Photography News

How To Take A Photo Out Of A Plane Window

DIGITAL PHOTOGRAPHY NEWS FROM ePHOTOzine - Sat 15 Jun 2024 12:23am

 

If you're jetting off to warmer shores this summer and want to capture a few shots out of your plane's window, here are a few tips to help you ensure your images are good enough for the start of your holiday photo collection. 


1. Don't Get Carried Away With Kit 

Do be considerate of those sitting next to you which means you can't empty all of your kit into your lap from your bag. Turn beeps and other noises off as these will just annoy those around you and don't take photos during takeoff, landing or when electronic equipment isn't allowed to be used. Most smartphones have decent cameras on them now and these are slightly more discreet than a DSLR but do remember to activate airplane mode before takeoff if you do plan on using your phone's camera. 
 

2. Choose Your Seat

The majority of airlines now let you pick your seat so if you really do want to take top shots from your seat, think about your selection carefully as not all seats will give you a clear view. Of course, you'll need to make sure you have a window seat as a stranger won't appreciate you leaning over them. Towards the front or back of the plane will give you the best view but do remember you do get the odd seat that only has half a window as it's in between two seats. Try to avoid sitting directly over the wing too as all you'll be able to take photos of is the wing. Once on board, if you can't position yourself so the window frame isn't in shot, take your photo anyway and just crop it out once you're in front of your computer.
 

3. Be Aware Of Camera Shake & Reflections 

When at zoos, museums or other locations where glass can mean reflections spoil your shots you'd normally put your lens against the glass to prevent this but on a plane, this will just result in shake, caused by the plane's engines, to spoil your shots. Instead, use a lens hood and get as close to the glass as possible without touching it or cup your hand around the lens to shield it. You'll also want to avoid using flash and turn off your overhead light if it's on to minimise the amount of reflection you see on the pane. 

 


 

4. Use Manual Focus

Some windows will be badly scratched which can make focusing tricky. Switching to manual focus can help but sometimes they'll be so badly scratched that anything you take will be slightly fuzzy but you won't know this until you sit in your seat. If you're using a compact, to stop it focusing on the window, set it to infinity focus or switch on the Landscape mode.
 

5. Wait For The Right Angle

Due to the small window and the angle, you'll be sat at it can be tricky to take photos of the ground but if you have your camera ready for when the plane banks you'll be given the perfect opportunity to capture ground shots. 

 


 

6. What To Photograph

Try not to get carried away taking the same shots over and over again, instead look for interesting cloud formations, patterns created by fields, roads etc., sunsets and other planes. The wing, especially if you have a brilliant blue sky behind it, can make an interesting shot, too. 
 

7. Take Your Shots Early In The Flight

If possible, shoot earlier rather than later as condensation and ice tend to build up on plane windows the longer it is in the air. If there's something you want to capture that's closer to your destination consider shooting it on the return journey rather than shooting through a window with condensation. 
 

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Categories: Photography News

5 Top Tips For Using Natural Light In Photography

DIGITAL PHOTOGRAPHY NEWS FROM ePHOTOzine - Fri 14 Jun 2024 12:08pm
  Natural light is often the only light available to us when we are out shooting. But far from being an untameable beast, there are several ways that you can control it to achieve your desired photo.   1. Pay Attention To How It 'Looks'

A scene can look very different depending on what time of day you're looking at it. For this reason, when possible, it's worth visiting a location at various points a day or so before you want to take your photos as this will give you the opportunity to judge when it looks at its best. Of course, this isn't always possible but a little research on the internet may uncover some information on your chosen location you can use to your advantage.

Don't always think you have to shoot in the 'golden hours' either as you some subjects, such as close-up work for creating textures, look better when photographed at other points during the day. Having said that, early morning or late sun can transform a scene which appears flat and not very inspiring during the middle of the day. 
 

2. Light Direction

By changing your shooting position or moving your subject (if possible) you can alter the direction the light falls. The relationship between the direction of light and your subject is important as it can change your image from a good shot to a great one. Think about light direction when setting up and decide if front, side or backlight is perfect for the scene. Side lighting often produces the best highlights and shadows which is key for giving shots a dimensional feel. 

 


 

3. Reflect Light

Reflectors come in many shapes, sizes and colours. Predominantly though they are white, silver or gold and each type of colour will reflect light slightly differently. White reflectors are a safe bet but if you want a brighter light, use a silver reflector, while gold ones produce a warmer light. 

Why do you need to use a reflector? Well, it's a simple and reasonably inexpensive way to bounce light where it's needed. Try not to hold the reflector too low and remember that light will bounce back off a reflector at the same angle it hit it at. Also, the closer the reflector is to your subject, the stronger the light reflecting off it will be. 
 

4. Diffuse Light 

When working indoors with window light, curtains can be used as barn doors or flags to control the 'spill' of the light and a net or something similar can be used to diffuse and soften the light.  

If you're working outdoors ask your subject to move into a shaded area where the light will be more even and as a result, your portrait will be more flattering. 

 

 


 

5. Post Processing

Even though we strive to get everything right in camera, often shots need a slight tweak during post-production to balance the tonal range. We know this isn't about working with natural light when out in the field but it's about making the natural light balance correctly throughout the image. 
 

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Categories: Photography News

How To Take Good Photos At Events On Holiday

DIGITAL PHOTOGRAPHY NEWS FROM ePHOTOzine - Fri 14 Jun 2024 2:57am

 

When you're on your travels, if you find a festival will be happening in or near to the place you're staying do take your camera to it as these events, even though they can be sometimes tricky to photograph, give you the opportunity to capture vibrant images that are full of energy and life.
 

1. Have A Plan

The problem with these types of events is there's usually so much to capture that you can easily end up snapping shots of anything and everything. This approach will get you the odd shot that's good, but your day will run much more smoothly if you have some sort of plan.

If you know what to expect you can make a detailed shot plan then work on getting different angles and viewpoints once you've ticked your list off. However, if you're heading to a show where the details are a bit vague, you can create a more general shot list that'll stop you from getting sidetracked once you're in the middle of the action.

A basic list could include:

Introduction – Take shots that set the scene and tell the viewer where you are, who is there, why etc. However, try not to overrun your shots with too many focal points as if the eye doesn't have something to focus on the shot can be rather confusing and look too busy.

Portraits – As well as taking photos of people who are part of the festival, shoot portraits of those who are there to enjoy the event. Candids work well in crowds but posed shots of the people you're attending the event with can be as equally interesting. Try shooting from the hip to see what shots of the crowd you can capture. It's a bit of a hit-and-miss approach but it can work well when you fall lucky with the framing.

Detail – After you have captured wider shots that set the scene focus your lens on small detail such as frame-filling shots of costumes and food. Costumes often take hours if not days to put together so take the time to focus in on the colours and decorations on them. These close up shots work well when positioned against wider shots of the event.

Creative – Most of the time you'll want your images to be completely sharp and in focus, however as these events usually involve dancing and parades, you can use slower shutter speeds to blur motion which will create a sense of pace and energy in your shots. If you want to freeze the dancers in your frame you'll need a quick shutter speed.

Ending – A row of actors taking a bow, dancers in a parade moving off into the distance or a table now decorated with empty glasses and plates all show the ending of the event you're taking photos at and are a good way, if you're creating an album or photo book, to conclude your travel tale with.
 

 

3. Preparation is Key 

If you're making your own way to the event rather than going on a coach, make sure you arrive for the start or if you can, get there before the event begins so you can find a good spot early. If you don't, you could end up shooting over people's heads. If you have time to scout the area for the best vantage points do as once the crowd starts building, finding good spots for taking photos from will get harder. If you don't fancy the elbow fight try and find a spot that gives you a little height over the crowd.

If the event's one that's popular and you know you'll be attending before you get on the plane have a look on the internet and in guide books, for tips and examples of shots other photographers have taken. You may get some clues into where's best to shoot from and what's worth capturing.


4. Be Cautious

Some of the following tips may seem obvious now but when you get in among crowds of people and there's so much going on that you don't know where to look, the basic pieces of advice or what tends to be forgotten.

Never leave your gear unattended and only take the necessities as if you take too much gear, moving around and switching lenses will become hard work. A tripod will more than likely get in the way but you may find a monopod will take up less room and will be easier to walk with at crowded events. If you're working hand-held a camera strap will stop your camera getting knocked out of your hands, however, be careful if you walk around a crowded location with it around your neck as not only will it get in the way, you could also injure yourself if it gets tugged off your neck.

 


 

3. Be Aware Of The Lighting

Bright sunlight won't do you any favours as you can end up with shots full of harsh shadows and washed-out colours. Couple that with exposure problem and you can find yourself fighting to get a decent shot. Later in the afternoon and into the evening the light's lower and more even which is good news for those going to events which have a later starting time. If you do find yourself out in the middle of the day you can try bracketing and add a pop of flash to fill in shadows that dance across faces. This is particularly useful if the people you're photographing have brimmed hats on or are wearing large headpieces that shade the face partially.
 

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Categories: Photography News

Sigma 28-45mm f/1.8 DG DN Art Lens Review

DIGITAL PHOTOGRAPHY NEWS FROM ePHOTOzine - Thu 13 Jun 2024 8:49pm

 

Sigma continue to forge ahead, this time with the first full frame zoom lens with a constant aperture of f/1.8, quite an achievement. Available in Sony FE and L mount versions, we have the FE version, so let's couple it up to the 42MP Sony A7R III and see where it leads us. Can quality be maintained with such an ambitious specification? We find out.

 

Sigma 28-45mm f/1.8 DG DN Art Handling and Features

Apart from the f/1.8 maximum aperture, the spec is relatively modest at just 28-45mm, basically covering a modest wide angle to a wide standard lens. The first price we pay is the relatively large lens, weighing in at 960g (L Mount) or 950g (FE Mount) and measuring 87.8mm x 151.4mm (L) or 87.8mm x 153.4mm (FE). The lens is dust and splash resistant, but not waterproof, and the front element has a water repellant coating.

 

 

Starting our tour of the lens, there is a supplied petal lens hood that bayonets cleanly and securely into place, with a locking catch for added security. The catch is well recessed and is unlikely to be accidentally pressed. Within the bayonet fit for the hood is a standard 82mm filter thread.

