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Techart releases new Canon EF to Fujifilm GFX smart adapter with autofocus capabilities

Imaging Resource - Mi, 20/09/2017 - 17:59
Fujifilm continues to expand their GF lens lineup, but that isn’t slowing down the demand for lens adapters from Fujifilm GFX owners, especially those who moved from a full-frame system and want to continue to use some of their favorite lenses. For Canon system users, Techart has a new Canon EF lens to Fujifilm GFX 50S adapter which includes both autofocus and aperture control. The smart adapter supports AF-S mode and EF lenses with image stabilization. Aperture can be controlled via the camera's command dial and focal length and...
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Kategorien: Fotografie

Snapseed app updated with new interface and presets, adds perspective tool to iOS

Digital Photography Review - Mi, 20/09/2017 - 17:27

Google has just pushed out an update to Snapseed, the popular mobile image editing app for iOS and Android. The update (version 2.18) is for both versions of the app, and offers users on both mobile platforms a new interface and 11 new image presets. Additionally, the iOS update has brought the app's Perspective Tool to Apple's mobile devices, enabling users to adjust the horizon and "skewed lines" using their iPhone or iPad.

The update was announced on the Google Plus Snapseed page, where the team explained that Snapseed 2.18 is redesigned to make accessing features more efficient while speeding up the overall editing process. The new interface, meanwhile, moves Looks to the main screen, a feature that enables users to save their favorite edits so they can be applied to multiple other photos quickly.

Other changes are minor, and include switching the app from a dark to a light theme, as well as making certain tools and the export function accessible in a menu at the bottom of the display while editing. Both the Android and iOS updates are available now through the Google Play and iTunes App Stores, respectively.

Kategorien: Fotografie

Photo Experiment: Shooting macro photos of boiling water

Digital Photography Review - Mi, 20/09/2017 - 17:18

Recently I've become interested in photographing boiling water in a glass tea kettle. It may sound boring and uninteresting, but with the right lighting you can get some truly interesting images.

It began when I was boiling my tea water one day in January this year, and I happened to have my camera with a macro lens and a speedlight mounted, laying nearby. I decided to try what would happen if I photographed the boiling water in the glass tea kettle and was very surprised by the results! It looked like melted metal, and the shapes were a lot more intricate and detailed than I would have expected.

When experimenting with this, I have gotten the best results when using a macro lens with a long focal length. I used my trusty Sigma 150mm f2.8 macro. You could probably get interesting photos with a non-macro lens, but you would likely have to do some cropping to take away the edges of the teakettle and the background, as you wouldn't be able to focus as closely.

I set the aperture to around F6 or F7 for the sharpest results, and I focus fairly close, but not all the way to 1:1 magnification. I make sure that the room is as dark as possible, as this gives the photos a calmer background. I use either a normal speedlight mounted on the top of the camera, or, for more interesting results, I use two speedlights with colored gels, placed at different angles towards the teakettle.

In this case, I used two Godox TT 685s: cheap but incredibly well-built wireless speedlights.

Finally, I turn on the teakettle and let the water start boiling, while I press the shutter as many times as possible. Be prepared to take a lot of photographs, and know that most of them will turn out only okay. When I recorded my video about this, I took thousands of shots, and only deemed around 10-20 to be "good." But when you get a nice composition of bubbles, with perfect sharpness and that metallic, futuristic look, it is worth the effort!

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The most interesting photos seem to come at two stages: when the water is boiling the most – when it is total chaos inside that teakettle—and when it has stopped boiling and you only see small, flat bubbles rising from the bottom with some distance between them.

Again, this might seem like a silly, boring idea but photographing boiling water is a fun and interesting experiment to try at home on a rainy day!

Micael Widell is a photography enthusiast based in Stockholm, Sweden. He loves photography, and runs a YouTube channel with tutorials, lens reviews and photography inspiration. You can also find him as @mwroll on Instagram and 500px.

Kategorien: Fotografie

Diversify Photo launches database of photographers of color to promote diversity

Digital Photography Review - Mi, 20/09/2017 - 16:50

Diversify Photo wants to promote greater ethnic inclusion in the world of photography, and they're taking concrete steps. Step one: Diversify has just established a database of ‘photographers of color’ that will make it easier for art buyers, creative directors and editors to find photographers from a wide range of cultural backgrounds to hire.

The point of the database, says Diversify Photo, is to, "break with the narrow lens through which history… has been recorded" by equipping those who commission photography with "the resources to discover photographers of color available for assignments."

The groups says that calling for greater diversity in the media has proved not to be enough, so it took action by creating this online database. The website features a gallery of images taken by individual photographers, and clicking on any of those pictures takes users to the photographer's website. The site also offers an email service that explains the self-identified ethnicity of its photographers, along with their areas of expertise and languages spoken.

The site was set up by Brent Lewis, a senior editor at ESPN’s The Undefeated, and independent photo editor Andrea Wise. In an interview Brent told Photo District News that the database was created to show photography buyers, “that there are a lot of talented people out there that they may not see, have the time to go looking for, or just don’t know where to begin to find.”

At the moment there are 340 photographers registered on the site covering a wide range of photographic genres. For more information, and to see their work, visit Diversify.Photo.

