"Φωτογραφικό Ταξίδι"

Ελληνική Λέσχη Φωτογραφίας

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

  • Βασίλης
  • marianto
  • λυμπερης
  • katerina xatziavramoglou
  • ΜΙΧΑΗΛ ΒΟΜΒΥΛΑΣ
  • Katerina I. Risaki
  • Βασίλης Πρωτόπαπας
  • Nikos Tzan
  • ΒΑΣΙΛΗΣ . Λ
  • Τσακριλής Λάμπρος
  • Peny Giannakou
  • Giorgos Tsoumpas Photography
 

www.stelioskritikakis.com

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

πολύχρονος και ευλογημένος!

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Φίλε μου Στέλιο ολόψυχα σου εύχομαι Χρόνια Πολλά γεμάτα με υγεία,χαρά,αγάπη,χαμόγελο και αισιοδοξία!!!!!

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Fujifilm's X-mount has suddenly become a credible option for video

When Fujifilm announced its new Fujinon MK 18-55mm T2.9 and MK 50-135mm T2.9 cinema lenses about a year ago it generated a lot of interest. Fujinon is a respected name in the cinema industry and getting these lenses—based on the company's much more expensive Cabrio line—for a price in the neighborhood of $4,000 was exciting to a lot of people.

Unfortunately, for users of Fujifilm's own X-mount mirrorless cameras, there was one catch: Fujifilm released the lenses in Sony E-mount.

E-mount? That seemed like a strange choice to people in the camera world.

It's not so strange when you consider the target market. Sony Super 35 cameras like the FS5 and FS7 are very popular among small production houses, budget filmmakers, and independent producers of various stripes, many of whom can't afford to spend tens of thousands of dollars on a single lens. As a result, there's a large addressable market of E-mount shooters who would be interested in this type of product.

We had a chance to use the MK 18-55mm T2.9 when it was introduced and were very impressed. Click here to read our full shooting experience.

X-mount? Not so much. Sure, the X-T2 could shoot 4K video, but came with some big caveats. Video probably wasn't the feature driving buyers to that camera, especially those serious enough to use cinema lenses for their work.

However, Fujifilm tossed a small easter egg into that announcement: it planned to release the lenses in X-mount (as 'MKX' models) by the end of 2017.

However, Fujifilm tossed a small easter egg into that announcement: it planned to release the lenses in X-mount...

While that was a nice bone to throw to its mirrorless customers, it made us wonder if Fujifilm was also giving us a hint of things to come.

Now we know. The new Fujifilm X-H1 is a camera that embraces video – and video shooters – more than any X camera before.

Fujifilm's cameras don't have a strong history when it comes to video performance. Early iterations of the company's video were far from best in class, and in some cases embarrassing.

The Fujinon MK series of lenses were originally released for Sony E-mount (shown here on a Sony FS7 camera), but are now available to X-mount mirrorless camera shooters.

Meanwhile, other companies, such as Panasonic and Sony, overtly courted videographers with cameras that delivered high quality footage and included deep video feature sets.

With the X-H1, Fujifilm now has a camera that's competitive with just about anything in the DSLR/mirrorless class when it comes to video. It may not MKX-class equipment targeted at working pros, but it holds its own against its peers, with the possible exception of the Panasonic GH5/S. But to be fair, nothing else in this class really holds up to the GH5/S either.

It's fair to say that Fujifilm shooters no longer need to feel left out in the cold when it comes to video.

It's fair to say that Fujifilm shooters no longer need to feel left out in the cold when it comes to video

I don't want to blow this out of proportion. I doubt Fujifilm would have developed the MKX lenses just for the X-H1. It wouldn't have been worth the sizable development cost, and the E-mount market for these lenses is much larger. The fact that the MK lenses now work on X-mount is a great side benefit, though.

With this set of products in the mix it's a great opportunity for Fujifilm to test the waters around video. Just a couple years ago, choosing a Fujifilm system for motion picture work was a non-starter. Today, all the pieces seem to be falling into place: high quality 4K/30p, 200Mbps codec, internal F-Log gamma profile, and even a couple high quality cinema lenses. That's an attractive combination, and I'm sure Fujifilm will be watching to see if it gets traction.

We don't know whether the Fujinon's MKX lenses for X-mount signal greater ambitions for Fujifilm, but for the moment it means there's still a very impressive set of real cinema lenses for Fujifilm's mirrorless users.

Fujifilm's decision to focus on the APS-C market may even be helping it here. There's no pressure to support full frame models, so the company can put its best technologies into flagship APS-C cameras, which will appeal to people wanting to shoot content in the popular Super 35 format. Throw in Fujifilm's Hollywood-renowned color science, and you have the ingredients for an interesting path forward.

The X-H1 shows that Fujifilm is serious about video. Whether those MKX lenses might signal greater ambitions on the camera side, or are just a pleasant side effect of having already developed them for E-mount remains to be seen.

Until recently, Fujifilm users who wanted to move into the world of video often assumed they would need to migrate to a different system to do so. No longer. Unless you really need the advanced features found in a pro-level video camera, it's a viable alternative to other DSLR and mirrorless options.

This is a great time to be a Fujifilm shooter, especially if motion pictures are on your brain.

Click here to read our Fujinon MK 18-55mm T2.9 shooting experience

More than a speed light: Shooting with the Rotolight Neo 2

Introduction

One Neo 2, lit by another Neo 2.

Artificial lighting falls into two categories: Continuous and strobe. Continuous lighting is a great option for beginning photographers, because you can see your results before tripping the shutter (also, they're handy for the whole 'video' thing). Unfortunately, the continuous lights of yesteryear were very power hungry and put out a ton of heat to get light levels that even approached a small, battery-powered strobe.

The advent of LED lights changes this somewhat, offering users a more convenient means of entry into the world of continuous lighting. But their power output still pales in comparison to even a low-end hotshoe flash. Plus, even basic studio strobes come with modeling lights to help with setup, and many on-camera flashes now have LED lights for video shooting in dim conditions.

But Rotolight has come from the other direction; instead of a strobe that happens to include a continuous light source, the Neo 2 is a continuous light source that happens to be capable of strobing at a respectable power output.

The Neo 2's high-speed sync feature allowed me to get some nice fill-light on Allison's face at a wide aperture while still exposing for the direct-sun highlights in the scene.
Nikon D5 | Nikon 105mm F1.4G @ F2.8 | 1/1000 sec | ISO 100
Photo by Carey Rose

Designed to be versatile for both on-the-go photographers and videographers, the Neo 2 packs a ton of neat features into a truly portable package. Let's take a closer look.

Key features

  • Continuous light power of 2000 lux at 3 ft
  • Strobe power of F8, ISO 200 at 3 ft (AC power - roughly half this on batteries)
  • Zero recycle time for strobe work
  • Built-in Elinchrom Skyport receiver for remote high-speed sync triggering (up to 1/8000 sec)
  • Battery or AC power
  • 85,000 full-power flashes or 1.5 hours continuous light on battery power
  • Color temperature adjustable from 3150 - 6300K

Of particular interest to me was the ability to control color temperatures without using gels, the wireless triggering with high-speed sync (HSS) capability, and the lack of any sort of recharge time, even on batteries.

I'm primarily a stills photographer, so I brought along a set of Neo 2's to a few situations where I'd ordinarily be tempted to use a speedlight. In some ways, they're hugely impressive, but in others, well, there's a little ways for Rotolight to go.

Getting started with continuous light

The Rotolight Neo 2's controls - two clickable rotary dials and a power switch.

As a continuous light, the Neo 2 is really straightforward. You hit the power button on the back of the light; one rotary knob controls the brightness, and the other controls the color temperature. Because the color temperature is varied depending on a ratio of brightness between cool and warm LEDs on the panel, a mix of the two - around 4100K - will give you maximum light output.

When I was wrapping up our iPhone X review, I wanted to take a photograph of the phone being splashed with water, but I wanted to be able to fire the fastest bursts I could to catch just the right moment. That's tough with a traditional strobe, but perfect for continuous lighting.

Sony a9 | Sony 90mm F2.8 Macro | ISO 6400 | 1/1000 sec | F5.6

I took this shot in an office building lounge area, with some ambient light, the Neo 2 directly behind the subject and firing back at the camera at full power, and my cell phone LED giving a bit of kick to the corner of the phone closest to the camera.

I set a Sony a9 to shoot at its maximum rate of 20fps (which uses an electronic shutter, and therefore is incompatible with traditional strobes anyway), and fired away as my coworker nervously emptied the cup of water from an exaggerated height. The end result, though a little noisy because of the shutter speed I wanted, has all the drama I was envisioning.

Here's another example of using the Neo 2 in continuous mode in the same room, but with a different subject.

Fujifilm X-H1 | ISO 200 | 1/100 sec | F1.4
Photo by Jeff Keller

Part of what makes a continuous light so fun and easy to use is the instant feedback of how the image looks, and with the Neo 2, it's small enough and powerful enough to be great for product work. This could be particularly valuable for those who aren't necessarily comfortable with flash photography, but are looking to up their production value for an eBay or Etsy store.

Then I took our Neo 2 set into the studio for some macro shots, and things weren't so straightforward any more.

Strobe time

This is the time where I advise you to do what you really should do anyway: read the manual. While the Neo 2's are perfectly intuitive just as constant lights, using them in flash mode is a little tricky at first, particularly if you're using the optional Elinchrom Skyport radio controller.

But after some reading (and re-reading) of the manual and a healthy dose of trial and error, I was able to consistently control each of the Rotolights independently in terms of flash output, color temperature and modeling light output right from the transmitter.

Fujifilm X-T2 | Fujifilm XF 80mm F2.8 Macro| ISO 200 | 1/250 sec | F5.6

Though the HSS capability of the system is limited to whichever system you choose at purchase, our Nikon transmitter worked perfectly fine on a Fujifilm X-T2 up to that camera's maximum sync speed.

For the above image, one Rotolight was behind the subject to the right, with one of the included diffusion panels on the front so that individual LEDs aren't discernible, and I set the color temperature to the cooler side. There's an additional Rotolight off camera left providing some fill, and the extra highlights you can see in the reflections off of the iPhone's lenses are non-dimming ceiling lights.

Overall, it's a nice system for macro work, but if you require really deep depth of field, your ISO will climb quickly (a later shot with this same setup at F22 required ISO 3200). But at the very least, for macro work, you can place the lights very close to your subject.

Balancing with daylight

One of the main issues with using continuous LED lights as a one-stop shop solution for lighting became apparent anytime you took them outdoors. Without a huge panel and accompanying huge battery, overcoming sunlight or even bright overcast conditions was a non-starter, and you really were just better off with a strobe. The Rotolight Neo 2's, it turns out, split the difference nicely.

Rotolight Neo 2
Nikon D700 | F4 | 1/125 sec | ISO 200
Ambient Only
Nikon D700 | F4 | 1/40 sec | ISO 200

Although I tend to like each of these images for different reasons, you can clearly see that the single Neo 2 off to camera left changes the feel of the scene entirely. By raising my shutter speed to take the background brightness down, I can 'shape' the light effectively with the Rotolight, while still maintaining context. Plus, with high speed sync, I could use the Rotolight to overpower the ambient entirely in this situation, if I wanted to.