First up is the electronic manual focusing ring, and as expected this is totally smooth in operation. The usual Sony focusing features are supported, including DMF (Direct Manual Focus). Just behind the focusing ring we have two AFL buttons, and these can be programmed on some bodies. The focusing is internal and does not affect the length of the lens. AF is driven by an improved High Response Linear Actuator and is certainly fast and accurate, whilst being virtually silent in operation. This near silence is particularly useful for videographers, as is the suppression of focus breathing. Focusing is down to 0.3m (11.9”) at all focal lengths and at 45mm this gives a maximum magnification of 1:4, a very useful close up facility to have.

 

 

Next up is the zoom ring, and the zooming action is also internal, so again the length of the lens does not change as we zoom. As a consequence, there is no zoom creep and the balance of the lens does not change. There are clear and accurate markings at 28mm, 35mm, 40mm and 45mm. This is quite a restricted range and in general use quite often the need could be felt to have a longer zoom, but that would presumably increase the size and perhaps cost of the lens considerably.

There is a very nicely designed aperture ring, with clearly marked one third of a stop clicks. There is a de-click switch for those who prefer it, especially useful when shooting video. There is also a lock switch. The ring can be locked into the A setting so it cannot be dislodged when using the camera to set the aperture. It can also be locked out of the A setting for situations where the aperture ring is being used, preventing A being accidentally engaged. Finally, there is the usual AF/MF switch.

Optical construction is 18 elements in 15 groups, including 5 SLD (Super Low Dispersion) and 3 Aspherical. The diaphragm comprises 11 blades, giving a rounded aperture for enhanced bokeh. There is a magnet within the lens, and the magnetic field does extend approximately 2 inches, so it is wise to avoid placing credit cards with magnetic strips and similarly vulnerable items close to the lens.

 

 

Finally, we have Sigma's usual beautifully engineered brass mount, available in Sony E fit and L mount. The L mount version is compatible with the USB Dock UD-11.

For Image Stabilisation we look to the camera body as there is none built into the lens itself, and this works well, enhancing the possibilities for low light photography. The f/1.8 aperture is also a huge advantage in low light, although the depth of field at very wide apertures will be quite slim.

 

Sigma 28-45mm f/1.8 DG DN Art Performance

At 28mm, central sharpness is excellent at f/1.8 and f/2, outstanding from f/2.8 to f/8 and excellent at f/11 and f/16. The edges are very good through the entire range from f/1.8 to f/16.

At 35mm, central sharpness is excellent from f/1.8 right through to f/16. The edges are very good at f/1.8 and f/2, excellent from f/2.8 to f/11 and very good at f/16.

At 45mm, central sharpness is excellent right through from f/1.8 to f/16, and the edges are also excellent from f/1.8 to f/16.

This is a great performance, and the lens is fully usable at all apertures and focal lengths for beautifully sharp and crisp images.

 

Sigma 28-45mm f/1.8 DG DN Art MTF Charts Previous Next

How to read our MTF charts

The blue column represents readings from the centre of the picture frame at the various apertures and the green is from the edges.

For this review, the lens was tested on a Sony A7R III using Imatest. Want to know more about how we review lenses?

 

CA (Chromatic Aberration) is very well controlled throughout, both centre and edge, but especially at the centre. It is unlikely that further correction will be needed.

Distortion is minimal throughout and gives us an approaching rectlinear zoom. Barrel distortion at 28mm measures just -0.28%. As we zoom in this changes to a small amount of pincushion, measuring +0.03% at 35mm and +0.23% at 45mm. This is really excellent and architectural shots will keep straight lines nicely straight.

Bokeh is smooth and satisfying, the gradation being beautifully subtle.

 

Sigma 28-45mm f/1.8 DG DN Art Chromatic Aberration Charts Previous Next

How to read our CA charts

Chromatic aberration (CA) is the lens' inability to focus on the sensor or film all colours of visible light at the same point. Severe chromatic aberration gives a noticeable fringing or a halo effect around sharp edges within the picture. It can be cured in software.

Apochromatic lenses have special lens elements (aspheric, extra-low dispersion etc) to minimize the problem, hence they usually cost more.

For this review, the lens was tested on a Sony A7R III using Imatest.

 

Flare is very well controlled, even with very severe backlighting. It is very difficult to generate any artefcats, but some slight signs of flare can be seen under the harshest lighting. This is not likely to be a problem.

Vignetting is modest for a zoom lens, but if the slight corner darkening should be noticed, then there are always software solutions.

 

Aperture 28mm 35mm 45mm f/1.8 -1.4 -1.1 -1.7 f/2 -1.3 -1.1 -1.7 f/2.8 -1.2 -1 -1.4 f/4 -1.2 -1 -1.4 f/5.6 -1.1 -1 -1.3 f/8 -1.1 -1 -1.3 f/11 -1.1 -0.9 -1.3 f/16 -1.1 -0.9 -1.3

 

Sigma 28-45mm f/1.8 DG DN Art Sample Photos Previous Next

 

Sigma 28-45mm f/1.8 DG DN Art Aperture range Previous Next


You can view additional images in the Equipment Database, where you can add your own reviews, photos and product ratings.

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Value For Money

The [AMUK]Sigma AF 28-45mm f/1.8 DG DN Art|Sigma+AF+28-45mm+f/1.8+DG+DN+Art[/AMUK] lens is priced at £1299.00

Alternatives might be:

  • [AMUK]Samyang AF 24-70mm f/2.8|Samyang+AF+24-70mm+f/2.8[/AMUK], £828
  • [AMUK]Sigma 24-70mm f/2.8 DG DN Mk II|Sigma+24-70mm+f/2.8+DG+DN+MK+II[/AMUK], £1179
  • [AMUK]Sony FE 24-70mm f/2.8 GM II|Sony+FE+24-70mm+f/2.8+GM+II[/AMUK], £1999

None of these approach the f/1.8 aperture, but they do have wider zoom ranges. Clearly the choice is there, but if the speed (brightness) of the new lens is needed, then the choice is pretty clear.

 

 

Sigma 28-45mm f/1.8 DG DN Art Verdict

Very fast lenses do have their place, often justified by the low light possibilities, but also for the ability to throw backgrounds out of focus for gorgeously smooth bokeh. Of course nothing is free, so the price is in the cost, the size and the necessity to focus extremely accurately at the widest apertures. For those who shoot mainly in fairly bright daylight, then the need may be reduced, but for those who venture out after dark there will be huge potential in the new lens and many new creative possibilities. The lens is quite big and heavy, although to be fair, Sigma's claim that it is quite compact and is held at under 1kg weight also has validity – they have achieved something special in keeping it as trim as they have.

All in all a very exciting lens that is a dream to use, and one that can be happily awarded the accolade of Editor's Choice.

 

Sigma 28-45mm f/1.8 DG DN Art Pros
  • Excellent to outstanding sharpness
  • Super-fast f/1.8 constant aperture
  • Well controlled CA
  • Very low distortion
  • Dust and moisture resistance
  • Moderate vignetting
  • Close focusing to 1:4
  • Excellent AF performance
  • De-clickable aperture ring
  • Ultra-smooth bokeh
  • Virtually no flare
  • Fair price
Sigma 28-45mm f/1.8 DG DN Art Cons
  • Quite large and heavy
  • Modest zoom range

 

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Categories: Photography News

How To Take Better Travel Photos - 6 Top Tutorials For You To Read Today

DIGITAL PHOTOGRAPHY NEWS FROM ePHOTOzine - Thu 13 Jun 2024 2:44pm

 

As we dream of jetting off to warmer climates in search of sea, sun and some scenic shots to photograph, we thought we'd put together a collection of top travel tutorials you really should have a look at before you head off with your case packed and photographic gear ready.

 

1. How To Improve Your Travel Photography Portraits Instantly

We share our tips on how to successfully photograph the people who live in the place you're travelling to with kit advice, tips on framing and more. 

  2. Six Awesome Travel Food Photography Tips For That Perfect Instagram Shot

As well as portraits and shots of beaches why not take a few photos of the plates of food you purchase? After all, getting your smartphone out before you chow down is the normal thing to do nowadays, isn't it?

 

3. How To Photograph Ruins in 5 Easy Steps

Historical ruins such as churches, castles and abbeys decorate our countryside and seaside towns but you'll also find a few smaller, but still impressive ruins closer to home. Walls, arches and columns are still dotted around a few towns and villages which are still photogenic even if there's not much of the structure left to photograph. If you're off on your travels, have a look online and at local tourism centres to find out what ruins are near to where you're staying.

 

 

 

4. How To Keep Shooting During Those Hot, Sunny Days

If you're heading off on holiday here are a few tips to help you keep taking photos when it's hot outside. Plus, as well as looking after your gear, don't forget to look after yourself. It may seem obvious now, but it's easy to get away with taking photos and the small things such as reapplying sunscreen and having a drink of water can be forgotten.

 

5. Ten Safety Tips For When Traveling With A Camera 

Here's a quick list of quick but essential tips to help you keep your camera safe while on holiday. 

 

6. Learn To Convey A Sense Of Place And Culture With Your Travel Shots

When shooting travel images, as well as showing people back home that you had a really great time and that it was sunny every day, try capturing shots that convey a sense of place and culture as well. 

 

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Categories: Photography News

9 Ways To Stop Unsightly Backgrounds Spoiling Your Shots

DIGITAL PHOTOGRAPHY NEWS FROM ePHOTOzine - Thu 13 Jun 2024 2:14am

  Before you take your shot, take a good look around the viewfinder to make sure everything that's in the frame needs to be. If it doesn't, here are a few ways you can remove the unwanted object(s) and some ideas on what things you should avoid capturing in your frame.  

 

What Should I Be Looking Out For?    1. Check The Frame For Unsightly Objects

Items such as rubbish bins, dead trees, shopping trolleys in rivers and broken benches do have significance and a place in some photographs but most of the time they're on the 'try to avoid list'. You don't want a microwave or mattress spoiling your idyllic landscape shot. 

