's also improved reading of raw DNG files from Adobe Lightroom that have been converted to sRGB color space and TIFF file format.

There are also many bug and crash fixes. The team says that 84 bugs have been triaged.

Looking ahead, version 8.0.0 should be released as a beta test later this summer, and a full release is expected by the end of the year. The team is working on porting the git master branch to the new Qt6 framework. A couple of students are also working on improving the neural network for the application's Image Quality Analyzer. This feature works to analyze images based on noise, focus, exposure and compression.

DigiKam 7.7.0 is available to download for free here. Click here for more information about the software, features, and capabilities.

DPReview TV: Nikkor Z 400mm F4.5 VR Preview - Director's Cut

With Nikon's 400mm F4.5 S VR officially announced, we can now share more details in this 'Director's Cut' of our preview video! Find out the exact size and weight, as well as the price of this exciting new Z-Mount lens.

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DPReview TV: Nikon Z30 Initial Review

Nikon has just announced the Z30, its entry-level Z-Mount APS-C camera aimed at content creators and vloggers. Fortunately, DPReview editor and very good sport Richard Butler was able to join Chris in the beautiful town of Canmore, Alberta, to test the Z30's abilities.

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Nikon announces $3,295 400mm F4.5 VR S super-telephoto lens for Z-mount cameras

Nikon has announced the release of the Nikkor Z 400mm F4.5 VR S, a relatively compact super-telephoto prime lens for its Z-mount mirrorless camera system.

The lens is constructed of 19 elements in 13 groups, including one Extra-low Dispersion (ED) element, two Super ED elements and one Short-wavelength Refractive (SR) lens element. The SR element refracts blue light more than green or red, helping to control longitudinal aberrations. Nikon is also using its Nano Crystal Coating to reduce ghosting and flare as well as a fluorine coating on the front-most element to repel dust, dirt and water.

The onboard optical image stabilization is CIPA-rated for 5.5 stops of compensation, or 6.0 stops when used with the 'Synchro VR' system on the Z9. Autofocus is driven by a stepping motor. Nikon says the lens will also work with its focus-breathing compensation function. The lens is weather sealed, with Nikon specifically calling it ‘dust- and drip-resistant.’

Other features include a nine-blade rounded aperture diaphragm, a minimum focusing distance of 2.5m (8.2ft), an aperture range of F4.5 to F32 and a 95mm front filter thread. The lens measures 104mm (4.1”) in diameter by 235mm (9.3”) long and weighs 1245g (2lb 12oz) with the tripod collar.

The Nikkor Z 400mm F4.5 VR S lens will be available starting in June for a suggested price of $3,295.


Compact and Lightweight Super Telephoto Lens with Superior Sharpness and Clarity

MELVILLE, NY (June 29, 2022) – Today, Nikon Inc. has announced the release of the NIKKOR Z 400mm f/4.5 VR S, adding yet another lens to the growing NIKKOR Z line. This super-telephoto prime lens is compatible with full-frame/FX-format Nikon Z mount mirrorless cameras, and offers both superior sharpness and clarity with a compact size and lightweight design.

Handheld shooting is easy with the lightest1 weight in its class, approximately 2.55 lbs (1,160 g, excluding tripod collar), and a total length of approximately 9.2 inches (234.5mm) providing superior agility and reducing fatigue over extended shooting sessions of wildlife, birds and sports photography. This lens is also compatible with the Z TELECONVERTER TC-1.4× and the Z TELECONVERTER TC-2.0×, expanding the ability to bring distant subjects even closer2. In addition, the lens offers excellent balance by shifting the center of gravity closer to the camera for more stable operation during handheld shooting.

The NIKKOR Z 400mm f/4.5 VR S belongs to the S-Line lens series that pursues the ultimate in optical performance, and is constructed with one ED glass element, two Super ED glass elements, and one SR lens element. This contributes greatly to the compact size and light weight while delivering superior optical performance in which chromatic aberration is suppressed. The adoption of Nano Crystal Coat also contributes to effectively reduce ghost and flare effects, achieving clearer images and accurate depiction of even the finest details of distant subjects.

With a maximum aperture of f/4.5, the NIKKOR Z 400mm f/4.5 VR S realizes three-dimensional rendering that makes the intended subject stand out. It is also equipped with an optical vibration reduction (VR) mechanism that provides a superior compensation effect equivalent to shooting at a shutter speed 5.5 stops3 faster, which is the highest among NIKKOR Z lenses4, in addition, a stepping motor (STM) supports fast and precise AF control for certain capture of erratically moving subjects, such as sports.

Primary Features:

  • Handheld shooting is easy with the lightest weight in its class of approximately 1,160 g (excluding the tripod collar) and a total length of approximately 234.5 mm.
  • Focal length can be extended to 560 mm with the Z TELECONVERTER TC-1.4× and 800 mm with the Z TELECONVERTER TC-2.0× (both released in August 2020), while maintaining outstanding resolution.
  • Employs an optical vibration reduction (VR) function with an effect equivalent to a shutter speed 5.5 stops faster, which is the highest among NIKKOR Z lenses. When paired with the Nikon Z 9, optical VR can be combined with in-camera VR for even more powerful camera shake compensation—equivalent to a shutter speed 6.0 stops5 faster with Synchro VR.
  • Designed with consideration for video recording, including a focus-breathing compensation function which effectively reduces shifting of the angle of view when focusing, and stable exposure.
  • The employment of an STM ensures high-speed and accurate AF with quiet operational sounds.
  • Superior dust- and drip-resistant performance6 and anti-fouling performance with the adoption of fluorine coat.
  • Employs the Memory Recall function7 that instantly recalls focus positions that have been stored in advance, via pressing an assigned button.
  • Nikon's original Nano Crystal Coat is adopted to effectively reduce ghost and flare effects.
  • Chromatic aberration is significantly reduced via the adoption of one ED and two
  • Super ED glass elements. In addition, the adoption of an SR lens element controls short-wavelength light that is difficult to compensate, achieving highly precise chromatic aberration compensation.