Let's look at how the Neo 2 copes with a much brighter scene involving direct sunlight.

Ambient only
Nikon D5 | F2.8 | 1/1000 sec | ISO 100
Rotolight Neo 2
Nikon D5 | F2.8 | 1/1000 sec | ISO 100

In this situation, I exposed for the brightest highlights in the scene while still maintaining a fairly shallow depth of field. Then I brought in the Neo 2 at maximum power to see if it could keep up - I really like the effect it has here. It's soft, but the added fill light looks almost like it could be a reflection off of another building.

But for this situation, I needed to place the Neo 2 pretty darn close to my subject. This was necessary because, over the course of using our Neo 2's, they would completely synchronize with our Nikon's all the way up to 1/8000 sec - but between 1/1000 and 1/2000 sec, I started to notice a reduction in the light's intensity.

A mediocre BTS photo, courtesy of my cell phone, shows how close the Neo 2 was to the subject.

As it happens, this 1/1000 sec shutter speed made for a good exposure for the ambient in this scene while still allowing the Neo 2 to operate optimally. But it should be pretty apparent that in bright conditions, you'll struggle with framing your subjects wider than just head-and-shoulders with the Neo 2, to say nothing of trying to get a second evenly lit person into the scene.

The recycle time

Instant recycle time means 11fps bursts with flash are as easy as it is for Andrew to juggle this soccer ball.
Nikon D5 | Nikon AF-S 14-24mm F2.8 G | ISO 6400 | 1/1000 sec | F2.8
Photo by Carey Rose

For the above casual demo, I wanted to see just how effective and reliable the Neo 2's were when shooting bursts. With zero recycle time and 85,000 full power flashes per battery charge, sports and action could be a really neat use case for these lights.

I cross-lit Andrew with two Neo 2's - one upper camera left, one lower camera right. Check out the illumination on the grass in the lower right to see just how consistent the output is, even as the stadium lights caused some flicker at these shutter speeds.

ISO 6400 | 1/800 sec | F2.8
Photo by Carey Rose

It should be noted, though, that the D5 was set to 11fps instead of its maximum of 12fps - with the current setup, the Neo 2's would occasionally fail to fire during the D5's highest burst speed. That said, having 11fps at my disposal as Andrew went through a few penalty kicks still gave me lots of options to choose from.

Thoughts and takeaways

The Rotolight Neo 2 is a really clever device, and the more I use them, the more I enjoy them. I can envision myself really taking advantage of their versatility in a previous job of mine; I could use them as indoor interview lights for an on-location video, and then bring them outdoors to get a nice portrait of the subject to go along with the video. Two uses, one solution, and my bag is that much lighter.

Again, a Neo 2 lit by another Neo 2.
Nikon D750 | Micro-Nikkor 55mm F2.8 AI-s | ISO 100 | 1/125 sec | F8

The quality of the light is nice and soft, and the instantaneous recycle time and long battery life (for strobing) are appealing. The consistency of color accuracy, even during burst shooting, impresses further.

There's also a litany of features that are far beyond the scope of this experience; impressive lighting simulations, like the glow of a fire or flashes of lightning, are built-in. The CRI (color rendering index) is very high, good enough for broadcast television.

And yet, I can't help but feel that these are a bit of a niche product, that their appeal will be limited. For people that are primarily stills shooters, smaller, cheaper, battery-powered flashes will offer you far more power (you may need to get some light modifiers to approach the softness of the Neo 2's).

For dedicated video shooters, you may find you need more power if you're in bright conditions. For beginners just getting into artificial lighting, there are basic LED light panels all over the Internet for less than the cost of a tank of gas.

Despite all of this, I think that the Rotolight Neo 2's have their place as a high-end, portable and versatile lighting solution, admittedly for a very specific type of customer. And more than anything else, I'm excited to see how Rotolight continues to develop this technology into the future.

Behind the scenes: Shooting a motion time-lapse in the Canadian wilderness

Back in summer 2017, I went on a six week adventure to British Columbia and Alberta in order to capture Canada's beautiful landscapes in the most impressive way possible. I wanted to make a time-lapse film that raises more awareness of our planet and our environment.

Planning

When it came to logistics, I tried to be as prepared as possible for this 6-week trip, and did tons of research ahead of departure. I knew I probably wouldn’t have a whole lot of internet (or time to waste on the internet) in the Canadian wilderness, and wanted to be prepared to just take things as they came. So I collected locations that I discovered on Google, on Instagram, or on other photographers' portfolios, and created a long list of spots that were worth checking out.

I didn’t have a specific shot list. I just tried to capture the most beautiful scenery and moments that I could find along my adventure. However, I paid a lot of attention to interesting details around me instead of going for spectacular vantage points only. That’s how the whole moody intro sequence was conceived. By stepping closer to the subject, I tried to approach time-lapse in a slightly different way than you see in your typical, 'epic' time-lapse films online.

Challenges

I guess my biggest challenge with shooting this project was my own safety—doing all of alone, in an area packed with grizzly bears, was pretty scary.

Hiking alone comes with a risk that I always had to bear in mind. I carried bear spray at all times, and tried to let the bears know that I was there by creating a lot of noise on the hiking trail (they can get really dangerous when they’re startled). When I set up a time-lapse shot, I always had to have an eye on my surroundings and make a lot of noise by singing or talking to myself. Over the course of my trip, that risk was something I got used to.

Being all alone also didn’t make it possible for me to camp out on location. Obviously because it is very risky, but most of all because I simply couldn’t carry camping gear along with my camera gear and slider all by myself.

As a result of this, I had trouble getting to the best possible location at the best times of day. In order to shoot at sunset or sunrise, I either had to find a location that was fairly close to the parking lot, or take the risk of hiking up or down in the darkness with my head lamp as the only light source.

This is all of the gear I brought with me into the Canadian wilderness

Gear

Since I was all alone on this mission and wanted to hike out to locations a lot, I had to keep my gear package as compact and efficient as possible. I packed my Sony a7S II and Nikon D5100 (as backup camera) together with a newly purchased Canon 16-35mm F4 and Rokinon 14mm F2.8, as well as two cheap vintage lenses: an SMC Pentax-M 50mm F1.7 and an SMC Pentax-M 100mm F2.8.

As you might have noticed, my camera package was pretty humble. That was all I had and all I could afford, and honestly—that was all I needed.

A great Sony camera with only 12 MP paired with a sharp Canon wide-angle lens that could almost do anything on location. This lens is my absolute favorite due to its great flexibility for wide three-dimensional time-lapse movements. The Rokinon lens is well-known for its night- and astrophotography abilities, as it has just little amount of coma and is wide enough to capture almost the whole night sky. The Pentax lenses are actually my first lenses I’ve ever bought. Obviously, they’re old, cheap, and not the sharpest; they’re also small, light, and capable of projecting an image onto my sensor I was totally happy with.

In contrast, my time-lapse gear was downright extravagant thanks to a sponsorship from the innovative company eMotimo. They gave me a loaner for a great package for the duration of my whole trip: The spectrum ST4 is a newly designed 4-axis motion control system that, combined with the iFootage Shark Slider S1, simply can do it all—slide, pan, tilt and even pull focus in video or time-lapse shooting mode.

Using a Playstation Controller, I could easily set up literally any shot I wanted, and the ability to set keyframes in between the start and end point of my programmed shot gave me ultimate control over my composition. Additionally, an innovation that I’ve never seen before is a mountable extra motor to automatically pull the focus as the time-lapse is running. There are many ways to mess around with that: one I used was to shift focus from an interesting foreground to the revealing scenery in the background.

Another great feature worth mentioning is the ability to repeat a programmed movement at different speeds. This allowed me to record shots at different frame rates, but still have the exact same camera movement in each.

Since I couldn't get the idea out of my head to combine a moving time-lapse shot with a real time video, with both shots having the very same camera movement, I did exactly that in the final shot of ALIVE. I recorded the whole scenery in dynamic time-lapse except for the person (me) being recorded in real-time video 25fps. Even though it took a lot of time perfectly masking out the person in post production, this shot probably wouldn’t have been possible without the spectrum ST4.

With all the flexibility of the motion control devise I felt an enormous freedom as a time-lapse photographer and could explore further ways to creatively make use of its features. However, this turned out to be a weakness as well, as I often found myself tempted to design way too sophisticated time-lapse shots. In this case, the inorganic/mechanical camera motion often drew way too much attention when watching the processed time-lapse sequence making the scenery appear surreal.

So in the process of my trip I learned that less is more in this case. It is way more important so be at the right spot at the right time—which is ultimately what I was seeking for my whole adventure.

Editing

In the editing process of ALIVE it was certainly very hard to come up with an edit as I had to choose the best among 149 time-lapse shots I recorded on my trip. Since I wanted to keep my film under 4 minutes, I forced myself to make some hard decisions. That turned out to be a pretty emotional process because every shot has a background story that connects to me personally.

It just often felt super frustrating to kick out a shot for which I woke up at 4 a.m. and hiked up a mountain for two hours in order to be there for sunrise.

A Story

Let me conclude my little behind the scenes tale with a story from Lake O’Hara, one of the most captivating landscapes I have ever experienced in person, and the final shot of the film. I decided to hike up to this incredible viewpoint for sunset and kept shooting until there was no light left to work with. That was the moment when I found myself alone in the darkness on the edge of a cliff.

The final shot of the film, captured above Lake O'Hara at sunset.

Should I take the risk of hiking down the steep and forested trail in the darkness potentially ending up as grizzly bear food? Or should I rather just stay up here all night and do another time-lapse of the milky way? Without camping gear and food, I stayed and spent another 5 hours in the cold darkness until the sun came back up.

Even though this shot of the milky way didn’t even make it into the final film, there is nothing I regret about staying up on this mountain all night all alone without a tent in bear territory... simply because it was one of these adventures that made my trip so unique.


Florian Nick is a filmmaking and photography student based out of Stuttgart, Germany. You can find more of his photo and video work on Vimeo or by following him on Instagram.

Panasonic Lumix DC-GX9 sample gallery

We've had some time to shoot around with Panasonic's freshest interchangeable lens camera, the GX9. This rangefinder-style camera features a tilting EVF and a 20.3MP Four Thirds sensor with no low-pass filter. It also gains Panasonic's new L.Monochrome D mode photo style, which offers deeper blacks and richer gradation than the camera's other monochrome modes. We put the new black-and-white mode to work and started to get a feel for how it handles out and about; take a look at our full gallery.

Sensor breakthrough: Sony has developed a backlit CMOS sensor with global shutter

Sony has made something of a breakthrough in sensor development, announcing a new backside-illuminated stacked sensor that can read out every pixel simultaneously to enable global shutter. While the company has only made it work with a 1.46-million-pixel sensor so far, the nascent technology has significant potential.

