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2015.05.21

Fuji XQ2

A review of the latest ultra-compact premium camera from Fuji was just published at Neocamera. This one follows closely the XQ1 with a new Classic Chrome Film Simulation mode while keeping all the goodness of its predecessor.

The XQ2 features a 12 megapixels 2/3″ X-Trans CMOS II sensor paired with a ultra-bright F/1.8 wide-angle 4X optical zoom lens in a body with dual control-dials, a 3″ LCD and built-in WiFi. Read the Fuji XQ2 review to know how this premium camera performs.

Neocamera Blog Neocamera.com © Cybernium

2015.05.21

Panasonic just revealed their second 4K mirrorless as the advanced Panasonic Lumix DMC-G7. This Micro Four-Thirds camera slots itself just below the professional Panasonic GH4 reviewed here while offering professional-level controls, including dual control-dials and a built 2.4 megapixels EVF with Eye-Start sensor. It forfeits a weather-sealed body in favor of being lighter and smaller.

Panasonic Lumix DMC-G7

The G7 boasts a 16 megapixels Four-Thirds sensor with native ISO 200 to 25600 sensitivity range, expandable to ISO 100. It can capture full-resolution images at 8 FPS plus full Ultra-HD 3840×2160 video at 30 FPS with stereo sound, either from the built-in microphone or from an external audio source.

A new combined electronic and mechanical shutter allows a wide range of shutter-speeds, from 1/16000s to 60s, plus bulb exposures up to 120s. The electronic shutter also enables 4K stills at 30 FPS. As usual with high-end Panasonic mirrorless, this one offers plenty of drive modes including Time-Lapse and Stop-Motion.

The all-new Panasonic G7 is scheduled to ship next month for $799 USD or $899 CDN. B&H Photo and Adorama are already accepting pre-orders.

Neocamera Blog Neocamera.com © Cybernium

2015.05.18

The new Fuji X-T10 is second mirrorless in the highend X-T series, this time slotting itself below the excellent flagship X-T1 reviewed here, giving up on the weatherproof and freezeproof construction of its higher-end sibling while featuring a lighter and more compact body.

The Fuji X-T10 features the same exceptional 16 megapixels X-Trans CMOS II sensor with pseudo-random 6×6 color-filter-array and no anti-alias filter. This one has built-in Phase-Detect AF. Paired with a high-speed 1/32000s – 30s hybrid electronic and mechanical shutter, it can capture extremely fast action at up to 8 FPS. The buffer is reduced to 8 images but becomes unlimited at 3 FPS.

With its APS-C sensor, the X-T10 is particularly well suited for low-light photography compared to the majority of mirrorless cameras. It boasts a standard ISO 200 to 6400 sensitivity range, expandable to ISO 100 and 12800 – 51200.

Fuji X-T10

This mirrorless is very compact yet fits a 2.4 megapixels EVF with Eye-Start sensor which shows 100% coverage at 0.62X magnification, only a little smaller than the X-T1. This EVF shows full information with a Digital-Level and MF-Assist, Fuji’s unique Digital Split-Image and Focus-Peeking. There is also a sharp 3″ LCD with 920K pixels mounted on a tilting hinge to allow for composition at odd angles.

The new EVF and EXR II processor allow the X-T10 to achieve unprecedented speeds, including a spectacular 0.005s display lag, 0.06s Phase-Detect AF lock and startup time of 0.5s. It can also record full 1080p HD video at 60 FPS.

The X-T10 evolves the hybrid mechanical and digital controls first introduced by the X-T1. It offers dual control-dials, plus dedicated Shutter-Speed, Exposure-Compensation and Drive Mode dials. Only the ISO dial of the higher-end model is gone. There is still no traditional Mode-Dial but a new switch toggles the X-T10 between fully Auto and implicit PASM shooting modes.

The new Fuji X-T10 is scheduled to be available next month for $799 USD or $899 CDN, a significant price below the flagship offering, despite having almost all its features save for weather-sealing. Adorama and B&H Photo are already accepting pre-orders at these links. Both these stores also ship internationally and B&H Photo even offers Free Shipping to Canada for orders above $99 USD. This may be a limited time offer, so hurry!

