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Posted 10/13/21
Sony has announced the FE 70-200mm f/2.8 GM OSS II lens, an extensive overhaul of one of the most popular lenses in the G Master lineup. The upgrade boasts completely reconfigured optics, faster and more accurate autofocus, and a laundry list of practical improvements for still and video shooters. A favorite zoom of professional portrait, event, sports, and wildlife photographers, this bright, constant max-aperture lens works well for a wide variety of subjects. Inheriting lens tech from Sony’s super-telephoto G Master primes, the new lens boosts performance while simultaneously cutting back on weight. At 2.3 lb, it is 30% lighter than the previous model and claims the title of lightest large-aperture 70-200mm on the market. Collectively, it comprises 17 elements in 14 groups and includes an extreme aspherical (XA) element that eliminates distance-related aberrations, like onion-ring bokeh. Two ED and two Super ED elements have also been added to combat chromatic aberration for accurate image rendering. On the exposed elements, a Nano AR Coating II provides anti-reflection protection to temper flare and ghosting so you can use it in challenging lighting environments with minimal distortion. Corner-to-corner sharpness has been improved, providing the kind of resolution photographers have come to expect from Sony’s G Master line. With a minimum focusing distance a hair under 16" and maximum magnification of 0.3x, the new lens will get you closer to your subjects than its predecessor could. It’s also compatible with Sony’s 1.4x and 2x teleconverters to achieve the reach of up to a 400mm f/5.6 while retaining all communication and functionality. An 11-blade circular aperture produces smooth, natural-looking bokeh when separating subjects from their environments. Sony FE 1.4x and Sony FE 2.0x Teleconverters Not content to simply tweak optics, the latest G Master also features evolved autofocusing capabilities, making it four times faster and 30% more accurate than its past version. In order to achieve this feat, four extreme dynamic linear motors are used—two for each focusing group—making this the first large-aperture tele-zoom to feature such a design. Internal focusing permits fast, smooth, and quiet capture with less distraction when shooting, and floating elements are featured, too, for consistent sharpness throughout the focusing range. Previous Pause Next Sony FE 70-200mm f/2.8 GM OSS II Lens Sample Photos Videographers will appreciate reduced focus breathing, focus shift while zooming, and axis shift while zooming for consistent capture. Like other recent G Master lenses, the 70-200 includes a de-clickable aperture ring for smooth depth of field adjustments. A full-time DMF switch allows you to activate manual focusing when the focusing ring is used, even in AF-C mode so you can easily fine-tune capture. Linear response manual focusing enables intuitive and accurate focus adjustment, too. Optical image stabilization is available with the addition of Mode 3, which benefits framing stability for moving subjects. Physically, the lens incorporates a blend of new and old features. Focus, zoom, and aperture are all independently controllable for streamlined, on-lens adjustments. Three customizable focus hold buttons further expand on-lens functionality. Additionally, a focus limiter switch offers full range or infinity-to-3m for more efficient capture. An iris-lock switch is also incorporated into the lens barrel to revert adjustments to the camera body, preventing accidental on-lens changes. Dust and moisture resistance have been boosted around seams, buttons, and the lens mount so you can take this lens on assignment virtually anywhere with confidence. A fluorine coating on the front element protects against fingerprints, dust, and oil. Last, but not least, the new lens incorporates a refashioned lens hood that has an opening so you can adjust circular polarizer and ND filters, a flocked interior to prevent reflections, and silicone rubber on the front edge for added protection. Are you a fan of Sony’s G Master lenses? What would you photograph with its latest zoom? Share your thoughts in the Comments section, below.
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Posted 10/08/21
Canon Explorer of Light and wedding photographer Susan Stripling shares her tips on how to work a wedding photo shoot using the sun as your main light source. What are your tips for natural light photography? Share them with us in the Comments section, below.
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Posted 10/01/21
Go behind the scenes and in studio with Peter Hurley as he shares five headshot photography tips, from camera placement to directing your subjects. Are you a photographer who specializes in creating beautiful headshots? Share some of your tips with us in the Comments section!
