Earlier this year at WPPI in Las Vegas, I stopped by the Benro/MeFoto booth to tell the team how much I loved the MeFoto tripod... but it was lacking in just a few places for a traveling videographer. Yes, the MeFoto was really compact, light weight and quick to set up, but I wanted clip locks and a smooth video pan head without sacrificing the size and weight the MeFoto offered. It seemed like an impossible request, until seven months later they delivered me the Benro Aero.
Schneider has just announced three beautiful new DSLR lenses for still photography. Their lenses have long been the gold standard in cinema glass and they're bringing that level of craftsmanship to these three manual focus lenses. The arms race towards ultimate optical performance is getting very interesting. The latest full frame digital sensors are finally starting to push lens design's limits and these should be near the top performing lenses available when they release.
Austin Mann recently got hold of the new iPhone 6 Plus after Apple’s Keynote at the Flint Center in Cupertino, California. In partnership with The Verge, he set out on an amazing adventure through Iceland with the phone in tow. His reason? He wanted to put the iPhone 6 Plus camera through the test to see how much has improved since the iPhone 5s. His results? From focus pixels, focus control, time-lapse and slo-mo, Apple has made all the right improvements and innovations with their iSight camera. The new features are “enabling iPhone users to better capture and share life” says Mann.
Over the past month I've been hard at work testing the Blackmagic Pocket Cinema (BMPCC) camera in a variety of situations for an Fstoppers review (since they updated the firmware, it's like an entirely new camera). While that review is still in progress as of today, I did want to talk to you guys about one piece of equipment that made shooting with it a great experience: the Metabones EF to Micro Four Thirds Adapter for the BMPCC.
The old photographers’ saying, “It’s not the camera, it’s the photographer” sounds like a self-serving flattery when it comes out of the mouth of a photographer, yet has never been more accurate than today. Its ironic how, as a professional photographer, I posses the knowledge of manipulating the most sophisticated gear and cameras available, yet when I shoot an image on the iPhone the resulting image is an embarrassment. Rushing to my defense I’ll utter each time, “I’m a terrible iPhone photographer…” So when I see amazing images, shot with the iPhone, I’m impressed with what can be achieved.
Quick update: Sigma's newly announced 150-600mm f/5-6.3 DG OS HSM Sports Lens (unveiled last week) already has a confirmed price point: $1,999. It will be available some time in October, with a specific date not yet given. At that price point, it's much higher than the Tamron we reviewed earlier this year, so Sigma must believe the performance and build quality to outperform the Tamron.
Though they are excellent for photographers, Pelican seemed to fall into the industry rather than build specifically for it. But with options between the ubiquitous Velcro inserts and foam, there hasn't been a lot to complain about in the design and function. They do exactly what they claim to, extremely well. However after using Lowepro's first attempt at hard cases, I can now see room for improvement. I think the perfect hard case is somewhere in between the two brands' offerings, but Lowepro is closer to the mark.
MindShift Gear used the excitement of Photokina to announce two brand new backpacks that will feature the companies award winning technology in a lighter and more compact photography pack. With travel photographers in mind, MindShift Gear has released these new backpacks, entitled the rotation 180º travel away, and the slightly smaller rotation 180º trail.
Hasselblad and PhaseOne are officially flip-flopping as PhaseOne just added its no-WiFi IQ150 following a much earlier IQ250 announcement and Hasselblad is now releasing a WiFi-enabled version of its H5D-50c. In addition to WiFi, the new version brings several firmware-related improvements that will find their way into the current H5D-50c and CFV-50c models via a future update.
Last year, I reviewed the Profoto B1 Strobe, and named it the best strobe on the market today. Phottix is looking to take that crown with their newly released Indra500 TTL, a 500w/s studio strobe with an optional battery pack. What puts it ahead of the competition? How about TTL built in, as well as High Speed Sync.
Broncolor has announced two new products at Photokina - a compact, portable flash system called, "Siros" and an HMI called the "F1600." The Siros looks to be a direct competitor with the Profoto D1s while the F1600 looks to add to Broncolor's existing line of continuous, high-output lights. Siros will come as two power configurations - 400 and 800 Ws. It features an easy-to-use knob and digital display system (similar to the D1) and can be controlled directly by Broncolor's "bronControl" app. The Siros and F1600 will be compatible with all existing Broncolor modifiers.
Think Tank has announced a set of new bag offerings at Photokina including the massive 15.7” x 40” x 12.6” Production Manager roller case, designed specifically to carry large amounts of lighting equipment long distances. It is a large roller with room for multiple flash heads, power packs, monoblocks, softboxes, and light-stands. They also released a premium quality limited edition roller and shoulder bags.
Following up their massive 512GB SD card announcement last week at IBC, SanDisk today announced that they are releasing the fastest microSD cards on the market, capable of producing 95MB/s transfer speeds and intended for use with 4K capable cameras.
Profoto just released a video showcasing their popular B1 units on location with wedding photographer Brian Marcus. Marcus shows how he uses the lights through new York with ease, obviously taking advantage of the size and weight of the B1 heads. This particular video focuses on the NIkon TTL Air remotes that were just released.
At a $5,000 "discount" compared to the IQ250, the IQ150 seems almost identical in every way. While we don't currently have much information, we do know that the IQ150 features the same Sony 50MP CMOS sensor that is featured in the IQ250, Hasselblad H5D-50c, Mamiya Leaf Credo 50, and Pentax 645z, boasting the same native and useable ISO range of 100-6400. The only [in]visible difference is the lack of WiFi and $29,990 price tag (compared to the IQ250's $34,990).