Maori Chieftan. Lumix GH5 Launch, Queenstown, NZ.
Lumix GH5, 18mm (37mm equivalent) lens, 1/1250 second @ f4, ISO 100
Life as a photography magazine editor is pretty good when companies like Panasonic invite you to test their new Lumix GH5 camera for a few days in Queenstown. And they looked after us very well with a series of photo opportunities designed to show off the camera's many features. We were off the plane for no more than 10 minutes before we were onto a jet boat, screaming across the river shallows at a rapid rate of knots before being dropped off to the Hilton where we were staying.
When we arrived at the Hilton wharf, we received a traditional Maori welcome. While entertaining, the background was pretty ordinary and not really conducive to a good photograph. However, to Panasonic's credit they had further plans for the chieftan and his wife the following day. After arriving atop a wind-blown mountain ridge by helicopter and being treated to a packed lunch and champagne (I told you life was pretty good), we had another opportunity to make some portraits of the maori chief with a far more interesting background.
More about the Lumix GH5 later in the week. In the meantime, check out the four frames I quickly grabbed (along with the other 20 or so journalists standing next to me).
Four photos - which would you use?
Now, I know you can work out which of the three frames was used in the hero photo up above, but the question is why?
Full power, full size and incredible screen quality – Wacom has everything you need
to work on location. Peter Eastway reports from his MobileStudio Pro™.
Article reprinted from a special promotion from Better Photography magazine.
I am fortunate as a Wacom Ambassador because I was asked to trial the latest 16- inch MobileStudio Pro. It is a complete computer package offering power, speed, capacity and, most importantly, image quality.
When out on the road, I used to struggle with my laptop computer’s screen. I’m primarily a Windows user, for better or for worse, and for years I searched to find a laptop computer with a screen that had good contrast and high colour fidelity.
When the first Wacom Companions arrived, even though their colour space wasn’t huge, the overall image was the best quality I had seen from either a Windows or Mac laptop. Now Wacom has upgraded its Companion units to the new MobileStudio Pro series and the key improvement for me is the new screen, as I will explain shortly.
The model I’m playing, err, I’m working with, is the MobileStudio Pro 16 i7 512, the top of the range at $4299. (Other models begin at $2649.)
What surprised me when I lovingly removed it from its packaging was that it wasn’t that much bigger than the 13-inch model. The 15.6-inch screen seems huge, which is good, but the MobileStudio Pro 16 itself is beautifully contained and cleanly designed in a modest size.
Now, at 2.2 kilograms, it’s not the lightest computer on the market, but nor is it the heaviest and when you analyse what you need to work with out on location, this is it.
Top Class Monitor
If I am travelling or away from the studio, I want to view my photographs on a screen that is as good as the screens I use back in the studio.
Now I can. It was a pretty simple decision. The MobileStudio Pro 16 offers an incredible 94% of the AdobeRGB (1998) colour space, displaying 16.7 million colours. It features 4K 3840x2160 pixel resolution with a contrast ratio of 800:1, producing rich blacks and an extended tonal range. This means my edits on location don’t need to be adjusted when I return home. Eureka!
In the MobileStudio Pro range, there are two enhanced models, one 13-inch, the other a 16-inch model which I am using.
It features an i7 512 processor with 16 GB RAM and a 512 GB solid state drive. It also had a dedicated NVIDIA® Quadro®
M1000M 4GB GDDR5 graphics card. Don’t muck around - this is the model you want.
All the MobileStudio Pros will run Adobe’s Creative Cloud, Capture One, Microsoft Office and everything else you want it to.
In terms of connectivity, there are three USB-C slots, an SD card slot, two cameras, a microphone and fingerprint security.
The new etched glass screen provides the wonderful sensation of working with pen on paper, plus multi-touch gestures
make zooming and rotating your images as simple as pinching and swiping on your smartphone.
New Pen and Controls
Another highlight is the new Wacom Pro Pen 2 because it is more sensitive, more accurate and more responsive.
There are now 8,192 levels of pen pressure, there is no parallax (due in part to the new screen design) and next to no lag when using it.
In terms of brushwork and editing, there‘s nothing better than using a pen and working directly on the display, and this applies equally to Photoshop, Lightroom and Capture One.
It is easy to attach a Bluetooth keyboard (although there is a screen keyboard as well) and a mouse, so if you wish, the MobileStudio Pro will function exactly like a desktop or laptop computer.
However, the beauty of the MobileStudio Pro is that it will sit on your lap and using the ExpressKeys™, Touch Ring and buttons on the pen
itself, you can have complete control over your applications without a keyboard.
The MobileStudio Pro ships with Wacom’s Desktop Centre which allows you to quickly and easily set up one touch short cuts for every application you use.
