Tag Archives: JPEG

March 02, 2012 at 12:12PM


New Gear: Canon EOS 5D Mark III

The long-awaited follow-up to one of Canon‘s most popular DSLRs ever

When Nikon recently announced its D800 multimedia-machine DSLR, the internet was already abuzz with folks wondering how Canon would fire back. That follow up comes today in the form of the full-frame Canon 5D Mark III.On the photography front, the most notable improvement is the completely redesigned autofocus system. The Mark III offers 61 AF points, 41 of which are crosstype. That’s a huge upgrade from the nine total points offered by the 5D Mark II for which AF performance may have been its biggest detractor. That also bests Nikon’s D800, which has 51 total AF points, 15 of which are crosstype, and five which are double crosstype. The final number of points you have access to with either of those cameras when shooting ultimately depends on the maximum aperture of the lens attached. It also offers six different autofocusing modes, compared to 2 on the Mark II and the AF modes have been made much more prominent in the menus to make navigating them much faster.The Mark III checks in at 22.3-megapixels which is only a modest hop from the Mark II’s 21.1, but the sensor has received a complete overhaul. Gapless micro lenses, similar to those found on the sensor of the Canon 1D X, channel light into the photo diodes much more efficiently. As a result, the new sensor, according to Canon, offers nearly two additional stops of noise reduction in JPEG shooting at higher ISO’s compared to the Mark II. To compound the effect, Canon also incorporated “on chip noise reduction,” into its sensors, killing off potential noise before information even hits the Digic 5+ processor.Canon employs their latest, greatest Digic 5+ chip to handle the Mark III’s image processing, which they claim to be 17x faster than the Digic 4 processor found in the Mark II, and 30% faster than the ordinary Digic 5 processor. This helps bring the Mark III’s burst capabilities up to 6 fps, compared to 3.9 fps on the Mark II. That’s also two better than the 4 FPS max (without the battery grip) offered by Nikon’s D800.Metering is handled by a 63-zone (up from 35 in the Mark II), dual-layer metering system they’ve dubbed iFCL. It stands for Focus, Color, Luminance, and it uses information from the AF points to help provide more accurate and consistent exposures. Canon also shrunk the size of its spotmeter point, which now comprises just 1.5% of the sensor, compared to the 3% meter on the Mark II.The Mark III’s native ISO range of 100 to 25600 is expandable, when shooting stills, all the way up to 102,400 (two stops higher than the D800) and down to 50. When switched over to video mode there’s a hard-stop at 25,600, same as its predecessor.Expanding on the video capabilities, some folks will no doubt be slightly disappointed to see that 1080p capture is still capped at 30 fps rather than the smoother 60 fps frame rate. There are some notable video upgrades though, including an external microphone jack and a headphone jack, which film makers have been craving for years. Maximum clip time has been jacked up to about 30 minutes (up from 12 in the Mark II) and you can now manually control audio levels during video recording.While the video upgrades aren’t exactly monumental, Canon already has a rather large segment of the HDSLR market, so fixing a few long-standing gripes from users might be enough to keep users firmly entrenched in the Canon camp.From a design standpoint, the Mark III takes more than a few pages out of the 7D’s book. In fact, the top of the camera is exactly identical, with the exception of a locking mode dial (first made standard on the 60D). Mark II upgraders will have to get used to the on/off switch moving to directly below the mode dial. The backside of the camera also looks strikingly similar to the 7D. The Liveview button has moved to the top right portion on the back of the camera. Canon also incorporated a “Creative Photo Button,” and a “Photo Rating Button,” which saves on-the-fly star ratings in an image’s metadata. You’ll likely use the latter much more often than the former.Other physical upgrades include a slightly larger 3.2” 1.4 million dot LCD (compared to the 3” LCD found on the Mark II). It’s nice, but we were a bit surprised not to see a Vari-Angle screen on a machine with so much video firepower. Viewfinder coverage has also been nudged up to 100% as it is in the 7D. Canon placed great emphasis on improving weather seals on the Mark III body, and while its not quite as water and dust resistant as the 1D X, its ability to survive the elements definitely surpasses the Mark II.One simple, but crucial inclusion is that of a secondary card slot, giving it one CF and one SD. While most cameras with two slots allow users to split RAW and JPEG files on individual cards, Mark III users can take it even further, splitting two different size JPEG’s or two different size RAW files. Speaking of which, the Mark III offers three different RAW file sizes including RAW (which is 22.1 MP), M-RAW (10.5 MP) and S-RAW (5.5 MP).A newly redesigned shutter cuts lag time down to 59 milliseconds, compared to 75-millisecond lag time on the Mark II. Other new features include a “Silent Continuous Shooting Mode,” which we witnessed in person, and are pretty impressed with. When in this mode, the burst rate is cut down to 3 seconds, however the decrease in shutter noise is very noticeable.Set to ship late March, the 5D Mark III will run you 500 for body only, or 300 for the body and a 24-105 F4L IS lens. That makes it a full 00 more expensive than than the D800, which might make a significant difference. Needless to say, we’re excited to get the new camera in the lab and see just how much improvement Canon has made.

