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Derek

About Derek

Our resident web guru, Derek graduated from Ball State with a BFA in Visual Communications. When not in the office slaying CSS dragons, jousting social media windmills, or working on the blog, he's also a fine artist, working in oil paints and photography. Derek Martin+

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Derek

Olympus Intros New E-PL7 with "Selfie"-Oriented Features


E-PL7_SLV_right_selfie_hand_1442EZ_SLV

I was kinda hoping all the buzz I was seeing about the new Pen Lite being a "selfie" camera was just the internet being its usual cynical self, but apparently no, Olympus really has built the new E-PL7 with everybody's favorite portrait style (if just to hate) in mind:

The 3-inch, 1.04 million-dot high-definition touch LCD monitor automatically turns into a mirror display and activates into its “Selfie Mode” when tilted downward in the 180-degree position, perfect for one-touch selfies. The shutter-release button appears on the screen so subjects can frame the image appropriately, shooting one second after the button is touched, and capturing beautiful selfies that could not have been captured with a smart phone alone. Selfie interval shooting provides a fun way to capture images with a custom self-timer switching button that defaults to deliver three shots at one second intervals, giving subjects time to strike different poses. When an electronic zoom lens is attached, the zoom automatically adjusts to the wide-angle position so that the user can quickly take their shot, incorporating the background as well.

The E-PL7’s bundled flash helps users take beautiful selfies against nighttime backgrounds, and e-Portrait can be activated with a single touch for more beautiful skin textures. iAuto has also been enhanced with selfies in mind: Portrait settings have been added to common scene modes to automatically detect 42 types of scenes to match the subject and optimize for the ideal image.

Well. OK then. So, that's a thing. But, don't worry, if you're into other styles of photography the E-PL7 still has you covered, and inherits a lot of trickle-down goodness from the OM-D E-M10 above it in the line-up. There's a 16.05 megapixel LiveMOS sensor being piped through a TruePic VII processor, the FAST AF system that has made the OM-D line sparkle shows up here with 87 points across the frame as well as Small AF Target and Super Spot AF for precision focusing, 8fps continuous shooting (up to 20 raws or unlimited JPG) or 3.5fps continuous with full-time continuous AF tracking, and 3-axis sensor-based IS form a solid core. The LCD hasn't just been tricked out for selfies, the aspect ratio has been changed away from the 16:9 video-ready aspect to a more image-friendly 3:2 letting you see more of the picture when using the camera as, well, a camera. There's no optical viewfinder in keeping with the Pen/OM-D differentiation, but there's still that nice optional one you can pick up if you're into viewfinders. All of the other usuals are here, like the creative filters and HD video and yadda yadda. ISO is 200-25600 natively. There's wi-fi built in and you can control it via apps for iOS and Android for easier sharing. And so on.

It'll run $599 body only, or $699 with the M.ZUIKO 14-42mm II kit lens. Both choices will come in black or silver, keeping it retro and classy. Preorders are of course waiting for you on our site, or read the press release after the jump.

E-PL7 Body Only

E-PL7 with 14-42mm II

read more



Derek

ICC Profile For Soft-Proofing Our Wide Format Printer


Good news for all you fans of our Photo Lab! We have just today re-profiled our Epson 7880 with our preferred Epson Premium Luster today! That's the combo we use for many of the larger prints that go out to satisfied customers. And, with the new profile fresh in hand we're going to make it available to all of you looking to do a little color calibration and soft proofing before sending your images over. For now this only applies to photos printed 11x14 and over on luster (obviously), but, if you're all digging it we might maybe try some for our small format printer and its two papers as well.

If you're not sure why this is awesome, having a printer's calibrated profile around will let certain programs like Adobe's excellent Lightroom 5 "soft proof" an image for printing. That is, it will simulate for you what an image would look like coming out of our printer on the luster paper so you can make any perceptual tweaks you want to knowing the final you see will be really darn close to what the print comes out looking like (accounting for things like ambient lighting and such).

As seen on screen (left) versus soft-proofed for our printer (right)

As seen on screen (left) versus soft-proofed for our printer (right). Note how the right side shows a decrease in brightness and contrast.

You download the profile here:

http://robertscamera.com/lab/roberts-photo-lab-epson-luster-august-2014.icm

To install, try the following:

Windows

Download the file to anywhere you can find, right click on it and choose Install. Windows makes this pretty easy, actually.

OSX

In theory, you should just need to copy the file into /Library/ColorSync/Profiles for it to be usable by all users in all apps (you'll need admin access to the computer).

You can also install it just for yourself by using your personal library instead in /Users/[your_user_name_here]/Library/ColorSync/Profiles

If you're trying to use it in Adobe on a Mac and it's not showing up despite being installed in one of those two folders, you can copy it directly into Adobe's folder and solve that tidily: /Library/Application Support/Adobe/Color/Profiles/Recommended



Derek

Fuji Announces New X30 Compact


Fujifilm (a name which, really, gets more antiquated with each new camera from them) has today announced the upgrade to their popular X20 compact, with the rather predictable name of the X30.

Fujifilm X30 Digital Compact

If you were hoping for some upgrades to the core guts, you're gonna be disappointed. The 12 megapixel 2/3" sensor, maximum ISO of 12,800 and the 28-112mm f2-2.8 lens all match the specs of the outgoing X20. For the differences we'll have to look elsewhere, though differences there do be. The rear LCD is up to 3" from 2.8", and up to 920k dots from the more tepid 460k of the X20. And it tilts! Battery life is considerably improved, up to 470 shots CIPA average from 270 (for those too lazy to grab a calculator that's a 74% improvement). The optical viewfinder is gone though, which is kind of a bummer. They have replaced it with a pretty solid EVF with a .005 second refresh rate, 2.36 million dots, OLED construction, and using 4 lenses for .65x magnification and 100% coverage. Still, we suspect many of you will still miss the optical one however good the electronic may be, but we'll give them credit for at least continuing to try and make ever-better EVFs.

There's a new control ring around the lens, which is slowly but surely becoming a standard idea. There's also a new classic chrome film emulation mode, if you're into those. And there's a remote control app for iOS and Android now.

The X30 will come in black or silver, and set you back $599.95 late next month. As always, feel free to put in a preorder, or head over to Fuji's site to read the full press release.



Derek

NEX Is Dead, Long Live Alpha! And, Here's the A5100


a5100

Do you remember the NEX-5T? Of course you do, because you clearly remember each of the several hundred engineer-named cameras that come out every year, right? Who doesn't? In the unlikely case that you don't remember every hard-to-remember camera model we talk about, the NEX-5T was the last mid-level model NEX camera Sony made, and is now the last of the NEX branding to be dropped in favor of the more liked Alpha brand. It's replacement is the Alpha A5100. Nothing else has changed, we're still talking about a mirrorless compact system with the Sony E mount, compact body, 1.5x crop sensor. There are specs bumps, of course, with the A5100. Resolution is up to 24 megapixels, ISO range is up to 100-25,600, there's a touchscreen, on sensor phase detect AF, a higher resolution display, and more. Actually, it's easier to think of the A5100 as a cheaper A6000 with a slower frame rate. "Cheaper?" you ask. Yep. The A5100 will run about $550 for body only, or $700 with a 16-50mm, an easy $100 less all around than its bigger bro. If a cheaper camera with the A6000's quality and only a few catches sounds good to you, hit up our preorder links below:

A5100 Body Only

A5100 with 16-50mm Kit



Derek

Nikon D810 Says No Anti-Aliasing Filter For Everyone!


z-nikond810-front_nolens-600px

 

