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Daily Archives: August 9, 2013

Canon EOS 70D

Another new camera from Canon. This is a replacement for the 60D. I still have a 20D in a cupboard somewhere, it was state of the art at the time, now I could barely give it away!

frontpage-480Here is a decent review fro the ever excellent DP Review

The EOS 70D is a mid-range SLR for enthusiast photographers that from the outside looks like a sensible, indeed desirable upgrade to the EOS 60D. It borrows many of the best bits from Canon’s existing SLRs, including the autofocus sensor from the EOS 7D, the fully articulated touchscreen from the EOS 700D (Rebel T5i), and built-in Wi-Fi from the EOS 6D. But on the inside it sports an entirely new sensor that is, potentially, revolutionary. It offers 20.2MP resolution, but uses a ‘Dual Pixel CMOS AF’ design in which every single pixel is split into two separately-readable photodiodes, facing left and right. This means that in principle they are all capable of phase detection autofocus in live view and movie mode.

During the early days of digital SLRs, Canon was pretty much the undisputed leader in CMOS image sensor technology. Almost every new EOS model came with an increase in resolution and high ISO range, and when the EOS 7D appeared in late 2009, the company had progressed from 3MP to 18MP, and ISO 1600 to ISO 12800, in just over nine years. But since then Canon’s APS-C cameras have all sported variants on the same basic sensor design, to the extent that you could be forgiven for wondering what on earth their engineers were doing all day. Now we know.

Canon EOS 70D key features

  • 20.2MP APS-C ‘Dual Pixel CMOS AF’ sensor
  • DIGIC 5+ image processor
  • ISO 100-12800 standard, 25600 expanded
  • 7fps continuous shooting, burst depth 65 JPEG / 16 RAW
  • ‘Silent’ shutter mode
  • 1080p30 video recording, stereo sound via external mic
  • 19-point AF system, all points cross-type, sensitive to -0.5 EV
  • 63-zone iFCL metering system
  • 98% viewfinder coverage, 0.95x magnification, switchable gridlines and electronic level display
  • Fully-articulated touchscreen, 1040k dot 3″ ClearView II LCD, 3:2 aspect ratio
  • Single SD/SDHC/SDXC card slot
  • Built-in Wi-Fi
  • Single-axis electronic level
  • Built-in flash works as off-camera remote flash controller
  • AF microadjustment (can be set individually for up to 40 lenses, remembered by lens serial number)
  • In-camera High Dynamic Range and Multiple Exposure modes (JPEG-only)
  • ‘Creative Filter’ image processing styles, previewed in live view
  • Key specs compared

    In the table below we see how some of the EOS 70D’s key specs measure up against its more expensive big brother, the EOS 7D, and its main rival, the Nikon D7100. What’s interesting here is just how close the 70D is to the 7D in terms of spec – in much the same way as Nikon’s D7000 made the D300S look almost redundant, it’s quite difficult to see why most Canon users would now choose the top-end APS-C model.

    Canon EOS 70D
    Canon EOS 7D
    Nikon D7100
     Effective Pixels  • 20.2 MP  • 18.0 MP  • 24.1 MP
     ISO Range  • 100-12800 standard
    • 25600 expanded
     • 100-6400 standard
    • 12800 expanded
     • 100-6400 standard
    • 50-25600 expanded
     No of AF points  • 19  • 19  • 51
     AF in live view  • Phase detection  • Contrast detection  • Contrast detection
     Screen  • 3.0″
    • 1,040,000 dots
    • Fully-articulated
    • Touch sensitive
     • 3.0″
    • 920,000 dots
    • Fixed
     • 3.2″
    • 1,228,800 dots
    • Fixed
     Viewfinder  • 98% coverage
    • 0.95x magnification
     • 100% coverage
    • 1.0x magnification
     • 100% coverage
    • 0.94x magnification
     Continuous drive  • 7 fps  • 8 fps  • 6 fps
     Storage  • SD/SDHC/SDXC  • Compact flash  • SD/SDHC/SDXC
    • 2 slots
     Weight
    (inc batteries)
     • 755g (1.7 lb)  • 860g (1.9 lb)  • 765g (1.7 lb)
     Dimensions  • 139 x 104 x 79 mm
    (5.5 x 4.1 x 3.1″)
     • 148 x 111 x 74 mm
    (5.8 x 4.4 x 2.9″)
     • 136 x 107 x 76 mm
    (5.4 x 4.2 x 3.0″)
     Wi-Fi  •  Built-in  •  Optional  •  Optional
  • Read the full review with all the specs and details here

Currently the 70D can be bought on Amazon for  under £800 with a kit lens

 

Pictures of the Week: July 19, 2013

The Denver Post Pictures of the Week is a photo blog that gathers the strongest photojournalism from around the world. A diver trains on the 3-meter springboard at the FINA Swimming World Championships in Barcelona, Spain, Friday, July 19, 2013. Competition begins Saturday.

A relative mourns the death of her niece, who died after consuming contaminated meals given to children at a school on Tuesday at Chapra district in the eastern Indian state of Bihar July 18, 2013. The Indian government announced on Thursday it would set up an inquiry into the quality of  given to school pupils in a nationwide free meal scheme after at least 23 children died in one of the deadliest outbreaks of mass  in years.

A man accused by the Congolese Army of being a spy of rebels of the M23 movement is tied and taken away on July 16, 2013 in Munigi on the outskirts of Goma in the east of the Democratic Republic of the . The army in the Democratic Republic of  pursued an offensive against rebels of the M23 movement to protect the North Kivu provincial capital of Goma. M23, a movement launched by Tutsi defectors from the army who accuse the Kinshasa government of reneging on a 2009 peace deal, last year occupied Goma for 10 days before pulling out under international pressure.

TOPSHOTS-COLOMBIA-WILDLIFE-WHALE-URAMBA BAHIA MALAGA

 

A Humpback whale jumps to the surface of the Pacific Ocean at the Uramba Bahia Malaga natural park in Colombia, on July 16, 2013. Humpback whales (Megaptera novaeangliae) migrate annually from the Antarctic Peninsula to peek into the Colombian Pacific Ocean coast, with an approximate distance of 8,500 km, to give birth and nurse their young. Humpback whales have a life cycle of 50 years or so and are about 18 meters long. TOPSHOTS/AFP PHOTO/Luis ROBAYO #

A fisherman wades in Chaohu Lake, covered in blue-green algae, in Chaohu city

A fisherman wades in Chaohu Lake, covered in blue-green algae, in Chaohu city, Anhui province, July 19, 2013. REUTERS/China Daily

An aerial view shows the Zaatari refugee camp, near the Jordanian city of Mafraq

An aerial view shows the Zaatari refugee camp, near the Jordanian city of Mafraq July 18, 2013. U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry spent about 40 minutes with half a dozen refugees who vented their frustration at the international community’s failure to end Syria’s more than two-year-old civil war, while visiting the camp that holds roughly 115,000 Syrian refugees in Jordan about 12 km (eight miles) from the Syrian border. REUTERS/Mandel Ngan/Pool

APTOPIX South Africa Mandela

A young member of the Maitibolo Cultural Troupe, who came to dance for well-wishers in honor of Nelson Mandela, poses for well-wishers in front of a placard of Mandela, outside the entrance to the Mediclinic Heart Hospital where former South African President Nelson Mandela is being treated in Pretoria, South Africa Sunday, July 14, 2013. South Africa’s radio broadcaster Eyewitness News reported on Sunday that former president Thabo Mbeki said on Saturday that he expects Nelson Mandela to soon be discharged from the hospital to recuperate at home. (AP Photo/Ben Curtis)

