KiiPix is a Analog Instax Printer for Smartphone Photos
Holga’s recently-announced Holga Printer will let you turn smartphone photos into Instax prints without needing a battery, but that printer will cost at least $48 and won’t arrive until after March 2019. KiiPix is a $40 analog printer that’s essentially the same, and it’s already available.
The designs of the two printers are strangely similar — it’s unclear whether the Holga Printer is simply a rebranded version of the KiiPix product.
Using KiiPix is also super simple: open the printer up, make sure there’s film inside, place your phone on the holder, and print by pressing the lever on the side. Once your print has been exposed, a hand-cranked knob on the side of the printer is used to manually eject the print.
These printers are essentially compact pinhole cameras that allow you to expose your smartphone display onto Instax film.
Turning your brightness all the way up ensures that enough light is collected while the print is being made. A mirror on the surface of the printer lets you align your phone screen while it’s pointed down.
The KiiPix can fold up compactly when not in use. And since it doesn’t require any kind of battery or cable, it’s a pocket printer that can be taken everywhere.
Here’s a 1-minute video that introduces KiiPix:
KiiPix is a product of the Japanese company Tomy. After launching in July 2018, it quickly became a top 10 product in Amazon’s portable printer category.
Sony HX99 is a Tiny Camera with 28x Optical Zoom and 4K Video
Sony has announced the new Cyber-shot HX99, what the company calls “the world’s smallest travel high zoom camera.” The camera features a powerful 28x zoom and 4K video recording.
At the core of the camera is an 18.2-megapixel backside-illuminated 1/2.3-inch Exmore R CMOS sensor with an ISO range of 80-12800 and 10fps continuous shooting.
On the front of the camera is a 24-720mm (35mm equiv.) zoom lens with 28x optical zoom. Clear Image Zoom provides digital zoom up to 1440mm.
The features of the camera are unusual considering its size: measuring just 4×2.3×1.4 inches (10.2×5.81×3.55cm) and weighing just 8.54oz (242g), the HX99 is “the world’s smallest camera body of its kind,” Sony says. By kind, Sony means fixed-lens cameras with a built-in viewfinder and a maximum telephoto focal length greater than 700mm (35mm equivalent).
The top and back of the camera have a retractable OLED Tru-Finder electronic viewfinder and a 180-degree tiltable LCD screen.
For video recording, the HX99 can shoot 4K with full pixel readout and no pixel binning. Drop down to HD resolution can you can shoot up to 120fps for slow-motion sequences.
Other features and specs of the HX99 include Optical SteadyShot image stabilization, Zoom Assist (a temporary zoom-out display to show a wider area when shooting far subjects), 0.09 autofocus, Eye AF, RAW photos, Touch Focus, Touch Shutter, Touch Pad, a customizable Control Ring, and Bluetooth connectivity.
Insta360 ONE X is a 5.7K 360° Action Cam with ‘Impossible’ Stabilization
A year after announcing the ONE camera for 4K 360-degree shooting, Insta360 is now back with the ONE X for 5.7K 360-degree shooting.
Compatible with both iOS and Android, the ONE X is designed to “give users more freedom and more creative possibilities – both during and after capture.”
The camera features “gimbal-level” stabilization using Insta360’s 6-axis gyroscopic stabilization and FlowState stabilization algorithm, which analyzes movement in all directions to provide a powerful stabilization.
“FlowState lets users capture impossibly smooth video with no accessories needed,” Insta360 says. “Mount the ONE X anywhere – from a helmet to a selfie stick to a kayak – and footage comes out looking like it’s been professionally stabilized.”
5.7K footage can be shot at 30fps. There are also new 50fps and 100fps frame rates if you drop down to 4K and 3K resolution, respectively. And in addition to videos, the ONE X can shoot 18-megapixel JPEG or DNG RAW photos with great low-light performance. ISO, exposure value, white balance, and shutter speed can be manually adjusted.
After capturing footage, users can use the ONE X’s editing app to reframe and re-edit the best parts of scenes, creating cinematic clips from the original 360-degree views.
A new TimeShift feature lets you adjust the playback speed of different parts of clips, from cinematic slow motion to sped-up hyperlapses. The Bullet Time feature that was introduced in the original ONE now has a wider field of view and 3K resolution in the ONE X.
When mounted on a selfie stick, the ONE X can automatically edit the stick out of scenes, making the resulting footage look like it was shot by a low-flying drone.
Insta360 has created a new Drifter camera “dart” that’s designed to help you capture aerial footage with your ONE X by throwing it. Simply snap your camera into the dart and start hurling it around. The resulting Drift Shots are 360-degree aerial slow-motion shots.
Other features and specs of the ONE X include 5.8GHz Wi-Fi for transfers and previews, HDR shooting, Lightning/USB-Type-C/Micro-USB cable support, a removable 1200mAh battery, two optional rugged case options (a tough Venture Case and an underwater Dive Case), and an optional GPS Smart Remote.
The Insta360 ONE X is available starting October 17th with a price tag of $400.
The iPhone XS vs a Cinema Camera: Can You Tell the Difference?
As a filmmaker, I come across many different types of cameras, lenses, and of course all the peripherals that come with movie making. For commercial shoots I am currently shooting on a Canon C200 cinema camera using the Canon RAW lite codec. The results are incredible.
A few weeks ago I picked up the new iPhone XS max and as a photographer and film maker the first thing I did was open up the camera app to see how it looked. To be honest, I was actually shocked. It looked awesome.
Over the next few days I took a few videos and found myself actually watching them back on the phone and being pretty impressed. I would then watch a video I shot on the C200 and to be honest I would question which one I liked more. So that was it, I just had to test them out.
It was pretty simple. I stripped back the C200 to the body the Sigma 18-35mm f/1.8 Art as this gave me a pretty similar focal length to the wide lens on the iPhone. I attached the iPhone XS to the top of the C200 and placed them both on the DJI Ronin-S (I cant believe I actually got this balanced). I used the regular Apple camera app and spend an hour shooting to see what I could come up with.
Back at may studio (In Color Studios), I put the footage together and threw on a color grade. The iPhone footage took almost no work to color grade whereas the C200 to a lot of heavy lifting which is one of the joys of shooting in RAW.
When viewed the footage on a small iPhone scene they both looked fantastic. I was impressed to say the least but it all fell apart when viewing in fullscreen on my 27-inch iMac. Too much sharpening meant the details just got lost and all the leaves with details just got smushed together. The C200 still looked great. You can see the results for yourself in the video.
The dynamic range of the iPhone XS is super impressive. It’s able to keep the highlights on the bright sun while keeping details in the shadows. This is some crazy multiple exposure processing that’s been done. Considering this is all being done in real time in the palm of your hand, it’s super impressive.
In conclusion, the iPhone camera is a smartphone camera and always will be. It is incredibly small but gives completely mind-blowing results. If you are shooting to video that is intended to be viewed on a smartphone and you don’t want to do any post processing then the files strait from the app are impressive. Apple has done a great job of optimizing the output to make the files look great instantly.
Does it come close to a cinema camera? Not at all. Is it as good as a cinema camera, not at all. Is it the best camera I have ever seen on a smartphone? 100%.
About the author: Ed Gregory is a photographer and the founder of Photos in Color. The opinions expressed in this article are solely those of the author. Gregory teaches tutorials on Photoshop, Lightroom, and photography, and you can find more of his videos on his YouTube channel. This article was also published here.
Google Unveils the Pixel 3 and 3XL with New AI Camera Features
Google has unveiled the new Pixel 3 and Pixel 3XL smartphones. The new generation of Pixel phones features an improved camera that’s backed by Google’s AI.
The Pixel 3 features a 5.5-inch screen and the 3XL has a 6.3-inch screen. On the back of the phones is a 12.2MP 28mm f/1.8 (35mm equiv.) dual-pixel camera.
A new feature called Top Shot uses AI to capture alternate shots in HDR+ and then recommend the best one from the sequence, which you can flip through and select a photo from yourself.
The zoom is now aided by a Super Res Zoom feature, which uses computation photography from the world of astronomy and scientific imaging to provide sharper details when you’re zooming.
When shooting in low-light environments, an upcoming feature called Night Sight will help you shoot natural-looking photos without the aid of a flash. The feature combines multiple exposures to create low-light photos with less noise and more detail.
The fronts of the phones now have two separate cameras: an 8MP 28mm f/1.8 (35mm equiv.) standard one and an 8MP 19mm f/2.2 (35mm equiv.) wide-angle one. For selfies, a feature called Group Selfie provides 184% more room in the photo while shooting with the wide-angle camera.
Like the new iPhone XS and XS Max, the new Google Pixel 3 and Pixel 3XL allow you to adjust the blurriness of the background after shooting Portrait Mode photos. In addition to tweaking the depth of field, you can even select a different focus point after the photo is captured.
Other new camera features include a Photobooth mode (AI that snaps photos when it detects facial expressions), selective color mode, a Playground mode for playful photos (with stickers and captions), and super smooth video (with Motion Auto Focus and front-facing video stabilization).
Here are some official sample photos captured with the new Pixel 3:
All photos and videos are given unlimited Google Photos cloud storage at their original resolutions.
Non-photo features and specs of the phones include Google Lens, Smart Composite in Gmail, Google Assistant (the AI can now handle real-world tasks like calling restaurants to book a table), AI call screening, wireless charging, IP68 water- and dust-resistance, Android 9 Pie, a secure custom-designed Titan M chip, Qualcomm Snapdragon 845, 4GB RAM, and a 2915 mAh battery.
The Google Pixel 3 and Pixel 3XL are available for pre-order now from Verizon, Project Fi, and the Google Store unlocked. Colors are Clearly White, Just Black, and Not Pink.
ADOX HR-50 is a New Monochrome Film for 35mm, 120, and 4×5
ADOX, the world’s oldest photographic materials manufacturer, has announced a new monochrome film called HR-50 that will be available in 35mm, 120, and 4×5 formats.
The ADOX brand has been on photochemical products since 1860, making it the oldest brand that’s still around today. And the company wants to ensure that film photography doesn’t go anywhere.
ADOX says HR-50 was originally a high-resolution film that was used for technical applications. By making modifications to give the film “Speed Boost” technology, the company has converted it into a usable film for ordinary photography.
The sensitivity of the film has been increased to 50 ISO and contrast has been reduced so that the film can be processed using ordinary developers. The grain of the film is “ultrafine,” and it’s sensitive to all wavelengths of visible light.
“The HR-50 is ideal for cityscapes or travel photography,” ADOX writes. There’s also a new ADOX filter that can be used to shoot infrared photography with the film. For portraiture, ADOX recommends a special developer called HR-50 DEV that it designed specifically for the film.
Here are some sample photos captured on ADOX HR-50:
No word yet on when or where ADOX HR-50 will be available or how much it will cost when it is.
Windows 10 Update Pulled After Users Report Deleted Photos and Files
Microsoft has paused the rollout of its latest Windows 10 update after users reported that photos and other personal files had been wiped without warning by the latest version of the operating system.
The Windows 10 October 2018 Update (version 1809) was made available on October 2nd but hadn’t yet been pushed through Windows’ automatic update system. Some people who chose to install it through Windows Update soon reported that their personal documents folders had been wiped clean. Photos, videos, music, documents, and other files were nowhere to be found.
Microsoft responded on October 4th by pulling the update for further investigation into the bug.
“We have paused the rollout of the Windows 10 October 2018 Update (version 1809) for all users as we investigate isolated reports of users missing some files after updating,” Microsoft writes.
If you installed the update and were stunned to find your photos wiped, Microsoft says you should “minimize your use of the affected device” and immediately call the company for help directly at 1-800-MICROSOFT.
Microsoft support technicians “have the tools to get you back to a good state,” Windows Insider Program lead Dona Sarkar tweets.
Based on that statement, it appears that the deleted files may be recoverable, but it’s definitely a good idea to refrain from using the computer further to ensure that things don’t get overwritten and lost forever.
Nikon Z7 Teardown: Inside Nikon’s 1st Full-Frame Mirrorless Camera
Our brand new Nikon Z7 full frame mirrorless camera arrived at the office this week, and we immediately got down to business. Four years ago, Sony fired the first shot of this battle with the A7 and continued to release one iteration after another, each improving on the last, and did so completely unanswered by the competition until August 23rd of this year when Nikon announced the Z7 and the Z6.
Based on the popularity of our last teardown where we took the a7R III all the way down to its sensor, we’ve decided to provide model-by-model coverage of the full-frame mirrorless wars by showing you what’s under the hood. Specs and performance matter, but taking a detailed look inside can tell you a lot about a camera and how it stacks up to the competition. For this reason, we started with the most worthy challenger to the Sony a7R III: the powerful, 46-megapixel Nikon Z7.
The hype is genuine, this camera feels just like a DSLR in your hands. It is well balanced, incredibly responsive, and tightly constructed. We’ve taken our Z7 apart and put it back together and we still can’t get it to rattle or make a noise no matter how hard we shake it. Along with its very tight tolerances, the connection ports and battery and XQD card doors appear to be well sealed against the elements.
The a7R III has a new rival, and so do all the cameras that still use mirrors. So, what’s going on inside this thing?
If it weren’t for the new lens mount, they probably could have called the Nikon Z7 the ‘D850 Slim’. That’s how much it looks and feels like a slender, professional DSLR.
Much like the a7R III, the bottom plate comes off first.
We can not be held responsible if the battery retention clip attacks you. Unscrew carefully and be ready to catch the pieces.
More screws on the port side.
Removing the eyecup reveals 4 screws that’ll have to come out.
And, another under the XQD card slot. Be extra rough on this one to discipline the camera for its lack of dual card slots.
Carefully skin the grip side of the Z7. This is custom for traditional Nikon dishes and greatly enhances flavor, but it also reveals the VERY tightly interlocked frame underneath which will have to be separated to break the camera down into its main components.
The back of the Nikon Z7 will then open up revealing many connectors, some of which we haven’t seen before even in other 2018 releases. We were also surprised by how plain things are looking under the hood so far. We’re not seeing the layers of heat shielding and heat sink tape that we say in the a7R III. Is this a good or bad thing? Let us know in the comments.
Separating some connectors frees the back and LCD from the board.
Separate the remaining connectors and remove all screws securing the board…
… and, the board comes right out. The Z7 has just one board with nothing too crazy going on. There are a lot of overlapping connectors that create quite a nest of ribbon cables, but they can be lifted to reveal more hidden screws. We take these out to break the camera down further.
First, a closeup of the board (front). Some of those connectors near the top are definitely new.
…and the back. Nikon clearly made a tough decision between one XQD card or two SD’s. The a7R III’s dual SD card slots just barely fit onto the main board as you can see from our last breakdown. Nikon went for quality over quantity here, but this is a contentious subject. Only time will tell if professionals share their philosophy.
Here are some more intimate shots of how things are looking so far.
The lens mount is tightly weather sealed as well by the rubber you can see peeling off in the 2nd shot here (right) as we take off the lens mount ring.
Don’t forget the secret screw hiding in the EVF diopter.
The camera is now broken down into its major component groups.
A detailed look under the top piece before we proceed.
Now for the sensor and shaker components: the heart of any modern, IBIS enabled, full-frame contender for the professional mirrorless throne. Several thick and sturdy springs like the one seen here keep the sensor suspended in the perfect position for proper focusing.
Removing the sensor assembly reveals a separate component for the headphone and microphone jacks, also like the a7R III.
At last, the full sensor assembly, IBIS shaker included.
We were surprised to find that the Nikon Z7’s shaker itself does not move very much compared to Sony and others. