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Sony has said that the FE 70-200mm F2.8 GM OSS lens for its E-mount cameras is to be delayed until September. When the lens was announced in February this year the company expected to be delivering the tele-zoom to stores this month. No reason is given for the delay, but the statement thanks users for their patronage and apologies for the inconvenience.
Along with the zoom the company will also push back the release of the two tele-converters that are supposed to go with it – the SEL14TC 1.4x converter and the SEL20TC 2x converter.
The FE 70-200mm F2.8 GM OSS is part of a new G Master range of lenses designed with the company’s full frame a7 series of cameras in mind – though they are also compatible with the APS-C models. Other GM lenses announced along with the 70-200mm F2.8 are the FE 24-70mm F2.8 GM and the FE 85mm F1.4 GM.
For more information see the Sony website.
Chinese manufacturer ZTE has launched its latest flagship-level device, the nubia Z11. Looking at its specifications the new model has the potential to be a serious alternative for mobile photographers for several reasons. On paper, the camera module looks very similar to the one on the recently unveiled OnePlus 3 and comes with a 16MP Sony IMX298 1/2.8" sensor that offers on-chip phase detection and a pixel size of 1.12 micron. The lens is protected by a sapphire glass element and comes with a fast F2.0 aperture and an optical image stabilization system. The front camera captures 8MP images on a sensor with a 1.4 micron pixel size. The lens on the front module covers a wide angle view of 80 degrees and features a F2.4 aperture.
Photographers and frequent video shooters will also like the generous on-board memory. The Z11 comes in two versions, either with 4GB of RAM and 64GB of storage, or 6GB of RAM and 128GB of storage. On both models storage can be further expanded via a microSD-slot.
Photos can be viewed and edited on a 5.5-inch Full-HD display that is protected by Gorilla Glass 3, and inside the Android 6.0 OS is powered by Qualcomm's current top-end chipset Snapdragon 820. A fingerprint reader increases security and the 3,000 mAh battery supports Qualcomm's Quick Charge 3.0 standard. The high-end components are built into an elegant looking all-metal case with extremely thin display bezels. In China the nubia Z11 will be available from July 6 at approximately $375 for the model with 4GB RAM and $525 for the higher-end version. No information on availability in other markets is available yet.
Google has updated both Google Earth and Google Maps with higher-quality satellite imagery using images mostly taken by NASA and the USGS's Landsat 8. According to the company, the refreshed imagery provides truer colors and greater detail in comparison to the previous content captured by Landsat 7, helping provide what Google calls its 'freshest global mosaic to date.'
The company pored over more than 700 trillion pixels' worth of Landsat images to choose the clearest photos. Before this imagery refresh, Google's mapping products included satellite imagery captured, in same cases, nearly two decades ago. Google has rolled out the new images to all of its mapping products; the content can be viewed on both the 'satellite' layer on Google Maps and on Google Earth.
Via: Google Lat Long Blog
- 18MP APS-C CMOS sensor
- 9-point autofocus system
- 1080/30p video capture
- Fixed 3" 920k-dot LCD
- ISO 100-6400, expandable to 12800
- 3 fps burst shooting
- Wi-Fi with NFC
The Canon EOS Rebel T6 / 1300D is an entry-level DSLR targeted toward first-time ILC users and smartphone upgraders. Built around an 18MP APS-C sensor, the T6 offers Wi-Fi with NFC for easy photo sharing when you’re out-and-about, and adds a faster processor compared to its predecessor, the Rebel T5.
Its closest competitor in the category is the Nikon D3300, which was announced in January 2014 and is getting a little long in the tooth at this point.