Pricing and Availability

The NIKKOR Z 400mm f/4.5 VR S lens will be available starting in July 2022 for a suggested retail price (SRP) $3,249.95*. For more information about the latest Nikon products, including other NIKKOR Z lenses and the entire collection of Z series cameras, please visit nikonusa.com.


1 Among f/4.5 and slower lenses, including those with a focal length of 400 mm, for interchangeable-lens cameras equipped with a full-frame (35mm [135] equivalent) image sensor available as of June 29, 2022. Statement based on Nikon research.

2 AF performance may deteriorate depending on the subject, brightness and focus position regardless of the camera body, causing inaccurate focus, slow focusing speed or flashing of the focus indicator.

3 Based on CIPA Standard. This value is achieved when attached to a camera with full-frame/Nikon FX-format sensor, with the camera's VR function set to "NORMAL".

4 As of June 29, 2022.

5 Based on CIPA Standard. With the camera's VR function set to "NORMAL".

6. Thorough dust and drip resistance is not guaranteed in all situations or under all conditions.

7 The cameras compatible with this function are the Z 9, Z 7II, Z 6II, and Z 30 only at the timing of the product release. When using the function, the firmware for cameras must be updated to the latest version. For other models, this function will be supported via later firmware updates.

*SRP (Suggested Retail Price) listed only as a suggestion. Actual prices are set by dealers and are subject to change at any time.

Nikon announces Z30 vlogger and creator-focused mirrorless camera

Nikon has announced the Z30, the third 'DX' (APS-C) model to be explicitly targeted towards content creators. It's a 21MP compact mirrorless camera that can shoot 4K/30 or 1080/120 video with quick and easy content sharing to smartphones.

The Z30 fairly closely resembles the existing Z50 model in both appearance and specification, but gains the fully articulating screen from the retro-styled Z fc and does away with the viewfinder.

Twin microphones sit on the top plate and there's a tally lamp on the front of the body to let you know when you're recording. The [REC] button has also been made more prominent to make it easier to hit when you're holding the camera out at arms length.

Most other details are familiar, though: the same 21MP CMOS sensor, 3.0" 1.04M dot touchscreen and EN-EL25 battery, delivering a moderate 330 shot-per-charge rating. Thermal management has been improved and the ability to power the camera over USB added, which allows for up to 125 minutes of 4K capture, Nikon says (ambient temperature not specified).

Like its closest rival, and 'DX' siblings, there's no in-body image stabilization, but the camera is offered with a stabilized 16-50mm F3.5-6.3 VR lens. Also absent is a headphone port for audio monitoring.

The Z30 will be available in mid-July at a recommended price of $709.95. A kit with the 16-50mm VR lens takes the price to $849.95 and adding a 55-250mm F3.5-6.3 VR on top of this pushes the cost to $1109.95. A 'Creators Accessory Kit' that includes a Røde Videomicro shotgun microphone, Smallrig tripod/selfie handle and a ML-L7 Bluetooth remote that clips into it costs $149.95.

Press release:

The first step to next-level video content: The Nikon Z 30 is MADE for creators

MELVILLE, NY (June 29, 2022) Nikon Inc.’s newest Z 30 mirrorless camera is designed specifically for video content creators, vloggers and streamers. This small, lightweight, feature packed camera applies Nikon’s expertise in all things imaging, giving creators the ability to easily produce the kind of video content that gets noticed.

With the Nikon Z 30, it’s simple to consistently create professional-looking 4K UHD video to get the look you want, with sharp focus, beautiful blurred backgrounds and appealing audio- all on the first take. Swivel front-facing LCD and REC lamp? Got it. Mic input? Better low light performance? Of course. Even though it’s got an affordable price and simple controls, the Z 30 is packed with more advanced features that level up with you, helping to take your content and your channel further.

“A real camera with interchangeable lenses is a big leap in a creator’s personal evolution,” said Jay Vannatter, Executive Vice President, Nikon Inc. “We want to support creators by taking the guesswork out of how to get the best production value, which helps them to take their creativity further and grow their communities.”

Creator-Centric Features That Make Sense:

  • Front-facing Vari-Angle touchscreen-LCD lets you see yourself in the scene as you compose your shots, confirm the frame, adjust focus and make sure you are always camera-ready. The bright 3.0-inch high-res screen will also feel familiar with the ability to swipe, pinch and zoom through playback and menus, while it also tilts to easily frame unique angles from below the hip or from above.
  • The Nikon Z 30 and NIKKOR Z lenses help you create soft, blurred backgrounds that are a hallmark of higher quality content. The main subject remains sharp, in order to draw your viewer’s attention toward you or anything you want them to see, whether it’s a face or prominent product shot.
  • Reliably fast and sharp autofocus keeps you in focus, precisely following as you move around the scene, with the added benefit of Eye Detection AF.
  • REC lamp acts as a tally light, illuminating on the front of the camera to confirm recording and peace of mind.
  • Higher quality audio enhances your content thanks to a built-in stereo microphone, plus an additional input for using a more powerful external stereo or directional microphone.
  • Get it all in one take with more than two hours (125 minutes1) of recording time, which is ideal for longer videos such as an extensive DIY.
  • Superior low light performance gives you the freedom to shoot indoors, when it’s cloudy or at night, for clear and sharp video, with minimal noise and fast focus. Even in low light, the full-time focus will continuously track you while walking with the screen in self-portrait mode. The ISO range goes up to 25600 for video and 51200 for photos, enabling sharp rendering of details and textures in lower light.
  • Sharp video quality at up to 4K 30P UHD with plenty of room to punch in, or Full HD up to 120P to easily create dramatic slow-motion. What you see is what you get, as the Z 30 captures 4K with no additional crop so you don’t lose any of your frame.
  • Get the look you want with the Picture Control Auto function, which adjusts the video settings according to the scene. There are also 20 different types of Creative Picture Controls to add creative flair to video, and eliminate the need for extra color grading.
  • Using Nikon’s precise color profiling, scenes and skin tones are reproduced naturally and accurately straight out of camera, with a genuinely inviting vibe that’s never cold or clinical.
  • Record on widely available SD cards, which come in a variety of large sizes.
  • Keep the camera running using an external USB-C power source, a great feature that can eliminate the need to swap batteries during a shoot. The camera also works with Nikon’s free Webcam Utility streaming software to integrate for streaming or web conferences.
  • Minimalist, lightweight design that is easy to carry and vlog with. This is the smallest and lightest Z series mirrorless camera ever made. The form factor and weight is made for content creation, vlogging and streaming. It’s balanced and comfortable to hold for long periods of time and small enough to pack. Simple dials give you complete control of settings like aperture and shutter speed for a desired effect.
  • Always connected to your phone (iOS or Android)2 for easy automatic transfer of images using the free Nikon SnapBridge App. If your workflow is editing and posting from your phone, you can also connect to wirelessly send videos from the Z 30 to your device. Using the app, you can also use your phone as a remote control to start and stop your recording, when you are in front of the camera.

Superb Still-Camera Features

Create better thumbnails and cross-promote posts for your other channels that drive to your video content using the Z 30. The 20 megapixel APS-C /DX-format CMOS sensor captures super-sharp and high-res still images, in any kind of light. Whether you’re shooting a once in a lifetime landscape shot, a cooking close up , the Milky Way at midnight or a gorgeous portrait, users have the option to use fully automatic modes or get creative with advanced settings. The Z 30 is also incredibly fast, with the ability to capture people and pets at up to 11 fps3. What’s more, if you love what you’re seeing in the LCD, you can even snap a selfie while recording video.

Creativity Has No Limits with NIKKOR Z Lenses

The Z 30 is an interchangeable lens mirrorless camera that opens up an exciting world of possibilities with a wide array of NIKKOR Z lenses, from super–wide lenses for interiors, small spaces and landscapes, incredibly close macro for tiny details on products, or far away action with a telephoto lens. NIKKOR Z glass is specially designed to address the needs of video creators with silent operation, and by minimizing the breathing effect during focusing, while delivering gorgeously rendered colors for a true-to-life experience. Creators can choose a growing collection of more than 30 NIKKOR Z lenses, including:

  • NIKKOR Z DX 16-50mm f/3.5-6.3 VR (included in all Z 30 kits, except when body is sold separately): The Z 30 comes with this extremely small yet versatile zoom lens, that’s great for wide angles, especially when talking directly to the camera. It also features built-in VR (vibration reduction) image stabilization to help create smooth footage and sharp images, even when handheld.
  • NIKKOR Z DX 50-250mm f/4.5-6.3 VR (included in Z 30 Two Lens Kit): Lightweight long zoom lens option with built-in VR that’s great for shots that require extra reach, such as sports and animals.
  • NIKKOR Z 40mm f/2 and 28mm f/2.8: Super-compact “walk-around” primes that are perfect for flattering portraits, casual shooting, travel and discrete street snaps.
  • NIKKOR Z MC 50mm f/2.8: A fantastic macro lens lets you get closer to the things you love to get all of the details. Great for food shots, product shots, nature images and more.

Pricing and Availability

The new Nikon Z 30 will be available in mid-July 2022 in a variety of kit configurations; As a body only for $709.95 SRP, with a NIKKOR Z DX 16-50mm f/3.5-6.3 lens for $849.95 SRP*, or as a two lens kit with the NIKKOR Z DX 50-250mm f/4.5-6.3 for $1199.95 SRP*. The camera will also be available with the NIKKOR Z DX 18-140mm f/3.5-6.3 lens for $1149.95 SRP* starting in November. Nikon will also offer a Creators Accessory Kit for $149.95 SRP*, which will include a SmallRig Tripod Grip, the Nikon ML-L7 bluetooth remote control, plus the Rode VideoMicro Microphone. A hot shoe-mounted Wind Muff for the built-in microphone will also be available for $9.95 SRP*.

For more information about the latest Nikon products, including other NIKKOR Z lenses and the entire collection of Z series cameras, please visit nikonusa.com.

  1. In Full HD/24p/25p at 25/77. The camera’s ability to always achieve the full 125 minutes is dependent on conditions like battery life or the camera’s internal temperature. Approx. 35 minutes of recording time is available in 4K UHD.
  2. iPhone®, iPad®, iPod touch® and Android™ devices to which the SnapBridge app has been installed can be used. The SnapBridge app can be downloaded free of charge from the App Store® and Google Play™. See Nikon's website for further information.
  • Apple®, App Store®, the Apple logos, iPhone®, iPad® are trademarks of Apple Inc. registered in the U.S. and/or other countries.
  • The iPhone trademark is used under license from Aiphone Co., Ltd.
  • Android™ and Google Play™ are trademarks of Google LLC.
  1. With a mechanical shutter, in high-speed continuous shooting (extended), in JPEG and 12-bit RAW recording.