  2. Make Sure Poles Aren't Sticking Out Of Heads

If you're shooting portraits outdoors make sure you don't position your subject so it looks like they have a lamppost, telephone pole, tree or any other object sticking out of the top of their head. In some cases, it can look quite amusing but more often than not it's just a distraction.
 

3. Look Out For Distracting Highlights

Areas of an image that are overexposed or particularly bright will draw the eye away from what it should be looking at to it. To stop this, make sure the image is exposed correctly and look out for reflective or other bright surfaces that could cause you problems. The same goes for particularly shadowy areas, too.

 

4. Be Careful With Bright Colours

As with highlights, if you have an object that's brightly coloured that isn't your main focus of the shot it can pull the eye to it. Yellowjackets that officials wear at races and other events are a good example of this. Most of the time you won't want them to be the focus of the shot, but they will be in the background and their bright coloured jackets stand out like spotlights, pulling the focus of the image to them.


5. Be Aware Of Busy Backgrounds

When you're shooting portraits, of any kind, unless the background adds to the shot you'll probably want to blur it out of view. This is true for macro work too such as when you're working in the garden, focusing on one flower that's sat against a background of garden equipment and other distracting objects.

 


 

How Do I Fix The Above Problems?    1. Move Your Subject

If you can't move the object that's causing the problem the easiest way to get the empty background you're looking for is to move your subject. This doesn't mean picking a new location to shoot in as moving them a couple of steps to the left or right of where they first stood could fix your problem.

 

2. Move Yourself

If you have to shoot against the particular part of the background you positioned your subject against then pick up your kit and move yourself so the object that's causing the distraction is no longer in the frame.

 

3. Change Angle

Can you shoot from higher up or lower down? You may find a change in angle gives you a new take on a shot that's overdone. This technique works particularly well for flowers as you can use the sky as a clutter-free background for your images if you're garden's full of distracting objects.

  4. Create Your Own Background

For small subjects such as plants, you can use pieces of card and material as backgrounds for your shots, hiding the scene in front of you behind it.

 

5. Use A Different Focal Length

If you've got a variety of lenses to hand or have packed a zoom lens, try cropping in to remove whatever is distracting the eye.

 

 

 

6. Change Orientation

If you don't have a variety of focal lengths to-hand try switching from landscape to portrait orientation.

 

7. Blur The Background

If you don't need the background to be in focus use a wider aperture to throw it out of focus. If you're using a compact camera switch to macro mode for close-up work as your camera will select a larger aperture so the background's thrown out of focus. If you're shooting portraits with a compact select Portrait Mode as, again, your camera will know it needs to use a larger aperture so the background's out of focus.

 

8. Use Foreground Detail As A Frame

If it's branches and leaves that are causing you problems why not blur them to create a soft, out of focus frame for your image? For more tips on framing take a look at our previous article: Ten Top Ways To Use Frames In Your Images.
 

9. Experiment With Longer Shutter Speeds In Cities

If you're working in a place that's full of people and you don't want them in your shot, use longer exposures to remove them. This works particularly well at night and is the same technique photographers use to capture light trails in night shots.

The problem with using longer shutter speeds in the daytime is the amount of light that will reach your camera's sensor and you can end up with very overexposed shots. But try using a small aperture such as f/22 and find a location which is slightly shaded and experiment to see if it'll work. Using an ND filter will also help you get the slower shutter speeds you need. If you're photographing city streets at night and only want the lights, traffic and buildings to appear in the shot, this technique works particularly well at removing people from the scene.

 

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Categories: Photography News

How To Photograph Tadpoles

DIGITAL PHOTOGRAPHY NEWS FROM ePHOTOzine - Thu 13 Jun 2024 2:14am


 

Tadpoles tend to be more prevalent at this time of year and, as they take about 12 weeks or so to become froglets, it's a good time to take some photographs.

 

1. What Gear Do I Need? 

A macro lens of 90 to 100mm is perfect, providing you have access to get close to the surface of the water. If not you will need a longer lens with a close focus facility. A tripod is handy to keep the camera steady as you take the photo, but you'll need one that has legs that splay out so you can get the camera closer to the pond's surface when using a macro lens. It's also better if the centre column swivels over 90-degrees to act as a macro arm so you can position the camera over the water's edge and not at an angle. It may be easier to lay down on the floor (use a waterproof sheet to keep you dry) and use your arms as support. A polarising filter will reduce any surface reflections allowing you to see more clearly under the water.

 

2. Follow One Tadpole

Tadpoles tend to be quite active but move around in spurts. One minute they stop to presumably rest and then swim off to another spot. When they're active you need to hone in on one and follow it around, taking shots as it rests. Use a fast shutter speed to prevent tail blur, and increase the ISO if you need a smaller aperture.

Also, watch for tadpoles taking in air - they swim quickly to the surface and gulp air in. At this point, you can get a head-on shot with mouth wide open, but you often have to be quick as it's fast action.

 

3. Make It Easy For Yourself

Look around the edges of the pond for the easiest shots. It's here where the tadpoles will be feeding off vegetation around the side of the pond, especially when they have no legs as they are not yet meat-eaters.  In the shot above the tadpole was slowly pecking away at the edge of the pond causing debris to burst back. This microscopic activity comes to life when a macro lens is at its extended range.

If the sun is out, make sure you don't get the distracting rim where the water touches the side. This will appear as a white burnt out outline. Take the shots slightly away from the edge pointing inwards to conceal this outline. Shoot when the tadpoles are nearer to the surface to prevent the cloudy water making the image look dark.


4. Older Tadpoles

When the tadpoles have legs they become carnivorous (meat-eaters) so you can pop the odd worm, snail or piece of chicken in and watch them gather around in a feeding frenzy.
 

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Categories: Photography News

5 Common Travel Photography Mistakes To Avoid

DIGITAL PHOTOGRAPHY NEWS FROM ePHOTOzine - Wed 12 Jun 2024 1:10am

  1. Not Doing Your Research 

How much you research and what you research will depend on the purpose of your holiday. Are you going to a place with photography in mind or is photography something that you'll just be occasionally doing on the odd excursion? If photography is the main purpose of your trip you'll need to do slightly more planning/research than if you plan on laying by a pool for the majority of your holiday, but that's not to say research still isn't important as research and knowledge about the location you're travelling to will always make your holiday run more smoothly.

Where's your hotel? How easy is it to travel to other locations from it? What rules/ customs do you need to be aware of etc. are all important questions you should be asking. When photography is your main goal you'll need to do slightly more work to find out the best locations/opportunities that are perfect for photography. As well as the internet, chat to hotel staff and if the place you're staying in has one, the local tourist office as you'll likely find useful information not necessarily listed in a guide book. Do plan correctly for the weather, terrain etc. you'll be facing on trips out, too. 

The more information you collect before your trip, the more productive you'll find it to be. In fact, if you make a shooting plan or note down a few ideas in a notebook you can take the notes with you so you're not always searching for shooting suggestions.

 

 

2. Not Leaving The Tour Group

Organised excursions can be fun but they're not always great for capturing unique shots. Coaches will stop in a layby halfway up a mountain road to give tourists the chance to snap images of the picturesque view in front of them, but everyone will tend to stand in the same place and capture the same shot. If you have time, look to see if there's somewhere else you can take your images from to give you a more unique angle that others may not have taken. When in towns or other locations where there's plenty of people to capture portraits of try to break away from the group (if it's safe to do so) as having several people stick a lens in your face can be intimidating when everyone's focusing on just one individual. If you want to stay close to the group, or a few individuals, pick a different subject to start with then move back to the person who first caught your eye and politely ask if you can take a few photos after the rest of the group's moved on to something else.

 

 

3. Not Approaching People

It's easy to shoot candidly and we're not saying you can't capture interesting shots this way, but you'll be able to take much more intimate portraits by actually talking to the person you want to photograph.  Plus, it's more polite to ask permission so do take the time to learn how to say 'hello, 'thank you' and 'please' in the language of the country you're visiting to help with your conversations and don't forget to smile. Interact with them and take the time to learn a bit about them, as a result, you'll put them at ease and you may be able to capture shots that have much more character in them. Your job is to make your subject feel comfortable so always give them eye contact and once you've got your shot(s) be polite and show your subject the results. Just be wary of some people who'll expect a tip for helping you out.

If your subject looks uncomfortable when you start taking photographs, it is usually just best to stop and move on to something else as some people will say yes just to be polite when really they'd prefer to hide from your lens.

 


 

4. Not Really Thinking About Composition

When you're on tours where schedules have to be kept or are out with the family who don't want to wait around for you to take the perfect shot, not thinking about composition enough can be an easy mistake to make. Simple things such as a wonky horizon can spoil what should be a great picture and something like this can be easily rectified by simply slowing down and checking the frame. Think about the different rules of photography, look for interesting foreground detail as well as breath-taking backgrounds, keep an eye out for clutter and consider changing your angle or perspective. By thinking as a photographer rather than a tourist who's excited to be visiting a new place you'll soon be capturing images that have meaning and tell a story rather than a collection of snaps that just show you got a bit carried away with the shutter button. 

 

5. Taking 'The Shot' Everyone Has Of A Landmark

Famous landmarks have just one problem – they're famous which means finding a shot of them which isn't already on a thousand other cameras can be difficult but that doesn't mean it's impossible. We're not saying you should avoid taking them completely as a few good shots of the 'postcard' view are easily recognisable and will probably be something others will appreciate seeing but there are plenty of opportunities to capture something a bit different, too. For more tips, have a read of this: Photographing Famous Landmarks

If you want to add to our list, please leave your tip in the comments. 
 

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Categories: Photography News

Affinity Update Adds Key New Tools And A World First

DIGITAL PHOTOGRAPHY NEWS FROM ePHOTOzine - Wed 12 Jun 2024 1:10am

The Affinity creative suite gets exciting new features in another free update available now.

 

Affinity version 2.5 is the first update to be released since the company was acquired by Canva in March and represents a continued commitment to add key new features to photo editing software Affinity Photo, graphic design software Affinity Designer and Affinity Publisher, for page layout.

