Drones, Instagram and a 16-Camera Camera | Photalife Friday Round Up

This is a little round up of the photo news from this past week that I think you'll be interested in. 

Drones, Instagram and a 16-Camera Camera | Photalife Friday Round Up

Drone Sales Exploded 117% in 2016

Photo Credit - Jason Blackeye on Unsplash -  https://unsplash.com/search/drone?photo=pLmNaIqTXJk

Photo Credit - Jason Blackeye on Unsplash - https://unsplash.com/search/drone?photo=pLmNaIqTXJk

Even with various restrictions coming into place sales of Drones in the US is still growing at a massive rate. NPD reported that sales were up 117% in the 12 months leading up to February 2017. 

The fastest selling drones were those priced $1,000+ which includes the DJI Phantom range. 

I don't have the figures for the UK but I wonder if they're growing at such a rate...tell me in the comments do you have a drone? 

Instagram Now Lets You Save and Organise Photos Into ‘Collections’

After the release on Instagram of their save feature they are now adding to it by allowing you to organise these into collections. In a kind of Pinterest style you will be able to have all your 'floral' or 'animal' saves in one place. 

According to Instagram, 46% of users have used the save feature since launch in December. Having never used this feature I can't see it changing anything I do. To read more about it have a read of the Instagram Blog. 

Final Design of Light L16 Camera

After 2 years in the pipeline, it would appear that the Light L16 is a step closer. This is the final design of the camera. 

If you're unaware of what this is, it's a 16-camera camera, which will capture 52MP images. 

From the close up you see that the camera uses 6 x 150mm f/2.4 telephoto lenses, 5 x 70mm f/2 midrange lenses, and 5 x 28mm f/2 wide-angle lenses. This camera raised over $30million in crowdfunding and the company are currently working on building cameras to fulfil their pre-orders.  

They hope to be able to take new orders in late 2017...but remember the pre-order price was $1,699 so it's now a cheap piece of kit. 

You can read more on the LightRumours site

Canon PowerShot G7 X Mark ii 'Real Life' Review

The Canon PowerShot G7 X Mark ii is the go to camera for a lot of vloggers and bloggers...but does it live up to the hype?

Coming on the back of the very popular G7 X, this was always going to peak the interest of vloggers and bloggers. At the price, this isn't aimed at entry-level but someone who wants high-quality photos but still pocket-size. 

Packing a powerful punch this will please many people. With a 20.1 MP sensor, good ISO range and a touchscreen this will allow people to pop it into Auto mode and get photos they're happy with. If however, you want more control you can shoot in full manual mode and switch to RAW files and I think you'll be impressed...the changing of Shutter Speed and Aperture might just take some getting used to, its all done using the screen. 

Even though the camera is fairly compact, it is quite heavy and feels sturdy. I don't fancy dropping it but I'd like to think it could take some wear and tear. It feels good in the hands and the shutter button is well placed when taking photos. The downside is when vlogging yourself the record button is in a really awkward position. I thought switching to video mode would mean the shutter button becomes the record button but this doesn't appear to be the case. 

The camera is equipped with things you'd expect even from the most basic of cameras. WiFi, SD card slot, HDMI, and USB ports are found on the side. The press of the connection button brings up different wireless options such as print, sent to a computer and other PowerShot cameras. 

The thing that is really missing would be an external mic port but if they included that there is no hot shoe to attach the mic too. Having recorded some video the built in mic is excellent so it's not a loss. I would recommend attaching a wind muffler just to help on windy days or if moving at speed. 

The Canon G7 X Mark ii doesn't have a built-in viewfinder so relies solely on the 3" touchscreen, for some people this might be a deal breaker but I didn't find I missed it. The screen is bright and the fact it is tiltable means the sunlight isn't too much of a problem. 

The screen is really responsive and I didn't find I was having to multi-touch or pressing the wrong thing. Many people who purchase this camera will be used to using the screen rather than a viewfinder. We live in a smartphone World so this will be second nature and people will be moving up from a smartphone rather than down from a dSLR. 

Alongside the screen, you have a number of function buttons such as playback, menu and a dial button. These buttons are small but you don't find yourself pressing the wrong ones. On the top of the camera, you have the pop-up flash, on/off button, the shutter, and a twin dial. One is to set the mode and the other is the exposure compensation dial which ranges from -3 to +3. 