As per Rebel tradition, the T6 packages up some tech borrowed from previous-generation higher end models, and that's no bad thing. It offers a 9-point AF module, 1080/30p video and built-in Wi-Fi with NFC. Battery life is a very respectable 500 shots per charge, putting it near the top of its class in that respect. But one of the T6's headline features isn't on the inside of the camera at all, it's written on the outside of the box: that sweet $500 price tag with lens.The T6 is better tuned to a beginner's needs and hits an aggressively low price point
Offering tech handed down from previous generations at a very reasonable price is what the Rebel line has traditionally done best. The original Digital Rebel is just about 13 years old, and was essentially a single-dial 10D in a plastic body, priced at $1000 with kit lens - a breakthrough price-point for DSLRs at the time. As well as being cheaper still, the T6 is a vastly more capable camera than that pioneering Rebel, and better tuned to a beginner's needs.
In short, with the T6, Canon has gathered up various components it had lying around on the shelf from Rebels past and put them together in an aggressively priced bundle. Smart business move for Canon, but is it the best way to spend your $500? Read on.
The Alpha SLT-A68 is Sony's entry-level Translucent Mirror camera and the follow-up to the a58. Despite its position in the entry-level class, it borrows many components from its big brother, the Sony SLT- A77 II. This includes a 79 point AF system with 15 cross-type points, Bionz X processor and a stabilized sensor. It all adds up to quite a lot of camera.
The weather is just starting to really warm up here in Seattle and the long days offer plenty of sun-filled hours for shooting. We've been out and about with the a68; click the link below to get a sense of its real-world image quality.
The Chartered Institution of Water and Environmental Management (CIWEM) has announced the winners of its Environmental Photographer of the Year awards and given out £6000 (approx. $8000) in prizes as well as a job. The winner of the £3000 overall award is Swedish photographer Sara Lindstrom for a picture of a forest fire taken in Alberta, Canada.
Luke Massey took the £1000 Young Environmental Photographer of the Year award for pictures of a peregrine on a balcony in Chicago, and the Environmental Film of the Year, and £500, went to Sergiu Jiduc for a film called ‘The Karkoram Anomaly Project, Pakistan’ about dramatic climatic conditions that effect the Balti people in Pakistan.
SL Kumar Shanth from India won the Atkins Built Environment award that includes a year-long position of Photographer in Residence with design and engineering firm Atkins, while the Changing Climate award and £500 went to Sandra Hoyn and the People, Nature and Economy Award and £1000 went to Pedram Yazdani.
The winning images will be included in a 60-picture exhibition that will be held at the Royal Geographic Society in London from 29th June to 19 August 2016. The exhibition will then tour to Grizedale Forest, supported by Forestry Commission England, from 3 September 2016 until 1 January 2017. For more information on the exhibition and the awards visit the Environmental Photographer of the Year website.
Images used with kind permission of Levi Bettwieser of The Rescued Film Project
Levi Bettwieser is the founder and film technician for The Rescued Film Project - an archive of images from 'lost and forgotten' rolls of film, sourced from all over the word. Last year, Bettwieser acquired 66 packages of undeveloped film from the 1950s, totaling an estimated 1,200 rolls.
Each package is made up of several rolls of undeveloped film, meticulously wrapped in aluminum foil, newspaper and athletic tape and as Bettwieser explains, 'this is way more film than I can process myself.' The single roll that he has developed shows some degradation but has yielded usable images.
Blue Moon Camera in Portland has agreed to take on the task of developing the rest of the unprocessed film, but even with a discount, processing so many rolls is going to cost a lot of money. Bettwieser has launched a funding campaign on Indiegogo.com, and at time of writing, his team has raised roughly a third of the total funding goal of $15,000.
If you're interested in this project, you might enjoy reading a series of articles that we published in 2014.
The earthquake that hit Japan's Kumamoto prefecture in April affected multiple camera companies with facilities in the region, including Sony. In its most recent statement about the matter, Sony revealed several camera models that will be delayed getting to customers.
The following models are mentioned in Sony's statement:
- a77 II
It's interesting to note that the delays primarily affect older models, suggesting the company is concentrating its supplies and efforts on its most popular models. Sony also states that other models not specifically mentioned above might be delayed as well.