Woo! New things! Today's new thing is a D810 from Nikon. With the D810, Nikon continues its trend of just not having the Optical Low Pass Anti-Aliasing Filter (OLPAF) anymore, so, the D810 more effectively upgrades the D800E and the low-pass including D800 is just sorta... no more. The sensor at first glance would appear to be the same, sporting 36.3 megapixels still. But Nikon says it is a new one, with better micro-lens design that let the sensor suck in more light, and it's being piped through an EXPEED 4 processor. As a result the native ISO range has been expanded even farther than the D800/E, up to 64-12,800 now (versus 100-6400 before). The expanded range is up to a jaw-dropping 32-51,200. Continuous shooting also sees a bump, up to 5 frames per second full-resolution raw. Speak of raw, for those of you who found the D800 brothers untenable because of the massive raw files, the D810 has a new compact raw file option you might like. It'll be at 12-bit instead of 14-bit, but will cut the file size down to 1/4 of the full raw. Certainly a good option for people (like me) who want features you have to go up to the D800 line to get (like, yanno, 1/250 second flash sync full frame), but weren't so keen on having to store every bit of data in those otherwise overkill files. Anyway. The LCD is up to 1.2m dots now, still 3.2". There are a lot of video improvements too, and I'm no expert on those but I see zebra striping, uncompressed HDMI output, highlight-weighted metering, smooth time lapse, and a few other things in there. On the outside, a new deeper sculpted grip is up front, and around back there's the new I button for getting into an interactive on-screen display a la Olympus fame.

So, pricing. That was all the good news, now for the bad. Looks like the pro single-grip body market has finally crept over the $3000 mark, and the D810 will run you $3299.95 for the body only. Oddly enough, there will be a couple kits for this for video purposes, and we'll cover those once we confirm if we'll be carrying both or what. But for now, preorder you a D810 here:

D810: http://robertscamera.com/d810-body-only.html

If the price is a bit saltier than you like, we do still have some D800s and D800Es. But, sounds like you might act fast. The D810 is slated for release late next month, and we really have no idea how stock on the older models will go at that point.

D800E: http://robertscamera.com/d800e-body-only.html

D800: http://robertscamera.com/d800-body-only.html

D800 Refurb Bonus Bundle (Free Stuff!): http://robertscamera.com/refurbished-d800-body-only-with-8gb-sdhc-card-and-mac-diamond-war.html



Derek

Tamron Announces Two News All-in-Ones For M4/3 and EOS M Mirrorless Cameras


Technically, they've formally announced the new 28-300mm now too, but we already talked about that back when they originally let it slip, slo let's focus on the two new mirrorless super-zooms today.

Up first is one for Micro Four Thirds, the 14-150mm F/3.5-5.8 Di III (Model C001).

Tamron 14-150 Di III (C001_ Blk & Silver

Available in black or silver, the 14-150mm will of course be an effective 28-300mm lens when mounted to any m4/3 body. You'll notice there's no "VC" in the product name, meaning this lens forgoes Tamron's notable vibration compensation system (ie, image stabilization). There are a lot of m4/3 bodies with built-in IS, so this won't be a big deal for a lot of people, but some of them (mostly Panasonic models, since they prefer in-lens IS) do not, so, be forewarned. If you're not sure if your body has IS built-in, this might not be the best lens for you. Image stabilization is going to be your friend on a 300mm equivalent lens.

 

Tamron 18-200mm Di III (B011)_blk & silver

 

Did you buy an EOS M? Wait, really? Well, OK, er, congratulations! The other lens today is actually already on the market for Sony E mount, but coming soon you'll be able to pick up an 18-200 Di III VC for your Canon EOS M, too!

The 14-150mm will run $589, the 18-200mm for EOS M will run $499. We're expected to have stock for them by the end of the month.

Want to reserve a 14-150mm of your own? You can preorder it right here.



Derek

ThinkTank Photo Gets In On Some Hot Derby Action


Honestly, this post would almost be better written by Nick, as he and his wife are actually big fans of our local derby team, but ThinkTank Photo has announced a new bag paying name-homage to the increasingly popular sport of roller derby.