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Posted 09/17/21
Want to capture a foggy forest, a soft sunset, or dreamy landscapes in general? Nature photographer Sapna Reddy teaches you how, sharing post processing techniques, such as perspective blend, the Orton Effect, and more. Are dreamy landscapes your specialty? Tell us about your own techniques in the Comments section, below. Click here to see our other articles on Landscape Photography.
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Posted 09/14/21
The day is finally here! Canon has, at last, unveiled its topflight mirrorless camera, the EOS R3. Combining assets from the EOS R5 and the flagship EOS-1D X Mark III DSLR, the R3 is a high-performance body built for speedy shooting, featuring fast and precise focusing, and sporting a robust, professional-grade body. It's the first 3-Series camera since the film era and introduces a wealth of new tech to Canon's mirrorless system, including an all-new stacked sensor, Eye Control AF, and a built-in vertical grip. Announced alongside the new EOS R3 camera body, Canon is also expanding its lens lineup with the introduction of the RF 100-400mm f/5.6-8 IS USM and RF 16mm f/2.8 STM lenses. Relatively sleek and lightweight, these two lenses open up the RF lineup with more accessible choices at the wide and telephoto ends of the spectrum. EOS R3 The EOS R3 is Canon's top-tier mirrorless body and currently is positioned between the high-resolution EOS R5 mirrorless body and the professional-grade EOS-1D X Mark III. The R3 combines the best of these two models, taking the speed, reliability, and physical characteristics of the flagship 1D X Mark III along with the technological advancements, mirrorless design, and multimedia prowess of the R5. Canon EOS R3 Mirrorless Digital Camera Sensor and Processor While looking like a mixture of these two cameras, the EOS R3 does stand on its own with a variety of unique technologies, including a brand-new 24.1MP back-illuminated stacked CMOS sensor and an updated DIGIC X image processor. The stacked configuration of the sensor promotes faster readout speeds and reduces rolling shutter distortion to cater better to working with fast-moving subjects, and the BSI design is more efficient when gathering light, leading to cleaner image quality with reduced noise at higher sensitivities. Another key element of this new sensor is its optimization for use with an electronic shutter function; top shooting speeds of 30 fps are possible with a 150-frame buffer, a top shutter speed of 1/64,000 second is available, and flash sync at 1/180 second is even possible. If working with a mechanical shutter, continuous shooting at 12 fps is available with a buffer of more than 1,000 frames, and flash sync is possible up to 1/250 second. In most cases, the electronic shutter will be the go-to function, and can remain a silent shooting option, or you can program an audible noise to accompany each shutter click to make it easier for subjects to recognize when a photo has been taken. Complementing the updated sensor is a revised DIGIC X image processor, which helps to orchestrate many of the performance-oriented processes of the sensor, ranging from the fast continuous shooting to the AF, image stabilization, and video-recording capabilities. The sensor's capabilities also go on to boost the sensitivity range to ISO 100-102400 for working in a wide variety of lighting conditions. In terms of video, the EOS R3 holds its own in the mirrorless realm with 6K 60p raw 12-bit recording and uncropped 4K 120p recording. The 6K and 5.6K recording areas can also be used for oversampled DCI and UHD 4K shooting with improved sharpness, reduced moiré, and lower noise. All 4K recording modes can be used with 60p, 30p, and 24p frame rates, and there is also a choice of HDR PQ and Canon Log 3 settings, depending on post-production workflow needs. Unlimited recording times are possible, too, and the R3 features mic and headphone ports, as well as a micro-HDMI Type-D port for clean output to an external recorder. Autofocus In addition to continuous shooting and readout speed improvements, the new sensor also lends itself to an improved Dual Pixel CMOS AF II system, which now features 1,053 selectable phase-detection points along with automatic AF zones and enhanced subject detection and tracking. The AF system can now intelligently recognize eyes, faces, heads (including helmets), animals, and vehicles, and tracking will automatically lock onto these subjects and maintain sharp focus throughout burst captures. Something new to EOS digital cameras in general, Canon is also reintroducing Eye Control AF with the R3. This feature was a popular one dating back to the EOS-3 film camera days and has now been refined and tuned to work in conjunction with modern-day AF systems. This feature essentially allows you to use your eye to control where the initial focus point is, and then the camera will take control using subject tracking to keep the subject in focus. This feature will require you to "register" your eyes, and is activated simply by looking through the EVF, but will give shooters an even more intuitive means than a joystick for finding the perfect focus point