London's Brownsword Hepworth Gallery is to exhibit previously unshown portraits by photographer Phil Griffin (24th October - 23rd November)
If you are saving your pennies for a Huawei Mate 20 X phablet due out next month, bad news if you are in the UK; it's not coming to our shores.
Photography powered by AI continues to be the primary lure for Huawei's impressive new Mate 20 series of premium smartphones. We were at the global launch.
200 Euros price tag for a Gitzo mini tripod?
When we heard that Gitzo, the Italian manufacturer of premium tripods and accessories, was showing a 200 Euro mini tripod at Photokina we just had to see it for ourselves. The Gitzo Mini Traveler Ball Head is, indeed, gorgeous can carry a full frame DSLR and only weighs 265g, but is it worth the price tag? A Gitzo mini tripod would always be special, but how special?
The Gitzo mini tripod is already available for pre-order in the UK via dealers for around £189. It uses the same kind of carbon fibre leg construction as its bigger counterparts in the Gitzo stable. It has a neat patent-pending mechanism for switching each leg between standard and low positions. There is no thumb-wheel to tighten the tripod screw, unlike its Manfrotto Pixi cousin, but it’s lighter, smaller and stronger.
The aluminium ball head can safely carry an attached load locked in position up tp 3kg in weight, though there is no quick-release option. To unlock the ball head you rotate a collar at the base of the head. It’s available in grey and black.
The engineering, materials and design all look superb as you can see in our pictures. But it costs 200 Euros.
|Safety Payload Weight||3 kg|
|Min Height||12.5 cm|
|Maximum Height||17.5 cm|
|Closed Length||22 cm|
Chuck in a bundle of assorted size photo prints and the Epson FastFoto FF-680W scanner does the rest
The Epson FastFoto FF-680W is a very clever solution to a familiar old problem. What are the odds that you have a box (boxes?!) or a drawer full of odd-size photos lying about the house? Wouldn’t it be great to scan them so you could share them conveniently via the cloud or social media?
But have you tried scanning dozens or more old prints? It’s a thankless task and it takes ages. A quick demo of Epson’s new and unassuming-looking FastFoto FF-680W scanner at Photokina genuinely wowed onlookers.
The FF-680W’s feeder is remarkably unfussy; you can place a wad of of different size prints up to A4 dimensions into the feeder and they will processed by the scanner without any fuss, one by one, at a rate of about one print per second.
The companion software then automatically crops the prints and even scans the back of each print to detect written or other notes, which are also scanned and saved as images linked to the front image.
You can configure the software to automatically upload the images to Google Drive, Microsoft OneDrive or DropBox. For a stack of, say, 30 prints, the whole process takes literally no more than a couple of minutes. You really have to see it working to appreciate how clever the Epson FastFoto FF-680W is.
Too good to be true?
So is the Epson FastFoto FF-680W too good? in a sense, some will think so once they learn the prospective price, which is around €600. The FF-680W is not aimed at household consumers. Instead, Epson hope you will see them in retail locations for customers to use as a service and for other companies to offer photo print digitising services.
Touching Photokina anecdote
A rather lovely anecdote shared with me by the Epson staffer, Julian Maddock, demonstrating the FF-680W on the Epson booth here at Photokina was that an elderly gentleman produced a Photokina pass and ID from way back in 1954, In fact the person first started attending Photokina in 1950. Of course, the precious souvenir from 1954 was duly scanned by a FF-680W for posterity.
The Epson FastFoo FF-680W in America and will start shipping it in Europe at the end of the year.
You can find more information on Epson’s website.
Press release issued by Angelbird:
ARRI and Angelbird introduce CFast™ 2.0 Memory Card
Lustenau, September 28, 2018 – ARRI is introducing the ARRI Edition AV PRO AR 256 CFast 2.0 card by Angelbird. The card has been designed and certified for use in the ALEXA Mini and AMIRA camera systems* and can be used for ProRes and MXF/ARRIRAW recording.
ARRI has worked closely with Angelbird Technologies GmbH, a hi-tech company based in Vorarlberg, Austria. Angelbird is no stranger to film production, and some of their gear can be found at ARRI Rental European locations. The company’s young yet experienced team has a passion for quality and great attention to detail.
“Many of the CFast cards we tested delivered good results, but it usually takes the manufacturers a few attempts to stabilize their performance for high data-rate write patterns,” says Oliver Temmler, Product Manager for Storage Media at the ARRI headquarters in Munich, Germany. “Angelbird really stood out—they listened to us closely and quickly determined which parameters they had to tweak.”
For the ARRI Edition CFast card, the Angelbird team did not want to settle for “good enough” but went straight for “the very best.” They developed an ARRI-specific card that uses a combination of thermally conductive material and so-called underfill, to provide superior heat dissipation from the chips, and to secure the electronic components against mechanical damage.
The result is a rock-solid 256 GB CFast 2.0 card, with super-stable recording performance all the way across the storage space, making it the perfect addition to an ALEXA Mini or AMIRA camera setup.
The ARRI Edition AV PRO AR 256 memory card by Angelbird is available exclusively from ARRI and other sales channels offering ARRI products.
*Support for new CFast 2.0 cards is currently not planned for ALEXA XT, SXT(W), and LF cameras.
A Leica-built, Russian-designed Zenit M rangefinder clone with a 35mm f/1.0 lens
The Russian Zenit is making waves at Photokina this week. We’ve been to the Zenit booth to find out what all the fuss is about.
The Leica phenomenon
We’re in Cologne, Germany for Photokina 2018 and it’s a German company that keeps on making the headlines this week. That company is Leica. Next to the Leica booth is Huawei, whose premium smartphone models, like the innovative triple-camera P20 Pro, use Leica-branded optics.