Canon has also released a few new accessories for the 5D Mark III. Here’s a quick rundown:

Wireless File Transmitter WFT-E7A 49.99

Plug it into the camera’s USB port and it’ll hop onto a WiFi network. From there, you can use it to transfer files and syncrhonize multiples cameras shooting at the same time. It also has built-in Bluetooth connectivity.

GP-E2 GPS Receiver 90

A pretty standard GPS tagging dongle tracks capture locations as well as universal time code. It also tracks camera movement and uses a compass to record the direction the camera is pointing when the shutter is fired.

BG-E11 Battery Grip 90

The 5D Mark III’s battery grip accepts two LP-E6 batteries and has a new multicontroller and M. Fn button in addition to a full set of grip controls. Like the camera body, it’s made from magnesium alloy and shares the same burly weatherproofing.

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February 28, 2012 at 06:25AM


Untouched Sample Shots Captured with Nokia’s New 41MP Camera Phone

Nokia has released a set of sample photographs in order to show off the camera quality of its new 41MP 808 PureView camera phone. The 33.3MB ZIP file contains just 3 untouched JPEG images — the largest of which is a 5368×7152 (38 megapixel) photograph that weighs in at 10.3MB. The quality is quite impressive, given that the images were captured with a phone.
Here’s a 100% crop of the photograph shown above:

This photograph is a 34 megapixel image:

Here’s a 100% crop:

You can download the sample shots here if you want to check the out yourself.

(via Nokia via TechCrunch via Gizmodo)

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February 09, 2012 at 12:05AM


Sigma DP1 Merrill and DP2 Merrill 46MP cameras announced

Sigma DP1 Merrill

Sigma DP2 Merrill

In addition to the SD1 price reduction, Sigma also announced the DP1 Merrill and DP2 Merrill compact cameras that will have the same 46MP APS-C X3 sensor from the SD1. Now, this is something interesting. Pricing was not announced.

The DP1 has a 19mm f/2.8 lens (equivalent to 28mm), the DP2 has a 30mm f/2.8 lens (45mm equivalent).

Press release:

Sigma Corporation announces next-generation compact cameras named in honor of Foveon innovatorDP1 Merrill and DP2 Merrill now incorporate 46-megapixel, full-color image sensor

Ronkonkoma, NY, Feb. 8, 2012 – Sigma Corporation of America (www.sigmaphoto.com), a leading researcher, developer, manufacturer and service provider for some of the world’s most impressive lines of lenses, cameras and flashes, today announced the new Merrill series of digital cameras with the introduction of the DP1 Merrill and DP2 Merrill. The Merrill series is named in honor of Richard “Dick” Merrill, the co-creator of the Foveon X3 Direct Image Sensor technology that powers Sigma’s unique lineup of cameras.

These upgraded, high resolution, fixed lens compact digital cameras now incorporate the same APS-C sized 46-megapixel X3 image sensor found in the company’s flagship SD1 SLR, now also known as the Sigma SD1 Merrill. This name change not only pays homage to Merrill, but it also reflects new production efficiencies that will result in a substantial reduction in the camera’s market price starting next month.

Merrill (1949-2008) was a brilliant engineer, talented photographer and Foveon co-founder. He tapped into his passion for electronics to build an innovative pixel structure that uniquely demonstrated the ability to capture RGB information in each pixel location. This revolutionary discovery led the Foveon team to the development of the X3 Direct Image Sensor and, ultimately, to the creation of some of the most vibrantly colored and detailed imagery the photography industry has ever seen. Sigma acquired Foveon in late 2008.