Kategorien: Fotografie

Lensbaby unveils Creative Bokeh and Sweet 80 optics

Digital Photography Review - Mi, 20/09/2017 - 16:23

Lensbaby just released two new "optics" for portrait photographer and other shooters who want to add a bit of creative flare to their photography. The first is the Sweet 80: an 80mm optic that gives portrait shooters that trademark Lensbaby 'sweet spot' of focus; the second is the Creative Bokeh optic: a 50mm single-element lens that comes with 11 drop in apertures in a variety of shapes.

You can see both optics in the gallery below:

Product Photos

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Both the Sweet 80 and Creative Bokeh optics join the so-called 'Lensbaby Optic Swap System' that allows you to pop different creative lenses onto your Composer Pro I or II Composer, Muse, Scout, and Control Freak.

Lensbaby Sweet 80 Optic

At its core, the Sweet 80 is an 80mm F2.8 selective focus optic with a 12-blade aperture that closes down to F22. As with Lensbaby's other 'Sweet' optics, you select the size and location of your 'sweet spot of focus' by tilting the lens and adjusting the aperture.

Here are a few sample photos captured with the Sweet 80:

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As mentioned above, the Creative Bokeh optic is a 50mm, single-element lens that you attach to a Composer Pro II. Inside you'll find a 12-blade aperture that ranges from F2.5 to F22, but the built-in aperture isn't the main draw of this optic.

Instead, Lensbaby is including 11 magnetic drop-in aperture plates that will turn the out-of-focus points of light in your background into a variety of shapes, including: diamonds, dripsplat, slots, swirly, whirlpool, birds, sunburst, heart, star. There are also two blank disks so you can create your own.

Here are some sample images captured with the Creative Bokeh optic:

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Both of the new optics are available now from the Lensbaby store. The Sweet 80 is available by itself for $200 or in a kit with the Composer Pro II for $380, and the Creative Bokeh optic sells for $100.

To learn more, head over to the Lensbaby website.

Kategorien: Fotografie

Serge Ramelli offers five tips for improving your editing in Adobe Lightroom

Imaging Resource - Mi, 20/09/2017 - 15:30
Photographer Serge Ramelli is a longtime professional photographer and educator and shares many free resources. His latest video is all about Adobe Lightroom, which I'm sure many of our readers use for organizing and editing their images. In the video below, Ramelli covers "5 Lightroom secrets" including using the brush to adjust filters, using presets, dodging and burning with the brush and radial circle, using sync and manual mode and creating panoramas. Ramelli does also plug a few of his own products, including his Signature...
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Kategorien: Fotografie

Review: Affinity Photo 1.5.2 for desktop

Digital Photography Review - Mi, 20/09/2017 - 14:00
Affinity Photo for desktop (Mac + PC)
$50 | Affinity.Serif.com | Buy Now

Usually, the price of software comes at the end of the review, but with Affinity Photo 1.5, the image editor for Mac and Windows, the price is the starting point, along with a prominent qualifier from the product’s website: 'No subscription.'

Key Features

  • Professional editing tools for almost anyone who needs to manipulate images
  • Edits are mostly non-destructive
  • Windows and Mac support
  • Inexpensive, with no subscription required
  • Batch processing

Affinity Photo’s developer, Serif, knows its audience. When Adobe shifted Photoshop and nearly all of its other products to a subscription model in 2013, it prompted an outcry from customers who didn’t want to be locked into a perpetual fee. Four years later, despite the move being apparently successful for Adobe, subscription pricing continues to be a point of contention for many people, turning into an opportunity for developers like Serif.

If you’re already familiar with Adobe’s flagship, it won’t take long to orient yourself in Affinity Photo.

However, simply offering a less expensive image editor isn’t enough. We’re beyond the point where photographers will put up with limited software to save a few bucks, and with Affinity Photo, we don’t have to. You won’t find some of the specialized features Photoshop includes, such as its 3D tools, but most everything else is there – sometimes to Affinity Photo’s detriment.

Getting Started Affinity Photo's personas break up the editing experience into five main categories.

Software should be evaluated on its own merits, and for the most part I’m looking at Affinity Photo through that lens. How does it perform for photographers? Does it get in the way when handling familiar operations? Does it improve the editing experience? Comparisons to Photoshop inevitably come up, and I’ll refer to them when needed, but this isn’t specifically a comparative review between Affinity Photo and Photoshop.

That said, if you’re already familiar with Adobe’s flagship, it won’t take long to orient yourself in Affinity Photo. If photo editing beyond the basics is new to you, it’s easy to pick up.

Working modes, aka 'Personas'

Affinity Photo is built around four working modes, referred to as “personas,” each of which contains its own specialized tools. These personas include: Photo, Develop, Tone Mapping and Export.

The Photo persona is the main editing interface, with adjustments, layers, masks, and the like. The Liquify persona is a playground for distorting areas when retouching (creating an editable mesh of the entire image and then pushing and pulling the pixels to do things like make areas seem slimmer or to correct distortion). The Develop persona kicks in when opening a raw file for pre-processing, akin to Adobe Camera Raw. The Tone Mapping persona is exclusive for working with HDR (high dynamic range) effects, which can apply to single images as well as several merged shots. And lastly, the Export persona provides tools for creating versions of the image outside the application, from specifying file types and compression levels to preset slices.

