It is a big day today for Fuji, since the company finally revealed the price of the GFX 50S, which, at $6500, happens to be lower than any other medium format camera on the market, including the Pentax 645Z. In addition, the company announced a brand new lens for its Fuji X-series cameras, the Fuji XF 50mm f/2 R WR, along with two updated cameras, the Fuji X-T20 and the X100F. While the X100F seems to be an incremental update with few changes, it is exciting to see both the XF 50mm f/2 WR and the “mini X-T2” in the form of the X-T20.
Fuji so far has only released a total of 3 full resolution sample images to demonstrate the capabilities of its new Fujifilm GFX 50S medium format camera, one from each lens. While the images were shot at relatively low ISOs, the provided sample images give us a glimpse of what to expect from both the camera and the lenses in terms of image quality. As expected, the amount of detail in the images is exceptionally high, with all three lenses capable of resolving a lot of detail. Of particular interest is the GF 32-64mm f/4 WR, which shows exceptional performance in terms of sharpness from the center all the way to the extreme corners.
Back in September of last year, Fuji teased us with an announcement of the Fujifilm GFX 50S medium format mirrorless camera. While we got a taste of what the camera would look like, Fuji did not reveal the full specifications of the camera, along with the price. All we knew back then was that the camera was supposed to be under $10K with a lens, which was already good news, as the competing Hasselblad X1D-50c was announced with a price tag of $9K for just the camera body. Today, Fuji finally revealed the price of the GFX 50S and it is $2,500 cheaper compared to the Hasslelblad! Considering the price of the X1D-50c, along with the much larger, bulkier and heavier Pentax 645Z that still retails for $7K, the price of the Fuji GFX 50S is shockingly low. And based on the final specifications, the GFX 50S is going to be a beast of a camera for landscape, architecture, studio and product photography.
2017 is a huge year for Nikon, as it marks the 100th anniversary of the company. A century of innovation in creation of optical instruments, binoculars, telescopes, microscopes, engineering tools, medical tools, precision instruments, scanners, cameras, lenses and other accessories is something Nikon is planning to celebrate on July 25th, 2017. Our team at PL congratulates Nikon with this big achievement and we hope to see Nikon continue to innovate for many years to come! At the same time, we are hoping that the celebration of the 100 year anniversary of the company will come with great announcements – after-all, it is a perfect time to release something truly special for Nikon fans, isn’t it? What is it going to be? A Nikon Df II with anniversary edition versions of some prime lenses? The first full-frame Nikon mirrorless camera? Or perhaps a refresh of the existing camera models in the forms of the Nikon D620, D760 and D820? It is hard to say at this time, but we are hoping to see a bunch of releases in 2017!
In Part 1 of Best of 2016, I showed images from my trips to Death Valley NP, Joshua Tree NP and Saguaro NP, then finished up the post with two of my favorite images from Istanbul, Turkey. In this second part, we will be touring through the Rocky Mountain region of the USA, then explore some of the images from my recent trip to New Zealand. As before, I will be spending a considerable amount of time talking about each image, its compostional aspects and what it took to make it work. Please enjoy!
Another year is over and it is that time of the new year when many of us go back and assess our personal successes and failures of the past year. While 2016 was surely an eventful year, we should be grateful to be alive and well, as many were not as fortunate. We have seen a number of both positive and negative changes that affected the world we live in today and how we will be living it in the future. But let’s not focus on the bad – after-all, keeping positive attitude and encouraging healthy, proactive thinking always leads to more fruitful results, especially in the long run. 2016 was a very busy year in the world of photography as well – a lot of new cameras, lenses and gadgets were announced. Nikon finally revealed the long-awaited Nikon D500 and D5 DSLRs, while Canon updated two of its high-end DSLRs with the Canon 5D Mark IV and the 1 DX Mark II. Pentax finally brought us the amazing full-frame K-1. Fuji, Sony, Olympus, Panasonic and Sigma have all been keeping busy as well, but the two that definitely stole the show last year were Fuji and Hasselblad, releasing “budget” interchangeable lens medium format mirrorless cameras – the Hasselblad X1D-50c and the Fujifilm GFX 50S, both under the $10K price tag. And when it comes to lenses, we have seen a slew of different lenses for all kinds of needs from all manufacturers, with so many great third party options. I have been barely able to keep up with all these announcements and although I have done my best to produce as many reviews as I possibly can, all the travel and projects I have been involved with ate up the bulk of my time, shifting my priorities significantly. I am grateful for all these opportunities, but above all, I am incredibly thankful for the amazing and patient community of readers and followers of this very site, which has been steadily growing year after year. But enough of this mumbo jumbo, let’s take a look at some of my most favorite photos from 2016!
