Thessaloniki 2011

During my three-week stay in Thessaloniki in February 2011, Thessaloniki caused me to take by far the greatest number of photographs I have ever taken in a major city. This album features visions which, I think, make Thessaloniki unique. All of my photographs have been taken with a very simple Fujifilm Finepix E550.

During the three weeks of my stay in Thessaloniki in February 2011, Thessaloniki, caused me to take, by far the largest number of photos I've taken a great city. This album features dreams, which I think makes Thessaloniki unique.

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Hasselblad X1D-50c shipments delayed until September 15

Shipment of the Hasselblad X1D-50C has been delayed for a couple of weeks, according to a listing on B&H Photo. The retailer’s product page now shows a shipment start date of September 15, two weeks later than the previously given August 30 date.

Hasselblad's 100MP H6D has also missed its target ship date, though by a much greater margin: announced in April, it's currently listed as unavailable at B&H. Hasselblad announced a trade-up deal for those waiting for the H6D-100c; customers can purchase a 50MP H6D-50c and only pay the difference to trade up for the 100MP back when the H6D-100c becomes available. Earthquake damage to Sony Japan's sensor facilities has been cited as the root cause of that delay.

Via: Mirrorless Rumors

Lytro Immerge VR footage showcased for the first time

Last November, Lytro unveiled Immerge, a pro-grade camera rig for producing cinematic VR content using the company’s light field technology. At the time, Lytro offered interested partners and studios the option to checkout a prototype of the rig, but little had been said since. That changed last week, with Lytro publishing a demonstration video showing footage created by its rig as seen through an Oculus Rift VR headset.

Lytro’s Immerge produces content by capturing data from all directions around the rig, using that to generate views for VR footage. The resulting footage can be presented in a few different forms: as spherical videos, 180-degree and 360-degree immersive videos, and there’s also the option for seamless capture. Unlike most VR cameras on the market, though, Immerge is being targeted at large studios and others interested in producing cinematic VR content. As demonstrated in the video below, these studios can use Immerge’s end-to-end system to blend CG elements into the footage without using a traditional green screen.

It's not clear which companies have partnered with Lytro. However, Lytro VP of engineering Tim Milliron said in a statement to The Verge, ‘What I can say is definitely in Q1 of 2017 you should be seeing several kinds of these kinds of experiences out in the real world from other content producers that we’re working with today.' The rig’s price hasn’t been revealed, but previous statements from the company pegs it at 'multiple hundreds of thousands of dollars.'

Via: The Verge

Putting Image Microadjust to the test on the Canon 5D Mark IV

One of the most discussed features of the Canon EOS 5D Mark IV is Image Microadjust. This uses the slight difference in perspective between the left and right-facing halves of the split 'dual' pixels to fine-tune the effective focus point of the images.

Like everyone else, we were interested to see what degree of refocusability this gave.

If you're wondering: 'will this let me correct which eye my portrait is focused on?' the answer is a resounding 'no'. Indeed, even if the question is: 'can I shift the focus back from the eye lashes to get the iris sharp,' the answer isn't much more positive.

Dual Pixel Image Microadjustment

We set up the 5D Mark IV with EF 35mm F1.4L II USM at F1.4, set up at approximately 25x focal length distance from our LensAlign target. The Dual Pixel Raw file was then processed in Digital Photo Professional (DPP) to see how much the maximum backward and forward adjustments could move focus.

+5 (Max backward adjustment) 0 (No adjustment) -5 (Max forward adjustment)

AF (Lens) Microadjustment

For comparison, here's the amount of adjustment that can be achieved using AF microadjustment - the traditional method for calibrating your lens to your body to correct back/front-focus issues. The rollover starts at +1 as this is the degree of adjustment needed by this lens on this body.

 +20  +10  +3  +2  +1  0  -1  -2  -3  -10  -20

Real-world difference

To demonstrate the real-world impact image microadjust might have on a traditional head-shot portrait, we shot Carey with an EF 85mm F1.8 at F1.8.

This portrait was very slightly front focused, so we tested the degree to which it can be refocused, backwards. For each of the adjustments, 'Strength' was set to 10 to maximize the input from one set of pixels.

+5 (Max backward adjustment) 0 (No adjustment) -5 (Max forward adjustment)

Interestingly, it appears the images become noticeably softer when you apply forward or backward adjustment, which may mask some of the advantages of the focus shift (there's a chance that slightly better-looking results will be possible if you apply higher levels of sharpening to the microadjusted images). However, the degree of correction we're seeing is so small (on the order of -2 to +2 in terms of traditional AF microadjustment) that we wonder whether it's worth the effort of incorporating DPP into your workflow, especially given its slow performance even on a fast computer. Or the doubling in file size.

+5 (Max backward adjustment) 0 (No adjustment) -5 (Max forward adjustment)

Horizontal portrait shot with 70-200mm F2.8 at 200mm F2.8

Overall, traditional 'AF (lens) microadjustment' is a much more powerful tool for achieving pinpoint sharpness and ensuring any particular lens is properly calibrated to your body. It appears the Dual Pixel CMOS design's primary value is what it was designed to do: easy-to-use and accurate Dual Pixel AF, rather than a means of correcting slight focus error. We hope to see more capable implementations in the future as Canon iterates on the technology.

Sony introduces FE 50mm F2.8 Macro with 1:1 reproduction

Sony has announced the FE 50mm F2.8 Macro, a full-frame lens with true 1:1 macro magnification. It provides a minimum focus distance of 16cm/6.3in and is resistant to dust and moisture. Its design includes 8 elements in 7 groups and a rounded 7-blade aperture.

The Sony FE 50mm F2.8 Macro will sell for $500 when it goes on sale in September.

Press release:

Sony Releases Full-Frame FE 50mm F2.8 Macro Lens

A lightweight and compact standard 50mm F2.8 macro prime lens that offers versatile shooting experience

SAN DIEGO, Aug. 30, 2016 – Sony Electronics, a worldwide leader in digital imaging and the world’s largest image sensor manufacturer, has today introduced a new full-frame lens for their E-mount camera system, the FE 50mm F2.8 Macro lens (model SEL50M28).

Ideal for everyday photography, this 50mm macro lens features an F2.8 maximum aperture that offers outstanding image quality and bokeh, while its 1:1 macro capability allows the photographer to get sharp close-up shots of their subject. Additionally, its comprehensive range of controls including focus-mode switch, focus-range limiter and focus-hold button ensure an effortless shooting experience for a wide range of users.

The lens offers a 6.3 inch minimum focusing distance and a wider field of view for capturing more background, compared to longer focal-length macro lenses. Weighing in at a mere 8.4 oz., it’s extremely lightweight and portable, making it easy to carry around.

The new FE 50mm F2.8 Macro lens features an ED (Extra-low Dispersion) glass to effectively compensate for axial chromatic aberration at close focus, allowing it to create consistently sharp and high quality images. The optical and mechanical construction of the lens has less glare and ghosting, even without a lens hood. The lens is also dust and moisture resistant.

Pricing and Availability

The new FE 50mm F2.8 Macro lens will be available in September for about $500 US and $650 CA, respectively. It will be sold at a variety of Sony authorized dealers throughout North America.

Sony FE 50mm F2.8 Macro specifications

Principal specifications
Lens type Prime lens
Max Format size 35mm FF
Focal length 50 mm
Image stabilization No
Lens mount Sony FE
Maximum aperture F2.8
Minimum aperture F16
Aperture ring No
Number of diaphragm blades 7
Elements 8
Groups 8
Special elements / coatings Extra-low Dispersion glass
Minimum focus 0.16 m (6.3)
Maximum magnification 1×
Autofocus Yes
Full time manual No
Focus method Extending front
Distance scale Yes
DoF scale No
Focus distance limiter Yes
Weight 236 g (0.52 lb)
Diameter 71 mm (2.8)
Length 71 mm (2.8)
Sealing Yes
Colour Black
Filter thread 55.0 mm
Hood supplied No
Tripod collar No

UPDATED | Don't get ahead of yourself: Canon EOS 5D Mark IV rolling shutter test

Much of the initial concern about the EOS 5D Mark IV's video has been about its substantial 1.64x crop (relative to the full width of the sensor, 1.74x compared to the 3:2 region) and its use of the inefficient Motion JPEG compression system (which limits the ability to use SD cards with any dependability).

However, upon shooting with the camera we found it to have significant rolling shutter. We've demonstrated the effect alongside the EOS-1D X Mark II, which reads out its sensor fast enough to exhibit pretty low levels of rolling shutter, and the Sony a6300, which shows a relatively high level of rolling shutter at 24p, albeit less so at 30p.

Detailed demonstration

Now we're allowed to show footage from the camera, we can show more clearly the difference between the EOS-1D X II, which showed very low levels of rolling shutter in our real world videography, and the EOS 5D Mark IV's footage, which we believe you'll need to be much more careful with. Particularly when it comes to using 4K video to shoot action at high frame rates, either for video or for 4K frame grabs.

Fast pan

EOS-1D X Mark II (60p) EOS 5D Mark IV (30p)

As before, these grabs were taken from a relatively fast pan with both cameras attached by an arm so that they're being moved at exactly the same speed. Unlike before, these were shot at 1/1000th of a second shutter speed, so reflect the behavior when trying to shoot for frame grabbing.

Slow pan

EOS-1D X Mark II (60p) EOS 5D Mark IV (30p)

These grabs come from a slower pan, much more like the kind you might wish to include in your own shooting. The 1D X II displays so little rolling shutter as to not be an issue at all at these speeds, while the 5D Mark IV continues to exhibit enough rolling shutter as to render a very odd looking frame grab.

What does this mean?

While rolling shutter isn't a huge deal at 1080p on the 5D Mark IV, 4K footage risks having panned or moving objects skewed diagonally across the frame and, potentially worse, a 'jello effect' to hand-held video. The jello effect can particularly show up in footage shot while walking, which isn't an unreasonable use-case for this camera for, say, wedding cinematographers. 

The 1D X II shows far better performance in this regard, and the ramifications extend beyond video shooting. We were - and continue to be - quite excited at the ability to use using the 1D X II for, effectively, 60 fps action shooting with (Dual Pixel) AF, thanks to the Canon's excellent 4K Frame Grab feature and very capable video AF. While you can do the same, albeit at 30 fps, with the 5D Mark IV, the reality is that the very fast action shots, or fast-moving subjects, that would benefit from the high frame rate of capture are the ones that will be most adversely affected by the decreased rolling shutter performance.

Ultimately, if you're careful with the way you move the camera, this rolling shutter effect may not be too apparent; however, there will be scenarios where it becomes distracting, at which point you may have better luck rolling the 5D Mark IV back to 1080p.

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