APTOPIX Spain San Fermin

Revelers are pushed by a bull at the end of last running of the bulls at the San Fermin festival, in Pamplona Spain on Sunday, July 14, 2013. Revelers from around the world arrive to Pamplona every year to take part in some of the eight days of the running of the bulls glorified by Ernest Hemingway’s 1926 novel “The Sun Also Rises.” (AP Photo/Alvaro Barrientos)

TOPSHOTS-EGYPT-POLITICS-UNREST

An Egyptian young girl reacts as she is sprayed water on her face during a rally of supporters of deposed president Mohammed Morsi outside Rabaa al-Adawiya mosque on July 15, 2013 in Cairo, Egypt. A top US official pressed Egypt’s interim leaders for a return to elected government after the army ousted Morsi, whose supporters massed to rally for his return. AFP PHOTO/GIANLUIGI GUERCIA

See all the pictures from this week here

10 percent of all the photographs ever taken were shot in 2011

Meta-narrative: Fred Ritchin on the future of photojournalism

Ensuring the future of photojournalism rests in more complex narrative formats, believes Fred Ritchin, who spoke with Laurence Butet-Roch ahead of the release of his new essay, Bending the Frame

As the Chicago Sun-Times newspaper was making plans to lay off its entire photography staff, Fred Ritchin was putting the final touches to his latest opus, Bending the Frame: Photojournalism, Documentary, and the Citizen. Keenly aware of the current dismal state of traditional media, the former picture editor of The New York Times Magazine and professor of photography and imaging at New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts prefaces his essay with 16 questions and two pages full of interrogations about the future of news – photography in particular.

 Looking at a world where “image-making has become a form of communication nearly as banal, instinctive and pervasive as talking”, Ritchin asks: “Do we need – even more than we need photographers – metaphotographers who are capable of sorting through some of the billions of images now available, adding their own and contextualising all of them so they become more useful, more complex and more visible?” In other words: “How does today’s image-maker create meaningful media?”

I am not sure I know what metaphotographers are…..

To say that the wealth of images found online is overwhelming is an understatement. Absolute numbers are difficult to aggregate but, according to Fortune magazine, 10 percent of all the photographs ever taken were shot in 2011. The following year, while the Pew Research Center reported that 46 percent of American adult internet users post original photos or videos online, Facebook announced that seven petabytes – that is six zeros more than a gigabyte – of new photos were added to its servers every month. This equates to roughly 300 million images posted every day on Facebook alone. And according to Yahoo!’s estimation, in 2014 alone more than 880 billion images will be taken.

Phew

Nowadays, photojournalists – competing for what little work is left – are under extreme pressure to produce an arresting double-page spread at low cost and in a short space of time. “What this does is reduce the visual vocabulary,” says Ritchin. “For example, references to the Madonna holding a child keep coming up in all kinds of pictures because it is recognisable.” Recently, it was Samuel Aranda’s photograph, which won the World Press Photo Award in 2012, of a Yemeni mother cradling her son suffering from the effects of tear gas that was compared to a modern-day Pietà. A few months later, Edouard Elias’ image of a wounded Syrian man was likened to the Deposition of Christ. However effective these images are, their recurrence may well eventually tire the viewer.

Yes this is an interesting article certainly worth ten minutes of your time….READ MORE HERE

An Afghan National Army soldier protects his face from a sudden dust storm at Combat Outpost 7171 in Helmand Province, Afghanistan on October 28, 2010.Photographer Balazs Gardi co-created the experimental media project Basetrack, which documents the deployment of the 1st Battalion, Eighth Marines, at Combat Outpost 7171 in Helmand, Afghanistan. Image © Balazs Gardi / Basetrack.org

bending-the-frame-coverBending the Frame: Photojournalism, Documentary, and the Citizen, by Fred Ritchin, is published by Aperture; www.aperture.org.

