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  • Tamron teases new zoom lens for full-frame Sony E-mount cameras

    Tamron already has six full-frame Sony E-mount lenses in its lineup, but there’s another on the way. In a video shared on its YouTube channel earlier today, Tamron teased a new full-frame E-mount lens that appears to be a mid-range zoom lens.

    The 18-second clip, embedded below, doesn’t divulge any additional details about the lens, but it does link to Tamron’s E-mount lens lineup page that shows how the forthcoming lens will stack up in size compared to the six current full-frame E-mount lenses — three primes and three zooms.

    You can also see in the lineup photo the new lens will have what appears to be a focus locking switch sandwiched between the focus and zoom rings. Tamron’s 70–180mm F2.8 Di III VXD lens is the only current full-frame E-mount lens in the lineup to offer this switch.

    We’ll keep you up to date, but you can also keep an eye on Tamron’s website for more information. There’s also Tamron Japan’s website, which sometimes posts press releases ahead of the U.S. site.

  • DJI scores a victory in the latest round of a patent battle with Autel

    DJI's Mavic 2 Pro is one of the products that could potentially become unavailable in the U.S., as early as July, on account of Autel's claims.

    With close to an 80% share in the U.S. consumer drone market, DJI holds a substantial lead over its competitors. News arose, several weeks ago, that some of its best-selling models plus accessories could be banned from being sold and imported into the U.S., as early as July, on account of a preliminary Autel Robotics victory.

    DJI and its law firm, Finnegan, recently responded to Autel's claims and secured their own victory in the latest round of an ongoing, years-long patent battle. For perspective, DJI filed a patent infringement complaint against Autel, who currently holds an 0.8% share of the U.S. drone manufacturers market, back in 2016. DJI alleged that Autel copied the 'look and feel' of its Phantom UAVs with its X-Star Premium drone.

    DJI filed a patent infringement complaint. They claim the Autel X-Star Premium copies the 'look and feel' of their Phantom series.

    On August 30, 2018, Autel mounted its own offense by requesting the International Trade Commission (ITC) investigate DJI, pursuant to Section 337, for selling drones infringing on Autel's US Patent No. 9, 260,184. Months later, on October 2nd, the ITC set its investigation in motion based on Autel's assertion of the following 3 patents:

    • ’174 patent - obstacle avoidance
    • ’184 patent - rotor blades
    • ’013 patent - batteries that clamp onto the drones

    The ITC's chief administrative law judge (CALJ) issued a favorable initial determination (ID) to DJI on March 2nd of this year, according to Finnegan. CAL Judge Bullock found that ’174 patent claims, involving obstacle avoidance technology, were not infringed as they were not practiced by any domestic industry product and therefore invalid under 35 U.S.C. § 101. He declared that many of the accused DJI products also did not infringe on the '184 patent involving rotor blades. The '013 patent claim on batteries that clamp into the drone was also declared invalid.

    'Ultimately the Commission may decide that Autel deserves no remedy at all, but at a minimum, the Commission is unlikely to enforce any exclusion order or cease-and-desist order based on the three invalid patents.'

    Finnegan's post also claims a win for DJI with the Patent Trial and Appeals Board (PTAB). On May 13th – 21st of this year, the PTAB found all 3 patents ('174, '184, '013) declared in Autel's ITC proceeding unpatentable. 'The Commission is currently deciding whether to review the CALJ’s ID. Ultimately the Commission may decide that Autel deserves no remedy at all, but at a minimum, the Commission is unlikely to enforce any exclusion order or cease-and-desist order based on the three invalid patents. DJI’s sales in the U.S., therefore, will not be affected by Autel’s claims,' DJI's legal team concludes.

    The entire IP update from DJI's law firm can be viewed here. Representatives from the drone manufacturer declined to comment.

  • Samyang announces its AF 85mm F1.4 lens is now available for Canon RF mount

    Last year, Samyang1 released the AF 85mm F1.4 FE prime lens for Sony full-frame mirrorless cameras. Now, the lens has been updated with a Canon RF mount to work with Canon’s line of full-frame mirrorless cameras, too.

