DxO Now Owns Nik Software

These past couple weeks have been a roller coaster for photography software. For some companies, the past couple years have been a roller coaster, too — Nik software in particular. In May of 2017, Google (which had owned Nik software since 2012) announced they were ceasing new developments on the program. No new features, bug fixes, or guaranteed support for updated operating systems. That happened just a couple months after making the software completely free. Justifiably, Google’s decision to end developments disappointed many photographers who relied on the software, and who happily would have paid for further updates. Today, though, there is some cautiously good news: DxO, the company behind DxO OpticsPro (which — also as of today — is now called DxO PhotoLab), announced that they bought Nik from Google. On top of that, they announced the development of a new version of the Nik Collection planned for mid-2018. If you use Nik software as part of your workflow, what does this mean for you?

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Lightroom Classic and Lightroom CC Announced — Subscription Only

Four years is a long time in the digital realm. In the past four years, new products, services, and software have uprooted many parts of the old world and put something new in its place. It also is enough time — as many people suspected, but wasn’t confirmed until today — for a company to break a promise. I’m talking about Adobe, with their new release of two separate versions of Lightroom: a split “Lightroom CC” and “Lightroom Classic CC.” Both of them are subscription only, which runs counter to Adobe’s own words during the release of Lightroom 5: “Future versions of Lightroom will be made available via traditional perpetual licenses indefinitely” (source). Although it helps to define indefinitely just to be sure — dictionary.com says “without fixed or specified limit; unlimited” — it should be clear that Adobe’s sentiment has shifted dramatically since then, as they’ve seen their profits soar with the Creative Cloud. Below, I’ll dive into some new features in these Lightroom releases. I’ll also provide some suggestions if, like me, you are against the idea of monthly payments in order to access a catalog-based editing software (which makes you keep paying if you want the ability to re-edit your old photos).

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Nikon D850 Announcement – The Monster Has Arrived!

Back in July, Nikon teased us with its “development announcement” of the upcoming D850 camera. Aside from a teaser video and some hints here and there about what to expect from the upcoming DSLR, Nikon gave no other information, so we had no clue what to expect in terms of specifications. Today, the company has finally revealed the upcoming high-resolution monster, the Nikon D850. And I have to say, this is without a doubt Nikon’s most technologically advanced cameras to date. First of all, Nikon was able to cram quite a few pixels into the full-frame sensor – 45.7 million of them to be exact. However, that’s not the impressive part, since we have already seen a full-frame sensor with even more resolution. What’s truly impressive, is that Nikon has been able to deliver this resolution at a whopping 7 frames per second (fps), which is one heck of a lot of data to push through any camera! Autofocus-wise, the Nikon D850 gains the same powerful AF system from the Nikon D5 (with a total of 153 autofocus points) and with the added power of a battery back, it is possible to even get to 9 fps, which makes the camera a versatile choice for all kinds of photography – from landscapes and macro to sports and wildlife. In addition, Nikon has also made the D850 an attractive choice for movie makers, because it can deliver 4K video shooting without any cropping. Couple all this with a few extra features and functions that we have never seen on any Nikon camera before, and the D850 looks like an absolute monster. Let’s take a look at what the camera has to offer in more detail!

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Happy 100th Anniversary Nikon!

It is a big day today at Nikon, since the company is celebrating its 100th year anniversary. Nippon Kogaku K.K. was founded on July 25th 1917 and the company has been making everything from consumer cameras to industrial optical equipment ever since. As part of this important day and celebration, Nikon’s president Kazuo Ushida gave an important statement that reassures the future of the company, particularly when it comes to addressing the “rapidly changing consumer needs”. With the announcement of the development of the Nikon D850, the company wants its customers to know that it is working on a next generation DSLR that will exceed their expectations. That’s a bold claim for sure, and many of us Nikon shooters cannot wait to see what Nikon is planning with the D850. There is a lot of excitement surrounding the camera and we at PL really hope to see a true D810 successor! And let’s not forget that Nikon has also promised to release a mirrorless camera, something many of us also are very excited about. For now, sit back, relax and enjoy some of the great videos Nikon put together for its 100th year anniversary.