prior to burst shooting. One final point of the AF system worth noting is that it is sensitive down to-7.5 EV, meaning accurate and responsive AF performance is possible even in nighttime conditions. Coupled with a silent electronic shutter, quick burst shooting, and IBIS, this makes this camera stand out in terms of photographing live music performances and other low-light activities. In-Body Image Stabilization Not a new feature to Canon, but still one worth pointing out, is the In-Body Image Stabilizer (IBIS) that helps correct camera shake when shooting handheld in difficult lighting conditions or with longer lenses. This 5-axis system in the R3 is the same one used in the EOS R5 and R6 and can be used in conjunction with lenses featuring optical image stabilization to compensate for up to 8 stops of camera shake, depending on the specific lens in use. Body Design The new sensor and improved AF are great, of course, but among the most dramatic changes the R3 brings is a wholly new body to Canon's mirrorless lineup. It's the first Canon mirrorless body to sport an integrated vertical grip, which means it has duplicate physical controls for easier shooting in vertical orientation, greater handling comfort all around, and it takes the same large-capacity LP-E19 battery as the EOS-1D X Mark III. Some other similarities to the 1D X Mark III: The R3 has the same dust and drip resistance, with fully sealed buttons, dials, and terminals; it features wired LAN connectivity via an Ethernet port along with standard Wi-Fi and Bluetooth wireless connectivity; and there is an integrated GPS module for seamless location tagging. The revised body also houses the impressive 5.76m-dot OLED electronic viewfinder and vari-angle touchscreen LCD. The EVF is the same high-res model found in the R5 and is a bright, clear means for eye-level viewing. This viewfinder is aided by the fast readout speeds of the stacked sensor, too, offers blackout-free viewing when shooting with an electronic shutter, and supports a 120-fps refresh rate for realistic motion portrayal. Conversely, the 3.2" 4.15m-dot vari-angle LCD is perfect for working from high, low, and front-facing angles and sports a touchscreen interface for intuitive settings control. As you'd expect from a professional-grade camera, the R3 has dual memory card slots—one CFexpress Type B slot and one SD UHS-II slot—for file-saving flexibility. The CFexpress slot should be prioritized for 6K recordings and fast continuous shooting, but the SD slot is a convenient alternative for backups or less speed-critical shooting. Dual memory card slots—one CFexpress Type B slot and one SD UHS-II slot Finally, one final new bit of the tech the R3 is bringing to light is the Multi-Function Shoe. This next-gen take on a hot shoe essentially adds a row of pins at the front of the shoe for more intelligent accessory performance and functionality. To go along with the Multi-Function Shoe, Canon is also launching four additional accessories that take advantage of this new design. The ST-E10 Speedlite Transmitter is a compact, lightweight transmitter that controls all five independent groups across up to 15 Speedlites simply by pressing the menu button on the transmitter and then adjusting settings on the camera's LCD. This transmitter is 30% smaller and 50% lighter than the ST-E3-RT II and, since it is digital and is compatible with the Multi-Function Shoe, it is battery-free and uses the camera's own power.   The DM-E1D Stereo Microphone is a shoe-mounted external mic that uses the Multi-Function interface for power and for digitally connecting to the camera, requiring no cabling for sync. It has three directional modes depending on recording needs, including a Shotgun mode for focused recording and 90° and 120° Stereo modes for wide-area recording.   The AD-E1 Multi-Function Shoe Adapter helps you transition from existing hot shoe accessories to the new Multi-Function Shoe; this adapter maintains the weather-sealed features of the camera when using accessories like the Speedlite EL1, Speedlite 600EX II-RT, OC-E3, or other shoe-mounted accessories.   The AD-P1 Smartphone Link Adapter is compatible with Android smartphones and uses the mobile device's data connection and a Mobile File transfer app for seamless and wireless photo, video, and voice memo transferring to FTP/FTPS/SFTP servers directly from the camera. Takeaways That's a lot of information to take in, but let's distill this into some major takeaway points and see how the EOS R3 fits in Canon's growing mirrorless system. New 24.1MP stacked BSI CMOS sensor. The main point here is the stacked sensor configuration, which will greatly impact readout speeds for faster, more reliable continuous shooting and reduced rolling shutter for video and high-speed shooting. The 24.1MP resolution shows you that this camera is built for "working shooters," for lack of a better term; it's not high-res by any means, but a solid choice for those who are publishing their photographs, sharing their work, and need to move their images quickly. If you want high-resolution files, the R5 will still be your ideal choice, but if you want speed, the R3 is where it's at.   