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    Aside from the new mount, the lens remains unchanged from its Sony FE predecessor. The lens is constructed of 11 elements in 8 groups, including one Extra-Low Dispersion (ED) element and four High Refractive Index (HRI) elements to help minimize chromatic aberration. The optical elements also use Samyang’s Ultra Multi Coating (UMC) to keep flares and ghosting under control.

    Autofocus is driven by Samyang’s Dual Linear Sonic Motor (DLSM) and the sole button on the lens is the AF/MF button for switching between auto and manual focus. The lens features weather-sealing, a nine-blade aperture diaphragm and a 77mm front filter thread. Below is a sample photo, provided by Samyang:

    The Samyang AF 85mm F1.4 RF is expected to ship in June for $800, with pre-orders opening up before then. The RF version comes in at $100 more than the Sony FE version was launched at and $200 more than what the Sony FE is currently selling for. We will update this page when pre-orders become available.

    1 Samyang is also sold under the Rokinon and Bowens brand names, depending on your region and the retailer you purchase from.

  • Sony ZV-1 sample gallery (DPReview TV)

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    Check out our first sample gallery from the Sony ZV-1, shot by our team at DPReview TV. Their full review of the ZV-1 is coming to a YouTube channel near you soon!

  • DJI's Mavic Air 2 shoots 8K Hyperlapse – but will you be able to view it?

    Want to use the DJI Mavic Air 2's new 8K hyperlapse feature? This how it will look on most computers right now unless you download a specific video player.

    Earlier this month, we reviewed DJI's latest consumer-grade drone: the Mavic Air 2. The compact machine boasts an array of features normally reserved for higher-end, professional-grade drones. Notably, DJI touted the fact that the Mavic Air 2 now offers users the ability to capture 8K hyperlapse video.

    When conducting our initial review, we were only able to test out 1080p hyperlapse, which is also available on the Mavic 2 Pro and Zoom models. The day the Mavic Air 2 was officially made available to the public, DJI released a firmware update that included the ability to capture 8K footage. When trying it out this past week, the process was straightforward enough. However, I found it impossible to view the recorded hyperlapse clips on a computer.

    This is what the 8K hyperlapse clip pictured above should look like (screenshot captured using sPlayer software). DJI is currently working on a firmware update to improve compatibility, expected in early June.

    At first I thought the files, taken on different memory cards and uploaded to both my MacBook Pro and iMac, outfitted with recent OS updates, were corrupted. As it turns out, the problem wasn't computer-related.

    The Mavic Air 2's 48MP camera is what makes 8K footage possible. In hyperlapse mode, the drone takes a series of photos and automatically stitches them together to produce a short time-lapse video. 48MP photos consist of four 12MP images stitched together. At this time, half of these photos aren't showing up. This creates the checkerboard effect seen in the first image when the footage is played back.

    It appears that YouTube does handle the Mavic Air 2's 8K hyperlapse videos correctly. Want to try playing the original video file on your own computer? You can download it here.

    8K hyperlapse video clips will successfully playback using sPlayer software, which is free to download and available for both Windows and Mac. DJI tells us that it's aiming for an early June firmware update that will allow 8K hyperlapse footage to be more widely compatible with other software. Additionally, a 4K hyperlapse update is expected to arrive in 'late June or early July', and 2.7K hyperlapse at a later date.

    If you're new to creating hyperlapse videos, keep in mind that recording 1 or 2 clips can take up most of your battery life – depending on the length of your shooting interval and the overall video clip time selected. The Mavic Air 2 battery boasts a maximum of 34 minutes flight time. The minimum interval between shots for 8K hyperlapse is 6 seconds, versus 2 seconds for 1080p. As a result, a 5 second clip at a 6 second intervals will take 12 minutes, 30 seconds to record.

    If you're eager to shoot 8K hyperlapse footage with your Mavic Air 2, you may want to hold off a bit. As of now, you'll either need to download sPlayer to view it or wait a bit for the next firmware update from DJI.

  • Ricoh introduces HD Pentax-D FA* 85mm F1.4 lens

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    Just two weeks after Ricoh revealed more details of its long-teased portrait prime, the HD Pentax-D FA* 85mm F1.4 ED SDM AW has officially been released. The new lens offers numerous special elements, a new AF motor and the build quality we've come to expect from high-end Pentax lenses.

    The 85mm F1.4 contains a total of 12 elements, including 'Super ED' and aspherical glass. An HD coating is used to reduce flare and ghosting. The lens has a new ring-type SDM lens motor to drive the focusing elements, which delivers 1.3x more torque than the motor on the 50mm F1.4, according to Ricoh. The lens has a nine-blade aperture that is electronically controlled.

    Minimum focus distance is 0.85m (2.8ft) and the maximum magnification is 0.12x. It's sealed against dust and moisture in eight places (that's the 'AW' designation - standing for 'All Weather') and can be used in tough conditions when paired with a weather-resistant Pentax camera.

    The FA* 85mm F1.4 will be available in mid-June for $1899.

    Press release:

    Ricoh announces HD PENTAX-D FA★85mm F1.4ED SDM AW for K-mount digital SLR cameras

    Second fixed focal-length model added to next-generation, high-performance Star lens series

    PARSIPPANY, NJ, May 27, 2020 - Ricoh Imaging Americas Corporation today announced the HD PENTAX-D FA★85mm F1.4ED SDM AW lens, the second fixed focal-length lens in the new-generation PENTAX Star (★) lens series. Designed for use with PENTAX K-mount digital SLR cameras, Star-series lenses boast the highest imaging performance of all PENTAX lens lineups.

    PENTAX developed a new, ring-type SDM (Supersonic Direct-drive Motor) exclusively for this new lens to enable flawless, high-speed autofocus operation, with an exterior design that assures a firm grip for manual-focus operation. The HD PENTAX-D FA★85mm F1.4ED SDM AW lens is designed not only to assure the highest imaging power currently possible, but also to optimize the joy of picture-taking.

    The new lens incorporates three Super ED (Extra-low Dispersion) glass optical elements to effectively minimize chromatic aberration, and a glass-molded aspherical optical element to effectively compensate for spherical and chromatic aberrations and field curvature to deliver extra-clear, high-contrast images with edge-to-edge sharpness, even at open aperture. This design also reduces distortion to nearly zero at a focusing distance of four meters to deliver well-defined, distortion-free images over the entire focusing range, from the minimum focusing distance to infinity.

    The HD PENTAX-D FA★85mm F1.4ED SDM AW lens boasts an F1.4 maximum aperture, useful with many different subjects in a range of applications, including portraiture with an effectively defocused background, handheld shooting of indoor scenes and scenic photography. The extra-large aperture produces a bright, clear viewfinder image that will surely inspire photographic creativity and imagination.

    Developed as an AW (All Weather) model, the new lens features dustproof, weather-resistant construction with eight special seals to prevent the intrusion of water into the lens barrel. When paired with a dustproof, weather-resistant PENTAX digital SLR camera body, it assures a durable, reliable digital imaging system that performs superbly in demanding shooting settings — even in rain or mist, or at locations prone to water splashes or spray.

    | Pricing and Availability |

    The HD PENTAX-D FA★85mm F1.4ED SDM AW lens will be available in mid-June at www.us.ricoh-imaging.com as well as at Ricoh Imaging-authorized retail outlets for a manufacturer’s suggested retail price of $1899.95.