In the hand the camera feels good, a metal construction with a few rubber grips on the body give you confidence and the flip screen is held on with metal hinges. As mentioned the layout is clean and simple and Canon makes full use of the area and gets the largest screen possible. 

The menu on this camera is very easy to navigate around and things can be easily found. For example, the camera when I got it had a beep every press of the button and I soon found out where to turn this off. Like most systems, you can build your own menu quickset. 

This will give you an idea of the layout of the camera and menu system. 

The G7X ii makes use of a 31-point AF system and I found the focus strong and worked well, it's good but not brilliant. It appears to work well in lower light conditions and better in video mode. Just don't expect it to shift focus super fast. If the lighting is good then there are no complaints with the AF in photo mode.  

I personally used this camera in RAW mode and the file that came out the camera was large and impressive, and the few I took by capturing JPG looked good and was easily useable and 99% of people would be happy sharing them. Noise didn't appear to be an issue and the colours were clean and accurate. It dealt with shadows well and I was able to get a lot of detail out of the RAW files. 

While I never pushed this camera to its limits rather just what the average person would be using it for. I wouldn't push this to its limits on ISO and the camera seemed happy enough on auto ISO. This is a compact camera and for landscape, family and product images this would satisfy most users. 

I used this camera on a pretty grey day at a local National Trust property and the images I think are ok. They have been edited in Lightroom and this is how they would be shared or delivered to a customer. 

It's easy to see why this camera is popular with vloggers and bloggers, powerful, compact and brilliant results. If you want a camera to set you up for years without going for a system camera then you won't go far wrong with this. 

You have to decide if the lack of a viewfinder is a problem or whether you need 4k. The 4k isn't a problem for me and most people won't be watching the videos in 4k on YouTube. 

The real stumbler for me is the price tag, £549 is a bit steep for me. If this was £399 then I'd say snap it up. But you won't be needing any lenses and if used right you'll get better images than Joe Bloggs who has all the gear but no idea. 


John Roberts - What's the battery like? And low light? 

Firstly the battery is pretty solid, it'll last for around 260 shots and you can pick up a spare one for around £14. 

Low light is ok, nothing too special. I noticed some noise at around 6,400 ISO and needed to get rid of that in post processing. 

Alina Davies - What memory card to use, mine won't record for longer than 4 mins without stopping and showing 'busy' - I presume I need a better memory card but not sure which one.

My response is simple, buy the best you possibly can. I always use Lexar Professional 1000x 32GB ones. The best time to buy is when Amazon have their Prime days. 

Adele Brearley-Jennings - ...what is the best setting to use (how many shots) to get a nice time lapse video of clouds?

The G7x ii really isn't designed for time-lapse and I'd avoid it. For time lapse it's difficult to find an easier simpler system than an iPhone. 

Ash Fairbairn Can you use a remote button with this camera ... I've got it and don't know if you can?

I've searched high and low and all it seems to do is be able to connect to the Canon app and remote release like that. You can't connect any other sort of remote to it.  

I hired this camera from Hireacamera.com and wasn't paid or endorsed by anyone to write this review. All thoughts, opinions, and photos are my own. 

Newly Announced Nikon D7500 Preview

Newly Announced Nikon D7500 Preview | Photalife

Today Nikon has released the replacement to the Nikon D7200, the D7500. 

The way I see it is that this is a slimmed down version of the D500. It has a lot of the same features but with a few additions. 

The UK Price will be £1,299 for the body only and with a 14-140mm f/3.5-5.6 £1,599

- 8fps
- 20.9-megapixel DX-format imaging sensor
- 4K UDH Video
- 51-point AF system
- Tilting 3.2” 922K-dot touch screen LCD
- ISO 100-51,200

Official Nikon D7500 Press Release

The New Nikon D7500: Superior Performance That Drives The Desire To Create

Exceptional Speed, Precision and Low-Light Ability Has Never Been as Attainable; The New D7500 Uses the Same Powerful Imaging Sensor and Includes Many Features from Nikon’s DX-Format D500 Flagship

MELVILLE, NY – Enthusiasts are a distinct type of photographer, who go to great lengths in the relentless pursuit of the perfect capture. It is for this user that Nikon Inc. announced the D7500 today, an advanced-level DX-format DSLR that provides a robust yet lightweight camera with powerful performance and premium features. Using the same 20.9-megapixel image sensor, processor and wide ISO range as the D500, Nikon’s flagship DX-format DSLR, the D7500 incorporates an exceptional combination of stunning image quality, impressive speed, astounding low-light ability and 4K UHD video capture, yet remains within reach for a diverse array of image makers and creators.