Affinity CEO Ashley Hewson says: "From variable font support and a new Stroke Width tool, to our world-leading new optimisation for Windows users, Affinity 2.5 introduces yet another batch of new features and fixes to improve workflow.

"Continual updates remain at the heart of the Affinity ethos and we are already working hard on the next set of additions."

The ability to use variable fonts in all Affinity apps opens up a new world of typographic design possibilities. As well as providing predefined font styles, such as light, bold and condensed, variable fonts give users fine control of text design.

Available alongside the Pencil Tool in Affinity Designer's toolbar, the new Stroke Width Tool gives users an on-document way of editing the pressure profile of any curve. Further improvements to the Pencil Tool include a new curve-smoothing algorithm which gives better, smoother results overall.

In all apps, a new QR Code Tool is now available from the shapes flyout in the toolbar, making it easy to add a QR code to documents.

Affinity becomes the first creative suite to be fully optimised for Windows PCs with the very latest Snapdragon X Elite chip. Users of the new devices will notice incredible speed improvements whether working on simple edits or complex multilayered documents.

Affinity lead developer Andy Somerfield says: "Since the inception of Affinity, we've been fixated on performance, wanting to produce the fastest, smoothest creative experience possible. The new Snapdragon X Elite range allows Affinity to perform at its full potential, and we're now seeing speeds on much smaller, lightweight devices that were previously only possible with high-end desktop PCs."

Affinity 2.5 is free to download for existing Affinity customers.

For more information, please visit the Affinity website.

Categories: Photography News

7 Top Tips To Help You Master Hot Air Balloon Photography

DIGITAL PHOTOGRAPHY NEWS FROM ePHOTOzine - Tue 11 Jun 2024 6:59am

 

Hot-air balloons are big, colourful and slow-moving – and absolutely superb subjects for photography. This is the time of year when balloon festivals start to take place when in theory at least, it is warm and the air relatively still early and late in the day.
 

1. Gear Suggestions

A standard zoom will cope with most opportunities when you are shooting ground-based subjects while a telezoom is perfect for ground-to-air pictures. A telezoom is also good for pulling in details and will take up less room in your camera backpack than a variety of different lenses would. Have your fingers crossed for a nice blue sky, just remember to fit a polariser to maximise colour saturation of the balloon as well as the sky.
 

2. Safety First

For safety reasons very close access to the balloons is restricted but that's not a real issue because it is not as if they are small and you have to get close to fill the frame. In fact, for a decent perspective, it helps to be further back anyway so that you do not have to aim the lens upwards too much. 
 

3. Time Of Day

Flying takes place early or late in the day. The rest of the time, you can shoot tethered balloons as well as other entertainments that you get at festivals. You will find that the hot air balloons are just one of many attractions that might also include classic cars, funfairs and the opportunity to shop, eat and drink.


4. Arrive Early

Some of the best shots of the day can come during set-up and initial inflation so if you can, get there early enough to shoot these pictures. The balloon team using a big fan and the burner to get hot air in is very photogenic. 
 

5. Composition Tips

As with every subject, the composition is something that must be considered carefully, especially with regard to the sky. A vibrant blue sky with some fluffy clouds is perfect but more often than not, it is grey and flat – even in summer. Flat grey skies should be excluded from your images as much as possible and that is challenging given a balloon's round shape. But don't think that you must include the whole balloon as cropping the top off a balloon can help the overall composition.

Having some nice light and colour is ideal so make the most of it if you get good conditions, especially when balloons are being inflated. Do remember that their shape changes during this process so shoot quickly. 

A good time to shoot with your telephoto is when the balloons are still tethered to the ground. Compose carefully avoiding any ground-based elements and you can give the impression that it is in the air.
 

6. Weather Check

If you intend to shoot balloons taking off and are making a long journey, it is very important that you check the weather forecast. If the forecast is for winds of over 10mph, you might as well as stay at home because there will be no balloon take-offs.

 

7. ISO And Shutter Speeds

If you get lucky and the light's good, you may still want to increase your ISO from your usual speed. Just keep an eye on the shutter speeds you are getting especially for images of the ground crew getting things ready. When the sun is up, sufficiently fast shutter speeds are rarely a problem.

 

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Categories: Photography News

How To Use Patterns & Repetition In Your Photography

DIGITAL PHOTOGRAPHY NEWS FROM ePHOTOzine - Tue 11 Jun 2024 3:59am
  1. What Gear Do I Need?

A standard lens or something with a slightly more length can make isolating detail easier while a tripod will help you make sure everything is aligned and straight. 

 

2. What Should I Look For? 

Patterns are everywhere, you just have to look carefully at what you're photographing. You may find it a little difficult at first but once you've trained your eye, you'll see patterns all over. Try and search for single items that are repetitive such as a row of windows or a more random pattern such as apples in a basket.

Here are just a handful of places to look for patterns:

  • Buildings – windows, doors, steps, columns, roof tiles, brickwork, whole buildings if you can find a good location to shoot from.
  • Markets – gift shops, stalls selling fruit, veg etc.
  • Beach – stones, patterns in the sand, pebbles, seaweed
  • Sky – clouds, flocks of birds flying overhead

 

 

3. Where Should I Stand? 

If possible, stand straight-on to the surface you're photographing and make sure the patterns straight. This will help turn distant shapes into the patterns you're looking for. If you can, get up high as you'll be able to photograph roof tiles then back on the ground take a look at what's under your feet as floor tiles and bricked pavements will create interesting patterns that are worth photographing. If you can't get straight on to your subject don't worry; shooting from a slight angle gives you the chance to use a little blur to guide the eye to a certain part of the image. You do this by adjusting the aperture, shooting wide open.


4. Crop In Where Possible 

The key to a successful pattern shot is to make sure there's nothing around it that would distract the viewer away from it so move your feet to get close or use your zoom to fill the frame. If it's not possible to crop in camera you can always open your images up in the editing software you use and use the crop tool.
 

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Categories: Photography News

Fujifilm X-T50 Camera Review

DIGITAL PHOTOGRAPHY NEWS FROM ePHOTOzine - Mon 10 Jun 2024 9:41pm

[SECTION]INTRODUCTION[/SECTION]

 

Quick Verdict

Fujifilm’s double digit X-System cameras have always provided a very loud bang for your buck, and the X-T50 is no different. It offers Fujifilm’s latest X-Trans sensor technology which means excellent image quality, impressive high ISO performance and an ISO 125 base speed for the widest dynamic range. Throw in a contoured body, five-axis image stabilisation, dedicated Film Simulation dial and responsive autofocusing, and it’s impossible not to be impressed with the X-T50. It’s price is more than fair too.

In short, the X-T50 ticks an awful lot of boxes and as this is meant to be a Quick Verdict not a long-winded one, if you want to know if the X-T50 is worth buying, the quick answer is yes, it is.

 

+ Pros
  • Great sensor and processor pairing
  • Excellent image quality
  • Body design
  • Handling is intuitive and rates very highly
  • Film Simulations quickly brought into action
  • Base ISO 125 
  • Physical focus mode selector
  • Effective IBIS
- Cons
  • Single SD card slot
  • Monitor not fully articulating
  • Battery capacity

 

The way Fujifilm works with its X-System is no secret and it has followed the same pattern from the beginning. Simply, Fujifilm develops a sensor, pairs it with an image processing engine and then that combination is deployed across a range of models at different price points. It makes perfect sense and has been successful for Fujifilm. 

The latest flagship sensor is the back-illuminated 40.2MP X-Trans CMOS 5 HR found in the X-H2 and X-T5 which are priced at £1849 and £1449 (body only), respectively. So the X-T50 priced at £1299 body only is the least expensive X-System camera with this imaging solution.

But of course there is much more to the X-T50 than its sensor and processor. Its compact, round-ended body is home to an image stabiliser with 7EV benefit, subject recognition AF, 8fps shooting and 20 Film Simulation modes including the latest, Reala Ace. It’s also available in silver, black and charcoal.

 

Fujifilm X-T50 Features

The Fujifilm X-T50 is a mid-level camera in terms of price, but it has many features from the more expensive and larger X-T5 including a top shutter speed of an incredible 1/180,000sec and a native ISO range of 125-12,800.

The X-T50 is the first double-digit X-System camera with a five axis in-body image stabiliser with a claimed benefit of 7EV, there’s subject detect AF and it is the first-ever X-Series camera with a dedicated Film Simulation dial. More on this later. 

The new stuff is very welcome but the X-T50 has features and design elements found on earlier double digit models including a pop-up flash, fully automatic mode and takes the NP-W126S battery, the same cell used on many past and current Fujifilm cameras. On the X-T50, the battery is said to be good for 305 shots in normal mode, so it’s decent but not cutting edge. I shoot a lot, so I would need a spare on a day out and NP-W126S cells cost £49 so that is good value.

 

 

Many recent launches have opted for a full articulating touch monitor. That extra flexibility is a big benefit for shooting from low and high positions and there’s also the benefit of positioning the monitor so it faces forward for selfies and vlogging. The X-T50’s monitor is hinged so folds out for different shooting viewpoints but that’s it.

 

 

The camera has a nicely rounded body which helps with comfort and the bulge on the right-side helps to give a good grip although its low profile does mean my smallest finger had sit under the body. 

The X-T50’s top-plate design is typically Fujifilm and with most X-System lenses having a marked aperture ring, it means that you can see key settings at a glance from above and without having to switch the camera on.

For point and shoot simplicity, there is a fully auto setting and this is brought into play with a lever with a positive action located around the shutter speed dial. There is no lock on the shutter speed dial, so it is possible to move it off A quite easily. There’s also no lock on the exposure compensation dial which I have found to be an issue on some previous models where it was possible to move the dial inadvertently. On this model, though, its design and the thumb bump does mean this is less likely.

The thumb ledge is home to the Q or quick menu button and pushing this brings up the menu of up to 16 features. This is editable down to 12, 8 and 4 slots. Getting at the Q button does mean a quick hand readjustment but it  is positive in use. 

The headline feature on the left side of the top plate is the Film Simulation dial. This has eight permanent settings, three editable settings and a position labelled C. The lever at its base brings up the integral flash, a feature that’s rare nowadays.