Read more: http://www.bjp-online.com/british-journal-of-photography/interview/2286634/metanarrative-fred-ritchin-on-the-future-of-photojournalism#ixzz2bNlOW1Ui
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Startups battle for rights to smartphone images

In the last 5 years or so there has been a battle fought over the ownership of images uploaded to social networking sites. This has been fuelled by news organisations asking, “Are you there”, “Do you have pictures” “Send us your photos” This is feeding the apparent requirement for immediacy and the cost of course is quality. Press photographers are professionals, they have not just equipment that is appropriate to the task but they also have skills, experience and follow journalistic principles. This article in the BJP provides clues to the next nail in the coffin for press photographers. A new startup which aims to harness social media technologies to source news story photographs.

The popularity of connected devices and smartphones has transformed each of us into potential news gatherers, and now a growing number of startups are offering services to connect us with media organisations, Olivier Laurent reports

On 07 June, when Santa Monica gunman John Zawahri went on a rampage, killing his father and brother before firing on three other people near a college, CrowdMedia – a new website whose task is to filter through images posted on Twitter – was coming online for the first time. “This happened within 15 minutes of our launch,” says CEO Martin Roldan. “We were able to get the licence for the only images shot from inside the college while it was happening. The photographs were picked up by a couple of news organisations, including the Huffington Post. It showed that CrowdMedia worked.” 

 Based in Montreal, CrowdMedia is the latest startup in the battle for people’s pictures, as smartphone devices have transformed us all into potential press photographers, ready to transmit images of newsworthy events as they happen.

“We built a social media monitoring tool, Ejenio, last year,” says Roldan. “It allowed businesses to monitor what people were saying about them on Twitter and Facebook. While we were working on Ejenio, we realised there were a lot of good, newsworthy images on Twitter, but media organisations often had trouble finding them and getting the rights to use them. We saw a real niche there, so we shifted our focus to photography.”

Launched in June, the platform sifts through more than 150 million social photographs posted on Twitter in real-time. Using geolocation information and keywords entered by staff, CrowdMedia selects 0.03 percent of these images which it deems newsworthy. “We input that information manually, but we’re working on tweaks to improve our algorithm, and soon the platform will be able to detect automatically when something happens around the world, and search for relevant images,” explains Roldan.

“The beauty of it is that, unlike other startups relying on mobile apps that users have to install in the first place, our audience and user base is already there. When we find a newsworthy image, the platform automatically sends a tweet to the user, who just has to click on a link to confirm that the photograph is his and whether he accepts to sell it for half of the proceeds.”

crowdmedia-homepage

CrowdMedia sells a non-exclusive licence for $20, whatever the image’s content. “After 48 hours, that price goes down to $5 because we are only interested in what is happening in real time,” Roldan explains. “We are aware that $20 is a low figure and this has been the only criticism we have received so far. Of course, we’re listening to what people are saying. But it might be that it’s the right kind of pricing and that people are just not used to that. When an event has global reach, like the recent plane crash in San Francisco, images of the scene can be sold more than 1000 times at a $20 price tag. The copyright owner could easily make $10,000.” I would ask but how many pictures used actually earn any money and how many photo journalists will there be in 10 years time if this becomes the standard.

Newspapers now routinely do not employ photographers, they use freelancers who previously would have been staff, guaranteed a salary, now they are paid on a job basis and usually not enough to earn a decent living. The Fairfax group, Australia’s main newspaper group didn’t send any photographers to the 2012 Olympics apparently.

clashot

 

There are now many ways for newspapers, what an outmoded term that is, news organisations, that is better, to obtain images and certainly in some instances immediacy is important because unexpected events rarely feature experienced photo journalists as onlookers. The problem it seems to us here at OSP Towers (and we are not photo-journalists) is that the whole world is becoming dumbed down. It is obvious to us here that the nature of poor quality, both technically and visually, images just makes everyone more likely to accept less, less in every way. Soon the bottom of the barrel will be the norm. It is happening in so many of the varied creative occupations; decent writing in newspaper/online where ever, is now being superceded by blogs, which rarely have editors or any form of objective control. The creative professional, although hailed as important is being slowly edged out of the way to accommodate lower costs, and in the end the cost to all of us is a demeaned experience.

Read all of the BJP article here