    Main Features of the new HD PENTAX-D FA★85mm F1.4ED SDM AW

    1. New-generation, high-performance Star-series lens to deliver ideal image quality

    Anticipating the further advancement of SLR camera bodies in the future, PENTAX has designed this lens to deliver extra-clear, high-contrast images with edge-to-edge sharpness by compensating various aberrations to a minimum, while greatly enhancing resolving power — two factors absolutely essential in the next-generation Star series. It provides exceptionally high imaging performance even at open aperture, a beautiful bokeh (defocus) effect and outstanding image rendition at close ranges — all reasons why it produces high-quality, well-defined images. It also boasts an extra-large F1.4 maximum aperture, useful with many different subjects in a range of applications, including portraiture with an effectively defocused background, handheld shooting of indoor scenes and scenic photography. It helps the camera to produce a bright, clear viewfinder image that will inspire the photographer’s creativity and imagination.

    2. State-of-the-art optical technology

    This lens incorporates three Super ED (Extra-low Dispersion) glass optical elements to effectively minimize chromatic aberration, and a glass-molded aspherical optical element to effectively compensate for spherical and chromatic aberrations and field curvature to deliver extra-clear, high-contrast images with edge-to-edge sharpness, even at open aperture. It also reduces distortion to nearly zero at a focusing distance of four meters to deliver well-defined, distortion-free images over the entire focusing range, from the minimum focusing distance to infinity. This lens is also treated with high-grade, multi-layer High-Definition (HD) Coating, which reduces average reflectance in the visible ray spectrum to less than 50% of conventional multi-layer coatings, effectively reducing flare and ghost images to a minimum even in demanding lighting conditions such as backlighting.

    3. Newly designed, large ring-type SDM

    To deliver the highest image quality possible over the entire focusing range — from the minimum focusing distance to infinity — this lens features a newly designed, large ring-type SDM to efficiently drive the focusing mechanism, which consists of a larger number of optical elements than ordinary lenses, and is required to shift heavy rear-optical-element groups in unison. Generating a torque approximately 1.3 times that of the unit installed in the HD PENTAX-D FA★50mm f1.4 SDM AW, this new SDM assures flawless, high-speed autofocus operation.

    4. Dustproof, weather-resistant construction

    Developed as an AW (All Weather) model, this lens features a dependable dustproof, weather-resistant construction with eight special seals to prevent the intrusion of water into the lens barrel. When paired with a dustproof, weather-resistant PENTAX digital SLR camera body, it assures a durable, reliable digital imaging system that performs superbly in demanding shooting conditions — even in rain or mist, or at locations prone to water splashes or spray.

    5. Other features

    • Nine-blade, round-shaped diaphragm to produce a natural, beautiful bokeh (defocus) effect up to the F2.8 aperture setting, while minimizing the streaking effect of point light sources
    • Exterior design that facilitates focus-ring operation in manual-focus shooting and provides a firm hold
    • Electromagnetic diaphragm-control mechanism** for flawless, high-precision exposure control during video recording
    • SP (Super Protect) coating to keep the front surface free of dust and spots

    ** This mechanism is available when the lens is mounted on a K-1 Mark II, K-1, K-3 II, K-3, KP,
    K-70, K-50, K-S2 or K-S1 camera body.

    HD Pentax-D FA* 85mm F1.4 ED SDM AW specifications Principal specificationsLens typePrime lensMax Format size35mm FFFocal length85 mmImage stabilizationNoLens mountPentax KAF4ApertureMaximum apertureF1.4Minimum apertureF16Aperture ringNoNumber of diaphragm blades9OpticsElements12Groups10Special elements / coatings1 aspherical + 3 Super ED elements, HD coatingFocusMinimum focus0.85 m (33.46″)Maximum magnification0.12×AutofocusYesMotor typeRing-type ultrasonicFull time manualYesFocus methodInternalDistance scaleYesDoF scaleNoPhysicalWeight1255 g (2.77 lb)Diameter95 mm (3.74″)Length124 mm (4.88″)SealingYesColourBlackFilter thread82 mmHood suppliedYes
  • Canon brings its EOS Webcam Utility Beta to macOS

    Last month, Canon released the EOS Webcam Utility Beta for Windows that enabled PC owners to turn their compatible EOS and PowerShot cameras into webcams for use in video conferencing apps such as Skype and Zoom.

