1. Sport picture of the day: Vaulting multiple exposure

    The dark background of the arena and the movements of the competitors mean that gymnastics is an ideal sport to utilise a multiple exposure. This shot, by the Guardian’s Tom Jenkins, was created with the speed of the camera decreased in order to record the numerous steps of Anand Patel’s vault Continue reading…

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  2. Hollywood Filmmakers Band Together To Try And Save Kodak Film

    The recently revealed deal would have studios commit to buying a set amount of film 

    It’s not an easy thing to say, but the film industry is having a lot of trouble.  But, a group of Hollywood studios, including major directors, are now attempting to forestall the death of Kodak’s analog film production by pledging to buy enough to keep the factory rolling.

    As revealed by the Wall Street Journal, Kodak’s motion-picture film sales have declined catastrophically, down 96% from 12.4 billion linear feet in 2006 to just 449 million this year. While the deal is still being negotiated, if successful, then it would mean Kodak wouldn’t have to shut the doors on its Rochester plant. The deal would mean

    In the agreements being finalized with Kodak, studios are committing to purchase a certain amount of film without knowing how many, if any, of their movies will be shot on the medium over the next few years.

    A number of A-list Hollywood directors are behind the push, who have been pressuring studio executives to join the deal. Quentin Tarantino, Christopher Nolan, Judd Apatow, and J.J. Abrams are all on board.

    While motion-picture film only accounts for 10% of the company’s revenue, it’s a high-profile product, and one whose visibility could serve to bolster the company. In 2012, when Kodak announced it planned to sell off its film division, motion-picture film wasn’t included in that sale.

    This move probably won’t have much impact on film photographers, but in terms of the larger discussion about the decline of analog film-stock, any attempt to keep these factories open is still a good one.

    kodak factory
    Photo by: Popular Photography Magazine Editor

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  3. SPONSORED: Great Tips On Shooting Wildlife From A World-Class Pro!

    See the awesome video now at the Olympus Anywhere Classroom 

    The new Olympus Anywhere Classroom is a virtual photography class where acclaimed Olympus Visionaries share their priceless tips and techniques for achieving their spectacular prizewinning images. It’s free, and you’ll discover many exciting new tricks and techniques that will maximize your creative potential, and have you creating exciting images anywhere, and at an entirely new level.

    To get a taste of what makes this ongoing series such an incredible resource, check out the brilliant Shooting Wildlife video by renowned National Geographic photographer and Olympus Visionary Jay Dickman. We promise you’ll learn more about shooting wildlife in less than 6 minutes than you ever thought possible. Topics covered include using light, capturing the perfect moment, choosing the right shutter speed, panning, how to optimize your camera controls, and much, much more. “The rugged, lightweight, weather resistant, ultra-responsive Olympus OM-D E-M1 is unsurpassed for shooting in challenging environments,” says Jay Dickman. “Its speed and precision make it ideal for capturing the magical moments I encounter as a wildlife, nature, and landscape photographer.”

    For photographers looking to create and share beautiful imagery, the OM-D is the perfect line to help capture your stories. Whether you are an existing camera owner or in market for a new system, Olympus has something for you. An OM-D makes the perfect complement to any existing camera system because it will deliver world-class imaging performance and blazing speed while functioning seamlessly with other brands of lenses using the appropriate adapter. And Olympus makes it easy to build a new system by offering a great savings program on the superb line of Olympus lenses. No matter what camera you use, this mesmerizing video is an entertaining and educational experience that you definitely don’t want to miss.

    To see the spectacular Shooting Wildlife video CLICK HERE and click on Session 2. And while you’re there check out Jay Dickman’s amazing videos on Shooting Landscapes and Shooting Nature.

    Photo by: Popular Photography Magazine Editor


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  4. Flickr Unveils New In-House Photo Licensing Program

    Yahoo’s photo service wants to sell your photos for you

    Flickr has announced that it will be offering a new photo licensing system, tied to a number of major news outlets. And while it’s exciting that something this big is in the works, there’s a lot left unsaid in the announcement, too.

    Flickr announced the new licensing scheme in a blogpost, saying “Today we are excited to introduce a new way for you to partner with photo agencies, editors, bloggers and other creative minds who are seeking original content like yours. Our curatorial team will provide assistance, outreach and connectivity to help you get your photos licensed!”

    Flickr users will be contacted directly with Flickr Mail if they’ve been invited to join the program, and on the sparsely informative Marketplace page, the site claims the New York Times, Reuters, Gizmodo, Monocle, the BBC, and Tumblr are on board. The blogpost also mentions that your work may be licensed to other Yahoo properties, like the Flickr blog, and Yahoo News and Travel.

    The information about the program is scanty, to say the least. Probably the biggest question on everyone’s minds is what sort of licensing cut Flickr will take from what it charges. When 500px first announced 500px Prime, they said photographers would only receive 30% of the licensing cost—however, the debate that followed persuaded them to bump that number to 70%.

    It’s also not clear where that leaves Flickr photographers who license their images through Getty (which currently gives users a 30% cut of the licensing). While the Marketplace site mentions “Get connected to opportunities to license your work to photo editors, designers, and agencies including Getty Images,” according to a report from TechCrunch, this move has caused some friction with Getty, as Flickr is essentially moving to an in-house version of what Getty provides.

    If any of our readers have been contacted by Flickr about the new service, let us know what the details are. With so little firm information in place, there’s still plenty of room for Flickr to either make something really impressive out of this, or further frustrate its users.

    flickr marketplace
    Photo by: Popular Photography Magazine Editor

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  5. Camera Test: Panasonic Lumix GH4