*SRP (Suggested Retail Price) listed only as a suggestion. Actual prices are set by dealers and are subject to change at any time.

Nikon Z30 Specifications

MSRP $710 (body), $850 (w/16-50mm lens), $1050 (w/16-50 & 50-250mm lenses)
Body type
Body type Rangefinder-style mirrorless
Body material Magnesium alloy
Max resolution 5568 x 3712
Image ratio w:h 1:1, 3:2, 16:9
Effective pixels 21 megapixels
Sensor photo detectors 22 megapixels
Sensor size APS-C (23.5 x 15.7 mm)
Sensor type CMOS
Processor Expeed 6
Color space sRGB, Adobe RGB
Color filter array Primary color filter
ISO Auto, 100-51200 (expands to 204,800)
Boosted ISO (maximum) 204800
Custom white balance Yes
Image stabilization No
Uncompressed format RAW
JPEG quality levels Fine, normal, basic
File format
  • JPEG (Exif v2.31)
  • Raw (NEF, 12/14-bit)
Optics & Focus
  • Contrast Detect (sensor)
  • Phase Detect
  • Multi-area
  • Center
  • Selective single-point
  • Tracking
  • Single
  • Continuous
  • Touch
  • Face Detection
  • Live View
Autofocus assist lamp Yes
Manual focus Yes
Number of focus points 209
Lens mount Nikon Z
Focal length multiplier 1.5×
Screen / viewfinder
Articulated LCD Fully articulated
Screen size 3
Screen dots 1,040,000
Touch screen Yes
Screen type TFT LCD
Live view Yes
Viewfinder type None
Photography features
Minimum shutter speed 30 sec
Maximum shutter speed 1/4000 sec
Exposure modes
  • Program
  • Aperture priority
  • Shutter priority
  • Manual
Scene modes
  • "Autumn Colors
  • Beach / Snow
  • Blossom
  • Candlelight
  • Child
  • Close-up
  • Dusk/Dawn
  • Food
  • Landscape
  • Night Landscape
  • Night Portrait
  • Party/Indoor
  • Pet Portrait
  • Portrait
  • Sports
  • Sunset
  • Special Effect Modes
Built-in flash Yes
Flash range 7.00 m (at ISO 100)
External flash Yes (via hot shoe)
Flash X sync speed 1/200 sec
Drive modes
  • Single
  • Low-speed continuous
  • High-speed continuous
  • Self-timer
Continuous drive 11.0 fps
Self-timer Yes
Metering modes
  • Multi
  • Center-weighted
  • Highlight-weighted
  • Spot
Exposure compensation ±5 (at 1/3 EV, 1/2 EV steps)
AE Bracketing ±5 (2, 3, 5, 7 frames at 1/3 EV, 1/2 EV, 2/3 EV, 1 EV steps)
WB Bracketing Yes
Videography features
Format MPEG-4, H.264
  • 3840 x 2160 @ 30p, MOV, H.264, Linear PCM
  • 3840 x 2160 @ 25p, MOV, H.264, Linear PCM
  • 3840 x 2160 @ 24p, MOV, H.264, Linear PCM
  • 1920 x 1080 @ 120p, MOV, H.264, Linear PCM
  • 1920 x 1080 @ 100p, MOV, H.264, Linear PCM
  • 1920 x 1080 @ 60p, MOV, H.264, Linear PCM
  • 1920 x 1080 @ 50p, MOV, H.264, Linear PCM
  • 1920 x 1080 @ 30p, MOV, H.264, Linear PCM
  • 1920 x 1080 @ 25p, MOV, H.264, Linear PCM
  • 1920 x 1080 @ 24p, MOV, H.264, Linear PCM
Microphone Stereo
Speaker Mono
Storage types SD/SDHC/SDXC card (UHS-I supported)
USB USB 3.2 Gen 1 (5 GBit/sec)
USB charging Yes
HDMI Yes (micro HDMI)
Microphone port Yes
Headphone port No
Wireless Built-In
Wireless notes 802.11ac + Bluetooth
Remote control Yes (via smartphone)
Environmentally sealed Yes
Battery Battery Pack
Battery description EN-EL25 lithium-ion battery & charger
Battery Life (CIPA) 330
Weight (inc. batteries) 405 g (0.89 lb / 14.29 oz)
Dimensions 128 x 74 x 60 mm (5.04 x 2.91 x 2.36)
Other features
Orientation sensor Yes
Timelapse recording Yes
GPS None

Nikon Z30 initial review

Sample photo Sample photo Sample photo Sample photo Sample photo

The Nikon Z30 is a 20MP APS-C mirrorless camera designed for vloggers and content creators. It presents a lot of elements familiar from Nikon's existing 'DX' models but with a little more focus on self-shot stills and video.

Key specifications

  • 21MP APS-C CMOS sensor
  • 4K video at up to 30p
  • 1080 video at up to 120fps (as slow-mo)
  • Around 2 hours of video with USB power
  • Fully articulating 3.0", 1.04M dot touch screen
  • Tally lamp
  • Re-arranged buttons with more prominent REC button

The Z30 is available body-only for $709.95 or with the collapsible 16-50mm F3.5-6.3 VR lens for $849.95. A two-lens kit that adds the 50-250mm F4.5-6.3 VR takes the price to $1149.95. A 'Creators Accessory Kit' comprising a Røde Videomicro shotgun mic, ML-L7 bluetooth remote control unit and Smallrig mini tripod/selfie grip, is $149.

