PT360: Episode 28 – MacBook Selfie Sticks, Photographer of the Year, New Gear from Canon and Tamron, and a Whole Lot More!
This week’s blog explores all sorts of new and interesting gear, from the ridiculous MacBook selfie stick to Tamron’s newest macro lens to Canon’s upcoming 5D Mark IV. Also this week we take a look at compact cameras from Sony and Olympus that are sure to make your next vacation one that’s easy to document. Have a look at the finalists for Photographer of the Year as well – you’re sure to find their photos to be quite impressive!
In the News
Leica to Team Up with Huawei to Get a Piece of the Smartphone Camera Market
By Petar Milošević (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons
Just a few days ago, Leica and Chinese telecom giant Huawei announced a long-term partnership that is billed as one that will change the world of smartphone photography forever.
The partnership involves various aspects of smartphone camera development, including engineering, user experience, and general research and development, among others.
Leica noted that its motivation for getting into the smartphone camera business was to help move the practice of mobile photography forward. If any optics company could do it, it’s Leica! Of course, there are obvious financial benefits as well, given the popularity of smartphones in China and across the world.
While there are no details on exactly what products will be developed by the two companies, it’s safe to say that at the very least, future Huawei phones will have a Leica camera.
Fuji Wants You to Ditch Manual Mode and Try This Preset
Fuji’s upcoming X-Pro2 camera has a film simulation mode that was designed to mimic Fuji’s venerable Acros black-and-white emulsion film.
So what’s different about this preset than all the other (terrible) monochrome presets out there?
This setting is more advanced than typical black-and-white presets. Rather than being a tone curve, the preset uses an algorithm that replicates the behavior of Acros film. The result is a photo that has higher contrast, good balance, and a pleasing grainy effect at higher ISOs.
If you want to give this new black-and-white preset a try, just pre-order a Fuji X-Pro2 from Amazon. The body is $1,700.00 with delivery beginning March 3rd.
The Rumor Mill
Tamron Announces New SP 90mm f/2.8 Macro Lens
By nubobo from Iwata, Shizuoka, Japan [CC BY 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons
If you take macro shots, you might want to have a look at Tamron’s new macro lens. It’s packed with features that are sure to impress even the most discerning macro photographer.
The 90mm lens has a maximum aperture of f/2.8 and has true 1:1 magnification. VC functionality of the lens has been improved with the inclusion of a new XY-shift compensation system. AF focusing speed has also been boosted thanks to improvements in the USD control software.
Additionally, the lens is dust-proof and moisture-proof, and the top element has a fluorine coating to prevent condensation. The fluorine coating also helps keep smudges at bay.
The lens will be released next month in the U.S. at a price of $649.
Via Canon Rumors.
Canon’s Next 5D is Rumored to Support 4K
By decltype (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons
The next 5D from Canon, the Mark IV, has had a lot of rumors swirling about it as of late. Of primary interest has been the possibility that the new camera will feature 4K shooting capabilities.
But now the rumor is that the 5D Mark IV will also have a Dualpixel CMOS AF full frame sensor as well. Unconfirmed reports also give the 5D Mark IV 61 AF points, 9fps capability, a touchscreen display, GPS, and Wi-Fi, among other high-tech goodies.
There is no word yet on when the 5D Mark IV will hit the shelves.
Via The New Camera.
Gadgets and Gizmos
Relax – Those MacBook Selfie Sticks are a Farce
If you think its awkward seeing someone take a selfie with an iPad, just wait until you see someone taking a selfie with a MacBook.
Yes, MacBook selfie sticks do indeed exist, but thankfully not as a marketable product. Instead, these massive sticks were created by several artists who then utilized them in a series of photos that actually attack today’s obsession with vanity.
From an artistic standpoint, the absurdity of it all was a great vehicle for bringing attention to the absurdity of normal selfie sticks. Head over to Mashable to see photos from the series, and pay close attention to the horror of passersby as they witness the MacBook selfie stick being used. It’s classic!
Polaroid’s New Tripod Promises to Be Perfect for Panoramas
Polaroid has launched some cool gadgets lately, and their new 360-degree panorama eyeball head is no different.
This little tripod can accommodate GoPros, smartphones, and compact cameras, as well as full-sized DSLRs. The head is controlled by an infrared remote that manages the direction the head turns as well as its speed. There are three fixed viewpoints, each up to 75 degrees apart, and five speed modes as well.
When building the tripod, Polaroid took extra measures to ensure the gearing would result in a smooth rotation for clear, sharp images, something you want for all photos, panoramas included.
This gizmo is currently available on Amazon in the U.S. for $49.99 and the U.K. for £44.99.
Looking for a Compact Camera? Try These!
Compact cameras are a nice addition to anyone’s camera bag, particularly for people that travel a lot or just want a camera for family events or gatherings with friends that doesn’t weigh them down.
One of the top compact cameras is the Sony RX100 IV. It’s got outstanding low-light performance, a fast autofocus system, tons of customization options, and a high resolution viewfinder. While images are ultra-sharp and high-quality, the real treat is in the camera’s video capabilities – it can shoot in 4K and in slow motion.
Of course, all this comes at a steep price: $948 on Amazon.
If you’re on more of a budget, the Olympus Tough TG-4 is another option, especially for people that put their cameras through the paces. The Tough gets its name, in part, because of its rugged, waterproof design. In fact, the Tough is waterproof to 50 feet, and is freezeproof, shockproof, and crushproof to boot.
The Tough can’t match the RX100’s image quality or video performance, but it does have RAW shooting support, which comes in handy for those images you want to give a little extra love to in post-processing. Plus it will stand up to just about anything you throw at it!
The Olympus Tough TG-4 is available now on Amazon for $347.99.
Via Business Insider.
Sony World Photography Awards Announces Its Top Entries
After scouring more than 230,000 photos from photographers in 186 countries, the Sony World Photography Awards has narrowed the field down to 115 images for the top prize.
The 115 photographers that remain are in the running for the title of Professional Photographer of the Year. Additionally, the winner gets $25,000 cash.
The winner of the competition will be announced in April of this year with the top images and winners from each category going on display at Somerset House in London shortly thereafter.
In the meantime, head over to Time to see some of the finalists.