 

 

The Film Simulation dial’s eight presets are STD (Provia), V (Velvia), S (Astia), CC (Classic Chrome), RA (Reala Ace), NC (Classic Negative), NN (Nostalgic Neg), and A (Acros). In total, the X-T50 has 20 Film Simulation settings but that does include four options for Acros and Monochrome where there’s STD (standard) and three contrast filters. Ye (yellow), R (red) and G (green). The Acros setting can be fine-tuned in the menu to one of the filter options. 

The other way of looking at it is to say that the simulation settings that do not have their own dedicated spot on the dial are Pro Neg Hi, Pro Neg Std, Eterna/Cinema, Eterna Bleach Bypass, Sepia and Monochrome with its three filter options. The three custom settings means you can assign three from that list and a fourth if you use C, which lets you set a mode from the Film Simulation menu item directly.

 

 

Operate this dial while viewing the monitor or looking through the EVF and you will see a virtual dial with a live image preview which is instantly updated as you change settings and the option of pushing the Q button for some background  information about the film mode in question. It’s neat and great for newcomers to the feature.

As with seemingly every modern camera the X-T50 is blessed with an array of video features, the headline being able to shoot 6.2K at 30fps from a 1.23x cropped section of the sensor. For full width video, you can shoot 4K/30p or up to 60p with a 1.14x crop. 

IBIS helps to give smooth footage even if you’re walking and shooting and there’s AF tracking available too. The Film Simulation modes can be used for video shooting also.

For serious video users, there’s F-Log2 support which is capable of recording a dynamic range of around 13EV for even greater post-production potential.

There’s a 3.5mm microphone socket but for headphone monitoring you need to use the USB-C slot which also allows battery charging. A USB-C to 3.5mm adaptor is supplied for the purpose but it’s another thing to lose or forget so it’s not ideal.

 

  Fujifilm X-T50 Key Features
  • 40.2MP resolution
  • APS-C X-Trans CMOS 5 HR back-illuminated sensor
  • X-Processor 5
  • Single SD card slot
  • Raw (14-bit), JPEG, HEIF (4:2:2 10-bit)
  • Dedicated Film Simulation dial
  • Twenty Film Simulation modes including Reala Ace
  • Native ISO 125-12,800, extended ISO: 64, 80, 100, 25,600, 51,200
  • Subject detect AF (animal/bird/car/motorcycle & bike/airplane/train)
  • Mechanical shutter 15mins to 1/4000sec (S/M modes)
  • Electronic shutter 15mins to 1/180,000sec (S/M modes)
  • 13fps continuous shooting (full format), electronic shutter
  • 20fps continuous shooting (1.29x crop), electronic shutter
  • Pre-shot mode at 20fps (1.29x crop)
  • 3in touch screen 1.84 million dot monitor
  • 0.39in OLED EVF, 2.36 million dots
  • Bulb, up to 60mins
  • Five axis IBIS with 7EV benefit
  • Integral flash
  • 6.2K/30p video
  • 123.8x84x48.8mm (wxhxd)
  • Body weight 438g

 

Fujifilm X-T50 Handling

The X-T50 handles well and I found it a pleasure to use once I got my fingers arranged comfortably. The contoured grip certainly helped, as did the raised thumb ridge at the rear. Getting at the Q button and the focus joystick, which I thought should be higher where the AE-L button is positioned, did take a slight hand readjustment to use but that’s the pay-off for a more compact body.

I am a keen back focus user and the X-T50’s AF-ON button is excellent, being large, proud and positioned for easy use. Less impressive is the Fn2 button sitting adjacent to the viewfinder eyepiece which is black against a black background so I forgot it was there. 

The EVF itself has 2.36m dots and a 0.62 magnification so it’s fine and perfectly usable, and pressing DISP BACK button toggles between an info-packed and info-free views. 

Perhaps unusually there’s no red movie record button when you’re in stills mode but the function can be assigned to the AE-L, Fn 1 or AF-ON buttons. In movie mode, selected through the Drive menu, the shutter button is used to start recording.

 

 

As a Fujifilm X-System owner, I was initially a tad sceptical about the Film Simulation dial and the thinking behind it. When I wanted to use a film mode I knew where they were or assigned the feature to a function button for speedy access. Moreover, I would usually set one look to suit the subject, the light or my mood and shoot with it all day long. So, admittedly, perhaps my method is a little lazy. 

However, having used the camera for a short time, what the X-T50 does with a dedicated dial sitting on the top-plate is to prompt much more experimenting and playing with the film modes, and that can only be a good thing. I know I was testing the camera, but I did find myself trying different film styles more than usual. I know I could have used the Film Simulation bracketing option which works for three settings, but it was quicker and more intuitive to engage the dial which also meant I wasn’t limited to three looks.

It is possible to use the Grain Effect and the two Color Chrome settings in conjunction with the simulation modes but if you engage these settings, they will apply across the whole range. At least the C setting does allow one film mode to be tailored to your own ‘recipe’ but that’s it.

 

[SECTION]PERFORMANCE[/SECTION]

Fujifilm X-T50 Performance

The performance section is where we look at the image quality performance of the camera. Additional sample photos and product shots are available in the Equipment Database, where you can add your own review, photos and product ratings.

 

 

On test, the Fujifilm X-T50 proved to be a very capable and competent camera. Exposure and white-balance performance were consistently accurate across a wide range of situations, indoors and out. I shot mostly in aperture-priority AE with multi-zone light measurement and AWB.

The X-T50 can race through Raws at a claimed 20fps but this is with a 1.29x crop and for full format photos the maximum is 13fps, both with the electronic shutter. This drops down to 8fps with the mechanical shutter. 

In my test, I got a maximum of 19fps with the electronic shutter/1.29x crop and 28 Lossless Compressed Raws before the camera slowed down. With the mechanical shutter I got 29 full-size Raws at 10fps before the camera took a breath and the buffer clearly quickly at under six seconds. 

Shooting only Fine quality full size JPEGs I got 130 frames at 13fps and 350 frames at 19fps with 1.29x crop. These tests were done using a Lexar 300MB/s SD card.

At a time when top of the range  cameras can shoot full Raws at incredible continuous shooting rates, the X-T50 is modest by comparison but you have to take into account its market position and price so actually it rates pretty highly. Besides, the burst shooting rates it offers is more than enough for most shooters.

 

 

The X-T50 has a very capable and responsive autofocus system and the subject detect mode performed well. It uses a hybrid phase- and contrast-detect sensor with 117 or 425 sensors arranged across the image area. It’s the same arrangement that we have seen on Fujifilm cameras for years. These sensors can be set to be used in different ways including single spot as well as zone and wide. I tried all three areas, tailoring the selection to the situations.

 

 

New on double digit X-Series cameras is the X-T50’s customisable focus zone feature, where you can choose how many focusing points you want in the zone. With three slots for favourite settings you could, for example, create a tall, thin zone for photographing runners, a horizontal array for birds in flight and a wide foreground area for scenics. The choice is yours, and once selected the focus zone can be moved around the image area using the focus joystick or the touch monitor as normal.

During this review I used a couple of Fujifilm XF lenses as well as the new 16-50mm. The last-named does not have an optical image stabiliser but the X-T50 has five-axis IBIS with a 7EV benefit and that worked well. I took sets of images at various shutter speeds down to one second. With the 16-50mm lens, the slowest speed I used to achieve consistently sharp shots was 0.5sec, although I did manage a few pinsharp photos at 0.9sec.

 

Fujifilm X-T50 Sample Photos Previous Next

 

Here’s a selection of photos taken using the Fujifilm X-T50 during this review. The Raws were processed in Adobe Lightroom with very basic adjustments made so no extra denoising or masking has been applied while the JPEGs are out of camera. The details are in each caption.

 

Fujifilm XF 16-50mm f/2.8-4.8 R LM WR Lens Test Photos

The Fujifilm XF 16-50mm f/2.8-4.8 R LM WR is the replacement to one of the best kit lenses around, the Fujifilm XF 18-55mm f/2.8-4 R LM OIS. 

The new lens, which gives a 24-76mm range in full-frame terms, is priced at £699, and the zooming action is internal so its size is constant during zooming. The XF-18-55mm extended by around 25mm when zoomed out to the 55mm setting. 

Also, while the new zoom offers a wider wide-angle at the short end, it’s slower at the longer end. There’s no optical image stabiliser, but of course the latest Fujifilm X-Series cameras have in-body image stabilisation. 

The lens is a solid performer, giving impressively contrasty and crisp results across the image frame even at maximum aperture. Stopping down one or two f/stops had a benefit with f/8 being the best all round f/stop, but f/16 and f/22 showed up poorly with diffraction resulting in softer images. 

A good level of performance was seen throughout the lens’s focal length range and quality looked really lovely at 16mm, 23mm and 35mm with 50mm the weakest, although shots were still very decent.

 

Fujifilm X-T50 Lens test images Previous Next

 

The images shown here are Raws processed through Adobe Lightroom with default sharpening.

 

Fujifilm X-T50 ISO test images Previous Next

 

This set of ISO Raw images was shot with the Fujifilm X-T50 with XF 16-50mm f/2.8-4.8 R LM WR lens mounted on a Gitzo travel tripod with the camera fired using the self-timer. The files were processed through Adobe Lightroom with default denoising.

ISO performance is impressive and you can shoot with the X-T50 confident on the knowledge that you will get great results even at high ISO speeds. Furthermore, with the powerful denoising options available nowadays even very high ISO settings will give very decent results.

From this set, images are very clean up to ISO 800 and even ISO 1600 gives images rich in fine detail and minimal noise. Personally, I’d be happy to shoot at ISO 3200 and 6400 if the lighting and subject demanded it. Beyond these speeds and fine details suffer and noise is much more obvious so are best avoided unless you had choice.

Overall, the Fujifilm X-T50 showed itself to be a very respectable performer in the ISO department.