You’ll also find tools for painting and drawing, including extensive controls for creating and manipulating brushes, but for the sake of brevity, I’m looking at the application in terms of editing photos.

Kategorien: Fotografie

Shutter Release: EyeEm award winners, photographing black dogs, iOS 11 file issues & more

Imaging Resource - Mi, 20/09/2017 - 11:59
In today's edition of Shutter Release, we have a rich assortment of content to share with you. We start by pointing you toward the winners of this year's EyeEm Photography Awards, which attracted entries from nearly 90,000 photographers. After that, dog fans will be pleased with a video about a neat photo project highlighting black dogs without homes, as they prove notoriously difficult to photograph and nice images of animals on adoption sites make a big difference in terms of adoption numbers. We will then share a cool website...
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Kategorien: Fotografie

Instagram is testing a four-photo grid, and some users are freaking out

Digital Photography Review - Di, 19/09/2017 - 20:03

Facebook-owned image sharing behemoth Instagram (heard of 'em?) is testing a new change to its app, and the internet is collectively freaking out about it. According to some users, Instagram is already rolling out a new 4-across profile grid to replace the current 3-across setup that people know and (apparently) love.

Not a huge deal, you might think, but many photographers and casual users alike use that 3-across grid to create interesting mosaics that help their profile stand out. And those people are not reacting well to news of the test:

INSTAGRAM MIGHT UPDATE ITS FEATURE FROM A 3-ACROSS TO A 4-ACROSS PHOTO GRID AND IVE NEVER BEEN THIS DEVASTATED IN MY LIFE. MY FEED OH NO

— nikki regalario (@spicycinderella) September 17, 2017

I'm going to be fuming when Instagram changes to a 4 grid!! My theme will be ruined. ????????#bloggerproblems

— The Beauty Kingdom (@BeautyKingdomUK) September 19, 2017

Anyone else's Instagram showing a 4 in a row grid? This is going to ruin everything ???? #gridview #instagram #aesthetics pic.twitter.com/XmCLyv5lx1

— LouAnne (@louannedias) September 15, 2017

Instagram starts 4-pic grid? RETHINK!!! Too many beautifully curated feeds will be ruined... @instagram #instagrid #instaupdate #gridview

— Jousianne Propp (@jousianne) September 13, 2017

Literally no one wants the 4 grid instagram change. Listen to your users @instagram this might be the beginning of your end

— FC (@ATM__R) September 15, 2017

Thoughts and prayers to the people who curated their instagram based on the three column grid.

— Mary (@marysilvestre) September 14, 2017

Hey @instagram, people have spent years perfecting their feeds. No 4 grid update please. pic.twitter.com/hPuCJthKb6

— Abhimanyu (@ItsMisterJadhav) September 14, 2017

Of course, by now Instagram is used to these kinds of reactions—it seems like every change they make is met by a deluge of fear, anxiety and threats of abandonment. The algorithmic feed has been a boon for the company, but it set the community into a panic; and even smaller changes like the ability to block comments automatically or by keyword are usually met with at least some skepticism.

But for those photographers who have built their Instagram 'brand' in part by making creative use of the 3-across grid on their profile, this change would represent a swift kick to the mosaic.

Kategorien: Fotografie

Love of cars runs through two very different photographers across generations and styles

Imaging Resource - Di, 19/09/2017 - 20:00
For car fanatics, there is something special about the roar of an engine. It's not easy to point to what exactly makes cars special, and perhaps there are as many answers to that question as there are cars on the road. It could be the unique shapes, the incredible engineering or maybe just the flat-out speed of a supercar. No matter the answer, work of automotive photographer Easton Chang is sure to inspire awe from even the most subdued car fan. Chang was recently featured by SmugMug Films and the video below shows us the...
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Kategorien: Fotografie

Zenit's full-frame mirrorless camera will use components made by Leica

Digital Photography Review - Di, 19/09/2017 - 19:45

Following an announcement last month that camera maker Zenit would launch a full-frame camera in 2018, USSRPhoto claims the new Zenit model will be based on the Leica SL full-frame camera. Leica will reportedly make components for the Zenit based on the ones found in its Leica SL camera, but will tailor them specifically for the upcoming Zenit model.

Little is known about Zenit's plans at this time. In mid-August, an announcement that Zenit would return with a new camera was reportedly made on Moscow Region Radio 1. No camera specifications were provided aside from the fact that it will be a full-frame mirrorless model with a brand-recognizable design and an anticipated 2018 launch date.

We know that the reborn Zenit company won't try to compete with the industry's biggest camera makers, and it was stated at the time that a "leading photographic equipment company" would be used to produce some of the new model's components. That company wasn't revealed, but assuming USSRPhoto's leak is correct, it will be Leica.

However, and in speaking to PetaPixel, USSRPhoto said the KMZ Zenit factory in Russia will itself produce the new lenses for this upcoming model, and that work on this project has already started. Though the factory isn't capable of producing electronic components for the camera (hence Leica's involvement) it does have the equipment necessary to make its own optics.