The sensor is able to read out from every pixel instantly because each pixel has its own analog-to-digital converter (ADC) buried in a 'bottom chip,' which is stacked beneath a 'top chip' containing the active, photosensitive pixels. This allows all exposed pixels to be read simultaneously, rather than sequentially row-by-row as is done with traditional CMOS sensors containing far fewer 'column parallel' ADCs.

This instant read-out avoids the rolling shutter distortion caused by the time delay as each row of pixels is recorded one after the other. In most existing chips, fast-moving objects become warped as they progress across the frame, because the pixels at the top of the sensor were read earlier than those at the bottom. This can also lead to banding under certain types of artificial lighting.

Global shutter—reading out all of the pixels at once—solves both these problems.

Shot with an exposure time of 0.56ms

Sony claims its sensor is the first back-illuminated high-sensitivity CMOS sensor with pixel-parallel ADCs and a pixel-count greater than 1 million.

While one million pixels may not be much good to photographers, this is a big step towards the production of a photographic quality sensor. Chips with 'global shutter' need only an electronic shutter to record undistorted action pictures, boast the ability to use short electronic shutter speeds with flash, and are able to work under fluorescent and solid state (LED) lighting without banding.

In the end, a global shutter sensor like this be useful for both still and movie photographers.

It's also a major improvement over current global shutter CMOS sensors, which have a photosensitive pixel, and then a 'storage' pixel that the charge is transferred to after the exposure is made. This storage pixel holds the charge until the column ADCs read out, row by row. The problem with this approach is that your active pixel area now has a bunch of dead space per pixel taken up by the 'storage pixel'.

By going BSI and stacked, we believe this technology eliminates the need for the storage pixel entirely, because you can read all the pixels at once at the end of your exposure.

The company says it has had to include 1000x more ADCs than it would normally in a 1MP sensor. The extra ADCs would require far more current, so Sony developed low current, compact ADCs for this chip. Additionally, new high speed data transfer construction allows for the fast read and write speeds required to operate all the ADCs in parallel and transfer the digital data.

While it might be some time before one is ready for use in a standard camera, this is a big step forward for global shutter sensor technology, which has traditionally been plagued by higher noise levels and lower dynamic range.

When will we see it scaled up to larger, smaller pixel pitch higher-resolution sensors? Hard to tell, but we're keeping our fingers and toes crossed.

Press Release

Sony Develops a Back-Illuminated CMOS Image Sensor with Pixel-Parallel A/D Converter That Enables Global Shutter Function

Sony CorporationSony Semiconductor Solutions Corporation Tokyo, Japan – Sony Corporation today announced that it has developed a 1.46 effective megapixel back-illuminated CMOS image sensor equipped with a Global Shutter function*1. The newly developed pixel-parallel analog-to-digital converters provide the function to instantly convert the analog signal from all pixels, simultaneously exposed, to a digital signal in parallel. This new technology was announced at the International Solid-State Circuits Conference (ISSCC) on February 11, 2018 in San Francisco in the United States.

CMOS image sensors using the conventional column A/D conversion method*2 read out the photoelectrically converted analog signals from pixels row by row, which results in image distortion (focal plane distortion) caused by the time shift due to the row-by-row readout.

The new Sony sensor comes with newly developed low-current, compact A/D converters positioned beneath each pixel. These A/D converters instantly convert the analog signal from all the simultaneously exposed pixels in parallel to a digital signal to temporarily store it in digital memory. This architecture eliminates focal plane distortion due to readout time shift, making it possible to provide a Global Shutter function*1, an industry-first for a high-sensitivity back-illuminated CMOS sensor with pixel-parallel A/D Converter with more than one megapixel*3.

The inclusion of nearly 1,000 times as many A/D converters compared to the traditional column A/D conversion method*2 means an increased demand for current. Sony addressed this issue by developing a compact 14-bit A/D converter which boasts the industry's best performance*4 in low-current operation.

Both the A/D converter and digital memory spaces are secured in a stacked configuration with these elements integrated into the bottom chip. The connection between each pixel on the top chip uses Cu-Cu (copper-copper) connection*5, a technology that Sony put into mass production as a world-first in January 2016.

In addition, a newly developed data transfer mechanism is implemented into the sensor to enable the high-speed massively parallel readout data required for the A/D conversion process.

*1:A function that alleviates the image distortion (focal plane distortion) specific to CMOS image sensors that read pixel signals row by row.*2:Method where the A/D converter is provided for each vertical row of pixels in a parallel configuration.*3:As of announcement on February 13, 2018.*4:As of announcement on February 13, 2018. FoM (Figure of Merit): 0.24e-?nJ/step. (power consumption x noise) / {no. of pixels x frame speed x 2^(ADC resolution)}.*5:Technology that provides electrical continuity via connected Cu (copper) pads when stacking the back-illuminated CMOS image sensor section (top chip) and logic circuits (bottom chip). Compared with through-silicon via (TSV) wiring, where the connection is achieved by penetrating electrodes around the circumference of the pixel area, this method gives more freedom in design, improves productivity, allows for a more compact size, and increases performance. Sony announced this technology in December 2016 at the International Electron Devices Meeting (IEDM) in San Francisco.

Main FeaturesGlobal Shutter function*1 achieved in a high-sensitivity back-illuminated CMOS image sensor by using the following key technologies:

Low-current, compact pixel-parallel A/D converter In order to curtail power consumption, the new converter uses comparators that operate with subthreshold currents, resulting in the industry's best-performing*4, low current, compact 14-bit A/D converter. This overcomes the issue of the increased demand for current due to the inclusion of nearly 1,000 times as many A/D converters in comparison with the traditional column A/D conversion method*2.

Cu-Cu (copper-copper) connection*5 To achieve the parallel A/D conversion for all pixels, Sony has developed a technology which makes it possible to include approximately three million Cu-Cu (copper-copper) connections*5 in one sensor. The Cu-Cu connection provides electrical continuity between the pixel and logic substrate, while securing space for implementing as many as 1.46 million A/D converters, the same number as the effective megapixels, as well as the digital memory.

High-speed data transfer construction Sony has developed a new readout circuit to support the massively parallel digital signal transfer required in the A/D conversion process using 1.46 million A/D converters, making it possible to read and write all the pixel signals at high speed.

Google has removed the 'View Image' button from Image Search

Bye bye 'View Image' button...

On Monday, we told you about licensing deal between Getty Images and Google that would result in the end of the "View Image" button on Google Image Search. Today, we get to see the fruits of that deal, as Google Images officially removes View Image, forcing users to actually visit the site that hosts an image, rather than going straight to the image file on its servers.

The deal between Getty and Google served to end a legal feud that began in 2016, a lawsuit in which Getty accused Google of "promoting piracy" by linking to high-resolution copyrighted images without watermarks.

Getty claimed that Google was creating "accidental pirates" who would find legally licensed images through Google Image Search and, since they weren't required to go to the actual website where these images were hosted (and properly credited with copyright notice), they would simply download the high-res file. Instead of settling this question in court, Getty and Google struck a multi-year licensing deal last week; a deal that should benefit all photographers.

The View Image button is gone, as is the "Search by Image" button. All that's left is Visit, Save, View Saved, and Share.

All of the details were shared through the Google SearchLiason Twitter feed, where Google explained that yes, these changes are "in part" due to the deal with Getty. Ultimately, however, Google wants to emphasize that this is good for everyone:

For those asking, yes, these changes came about in part due to our settlement with Getty Images this week. They are designed to strike a balance between serving user needs and publisher concerns, both stakeholders we value.

Ultimately, Google Images is a way for people to discover information in cases where browsing images is a better experience than text. Having a single button that takes people to actionable information about the image is good for users, web publishers and copyright holders.

Now we just have to wait and see what kind of impact this will have on rampant online image theft. Of course, someone who wants to knowingly steal an image won't be deterred by the lack of a direct link, but many of those "accidental pirates" that Getty claims exist should be saved from themselves by this change.

Microsoft adds 'Ultimate Performance' mode to latest Windows 10 Pro build

Microsoft has introduced a new "Ultimate Performance" power scheme in its latest Windows 10 preview build. The new mode will be available to Windows 10 Pro for Workstations, a high-end version of Windows 10 that Microsoft introduced back in August. The company explains that Ultimate Performance is a way to "provide the absolute maximum performance" on these workstations for users who need as much power as possible.

Ultimate Performance mode builds upon the existing High-Performance option, working to eliminate micro-latencies, says Microsoft, that are "associated with fine grained power management techniques." Ultimately, the new mode is designed for reducing those micro-latencies and it may result in increased power consumption; as such, Microsoft hasn't made this mode available on system powered by batteries (like laptops).

For creatives who need to squeeze the most power possible out of their Windows machine as they edit 8K footage in Premiere Pro or cull and edit thousands of photos in the speedier new build of Lightroom Classic, the new mode could potentially give you a performance boost in exchange for higher power consumption.

Both OEMs and users can enable Ultimate Performance via Control Panel > Power Options > Hardware and Sound. The feature is only available to Windows Insiders running Windows 10 Pro for Workstations via Preview Builds 17079 or greater, for now.

Judge rules that embedding a photo tweet is still copyright infringement

In a court case that could fundamentally change what constitutes copyright infringement online, a New York district judge has ruled that embedding a tweet that contains a copyright protected photo does, in fact, constitute a copyright violation. If the ruling is upheld, its impact across the internet is hard to understate.

The case involves a photographer, Justin Goldman, who sued several major publications including Time, Vox, Breitbart, and others, when they embedded someone else's tweet of his copyright-protected photo of NFL star Tom Brady. Judge Katherine B. Forrest is ruling in favor of Goldman, writing:

...when defendants caused the embedded Tweets to appear on their websites, their actions violated plaintiff’s exclusive display right; the fact that the image was hosted on a server owned and operated by an unrelated third party (Twitter) does not shield them from this result.

As the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) points out, this ruling rejects a decade-old legal precedent set by the Ninth Circuit Court in a 2007 ruling called "Perfect 10 v. Amazon." That case ruled that the company hosting the content—Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, etc.—was liable, and absolved the company or publication or person who actually embeds the content. This, in essence, is how the internet has worked ever since.

Some sites, like YouTube, give creators the option to limit embedding so that only sites they specify (or nobody at all) can embed the content on their own platform, but others like Instagram and Twitter offer no such control. If your account is public, and you share a copyright-protected photo on it that goes viral, you can expect it to crop up on any number of outside websites, publications, and blogs with nary a permission request.

Of course, if it's your own share, you could always take down the original Tweet or Instagram post or shift your account to private, breaking all of those embeds all at once. You (or the original poster) could also change what the post says or even swap out the file that shows up under that embed. But irrespective of those things, up until now, you had no legal case against the people or publications embedding your photo, since they have no control over what the hosting server will provide with that embed code—this is called the "server" test.

According to this ruling, embedding the DPReview tweet above without permission from the original creator of the GIF constitutes copyright infringement.

The server test is what Judge Forrest ultimately rejected, and if the ruling is upheld, it could apply to more than just embedding a tweet. As the EFF explains, the wording is broad enough that "the logic of the ruling applies to all in-line linking," which could "threaten millions of ordinary Internet users with infringement liability."