Enhanced Dual Pixel CMOS AF II and Eye Control AF. These are two of the most exciting updates to the system since they have a direct impact on the shooting experience. Canon is really going in on intelligent subject detection and tracking, and the Eye Control AF is simply a useful, intuitive tool for quickly acquiring that first focus point.   The video performance is pretty much what one would expect from a camera spec'd out like this; it's very strong but not necessarily groundbreaking. The R3 can handle video tasks in a professional manner and is obviously inspired by Canon's cine line of cameras. This is like the 24MP resolution in a way; not awe inspiring but very solid and exactly what is needed for reliable performance.   In-Body image stabilization is often overlooked and sometimes taken for granted, but it's hard to overstate how cool it is to get 8 stops of shake correction and be able to shoot handheld in truly low-light conditions.   Same EVF as the R5 and a higher-res vari-angle touchscreen LCD. These viewing mechanisms are at the cutting edge of what we're seeing in mirrorless cameras and should impress pretty much anybody, even optical finder diehards.   It's about time we see a mirrorless camera with an integrated vertical grip, and this looks like a strong example of how to blend strong ergonomics, fresh tech, and solid battery life into what's a surprisingly lightweight body. The EOS R3 seems to be just what Canon needed to reinforce its mirrorless system and feels like the right camera body for some of the more recent lens releases, like the RF 400mm f/2.8L and RF 600mm f/4L, which should feel right at home mounted on a camera like this. The R3 technically isn't Canon's "flagship" camera because that title still belongs to the EOS-1D X Mark III, but in the mirrorless world, the R3 is the current king. It's exciting to see Canon weaving the remaining distinctions from its SLR cameras into the up-and-coming mirrorless line, and it's also impressive to see how far mirrorless has come in just a few short years. New RF Lenses Today's announcement isn't all about the professional crowd because Canon is also releasing a pair of more accessible lenses aimed at current EOS R-series shooters. The RF 16mm f/2.8 STM and RF 100-400mm f/5.6-8 IS USM are both relatively small and lightweight for their respective focal lengths and serve as perfect choices for adding a second or third lens to a growing kit. RF 16mm f/2.8 STM Beginning with the wide lens first, the RF 16mm f/2.8 STM is a special wide-angle prime simply because of its mixture of an ultra-wide focal length, reasonably fast optics, and a super compact form factor. It's important to call out that this lens is not a fisheye, and its rectilinear design will come in handy when photographing architecture, interiors, or broad landscape views. The f/2.8 aperture diaphragm makes it a solid choice for astrophotography applications, too, and it also features a 5.1" minimum focusing distance that is perfect for unique close-up shots with great depth of field. A stepping motor (STM) ensures smooth and quiet focusing performance, which is good for stills and video, and the control ring can be assigned to adjust focus manually or set to control a variety of other shooting settings. Previous Pause Next RF 16mm f/2.8 STM sample photos RF 100-400mm f/5.6-8 IS USM The second lens being announced is the RF 100-400mm f/5.6-8 IS USM, a telephoto zoom that seems to be almost diametrically opposed to the 16mm f/2.8, but in actuality is similar in intent. This long-ranging zoom features a modest maximum aperture range that helps to keep the overall size and weight relatively low, making it an ideal partner for day-long shoots or hikes in the wilderness. Similar in stature to the popular EF 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6 IS II USM for SLRs, this 100-400mm is a fresh take on a versatile everyday zoom. It has longer reach and an updated Nano USM focusing motor for more responsive focusing performance. Also, its Image Stabilizer works with Coordinated IS with EOS R-series bodies for up to 6 stops of shake correction for low-light handheld shooting. Previous Pause Next RF 100-400mm f/5.6-8 IS USM sample photos Optically, this zoom features an Ultra-Low Dispersion element that reduces color fringing and chromatic aberrations and an aspherical element helps to boost sharpness and minimize distortion. Unique among tele-zooms, this lens also has a 2.9' minimum focusing distance at the 200mm position and 0.4x maximum magnification at the 400mm position, making it a surprisingly solid choice for close-up shooting. Additionally, for even more versatility, this lens is also compatible with the Extender RF 1.4x and RF 2x teleconverters for even greater reach. It's a big day for Canon with the release of a new professional-grade mirrorless body, four new system accessories, new sensor tech, new Multi-Function Shoe, and even the release of two new accessible lenses for the RF system. What items pique your interest most from Canon's huge unveiling? Are you excited about the top-end camera development? Excited to see new features and system tech? Or do these two highly usable lenses have your attention? Let us know your thoughts in the Comments section, below.