    Now, Canon has announced the same utility is now available for macOS users, bringing the functionality to Apple owners wanting to up their video conferencing game. According to Canon, ‘tens of thousands’ of downloads were made for the Windows version and the most-requested feature was support for macOS computers.

    A list of cameras currently compatible with the EOS Webcam Utility Beta for macOS and Windows computers.

    The macOS version works identical to the Windows version and requires little more than one of the above compatible cameras and a USB cable for your specific camera model. Canon is requesting feedback on its forums if you encounter any problems or have a feature request.

    If you’re wondering how well the EOS Webcam Utility Beta works, check out our rather unnecessary and absolutely overkill of a test went. You can download both the macOS and Windows versions on Canon's website.

  • Shutterstock announces new earnings structure and contributors are anything but happy

    Stock photography company Shutterstock is taking heat after announcing in a post on its contributor forum that it’s putting a new earnings structure in place starting June 1, 2020.

    Under the new structure, photographers and videographers will get compensated via a percentage of the sales price based on the ‘level’ their photo and/or video are rated, with the level being determined by the number of times their content is licensed. Previously, there were lifetime earnings tiers, which took into account total sales made during the lifetime of the contributor, but Shutterstock will do away with that and instead reset all contributors to ‘level 1’ for both images and videos every year on January 1.

    Shutterstock breaks down what the various levels consist of in the two graphics below — one for photos and one for video, each of which are calculated independently of one another:

    This effectively means that no matter how many sales a contributor has made, on January 1 each year, said contributor will always be demoted back to ‘Tier 1’ wherein they only receive a 15% commission on sales.

    Shutterstock says it’s ‘making this adjustment in order to reflect changes in the market for creative content, help to create fair opportunities for all our contributors, and reward performance with greater earnings potential.’ But contributors aren’t convinced and are voicing their concerns and frustrations in the announcement forum post; especially members who have been long-time contributors with massive lifetime earnings numbers, as they will be most affected by this change.

    Shutterstock member Richard Whitcombe, who's been a member since 2010 and has posted more than 3,200 pieces of content, replied to the announcement post saying, ‘Just when you think Shutterstock couldn’t completely and utterly screw the contributors more you’ve gone and done it.’ He continues, ‘Effectively with a January reset everybody gets a cut of 20% or more of earnings to a new laughably tiny amount and it’ll take months to claw back the level they’ve been earning previously. So most people are going to go most of the year for half or less than they currently get.’

    Whitcombe shared in a later post that a Shutterstock team member sent him a private message suggesting they will be hiding his posts replying to the original announcement. What posts exactly the Shutterstock team member is referring to remains to be seen, but you can read all of Whitcombe’s public posts on his profile linked above.

    Other members have also chimed in on the changes, echoing Whitcombe’s concern and disbelief about the new earnings structure. As of publishing this article, there are 66 pages of replies to the original forum post, few of which are positive.

  • Fujifilm releases Windows-only app for turning your X series, GFX System cameras into a webcam

    Following in the footsteps of Canon, Fujifilm has released a Windows-only program for turning your Fujifilm camera system into a webcam.

    Fujifilm X Webcam, as it’s being called, makes it possible to turn nine different Fujifilm X Series and GFX System digital cameras into webcams for use with video conferencing software such as Skype and Zoom. We previously shared how you can do this through more convoluted means, but this first-party program should make it easier and guarantee better integration with the supported Fujifilm systems, including the GFX100, GFX 50S, GFX 50R, X-H1, X-Pro2, X-Pro3, X-T2, X-T3 and X-T4.

    Much like Canon’s webcam software, Fujifilm’s is Windows-only for now, so macOS users will still have to use third-party means of accomplishing this. You can download Fujifilm X Webcam for free on Fujifilm’s website.

  • Panasonic announces Lumix S 20-60mm F3.5-5.6 lens for L-mount

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    Panasonic has announced its new Lumix S 20-60mm F3.5-5.6 lens for L-mount bodies. Its 20-60mm focal length is shorter but significantly wider than most variable aperture standard zooms, which are typically around the 28-80mm range.