Appeals will no doubt be filed, and a closer look at the ruling and the standard practice of embedding on the internet may very well lead to its being overturned. But if it's not, expect it to be open season for social media copyright infringement cases.

If you'd like to dive deeper, you can read the full ruling for yourself at this link.

Microsoft Photos Companion app offers easy photo transfer from smartphones to PC

Microsoft has launched a new app to facilitate easy photo transfer from mobile devices to a Windows 10 PC, without using the cloud. Photos Companion is available for iOS and Android and deposits your mobile images in the Windows Photos app on the desktop or laptop PC using just a WiFi network.

To get started, you have to scan a QR code in the Windows Photos desktop app to pair smartphone and computer. Both devices have to be connected to the same WiFi network, which in turn allows you to send individual images or entire batches across very quickly. It is, in essence, the exact same system as Apple's AirDrop, but limited to photos and videos.

Pairing isn't permanent, and will have to be re-established for each sharing operation. Still, that's easily done and the app looks like an interesting solution for collecting media files from multiple mobile devices on a single PC for working on collaborative projects.

Once on the PC, images and videos can be shared and edited in the Windows Photo app as usual. If Photos Companion sounds like an app that could potentially improve your workflow, you can find more information and app store links on the Microsoft website.

Fujifilm X-H1: What you need to know

Introduction

The Fujifilm X-H1 arrived in the last few hours of February 14th, at least out here on the West Coast in the US, making it a Valentine's gift that came in just under the wire for the Fujifilm faithful. It's deserving of a big red bow with a range-topping APS-C 24MP X-Trans sensor, sitting above the X-T2. It builds on many of the X-T2's features by adding in-body image stabilization, a touchscreen and enhanced video options. Here's a detailed look at everything that's new and improved.

Image Quality

Given the camera's pedigree and the initial results we've seen, the X-H1 looks highly capable of great image quality. The sensor, shared with the X-T2, has already shown itself to have performance comparable with the best of its APS-C peers, both in terms of dynamic range and noise performance at high ISO settings.

Throw in Fujifilm's excellent film simulation modes (plus a bonus new one!), and you've got a mighty tempting camera for stills shooters. However, the camera's unique X-Trans color filter pattern is worth taking into account – your results will vary greatly depending on your Raw conversion software.

Further enticing stills photographers is the X-H1's healthy 14 fps burst rate with electronic shutter and 8 fps with mechanical shutter (which can be boosted to 11 with an optional grip). Buffer depth looks reasonably good too, allowing for 40 JPEG shots or 23 uncompressed Raws (27 compressed). Fujifilm also promises autofocus improvement, with better performance in low light and at smaller apertures. All excellent news.

Image Stabilization

Despite Fujifilm previously suggesting that it couldn't be done, the X-H1 offers in-body stabilization rated up to 5 stops. Unusually, Fujifilm says the system works better with non-IS lenses because they project a larger image circle and tend to be neither too long nor too wide, both of which are harder to stabilize. With such a lens, up to 5.5 stops of stabilization can be achieved.

Viewfinder and rear LCD

Comparing to the X-T2, the X-H1 gets a higher resolution viewfinder: a 3.69 million dot OLED panel with 0.75x magnification to the X-T2's 2.36 million dots and 0.77x magnification. Like the X-T2, the X-H1 provides a 3" 1.04 million dot rear LCD that tilts upwards and downwards, but of course, adds touch sensitivity where the X-T2 has none.

The X-H1, like the X-T2, also comes with a 'Boost' mode that increases the viewfinder refresh rate from 60Hz to 100Hz for a smoother look.

Touchscreen

The X-H1's touchscreen is all-around nice to have, allowing you to place a focus point with a tap, tap and acquire focus, or acquire focus and shoot all with one touch. It's also usable as a touchpad with the camera to your eye. That said, we have a word of caution – in our initial use of the touchscreen both setting focus points and touchpad operation, the screen has felt noticeably laggy.

The LCD also provides touch control of the camera's Q.Menu, and in playback mode offers quick access to 100% image viewing, along with gesture-controlled swiping and scrolling. As in the X-E3, a swipe across the shooting screen acts as a Fn button shortcut.

Video specs

The latest generation of flagship mirrorless cameras take video very seriously, and Fujifilm has definitely gotten the memo. The X-H1 offers DCI 4K in 23.98p and 24p, as well as UHD 4K in 23.98/24/25/29.97p. Where the X-T2 requires an external recorder to use flat Log capture, the X-H1 allows for internal F-Log recording. The camera offers bitrates of up to 200 Mbps and 24-bit audio (vs 16-bit on the X-T2).

Plenty of other goodies are on offer for videographers, like a new Eterna/Cinema film simulation mode, slow motion 1080p capture, and the ability to record full HD internally while outputting 4K over HDMI. Autofocus in movie mode is still a bit of a question mark, but rest assured we'll be putting it to the test in short order.

Video interface and usability

In a further nod to the X-H1's cinematic leanings, Fujifilm's included specific shutter speed options in video mode that directly correspond to 90, 180 and 360 degree shutter angles on more dedicated video cameras. In other words, instead of being stuck with shutter speeds of 1/25 sec, 1/50 sec or 1/100 sec for shooting 24p video, you can choose 1/24 sec, 1/48 sec, 1/96 sec, and so on.

Touchscreen benefits aren't limited to stills applications either – Fujifilm put a lot of thought into adding touch control for video shooters. Movie Silent Control disables the aperture ring, shutter speed dial and ISO dial, shifting those settings to touch control. This makes it easy to leave settings dialed in for stills, and then jump quickly to video shooting with separate settings. It's a great feature to have if you're, say, shooting stills and video at the same time at a wedding reception, but our initial impression is that the interface itself feels a bit fiddly.

It's worth noting that the newly announced X-mount versions of Fujifilm's MK cinema lenses will work beautifully on the X-H1, as you can see your aperture as T-stops rather than F-stops.

Unfortunately, despite all the strides Fujfilm's made for video users, there's a notable lack of exposure aids of any kind – you don't even get zebra warnings, much less waveforms.

Who's it for?

It's not totally clear-cut who this camera is for. High-end stills shooters who want an X-T2 with stabilization may feel that their ship has finally arrived. But with so much emphasis on video features, is this a camera that's better suited for photographers who need to shoot video along with their stills?

Fujifilm tells us it's a camera for both parties. Like the Sony a6500, it acts as a step-up model even if you aren't planning on shooting video (a step-up model that happens to be VERY capable in the video department). So if you're a stills shooter who buys one, do us a favor and give the movie mode a try – it looks pretty darn good so far.

Hands-on with Panasonic Lumix DC-ZS200 / TZ200

Hands-on with Panasonic Lumix DC-ZS200 (TZ200)

The Panasonic Lumix DC-ZS200 is a powerful, pocketable travel zoom compact camera, with an impressively long lens. We've had our hands on one – click through for a closer look.

20MP 1"-type sensor

The ZS200 is built around the same 1" 20MP BSI-CMOS sensor as its predecessor the ZS100, which immediately makes it a cut above traditional superzooms that sacrificed (among other thing) sensor size for lens reach.

15X optical zoom lens

The ZS200 scores over its predecessor in a few ways, but the most obvious upgrade is to the lens. While the ZS100's zoom range of 25-250mm was pretty good, the ZS200 turns things up to 11, spanning a much wider range, of 24-360mm (equiv).

Comprising 13 elements in six groups, this complex lens contains three extra low-dispersion elements and five aspherical, plus one that's both extra low-disperson and aspherical. That's pretty impressive for such a small camera.

Also updated compared to the ZS100 is minimum focus, which has been reduced to 3cm from 5cm (at 24mm equiv). Distortion at such a close distance (and at such a wide focal length) will be pretty wild, but for flowers, bugs and other organic subjects, it should be fine.

15X optical zoom lens

The extra zoom range doesn't come free though, and at F3.3-6.4, the ZS200's lens is slightly slower across its focal length span than its predecessor (shown above, on the left). The longer lens contributes to a slightly greater bodyweight, too. The ZS200 weighs 340g with a card and battery installed, compared to 310g for the ZS100.

This side-by-side shot shows off our ZS200's 'gunmetal' finish. Not quite gray, not quite silver, we think it looks rather nice. Good old black will still be an option when the camera ships next month.

4K video

The ZS200 offers 4K video recording at 30p and 24p. Familiar 4K Photo features like Post Focus are available, in addition to a couple of new modes which were also introduced into the DC-GX9.

Auto Marking analyzes a 4K video clip and automatically marks points at which it detects action, and Sequence Composition (illustrated above in a Panasonic-supplied example shot with the DC-GX9) is a 4K Photo feature that allows you to composite multiple frames of a moving subject in front of a static background into a single 4K-resolution still image.

2.3 million-dot EVF

Here at DPReview we love a good EVF, especially in pocketable travel cameras, where it can really make a difference to handling in bright light. The good news is that the ZS200's EVF is improved quite a bit over its predecessor. Resolution has been upped to 2.3 million dots, and magnification has been increased from 0.45X to 0.53X (equiv).

The bad news is that the viewfinder is still field-sequential, so the rainbow effect is alive and well, and shooting with a 0.53X magnification finder is still a bit like watching a television from the end of a hallway. As such, while the ZS200's EVF is much nicer than its predecessor's, it's not a match for the OLED finders in some competitors, such as Sony's RX100-series.

1.24 million-dot touchscreen

Keeping the ZS200's electronic viewfinder company is a fixed 3" rear LCD, which boasts 1.24 million dots and touch-sensitivity. As such, placing your desired AF point is as easy as simply tapping the screen.

We're also pleased to see that Panasonic has included its 'Touch Pad AF' feature to the ZS200. In essence, this is exactly what it sounds like – with your eye to the viewfinder, the ZS200's rear LCD can be used as a touch-pad to position the AF point. Pretty neat. And as you can see, despite the touchscreen, the ZS200 still has enough direct-access buttons to satisfy someone used to more traditional user interfaces (or someone wearing gloves).

Depth-from-Defocus (DFD) Autofocus

The ZS200 features a version of Panasonic's Depth-from-Defocus autofocus technology. In very simple terms, DFD uses known blur characteristics of Panasonic lenses to work out whether a subject is front or back focused, before driving the focusing group to achieve focus. This reduces the characteristic focus 'hunting' of a typical contrast-detection AF system, by increasing the processor's confidence that it's moving things in the right direction.

While we haven't had the chance to properly test the ZS200 (or use it much outside of a conference room and our upper floor balcony), AF speed is impressive at all focal lengths, albeit with some very slight 'wobble' when focus is acquired at long telephoto settings. In theory, the ZS200 should be capable of continuous autofocus at up to 6 fps – something we're keen to try out when we receive a final production camera.

Increased battery life and Bluetooth Low Energy

Built-in Wi-Fi is to be expected these days, but we're pleased to see that Panasonic has also included low-energy Bluetooth (BLE) in the ZS200. This allows for 'aways on' functionality, enabling easy remote trigger functionality from a smartphone without a huge hit in battery life.