“This revolutionary image capture system reflects both the artistic and technological sides of Merrill’s personality,” said Kazuto Yamaki, CEO of Sigma Corporation. “As an expression of Sigma’s passion for photography and in honor of Dick Merrill’s genius, we have named the latest generation of the Foveon X3 Direct Image Sensor the Foveon Merrill.”

The Sigma DP1 Merrill and DP2 Merrill each boast exclusively-designed, high-performance telecentric fixed lenses. The DP1 Merrill features a wide, 19mm F2.8 lens, which is the equivalent to a 28mm lens on a 35mm SLR camera. The DP2 Merrill, however, offers a 30mm F2.8 lens, which is the equivalent to a 45mm lens on a 35mm camera. Both cameras are compact and lightweight, and feature Sigma’s own “F” Low Dispersion (FLD) glass, which performs like fluorite glass and significantly improves lens performance, as well as Super Multi Layer Coating to reduce flare and ghosting. With the 46-megapixel, full-color Foveon X3 Direct Image Sensor, the new DP cameras capture all primary RGB colors at each pixel location with three layers, which results in incredibly detailed images with a three-dimensional feel.

The Sigma DP Merrill cameras also include the following features:

A dual, three-layer responsive ultimate (TRUE II) engine now incorporates two TRUE II processors toimprove the processing speed and overall quality of the final image. Sigma’s unique image-processing algorithm also provides high-resolution power and reproduces high-definition images with richly graduated tones that offer a three-dimensional feel.

RAW and JPEG format recording retains the full image detail of the utmost quality captured through the direct image sensor, as well as a JPEG recording format for convenience. The RAW data format provides pure data for high-resolution images, and uses lossless compression for more compact, yet uncompromised, data files. The RAW data format of the DP Merrill series keep brightness and color data in a 1:1 ratio without relying on interpolation. When the image is processed in Sigma Photo Pro, it will preserve the balance of the natural data for the best photos with the best image quality.

Sigma Photo Pro processing software converts RAW data quickly and easily. It incorporates functions such as a loupe, exposure picker, print, JPEG conversion, and batch white balance settings.

Manual focus is available for use when autofocus or focus-lock is not desired.

An advanced user interface is complete with acustom Quick Set (QS) menu and the metallic command dial to improve usability. The diaphragm, shutter speed and menu can be changed quickly using the command dial. The QS menu consists of the most commonly used functions and can be easily displayed by pressing the QS button, allowing photographers to change the menu content and the order depending on preferences.

A large, highly visible three-inch TFT color LCD monitor ensures great visibility even outdoors in the daytime. This approximately 920,000 pixel resolution LCD monitor benefits from a wide viewing angle, making it easy to capture details and check focusing and composition.

A hot shoe allows the use of the dedicated external flashgun EF-140 DG (optional) as well as Sigma electronic flashguns for SD series such as EF-610 DG Super (optional) and EF-610 DG ST (optional).

Movie mode enables movie recording with VGA (640×480) size, with 30 shooting frames per second.

Pricing and availability of the Sigma DP1 Merrill and DP2 Merrill are pending.

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Related posts:

No word on the 46MP Sigma SD1 camera

Sigma announced several new products including a 46MP camera with Foveon X3 sensor

Sigma slashes the price of the SD1 to ,300, I still doubt someone will buy it

New Sigma cameras to be announced tomorrow

Sigma SD1 will not capture video, future models may

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February 02, 2012 at 08:28PM


New Gear: Retro-Styled Pentax K-01 Interchangeable-Lens Compact Has an APC-C Sensor, K-Mount

Don’t worry, it also comes in black and white

When it comes to making interesting — and sometimes downright wacky — looking cameras, Pentax has been at the forefront for some time now. But, their new ILC gets its looks from the brain of renowned designer and artist, Marc Newsom. The result is something pretty unique, especially if you opt for the day-glo yellow colorway. Don’t worry, it also comes in black and white.

Inside its machined aluminum frame is a 16.3-megapxiel CMOS sensor with sensor-shift shake reduction, similar to what was in the excellent K-5 DSLR. It also works with all K-mount lenses, so if you’re already in the Pentax system, you can move to the K-01 pretty seamlessly.

The display is a 3-inch, 920K dot LCD and the pop-up flash has a guide number of 12m (ISO 100). ISO range is expandable to 25,600 and it can hit 6 FPS if you’re shooting in high-speed JPEG mode. Video capture isn’t too shabby either. It can do 1080p at 30 fps, but if you’re willing to drop to 720p, you can get 60 fps, which is noticeably superior for shooting action or if you want slow-motion.

