Digital Photography Review - News

February 23, 2019
Panasonic S1R sample gallery updated with Raw conversions

We've had a little more time to shoot around with Panasonic's high-resolution full-framer and thus, top off our sample gallery. We've also had the chance to add a whole lot of Raw conversions, which should give a better idea of image quality compared to the out-of-camera JPEGs. So have a peek and let us know what you think.

See our Panasonic S1R gallery

February 23, 2019
Tokina releases 16-28mm wide zoom with constant F2.8 aperture

Lens manufacturer Tokina has officially released details, price and on-sale dates for the Opera 16-28mm F2.8 lens it first showcased at Photokina last September. Expected to ship mid-March the full-frame wide angle zoom will cost $699 and will be available in two versions for Canon EF and Nikon F DSLR mounts.

The lens joins the previously-released 50mm F1.4 in the Opera series. Tokina says it used the Opera name as it hopes these lenses will help photographers to create works of art. The company also says that these lenses are not designed to be small and lightweight but with image quality as a priority.

Using 15 elements in 13 groups the Opera 16-28mm F2.8 weighs 940g (~2lb) and measures 89 x 133.5mm. It also offers a nine-bladed iris for improved rendering of out-of-focus highlights and an upgraded AF system that is claimed to be both faster and more accurate than the original AT-X 16-28mm F2.8 PRO FX.

See the Tokina website for more information, and B&H Photo for sample shots taken with the lens and a first impressions review.

Press Release

New Tokina opera 16-28mm F2.8 FF

Inspired by the focal length and aperture of the widely acknowledged Tokina AT-X 16-28mm F2.8 PRO FX lens, Tokina opera 16-28mm F2.8 FF has been developed with the same concept as the already released opera 50mm F1.4 FF, to offer the photographers another contemporary tool for professional photography.

Super wide angle, superior resolving ability coupled with high contrast and beautiful bokeh rendering, fast f/2.8 constant aperture throughout the zoom range and accurate AF drive system make this lens attractive for photographers who specialize in landscape, interior architect, documentary, environmental style portrait and night sky/time lapse photography genres.

Sales start date worldwide: March 15th, 2019

February 22, 2019
InukTech will launch Inuk, a carbon fiber tripod alternative, on Kickstarter next month

On March 1st, InukTech will launch a Kickstarter campaign for Inuk, a portable folding camera tripod alternative. Unlike traditional tripods, Inuk features flat carbon fiber arms and legs joined by reinforced technopolymer hinges and soft rubber feet. The rig's three legs and two arms can be folded flat against the device's carbon fiber plate for compact storage.

Inuk supports payload weights up to 1.5kg / 3.3lbs and features a ¼” -20 universal screw for connecting cameras and mounts. In addition to supporting cameras and smartphones, Inuk can accommodate accessories like microphones, flashes, and lights.

Though the support can be used like a tripod, Inuk's legs can also be folded for uneven surfaces, and accessories will be available for connecting the support to different structures. At this time, InukTech says its connection accessories include a magnet, suction cups, super suction cups, straps, and clamps.

When folded, Inuk measures 17 x 9 x 2.5cm / 6.7 x 3.5 x 0.98in and weighs 160g / 0.35lbs. The model can extend up to 12cm / 4.3in in height with a 30cm / 11.8in footprint and 42cm / 16.5in arm width.

InukTech hasn't revealed any other information about the model, but plans to officially launch it on Kickstarter next month. Consumers will have the opportunity to 'pre-order' the camera support at up to 50% off the expected retail price with prices starting at $39.95 for the basic 'Starter Kit' and going up to $56.95 for the 'Video Maniac' kit.

February 22, 2019
Hands-on with the Ricoh GR III

The wait is over

Fans of the Ricoh GR, which was announced way back in 2013 (and preceded by both smaller-sensored and film GRs,) have been waiting a long time for an updated model. Sure, there was the GR II in 2015, but the biggest new feature on that model was Wi-Fi.

Four years later, the true replacement of the GR is here, in the Ricoh GR III. It has a higher-res sensor, a redesigned lens, in-body image stabilization and a hybrid AF system, to name just a few things. And Ricoh did all that without increasing the size of the camera, a favorite of street photographers.

New 24MP sensor and in-body stabilization

The GR III now has a 24MP APS-C CMOS sensor, up from 16MP on its predecessors. It offers an ISO range of 100 - 102,400 and uses 14-bit DNG as its Raw format.

Probably the most significant addition to the GR III is in-body image stabilization. By shifting its sensor, the GR III is able to provide up to four stops of shake reduction, according to Ricoh.

While the new 24MP sensor has no anti-aliasing filter, the GR III can take advantage of its shake reduction system to simulate one. If this sounds familiar, it's because Pentax DSLRs have had this feature for many years.