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Posted 09/10/21
Documentary photographer Alison Wright shares five tips for photographing people. In this video, she discusses how she tries to capture the essence of who and where they are, and what they do, in an effort to tell their story. What are your tips for creating successful environmental portraits? Share them with us in the Comments section, below.
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Posted 09/09/21
Profoto’s new 250Ws B10X and 500Ws B10X Plus OCF flash heads were designed with hybrid photo and video creators in mind. Boasting shorter recycle times and brighter LED modeling lights than the B10 and B10 Plus, the duo offer improved performance while retaining the features that made their predecessors so popular in the first place. Profoto B10X and B10X Plus With an ever-growing number of photographers branching out into video, a renewed focus has been placed on the humble modeling light. No longer afterthoughts when choosing a strobe, LED modeling lights have evolved into reliable continuous sources in their own rights. Profoto has been at the forefront of this trend, incorporating high-quality, versatile LEDs into its portable flash units. The B10X and B10X Plus output up to 3250 lumens, a 30% improvement over past models, while maintaining the ability to adjust color temperature between 3000-6500K to match ambient lighting or produce creative effects.  Profoto B10X Anyone who has used strobes to capture action knows that a light’s recycle time can mean the difference between a great shot and a just-missed shot. The B10X outperforms the B10 by 35%, offering 1.35-second recycle times, while the B10X Plus has improved over the B10 Plus by 20%, with a 2.2-second recycle time. Both lights feature built-in AirX Bluetooth technology, smart connectivity via the Profoto app, and wireless control via Profoto’s Air remotes―including the A-series.   Profoto B10X Plus The user interfaces of the B10X and B10X Plus continue Profoto’s gravitation toward simple, streamlined design and clear, visible settings. Both lights preserve the form factor of their predecessors, making them easy to carry for travel and location work. Likewise, the new lights are compatible with all of Profoto’s OCF modifiers, as well as a host of other Profoto light-shaping tools. Battery life lasts for up to 65 minutes of full continuous LED light, 400 full-power B10X flashes, or 200 full-power B10X Plus flashes, with 90-minute recharge time. Firmware updates can be installed via the Profoto app or a USB-C port. You can purchase the new lights individually or as two-light kits: the 250Ws B10X or the 500Ws B10X Plus. Have you used Profoto’s B10-series lights? Excited about its newest duo? Share your thoughts in the Comments section, below!