What is the Z30?

The Nikon Z30, shown with the Røde Videomicro microphone that comes as part of the $150 'creators' kit.

The Z30 is the third APS-C mirrorless camera from Nikon to use the company's Z-mount. These smaller sensor models, called 'DX' by Nikon, have all been aimed at young content creators, but the Z30 shows the most commitment to that cause.

Conceptually it's very similar to Sony's ZV-E10 model, which is targeted at the same users. Both are built around APS-C sensors and have articulated screens to allow the operator to appear in the stills and video they're shooting. Both have stereo microphones built into their top plates with the option to fit 'dead cat' wind screens (included with the Sony, a $10 accessory for the Nikon). The focus on front-facing footage means neither has an electronic viewfinder and both have red 'tally lamps' on the front, to indicate when they're recording.

They differ in two key ways, though: the Nikon can shoot 4K video at up to 30fps without having to crop, whereas the Sony can only shoot at up to 24fps before it has to crop in, making it harder to achieve the wide-angle view that's ideal for vlogging. However neither camera has an image-stabilized sensor, so any shake reduction is conducted by cropping in on the footage so that the camera can select video from different parts of the image area, to compensate for movement.

The Sony includes a wide range of video-focused color options, including multiple Log profiles for post-shoot editing. The Nikon only includes a simpler 'Flat' profile. In practice, this less sophisticated but easier to work with option is likely to be sufficient for a lot of users.

The other big difference is that the Z30 doesn't have a headphone socket, so there's no way to monitor the audio that's being captured. You can use the on-screen audio level indicators, but that doesn't give you any indication if you're picking up any wind noise or background sound that will end up ruining your clip.

Nikon Z30 Sony ZV-E10 Nikon Z50
List price

16-50mm F3.5-6.3

16-50mm F3.5-5.6 PZ
16-50mm F3.5-6.3
Pixel count 20.9MP 24MP 20.9MP
Sensor type CMOS CMOS CMOS
4K video options Up to 30p
(full width)
24p (full width)
30p (1.23x crop)
Up to 30p
(full width)
1080 video Up to 120p Up to 60p
120p (1.14x crop)
Up to 120p
Video features
  • Tally lamp
  • Stereo mics
  • Mic socket
  • Tally lamp
  • Stereo mics
  • Wind shield
  • Mic socket
  • H/phone socket
  • Log capture
  • Mic Socket
LCD 3.0" fully articulating 3.0" fully articulating 3.2" tilting
Viewfinder No No 2.36M dot
0.68x mag
Battery rating 330 images 440 images 320 images
USB charging Yes / Yes Yes / Yes Yes / No

Unlike the Z50 and Z fc, there's no 30 minutes limit on video recording on the Z30. Nikon says it will record for around 125 minutes of 1080 footage if you provide power over the camera's USB-C port. 4K is likely to stop after around 35 minutes at 25°C (77°F).

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Body and handling

The Z30 has a body that looks a lot like the existing Z50 model, but with the viewfinder missed off and a tally lamp included on the right, instead. There's a bit more to it than that, though: the hand grip is a little deeper and the top plate buttons have been re-arranged to make it easier to reach the REC button when you're holding the camera out and facing toward you.

The rear screen articulates out to the side, as was the case on the Z fc and, by default, engages a self-portrait mode with simplified touchscreen controls designed to be operated at arms-length. This isn't a new feature for the Z30 but it's one that makes a lot of sense for this camera. What is new is the ability to adjust exposure compensation (the brightness level the camera is trying to maintain) while in auto mode. This means you can make sure your footage isn't too bright or dark, without having to engage one of the camera's more complex modes.

The camera feels solid and the menus are relatively straightforward, if you've used a Nikon before. The 'i' menu gives you access to twelve of the camera's key settings and you can customize it if there are other options you need more frequent access to.


The Z30 uses the same EN-EL25 battery as the other two APS-C Z-series cameras, powering it to a CIPA rating of 330 shots per charge. These ratings tend to be rather conservative and it's not uncommon to get twice this number, depending on how you shoot.

330 isn't a great rating but the Z30 can be recharged using its USB-C socket or, if you have a suitably powerful PD power source, can be operated from a second, external battery.

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Initial impressions

The Z30 shows the most work yet by Nikon to accommodate vloggers and other media creators. The Smallrig mini tripod/selfie grip has a recess into which Nikon's ML-L7 bluetooth remote can slot.

Every time Nikon has released an APS-C sensor Z-mount camera, we've been told that it's targeted at content creators, younger users who don't think of themselves as photographers, and vloggers. The Z50 did little to support this claim, whereas the Z fc added attractive aesthetics and a fully-articulating screen. The Z30 goes further, though, finally showing overt signs (in the form of those stereo mics and tally lamp) of attempts to genuinely accommodate vloggers.

And it does pretty well in this regard. Our concern is that, for every step that's been made to make vlogging easier, there's an obvious extra step that would have made the camera even better. For example: the stereo mics are a useful addition, but this just highlights the failure to include a headphone socket to check your audio. Similarly, the idea of engaging a simplified self-portrait mode is a good one, but if you expect it to be used for video as well as stills, I'd argue it should be updated to include audio level monitoring (or at least the option to add it). At present you need to turn self-portrait mode off to check your levels.

The front and rear-shoulder control dials are much nicer to use than the rear-shoulder and rear plate dials on Sony's comparable ZV-E10.