“The Nikon D7500 was engineered to be as versatile as the photographer using it, and excels whether shooting fast-action sports, stunning low-light landscapes, distant wildlife, glamorous portraits or multimedia content,” said Kosuke Kawaura, Director of Marketing and Planning, Nikon Inc. “This is a camera for the photographers who are serious about their passion, infatuated with the next frame and above all else, want speed, small size and an excellent value.”

Balance Image Quality and Low-Light Performance
The new D7500 features Nikon’s latest 20.9-megapixel DX-format imaging sensor and EXPEED 5 processing engine, the same high-performance heart of the Nikon D500. Designed to excel in a wide array of shooting conditions, the D7500 eliminates the optical low-pass filter (OLPF) for maximum sharpness and clarity, with the class-leading dynamic range flexibility that is a hallmark of Nikon DSLRs. The compact DX-format form factor also gives photographers extended focal length reach that is an advantage for sports and wildlife photography, especially when coupled with the vast selection of available NIKKOR lenses.

Whether shooting a landscape at dawn or sports under indoor lights, the D7500 affords the latitude of low-light capability to consistently nail the shot, time and time again. Even in the most challenging light, users can capture images with minimal noise, thanks to a native ISO range that spans from 100-51,200, and an expanded ISO range up to an astonishing 1.64 million equivalent. Those same stellar image quality and low noise virtues also apply to those shooting video, whether it’s a 4K UHD production or a mesmerising Astro time-lapse of the night sky.    

Focus with Precision, Capture with Confidence
The Nikon D7500 DSLR gives photographers many new premium features and advanced Nikon technologies to help create incredible images and video:

  • The D7500 is fast enough to keep pace with the quickest athletes or animals; capable of shooting at up to 8 frames-per-second (fps) with full AF/AE, with an expanded buffer of up to 50 RAW/NEF (14-bit lossless compressed) or 100 JPEG images.
  • Nikon’s proven 51-point AF system covers a large portion of the frame. A Group-Area AF function has been added, which is a preferred focus mode for those shooting fast action.
  • The slim, tilting 3.2” 922K-dot touch screen LCD can be used to easily control, compose and playback, even while mounted on a tripod. The menus can also be easily navigated using the touchscreen function.
  • Like the Nikon D5 and D500, the 180K RGB Metering system is used with the Advanced Scene Recognition System to help ensure balanced exposures and fantastic colour rendition in nearly any shooting situation.
  • Lightweight DX form factor allows for an agile, comfortable body with deep grip and comprehensive weather sealing. The monocoque body is durable and approximately 5% lighter than the D7200 and 16% lighter than the D500.
  • Shoot all day and well into the night with up to approximately 950 shots per charge (CIPA standard).
  • Like the D500 and D5, the Auto AF Fine Tune feature when in Live View allows users to automatically calibrate autofocus with specific lenses if needed.
  • Through the Retouch menu, users can access an in-camera Batch Process RAW Converter that can handle multiple images to optimise workflow.
  • The camera’s pop-up flash can act as a Commander for remote Speedlights, while the camera is also optimised to function with line-of-sight using SB-500, SB-700 and SB-5000. It can even support the radio frequency control system of the SB-5000 when using the optional WR-R10 accessory.
  • New Auto Picture Control function analyses the picture scene and automatically generates a tone curve within the camera.
  • Images can automatically be downloaded to a compatible smartphone, and the camera can also be triggered remotely using Built-in Bluetooth1 and Wi-Fi2

 Multimedia Capabilities for Creators
The Nikon D7500 adds in a diverse array of advanced features for multimedia content creators, including 4K UHD (3840 × 2160/30p) video capture and the ability to produce awe-inspiring 4K UHD time-lapse movies in-camera. Video files can be stored as either MOV files or as MP4 files, for greater flexibility and easier playback on a wide range of devices. Like the D500, the D7500 offers 3-axis built-in e-VR image stabilisation when shooting 1080p Full HD video, and can be easily focused using the rear touchscreen function.