Canon has issued a warning to EOS-1D X II owners, noting a problem with file corruption that can occur when certain SanDisk CFast cards are used. The issue occurs with the last few images recorded just before the camera is powered off, so Canon's suggested workaround is to capture a number of extra shots when turning the camera off.
These are the problematic cards named in Canon's advisory:
The “xxx” at the end of the product number varies depending on the sales region.
- SanDisk Extreme PRO CFast2.0 64GB (SDCFSP-064G-xxx)
- SanDisk Extreme PRO CFast2.0 128GB (SDCFSP-128G-xxx)
- SanDisk Extreme PRO CFast2.0 64GB (SDCFSP-064G-xxxA)
- SanDisk Extreme PRO CFast2.0 128GB (SDCFSP-128G-xxxA)
- SanDisk Extreme PRO CFast2.0 64GB (SDCFSP-064G-xxxB)
- SanDisk Extreme PRO CFast2.0 128GB (SDCFSP-128G-xxxB)
Both Raw and JPEG files are affected, but the number of corrupted images varies according to the compression mode used. When shooting Raw, Canon recommends recording just one extra shot, but shooting small sized JPEGs will require 8 extra shots to protect other images on the card.
The statement makes very clear that the problem is caused by SanDisk's cards, not by the camera. Canon says it may issue a firmware update in early July to address the problem.
I’m a front-end architect, but I’m also known as a technical leader, subject matter expert, and a number of other things. I came into my current agency with five years of design and development management experience; yet when it came time to choose a path for my career with the company, I went the technical route.
I have to confess I had no idea what a technical leader really does. I figured it out, eventually.
Technical experts are not necessarily technical leaders. Both have outstanding technical skills; the difference is in how others relate to you. Are you a person that others want to follow? That’s the question that really matters. Here are some of the soft skills that set a technical leader apart from a technical expert.Help like it’s your job
Your authority in a technical leadership position—or any leadership position—is going to arise from what you can do for (or to) other people. Healthy authority here stems from you being known as a tried-and-true problem-solver for everyone. The goal is for other people to seek you out, not for you to be chasing down people for code reviews. For this to happen, intelligence and skill are not enough—you need to make a point of being helpful.
For the technical leader, if you’re too busy to help, you’re not doing your job—and I don’t just mean help someone when they come by and ask for help. You may have to set an expectation with your supervisor that helping others is a vital part of a technical leader’s job. But guess what? It might be billable time—check with your boss. Even if it’s not, try to estimate how much time it’s saving your coworkers. Numbers speak volumes.
The true measure of how helpful you are is the technical know-how of the entire team. If you’re awesome but your team can’t produce excellent work, you’re not a technical leader—you’re a high-level developer. There is a difference. Every bit of code you write, every bit of documentation you put together should be suitable to use as training for others on your team. When making a decision about how to solve a problem or what technologies to use, think about what will help future developers.
My job as front-end architect frequently involves not only writing clean code, but cleaning up others’ code to aid in reusability and comprehension by other developers. That large collection of functions might work better as an object, and it’ll probably be up to you to make that happen, whether through training or just doing it.
Speaking of training, it needs to be a passion. Experience with and aptitude for training were probably the biggest factors in me landing the position as front-end architect. Public speaking is a must. Writing documentation will probably fall on you. Every technical problem that comes your way should be viewed as an opportunity to train the person who brought it to you.
Helping others, whether they’re other developers, project managers, or clients, needs to become a passion for you if you’re an aspiring technical leader. This can take a lot of forms, but it should permeate into everything you do. That’s why this is rule number one.Don’t throw a mattress into a swimming pool
An infamous prank can teach us something about being a technical leader. Mattresses are easy to get into swimming pools; but once they’re in there, they become almost impossible to get out. Really, I worked the math on this: a queen-sized mattress, once waterlogged, will weigh over 2000 pounds.