So my initial impression is that Nikon still hasn't thought through exactly how a vlogging camera is going to be used and developed a product with this at its heart. Consider, for instance, Sony's 'Product Showcase' autofocus mode, which uses face/eye detection mode unless there's an object nearer to the camera (ie a product or object being held up to show to the viewed). It's a clever idea that suggests someone has really thought about how the camera might be used. By contrast, Nikon suggests turning off face detection if you want to hold something up to the camera.

However, even if not every detail of the camera seems fully creator optimized, there's plenty about the Z30 that leaves a good impression. We know the 21MP sensor performs well, and it allows 4K/30p capture without cropping in. Nikon's 16-50mm collapsible zoom is a decent little lens that offers a usefully wide angle of view and better quality than the samples of Sony's 16-50mm power zoom we've encountered. And little details like the tally lamp and ability to adjust exposure compensation in the camera's auto mode are both genuinely useful additions.

The Z30 is built around a good sensor, making it strong for stills as well as video.

Nikkor 16-50mm F3.5-6.3 VR @ 18mm | ISO 100 | 1/250 sec | F5.6
Photo: Richard Butler

It also inherits much of what we like about the Z50: a nice comfortable grip and well thought-out twin dial control interface with well-placed function buttons. Our concerns about a shortage of well-suited lenses persists (I find it hard to summon much enthusiasm for using the 40mm F2 full-frame prime as a 60mm equivalent on the DX Z models), but the promise of a wide-angle zoom and 24 and 26mm primes improves things in this regard.

The Z30 looks to do enough to mean Sony's ZV-E10 doesn't remain the default option for vloggers and social media photographers wanting more creative control than their smartphone gives them. We look forward to testing it more fully.

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NASA wants your help classifying vortices on Jupiter

As part of its Citizen Science Projects initiative, NASA and the University of Minnesota are teaming up and asking for volunteers to help identify clouds on Jupiter.

Interested citizen scientists will help astrophysicists categorize tens of thousands of images of Jupiter captured by the Juno spacecraft. It's far from the first time we've heard about NASA's Juno spacecraft. Earlier this year, it made its 39th fly-by of Jupiter and captured a stunning image of Jupiter and two of its moons, Io and Europa. Last November, NASA published the first 3D view of Jupiter's complicated atmosphere. The atmosphere is the primary concern of the new project.

'An image of the 22nd orbit of the Juno spacecraft around Jupiter shows the region close to the north pole of the planet. There is a huge diversity in the colors and shapes of these vortices (hurricane-like storms). Scientists need to create a catalog of these storms in order to understand how they form.'

Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS/SwRI/Ramanakumar Sankar.

On average, Jupiter is around 715M km (444M miles) from Earth, so it's no surprise that its atmosphere is very different from ours. The atmosphere is comprised primarily of hydrogen and helium. Something Earth and Jupiter have in common is a wide range of cloud types and sizes. It's believed that learning more about Jupiter's atmosphere may shed important light on Earth's weather patterns and perhaps even help us learn more about the early days of our solar system.

The project, Jovian Vortex Hunter, relies upon citizen scientists to identify atmospheric vortices, 'which are clouds that have a round or elliptical shape like hurricanes. Scientists are particularly interested in the physics behind why these atmospheric features come in different shapes and sizes.'

'There are so many images that it would take several years for our small team to examine all of them,' said physics and astronomy postdoctoral researcher Ramanakumar Sankar, who is leading the Jovian Vortex Hunter project. 'We need help from the public to identify which images have vortices, where they are and how they appear. With the catalog of features (particularly vortices) in place, we can study the physics behind how these features form, and how they are related to the structure of the atmosphere, particularly below the clouds, where we cannot directly observe them.'

The Jovian Vortex Hunter project asks volunteers to identify different types of atmospheric vortices on Jupiter. The website includes step-by-step tutorials to help you.

If you're a bit unsure about helping, don't worry, as there are resources to help you out. Further, you aren't alone. At least 16 people will examine each image, and the site offers tips to help you. The information provided by citizen scientists will save astrophysicists a lot of time, plus the information will be used to write a computer algorithm to speed up future investigations.

'Citizen scientist Tanya Oleksuik created this color-enhanced image using data from the JunoCam camera…At the time, the spacecraft was about 31,000 mi (about 50,000 km) from the planet's cloud tops, at a latitude of about 50° South.'

Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/SwRI/MSSS. Click to enlarge.

If you struggle with identification, not only are you probably not the only one, it may mean there's something important for the experts to check out. 'If one person is having trouble categorizing an image, maybe others will, too,' Sankar said. 'That might indicate that we have found something new or unique that we more closely examine.'

The project is nearly halfway complete and more than 800 volunteers are already at work. If you'd like to join in, click here.

Haida announces new 2-in-1 circular polarizer and VND filter with independent adjustments

Filter manufacturer Haida has announced the PROII CPL-VND 2-in-1 Filter, a new two-in-one photo filter that combines a circular polarizer with a variable neutral density (VND) filter, while retaining the ability to independently adjust each.

By having each of these filters operate independently of one another, this combo filter allows users to darken the entire scene with the VND filter (5-7 stops) while also selectively adjusting the circular polarizer to control the polarization in a particular area of the scene. For example, this filter would allow you both slow down your shutter speed to add a little motion to water with the VND filter while also selectively using the circular polarizer filter to make the sky darker, instead of other elements in the scene.

The filter will be available in 67mm, 77mm and 82mm sizes. Should you need to adapt it to a smaller front filter thread, you’ll need to pick up an adapter. Haida says the filter weighs in at 48g (1.7oz).

Haida hasn’t announced when the PROII CPL-VND 2-in-1 Filter will be available or what it will retail for. We have contacted the company to obtain this information and will update the article accordingly when we receive a response.