 

Fujifilm X-T50 ISO images with Noise Reduction Images

ISO 125 - control

Fujifilm X-T50 with XF 16-50mm f/2.8-4.8 R LM WR

1.6 sec f/8 30mm

 

No Noise Reduction ISO 6400

Fujifilm X-T50 with XF 16-50mm f/2.8-4.8 R LM WR

1/30 sec f/8 30mm

 

-4 Noise Reduction ISO 6400 

Fujifilm X-T50 with XF 16-50mm f/2.8-4.8 R LM WR

1/30 sec f/8 30mm

 

+4 Noise Reduction ISO 6400 

Fujifilm X-T50 with XF 16-50mm f/2.8-4.8 R LM WR

1/30sec f/8 30mm

 

No Noise Reduction ISO 12,800 

Fujifilm X-T50 with XF 16-50mm f/2.8-4.8 R LM WR

1/60 sec f/8 30mm

 

-4  Noise Reduction ISO 12,800 

Fujifilm X-T50 with XF 16-50mm f/2.8-4.8 R LM WR

1/60 sec f/8 30mm

 

+4  Noise Reduction ISO 12,800 

Fujifilm X-T50 with XF 16-50mm f/2.8-4.8 R LM WR

1/60 sec f/8 30mm

 

Like most digital cameras, the Fujifilm X-T50 has in-camera noise reduction that works with JPEG files. This set of shots was taken at ISO 6400 and 12,800 with 0, +4 and -4 levels of noise reduction and these shots are straight out of camera.

 

Fujifilm X-T50 Digital filters Previous Next

 

 

Fujifilm’s Film Simulation filters are very popular and for good reason. Being able to apply a particular style  to your photos is a simple way of imparting an individual look to your shots without resorting to a computer. There’s plenty of choice too – the X-T50 has 20 Film Simulation settings including Reala Ace. 

The simulation settings are applied to in-camera JPEGs only, but Raw shooters can enjoy them too as the filters are available in Adobe Lightroom and Capture One.

Choosing which Film Simulation to use is clearly a matter of personal  preference – and what suits the subject. For me, I like strong colours so Velvia is one of my favourites but I love Classic Chrome too so I often bounce between those two. For monochrome, the Acros settings (with or without contrast filters) give lovely results with a tad more kick and bite than straight black & white settings.

 

 

The Film Simulation dial on the X-T50 makes hopping from filter to filter really easy. Furthermore, having such speedy access and a constant reminder on the top-plate that the feature is available encouraged me to try the settings that I normally would not bother with. Whether my enthusiasm for the Film Simulation dial will endure over time I can’t say yet, but so far, so good.

 

Fujifilm X-T50 White-balance test images Previous Next

 

The test scene was lit by four LED lights set to give 5500K output. The photos in this section all started life as Raws and were processed in Adobe Lightroom.

 

Fujifilm X-T50 Sample Video

 

 

Video – a wide range of video resolutions is available and in MOV and MP4 formats.

  • 6.2K (16:9) 6240x3510 at 23.98p/24p/25p/29.97p (with 1.23x crop) 
  • DCI4K (HQ) 4096 x 2160 at 23.98p/24p/25p/29.97p
  • 4K HQ (16x9) 3840 x 2160 at 23.98p/24p/25p/29.97p
  • DCI4K (17:9) 4096 x 2160 at 23.98p/24p/25p/29.97p/50p/59.94p
  • 4K (16x9) 3840 x 2160 at 23.98p/24p/25p/29.97p/50p/59.94p
  • Full HD (17:9) 2048x1080 at 23.98p/24p/25p/29.97p/50p/59.94p
  • Full HD (16:9) 1920x1080 at 23.98p/24p/25p/29.97p/50p/59.94p
 

[SECTION]VERDICT[/SECTION]

 

Value For Money

The [AMUK]Fujifilm X-T50|Fujifilm+X-T5[/AMUK] is £1299 body only.

Two standard zoom kits are available. 

The X-T50 with the XC15-45mm f/3.5-5.6 OIS PZ is £1399 and with the XF16-50mm f/2.8-4.8 R LM WR the price is £1649.

 

Other APS-C format cameras include:

  • [AMUK]Canon EOS R7|Canon+EOS+R7[/AMUK] £1349 body only
  • [AMUK]Fujifilm X-T5|Fujifilm+X-T5[/AMUK] £1449 body only
  • [AMUK]Fujifilm X-S20|Fujifilm+X-S20[/AMUK] £1149 body only
  • [AMUK]Nikon Z50 with 16-50mm|Nikon+Z50+with+16-50mm[/AMUK] £949
  • [AMUK]Sony A6700|Sony+A6700[/AMUK] £1429 body only

 

Fujifilm X-T50 Verdict

 

Whether you’re an X-System owner looking to upgrade or need a back-up body or a camera user looking to buy into the Fujifilm eco-system without breaking the bank, there’s no doubt that the X-T50 is a deadly serious proposition and tremendous value for money. It handles very smoothly, autofocusing is first-rate and there is decent potential for customisation. Factor in a seriously impressive supporting cast of X-mount lenses, with more coming from independent brands, and the X-T50 has much to commend it, with a performance right up there with the best APS-C cameras on the market.

If there is any negative, it’s generated by Fujifilm itself with the  X-T5 body currently in the shops at £1449 down from £1699, so the price differential between the two bodies is just £150. Of course, it is true that the gap could widen when pre-orders for the X-T50 have been fulfilled and stock is sitting in the shops, or if the X-T5 reverts to its previous price. Spending the extra does give you an even more capable camera and weather-sealing but the X-T5 is also larger and does not have the Film Simulation dial.

So, it depends on what you want from your photography and there is no doubt that the X-T50 is an excellent and very capable camera that will more than satisfy the demands of most enthusiast photographers.

 

Fujifilm X-T50 Pros
  • Great sensor and processor pairing
  • Excellent image quality
  • Body design
  • Handling is intuitive and rates very highly
  • Film Simulations quickly brought into action
  • Base ISO 125 
  • Physical focus mode selector
  • Effective IBIS

 

Fujifilm X-T50 Cons
  • Single SD card slot
  • Monitor not fully articulating
  • Battery capacity

 

 

[REVIEW_FOOTER]R_features=4|R_handling=4|R_performance=4|R_value=4.5|R_overall=4.5|A_level=4.5|A_text=Highly Recommended – Lovely, user-friendly camera that delivers sparkling photos and the dedicated Film Simulation dial is an attractive feature|E_id=8016[/REVIEW_FOOTER]

 

View the Fujifilm X-T50 specs in the equipment database.

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Categories: Photography News

Thick-Legged Flower Beetle Macro Wins 'Photo Of The Week'

DIGITAL PHOTOGRAPHY NEWS FROM ePHOTOzine - Mon 10 Jun 2024 10:27am

 

A stunning macro shot of a Thick-Legged Flower Beetle, captured by simmo73, has won our 'Photo of the Week' (POTW) accolade.

We are captivated by the colours and extraordinary detail in this image. The vivid colours burst with life, drawing the eye to the intricate patterns on the beetle’s carapace. The sharpness of the shot focuses on the fine hairs and the robust limbs of this tiny creature. The macro shot intelligently focuses on the beetle against a blurred backdrop, highlighting its structure. The well-executed lighting brings out the beetle’s intricate features, giving the image a realistic appearance. Simply put; it's a beautiful capture of a beautiful creature — congratulations on winning POTW!

All of our POTW winners will receive a Samsung 128GB PRO Plus microSDXC memory card with SD adapter offering memory storage across multiple devices. Plus, we will also announce our 'Photo of the Year' winner who'll win a Samsung Portable 1TB SSD T7 Shield in January 2024 courtesy of Samsung.

Categories: Photography News

Learn How To Photograph Historical Buildings With These 8 Top Tips

DIGITAL PHOTOGRAPHY NEWS FROM ePHOTOzine - Mon 10 Jun 2024 9:32am

  When we think of historical buildings we often think of castles and churches, but there's much more to explore. Our towns and villages are brimming with architectural delights from banks to factories to inns and market halls, all waiting to be photographed outside and sometimes (if you're lucky) inside. All you need is a little local knowledge.  

 

1. What Gear Will I Need? 

For general shots you will need a good wide-angle. Use a 70-300mm to zoom in on the intricate detailed wood carvings and stonework around the building. A powerful flash can be really useful to fill-in or light pokey areas of interiors or paint with light on an external wall and use a  polarising filter if the building has windows, to reduce reflections in the glass. The polariser will also darken a blue sky and give more contrast to the shot. When it comes to bag choices, bulky rucksacks are often a no-go in many historical buildings as they could knock over artefacts or bump into people in tight spots. 

 

2. Check What Equipment You Can Take

Many historic buildings have been taken over by trusts, such as the National Trust or English Heritage. These give you access to the interiors which have often be preserved, so you have a better idea of how that building was when it was in use. It always means that although you can go in and wander around you're often restricted to what you can and can't photograph and you're often charged an entrance fee. Flash is often banned as are tripods. Some even prevent you from taking photos at all. Check before you go on a long journey by visiting the website or make a phone call.

If you can take pictures, but can't use a tripod or flash, increase the ISO setting and support the camera on a wall, pillar or signpost to prevent camera shake. Do watch out for signs of noise, though (the picture broken up as small colour dots that can make it look poor quality).

 

3. Historic Buildings Can Be Dark

Many historic buildings were not built with the light aspects found with modern buildings. Windows were often small and poky so the light coming through could be in narrow shafts causing chaos for your camera's exposure system. In such cases either point at an area without the light and take a reading knowing the highlights will be overexposed, or shoot a few frames and merge them using a HDR program so you have a balance of highlights and shadows.


  4. Look For Details

Look around the building for small detail. Once you open your eyes you'll be surprised at the stone carvings present on the exterior walls of banks and inns that you miss in the daily bustle. Use a longer lens to fill the frame with detail. These shapes usually appear around doorways, above windows and on the line of the roof just below or on the gutter level.

 

5. Shoot Themes

How about a theme? You could pick one type of historical building, say market hall, and go around the country collecting shots of them. Every time you visit a new town and see if they have a market hall and take its picture.  Lighthouses, piers, windmills, castles, pubs could all prove interesting collections.

 

 

6. Avoid People And Cars

Try to take external shots without people or cars in the frame, both will date the photo. A weekend or early morning will be better if the building is in a town or city centre.

