Digital Photography Review - News

August 19, 2018
DPReview TV: Looking back at the Panasonic G1 and ten years of mirrorless

It's not just the Seattle team celebrating ten years since the announcement of the first mirrorless system. Chris and Jordan have also been looking back at the camera that started it all: the Panasonic Lumix DMC G1. This week they've been remembering what it was like and how things have progressed from there.

Click here to see Richard's look back at Micro Four Thirds and the birth of Mirrorless

Be sure to subscribe to our YouTube channel to get new episodes of DPReview TV every week.

August 18, 2018
Shooting live music with the Panasonic Lumix GX9


85mm | ISO 200 | 1/2000 sec | F2.8

The South Lake Union Block Party is pretty standard as far as block parties go these days; loud music and expensive beer in a vacant lot in the heart of Seattle's South Lake Union neighborhood. Over the course of putting the finishing touches on our full review of the Panasonic Lumix DC-GX9, I wanted to get some real-world autofocus experience to put our more formal testing into better context.

So, on a hot and hazy Seattle afternoon, I took the GX9 and Lumix G Vario 35-100mm F2.8 lens down to see the band Acid Tongue, and exclusively used Touchpad AF and Tracking the entire time. Here's what I found.

All images in this article were shot with the GX9 and Lumix 35-100mm F2.8 and are processed in Adobe Camera Raw.

Tracking technique

47mm | F2.8 | ISO 200 | 1/4000 sec | F2.8

Touchpad AF on the GX9 allows you to drag your finger around the screen to move your AF point while the camera's viewfinder is up to your eye. This is great for quickly moving around a single area, but I also found it's a great way to take advantage of the sticky AF tracking that the GX9 is capable of.

Firing off single shots, I was really impressed at how consistently in-focus my images were

If you're using tracking while composing via the rear LCD, you simply tap on what you want to track; to disengage tracking, you have to hit the 'Menu / Set' button, or you can tap elsewhere on the screen to track another subject instead.

When you use tracking with the electronic viewfinder, you can use Touchpad AF to move the area over the subject you want to track, and half-press to initiate autofocus. You can then re-compose at will, with an AF box tenaciously tracking your chosen subject. Firing off single shots, I was really impressed at how consistently in-focus my images were.

100mm | ISO 200 | 1/4000 sec | F2.8

Since you can't simply tap the screen to change subjects when using the electronic viewfinder, I found another way of working: dragging on the rear screen automatically disengages tracking, and once you place the area over a new subject and release your thumb, it begins tracking that new subject. Pretty neat.

While you may be able to get similar results by just moving a single area around with the Touchpad and ignoring tracking altogether, I tend to like using tracking in these scenarios to allow me more compositional freedom - and if the subject moves erratically to another point in the frame, the camera will help me keep up and get more images that I wouldn't have been able to get otherwise.

It's not perfect

51mm | ISO 200 | 1/1300 sec | F2.8

As always with autofocus tracking, there are times when it doesn't quite work. When subjects move from bright light to shadow, the tracking algorithm can sometimes get tripped up and shoot off to the background, or simply fail to focus on anything at all. Additionally, there is some shot-to-shot lag in the GX9 that can make it difficult to follow your subjects.

The GX9's keeper rate is significantly higher if you shoot single images as opposed to bursts

So why not simply shoot bursts then? Well, we've found in our testing that the GX9's keeper rate is significantly higher if you shoot single images compared to bursts (stay tuned for the autofocus page in our full review for the details). So I made a call to take the shot-to-shot lag and impressive focus accuracy over shooting bursts with a lower hit rate.

The wrap

100mm | ISO 200 | 1/1600 sec | F2.8

The GX9 was a really good companion for this type of event. Paired with the Lumix 35-100mm F2.8, I had a compact, responsive package that wasn't all that conspicuous, but I had plenty of reach and ended up with far better image quality than, say, a 1"-type superzoom. Of course, this combo can't quite match up to a full-frame DSLR and a 70-200mm F2.8 lens, but that's not really the point here.