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Posted 09/06/21
Watch professional photographer and Sony Artisan of Imagery Colby Brown edit his landscape photos. In this tutorial, he shows you how to edit photos, how to blend photos, how to use the HSL panel, how to remove spots, and more. What are your editing tips, especially for beginners? Share them with us in the Comments section, below! Sponsored by Sony Watch the rest of the series! Part 1: Landscape Photography Basics: From Prep to Shoot Part 2: Landscape Photography Basics: Photo Gear Guide Part 3: Landscape Photography Basics: Composition (and Mistakes to Avoid)
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Posted 10/04/21
Tripod manufacturer Manfrotto and the word “innovation” are synonymous, since the company is constantly creating products that allow photographers and videographers more versatility when it comes to buttressing gear with tripods and support systems. While some companies focus on upgrading things like twist locks or introducing new tripod leg colors, Manfrotto is busy giving users an entirely new level of interoperability. Its innovative Move ecosystem is designed to allow for easy customizing of tripod heads, gimbals, sliders, and more. Along with splashing the market with the Move system, Manfrotto has released a few other awesome products—a gimbal head, new ball head, and a Gim-Pod—that we discuss below, after first diving into the Move ecosystem. Move To support the three key pillars of versatility, modularity, and fast setup, the Move system can be added to existing Manfrotto gear, so that customers already using Manfrotto equipment can migrate into the new ecosystem. At the heart of the Move ecosystem is a new type of “baseplate.” No, not a quick release baseplate for a tripod head, but a baseplate that attaches below the tripod head atop a set of legs, a gimbal, a slider, an arm, a monopod, or anything with a ¼"-20 or 3/8"-16 screw, to allow rapid changing of heads, accessories, and more. It is basically a female socket that attaches to a screw and rigidly accepts a compatible male plug mounted on the bottom of a tripod head, camera, or other accessory. Manfrotto has moved the “QR” plate below the tripod head to allow fast swapping of gear atop multiple rigs. To attach your gear, simply drop the plug into the Move base, and you are finished. To release, twist the ring on the base and remove. The socket’s X-lock system can be tightened to keep everything in place if extra stability is needed. Users can shoot stills from a Move-equipped tripod with a mounting unit connected to the bottom of a tripod head. If you want to switch to a video rig, slider system, or other accessory, simply twist and remove the tripod head and drop in the new mounting unit-equipped accessory on top of the tripod with the Move base—no need to unscrew the tripod head and then screw in a second accessory. Move is available now as a  kit with a base and mounting unit, or you can get the base and mounting unit plate separately to expand your new ecosystem infinitely. Additionally, there is a gimbal mounting unit plate that allows 15° of tilt when needed. MH496-Q6 Ball Head Designed for lighter-weight mirrorless interchangeable lens cameras and other compact systems, the new MH496-Q6 ball head is ideally suited to Manfrotto’s travel tripods, such as the Befree and 055 families of supports, as well as Syrp sliders and motion controls. MH496-Q6 Ball Head Based on the design of the Manfrotto 496 Center Ball Head with 200PL-PRO Quick Release Plate, this new ball head has a more traditional Arca-type-compatible Top Lock System twist screw instead of the flip latch of the older model head. Yet, like the original ball head, you still get an independent panoramic knob and integrated friction control at the main knob. Gim-Pod and Accessory Connector for GimBoom Is it possible to turn a carbon fiber boom into a tripod and add accessories? Manfrotto says, “Yes!” The new GimBoom Accessory Connector and Gim-Pod kit (which includes the Accessory Connector) attach to the Manfrotto FAST GimBoom Carbon Fiber boom in a seamless fashion that does not greatly increase the dimensions of the boom itself. Gim-Pod kit The Gim-Pod kit allows you to convert the GimBoom to a tripod with three-section retractable legs, and the Accessory Connector’s Easy-link connector allows the attachment of any 3/8"-16 threaded accessory such as the Manfrotto 244 Micro Friction Arm Kit. Now, creatives can add one or the other to their GigBoom to increase its flexibility and stability. Modular Gimbal MVG300XM The new Manfrotto Modular Gimbal MVG300XM   brings, as the name implies, modularity and flexible configurations to a hard-working gimbal system. Designed to be an essential part of the Move ecosystem, this modular unit is designed for both DSLR and mirrorless interchangeable lens cameras and is compatible with the GimBoom collection and the new Manfrotto Move. Manfrotto Modular Gimbal MVG300XM The modular design features removable handles, remote control, and a removable base mini tabletop tripod. Enhanced electronic controls make it easier to set up shooting points and control your camera position. The handles and gimbals feature internal batteries for extended power, with up to 10 hours of use. Innovation Galore What do you think about these innovative new releases from Manfrotto? Are you ready to make the move to the Move system, or add legs to your carbon fiber GigBoom? Connect with us in the Comments section, below!