Insta360 announces ONE RS 1-inch 360 Edition: 360-degree camera co-engineered with Leica

Insta360 has teamed up with Leica to launch the Insta360 ONE RS 1-inch 360 Edition. The new camera includes dual 1"-type sensors and records 6K video resolution. The 1-inch 360 Edition instant camera promises improved image quality and an easy-to-use, compact design.

'The 1-Inch 360 Edition represents Insta360's continued mission to make ONE RS the most comprehensive and versatile camera on the market. This latest edition turns ONE RS into a powerful 6K camera capable of impressive performance even in low light,' said JK Liu, founder of Insta360.

The ONE RS 1-inch 360 Edition's pair of 1"-type CMOS image sensors can record 6K 360-degree video and 21MP 360-degree still photos. The sensors promise high-quality performance in low light and 'impressive dynamic range.' The Insta360 One RS modular action camera that Insta360 announced earlier this year has swappable lenses, including a 1/2"-type 48MP sensor, a 5.7K sensor and a larger 5.3K 1-inch Wide Angle Lens, which like the new 1-inch 360 Edition, is also co-engineered with Leica.

The strategic partnership between Insta360 and Leica started in 2020, but the ONE RS 1-inch 360 Edition marks the first 360 camera the two companies worked together to develop. 'We're excited to bring Leica's optical and digital imaging expertise into a new product segment with the ONE RS 1-Inch 360 Edition. Creators can take advantage of both the camera's 360 capture capabilities and its dual 1-inch sensors, no longer having to choose between creativity and premium image quality,' said Matthias Harsch, CEO of Leica Camera AG.

The Insta360 ONE RS 1-inch 360 Edition is designed to make 360-degree content creation more accessible and eliminate the need for specialized, bulky rigs. The camera's pair of lenses record full panoramic 360, no matter where the camera is pointed. The camera captures all the action in one take. You can share your creations in immersive 360 or as traditional flat footage, thanks to the included Insta360 software.

5888 x 2944 video is recorded at up to 30 frames per second. If you want faster frame rates, you can record 3040 x 1520 video at up to 50fps. The camera records raw images (DNG format). As for battery life, the camera is rated to record 6K/30p video for just over an hour at 120Mbps bitrate. For photo and video, the ISO range is 100-3200, and the shutter speed maxes out at 1/8,000s. For long exposure photography, you can slow the shutter speed down to 120s. The camera records to a microSD card and includes Bluetooth 5.0 and Wi-Fi (802.11ac) for wireless communication.

Insta360 writes, 'Panoramic 360 capture technology also makes dolly shots and breathtaking third-person views possible. Ugly selfie sticks are totally erased from footage by the dual lenses, resulting in clean and unobstructed shots without a selfie stick in sight.' You also don't need a gimbal because of Insta360's FlowState Stabilization and horizon leveling algorithms.

The camera utilizes AI as part of some modes, like the new PureShot HDR photo mode. This mode uses AI and automatic exposure bracketing to increase the dynamic range of your shots without the need for manual editing. AI is also in the Insta360 app. Using the app, Shot Lab leverages AI to automatically perform editing tasks like cloning, dolly zoom and star trails. Insta360 Studio software on desktop takes your editing to the next level, and an available plugin for Premiere Pro gives you manual controls over editing your 360 videos.

The ONE RS 1-inch 360 Edition is rated IPX3 to deliver water resistance against rain and snow. The portable form factor allows it to be mounted on a hardhat or helmet to create virtual tours or put on a car or backpack to gather Google Street View imagery.

The new ONE RS 1-inch 360 Edition is available starting today for $799.99. The 1-inch 360 Lens is compatible with the ONE R and ONE RS Cores, allowing existing owners of either of these action camera cores to transform their camera into a 360 camera. An upgrade bundle for these owners is available for $649.99 and includes the 1-inch 360 Lens, a battery and a mounting bracket. For more information, visit Insta360.

Capture One Mobile for iPad released, offers mobile Raw editing starting at $5/month

Capture One has, finally, released Capture One Mobile, bringing its photo editing software to Apple’s iPadOS ecosystem for the first time. The release brings all of the features Capture One showed off in its earlier teaser and, although far from complete in terms of features, offers a solid baseline for photographers wanting a Lightroom alternative on iPadOS devices.

Capture One for iPad, like its desktop program, is a Raw photo converter and editor designed to bring the Capture One experience to a mobile device with a touch-first interface. Photos stored in Capture One Mobile are stored natively by default, but for users that also have a Capture One Pro subscription, you can also transfer images to the desktop version of Capture One via Cloud File Transfer.

This is what Capture One Mobile’s image library area looks like. I didn’t have any custom albums created at this time.

Image organization is similar to the approach taken by Lightroom Mobile, with options to view all of your images, only those imported last, or in albums that you can create to separate out your assignments and shoots.

Edit options include the usual array of basic Raw editing tools, including Exposure adjustments (Exposure, Contrast, Brightness, Saturation), HDR (Highlights, Shadows, Whites, Blacks), Clarity (Clarity, Structure), Dehaze, a color editor and Vignetting. There’s also a dedicated Crop and Rotation toolset, as well as a dedicated area for creating and applying Capture One Styles, including those that come pre-installed and other Styles you’ve purchased through Capture One’s online store or via third-party creators.

This screenshot shows the various sub-categories within the Raw editing menu: B&W, White Balance, Exposure, HDR, Clarity, Dehaze, Color Editor and Vignetting.

The image export interface is somewhat primitive at this time, but does allow you to create custom names for your images, export as JPEG or Raw (with adjustments), adjust the resolution, adjust the quality and even add a watermark if that’s something you do.