Ricoh has also made an effort to keep dust off of the sensor, which was an issue for some owners of previous GR models. Like modern DSLR and mirrorless cameras, it uses ultrasonic vibrations to literally shake the dust away.

Redesigned lens and on-sensor phase detection

While it maintains the same 28mm equivalent focal length and F2.8 maximum aperture of the previous GR models, the GR III's lens has been totally redesigned. It has six elements in four groups, with two of the elements being aspherical.

The lens has a built-in two-stop neutral density filter, which can now be set to engage automatically, meaning you can keep using the maximum aperture in bright light. The maximum shutter speed on the GR III, which continues to use a leaf shutter, is 1/4000 sec.

However, because it's a leaf shutter, it can't maintain this maximum speed when shooting at F2.8. Instead the maximum shutter speed tops out at 1/2500 sec at F2.8 (1/3EV improved, compared with the GR II). This, combined with the 2-stop ND and near-silent operation should mean you'll rarely find yourself limited by the absence of a full-electronic shutter mode.

As you can see from the above photo, the lens ring can be removed so the optional GW-4 wide-angle lens can be attached. This brings the focal length of the lens down to 21mm equiv. and it's a new optic designed to match the GR III's new lens - so sorry, if you own the wide adapter for the GR or GR II, it won't work on the new camera.

Another big feature on the GR III is on-sensor phase detection autofocus. We don't know much about the system at this point, such as the number of points or frame coverage, but we hope that the combination of the updated AF system and new lens will give the GR III's focus speeds a boost.

Touchscreen and rear controls

The back of GR III has been significantly redesigned. It includes a 3" touchscreen LCD for the first time in the series' history. This make selecting an AF point quicker and easier than on GRs past. Touch operation is responsive, but menu navigation can be a little awkward as the GUI isn't designed for fingers.

Long time fans of the GR might miss the auto exposure/focus lock and vertical rocker switch from previous models. But we can assure you the camera has a familiar form factor, size and weight. The familiar rocker control is still directly under your thumb for applying exposure compensation.

Top plate controls and missing pop-up flash

The top of the GR III is nearly unchanged from recent models. It retains the iconic pill-shaped shutter release. Top plate controls, including the vertical dial, on/off switch and mode dial, are also unchanged.

We'd come to know and love the small tilt-up flash found on previous GR models, sadly it did not find its way into the GR III. Good thing the hot shoe did.

Another small change: TAv mode has been removed as an option from the mode dial. Fortunately, the basic premise of TAv should be achievable using Auto ISO in Manual exposure mode. Anyone familiar with the Pre-APS-C GR Digital models probably won't notice this absence.

Video and connectivity

The GR III offers modest video specs, with the ability to capture 1080/60p footage. Recording is capped at 25 mins or 4GB of footage. The camera includes a built-in stereo mic, but not microphone or headphone sockets.

While the GR II had Wi-Fi, Ricoh has given the GR III Bluetooth, as well. This should make pairing a bit quicker while allowing for a constant connection between camera and smartphone.

Battery and charging

The GR III's battery life has taken a serious nosedive, dropping 38% over the GR II. It offers a CIPA-rated 200 shots per charge which isn't great. Our first attempt shooting with this new model gave us less than an hour-and-a-half of shooting time, so that's something we'll keep a close eye on when we get our hands on a camera running final firmware.

Since the new DB-110 battery is more powerful than the one on the GR II, it's likely that the IBIS system is the main culprit for the drop.

On a more positive note, the GR I/II's proprietary charging port has been replaced by USB-C. I supports USB-PD which allows it to be powered by external power banks.

Limited edition GR III and accessories

The GR III will be shipping in mid-March for $899 / £799 ($100/£200 more than the previous version). In some regions, that snazzy blue lens ring pictured above will be included.

Accessories include the WG-4 wide-angle conversion lens, the GV-1 and GV-2 optical viewfinders and the usual assortment of cases and straps.

First impressions

There was some concern when Ricoh first unveiled mockups of the GR III, with long-time fans of the series concerned about the impact of the control changes that have been introduced.

Our first impressions are that the main command dial and rear jog control are just where you expect them, so the shooting experience isn't too significantly changed. The loss of dedicated buttons will take some getting used to, but we found we still had access to the things we change most.

The touchscreen makes it much easier to quickly position the AF point than on previous GRs. At least for now there's a considerable lag if you use the rear screen for touch shutter. Even with the new focus system, there's still a noticeable pause even if you've placed the AF point and use the shutter button to fire. We'll see whether responsiveness picks up with final firmware.

Of course the alternative is to use Snap Focus to keep the lens focused at a predetermined point. Which, if you've used an GR before, may already be your preferred way of working.

February 22, 2019
Ricoh GR III sample gallery

The Ricoh GR III made its official debut today, and DPR contributor Damien Demolder got his hands on the camera for a quick photo walk through London. Take a look at the JPEG output from the GR III as well as a few converted DNGs.

See our Ricoh GR III sample gallery