    Panasonicâ��s new flagship delivers both top-notch stills and video 

    The “convergence” that’s been bandied about in tech circles for years now is finally becoming a reality for capture of still images and video. A striking case in point: Panasonic’s Lumix GH4 ($1,698 street, body only), which delivers a very high level of still imaging power with its 16.05MP Micro Four Thirds sensor, as well as state-of-the-art video capture at up to 4K resolution. 
    This new flagship also includes an updated AF system, 2.36-million-dot OLED electronic viewfinder, and rugged, weather sealed magnesium-alloy construction. So let’s take this imaging powerhouse into the Popular Photography Test Lab and out into the field to see how it stacks up.
    In the Test Lab
    When it comes to overall image quality, the GH4 earned an Excellent rating from its lowest sensitivity of ISO 100 through ISO 400—basically the same level achieved by the GH3 (whose sensitivity bottomed out at ISO 125). But the GH4 showed significantly better noise results than did its predecessor, due to the new noise-reduction defaults in the latest version of the Silkypix SE RAW converter that ships with the camera. 
    At the same time, resolution decreases more at higher ISOs when those default settings are applied. From ISO 100 through 400, the GH4 got Extremely Low ratings in noise—top honors in this test, signifying super-clean images. Further, the GH4 was able to keep noise to a Low or better rating up through ISO 6400, which is quite impressive for a sub-$2,000 camera. Above ISO 6400, noise takes a steep jump to an Unacceptable rating. 
    In our color accuracy test, the GH4 just barely earned an Excellent rating with an average Delta E of 7.8.
    To compare, the GH4’s main Micro Four Thirds competitor in still photography (it doesn’t record 4K video), the less-expensive Olympus OM-D E-M1 ($1,299 street, body only), also just got by the cutoff for an Excellent score in color accuracy. It matched the GH4’s overall image quality rating, though its images were not as squeaky clean at lower sensitivity settings. Furthermore, the E-M1 kept noise to a Low or better rating only up to ISO 800 and stepped into Unacceptable territory at ISO 6400. One thing in Olympus’s favor: Its sensor-shift image stabilization lets you save money on lenses and reduce camera shake even when using legacy and adapted glass.
    For the same price as the GH4, Sony’s a7 ($1,698 street, body only) employs a full-frame 24.3MP sensor for higher resolution, at the expense of extra noise at higher ISOs. But its burst shooting is a not-so-impressive 2.5 frames per second, compared with the GH4’s 7.5, and video recording tops out at 1920x1080p60—if that matters to you.
    In the Field
    The GH4 feels extremely comfortable in the hand. The grip is well-shaped and all essential controls are easily within reach of your fingers. There are five customizable hard buttons, with more than 50 functions you can assign to any of them. If that’s not enough, you can also assign up to five soft buttons that pop out on the touchscreen when you need them. 
    The body feels solid, and its weathersealing means you can take it out in the rain and not worry (provided you have a similarly weathersealed lens attached). The EVF has enough resolution to keep most people from worrying that it’s not an optical finder, and its refresh rate is fast enough so that it remains relatively smooth when you pan across a scene. There are still plenty of photographers who will use only optical finders, but if you don’t mind an EVF, you’ll likely be happy with the one in the GH4.
    Given all the attention this Panasonic is getting for its ability to record 4K video, we expected that its footage would look good—and it certainly did. There are so many combinations of file formats, codecs, frame rates, and compression types and levels that we have to admit that we didn’t try them all. We paid closest attention to the 1080p60 mode at 200 Mbps with ALL-I compression, since this will show to its best advantage on most people’s HDTV screens. That footage was among the best HD video we’ve seen in a camera in this price range—the realism and detail that comes along with this amount of data capture is extremely pleasing.
    When it comes to shooting 4K, there are a few things you should know. The GH4 can record at both Cinema 4K (4096x2160) and 4K (3840x2160). Second, you can select the camera’s system frequency to match the frame rate at which you plan to record: Cinema 4K can be recorded to a memory card only when the system is set to 24 Hz; the other options are 50 Hz, to match the European TV standard, or 59.94 Hz, which is what cameras actually use when you select 60p recording. Finally, you’ll need a UHS-I Speed Class U3 memory card in order to record 4K with this camera, and these are currently available only from Panasonic and Kingston. 
    If you don’t want to record to a memory card, you can send footage out from the Micro HDMI port to an external recorder or buy Panasonic’s DMW-YAGH interface unit, which has professional-grade stereo XLR audio inputs and 3G-SDI pro video outputs with time code. The interface unit also enables recording in a 10-bit color space that allows for better color adjustments 
in postproduction.
    We didn’t have an interface unit on hand for our test, as it seems like overkill for most of our readers. But having recorded both Cinema 4K and 4K, we can safely say that we haven’t seen video this good from any camera we’ve tested to date. While we don’t expect many non-pros to delve into 4K right now, the future looks wonderfully detailed once 4K becomes more widespread. 
    Burst shooters will probably appreciate the 7.5 fps capture with continuous metering and AF. Even better, the buffer doesn’t fill up until you’ve captured 40 RAW frames or up to 100 JPEGs. And the tracking autofocus did a great job of keeping up with moving subjects. 
    The Bottom Line
    Panasonic’s GH4 is one of the best ILCs you can get these days. Even if you don’t expect to shoot 4K, its 1080p video is stunning. But for GH3 owners who don’t need 4K video capture, the GH4 might not make sense as an upgrade—especially true if you’re primarily a still shooter. Some videographers might not be able to resist the appeal of 200Mbps recording, compared with the GH3’s limit of 72Mbps, but we suspect they’ll be few.
    Micro Four Thirds fans can save a few hundred dollars by opting for the Olympus’s OM-D E-M1, though their savings come with the promise of noisier images. At lower ISOs, however, this may not be a huge issue for some photographers.
    The GH4 finds itself in a strange spot. The extra cost of enabling 4K recording puts it at a disadvantage compared to some other models. At the same time, it’s an amazing camera that comes as close to the ideal of a do-it-all still/video capture device as we’ve seen yet. Sony’s soon-to-arrive a7S promises to deliver a similar level of convergence, but with its 12.2MP sensor, we do not expect it to serve up as much resolving power as the GH4, even if it delivers better low-light performance. For now the GH4 just may be the most versatile ILC you can buy.
    IMAGING: 16.05MP effective, Four Thirds-sized LiveMOS sensor captures images at 4608x3456 pixels with 
    12 bits/color in RAW mode
    STORAGE: SD, SDHC, SDXC slot stores JPEG, RW2 RAW, RAW + JPEG, and MPO (with optional 3D lens) files
    BURST RATE: Full-sized JPEGs (Fine mode), up to 100 shots at 7.5 fps; RAW (12-bit), up to 40 shots at 7.5 fps
    AF SYSTEM: TTL contrast detection with 49 focus areas; single-shot and continuous AF with face detection and subject tracking; effective range, EV –4 through 18
    SHUTTER SPEEDS: 1/8000 to 60 sec, plus B (1/3-EV increments); shutter rated to 200,000 cycles
    METERING: TTL metering with 1,728-zone Multi-pattern (evaluative), centerweighted, spot (size of spot not specified). EV 0–18 (ISO 100)
    ISO RANGE: Standard, ISO 200–25,600 (in 1/3-EV increments); Expanded, ISO 100–25,600
    VIDEO: Records at 4096x2160 at 24 fps in MOV (100Mbps IPB compression); 3840x2160 at 30 fps in MOV or MP4 (100Mbps IPB); 1920x1080 at up to 60 fps in AVCHD, MP4, or MOV (200Mbps ALL-I or 100Mbps IPB); built-in stereo microphone; stereo minijack input; maximum clip length 29 min 59 sec. when recording to memory card; clean HDMI out for saving to external recorder
    FLASH: Built-in pop-up; GN 40 (feet); covers 12mm (24mm equiv.) field of view; flash sync to 1/250 sec
    VIEWFINDER: Fixed eye-level OLED with 2.36-million-dot resolution; 100% accuracy; 1.34X magnification (0.67X 35mm-equiv.)
    MONITOR: 3-inch articulated OLED touchscreen with 1.04-million-dot resolution; 7-step brightness adjustment
    OUTPUT: USB 2.0, micro HDMI video, composite video, minijack stereo headphone, and Wi-Fi
    BATTERY: Rechargeable DMW-BLF19PP Li-ion, CIPA rating 500 shots with Panasonic 12–35mm f/2.8 lens
    SIZE/WEIGHT: 5.2x3.7x3.3 in., 1.2 lb with a card and battery
    STREET PRICE: $1,698, body only; $3,298 with DMW-YAGH Interface Unit
    INFO: www.panasonic.com
    Photo by: Popular Photography Magazine Editor