A screenshot of the image exporting interface.

I’ve spent a bit of time playing with the beta and, so far, it’s been a pleasant experience. The interface is familiar enough to anyone who’s used Capture One Pro 22 on desktop, but offers a unique experience that makes it easy to quickly cull and process images on-the-go with all the basic editing tools you might need to, at the very least, get edits started before making any dramatic changes once you’re back on the desktop version.

Capture One says tethering, masks/layers and cloud improvements for file transfer (and eventually synchronization) are the features they’re most focused on bringing to Capture One Mobile in future updates.

Capture One Mobile will cost $4.99 per month, which includes access to Cloud File Transfer for up to 1,000 photos at any given time. Capture One hasn’t specified what the additional levels of storage will cost beyond the basic pricing. You can find out more information on Capture One Mobile’s product guide page.

Godox announces R200 ring flash add-on for AD200 and AD200Pro pocket flashes

Godox has announced the R200 Ring Flash for its AD200Pro and AD200 pocket flashes. The R200 is an add-on rather than an all-in-one ring flash like the Godox AR400.

By opting for an accessory for separate flashes, the R200 is less than half the weight of the AR400. The R200 is also less powerful, offering 200Ws of flash power versus the AR400's 400Ws power. The R200 has a 5,800K color temp, +/- 200K. It includes a 10W modeling lamp that is 4,500K (+/- 300K).

To clarify, the R200 requires an AD200Pro or AD200, as the flash provides the power and electronics for the R200. The AR400 instead includes everything in a single larger and heavier package.

The R200 is compatible with numerous new accessories, including a large reflector dish, honeycomb grids, gels and more. Godox has also made a specially designed umbrella bracket for the R200, allowing the user to create more diffuse light.

The R200 comes with a mini bag that you can use to store your AD200Pro while using the R200 ring flash. The R200 is designed for a more run-and-gun style of photography than the AR400. Given its 640g weight, the R200 should be quite easy to handhold, even for extended periods.

The ring flash comes with a foldable camera bracket, allowing you to fold up the attachment quickly and easily. Godox has designed the R200 to be used in many ways. You can mount it onto your camera, set it up on a light stand thanks to the R200's extension cable, or use it as a handheld off-camera flash, even without an assistant.

The Godox R200 is available to order now for $279. To use the R200, you must also have a Godox AD200 or AD200Pro, which cost $299 and $349, respectively. Both pocket flashes come with a speedlight head and a bare bulb flash head. Available accessories for the R200 range from $29 to around $65 for gels, grids and the reflector dish. If you want a carrying bag for the entire R200 kit and accessories, that's also available to order for $99.

Carnegie Mellon University researchers develop camera that sees & reconstructs sound

Researchers at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, PA have developed a camera system that can 'see sound vibrations with such precision and detail that it can reconstruct the music of a single instrument in a band or orchestra.'

The novel system, developed in the School of Computer Science's Robotics Institute (RI), uses a pair of cameras and a laser to 'sense high-speed, low-amplitude surface vibrations.' The vibrations are then used to reconstruct sound and capture isolated audio without interference or a microphone. Even highly-directional mics struggle to eliminate nearby sound and deal with ambient noise. Further, traditional mics can't eliminate the effects of acoustics during audio capture.

'We've invented a new way to see sound,' said Mark Sheinin, a post-doctoral research associate at the Illumination and Imaging Laboratory (ILIM) in the Robotics Institute. 'It's a new type of camera system, a new imaging device, that is able to see something invisible to the naked eye.'

The research team has successfully demoed their new system. The team 'captured isolated audio of separate guitars playing at the same time and individual speakers playing different music simultaneously.'

CMU's camera system isn't the first of its kind. Some of first visual microphones were developed in 2014 by MIT researchers. CMU's system improves upon earlier work in numerous ways, including practicality and cost. 'We've made the optical microphone much more practical and usable,' said Srinivasa Narasimhan, a professor in the RI and head of the ILIM. 'We've made the quality better while bringing the cost down.' CMU's approach uses ordinary cameras, which are much less expensive than the high-speed cameras used in prior research.

The system analyzes the differences in 'speckle patterns' from images captured with a rolling shutter and a global shutter. An algorithm then works to compute the difference in the speckle patterns from the two different video streams. These differences are then converted into vibrations to reconstruct the original sound. CMU writes, 'A speckle pattern refers to the way coherent light behaves in space after it is reflected off a rough surface. The team creates the speckle pattern by aiming a laser at the surface of the object producing the vibrations, like the body of a guitar. That speckle pattern changes as the surface vibrates. A rolling shutter captures an image by rapidly scanning it, usually from top to bottom, producing the image by stacking one row of pixels on top of another. A global shutter captures an image in a single instance all at once.'

'Mark Sheinin (left) and Dorian Chan (right) were part of a CMU research team that developed a camera system that can see sound vibrations with such precision that it can capture isolated audio of separate guitars playing at the same time.' Credit: Carnegie Mellon University

The research paper, 'Dual-Shutter Optical Vibration Sensing,' received a 'Best Paper' honorable mention at the recent 2022 IEEE/CVF Conference on Computer Vision and Pattern Recognition (CVPR) in New Orleans, LA. In case you missed it, NVIDIA also presented research on an AI tool that converts a series of 2D images into 3D models at the CVPR conference.

Practical uses for the optical vibration-sensing camera include allowing sound engineers to monitor individual instruments without hearing the other instruments when mixing, monitoring vibrations of industrial equipment to check for issues, surveying machinery's mechanical health, and more. To learn more about the research, visit the CMU Imaging website.




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