Additional information—such as cost, specs, and a more specific release date—still haven't been revealed.

We have reached out to Leica for comment and will update this post if and when we hear back.

Kategorien: Fotografie

Report: Samsung is developing a 1,000fps mobile image sensor

Digital Photography Review - Di, 19/09/2017 - 19:19

According to sources who spoke to Korean publication ETNews, Samsung is planning to kick its mobile camera technology up a notch with a 1,000fps smartphone camera sensor that will compete directly with Sony's similar sensor. This technology is called a "3-layered image sensor," and Samsung has reportedly ordered special equipment necessary to start producing the hardware in November. Smartphones featuring this technology, like the Sony Xperia XZ, can record super-slow-motion video.

ETNews, which has a good track record in relation to Samsung leaks, claims that this 3-layered image sensor is comprised of TSV stacking technology alongside a DRAM chip and system semiconductor. Pilot production of the image sensors will start in October, the sources claim, followed by mass production in November. By comparison, Samsung currently uses 2-layered image sensors in its newest flagship smartphones.

It is the DRAM chip for temporary data storage that will enable the mobile image technology to capture at 1,000fps, and as we mentioned earlier, Samsung won't be the first company to develop this technology for mobile devices. Sony was the first to bring this 3-layered image sensor tech to commercial devices, though the sources say Samsung will use TSV stacking rather than thermal compression to avoid the costs that come with licensing other companies' patents.

Questions remain about which Samsung smartphones will receive the new 3-layered image sensors. Assuming mass production does start this November, it is reasonable to assume we'll see the sensors implemented into the next batch of Galaxy smartphones the company will unveil in 2018.

Kategorien: Fotografie

Is 17 the magic number for bokeh? Biotar announces campaign for 17-bladed 58mm f/2 optic

Imaging Resource - Di, 19/09/2017 - 18:05
If you have ever scoffed at a mere 9 or 11 aperture blades, then Oprema Optik's latest Indiegogo campaign is a must-see. The German lens maker, Oprema Jena, is resurrecting the Biotar 58mm f/2 optic, including its unique and "world record" 17-blade aperture design. What's old is new again. This is Oprema's second lens project following a successful Kickstarter campaign for a Biotar 75mm f/1.5 revival project, so the company has experience bringing distinct lenses back from the past. Let's talk more about the 17 aperture...
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Kategorien: Fotografie

Capture One Pro 10 Spectrum Styles Pack adds cinema-inspired color grading to the RAW editor

Imaging Resource - Di, 19/09/2017 - 17:30
For fans - like us - of Capture One Pro 10, Phase One shared some interesting news yesterday. The company has released a new series of Styles, which are one of the big features of Capture One Pro 10.1. The first "Grading Styles" Styles Pack is the new "Spectrum" pack. Each Styles Pack comes with up to 18 different Styles, which have been carefully designed to modify curves, saturation and tonal adjustments without changing key parameters, such as your exposure, white balance and levels. Spectrum has been designed to deliver...
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Kategorien: Fotografie

This is the story behind that tragic, viral photo of a seahorse holding a Q-tip

Digital Photography Review - Di, 19/09/2017 - 17:13
Photo by Justin Hofman

When photographer Justin Hofman snapped this photo while snorkeling off the coast of the Indonesian island of Sumbawa in 2016, he couldn't have guessed the environmental impact the snapshot would have. A year later, the photograph is a finalist in the Wildlife Photographer of the Year competition, and has been dubbed "the poster child for today’s marine trash crisis."

Hofman is based out of California, but he travels all over the world leading wildlife expeditions. This photo was captured on one-such expedition in Indonesia.

He was gleefully watching this seahorse bounce from natural object to natural object, hitching rides on the current, when something changed. Here's a piece of the official image caption:

"As the tide started to come in, the mood changed. The water contained more and more decidedly unnatural objects—mainly bits of plastic—and a film of sewage sludge covered the surface. The seahorse let go of a piece of seagrass and seized a long, wispy piece of clear plastic. As a brisk wind at the surface picked up, making conditions bumpier, the seahorse took advantage of something that offered a more stable raft: a waterlogged plastic cotton swab."

When Hofman shared the photo on his Instagram account last week, it received over 17K likes and 1,100 comments, but it's a photo he wishes didn't exist. "This sea horse drifts along with the trash day in and day out as it rides the currents that flow along the Indonesian archipelago," he wrote on IG. "This photo serves as an allegory for the current and future state of our oceans."

A post shared by Justin Hofman (@justinhofman) on Sep 12, 2017 at 8:28am PDT

As for capturing the photo itself, we asked Hofman if he would like to share anything with our audience of photographers directly. This is what he had to say:

The thing I would really like to tell photographers is to a) Listen to your gut and b) Don't worry so much about gear.

If you look at this encounter, on paper it doesn't really make that much sense: I captured a photo of a 1 inch sea horse using a 35mm lens (16-35mm). Most people, if you had told them of the scenario would say to bring a macro lens. But I never have a macro lens on my camera. I am always afraid that a whale will swim by while I have a 105mm on, which would make it worthless. If I am unsure or just goofing off, I will always bring with me the most flexible lens I can. This ensures that whatever comes by, I have given myself the best opportunity possible to capture the moment.