    The Panasonic Lumix GH4: 16.05MP Four Thirds-sized LiveMOS sensor, 4K video capture, 3-inch 1.04-million-dot OLED touchscreen, $1,698 street, body only. Photo: Brian Klutch

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  6. Pentax 645Z Review

    Pentax 645Z Review thumbnail

    The Pentax 645Z is a 51.4-megapixel medium-format camera that’s styled very much like a DSLR. The well-appointed 645Z has a wealth of features in addition to its very large sensor, not to mention a very competitive price tag (for a medium format camera at least). Read our in-depth Pentax 645Z review to find out if it’s worth making the leap to medium format…

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  7. Photo highlights of the day

    The Guardians picture editors bring you a selection of the best photographs from around the world including the Gaza conflict, Usain Bolt at the Commonwealth Games and the Clown Congress

    Continue reading…

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  8. Nikon D810 Sensor Crowned King by DxOMark

    News image

    The 36-megapixel FX imager of the new Nikon D810 has achieved a DxOMark Sensor Score of 97, which is higher than that of its predecessors the Nikon D800 and D800E.

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  9. Apple Updates MacBook Pro with Retina Display

    News image

    Apple today updated its MacBook Pro with Retina display with faster processors, double the memory in both entry-level configurations, and a new, lower starting price for the top-of-the-line 15-inch version.

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  10. CarryOn Jib

    News image

    ProAm USA has just launched a Kickstarter campaign to help fund the commercialisation of its latest innovation, the CarryOn Jib.

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