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Posted 09/02/21
Looking to future-proof its X system, FUJIFILM has just announced a pair of upgraded fast prime lenses: the XF 23mm f/1.4 R LM WR and the XF 33mm f/1.4 R LM WR. These two lenses are a fresh take on the premium, go-to X-mount lenses, and feature updated optics, improved AF, and refreshed physical characteristics. Introduced alongside these two new lenses is the X-T30 II mirrorless camera —a second-generation follow-up to the immensely popular compact camera with tuned video and stills performance, better low-light focusing, and more intuitive operation. FUJIFILM X-T30 II, XF 33mm f/1.4 R LM WR Lens, and XF 23mm f/1.4 LM WR Lens New Fast Prime Lenses Considering the lenses first, FUJIFILM is updating a couple of staples in its lens lineup with forward-thinking optics. Both described as being able to resolve up to 40MP, the XF 23mm f/1.4 R LM WR and the XF 33mm f/1.4 R LM WR are new riffs on a couple of staples in the XF lineup, seemingly being developed for high-resolution sensors in the future, as well as adding improved focusing motors and sealed exteriors to some of the most popular lenses in FUJIFILM’s lineup. Regardless of your camera’s sensor, these lens’s updated optics, which include low dispersion and aspherical elements, will realize impressive sharpness and accurate rendering, along with high clarity and color accuracy. Both lenses also sport a bright f/1.4 aperture, making them excellent choices for low-light shooting, as well as for controlling depth of field and isolating subject matter with selective focus. XF 23mm f/1.4 R LM WR XF 33mm f/1.4 R LM WR Physically, the lenses also have new internal focusing mechanisms that limit the overall length, and both also feature linear motors for smooth, silent, and precise autofocus performance. Additionally, the lenses feature weather-sealed exteriors, nine-blade diaphragms, large manual focus rings, and manual aperture rings for intuitive settings adjustment. The 23mm f/1.4 has a minimum focusing distance of 7.5", offering a magnification ratio of 1:5, for solid close-up performance, and the lens measures a handy 2.6 x 3.1" and weighs 13.2 oz. The longer 33mm f/1.4 has a respectable minimum focusing distance of 11.8", similarly measures 2.6 x 2.9", and weighs 12.7 oz. Update to a Popular Mirrorless Body In addition to strengthening the lens lineup, FUJIFILM is also releasing the second-gen version of one of its most popular compact mirrorless bodies with the X-T30 II. Blending its retro aesthetics with contemporary tech, this sleek camera features all of FUJIFILM’s core X-system tech with updated performance and more intuitive operation. FUJIFILM X-T30 II At its core, the X-T30 II still features the APS-C-format 26.1MP X-Trans CMOS 4 BSI sensor and X-Processor 4 image processor as before, but AF performance has been quickened, with focusing speeds as fast as 0.02 second, and low-light sensitivity has been greatly improved down to-7 EV for working in seriously dark conditions. Subject tracking and recognition have been enhanced, too, to better suit working with moving subjects when shooting stills or recording video. Speaking of video, the camera still touts DCI/UHD 4K recording up to 30p, but slow-motion 1080p recording is now supported at an impressive 240p frame rate for super-slow playback. If recording externally, 10-bit 4:2:2 color is available, or the F-log gamma can be used internally for easier color-grading control in post. And like all FUJIFILM cameras, the X-T30 II has a milieu of Film Simulation modes available to mimic the look of some of FUJIFILM’s classic film styles. In terms of handling, the camera keeps its sleek profile fit with a variety of physical dials for easy and direct settings adjustment. The same 2.36m-dot OLED EVF is featured, too, along with the 3.0" 1.04m-dot two-way tilting LCD touchscreen for easy visibility from a variety of working angles. Built-in Wi-Fi and Bluetooth are also featured and support the FUJIFILM Camera Remote App, for mobile camera control, or can be used to connect to an INSTAX Smartphone printer for instant printing of your shots. Adding to the intuitive handling, the X-T30 II also features an Advanced SR Auto (scene recognition) mode, which can be switched on with a dedicated lever, to select from 58 presets automatically to render various scene types accurately. The X-T30 II is available as a body only in black or silver or can be bundled in a kit with either the XF 18-55mm f/2.8-4 R LM OIS lens or the XC 15-45mm f/3.5-5.6 OIS PZ lens. What are your thoughts on FUJIFILM’s updates to its X system? Are you happy to see updated versions of some of its most popular lenses? Are you excited about the refresh of the X-T30 series? Let us know your thoughts in the Comments section, below.
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