Of course there will always be sacrifices, but the flexibility is key. If I had had a macro lens, I can 100% assure you that this photo would not have been possible because we were both bobbing around too much to make a sharp macro shot possible. Even with a 35mm, I only have a handful of photos that are actually in focus.

And in case you are curious about gear, he also shared that the photo was taken with an A7R II and Sony 16-35mm F4 lens in a Nauticam housing with a Sea and Sea 240mm dome and two Sea and Sea ys-d1 strobes.

To see more of Hofman's work, be sure to visit his website or give his account a follow on Instagram. And if you'd like to learn more about ocean conservation, Justin suggests you visit SeaLegacy.org.

Photo by Justin Hofman and used with permission.

Kategorien: Fotografie

The Profoto A1 is the 'world’s smallest studio flash' and Profoto's first on-camera flash

Digital Photography Review - Di, 19/09/2017 - 16:39
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As expected after last week's photo and specs leak, lighting manufacturer Profoto has launched an on/off camera flash unit called the Profoto A1. But if you were expecting a simple speedlight, Profoto is definitely branding this as more powerful than that. In fact, they're calling it "the world’s smallest studio flash."

The new A1 is styled much like most on-camera flash units, but is equipped with the powerful features of a Profoto studio head. The 76Ws unit uses a lithium ion battery that is claimed to be good for up to 350 full power bursts and which charges in under 80 minutes. Profoto also says that the A1 recycles "four times faster than other on-camera solutions," as it can emit a full power pop every 1.2 seconds.

A stand-out feature of the A1 is its circular lens, which is said to produce light that is "natural and beautiful with a pleasing soft-smooth fall-off." The rim of that circular lens housing is also magnetic, and accepts a range of clip-on modifiers that can be changed quickly and easily. The head offers a manually operated zoom function and the rear display is large and easy to read.

The A1 heads are equipped with Profoto’s Air Remote TTL system so they can work in groups alongside other A1 heads or any other Air Remote studio heads from the Profoto studio head range. Finally, the A1 offers variable power over 9 stops in both standard and HSS modes, and includes an LED modeling light for previewing the effect of the flash or using on its own as a light source.

The A1 is currently compatible with Nikon and Canon systems, and will be with Sony models in the future... but it doesn't come cheap. As previously reported, the Profoto A1 will cost you $995 USD... quite the pretty penny when you compare it to some of the full-featured speedlights other options out there from brands like Godox.

For more information on the Profoto A1, visit the Profoto website or watch the introductory video below.

Press Release

The world's smallest studio light

The Profoto A1 might be the smallest flash we’ve ever made, but it’s still built to the same impossibly high standards we’ve set ourselves over the last fifty years.

Our focus with the A1 was to create a flash that delivers a truly high quality of light, which is why it features a round head which delivers light that's both natural and beautiful with a pleasing soft-smooth fall-off, that blends seamlessly with the ambient light.

Thanks to a smart magnetic mount built into the head, light shaping tools and modifiers can be clicked on and off quickly and easily. Within seconds you're being creative with light, shaping it. It also has a zoom function that allows you to make fine adjustments to the spread of light by simply twisting the zoom ring on the head, and for accuracy it has a modeling light built-in to the head – so you can see what you're going to get before you press the shutter.

We made it our mission to make A1 the first on-camera flash that's easy to use from the box. The user interface is simple and intuitive with a large high-contrast display at its center. The less time you spend learning and fiddling, the more time you'll spend shooting. And that's ultimately what counts. Despite its size, or lack of it, the A1 punches above its weight in a good number of key areas.

Battery life is key when a photographer is right in the thick of the action, because the last thing they need to have to stop mid flow to change the batteries. The A1 has its own Li-ion high capacity battery built-in which lasts up to four times longer than AA batteries with no performance fade. So, you can shoot for longer with confidence.

And this is a flash that can keep up with you because it recycles four times faster than other on-camera solutions – that's every 1.2 seconds at full power. Put simply, you'll never miss a shot.

And while it's true to say the Profoto A1 is our very first on-camera solution it's also just as effective off-camera as a standalone unit, and integrated into a larger system of lights. That level of versatility is possible because Air Remote is built-in, which means the A1 offers seamless connectivity with freestanding lights like another A1 or bigger Profoto lights like the B1X.

And with AirTTL you'll get a perfect exposure super-fast. Better still, you can lock the exposure with a single 'click' while still being free to fine tune that exposure in manual, giving you even greater control.

So, this is so much more than our smallest flash yet. This is shooting on the move, shooting with confidence and shooting with light shaping excellence. This is shooting off-camera and for the first time with Profoto, on-camera. This is the Profoto A1 – the world's smallest studio light.

Kategorien: Fotografie

Canon EOS Rebel SL2 / EOS 200D Review

Digital Photography Review - Di, 19/09/2017 - 15:17

The EOS Rebel SL2 (known as the EOS 200D outside of North America) is Canon's second-generation ultra-compact digital SLR. It's largely packed with Canon's latest tech, including Dual Pixel AF, a DIGIC 7 processor, Wi-Fi with NFC and Bluetooth, and a new user interface for beginners.