Leica also revealed it has licensed the use of its mirrorless system L-mount to its long-time partner, Panasonic Lumix. Even Sigma’s CEO was a guest at Leica’s Photokina press conference. So who else might we find with Leica-related news?
Zenit? Who are they?
Zenit of course. Zenit? Who are they? Some readers will be familiar with the name. Back in the 60s and 70s Zenit, a Russian manufacturer, produced primitive and cheap SLR cameras and lenses popular with beginners. But Leica represents the exact opposite end of the camera spectrum.
Limited edition Zenit M and Zenitar 35mm f/1.0
So how could Zenit somehow join forces with Leica? Well, it’s happened. Zenit is showing a digital full frame M rangefinder clone. It’s a limited edition camera bundled with a remarkable 35mm f/1.0 Zenitar branded lens.
Designed in Russia, made in Germany?
Etched on the back of the Zenit M body is the message ‘Designed in Russia’ though I understand the body is actually produced at Leica’s Wetzlar facility in Germany. It certainly contains Leica components, Andrey Verfolomeev, vice president of the Zenit company, confirmed to me.
Designed and made in Russia
The Zenitar lens, however, is entirely the work of Zenit, both designed and manufactured at the company’s Krasnogorsky base near Moscow. Verfolomeev points out that much of their work is for the Russian military, so the optics of the Zenitar 35mm f/1.0 can be expected to be top-class.
Just 500 Zenit M and Zenitar 35mm f/1.0 combos will be produced, according to Verfolomeev, 450 of the bodies will be light grey (it’s a matt grey, not the customary silver) and only 50 will be black.
The price is €5,500 and most are reserved for the Russian market, though around a hundred will be available to European buyers.
If you’ve used the old cheap Zenit film cameras, you may recall the strong Russian leather odour that came as a no-cost extra. Apparently, the leather used on the Zenit M has been specially chosen to match the hide used back in the old days.
Verfolomeev says Leica and Zenit have been working on the Zenit M project for two years and it owes much to the enthusiasm of Dr.Andreas Kaufmann, chairman of the Leica Supervisory Board.
Fundamentally, the project is designed to remind everyone, in Verfolomeev’s words, “that we’re still here”. Zenit, which is owned by the Russian state holding company Shvabe, employs 3,500 people and apart from its military work, the facility is gearing up to produce more mainstream cameras and lenses.
A range of Zenit lenses compatible with a variety of camera mounts is already on the market and the 35mm f/1.0 design will eventually join the rest of the range.
While the Zenit M is a strictly limited-edition model, less expensive successor camera models are in the pipeline and these will sell at a lower price, if not at the bargain basement prices of notorious old Zenit Bs and Es. Watch this space!
Zeiss are developing their own full-frame compact system camera, the Zeiss ZX1.
Press release issued by Zeiss
ZEISS ZX1 – That is the name of the newly developed mirrorless full-frame camera from ZEISS that was presented today in Cologne, Germany. Thanks to the ZEISS lens and a sensor developed in-house at ZEISS, the camera delivers first-class image quality combined with an operational concept and user experience that make the photographer’s jobs-to-be-done as intuitive as on a smartphone.
The ZEISS camera concept is just the first step to opening up a new world of possibilities for ambitious photographers – from taking the shot to editing the image and sharing it on the web.
SHOOT. EDIT. SHARE. – Harmonized hardware, software and optics for a seamless creative process
SHOOT: the ZEISS ZX1 features a newly designed, integrated ZEISS Distagon 35 mm f/2 T* lens with autofocus that has been perfectly matched to the 37.4 megapixel full-frame sensor developed in-house at ZEISS. The interplay between the lens and sensor ensures first-class picture quality with that typical ZEISS look.
EDIT: The ZEISS ZX1 enables photographers to professionally process RAW images directly on the camera thanks to fully integrated Adobe Photoshop Lightroom CC. Moreover, the ZEISS ZX1’s unique user interface supports the user’s particular workflow without any interruption – providing direct access to the most frequently used functions via a 4.3″ multi-touch display.
SHARE: when the networked full-frame camera is connected, the user can upload selected images directly to the internet – without the intermediate transfer to memory cards or other external devices.
512 GB of internal memory provide sufficient space for approximately 6,800 RAW files (DNG) or over 50,000 JPGs – more than enough to handle photos, even during a longer trip, and giving the photographer the chance to let their creativity flow. Versatile connectivity options such as Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and USB-C ensure that various peripherals can be connected. Over-the-air software updates keep the camera up to date without requiring a computer connection.
Designed with a passion for detail and a focus on the essentialsThe design of the ZEISS ZX1 is characterized by its iconic shape with carefully crafted details. The overall form and reduction to just those elements that are absolutely necessary lay the foundation for an ergonomic camera and ensure easy handling. The symbiosis of hardware and software is exemplified by the newly defined user interface that utilizes the 4.3″ multi-touch display. The slightly bent screen separates the live view from the control elements, making camera operation comfortable and straightforward.
“We know that we exploring new ways and initially addressing a special target group with the ZEISS ZX1. With our concept we are focusing on ambitious, professional creatives who want to produce their photographic experiences quickly and efficiently, and inspire as many people on the Internet as possible. This requires a streamlined workflow in addition to high-end features. This is exactly what the concept of the ZEISS ZX1 offers,” explains Jörg Schmitz, Head of the Consumer Products business group at ZEISS.
ZEISS ZX1 available from early 2019
The ZEISS ZX1 will be available at selected dealers in early 2019. ZEISS will announce the recommended retail price at the start of the official market launch. Starting now, anyone interested in receiving information on exact availability can register at www.zeiss.com/zx1