Airport-Roller-Derby-1

 

Introducing the Airport Roller Derby! In case you can't figure it out, it's called that because it has four rolling casters, making it look like the classic rollerskates used by derbies:

2147400252_1

 

Each of the four casters is actually a dual-wheel set, giving you a total of 8 wheels to make carting your gear around a breeze. As with all of the Airport line, this bag is designed for transport ease more than shooting directly out of, and it'll fit inside it a 15" laptop and a tablet, as well as 2 DSLRs and a 6-7 lenses and flashes in its 12.6” W x 18.5” H x 5.5–7.5” D interior space. It is otherwise built to the same quality standards you'd expect from ThinkTank, and is designed for carry-on friendliness (though, as always, this is up to your individual air service provider, so be sure and check before you get to the terminal and it all goes south.)

As it turns out, we have already received the first of these bags. So, whether or not you're a derby fan, you can be a fan of getting through crowded airports more easily today for just $389.75 right here.



Derek

Sony Announces RX100 III With Faster Lens, Selfie-Ready LCD, Popup EVF


RX100M3_image7-1200

 

Oooh. Shiny. Look, it's a (very moodily rendered) RX100 III. Yup, Sony's announced the third entry in its stellar high-end RX100 compact line, and it's just as awesome as you'd hope. So, here's what's going on:

  • It's still a 20 megapixel 1" CMOS BSI sensor
  • The lens is a 24-70mm zoom now (not a 28-100), but it's aperture specs are now f1.8-2.8 instead of f1.8-4.9 (!)
  • There's an EVF built in. It's pop-up, like a flash (!)
  • The LCD can flip up over the camera, for taking those "selfies" the young people are so fond of

Let's look at that popup EVF, shall we?

RX100M3_image4-1200

Yeah. OK. That's hot. And here's the tilting LCD:

RX100M3_image5-1200

That's not quite as hot, but I'm not going to knock it's usefulness.

Other specs are not changed overtly much, or hit all the minor upgrades you'd expect. It's still packing WiFi and NFC, the 1080p video is bolstered with zebra-pattern mode, it can do 3-stop ND. You know, all the goodies we've pretty much come to expect from Sony in its R line compacts and A line mirrorless bodies.

But, this is about the lens, and with a 24-70mm f1.8-2.8 lens mounted an a Nikon 1-sized 1" 20MP BSI sensor, we suspect this product has already hit this point for exactly the market it was aimed at:

ShutUpAndTakeMyMoney

And just how much money will we need to take? $799.99 next month. Until then, it'll cost you nothing to get on our list for one (and it's no commitment, we'll get ahold of you when we have yours and you can buy it or decline at that time). You can do that conveniently right here.



Derek

Sony Announces Pricing For Their A7s


Remember Sony's A7s? The new full-frame mirrorless with a focus on video and low-light? No? Come on, surely you do. OK, so, it looked like this:

ILCE-7S_front_top-1200

 

And it does awesome low-light video like this:

And previously it didn't have a price, but it does now. The A7s will run $2,499.99 body only. And, if you want to read more about it or get on our list, you can do that right here.



Derek

Nikon 1 Lines Increases By 2: J4 and S2


S2_11_27.5_YW_front.low

J4_10_30_PD_WH_front.low

 

For those of you into this sorta thing, Nikon has finally brought the 1 system J4 model to the US, and added an S2 to boot. These models are the original low-end-now-mid-end 1 (J series), and the entry-level 1 (S series). They've both seen updates to include the 20 frames-per-second shooting seen first on the V3 model. The two models are pretty similar (so much so that the press release mostly talks about both models at the same time), with the main differences being the J4 has a higher 18 megapixel sensor over the S2's 14 megapixel one, and the J4 now (finally) has built-in WiFi, while the S2 still requires everyone's favorite WU-1a adapter. They also differ in colors and kits, with the J4 coming in black, white, silver, and orange with a 10-30mm, 10-100mm, or both a 10-30mm and a 30-110mm, while the S2 comes in black, white, red, or yellow in a one lens kit with the 11-27.5mm or a two lens kit that adds a 30-110mm as well.

If you're interested in any of that, check out the links below for more information and to preorder:

Nikon 1 J4 Kits: http://robertscamera.com/catalogsearch/result/index/?manufacturer=Nikon&q=j4

Nikon 1 S2 Kits:

1 Lens

2 Lens