Also, the optional Wacom Link technology enables you to attach a MobileStudio Pro to any Mac or PC and use it as a standard Cintiq display – a great feature for Mac owners who prefer to work on the Mac OS® in their studios.
For more information, visit www.wacom.com.au
And to purchase a Cintiq or Intuos Pro, visit the Wacom eStore at www.buywacom.com.au, or selected retailers.
What a great Christmas present! According to Alph Leydon, winner of the Exotic Travel category, this was taken on the morning of 25 December 2014, shortly after sunrise. "We had booked a balloon ride over the Serengeti, months earlier as a feature of a ten day African safari in Tanzania.
"We rose at 3:30 a.m. for a quick breakfast before an hour plus drive to the launch site. We arrived before dawn and in the early glimmer we could just make out the massive, partially inflated hulks of four balloons lying on their sides. As the sky brightened our pilots instructed us on boarding and safety procedures.
"We boarded the sixteen person baskets, slotting in sideways while they lay horizontal. Once aboard, the powerful gas burners were ignited and twenty foot flames entered the mouth of our still horizontal balloon. However, it was not long before the balloon started to rise and tower over us. Then slowly our basket was pulled upright as the balloon continued to inflate.
"The roar and heat from the burners ensured that it would not be long until lift-off. In fact, we left the ground as the sun cracked the horizon. A wave of excitement and emotion poured over us and everyone aboard spontaneously cheered. Four massive airships, striped green and yellow, rising in unison into a perfect dawn.
"Clear cool air, excellent visibility, ideal wind speed. Our captain said it does not get any better. As the sun rose, we rose. We drifted with the wind in silence, save for the occasional blast from the burners. The balloons change altitude in relation to one another, up and down, skimming trees, traversing a pond. A baby hippo honks. We rise as a heard of zebra and wildebeest scatter at the shriek of our burners. We float silently in awe as a small family of elephant amble by, almost close enough to touch.
"The land is streaked with light and shadow as it stretches to the horizon. This is Africa; this is the Serengeti. The experience is soulful and intimate. We are at one with nature. A Christmas Day never to be forgotten."
Fujifilm has changed the world of photography with the introduction of a small, medium format camera system featuring a sensational 50-megapixel sensor. For many years, pundits have been wondering how long before manufacturers moved medium format into the 21st Century with a truly mirrorless design, something that worked and behaved like a street camera, but was equally at home in the studio tethered to a computer.
And it’s no small investment to bring out a new system because in addition to the camera body, you need a range of lenses.
X-Series Goes Medium Format
Since the introduction of the X100 in 2011, Fujifilm has strived to achieve the world’s highest level of image quality with its X Series of cameras. The latest and the most advanced addition is the medium-format mirrorless camera, GFX.
The new camera incorporates a large 43.8x32.9 mm CMOS sensor with an effective pixel count of 51.4 million, delivering superior sharpness and image quality that will satisfy professional photographers shooting commercial, fashion or fine art landscapes.
And Australian photography icon Gary Heery agrees.
“To be chosen by Fujifilm to represent its new GFX medium format camera is a great honour because I think Fujifilm is much admired for its recent cameras. The X-Series has intoxicated a lot of people with its retro-design and the clever way the cameras feel and work, so in the back of my mind, I was always expecting the GFX to be a killer camera.
“And the GFX is fantastic!
“Although the pre-production camera I used to take these photographs was still in the development stage, it performed beautifully.
“For me, the staggering difference between it and a DSLR was the image on the rear screen. With many cameras, I struggle to see if the shot is really sharp or not on the LCD screen – I’m never convinced – but the screen on the GFX is seriously good. You immediately know if you have a good, crisp shot.”
Of course, it’s not only about the image on the rear screen. Inside, the GFX uses a new X Processor Pro imaging processor, which provides Fujifilm’s outstanding colour and tonal reproduction.
Photographs taken by Gary Heery with the new Fujifilm GFX medium format camera.
According to Gary, “The GFX is fantastic!”
Many of Krzysztof Browko's landscape entries in earlier Better Photography Magazine Photo of the Year competitions were taken in Tuscany, with exquisite light, beautiful colour and exemplary composition.
This time, Krzysztof's photograph was taken on his way to Tuscany, but in a quiet corner of Slovenia.
"My adventure with photography started not so long ago in 2005. Photography was facing the 'cyber era' which accelerated its development and photo web portals were getting more and more popular among the many new enthusiasts.
"At that time, I came across a simple compact camera. The fun I was having taking photos was so great that family photos were soon pushed into the background. My family cannot forgive me until now!
"What motivated me the most was seeing top quality photos with perfect compositions from places I’d never had a chance to see. Then it was clear to me that if I dared to go one step further, taking landscape photos could be a source of greatest satisfaction.