Battery life is actually something of a strength of the ZS200. Usually when features get added to a camera, battery life goes down. Not so with the ZS200. Panasonic tells us that improvements have been made to power management, which have paid off in a CIPA rating of 350 shots (compared to 300 from the ZS200) when the LCD is used, and ~250 when shooting with the EVF.

Putting the camera into 'Eco' mode should ensure ~300 shots between charges, regardless of shooting style.

What do you think?

So what do you make of the Panasonic Lumix ZS200? Did one of the best travel zoom compacts just get better, or are you ambivalent about the extra zoom reach and slower lens? Let us know in the comments.

Samsung teases Galaxy S9 low light and slow-mo performance

On the 25th of February, Samsung will unveil its latest flagship phone, the Galaxy S9, and the Korean company is already heavily teasing some of the new model's new and improved camera features in a couple of short teaser videos on its Korean Youtube channel.

The first video (above) shows several low-light scenes in quick succession. Towards the end there is the silhouette of a deer in near darkness. The animal's head brightens up when the number 9 appears around it, hinting at some kind of low-light mode or improved low-light capability in the camera.

Previous rumors have mentioned a variable F1.5/F2.4 aperture. The lower value would be one of the fastest apertures on any smartphone camera, but we'd suspect Samsung will add some clever multi-frame-stacking technology on top of that to achieve usable exposures in very low light and manage noise.

Another video is a quick succession of action-packed scenes. At the end, a skydiver is almost frozen in time as the number 9 appears, hinting at some kind of super-slow-motion capture. From what we know so far, the S9 will come with a 480fps 1080p Full-HD slow-motion mode.

These kinds of teasers always leave you with more questions than answers, but fortunately we'll know more in 10 days time when the device is launched. We'll be at the event in Barcelona, so stay tuned for more details!

Shooting wet plate collodion double exposures... handheld

Wet plate photographer Markus Hofstaetter is always experimenting with his art in different ways—whether it's capturing creepy halloween portraits, or this attempt to capture a fire and water wedding portrait on both digital and large format film. His latest experiment, however, was a bit more ambitious.

Markus managed to do something he's dreamed of for years: he was able to capture wet plate portraits handheld. In fact, he went one better; he shot handheld wet plate collodion double exposures.

One of the hand-held double exposures Markus captured with his newest setup.

The entire 'journey'—from finding a hand-holdable wet plate camera, to fixing it up and making it ready to shoot, to the actual double exposure shots—is documented in the video above and on Hofstaetter's blog, in which his tone seems to be "I'm glad I did this, but lord was it a pain in the butt."

One of the biggest challenges facing Hofstaetter was getting enough light to capture the plates handheld. "Even though these are small plates, I had to use 6000-7000 Watts of Hensel strobe power to get enough light thru the grided softbox," he writes. But in the end, it worked. And since he was mixing new tech and old technique, he decided that steampunk portraits would be appropriate.

Here's some of what he captured:

Whether or not you like the final images, you have to admire Hofstaetter's determination and creativity. He found a camera that would work, 3D printed plate holders because they were missing, and then managed to do something we haven't ever hear of before. Kudos are definitely in order.

Check out the video up top to see the full journey from purchase to plates, and the head over to Hofstaetter's blog for more behind the scenes images and other crazy experiments.


All photos, videos, and GIFs by Markus Hofstaetter and used with permission.

Panono has new CEO, puts focus on software solutions

Professional360 GmbH, the recently re-named company behind the Panono 360-degree camera and software solutions, has a new CEO. Thomas Escher has previously held a number of top-level management positions in media houses such as Axel Springer and ProSiebenSat.1 Media, and managed the French foreign business of the online toy retailer MyToys, among other roles.

“In Thomas Escher we have found a CEO with expertise both in media and entertainment and in classical e-commerce,” said a spokesperson of Bryanston Group AG, the company who has acquired the assets of Panono and has been running its business operations since July 2017.

With the new CEO at its helm, the company is adjusting its strategy, reducing the focus on hardware and towards customized 360-degree software solutions, with real-estate and construction two key target sectors. Escher explains:

108 megapixels make our camera the highest resolution 360 degree one-shot camera in the market. We will strive to uphold and extend this technological leadership in the future. However, today this is no longer enough: especially among professional users, there’s a growing demand for individual software, cloud and web applications. They desire a first-class virtual presence both for web and mobile applications, as well as the most innovative content solutions.

“At the moment, real estate is still very traditional in its structures and processes, but with digitization moving forward, there are dramatic changes ahead in the next years,” continues Escher. “For one of our customers, we have developed a tool to create virtual tours out of our 360 degree images and to link them to a floor plan. This way, complete houses can be viewed online. Our customers can offer their clients viewings that are independent as to both time and place.”

This is only the latest chapter in Panono's brief but turbulent history, and a stark move away from the more traditional, consumer focused 360° camera industry Panono started in. We had several occasions to have a closer look and test the Panono camera and were impressed by the technology. Hopefully the new CEO and strategy can help get the company back on track, and push 360-degree imaging technology further.

Press Release

MORE THAN JUST A CAMERA: NEW PANONO CEO TO TRANSFORM THE OPERATIONS

- Thomas Escher new CEO of Panono
- New focus on software solutions and services for 360 degree photos
- Strong customer focus

Berlin, 15 February 2018 – In February 2018, Thomas Escher (36) joined Professional360 GmbH as the new CEO. Under the brand name Panono the company offers professional 360 degree photo solutions for businesses and professional users, including its own award-winning camera hardware and customized software, cloud solutions and web integration.

“In Thomas Escher we have found a CEO with expertise both in media and entertainment and in classical e-commerce,” said a spokesperson of Bryanston Group AG, the company who has acquired the assets of Panono and has been running its business operations since July 2017. Escher has held a number of top-level management positions in media houses such as Axel Springer and ProSiebenSat.1 Media, and, among others, managed the French foreign business of the online toy retailer MyToys. As the Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) of the Allianz affiliate InstaMotion, an online dealer for second-hand cars, he
was responsible for marketing and sales activities.

From “technology first” to “customer first”

Panono aims to continue the expansion of 360 degree solutions. “108 megapixels make our camera the highest resolution 360 degree one-shot camera in the market. We will strive to uphold and extend this technological leadership in the future. However today this is no longer enough: especially among professional users, there’s a growing demand for individual software, cloud and web applications. They desire a first-class virtual presence both for web and mobile applications, as well as the most innovative content solutions”, explained Escher. “With this in mind we will further develop our platform, software
features and services, both independently and via sector-specific strategic partnerships. We have already implemented some exciting features, and there are more on the horizon.”

Focus on real estate and construction

Panono has been giving special attention to the real estate sector. “At the moment, real estate is still very traditional) in its structures and processes, but with digitization moving forward, there are dramatic changes ahead in the next years,” said Thomas Escher. “For one of our customers, we have developed a tool to create virtual tours out of our 360 degree images and to link them to a floor plan. This way, complete houses can be viewed online. Our customers can offer their clients viewings that are independent as to both time and place.” According to Escher, Panono also offers interesting possibilities
for construction and maintenance companies, for example when it comes to the documentation of building conditions and work progress.

Noa N7 smartphone captures 80MP images with 'high-resolution mode'

Lesser known Croatian brand Noa might not be the first manufacturer that springs to mind when you think about mobile photography, but the company will be launching a new mid-range device with some very interesting imaging features at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona at the end of this month.

The Noa N7 comes with a dual-camera setup that features two 16MP Sony IMX298 1/2.8" image sensors. At this point, there's no further detail on how the two cameras play together, but we would assume there will be a shallow depth-of-field simulation mode and some kind of computational merging for better detail and reduced noise.

What the camera will definitely feature, however, is a 80MP high-resolution mode, presumably using image data from both lenses in combination with a pixel-shift technology. Looking at the demo video below, it seems the mode will require a tripod, but that's still an attractive option for landscape or architectural photography who require maximum detail.

Main camera aside, the phone will offer a ceramic casing, Face-ID unlocking via the front camera, DTS stereo sound and an octa-core MediaTek MT6750 chipset. Images can be framed and viewed on a 5.7-inch display with 18:9 aspect ratio, and HD+ resolution.

If the 80MP mode has sparked your interest, the Noa N7 might be worth a closer look. Fortunately, the high pixel count won't come with an expensive price tag—Noa says the N7 will retail for about 250 EUR ($US 310) in Europe. We are looking forward to testing the high-resolution mode at MWC, so stay tuned!

Press Release

Koprivnica, 15th of February 2018

NOA will focus on its latest smartphone at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona - NOA N7, with a 5,7 HD+ screen with an 18:9 screen ratio. Ceramic case, improved photography, Face ID and Face Beauty functionality along with an affordable price are the main key selling points of this new model.

The first two thing you'll notice about this model is its design and a wonderful „royal blue“ color of the ceramic casing. This smartphone's subtle elegance will certainly be noticed by everyone around you.

What makes this phone especially noticeable is the photo detailing and its quality, something that you'll experience when you zoom in the photo and notice the perfectly rendered details. The N7 model will feature 2x 16 MP back Sony cameras with an IMX 298 sensor, which enables the creation of photographs up to 80 MP using oversampling technology.

The front 16 MP „selfie“ camera will support „Face ID“ and „Face Beauty“ functionalities. This means that you'll be able to unlock your smartphone by scanning your face, which adds extra functionality in this price range, and rounds our the feature list with attractive and novel technologies. Your selfies will look sharper, more detailed and be of better quality. Thanks to the „Face Beauty“ feature, you'll always look your best in photos, whether you're taking them in the morning or evening.

Users who like to listen to music will also enjoy themselves with NOA N7, thanks to the world famous DTS sound technology. DTS Sound is an all-in-one audio solution that offers improved stereo sound quality, internal speaker optimization, and creates a panoramic audio experience while using earbuds.

NOA N7 is based on the 8 core Media Tek MT6750 processor with a 1,5 GHz frequency and a 5,7'' screen. The screen resolution, complete with HD+ technology is 1440x720 pixel and an 18:9 screen ratio. NOA N7 will have 4 GB of RAM and 64 GB of ROM storage, expandable to 128 GB with the help of an SD card. NOA N7 comes with a 3.300 mAh battery and will use the latest Android 8.0 as its operating system.

NOA N7 smartphone will be in the price bracket of up to 250 EUR.

Lensbaby introduces Burnside 35 with variable vignetting

Lensbaby has announced the Burnside 35, which it calls an adaptation of the Petzval lens design with the added benefit of an effect slider to adjust the strength of vignetting and bokeh. The gold-anodized slider is located on the side of the lens barrel and operates a second iris, adding more or less vignette effect and adjusting the appearance of bokeh.

The manual focus lens is designed for full-frame and crop-sensor cameras and will be offered in Canon EF, Nikon F, Sony A, Pentax K, Micro Four Thirds, Sony E, Fujifilm X and Samsung NX mount. It's on sale now for $500.

Lensbaby Delivers a Modern Take on Classic Lenses with the Burnside 35

Portland, OR (February 15, 2018) - Lensbaby—makers of award-winning creative effects lenses, optics and accessories—announces the launch of an entirely new kind of creative effects lens, the Burnside 35.