A lot of things are easy to work into a codebase: frameworks, underlying code philosophies, even choices on what technology to use. But once a codebase is built on a foundation, it becomes nearly impossible to get that foundation out of there without rebuilding the entire codebase.
Shiny new framework seem like a good idea? You’d better hope everyone on your team knows how to use that framework, and that the framework’s around in six months. Don’t have time to go back and clean up that complex object you wrote to handle all the AJAX functionality? Don’t be surprised when people start writing unneeded workarounds because they don’t understand your code. Did you leave your code in a state that’s hard to read and modify? I want you to imagine a mattress being thrown into a swimming pool…
Failure to heed this command frequently results in you being the only person who can work on a particular project. That is never a good situation to be in.
Here is one of the big differences between a technical expert and a technical leader: a technical expert could easily overlook that consideration. A technical leader would take steps to ensure that it never happens.
As a technical expert, you’re an A player, and that expertise is needed everywhere; and as a technical leader, it’s your job to make sure you can supply it, whether that means training other developers, writing and documenting code to get other developers up to speed, or intentionally choosing frameworks and methodologies your team is already familiar with.
Jerry Weinberg, in The Psychology of Computer Programming, said, “If a programmer is indispensable, get rid of him as quickly as possible!” If you’re in a position where you’re indispensable to a long-term project, fixing that needs to be a top priority. You should never be tied down to one project, because your expertise is needed across the team.
Before building a codebase on anything, ask yourself what happens when you’re no longer working on the project. If the answer is they have to hire someone smarter than you or the project falls apart, don’t include it in the project.
And as a leader, you should be watching others to make sure they don’t make the same mistake. Remember, technology decisions usually fall on the technical leader, no matter who makes them.You’re not the only expert in the room
“Because the new program is written for OS 8 and can function twice as fast. Is that enough of a reason, Nancy Drew?”
That’s the opening line of Nick Burns, Your Company’s Computer Guy, from the Saturday Night Live sketch with the same name. He’s a technical expert who shows up, verbally abuses you, fixes your computer, and then insults you some more before shouting, “Uh, you’re welcome!” It’s one of those funny-because-it’s-true things.
The stereotype of the tech expert who treats everyone else as inferiors is so prevalent that it’s worked its way into comedy skits, television shows, and watercooler conversations in businesses across the nation.
I’ve dealt with the guy (or gal). We all have. You know the guy, the one who won’t admit fault, who gets extremely defensive whenever others suggest their own ideas, who views his intellect as superior to others and lets others know it. In fact, everyone who works with developers has dealt with this person at some point.
It takes a lot more courage and self-awareness to admit that I’ve been that guy on more than one occasion. As a smart guy, I’ve built my self esteem on that intellect. So when my ideas are challenged, when my intellect is called into question, it feels like a direct assault on my self esteem. And it’s even worse when it’s someone less knowledgeable than me. How dare they question my knowledge! Don’t they know that I’m the technical expert?
Instead of viewing teammates as people who know less than you, try to view them as people who know more than you in different areas. Treat others as experts in other fields that you can learn from. That project manager may not know much about your object-oriented approach to the solution, but she’s probably an expert in how the project is going and how the client is feeling about things.
Once again, in The Psychology of Computer Programming, Weinberg said, “Treat people who know less than you with respect, deference, and patience.” Take it a step further. Don’t just treat them that way—think of them that way. You’d be amazed how much easier it is to work with equals rather than intellectually inferior minions—and a change in mindset might be all that’s required to make that difference.Intelligence requires clarity
It can be tempting to protect our expertise by making things appear more complicated than they are. But in reality, it doesn’t take a lot of intelligence to make something more complicated than it needs to be. It does, however, take a great deal of intelligence to take something complicated and make it easy to understand.
If other developers, and non-technical people, can’t understand your solution when you explain it in basic terms, you’ve got a problem. Please don’t hear that as “All good solutions should be simple,” because that’s not the case at all—but your explanations should be. Learn to think like a non-technical person so you can explain things in their terms. This will make you much more valuable as a technical leader.