Sure, the GX9 wouldn't be my first choice for critical, action-oriented work (and Panasonic makes higher-end models for that sort of purpose anyway). But for the casual user who wants a small, stylish camera and wants to occasionally photograph a concert or sporting event for fun, the GX9 is easily up to the task.

August 18, 2018
Sony takes five at the 2018-19 EISA awards

The European Imaging and Sound Association has announced the winners of its 2018-19 awards, with Sony doing particularly well and coming away with five of the eighteen prizes. The Camera of the Year award went to the Sony a7 III, while the a7R III took Professional Mirrorless Camera of the Year and the Cyber-shot RX10 IV bridge camera came away with the award for the best superzoom model.

The prize for the best mirrorless camera went to the Fujifilm X-H1 and the Canon EOS M50 was the recipient of a new award for Best Buy Camera. Nikon’s D850 deservedly won Professional DSLR of the Year so the Canon EOS 6D Mark II took the DSLR title.

Three of the lens awards went to models designed for the Sony system, with the Sony FE 100-400mm F4.5-5.6 GN OSS and FE 16-35mm F2.8 GM being joined by Tamron’s 28-75mm F2.8 Di III RXD in the mirrorless sector. Canon and Nikon took a DSLR lens award each for the EF 85mm F1.4L IS USM and the Nikkor AF-S 180-400mm F4 TC1.4 FL ED VR, while Tamron and Sigma took Tele Zoom and Zoom awards for their 70-210mm F4 Di VC USD and 14-24mm F2.8 DG HSM I Art lenses.

Best Photo Video Camera went to the Panasonic Lumix DC-GH5s, the Photo Innovation prize went to the Canon Speedlite 470EX-AI and the 40MP sensor of the Huawei P20 Pro was one of the factors that won it the Best Smartphone award.

We suspect that some readers might be at odds with the decisions made by the EISA Photo Expert Group and will feel that some very good products have been overlooked, so it would be interesting to hear what you all think should have won each award. Remember, EISA only picks products launched in the year up to the end of May 2018.

For more information, and to see all the awards, visit the EISA website.

August 17, 2018
Google One cloud storage plans launch publicly for customers in the US

Earlier this year, Google introduced its new cloud storage service Google One, replacing its Google Drive plans with new alternatives offering more storage at the same price. The company started converting its existing Google Drive paid customers over to Google One, upgrading the original 1TB $9.99/month plan to a greater 2TB capacity at the same rate.

Google One wasn't available to new customers at the time, but that has changed. Anyone in the United States can now sign up for Google One, which starts at $1.99/month for 100GB, increasing to $2.99/month for 200GB and $9.99/month for 2TB. All Google users still receive 15GB for free with their account.

Users can upload their own files to Google One, also using the plan for Drive, Gmail, and storing original resolution Google Photos images. The product also includes direct access to help experts, as well as "extra benefits" that Google says will include Play credits, "special hotel pricing," and more.

Customers who need to store large amounts of data have three high-capacity options: 10TB for $99.99/month, 20TB for $199.99/month, and 30TB for $299.99/month. Up to five family members can be added to Google One plans. According to Google, other countries will get Google One access "over the next few weeks." US-based customers can sign up now.

Via: Google Blog

August 17, 2018
DJI teases August 23 launch event, new drone in new video

DJI has published a video on its YouTube channel teasing a new product due out August 23, 2018. No specific details are shared, but at the very beginning of the video, we catch a glimpse of what appears to be an on/off button of a drone.

After the short clip of what looks like the body of a drone, the narrator of the video says:

For more than a decade we've taken the dimension of space to give you the freedom of flight. But did you think we'd stop there? Let us take you beyond the horizon where something incredible awaits. It's about time.

The video wraps up with a clip that overlays the words 'see the bigger picture.'

DroneDJ says the on-off button we see at the beginning of the video is likely that of the yet-to-be-announced Mavic 2 Drone. Considering the similarities between the device in the teaser clip and the Mavic Pro, it's not much of a stretch to draw that conclusion.

Back in June, DJI sent out an invitation to press outlets teasing an event set for July 18. Three weeks after sending out the invitation, DJI delayed the event, citing issues regarding user experience and customer expectations. We'll have to wait and see if the August event stays on-track or is pushed back once again.