The first ever wide angle adaptation of the Petzval lens design, this 35mm f/2.8 lens creates images with a large, bright central area of sharp focus and striking color rendition surrounded by variable, swirling bokeh and vignette. It also features an effect slider that operates as a second internal iris that changes the shape and amount of swirl in the bokeh; all while adding or removing vignette and center brightness.

Burnside’s 35mm focal length lets you capture a scene at a normal-wide perspective with a dimensionality that makes your subject jump off the page. This lens opens up a new world of creative possibilities for those shooting street photography, landscapes, environmental portraits and more.

“The Burnside 35 is one of the most versatile Lensbabies we’ve made,” said Lensbaby Chief Creative Officer and Co-Founder Craig Strong. “It gives you the ability to have a strong or subtle creative effect in a single lens, a lens you might just keep on your camera all day long.”

Adding to the Burnside 35’s versatility is the radical, new effect slider that can be used to add center brightness, in-camera vignette and adjust bokeh detail. You can toggle the gold-anodized effect slider on the barrel of the lens to create variable balance and harmony between center brightness, bokeh and vignette. The effect slider features a four-stop range of vignette and bokeh enhancement so you can dial in the exact look that appeals to you.

Burnside 35 joins Lensbaby’s lens lineup as an all-metal, non-tilting lens similar to their bestselling Velvet series. Made specifically for full frame and crop sensor cameras, this lens is compatible with Canon EF, Nikon F, Sony A, Pentax K, Micro 4/3, Sony E, Fuji X and Samsung NX.

Burnside 35 Product Specs:

  • Focal Length: 35mm
  • Aperture Range: f/2.8-16
  • 6 blade internal aperture
  • 8 blade secondary internal aperture for the effect slider
  • Minimum Focus Distance: 6 inches
  • Maximum Focus Distance: Infinity
  • 62mm filter threads
  • Focus type: Manual
  • Size/ Weight: 13.2 oz (374.21g)
  • 6 multi-coated glass elements, in 4 groups

The Burnside 35 is now available for purchase on lensbaby.com and select Lensbaby-authorized retailers for $499.95.

Fujifilm's MKX lenses bring affordable cinema glass to X-mount

Fujifilm has announced its Fujinon MKX 18-55mm T2.9 and MKX 50-135mm T2.9 cinema lenses for X-mount. These are essentially the same Super 35 lenses that Fujifilm released about a year ago in E-mount and are now available to users of the company's own X-mount mirrorless system.

Combined, the two lenses provide coverage between 18mm and 135mm, a very useful range for video production. Based on the company's much more expensive Cabrio line of cinema optics, the MKX series include properties typically found on much more expensive cine lenses.

Those features include little to no lens breathing, a phenomenon which causes a lens's field of view to change slightly as it's focused, a parfocal design, meaning that the lens will maintain precise focus while zooming and 200 degrees of focus rotation with hard stops in order to work well with a follow focus setup.

The Fujinon MKX18-55mm T2.9 and MKX 50-135mm T2.9 cinema lenses are X-mount versions of the MK series lenses released about a year ago for E-mount (shown here on a Sony FS7 camera).

Additionally, the MKX lenses are also matched to have the same exact weight, dimensions, gearing and 82mm filter threads, meaning that it's possible to switch between the two lenses easily without making any modifications to your rigging, such as the position of tools like a follow-focus or matte box.

We provided a hands-on look at both the MK18-55mm T2.9 and MK50-135mm T2.9 lenses in E-mount when they were released, and since they're the same lenses (except for the mount) those articles can give you a more detailed overview of both lenses.

The MKX 18-55mm T2.9 and lens will cost $3,999, while the MKX 50-135mm T2.9 will cost $4,299. Both lenses are expected to be available in spring or summer 2018.

Press release:

FUJIFILM ANNOUNCES NEW ULTRA-COMPACTCINEMA LENSES, FUJINON MKX18-55MMT2.9 AND FUJINON MKX50-135MMT2.9 FOR X MOUNT

High Performance, Lightweight Cinema Lenses for the X Series Line of Mirrorless Interchangeable Lens Digital Cameras

Valhalla, N.Y., February 15, 2018 – FUJIFILM North America Corporation today announced the launch of FUJINON MKX18-55mmT2.9 and FUJINON MKX50-135mmT2.9 cinema lenses for X Mount, new additions to the X Series line of interchangeable lenses.

Available in June 2018, these cinema lenses offer a lightweight and compact design with the same optical performance and operability as larger cinema lenses in their class. They cover 18-135mm–the most frequently used focal length in video production–and achieve a constant T2.9 aperture across the entire zoom range, enabling a shallow depth of field and beautiful bokeh effect. With an enhanced optical and mechanical design, the MKX18-55mm and MKX50-135mm suppress focus shifts while zooming and reduce lens breathing, ensuring continuous sharp output. In line with the optical performance of the XF16-55mm and XF50-140mm lenses, these new MKX lenses offer a range of features that enable ease-of-use for capture in a wide array of shooting situations.

“The growth of video production has created a large demand among videographers and cinematographers for compact and easy-to-use lenses,” said Yuji Igarashi, General Manager of the Electronic Imaging Division & Optical Devices Division at FUJIFILM North America Corporation. “In keeping with our commitment to deliver innovative products and solutions, Fujifilm has recognized this need and has introduced the MKX18-55mm and MKX50-135mm lenses, offering a lightweight design and affordable price point, while delivering great optical performance and operability as other professional cinema lenses.”

Advanced Optical Performance in a Compact, Lightweight Lens Barrel

The MKX18-55mm and MKX50-135mm are lightweight and compact; achieving advanced optical performance utilizing the short flange focal distance of X Mount. This feature reduces the number of people needed for the shooting process, ideal for small budget productions.

In addition, the lenses offer advanced optical performance across the entire zoom range. Achieving T2.9 aperture, they facilitate the bokeh effect with shallow depth-of-field eliminating the need to readjust lighting. Combined, these features not only lead to beautiful videos, but also shorten shooting time, making the MKX lenses a very economical choice for movie production. Further adding to its superior output, contact with an X Series camera corrects distortion, color, brightness and achieves Fujifilm’s various Film Simulation modes.

Featuring an Optical and Mechanical Design Ideal for Video Shooting

The optical and mechanical approach employed in these new MKX lenses allows for elimination of time lag that is usually experienced with electrical control systems. Manufacturing technology developed for conventional FUJINON cinema lenses was applied to control the optical axis shift while zooming. The front inner-focusing system controls lens breathing, allowing for smooth focus over an entire scene. Additionally, when zooming, focus shift is suppressed by independently driving the front focusing group and zooming group of lens elements away from each other.

Comfortable Operability Provided Through Dedicated Cinema Lenses

The MKX18-55mm and MKX50-135mm feature three fully manual rings for independent adjustment of focus, zoom and aperture, allowing for intuitive operation. The focus ring offers a rotation of a full 200 degrees to facilitate precise focusing even when shooting with a shallow depth-of-field where a high degree of precision is required. Further, all operation rings have a gear pitch of 0.8 m, allowing the use of all standard third party accessories for video production. With an iris that supports seamless adjustment, precise and silent exposure is achieved while preventing camera shake caused by clicking, making these lenses perfect for a wide array of shooting situations.

Standardized Design for Ease of Operation

Adding to their high quality video production, these MKX lenses are designed for ease-of-use. The gears for all three rings are positioned in the same place eliminating the need to re-position accessories when switching lenses. Only one matte box with an 85mm front diameter and one filter size with a filter thread of 82mm are needed between the two lenses. Equipped with a macro function that allows shooting close-ups to broaden the range of scenes that can be covered with one lens, optimum performance is achieved.

FUJINON MKX18-55mmT2.9 Key Features

  • Compatible with all FUJIFILM X Series interchangeable system cameras
  • Compact, lightweight lens weighing just 1,080g with external dimensions (maximum diameter x length) of 87mm x 206.6mm
  • Comprised of 22 glass elements in 17 groups with 6 super extra low dispersion lens elements and 2 extra low dispersion lens elements
  • Achieves maximum aperture of F2.8 and minimum aperture of F22 for close-up shots
  • Focus range of 0.85m/2ft 9” with wide macro function and 0.38m/1ft 2.9” at wide end and angle of view at 76.5° - 29.0°

FUJINON MKX50-135mmT2.9 Key Features

  • Compatible with all FUJIFILM X Series interchangeable system cameras
  • Compact, lightweight lens weighing just 1,080g with external dimensions (maximum diameter x length) of 87mm x 206.6mm
  • Comprised of 22 glass elements in 17 groups with 2 extra low dispersion lens elements and 2 super extra low dispersion lens elements
  • Achieves maximum aperture of F2.8 and minimum aperture of F22 for close-up shots
  • Focus range of 1.2 m/3 ft. 11” with wide macro function and 0.85 m/2 ft. 9” at wide end and angle of view at 31.7° - 12.0°

Accessories Included in Both Lenses

  • Tripod collar foot
  • Support foot
  • Zoom lever
  • Lens cap
  • Lens rear cap
  • Lens hood
  • Wrapping cloth

Availability and Pricing

The FUJINON MKX18-55mmT2.9 and cinema lens will be available in Spring/Summer 2018 in the U.S. and Canada for USD $3,999.95.

The FUJINON MKX50-135mmT2.9 cinema lens will also be available in Spring/Summer 2018 in the U.S. and Canada for USD $4,299.95.

Fujinon MKX 18-55 T2.9 / MKX 50-135mm T2.9 specifications

  Fujifilm Fujinon MKX 18-55mm T2.9 Fujifilm Fujinon MKX 50-135mm T2.9
Principal specifications
Lens type Zoom lens
Max Format size 35mm FF
Focal length 18–55 mm 50–135 mm
Image stabilization No
Lens mount Fujifilm X
Aperture
Maximum aperture F2.8
Minimum aperture F22
Aperture ring Yes
Number of diaphragm blades 9
Aperture notes Seamless iris mechanism
Optics
Elements 22
Groups 17
Special elements / coatings 6 super ELD + 2 ELD elements 6 Super ED + 2 ELD elements
Focus
Minimum focus 0.38 m (14.96) 0.85 m (33.46)
Autofocus No
Full time manual Yes
Focus method Internal
Distance scale Yes
DoF scale No
Physical
Weight 1080 g (2.38 lb)
Diameter 87 mm (3.43)
Length 207 mm (8.15)
Sealing No
Colour Black
Zoom method Rotary (internal)
Power zoom No
Filter thread 82 mm
Hood supplied Yes
Tripod collar Yes

Fujifilm X-H1 First Impressions Review

The Fujifilm X-H1 is the company's range-topping APS-C camera and its most video-capable camera to date. It's based around the same 24MP sensor as the X-T2 but adds in-body image stabilization as well as a more comprehensive set of video options.

The X-H1 looks like a fractionally larger X-T2 but with the sloped viewfinder 'prism' and top-panel LCD that hint at the styling of the GFX 50S. Fujifilm has also clearly been listening to critics of the X-T series and have made the camera's grip and buttons significantly larger, particularly the AE-L and newly-added AF-On buttons.