  For the advanced videographer, the D7500 offers simultaneous 4K UHD output to the card and uncompressed via HDMI, as well as a headphone and microphone jack for pro-level audio recording and monitoring. To allow for smooth exposure adjustments, the camera also supports power aperture for smooth and step-less depth-of-field transitions while users can also keep highlights in check using visible zebra stripes in live-view mode. 

Price and Availability

The Nikon D7500 will be available in Summer 2017 for a suggested retail price (SRP)* of $1,249.95 for the body only configuration, or with an AF-S DX NIKKOR 18-140mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR lens for $1,749.95 SRP*. For more information on the Nikon D7500 as well as the latest Nikon products, please visitwww.nikonusa.com.

Nikon 100th Year Anniversary

Since the company was established in 1917, Nikon has cultivated its status as a pioneer of optical technologies around the world. Guided by a corporate philosophy of “Trustworthiness and Creativity,” Nikon provides a wide range of products and services globally by harnessing advanced opto-electronics and precision technologies. Nikon is proud to celebrate its 100th anniversary in 2017.

iPhone 7 Plus Camera 'Real Life' Review - Landscape + Portrait Mode

For me no cameraphone is going to replace my dSLR, that just isn't going to happen. With that said there are a few times when the only camera I have with me is my phone so ideally it's the best of the best. 

A few months ago I did a Real Life Review using the Huawei P9 which also has a dual lens and I was impressed with it. Will this iPhone 7 Plus be better than that? 

Read More

Ricoh Theta S 360 Camera Preview | 360 video & photos

Ricoh Theta S 360 Camera Preview | 360 video & photos

Here it is, this is the Ricoh Theta S 360 camera. This allows you to capture 360° stills and full 1080p movies with a single click.  

It features a dual 12MP 1/2.3" image sensors pair with bright f/2 twin lenses in order to capture high-resolution spherical images with each exposure. An ISO range from 100 to1600 is available for working in a various lighting conditions. Automated exposure settings are used for both stills and video recording, or manual settings can be employed when shooting stills for extended exposure times up to one minute long.

Connects to an app for more settings and to use as a remote. This camera gives you the chance to capture 360 images and upload direct to Facebook, Twitter, YouTube or directly to Google. 

Let me know if you'd like me to try and capture anything or anywhere in 360. 

Ricoh Theta S: Key Features 

Further expanding the possibilities of 360° photography. Equipped with even more advanced functions. 

  • Captures 360° spherical images/videos 
  • Slim, pocketsized and easy-to-use 
  • 1/2.3 12-megapixel CMOS sensor x2 
  • Twin lens system with F2.0 lens 
  • Full HD video capture at 30fps 
  • Long Exposure - 1/6400sec to 60 seconds 
  • Live Streaming via USB or HDMI 
  • Built-in Wi-Fi for Live View and control 
  • 8GB memory 
  • ISO 100-1600 (stills, video, live streaming) 
  • Google Maps/Street View compatible 

Olympus OM-D E-M1 ii: Did they mess up the price?

Olympus OM-D E-M1 ii: Did they mess up the price?

A quick video with my thoughts on the Olympus OM-D E-M1 ii and the price of it...have they messed up here? 

Olympus have priced this at £1849!!! for the body only which is more expensive than the Nikon D500, the FujiFilm X-T2 and more than the Sony Alpha 6500. 

I've been waiting for this to be announced for some time and I'm so disappointed with the pricing. They also said that it should be shipped mid December but I'm not sure Father Christmas will be delivering too many of these. 

Here's what Amateur Photographer says about it. 

At a glance:

  • £1,849.99 body only
  • £2,399.99 with 12-40mm lens
  • 20MP Four Thirds sensor
  • Up to 60fps continuous shooting
  • 5-axis in-body stabilisation
  • 4K video recording
  • Fully articulated touchscreen
  • 2.36-million-dot EVF

What are you're thoughts? Will you be getting one?