One of the biggest frustrations with Lightroom’s built-in watermarking tool, is the fact that it often ends up making watermarks appear too soft / blurry, especially when extracting smaller JPEG images. This happens due to Lightroom’s rather poor implementation of watermarking on images. Not only does Lightroom seem to apply sharpening to images before adding a watermark, but also, the resizing algorithm used by the software appears to be pretty bad. No matter what image dimensions one chooses, Adobe has not provided a way to turn off scaling in Watermark Editor, even if one provides transparent PNG / GIF images with the correct dimensions. For this reason, many photographers end up using Photoshop for adding watermarks to images, which certainly does take more time and effort, but certainly delivers much sharper results in comparison. After seeing poor watermarking results, I decided to look into alternative methods to see if there is a way to make watermarks sharper using the same tools. After some experimentation, I came up with two methods that ended up working well and that’s what I am going to share with our readers in this article.
While it seems that adding watermarks to images does little nowadays to deter image theft, watermarks can still be very useful for photographers and business owners for promoting their work and their brands across websites and social media. Unfortunately, for those who are just starting out, adding a simple watermark to images can be a rather painful experience, especially if they are not already familiar with the process using such software tools as Photoshop. Thankfully, Adobe has made it easy to add watermarks to images in Lightroom, allowing one to not only add a watermark to a single image, but also to apply it to all images during the export process, which can save a lot of time and frustration when dealing with batches of images. In this article, I will show how to use the built-in watermark tool that is readily available in Lightroom in order to quickly add watermarks to images.
Although we have already published a detailed review of the JPEGmini Pro software a while ago, a number of readers have reached out to me, asking how to effectively use the software, specifically when extracting images for clients from Lightroom. I have now been using JPEGmini for over a year and both Lola and I have been extracting images from Lightroom in a specific way to get the highest quality JPEG images to our clients, while retaining the smallest file size possible. Previously, we would extract everything at particular resolutions (typically 2048 for smaller JPEGs and full size for print) using 100% JPEG compression for the full sized images for the best possible quality, but extracting hundreds and sometimes even thousands of images turned out to be a headache when it came to storage and file transmission. With JPEGmini, we were able to continue delivering the best images to our clients, with a much smaller footprint. This resulted in both time and cost savings in the long run for us, as we did not have to deal with time-consuming uploads and large USB drives. In this article, I will show how both Lola and I we have been utilizing JPEGmini as part of our Lightroom workflow.
As many of our readers know, there are only a few software packages out there that we always recommend at PL to our readers. One of such software packages is JPEGmini, which in my opinion, is worth every penny, even when paying for it in full. Well, today and tomorrow only, our friends at B&H Photo Video decided to host a really nice special for our readers, by bringing the price of the JPEGmini Pro photo optimization software down to $59.95, which is basically 60% off its original sticker price of $149.95. Considering how much you can do with JPEGmini, that’s one heck of a deal for it! If you do not know about JPEGmini, I would highly recommend to give my JPEGmini Pro review a read, as it details all the feature of the software and explains exactly what it does. In short, JPEGmini is capable of reducing the file size of your JPEG images by up to 80%, while keeping the quality indistinguishable for the viewer.