 

7. Height And Angles

Find an external position with some height to reduce converging verticals when shooting with a wide-angle. Steps on a nearby building or a hill will help. Some professionals take step ladders although for most of us this is not often practical.

On ruins walk around looking for the best angles. Some sections are so bad that the shot will just look like ruins whatever angle you shoot from, whereas other angles will at least give a feeling for shape and style. Use brochures and guides to give you ideas of best angles but do look for your own original take on the building as well.

 

You've read the technique now share your related photos for the chance to win prizes: Daily Forum Competition

Categories: Photography News

ePHOTOzine Daily Theme Winners Week 1 June 2024

DIGITAL PHOTOGRAPHY NEWS FROM ePHOTOzine - Mon 10 Jun 2024 7:56am

[COMMENT_IMG]portfolio|70323|3662057[/COMMENT_IMG]

 

The latest winner of our popular daily photography theme which takes place in our forums have been chosen and congratulations go to mmart (Day 03 - Interesting Skies).

 

Daily Theme Runners-Up

If you didn't win this time, keep uploading your images to the daily competition forum for another chance to win! If you're new to the Daily Theme, you can find out more about it in the Daily Theme Q&A

Well done to our latest runners-up, too, whose images you can take a look at below.

  Day 01

Beach Photography

[COMMENT_IMG]direct|84628|84628_1717227956.jpg[/COMMENT_IMG]

  Day 02

Summer Portraits

[COMMENT_IMG]direct|163790|163790_1717309814.jpg[/COMMENT_IMG]

 

Day 04

Buildings

[COMMENT_IMG]direct|3465|3465_1717771514.jpg[/COMMENT_IMG]

 

Day 05

Wildlife In Zoos

[COMMENT_IMG]direct|197810|197810_1717568195.jpg[/COMMENT_IMG]

 

Day 06

Under The Pier

[COMMENT_IMG]direct|136775|136775_1717660814.jpg[/COMMENT_IMG]

 

Day 07

Panoramas

[COMMENT_IMG]portfolio|294692|3348715[/COMMENT_IMG]

 

Day 08

Music Photography

[COMMENT_IMG]portfolio|344332|3734266[/COMMENT_IMG]

 

Day 09

Outdoor Full-Length Portraits

[COMMENT_IMG]portfolio|51734|3521846[/COMMENT_IMG]

 

You’ll find the Daily Themes, along with other great photo competitions, over in our Forum. Take a look to see the latest daily photo contests. Open to all levels of photographer, you’re sure to find a photography competition to enter. Why not share details of competitions with our community? Join the camaraderie and upload an image to our Gallery.

Categories: Photography News

4 Key Ingredients For Shooting Successful Landscapes

DIGITAL PHOTOGRAPHY NEWS FROM ePHOTOzine - Mon 10 Jun 2024 3:28am

Landscape photography's a wide topic, however, there are certain key elements which appear in various shots, taken by many different photographers, as they help add an extra level of interest or give shots mood and more impact.

  1. Capture Images Of Trees

 

A subject which is photogenic at any time of the year, trees, either on their own or stood shoulder-to-shoulder in a large forest, are strong structures that add interest to wide landscapes and become dominant and striking when photographed on their own. They can give images a sense of scale and when photographed up close, make excellent textures for adding to other photos at later dates.

For more tips on shooting trees, take a look at this tutorial: Ten Top Ways To Photograph Trees

 

2. Shooting Interesting Skies

 

The sky, and how much of it is in-frame, will change the overall focus and feeling of the image you're trying to take. Dark, rain-filled clouds will add drama while white clouds sat against a blue sky will create a completely different feeling altogether. Interesting skies can occur at any time of year and at any time of day so you just have to be aware of the conditions and keep an eye on what’s happening.

If you have a sky full of interesting cloud formations the key is to making sure the clouds aren't too bright. Check your histogram if you're unsure. Make sure you're ready to shoot an interesting formation as soon as you see it as they change shape quickly and if the clouds are rather breath-taking remember to lose some of the ground to make the sky your focus.

Blurring the movement of the clouds is an interesting effect that can also help create leading lines to guide the eye through the photograph. If you're shooting on a brightish day you'll need to fit an ND filter so you can use the slower shutter speeds without too much light reaching the sensor.

As briefly mentioned above, if the sky is really impressive, shift the horizon down so the sky dominates the frame. It does still help to have some land in the image, though as this adds foreground interest as well as scale to the shot.

For more tips on shooting skies, take a look at this article: How To Photograph Interesting Skies. We also have an article on Capturing Mood In Your Photos as well as a Top Ten On Photographing Sunsets.

  3. Use Water In All Its Forms 

 

Be it lakes, rivers, streams or ponds, water often plays a big part in landscapes. It can be used to add a sense of movement to what would be a static image, reflections on its surface can add depth and in winter, frozen water adds another element of interest to landscape shots.

For more tips on shooting water in the landscape, take a look at these tutorials:

 

4. Capture Patterns And Textures

 

Taking the time to emphasise shapes, patterns and textures that appear in nature can help create a strong image when isolated from what's around them. This works particularly well for black and white shots when you need ways to separate the different elements in your frame. Why? Well, when taking landscapes in colour, it's easy to see different elements in the landscape but once the colours are taken away, the various elements tend to blend together more as the tones are similar once converted to black and white. Seek out strong shapes in the landscape such as walls and trees that might provide a leading line into the landscape. Strong distinctive shapes are easier for the eye to pick out and understand even when the tones are similar.

Strong, side-light will enhance textures so head out early or late in the day when the sun's decided it doesn't want to hide behind clouds.

For more tips on using textures and patterns, take a look at these tutorials:

 

You've read the technique now share your related photos for the chance to win prizes: Daily Forum Competition

Categories: Photography News

10 Quick Tips To Instantly Improve Your Landscape Photography

DIGITAL PHOTOGRAPHY NEWS FROM ePHOTOzine - Mon 10 Jun 2024 3:28am

 

Here are 10 quick landscape photography tips to help you take better landscape shots which includes points you may not have thought of such as using negative space and looking for natural frames. 

 

1. Use A Tripod

A tripod is a tool a landscape photographer shouldn't be walking out of the house without. Not only do they help reduce shake and assist with those popular blurry water techniques, but they also slow you down, giving you chance to think more about the scene in front of you and as a result, help improve your composition. You'll also be more likely to stay in one location for longer as you won't be supporting the weight of a camera and a lens meaning you can sit and watch the light change, clouds move or the sun dip below the horizon until the moment you want to capture presents itself.
 

2. Lines & Shapes Are Your Friend

Learn to look for shapes, lines or patterns which can help add direction, interest and depth to your shots. These could be paths, fences, patterns in a frozen lake, long lines of trees...etc.
 

3. Don't Be Afraid Of Negative Space

If used correctly, the empty space you leave in your shots (negative space) can make your photograph more interesting and easier to focus on rather than trying to fill every inch of the frame with interest.

 

4. Find A Frame

When used correctly, frames can help focus the viewer's eye on the main subject and they don't always have to be full frames either as a hanging branch, for example, can work just as successfully at guiding the eye. Look for arches created by paths of trees, leaves/hedges you can blur into an out of focus frame...etc. 

 

 

5. Move The Horizon

As well as keeping the horizon straight you need to avoid sitting it right in the middle of your frame as this just cuts the image in two and isn't very interesting (most of the time). When you have skies bursting with colour pull the horizon down and make more of it but if its the land that's your shining star shift the horizon up so the sky takes up less space. Of course, there are times when this rule doesn't apply but it's something you need to keep in mind when setting your shot up. 

 

6. Emphasize Size

By adding something to the shot the viewer can use to gauge a sense of scale from, they'll be able to grasp how vast/large the landscape really is, exaggerating the 'wow' factor as a result. 

 

7. Interesting Skies Are Great

Be it cloud formations, a storm coming in off the sea or a striking sunset, the sky is a great tool for adding extra interest to your landscape shots. Don't be afraid of the rain as moody clouds can give your landscapes an interesting twist and windy days will help you add a sense of movement to your usually still landscape shots. Sometimes you'll have to be patient and wait for the light but it's worth it in the end. 

 

8. Look For Lone Subjects

A single subject in a wide landscape shot will always work well. A lonely tree, a tractor or barn are just three examples that spring to mind but no matter what you pick, you can guarantee it'll help you create a striking yet simple composition. 

 

 

9. Create Depth And Dimension

You don't want a big, boring, empty space of nothingness in the foreground of your shot as this will just result in a boring example of landscape photography. To improve your photos, include some sort of foreground interest. By doing so you'll create depth, guide the eye and give your 2D image a 3D feel. If you find there's too much of the middle of your shot that's still empty try shooting from a lower angle. 
 

10. Filters Are Your Friends 

If you are only going to carry two filters with you they should be a Graduated ND and Polarising filter. A Graduated ND filter will help you produce a more balanced exposure while a Polarising filter will help colours appear more vibrant, deepening blue skies and giving foliage more punch. This filter can also help reduce reflections and cut down on the sheen coming off fur and skin.
 

You've read the technique now share your related photos for the chance to win prizes: Daily Forum Competition

Categories: Photography News

8 Summer Outdoor Portrait Tips For Photography Newbies

 

1. Camera Choices

If you have one, use an interchangeable lens camera but compact or smartphone users shouldn't think this means they can't shoot good portraits. Select Portrait Mode as this will tell the camera you want to use a wider aperture to throw the background out of focus. It also helps if you use the telephoto end of the zoom, just keep the camera steady as shake can be emphasised when working closer to your subject.
 

2. Lens Options

You want to throw the background out of focus and using a telephoto lens will make this job easier. A telephoto lens also creates a more flattering perspective.

  3. Should I Use A Tripod?

Longer lenses may create a more pleasant and natural-looking portrait but when you're working hand-held shake can be a problem. To combat this, don't let your shutter speed value drop lower than your focal length when working hand-held or just put your camera on a tripod.