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Nikon D850 Development Announced

Tomorrow is the 100th year anniversary of Nikon. While we have been patiently waiting for the company to announce something new for this big date, it looks like we will only be seeing a teaser in the form of the Nikon D850 “development announcement”. Unfortunately, aside from the teaser video (see below) that does not reveal much aside from the ability to shoot 4K video and 8K timelapses, no additional information is provided as part of this development announcement, which is quite unfortunate! Perhaps Nikon is still going through some changes to the camera features, or perhaps there are other reasons for not giving us any further details, but it will be a painful few months of waiting for additional details on this highly anticipated camera…

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Was Growth in the Asian Market the Tipping Point for Nikon?

It is always fascinating to contemplate what is beneath the strategy of various companies as they announce new products. Nikon’s official confirmation that it is developing some new mirrorless cameras is garnering all kinds of attention. Rather than add to all of the speculation regarding potential camera specs of these new Nikon mirrorless cameras in development, my first thought was to look at camera industry statistics. A basic question popped into my head…”Was growth in the Asian market the tipping point for Nikon with this new mirrorless camera confirmation?”

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Nikon Full-Frame Mirrorless is On Its Way

If you are a Nikon shooter, you might have found the announcement of the 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6E VR AF-P puzzling. While it looks great on paper, the lens seems to be ahead of its time, since the only cameras the lens is fully compatible with are the recent DX cameras. What is the point of announcing a full-frame lens, if it is limited to only a few DX cameras and practically no FX cameras? To me, it shows that Nikon is getting ready to announce something really big, something many of us Nikon shooters have been waiting for – a full-frame mirrorless camera. As I was looking at the details of the new 70-300mm VR AF-P, I realized that this lens would be an ideal candidate for a mirrorless camera. It is small, sharp and lightweight, which is exactly what a lightweight and compact Nikon mirrorless system needs. On top of all this, Nikon’s president has already hinted at an upcoming mirrorless release (link in Japanese, use Google Translate), although nothing was said about the format / sensor size. While this is my personal speculation, the release of the full-frame 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6E VR AF-P to me is an indication of a full-frame mirrorless coming to the market.

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Nikon 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6E VR AF-P Announcement

Today Nikon revealed its first pulse motor (AF-P) lens designed specifically for full-frame cameras, the AF-P NIKKOR 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6E ED VR. This is a very interesting release for a number of reasons. First, it improves the already great 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6G VR budget telephoto lens by making it sharper, faster and lighter. Second, it vastly improves the image stabilization system on the lens, capable of compensating up to 4.5 stops when shooting hand-held, in addition to adding a Sport VR mode for panning. Third, the new 70-300mm gains an electronic diaphragm and its new optical design allows to get even closer to subjects with a minimum focus distance of 1.2 meters. And lastly, its $700 price tag puts it just $100 above its predecessor, making it a great choice for budget conscious photographers. Being such a lightweight and compact lens, it seems like an ideal choice for travel photography.

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Tamron SP 24-70mm f/2.8 Di VC USD G2 Announcement

Tamron announced yet another new-generation lens for both Nikon F and Canon EF mounts, the Tamron SP 24-70mm f/2.8 Di VC USD G2. The new professional-grade lens sports an impressive optical design, with a total of 17 elements in 12 groups, four of which are aspherical elements, two have extra refractive and three have low dispersion properties. Just like the recent “G2” series lenses from Tamron, the SP 24-70mm f/2.8 Di VC USD G2 comes with eBAND and BBAR coatings to reduce ghosting and flare, and fluorine coating has been applied to the front element to protect the lens against dust, dirt and smearing. Sporting an advanced image stabilization system, the lens is capable of reducing camera shake by up to 5 stops. Lastly, the lens is weather sealed and is compatible with optional TAP-in Console for fine-tuning the focusing properties of the lens and updating lens firmware. All this technology available at a very appealing price point of $1,199, making the Tamron SP 24-70mm f/2.8 Di VC USD G2 even cheaper than the recently introduced Sigma 24-70mm f/2.8 DG OS HSM Art. This is a very exciting release and I am looking forward to testing and reviewing the lens later this year, as soon as it becomes available.

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