Now, to the price. When the K-01 arrives in March, it’ll command 49 for the body, or 99 when coupled with the new 40mm XS pancake lens (more on that below). That’s actually pretty competitive, especially when you consider that it will work with the 25 million+ K-mount Pentax lenses that are already out there without an adapter, which is definitely a bit of an advantage over the Sony NEX line and even the Nikon 1 series.

What will be interesting is to see how a camera like this competes against the seemingly growing segment of super-advanced compacts with integrated lenses like the Fujifilm X-series and Canon‘s upcoming G1 X. With the kit lens, the K-01 is only 00 more expensive than the latter and it gets you a full-on camera system with an APS-C sensor.

Of course, that price also means that you’ll give up certain desirable features. For instance, the K-01 is completely devoid of an integrated viewfinder, so eye-level composition is out, which will likely be a deal-breaker for some.

As for the new lens, it’s the Pentax-DA 40mm F/2.8 XS pancake. Pentax is claiming that it’s the world’s thinnest, measuring just .36-inches thick. That’s actually probably thinner than some actual pancakes, depending on what diner you frequent. It focuses as close as 16-inches, has a Super Protect coating, and has an effective focal length of 61mm on an APS-C sensor. And, because it’s plain old K-mount, it’ll work on your current Pentax DSLRs as well.

Look for a hands-on when we get one to play with and then a full test report as soon as we get it in the lab.

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February 02, 2012 at 03:01AM


Windows 8 to Offer Improvements in Photo and File Management

The Microsoft team tasked with building Windows 8 has published a blog post with various user suggestions they’ve decided to implement in the OS. A big thing they’re focusing on is file management — something that isn’t usually touted as a “feature” but is important in day-to-day computer usage. One useful improvement is having the OS read the EXIF data in JPEG photos to automatically present the correct orientation.
Another improvement is how file copying will be handled — a task photographers run into all the time. The OS will be more intelligent in dealing with duplicate photos and files. The decisions on whether things are duplicates will no longer be based only on file name, but on things like size and modification date as well. No longer will you accidentally lose a photo if two of your cameras both shoot a photo named IMG_0001.JPG.

You can view a full rundown of changes here.

(via MSDN via Engadget)

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January 12, 2012 at 07:11AM


Fujifilm Releases X-Pro1 Sample Photos, M-Mount Adapter on the Way

Fujifilm claims that the sensor in its new X-Pro1 mirrorless camera system beats DSLR sensors (both crop and full frame) in resolution and signal/noise ratio. To give salivating photographers a taste of the camera’s image quality, the company has released 9 full-resolution JPEG images shot at different settings and focal lengths. The photo above was captured at ISO 1600 (check out the full-res here). They also provide a glimpse into the camera’s film simulation mode, as each one was shot in either Velvia or Provia mode.

At CES the company also announced that they’ll be releasing a lens adapter for the camera that will make it compatible with Leica M-mount lenses as well as old Fujinon lenses.

(via 1001 Noisy Cameras)

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New Gear: Panasonic Lumix FH6 and FH8 Compact Cameras

 

New Gear: Panasonic Lumix FH6 and FH8 Compact Cameras

Panasonic’s FH line now has two more members

The Panasonic Lumix FH8 compact.
The first of Panasonic’s CES announcements comes in the form of two new compact cameras that fall in the FH line — the freshly unveiled Panasonic Lumix FH6 and FH8. While Panasonic is mum on price and availability (for now), they have given us the rundown on what new features the cameras have to offer.

Both compacts share a common lens, a Leica DC Vario-Summarit lens, with a wide-angle of 24mm, 5x optical zoom, and a maximum aperture of f/2.8. The pair both have panorama shooting modes, the eternally unsettling “Beauty Retouch” function, and auto retouching for images.

The FH8 is the slightly more high-end of the pair, with a 16.1-megapixel sensor, 3-inch LCD, and MP4 video recording. Set to be available in either silver, black, red, or violet, it also features a tilt shift simulating “Miniature Effect” mode, as well as 10x speed video recordings. The movie thrust of this model is sufficient enough that Panasonic has added a dedicated video recording button.The Panasonic Lumix FH6

The FH6, on the other hand, only comes in black, records 14.1-megapixel images, has a 2.7-inch screen, and records motion JPEG video only.

Expect more on the price and availability of these cameras in months to come.

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