While its small size may lead one to believe that it's an entry-level model, similar to Nikon's D3400, the SL2 actually sits above the bottom-end Rebel T6 (EOS 1300D), which costs $150 less.

The SL2's main competitor is the aforementioned Nikon D3400, which is just a tad larger and heavier. The SL2s' other peers are all mirrorless and include (in our opinion) the Canon EOS M5, Panasonic DMC-GX85 and the Sony a6000 which, after 3+ years on the market, is still competitive.

Key Features
  • 24.2MP APS-C CMOS sensor
  • Dual Pixel autofocus (for live view and video)
  • 9-point autofocus (through the viewfinder)
  • DIGIC 7 processor
  • 3" fully articulating touchscreen LCD
  • 5 fps burst shooting (3.5 fps with continuous AF)
  • 1080/60p video
  • External mic input
  • Wi-Fi with NFC and Bluetooth
  • Available 'Feature Assistant' user interface

Just about everything in that list is Canon's latest and greatest, and the external microphone input is a nice extra. The one feature that's not new is the 9-point autofocus system that you'll use when shooting through the viewfinder – it's identical to what's found the original SL1, which is over four years old. You'll get a much better focusing experience by shooting in live view, which uses Canon's excellent Dual Pixel AF technology.

Compared to... The SL2 (left) is the mini-me to the still-small Rebel T7i.

First, let's take a look at how the SL2/200D compares to the step-up model, the Rebel T7i (EOS 800D). Here's what you get for another $200 (with kit lenses for both models):

  • 45-point AF versus 9-pt AF
  • 7500-segment RGB+IR metering versus 63-segment (from which we'd expect better subject tracking)
  • 6 fps versus 5 fps bursts with S-AF
  • 4.5 fps versus 3.5 fps bursts with C-AF
  • Significantly larger buffer
  • Color tracking for AF in Single AF as well as Continuous AF
  • Semi-transparent LCD in viewfinder that can overlay grids, different AF points, an electronic level, and more
  • Built-in flash can trigger wireless strobes

Does the average point-and-shoot user need any of that? Probably not. If you plan on gaining more experience in the world of digital photography or want a more robust autofocus system, though, the extra $200 might be worth it.

Now, let's take a look at how the specs compare between the the SL2 and the peers mentioned a few paragraphs earlier.

Canon SL2 Nikon D3400 Canon M5 Panasonic GX85 Sony a6000 Resolution 24MP 24MP 24MP 16MP 24MP Sensor size APS-C APS-C APS-C Four Thirds APS-C Lens mount EF F EF-M Micro 4/3 E Image stab. Lens-based Lens-based Lens-based In-camera Lens-based AF system (live view) Dual Pixel Contrast-detect Hybrid
(Dual Pixel) Contrast-detect Hybrid AF system (viewfinder) 9-point 11-point N/A N/A N/A LCD 3" fully articulating 3" fixed 3.2" tilting 3" tilting 3" tilting Touchscreen Yes No Yes Yes No Viewfinder type/mag. OVF / 0.54x OVF / 0.57x EVF / N/A EVF / 0.7x EVF / 0.7x # control dials 1 1 2 2 2 Video 1080/60p 1080/60p 1080/60p UHD 4K/30p 1080/60p Wireless Wi-Fi + NFC + BT BT Wi-Fi + NFC + BT Wi-Fi + NFC Wi-Fi + NFC Battery life 650 (OVF)
260 (LV) 1200 (OVF)
N/A (LV) 295 (LV) 290 (LV) 360 (LV) Dimensions (mm) 122x93x70 124x98x76 116x89x61 122x71x44 120x67x45 Weight 453 g 445 g 427 g 426 g 344 g

Strictly comparing the SL2 and D3400 you'll see that they each have their own strengths and weaknesses. While there are 'little things' like the type of LCD, viewfinder size and wireless functionality, live view autofocus is the main differentiator. It's simply no contest there with the SL2's AF system blowing away the D3400 in live view and movie mode.

With the exception of the Sony a6000, the SL2 is close in weight, and not far off in size, to the three mirrorless cameras in the group. All three of the mirrorless cameras have an additional control dial, making exposure adjustment quick, and their EVFs are larger than the optical viewfinders on both DSLRs. None of the mirrorless models can compare to the DSLRs in terms of battery life, but only when you're using the latter with their optical viewfinders.

Kategorien: Fotografie

You can now use Adobe Spark with your own custom logos and colors

Imaging Resource - Di, 19/09/2017 - 14:30
Adobe Spark is a web-based platform for blogging and storytelling, and it got an update with "premium features," which lets you create and share branded stories in all three Spark formats: Post (for graphics), Page (for web pages), and Video (for video stories). Now instead of carrying Adobe's branding wherever it went, Spark stories can carry your own and be a better representation of you and your business. Adobe has baked in what they are calling "design intelligence," so all you need to do is add your brand ingredients to get...
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Kategorien: Fotografie

Profoto enters new territory with the announcement of their first speed light: the Profoto A1

Imaging Resource - Di, 19/09/2017 - 14:00
Announced today by Profoto comes a new product in a market we haven't seen them even show a desire to really enter. Until today, Profoto is most notably known for their pro-level strobes and lighting kits that cost thousands of dollars (but those who use them will say they're worth worth every penny). So what is their next step? Well, apparently speed lights, with the announcement of the Profoto A1. Friend of Imaging Resource Zach Sutton is in Sweden for the launch, and was kind enough to give us the down-low as well as his first...
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Kategorien: Fotografie

The Ten Essentials for Good API Documentation

A List Apart - Di, 19/09/2017 - 14:00

API documentation is the number one reference for anyone implementing your API, and it can profoundly influence the developer experience. Because it describes what services an application programming interface offers and how to use those services, your documentation will inevitably create an impression about your product—for better or for worse.

