Articles written by Adam Ottke
It was some time ago now that I reviewed one of Lowepro's first ProTactic AW bags when it first came out, and it was quite well received on this end. Today, Lowepro announced the addition of four new bags to the ProTactic line which are easily recognizable and known for their external SlipLock-compatible accessory and webbing system and semi-rigid, premium build. Today's newest bags come in smaller sizes and, for the first time, in shoulder-bag variants — all maintaining the all-weather (AW) design with smaller mirrorless or single-body kits in mind. For the commuters or über-mobile that don't need room for multiple bodies and half a dozen lenses in addition to a 15-inch laptop, these smaller options may be the best choice now that they're on the market.
First, second, third, and fourth generations of several companies’ drones are now out on the market. But it’s only as we head into 2016 that the drone race is really on and that all the other possible players with their collectively interesting ideas who might have lagged behind a little are now crossing the halfway point. That race won’t end anytime soon, as the consumer drone market’s innovation is only picking up. I caught up with Vantage Robotics Co-Founder and CEO Tobin Fisher on a beautiful San Francisco morning on Crissy Field, where he let his company's new 4K drone, “Snap,” do just that.
New Horizons left Florida's Cape Canaveral launch pad on January 19, 2006, arrived over Pluto more than nine years later on July 14, 2015, and finally gave scientists its first images over Labor Day weekend, when its year-long, tediously slow data dump first began. Coming in at 2,000 bits per second (1/28th the speed of dial-up), these images - many of which are composited in various ways to form a final image - finally shed some light on what secrets Pluto's surface, atmosphere, and core might hold. All told, the results give sci-fi fanatics a run for their money.
Every now and then, it’s good to have a quick update to know what the biggest, fastest, or most affordable drives are for the money. We’re always on the go and in need of more storage, so portable hard drives go to the top of the list when new ones come out. Though it’s not that new, Western Digital’s newest and largest portable 3 TB, single-drive offering is still sometimes out of stock, but the 3 TB My Passport Ultra is certainly not alone in its segment.
Zeiss was long expected to announce at least one new Otus lens today (and I suppose they still might, although I wouldn't hold your breath). Instead, at least for now, Zeiss announced a new line of lenses for Nikon and Canon DSLRs under the moniker, "Milvus." Oddly enough, however, there are some interesting, stand-out differences between the Nikon and Canon versions.
Camera manufacturers have been in a megapixel race for some time. Canon has its new 5DS and 5DS R bodies, Nikon has its D810 and even the D810A for astrophotography, and PhaseOne, Hasselblad, Pentax, and even Leica are competing for medium format, high-megapixel territory. While Canon's 120-megapixel APS-H sensor is actually not entirely new (it was announced some time ago), the announcement that Canon is actually working to get it into a DSLR body and not just using it for bragging rights (their 250 MP sensor now lifts that crown) is a huge development. Meanwhile, Canon is among the first to announce some serious commitment to 8K video.
Professional hard drive and storage solutions company G-Technology unveiled a series of new hard drives that expand compatibility and flexibility with their growing Evolution Series solutions. Denoted with an "ev" in their product names, the Evolution Series products enable professionals to take portable project drives on the go, dock them to professional and extremely fast workstations in the office, and then go mobile again -- all with the same drive(s). Among the new devices is a creation from a G-Technology and RED Digital Cinema partnership: the ev Series Reader RED MINI-MAG Edition.
The Department of Energy (DOE) recently gave final approval of $168 million in funding for what would be the most powerful (and likely most expensive) camera to date, created for the new, primarily National Science Foundation-funded Large Synoptic Survey Telescope (LSST) that will live on the peak of Chile's Cerro Pachòn.
Canon's EOS M was a good first-try mirrorless, compact APS-C camera that fell a bit short. After withholding the EOS M2 for other markets, the M3 comes to the United States after two generations of much-needed improvements. Those features, however, just might launch the platform into best-in-class territory -- at least on paper.
Canon's rumored 35mm follow-up is finally here. Apart from the obvious general increase in quality with the standard aspheric and ultra-low dispersion elements, the new lens specifically promises to further reduce chromatic aberration (important for wide-aperture lenses) while being the "ideal complement to the latest generation of Canon's high-resolution DSLRs" (i.e. the 50-megapixel Canon 5DS and 5DS R cameras).
Some photographers like that soft, ethereal feel as they specifically seek out types of plastic to stick in front of the lens, or even go so far as to buy defocus control lenses and LensBabies that will allow them to distort an otherwise true image. That has its value. But this isn’t for that. This is the new go-to guide for absolutely everything to know about how to get your images to be tack sharp. Get ready to dive in: this is a no-questions-left-behind study on sharpness.
Nikon's newest AF-S 24-70mm f/2.8E ED VR isn't any ordinary lens. Aside from the obvious addition of VR, the lens features a number of other features, including a new 82mm filter size and increased weight. While it's hard to consider those last two qualities "features," if you thought it was a bit odd, you were right. There's a reason behind everything -- and the reasons behind the design changes prove this might be a lens to think on more than you otherwise would. It also starts making that hefty price tag feel a whole lot cheaper.
While this is more than your average lens announcement on all counts, Nikon's updated 24-70mm f/2.8E ED VR with electromagnetic diaphragm and vibration reduction technologies certainly reigns supreme on fans' hit lists of lens replacements for 2015. Meanwhile, Nikon's 24mm f/1.8G ED fits snuggly between the 20mm and the 28mm variants of the same range, filling a final gap in an otherwise perfectly covered potential f/1.8G video lens kit. The 200-500mm f/5.6E ED VR gives lovers of the refreshed 80-400mm f/4.5-5.6G something to think about with its combination of extreme affordability and extra reach, despite its narrower wide end.
That is not a typo. Canon's newest camera is its first "multi-function" camera and is capable of something entirely refreshing (and maybe even a bit scary): capable of shooting 1080p at an equivalent of over four million ISO, the ME20F-SH can shoot objects that even the naked eye cannot see (objects lit by less than 0.0005 lux of illumination) in Full HD. While all cameras are somewhat multi-purpose by nature, Canon's "multi-function" designation of this camera speaks to the wide range of uses for which the ME20F-SH can be adapted given such features.