And don’t take for granted that you’ll be around to explain your solutions. Sometimes, you’ll never see the person implementing your solution, but that email you sent three weeks ago will be. Work on your writing skills. Pick up a copy of Steven Pinker’s The Sense of Style and read up on persuasive writing. Start a blog and write a few articles on what your coding philosophies are.
The same principle extends to your code. If code is really hard to read, it’s usually not a sign that a really smart person wrote it; in fact, it usually means the opposite. Speaker and software engineer Martin Fowler once said, “Any fool can write code that a computer can understand. Good programmers write code that humans can understand.”
Remember: clarity is key. The perception of your intelligence is going to define the reality of your work experience, whether you like it or not.You set the tone
Imagine going to the doctor to explain some weird symptoms you’re having. You sit down on the examination bed, a bit nervous and a bit confused as to what’s actually going on. As you explain your condition, the doctor listens with widening eyes and shaking hands. And the more you explain, the worse it gets. This doctor is freaking out. When you finally finish, the doctor stammers, “I don’t know how to handle that!”
How would you feel? What would you do? If it were me, I’d start saying goodbye to loved ones, because that’s a bad, bad sign. I’d be in a full-blown panic based on the doctor’s reaction.
Now imagine a project manager comes to you and starts explaining the weird functionality needed for a particularly tricky project. As you listen, it becomes clear that this is completely new territory for you, as well as for the company. You’re not even sure if what they’re asking is possible.
How do you respond? Are you going to be the crazy doctor above? If you are, I can assure you the project manager will be just as scared as you are, if not more so.
I’m not saying you should lie and make something up, because that’s even worse. But learning to say “I don’t know” without a hint of panic in your voice is an art that will calm down project teams, clients, supervisors, and anyone else involved in a project. (Hint: it usually involves immediately following up with, “but I’ll check it out.”)
As a technical leader, people will follow your emotional lead as well as your technical lead. They’ll look to you not only for the answers, but for the appropriate level of concern. If people leave meetings with you more worried than they were before, it’s probably time to take a look at how your reactions are influencing them.Real technical leadership
Technical leadership is just as people-centric as other types of leadership, and knowing how your actions impact others can make all the difference in the world in moving from technical expert to technical leader. Remember: getting people to follow your lead can be even more important than knowing how to solve technical problems. Ignoring people can be career suicide for a technical leader—influencing them is where magic really happens.
Full Frame is a Mac-based image viewer, photo importer and metadata editor with an incredibly clean and intuitive user interface. Released by California-based Inland Sea and available now in the App Store, its potential to speed up one's workflow caught our attention.
Of course, there are a lot of different photo viewing, ingesting and sorting programs available on market, many of which are geared toward casual users. Full Frame, on the other hand, is targeting more toward high-end users like photo enthusiasts.In Use
Having spent some time trying out using Full Frame in my own workflow, it seems its closest competitors are Photo Mechanic, a time-honored program with a cult-like following from photojournalists world-wide, as well as Adobe Bridge.
Unlike Adobe Bridge, which I find frustratingly sluggish and cluttered in design, Full Frame comes across as exceptionally lean in terms of speed (except when working with un-supported Raw files) and design. It has much more in common with Photo Mechanic like quick startup and image load times. Of course the spectrum of its functionality is much more limited than that of Adobe Bridge.
I took Full Frame for a spin while sorting images to post to one of my personal sites. Specifically, I used it to move and rename selects from one drive, to a folder on another.
Once you have Full Frame fired up, users simply select the source folder and destination (assuming you are copying files) in the upper-left of the screen. The above screenshot represents the entire window when the program is open. There is literally nothing to get in your way of viewing images and deciding which to keep and which to trash.