Key specifications

  • 24MP X-Trans APS-C sensor
  • 5-axis in-body image stabilization (rated at 5EV)*
  • 3.69M-dot OLED viewfinder
  • Touch sensitive rear LCD with two-axis tilt
  • DCI and UHD 4K capture at up to 200 Mbps
  • Slow motion 1080 (from 120 and 100 fps)
  • Internal F-Log capture
  • 24-bit audio capture
  • Eterna/Cinema Film Simulation mode
  • Timecode
  • No-blackout continuous shooting
  • Twin UHS-II-compatible card slots
  • Anti-flicker shooting mode
  • Wi-Fi with Bluetooth for constant connection

The company says it's made further improvements to its AF system and says the new camera will be able to focus in lower light and with smaller apertures.

Despite being based around the same sensor and processor, the X-H1 promises significantly improved video performance, with the range of shooting options extended to include DCI as well as UHD 4K shooting, bitrates up to 200 Mbps and the ability to record F-Log footage internally.

Other additions include the movie style 'Eterna' Film Simulation and an anti-flicker option for shooting under artificial lights.

Interestingly, although rated at 5EV, Fujifilm says the stabilization can hit 5.5EV of effectiveness if paired with non-IS lenses. The explanation for this is that the unstabilized lenses tend to be primes and are generally relatively wide focal lengths, both of which mean they're more likely to project a larger image circle than the sensor requires. This gives the sensor more room to move around, providing greater stabilization.

Enhanced video

The X-T2 is already a very credible video performer: offering good levels of detail capture and Log output over HDMI if needed. The X-H1 takes this a step further. In addition to being able to shoot UHD 4K at up to 30p it can also shoot the wider aspect ratio DCI 4K format at 23.98 and 24p. Enhanced compression options allow capture at up to 200 Mbps and it can also capture F-Log footage internally.

Like the X-T2, the H1 uses a 1.17x crop region of its sensor to capture its UHD and DCI 4K video. This means using roughly 1.4x more pixels than necessary, in each dimension, to produce its UHD footage. This oversampling leads to higher levels of detail capture than would be possible by simply using a 3840 x 2160 region. If the X-T2 is anything to go by, it should look good and have pretty well-controlled rolling shutter.

It seems most of the camera's additional size relates to the addition of the stabilization unit, but thermal management has also been improved, allowing the camera to shoot 4K for 15 minutes, rather than the 10 of the X-T2. However, as with the X-T2, there's an optional battery grip that lets the camera cycle between drawing power from each of three batteries. Presumably this avoids too much heat building up in the same place, since it extends the camera's 4K shooting duration out to the traditional 29 minutes, 59 seconds stipulated by import duty regulations.

On top of this comes the ability for the camera to retain a raft of settings separately for stills and video. This means you don't have to significantly reconfigure the camera every time you switch from stills to video shooting or back.

Parameters treated independently for movie shooting
  • Film Simulation
  • Dynamic Range mode
  • White Balance
  • Highlight Tone
  • Shadow Tone
  • Color (saturation)
  • Sharpness (sharpening)
  • Noise reduction
  • Peripheral light correction (vignetting )
  • Focus area
  • Focus mode
  • AF-C Custom Settings
  • Pre-AF
  • Face/Eye Detection
  • MF Assist
  • Focus Check

The obvious things that can't be set independently for stills and movie shooting are the exposure settings, since these are primarily defined by dedicated control dials. If you plan to swap back and forth between stills and video shooting, the camera's new 'Movie Silent Control' mode is one way around this.

Movie Silent Control disables the aperture ring, shutter speed dial and ISO dial, passing control to a touchscreen, joystick and four-way controller-based interface. This means discrete stills and video settings can be maintained, since the dedicated control points no longer have any affect in video mode.

However you choose to control exposure in movie mode, you'll quickly find that the X-H1 offers shutter speeds equivalent to 360, 180 and 90 degree shutter angles for 24, 30 and 60p video capture, with the options for 1/24th, 1/48th, 1/96th, 120th and 1/240th becoming available.

Like its sibling, the X-H1 offers a series of focus peaking options (color and intensity) but no zebra warnings for setting exposure, beyond the 'Live View Highlight Warning' option that indicates an unspecified and unspecifiable brightness.

The X-H1 also brings Fujifilm's DR modes to movie capture for the first time, allowing you to capture more highlight information, if you can tolerate higher ISO settings. Meanwhile the 'Eterna/Cinema' Film simulation is designed to give 'soft,' low-saturation footage with low contrast but distinct shadows. Fujifilm says it can be used as an end-point in itself or to give yourself a degree of latitude for color grading.

Users of Fujifilm's MK lenses (launched in X-mount alongside the X-H1) will appreciate the ability to view aperture as T-stops, rather than F-numbers. It's unclear at this point whether this option will be available with adapted and third-party lenses identified this way.

Dynamic Range Priority

Fujifilm was one of the first brands to exploit the ISO-invariant properties of the sensors it uses through its Dynamic Range modes (The DR modes offer multiple ways of delivering ISO settings using different amounts of hardware amplification to capture additional highlight information).

The X-H1 takes this further with a 'Dynamic Range Priority' mode. This uses the existing DR modes in combination with the camera's ability to adjust the Highlight and Shadow aspects of its tone curves. There are four settings: Weak, Strong, Auto and Off. The 'Weak' setting is DR200% mode with highlights and shadows softened by 1 step (since it's baed on DR200%, is only available from ISO 400 upwards), while 'Strong' is DR400% with Highlights and Shadows set to -2. Strong is only available from ISO 800 or higher.

New shutter mechanism

Along with in-body stabilization, the X-H1 gains a new, quieter shutter mechanism. In addition to being quieter, it also allows the camera to offer Electronic First Curtain (EFC) shutter mode. In this mode the sensor being activated starts the exposure but a physical shutter is still used to end it, so that you significantly reduce the risk of shutter shock without increasing the risk of rolling shutter.

Various combinations of EFC, mechanical and fully electronic shutter are available, to allow the use of each mode for the shutter speeds where it gives its greatest advantage.

Compared with its peers

The X-H1 is the latest high-end crop sensor camera to offer both stills and video shooting but each one provides a different set of features:

Fujifilm X-H1 Fujifilm X-T2 Sony a6500 Panasonic GH5
US MSRP
(body only)
$1900 $1600 $1400 $2000
Pixel count 24MP 24MP 24MP 20MP
Sensor size APS-C APS-C APS-C Four Thirds
Image Stablization 5-axis, 5.5EV Lens only 5-axis, 5EV 5-axis, 5EV
Maximum shooting rate 14 fps with e-shutter, 8 fps mechanical (11 with grip)

14 fps with e-shutter, 8 fps mechanical (11 with grip)

11 fps 9 fps (11 with S-AF)
AF Joystick? 8-way 8-way No 4-way
Touchscreen Yes No Yes Yes
Screen articulation Two-axis tilt Two-axis tilt Tilt Fully articulated
EVF 3.69M dots 2.36M dots 2.36M dots 3.69M dots
Viewfinder magnification 0.75x 0.77x 0.70x 0.76x
Video Bit depth 8 8 8 10
Max bitrate
(Mbps)
200 100 100 400 (150 in 8-bit mode
Mic / Headphone sockets? Yes / On VPB-XH1 accessory grip Yes / On VPB-XT2 accessory grip Yes / No Yes / Yes
Log capture? Yes HDMI out only Yes HLG (V-Log L Via paid upgrade)
HDMI Micro Micro Micro Full size
USB 3.0 Micro Type B 3.0 Micro Type B 2.0 Micro Type B 3.1 Type C
Shots per charge (CIPA rating) 310 340 310 410
Weight (with card and battery) 673g 507g 453g 725g

Pricing and availability

The X-H1 will be available from March 1st at an MSRP of $1899 body only and $2199 bundled with the VPB-XH1 vertical grip.


*Fujifilm says the camera will give up to 5.5EV of stabilization when paired with non-stabilized XF lenses. As with all CIPA ratings, the performance is likely to be lower with very wide or long lenses.

Fujifilm announces X-H1 stills/movie flagship with in-body stabilization

Fujifilm has unveiled the X-H1, a flagship 24MP APS-C camera that builds on the X-T2's feature set by adding 5-axis image stabilization, a touchscreen and more advanced video capabilities.

The X-H1 gains the ability DCI 4K capture at 23.97p and 24p, in addition to UHD recording at up to 29.9p. It can also record F-Log footage internally for the first time and adds a movie filmstock style 'Eterna' Film Simulation mode. More advanced compression allows video capture at up to 200 Mbps: double that of the X-T2.

Movie shooting is also aided by a predominantly touchscreen-operated 'Movie Silent Shooting' mode, which deactivates the camera's dedicated control dials.

The X-H1 borrows styling cues from the medium-format GFX 50S, including a top-panel status LCD and sloping viewfinder prism. It shares the X-T2's top burst rate of 14 fps with electronic shutter or 8 fps with mechanical shutter, boosted to 11 fps with optional grip.

Like the X-T2, adding a battery grip extends 4K video shooting from 15 minutes to 29 minutes, 59 seconds. It also adds a headphone socket.

Click here to read our Fujifilm X-H1 First Impressions Review

Press release

FUJIFILM UNVEILS THE NEW X-H1, THE HIGHEST PERFORMANCE CAMERA IN THE X SERIES LINEUP

Introducing in-body image stabilization, professional video capabilities, and a range of new features in a robust, durable camera body

Valhalla, N.Y., February 15, 2018 – As a leader in advanced digital camera technology and outstanding image quality, FUJIFILM North America Corporation is excited to announce the new FUJIFILM X-H1, featuring a 24.3 megapixel APS-C sized X-Trans CMOS III sensor and X-Processor Pro image processing engine for outstanding image quality. The new X-H1 is the highest performance camera in the X Series line of mirrorless cameras, and the first to feature in-body image stabilization (IBIS), a new Flicker Reduction mode that allows for stable exposure under fluorescent and mercury lighting, DCI 4K and other impressive video capabilities.

“The new X-H1 is our first X Series model to feature in-body image stabilization, and we are very excited to introduce this camera to the market,” said Yuji Igarashi, General Manager of the Electronic Imaging Division & Optical Devices Division at FUJIFILM North America Corporation. “In addition to ensuring outstanding image quality, the X-H1 is fully equipped with an array of features and functionality specifically designed to enhance creative expression in a wide range of settings.”

The X-H1 boasts a newly designed, robust and durable body, and a range of features that support shooting in various situations by professional and experienced amateur photographers, and videographers. When used in combination with FUJINON lenses and Fujifilm’s signature color reproduction technology, the X-H1 produces outstanding image quality and video reproduction.