In this two-part series I share what I’ve learned about API documentation. This part discusses the basics to help you create good API docs, while in part two, Ten Extras for Great API Documentation, I’ll show you additional ways to improve and fine-tune your documentation. 

Know your audience

Knowing who you address with your writing and how you can best support them will help you make decisions about the design, structure, and language of your docs. You will have to know who visits your API documentation and what they want to use it for. 

Your API documentation will probably be visited and used by the following audiences. 

Developers

Based on their skills, experience, and role in projects, developers will generally be the largest and most diverse group. They’ll be using your docs in different ways.

At Pronovix, we started conducting developer portal workshops with our clients to help them learn more about what developers need and how to best support their work—and what they’re really looking for in API documentation. This is also supported by solid research, such as the findings published in Stephanie Steinhardt’s article following a two-year research program at Merseburg University of Applied Sciences.

Newcomers: Developers lacking previous experience with your API tend to need the most support. They will take advantage of quickstart guides that encourage them to start using your API—clear, concise, step-by-step tutorials for the most important topics, and sample code and examples to help them understand how to use it in real projects. If you can make onboarding pleasant for newcomers, they will be more likely to devote themselves to learning every nuance of your API.

External developers: Developers already working with your API will come back repeatedly to your docs and use them as reference material. They will need quick information on all the functionality your API offers, structured in an easy to understand way to help them quickly find what they need.

Debuggers: Developers using your API will encounter errors from time to time and use your documentation to analyze the responses and errors that crop up.

Internal developers: API providers tend to focus so much on their external audience that they forget about their own developers; internal teams working on the API will use the API documentation, as well.

These are just the most common use cases.

Decision makers

Decision makers like CTOs and product managers will also check out your API documentation and evaluate your API. They need to determine whether your API will be a good fit for their project or not, so it’s crucial to your business that this group can easily and quickly find what they’re looking for.

Other audiences

Although not as common, journalists, technical writers, support staff, developer evangelists, and even your competition might read your API documentation. 

Remember the purpose of documentation

The foundation of your API documentation is a clear explanation of every call and parameter.

As a bare minimum, you should describe in detail:

  • what each call in your API does
  • each parameter and all of their possible values, including their types, formatting, rules, and whether or not they are required.
Context-based structure

People won’t read your API documentation in order, and you can’t predict which part they will land on. This means, you have to provide all the information they need in context. So following the best practices of topic-based authoring, you should include all necessary and related information in the explanation of each call.

Context.IO, for example, did a great job documenting each of their API calls separately with detailed information on parameters and their possible values, along with useful tips and links to related topics.

Examples

In order to be able to implement your API, developers need to understand it along with the domain it refers to (e.g., ecommerce). Real world examples reduce the time they need to get familiar with your product, and provide domain knowledge at the same time.

Add the following to the description of each call:

  • an example of how the call is made
  • an explanation of the request
  • sample responses

Studies have shown, that some developers immediately like to delve into coding, when getting to know a new API; they start working from an example. Analysis of eye-tracking records showed that visual elements, like example code, caught the attention of developers who were scanning the page, rather than reading it line by line.  Many looked at code samples before they started reading the descriptions.

Using the right examples is a surefire way to improving your API docs. I’ll explore ways to turn good API docs into great ones using examples in my upcoming post “Ten Extras for Great API Documentation”.

Error messages

When something goes wrong during development, fixing the problem without detailed documentation can become a frustrating and time-consuming process. To make this process as smooth as possible, error messages should help developers understand:

  • what the problem is;
  • whether the error stems from their code or from the use of the API;
  • and how to fix the problem.

All possible errors—including edge cases—should be documented with error-codes or brief, human-readable information in error messages. Error messages should not only contain information related to that specific call, but also address universal topics like authentication or HTTP requests and other conditions not controlled by the API (like request timeout or unknown server error).

This post from Box discusses best practices for server-side error handling and communication, such as returning an HTTP status code that closely matches the error condition, human-readable error messages, and machine-readable error codes.

Quickstart guide

Newcomers starting to implement your API face many obstacles:

  • They are at the beginning of a steep learning curve
  • They might not be familiar with the structure, domain, and ideas behind your API
  • It’s difficult for them to figure out where to start.

If you don’t make the learning process easier for them, they can feel overwhelmed and refrain from delving into your API. 

Many developers learn best by doing, so a quickstart guide is a great option. The guide should be short and simple, aimed at newcomers, and list the minimum number of steps required to complete a meaningful task (e.g., downloading the SDK and saving one object to the platform). Quickstart guides usually have to include information about the domain and introduce domain-related expressions and methods in more detail. It’s safest to assume that the developer has never before heard of your service.