To select an image to copy, simply click on it and a checkmark appears. Alternatively you can select all by hitting 'Command A' and uncheck the ones you don't want. In the upper-left portion of the window you'll find a slider to zoom in the grid view as well as options to view metadata and delete files from their source.
With your mouse hovering over an image, a small plus sign will appear in the upper left of the photo. Click on it to expand the view. Once in the single image viewer, users can use the slider at the top to zoom the image in and out, to check for critical focus. Unfortunately, when zooming in and out, there is no display of the percentage you are zoomed to, unlike in Photo Mechanic.
One of the best features of Full Frame is the metadata/EXIF viewer. It offers an incredibly detailed list that goes above and beyond what a lot of other programs show, including Photo Mechanic.
Users can also add XMP info to any imported files from within the preferences panel. One thing I've always really liked about Photo Mechanic is how simple it is to add copyright warnings and contact info to my files. In Full Frame, it is just as painless. From within the preference panel users can also assign rules for renaming files on import, which is very handy.
In many ways, Full frame comes across as a utilitarian program, built to accomplish several specific tasks related to moving and organizing images. However it also doubles as an outstanding way to show off your work to clients, friends or families. The grid view is frankly gorgeous, and once in the single image view, users can simple use the arrow keys to move from image to image. It also starts up very fast, which is a plus.Things to consider
While I found a lot to like about Full Frame, there are some things to consider before purchasing it: First and foremost, despite the claims of Raw support, I found numerous files, from varying manufacturers, to be unsupported. For instance, Raw files from the Nikon D750 are unsupported, as are those from the Sony a7 II. However, if you have Raw+JPEG files, load times will slow significantly but you can at least view and import your images.
This is really quite unfortunate. Sure, app updates could bring about Raw support but who has time to wait around? On the other hand you could always covert to DNG first, but if the whole point of this program is to speed your workflow, that also makes little sense. Photo Mechanic on the other hand does not have this problem, it can display a JPEG rendering from any Raw file, and loads quickly regardless.
Another beef I have with Full Frame is that there is only one option for sorting/rating images. In Photo Mechanic and Bridge, there are numerous ways to rate and sort images. For instance, when choosing my selects, I first do an initial sweep and check mark all of the ones I like, I then assign color or star ratings until I've got the images sorted down to a manageable amount. At that point I copy the selects to a separate drive to be imported into Lightroom for processing.The Takeaway Full Frame is not a program that can do it all, but the things it can do, it does well. If you need a quick, easy way to view JPEGs or edit/view EXIF info, it might be your cup of tea.
Full Frame is an outstanding option for photographers seeking a powerful EXIF viewer/XMP editor or a quick and easy way to import and rename files. Its spotty Raw support is the main thing holding it back. But at $30, Full Frame is a major bargain compared to Photo Mechanic, which will set you back $150. It is also a much faster way to quickly view and sort JPEG files than Adobe Bridge.What we like:
- Intuitive user interface
- Very clean, simple design
- Powerful EXIF viewer
- JPEGs load very quickly
- Can be used to import, sort, batch rename files
- Support for video files
- Despite claims of Raw support, many Raw files not supported
- No percentage shown on zoom slider
- Not as many options for rating photos as competition
One of the men in Joe Rosenthal's iconic 'Rasing the Flag on Iwo Jima' has been mis-identified for over 70 years, according to a statement by the U.S. Marine Corps. The man (highlighted in the image above) was previously believed to be John Bradley, but a review panel considering 'all available images, film, statements and previous investigations' found the man to be Private First Class Harold Schultz.
How did this case of mistaken identity come about? According to his son James, John Bradley remembered raising a flag on Mount Suribachi, and was later told as he lay recovering in a hospital bed that he was one of the men in the photo. He was believed to be the sixth man in the Pulitzer Prize winning photo for more than 70 years.
When a Smithsonian Channel research team approached the Marine Corps with a theory that Bradley was not the man in the photo, an investigation was launched. A panel led by retired general officer Jan Huly started looking over evidence in April, and released its findings late last week.