 

4. Sun Direction

Soft morning or evening light is good for portraits but sometimes we don't have a choice but to shoot when the sun's more direct and high in the sky. Most people will position themselves so the sun sits behind them, facing their subject but this will only cause them to squint. Instead, position your subject so the sun sits behind them. This will diffuse the light and make yoke subject 'pop' out of the frame by creating a halo of light around their head. Just remember you'll need to meter from your subject's face to get your exposure right as if you meter manually from the background, you'll end up with a silhouetted subject.

 


 

5. Shadows

Shooting with the sun behind your subject can leave unsightly shadows under the nose and eyes. A pop of flash will remove them but this can look a little artificial, particularly if you're using a compact camera where the flash is more direct, so try using a reflector to bounce extra light into the shot. If you're working alone you'll need to compose your shot and set the camera on a self-timer or use a remote release to set the exposure going so you can hold the reflector in place. If your subject's hands aren't going to be in the shot you could get them to hold it or rope a friend into being your assistant if you can. If you do want to use flash, take it off your hotshoe (if using a DSLR) and bounce it off a reflective surface to diffuse it.

 

6. Find Shade

The light in shaded areas is more even and is less likely to have spots of bright light and harsh shadows, making them easier to work with.

 

7. Background

Even though you're outdoors you don't want the background to overshadow your subject so make sure it's not too busy and throw it out of focus. A wider aperture and putting some distance between your subject and the background will help you achieve this.

  8. Natural Props

You're in the outdoors so use the trees, leaves and flowers around you in your portraits. Subjects sometimes don't know what to do with their hands and can look awkward as a result. To stop this, give them something to hold/lean on. Ask them to lean on a tree trunk or hold a branch. How about getting them to blow on dandelions? Or framing their faces with branches and leaves?

 

 

You've read the technique now share your related photos for the chance to win prizes: Daily Forum Competition

Categories: Photography News

Panasonic Unveils LUMIX S9 Camera and 26mm F8 Pancake Lens

 

  • Smallest and lightest LUMIX S Series camera with stylish compact design in multiple color variations
  • Outstanding imaging performance with approx. 24.2MP full-frame sensor
  • Shoot and share to social media in 30 seconds with the new LUMIX Lab app

 

Panasonic is proud to announce the LUMIX S9, the smallest and lightest full-frame mirrorless camera in the LUMIX S Series. Available in a choice of colors – Jet Black, Crimson Red, Dark Olive, and Classical Blue – the LUMIX S9 is a stylish companion for content creators on the go.

The approx. 24.2-megapixel full-frame CMOS sensor, equivalent to that of the LUMIX S5II, and the latest engine capture content in rich detail with natural tones. In addition, the camera is equipped with PDAF (Phase Detection Auto-Focus), which provides excellent subject tracking, and Active I.S., which significantly reduces blurring from camera shake even when shooting handheld, allowing users to shoot confidently, whatever the situation.

The LUMIX S9 also allows creators to easily enjoy a range of popular, classic or bespoke color styles in-camera with the popular REAL TIME LUT function via a new dedicated ‘LUT’ button on the camera body.

In addition, the new LUMIX Lab app enables creators to develop their own unique LUT color files on their smartphone. This means users can effortlessly generate original and shareable stills and videos without the need of post-production editing on a computer, expanding the scope of creative possibilities. The speed of transferring data from camera to smartphone has also been improved with the new app.

The LUMIX S9 introduces a new recording format; MP4 Lite. Shooting Open Gate in 4:2:0 10 bit in 30p/25p, creators can capture high quality videos in the optimum format for smartphone, and easily resize aspect ratios to suit social media with the LUMIX Lab app. With this new streamlined editing workflow, content creators can easily shoot and share while on the go.

Panasonic aims to offer a new enjoyable shooting experience to creators with the LUMIX S9, making the journey from capturing the moment to sharing with the world seamless and intuitive.

LUMIX S9 (body only) will be available at the end of June 2024, with an RRP of £1499.99/ €1699.99

LUMIX S 26mm F8 (S-R26)

The new LUMIX S 26mm F8 (S-R26) is an incredibly compact and lightweight full frame lens. The slim design enhances portability, without compromising on high resolution and outstanding image quality.

With a fixed focal length of 26mm, F-stop of F8, and manual focus, this new pancake lens is designed for the enjoyment of casual and creative shooting. Perfect for spontaneously capturing fleeting moments, the 26mm delivers unique results compared to the existing line-up of LUMIX S Series wide-angle, fixed focal length lenses.

LUMIX S 26mm F8 (S-F26) will be available at the end of June 2024, with an RRP of £219.99/ €239.99

 

A new fixed focal length pancake lens in the LUMIX S Series

  • Manual focus allows creators to take full control of their own personal style of content creation
  • The lens has a wide angle of 26mm and a fixed F-stop of F8

 

Compact, lightweight lens perfect for everyday

  • Ultimate portability with a thin and lightweight body that fits into your pocket
  • Easy to carry around and start shooting at a moment’s notice, making it ideal for spontaneous snapshots
  • Overall length of approximately 18.1mm and a weight of approximately 58g/0.13lb.
Coming Soon:

 

A new compact wide zoom lens: LUMIX S 18-40mm F4.5-6.3

 

A new LUMIX S 18-40mm F4.5-6.3 lens is coming to the full frame LUMIX S Series lens line-up soon. A compact and versatile zoom lens ideal for daily use, the upcoming 18-40mm has a closest shooting distance of 0.15m/0.49ft. This lens covers focal lengths from an ultra-wide angle of 18mm to a semi-standard 40mm, allowing for the flexibility to capture expansive landscapes and buildings or portrait shots in a natural perspective.

For more information on these new releases, please visit: Panasonic UK

Categories: Photography News

8 Essential Music Festival Photography Tips

 

Music festivals are not only fun, they're great places to capture images of bands performing. Plus, you'll also be able to capture quite a few cracking candids of fellow festival-goers enjoying the music, rides, food and probably an alcoholic beverage or two! For those heading to a music festival this year, here are a few photography tips for you to have a think about before you start setting your tent up. 

 

1. Keep your things safe

You need to know where your camera and bag is at all times. If you don't want to carry your kit and other valuables all of the time, invest in a locker. Many festivals are now offering secure lock-up facilities, for a small fee of course. Even if you do have to pay they are handy things to have, particularly if it rains as you can stick all of your electrical equipment in them. 

 

2. Be ready

When you're squashed in a crowd of people who are trying to get closer to the stage trying to pull a camera out of your bag is really hard work so it's best to have it in your hands ready before the crush begins. Don't be tempted to put it on a camera strap either as even though it will stop it falling onto the floor if it gets tugged while on your neck you can injure yourself. If you want to make sure you're not going to lose it put a smaller strap on it and place it over your wrist.

Alternatively, use your smartphone to capture photos as they're just as good as many compact cameras nowadays and you'll probably have it on you anyway!
 

3. Have a plan

They'll be plenty of information online about who's playing what stage but it's worth buying a programme when you arrive and keeping it with you so you know who's playing when. That way you can circle the bands you'd like to photograph/watch or use is to make your own timetable, showing where and when each band will play. If you don't want to spend money you'll find the line-up posted around the camping areas of the festival which you can snap a photo of or make notes from.

 

 


 

4. Get to the stage well before the band is on

If you're heading for the main stage there's usually quite a big gap between the crowd and the stage so arriving early to get a spot at the front is advised. If you don't unless you have a very long lens, the bands will look a little bit small and you'll have trouble filling the frame when you're shooting individual shots of the band members (as demonstrated in the shot below). You can get closer at the smaller stages but if it's a particularly popular group you're heading to shoot, you'll still need to be there within plenty of time otherwise you'll have rows and rows of heads in front of you. If you intend to stay by the main stage, which is usually out in the open, make sure you take plenty of water with you, as dehydration can be a big problem on hot summer days. It's also a real pain to get back to the front once you leave!

Try to avoid standing where speakers will clip the side of your shots and avoid framing up with cables, monitors and other stage clutter in the background if you can. Sometimes all you have to do is wait for the artist you're photographing to move to a different spot on the stage to get the clutter-free shot you're after.

 

5. Compose your shots

As you won't be able to move very far, the ways you can compose your shots will be limited and you'll just have to rely on the band getting into poses/positions you think are worth photographing. Capturing the guitarist in a mid-air jump or the lead singer leaning over for the crowd are shots everyone's seen a million times before but that's not to say you shouldn't capture them. If you struggle to get the shots you want, head for a band you don't want to photograph but don't mind listening and just watch them on stage. You'll soon be able to pre-empt what they're going to do next so when you do lift your camera up, you'll be ready to take the shot.

 

6. When the sun goes down

As the light fades, getting decent shots of the stage becomes more of a challenge. You really need to be in the few front rows as the sun sets if you want to capture shots where you can see who's on stage. As most compacts try and use flash when it gets dark make sure you turn it off. If you don't turn your flash off you'll probably end up with a shot that shows a few rows of heads and nothing behind them. Your camera will have also picked the settings it thinks are suitable for when you're using flash so a short shutter speeds, small aperture and a low ISO will have further reduced the amount of light in your shot. You can increase the ISO manually but just keep an eye out for noise as some compact cameras struggle with this when you start to use higher ISO settings. If there's a particularly interesting light show happening on stage and you're some distance away try switching to Firework mode to capture it.

 

 


7. Try and standstill

It can be hard to do when you're in a crowd but by doing so you'll reduce the amount of shake in your shot, particularly when the sun's set and your camera's having to use longer shutter speeds when any movement can be easily picked up in your final photograph. If you have a barrier in front of you use it for support or lean on a wall that's behind you. If you're in the middle of the crowd just hug your arms as close to your side as possible and try and keep your hands still.
 

8. Remember the crowd

Try turning around and photographing the mass of people around you. It's not as easy if you're stood low down but get up higher on a slight hill/banking and it's easy to capture a sweeping shot of the festivities. Some compacts have panorama modes which can be handy when you're trying to take wider shots such as this. Do snap a few candids as you walk around as you're guaranteed to find plenty of interesting characters in the three or four days you're there. Plus, there will be plenty of stalls and tents for you to capture shots of as well. 

 


 

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Categories: Photography News

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