    Of the 11 elements on this unstabilized lens, two are aspherical, three are extra-low dispersion and one is ultra-high refractive index. The lens has a minimum focus distance of 15cm (just under 6") with a maximum magnification of 0.43x.

    Panasonic says the lens has been designed to suppress focus breathing (the change of effective focal length at different focus distances) for video shooters, who are likely to appreciate its wide-angle capabilities.

    The lens weighs in at just 350 grams (12 ounces) and is dust and splash resistant, and functional down to –10°C (14°F). A fluorine coating on the front element repels water and oil.

    The Lumix S 20-60mm F3.5-5.6mm lens will ship in late July for $599.

    Press release

    Panasonic Launches a New L-Mount Interchangeable Lens for the LUMIX S Series Full-frame Digital Single Lens Mirrorless Camera LUMIX S 20-60mm F3.5-5.6 (S-R2060)

    Newark, NJ (May 27, 2020) – Panasonic is proud to introduce a new interchangeable standard zoom lens, the LUMIX S 20-60mm F3.5-5.6 (S-R2060) based on the L-Mount system for the LUMIX S Series Full-frame Digital Single Lens Mirrorless Camera. Designed for professional use, the LUMIX S Series pursues uncompromising photographic expression with its high-quality cameras and lenses.

    The new LUMIX S 20-60mm F3.5-5.6 is a compact, lightweight standard zoom lens that covers from ultra-wide 20mm to standard 60mm focal length for versatile use including landscape photography. The wide viewing angle makes it easier to shoot indoors where space is limited and stunning close-up capability of 5.9 inches / 0.15m (maximum magnification 0.43x) supports still life photography. The new LUMIX S 20-60mm F3.5-5.6 also ensures smooth, high quality video recording because of a mechanism that suppresses focus breathing, which can an issue in interchangeable lenses designed for still image photography.

    With 11 elements in 9 groups, the use of 2 aspherical lenses and 3 ED (Extra-low Dispersion) lenses effectively suppresses both axial chromatic aberration and chromatic aberration of magnification. Astigmatism is also corrected with these aspherical lenses, achieving high resolving performance. Furthermore, a UHR (Ultra-High Refractive Index) lens achieves uniform image quality from the center to edges of the image while contributing to downsizing of the lens unit.

    With its compact, approximately 12.3 oz / 350g of light weight, the LUMIX S 20-60mm F3.5-5.6 features stunning mobility. The rugged dust/splash-resistant* design withstands use under harsh conditions even at 14°F / -10°C for high mobility. In addition, a fluorine coating on the front element repels water and oil and prevents them from attaching. The filter diameter is 67 mm, with a 9-blade circular aperture diaphragm.

    Panasonic and L-Mount system alliance are committed to the development of L-Mount lenses for the further expansion of its lineup to fulfill the needs of end users .

    The LUMIX S 20-60mm lens will be available at the end of July for $599.99.

    *Dust and Splash Resistant does not guarantee that damage will not occur if this lens is subjected to direct contact with dust and water.
    •Design and specifications are subject to change without notice.

    Panasonic Lumix S 20-60mm F3.5-5.6 specifications Principal specificationsLens typeZoom lensMax Format size35mm FFFocal length20–60 mmImage stabilizationNoLens mountLeica SLApertureMaximum apertureF3.5–5.6Minimum apertureF22Aperture ringNoNumber of diaphragm blades9OpticsElements11Groups9Special elements / coatings3 ED + 2 aspherical + 1 UHR elementFocusMinimum focus0.15 m (5.91″)Maximum magnification0.43×AutofocusYesMotor typeStepper motorFull time manualYesFocus methodInternalDistance scaleNoDoF scaleNoPhysicalWeight350 g (0.77 lb)Diameter77 mm (3.03″)Length87 mm (3.43″)SealingYesColourBlackZoom methodRotary (extending)Power zoomNoZoom lockNoFilter thread67 mmHood suppliedYes