Since Libor is traveling in South America, I’m filling in for him on this week’s Photography News. In fact, I just returned from a trip myself: I was in the Grand Tetons and Yellowstone National Park, finishing our field tests of the Nikon Z9! One feature of the camera that I used extensively is the Z9’s “pre-release burst,” where the camera records up to one second of 30 FPS or 120 FPS JPEGs before you fully press the shutter button. It enabled me to capture some bug-in-flight photos, like the one you see below – otherwise a very difficult genre of photography. All this and much more will be in our Z9 review, which I’m going to publish in a few days. Keep an eye out. But before that, let’s get to this week’s news.
- Sigma 20mm f/1.4 and 24mm f/1.4 Art lenses: These long-awaited lenses for the L Mount and Sony E Mount are geared toward astrophotographers and videographers. The 24mm’s aperture ring can be de-clicked for smooth video usage, while the 20mm has some impressive astrophotography features. These include a ring to hold lens heaters in place (to reduce condensation at night) and a locked manual focus mode.
- Skylum Luminar NEO adds HDR merge: Luminar has been one of the more popular Lightroom alternatives in recent years, and now it’s getting the useful feature of HDR merge.
- Techart Leica M to Sony E Autofocus Adapter Version 2: It’s $400 and lets you use manual focus Leica M lenses with autofocus on Sony cameras. This new version of the adapter is smaller and faster to focus compared to the prior.
The Rumor Mill
Upcoming “Topaz Photo AI” to bundle DeNoise, Sharpen, and Gigapixel
This rumor is all but confirmed, since it’s straight from Topaz’s own website: they’re going to release a new product in September called Photo AI. It’s likely to bundle the existing DeNoise AI, Sharpen AI, and Gigapixel AI into one software product. Topaz claims it “acts like an autopilot,” indicating that it may be a one-click program to fix image quality flaws.
Via Photo Rumors
Shaky Nikon Z8 rumors are unlikely to be true
Even though there are viral rumors going around regarding a Nikon Z8, they are not reputable. The rumors vary, but the basic idea is a Z9 without a battery grip, to be released later this month. We have not heard any reliable information about such a camera, and neither apparently have Nikon Rumors or Thom Hogan. Nothing’s impossible, but this seems to be a case of wishful thinking.
Fuji X-H2 to have a lower base ISO?
As Meg has written about, Fuji intends to announce an X-H2 in September with a new sensor, likely about 40 megapixels. There have been some rumors about a lower base ISO, and now more details that the camera is likely to have improved base ISO performance compared to other Fuji cameras. Personally, as a Nikon-based landscape photographer, a lower base ISO (and better dynamic range) has been one of my favorite things about cameras like the Nikon D850, Z7 II, and Z9.
Via Fuji Rumors
Photo Contest Corner
- Topic: Varies (there are multiple contests and categories); category prizes open to international photographers; only Australian citizens can win the Print and Nikon top prizes
- Fees: $10 to $55 per contest
- Prize: $30,000 of prizes, including Nikon cameras, Wacom tablets, Eizo monitors, and more
- Deadline: August 21
- Topic: Arizona wildlife (excluding insects, scorpions, and spiders)
- Fees: None
- Prize: Cover photo, calendar publication, and cash prizes for 12 winners
- Deadline: August 22
- Topic: Dance photography
- Fees: None
- Prize: £500
- Deadline: August 19
Good Deals and New Sales
The Panasonic S1H, a popular stills/video hybrid full-frame mirrorless camera, is $500 off at B&H when you buy it with an XLR microphone kit. Alternatively, video shooters who use other camera mounts – including Micro Four Thirds, Nikon Z, and Sony E – can get a $320-off deal on the Sirui Anamorphic 24mm f/2.8, ordinarily a $1000 lens.
There are also some good memory card sales this week. SanDisk’s 128 GB Type-B CF Express card is almost half off at $140 (normally $250), making it a great deal for Nikon Z6 / Z6 II users. The larger 256 GB version is $270 (normally $400) if you need more capacity for a Z7 / Z7 II, or a Z9 if the 1200 MB/s write speed is sufficient for your needs. Finally, SanDisk’s 256 GB UHS-I SD card is $50 (normally $100).
Other Pages of Interest
- After a stolen truck crashed through the front door of Ohio-based Midwest Photo, the store is searching for burglarized goods. The driver of the truck appeared to run through the store with a bag to gather camera equipment, but Midwest Photo hasn’t yet said what, if anything, was stolen. Moishe Applelbaum, the store’s owner, expressed appreciation for the outpouring of support from the photography community. Read more and see a video of the crash at Dpreview.
- There’s a volcano erupting in Iceland again, and the photos and videos of it are truly stunning. Some of the best come from Chris Burkard for National Geographic, as detailed on Petapixel.
- The Perseid meteor shower is hitting its peak right now, although the nearly-full moon is currently overpowering some of the fainter meteors. I caught some of this meteor shower while I was in Grand Teton National Park, and it was amazing to see multiple shooting stars per minute. In a few days, moonrise will occur a couple hours after twilight, which should give you enough time to catch some great views after sunset. More info at Space.com.