New 5.5 Stops In-Body Image Stabilization
The new X-H1 is the first X Series camera to feature in-body image stabilization, harnessing three axial accelerometers, three axial Gyro sensors, and a specially-developed dual-processor to achieve approximately 10,000 calculations per second. When combined with compensating mechanisms, the X-H1 produces uncompromised image quality and precision. 5-axis image stabilization is possible with all XF and XC lenses, with certain lenses capable of up to a maximum of 5.5 stops. In addition, a new spring mechanism has been added to reduce micro-vibrations caused by operation of the mechanical shutter. Photographers may also choose to use the electronic front curtain shutter or the electronic shutter, virtually eliminating the effect of vibrations to maximize the benefits of image stabilization.

Robust, Weather-Resistant Body Design and Easy Operability for a Wide Range of Shooting Environments
In addition to its dust and water-resistant properties and ability to operate in temperatures as low as 14°F \ -10°C, the X-H1 also features 25% thicker magnesium alloy than the X-T2. The camera also features a high quality, scratch-resistant coating and a compact, lightweight body that maintains high precision and strong resistance to impact shock torsion and other sources of deformation.

The new X-H1 features a high-magnification and high-precision electronic viewfinder with a magnification ratio of 0.75 times and 3.69 million dot resolution, leading the class for APS-C mirrorless cameras. The viewfinder display is extraordinarily smooth, with a display time lag of just 0.005 seconds and a frame rate of 100 frames per second, allowing the user to instantly confirm the movement of the subject and position the focus with great precision. The X-H1 also features a 3-direction tilt, 3-inch, 1.04 million dot electrostatic touch-panel LCD, which can be intuitively set to the desired angle. In addition, the 1.28 inch sub-LCD on the top of the camera, which emulates the design of the mirrorless medium format GFX 50S, allows for instant confirmation of shooting information.

The X-H1 incorporates additional improvements based on feedback from professional photographers, including a large grip design, leaf-spring switch for the shutter-release button, near-silent shutter sound, a new focus level, and a new AF-ON button and enlargements of buttons on the rear of the camera.

Comprehensive Range of Video Features Support Movie Production
The X-H1 is the first camera in the X Series to include ETERNA, a new film simulation mode that is ideal for shooting movies. This mode simulates cinematic film, creating understated colors and rich shadow tones, greatly enhancing creative freedom during post-processing. The X-H1 boasts many functional and performance improvements to video image quality, including the 1080/120P high-speed video mode (1/2, 1/4 and 1/5 speed slow motion) for recording spectacular slow-motion footage; F-log SD card recording which aids smooth workflow; a DCI 4K shooting mode (4096×2160); a 400% dynamic range setting (approximately 12 stops); 200 Mbps high bit rate recording; a high-sound quality internal microphone (24 bit/48 kHz); and verbal time codes.

First Flicker Reduction Mode and Improved Autofocus Algorithms
The X-H1 features a flicker reduction mode, allowing for stable exposure during burst shots even under fluorescent and mercury lighting. In addition, improvements to the autofocus (AF) algorithm have achieved a number of performance enhancements. Low-light limit for phase detection AF has been improved by approximately 1.5 stops—from 0.5EV to -1.0EV—raising the precision and speed of AF in low-light environments. The minimum aperture has been expanded from F8 to F11, and major improvements have been made to the AF-C performance while operating in zoom, making the X-H1 ideal for shooting rapidly moving subjects.

Vertical Power Booster Grip VPB-XH1
The Vertical Power Booster Grip (VPB-XH1) is a weather-resistant grip capable of operating at temperatures as low as 14°F/-10°C that fits two additional batteries to increase maximum number of shots to 900 (in normal mode) and increases the maximum period for shooting movies in 4K to about 30 minutes.
The Vertical Power Booster Grip features a shutter release button, focus lever, AE-L button, AF-ON button, command dial, Q button, and Fn button, providing the same ease of operation when using the camera in vertical or horizontal positions. The grip is equipped with a headphone socket to allow monitoring sound while recording, and includes recharging capability.

Wide Eyecup EC-XH W
The Wide Eyecup EC-XH W covers a broad area around the eye, greatly reducing light interference to enhance concentration during long shoots. The eyecup can be rotated in 90° increments, making it adaptable for either eye and for shooting either vertically or horizontally.

FUJIFILM X-H1 Key Features:

  • 24.3MP X-Trans CMOS III Sensor with primary color filter and X-Processor Pro Processor
  • 5-axis 5.5 stops in-body image stabilization
  • High-precision 0.5 inch, approx. 3.69 million dots OLED Color Viewfinder
  • Weather-resistant design; ability to operate in temperatures as low as 14°F/-10°C
  • ISO Sensitivity
    o Standard output: AUTO1 / AUTO2 / AUTO3 (up to ISO12800) / ISO200~12800 (1/3 step)
    o Extended output: ISO100/125/160/25600/51200
  • LCD Monitor
    o 3.0 inch, aspect ratio 3:2, approx. 1.04 million dots touch screen color LCD monitor(approx. 100% coverage)
  • Continuous Shootingo 14.0 fps (with the Electronic Shutter), 8.0 fps (with the Mechanical Shutter)o 11.0 fps (with the Mechanical Shutter and when fitted with VPB-XH1)
  • Movie Recording (using a card with the UHS Speed Class 3 or higher)
    o [4K (4096×2160)] 24P / 23.98P up to approx. 15min.
    o [4K (3840×2160)] 29.97P / 25P / 24P / 23.98P up to approx. 15min.
    o [Full HD (1920×1080)] 59.94P / 50P / 29.97P / 25P / 24P / 23.98P up to approx. 20min.
    o [HD (1280×720)] 59.94P / 50P / 29.97P / 25P / 24P / 23.98P up to approx. 30min.• Bluetooth® Ver. 4.0 low energy technology
  • New ETERNA film simulation mode
    o Simulates cinematic film, understated colors and rich shadow tones
  • New Flicker Reduction Mode
    o Provides stable exposure during burst shots even under fluorescent and mercury lighting
  • Advanced filters and Film Simulations, including ACROS
  • Accessories included:
    o Li-ion battery NP-W126S
    o Battery charger BC-W126
    o Shoe-mount flash unit EF-X8
    o Shoulder strap, Body cap, Strap clip, Protective cover, Clip attaching tool, Hot shoe cover, Vertical Power Booster Grip connector cover, Sync terminal cover, Cable protector, Owner's manual

Availability and Pricing
The X-H1 will be available on March 1, 2018 in the U.S. and Canada. The X-H1 Body will be available for USD $1,899.95 and CAD $2,449.99 and the X-H1 Body with Vertical Power Booster Grip Kit will be available for USD $2,199.95 and CAD $2,799.99

Fujifilm X-H1 specifications

Price
MSRP $1899 (body only)
Body type
Body type SLR-style mirrorless
Body material Magnesium alloy
Sensor
Max resolution 6000 x 4000
Image ratio w:h 1:1, 3:2, 16:9
Effective pixels 24 megapixels
Sensor size APS-C (23.5 x 15.6 mm)
Sensor type CMOS
Processor X-Processor Pro
Color space sRGB, Adobe RGB
Color filter array X-Trans
Image
ISO Auto, 200-12800 (expands to 100-51200)
Boosted ISO (minimum) 100
Boosted ISO (maximum) 51200
White balance presets 7
Custom white balance Yes (3 slots)
Image stabilization Sensor-shift
CIPA image stabilization rating 5 stop(s)
Uncompressed format RAW
JPEG quality levels Fine, normal
File format
  • JPEG (Exif v2.3)
  • Raw (Fujifilm RAF, 14-bit)
Optics & Focus
Autofocus
  • 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 325
Lens mount Fujifilm X
Focal length multiplier 1.5×
Screen / viewfinder
Articulated LCD Tilting
Screen size 3
Screen dots 1,040,000
Touch screen Yes
Screen type TFT LCD
Live view Yes
Viewfinder type Electronic
Viewfinder coverage 100%
Viewfinder magnification 1.13× (0.75× 35mm equiv.)
Viewfinder resolution 3,690,000
Photography features
Minimum shutter speed 30 sec
Maximum shutter speed 1/8000 sec
Maximum shutter speed (electronic) 1/32000 sec
Exposure modes
  • Program
  • Shutter priority
  • Aperture priority
  • Manual
Built-in flash No (Small external flash included)
External flash Yes
Flash modes Auto, standard, slow sync, manual, commander
Flash X sync speed 1/250 sec
Drive modes
  • Panorama
  • Advanced
  • Single shot
  • Continuous L/M/H
  • Bracket
  • Video
Continuous drive 14.0 fps
Self-timer Yes (2 or 10 secs)
Metering modes
  • Multi
  • Center-weighted
  • Average
  • Spot
Exposure compensation ±5 (at 1/3 EV steps)
AE Bracketing ±3 (3 frames at 1/3 EV, 1/2 EV, 2/3 EV, 1 EV, 2 EV steps)
WB Bracketing Yes
Videography features
Format MPEG-4, H.264
Modes
  • 4096 x 2160 @ 24p / 200 Mbps, MOV, H.264, Linear PCM
  • 3840 x 2160 @ 30p / 200 Mbps, MOV, H.264, Linear PCM
  • 3840 x 2160 @ 25p / 200 Mbps, MOV, H.264, Linear PCM
  • 3840 x 2160 @ 24p / 200 Mbps, MOV, H.264, Linear PCM
  • 3840 x 2160 @ 23.98p / 200 Mbps, MOV, H.264, Linear PCM
  • 1920 x 1080 @ 60p / 100 Mbps, MOV, H.264, Linear PCM
  • 1920 x 1080 @ 50p / 100 Mbps, MOV, H.264, Linear PCM
  • 1920 x 1080 @ 30p / 100 Mbps, MOV, H.264, Linear PCM
  • 1920 x 1080 @ 25p / 100 Mbps, MOV, H.264, Linear PCM
  • 1920 x 1080 @ 24p / 100 Mbps, MOV, H.264, Linear PCM
  • 1920 x 1080 @ 23.98p / 100 Mbps, MOV, H.264, Linear PCM
Microphone Stereo
Speaker Mono
Storage
Storage types Dual SD/SDHC/SDXC (UHS-II compatible)
Connectivity
USB USB 3.0 (5 GBit/sec)
USB charging Yes
HDMI Yes (micro-HDMI)
Microphone port Yes
Headphone port No
Wireless Built-In
Wireless notes 802.11b/g/n + Bluetooth 4.0
Remote control Yes (via smartphone or wired remote)
Physical
Environmentally sealed Yes
Battery Battery Pack
Battery description NP-W126S lithium-ion battery & charger
Battery Life (CIPA) 310
Weight (inc. batteries) 673 g (1.48 lb / 23.74 oz)
Dimensions 140 x 97 x 86 mm (5.51 x 3.82 x 3.39)
Other features
Orientation sensor Yes
Timelapse recording Yes
GPS None

Fujifilm X-H1 sample gallery

Fujifilm's newest X-series camera takes video very seriously, but also offers a strong stills feature set largely borrowed from the X-T2. We've had some time with a full-production X-H1 that luckily coincided with a little bit of rare February sunshine. Take a look at a fresh batch of samples from Fuji's newest flagship – including some images processed with the new Eterna/Cinema film simulation mode.

See our Fujifilm X-H1 sample gallery

 
 
 

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