Stripe’s and Braintree’s quickstart guides are great examples; both provide an overview of the most likely tasks you’ll want to perform with the API, as well as link you to the relevant information. They also contain links to contact someone if you need help.

Tutorials

Tutorials are step-by-step walkthroughs covering specific functionality developers can implement with your API, like SMS notifications, account verification, etc.

Tutorials for APIs should follow the best practices for writing any kind of step-by-step help. Each step should contain all the information needed at that point—and nothing more. This way users can focus on the task at hand and won’t be overloaded with information they don’t need.

The description of steps should be easy to follow and concise. Clarity and brevity support the learning process, and are a best practice for all kinds of documentation. Avoid jargon, if possible; users will be learning domain-related language and new technology, and jargon can instill confusion. Help them by making all descriptions as easy to understand as possible. 

The walkthrough should be the smallest possible chunk that lets the user finish a task. If a process is too complex, think about breaking it down into smaller chunks. This makes sure that users can get the help they need without going through steps they’re not interested in.

Twilio’s tutorials explain the most-likely use cases with sample apps in a wide variety of programming languages and frameworks. Universal topics

To implement your API, there are some larger topics that developers will need to know about, for example:

  • Authentication. Handled differently by each type of API, authentication (e.g., OAuth) is often a complicated and error-prone process. Explain how to get credentials, how they are passed on to the server, and show how API keys work with sample code.
  • Error handling. For now, error handling hasn’t been standardized, so you should help developers understand how your API passes back error information, why an error occurs, and how to fix it.
  • HTTP requests. You may have to document HTTP-related information as well, like content types, status codes, and caching.

Dedicate a separate section to explaining these topics, and link to this section from each related API call. This way you can make sure that developers clearly see how your API handles these topics and how API calls change behavior based on them. 

Layout and navigation

Layout and navigation are essential to user experience, and although there is no universal solution for all API docs, there are some best practices that help users interact with the material.

Dynamic layout

Most good examples of API documentation use a dynamic layout as it makes navigation easier for users than static layouts when looking for specific topics in extensive documentation. Starting with a scalable dynamic layout will also make sure you can easily expand your docs, as needed.

Single page design

If your API documentation isn’t huge, go with a single page design that lets users see the overall structure at first sight. Introduce the details from there. Long, single page docs also make it possible for readers to use the browser’s search functionality.

Stripe managed to present extensive documentation in an easy to navigate single page. Persistent navigation

Keep navigation visible at all times. Users don’t want to scroll looking for a navigation bar that disappeared.

Multi-column layout

2- or 3-column layouts have the navigation on the left and information and examples on the right. They make comprehension easier by showing endpoints and examples in context.

Clearbit’s three-column layout displays persistent navigation (table of contents) on the left, references in the middle, and code examples on the right. Syntax highlighter

Improving the readability of samples with syntax highlighting makes the code easier to understand.

The syntax highlighter in action on Plaid’s API documentation site.

If you’d like to start experimenting with a layout for your docs, you might want to check out some free and open source API documentation generators.

To learn about the pros and cons of different approaches to organizing your API docs in the context of developer portals, this is an excellent article by Nordic APIs.

Editing

All writing that you publish should go through an editing process. This is common sense for articles and other publications, but it’s just as essential for technical documentation.

The writers of your API docs should aim for clarity and brevity, confirm that all the necessary information is there, and that the structure is logical and topics aren’t diluted with unnecessary content. 

Editors should proofread your documentation to catch grammar mistakes, errors, and any parts that might be hard to read or difficult to understand. They should also check the docs against your style guide for technical documentation and suggest changes, if needed.

Once a section of documentation is ready to be published, it’s a good idea to show it to people in your target audience, especially any developers who haven’t worked on the documentation themselves. They can catch inconsistencies and provide insight into what’s missing.

Although the editing process can feel like a burden when you have to focus on so many other aspects of your API, a couple of iterations can make a huge difference in the final copy and the impression you make.

Keep it up-to-date

If your API documentation is out of date, users will get frustrated by bumping into features that aren’t there anymore and new ones that lack documentation. This can quickly diminish the trust you established by putting so much work into your documentation in the first place.

When maintaining your API docs, you should keep an eye on the following aspects:

  • Deprecated features. Remove documentation for deprecated features and explain why they were deprecated.
  • New features. Document new features before launch, and make sure there’s enough time planned for the new content to go through the editorial process.
  • Feedback. Useful feedback you get from support, or analytics should be reflected in your docs. Chances are you can’t make your docs perfect at the first try, but based on what users are saying, you can improve them continuously.

For all this to work, you will have to build a workflow for maintaining your documentation. Think about checkpoints and processes for the above mentioned aspects, editing, and publication. It also helps if you can set up a routine for reviewing your docs regularly (e.g. quarterly).

Following these best practices, you can build a solid foundation for your API documentation that can be continuously improved upon as you gain more insight into how users interact with them. Stay tuned for part two, where I give you some tips on how to turn good API docs into amazing ones.

Kategorien: Webdesign