Neocamera Blog Neocamera.com © Cybernium

2015.05.18

To keep or delete? is one of the two eternal questions in digital photographer. The other, unsurprisingly is RAW vs JPEG? which is wormhole of its own.

Of course, this is a personal question and it varies tremendously. Some situations, like fast-moving actions almost guarantee a higher hit-to-miss ratio, so there is no exact numeric answer to what percent of images to keep vs delete.

Puebla Cathedral

 

Finding Keepers

My motto for this is Delete is my friend :) First, I delete anything that is not technically perfect, making extremely few exceptions (less than 0.01%) for moments which give emotional attachment. Say, the first step of a baby, even blurry, is probably a keeper! Then, it is time to and then delete anything that has no point of interest or is too similar to another shot.

A great exercise is to give yourself a the challenge to simply not shoot the bad ones. It has been working for me, diminishing my deletion ratio is while augmenting the quality of my shots. Now, I am below 80% deletion. From what’s left, only 10% get shown, either off or on-line, and about 4% get sold as prints or licensed to publications.

The most common reaction is that storage is cheap and I agree, only the cost of managing storage is not.

Workflow

Here is a workflow that works to efficiently reduce the number to store:

  1. Delete immediately in-camera missed shots. Things like people entering the shot at the wrong moment, forgot the camera was in MF, etc.
  2. Delete anything that is not technically perfect: sharp, focused, well exposed, well framed, correct WB, level, etc as a first pass on the computer. PMVIew Pro on Windows and Geeqie on Linux are most efficient for this.
  3. Delete everything that is too similar, keeping the best of course. This is the second pass on computer, also with the same fast viewers as above.
  4. Import into Lightroom, apply keywords and rank as the third pass. This is when documentary shots that lack interest get ranked low. Lightroom has a 0 to 5 start ranking system which is reasonable granularity. Most DAM Software offer something similar. My personal ranking is:A) Zero stars for things that are not pictures such as panorama pieces or brackets for Exposure Fusion or HDR.B) Things that are technically reasonable but lack interest get 1 star. Try to crop them and see if they get more interesting, in that case they can be upgraded to 2 stars. If they show a technical error, also rank then with 2 stars.C) A technically perfect and interesting photographs gets 3 stars unless:

    D) It is also evocative and would make an appealing print in a visible location. Album prints do not count, those are more for souvenir-type images. In this, rank with 4 stars unless:

    E) There is NO way the picture could have been improved by a change of position, framing or camera settings. In that case, it is ranked a full 5 stars.

Puebla Restaurant

Improving

The goal, while repeating this process after every shoot, is to stop shooting the 1-3 stars images. This is what will make the ratio of keepers constantly improving. Always ask yourself why something came out poorly and what were you thinking at the time. Always tag anything that got cropped (or worse 😉 ) to known each time when you failed to do things properly.

Closing words from Jay Maisel:

“If you are not your own harshest critic, you are your own worst enemy.”

Neocamera Blog Neocamera.com © Cybernium

2015.05.11

MindShift Gear recently announced a mid-size backpack with their unique Rotation 180° design. The new Horizon 34L is has an integrated belt-pack that can store a DSLR, an extra lens and a 10″ tablet. It can be rotated for quick and easy access without removing the backpack.

MindShift Gear Roation 180 Horizon 34L

This Rotation 180 bag is designed for outdoor adventure. It offers a 34 liter capacity in a lightweight backpack. It can support a tripod directly or via an optional Tripod Suspension Kit which places the tripod itself within easy reach. There is a seam-sealed rain-cover and dedicated a dedicated hydration pack compartment (3L) and ice-ax loop.

The belt-pack can be worn separately from the rest to provide relief when the entire backpack is not necessary. The main compartment is large enough for hold several articles of clothing plus a 13″ laptop. An additional top compartment is ideal to store small frequently used items.

The MindShift Gear Rotation 180° Horizon 34L measures 11″ x 25″ x 9″ and weighs 3.9 lbs (1.8kg). The interior of the backpack is 8.5″ x 11″ x 4″ (27L) and that of the belt-pack is 10.4″ x 8″ x 5.5″ (7L).

Neocamera Blog Neocamera.com © Cybernium

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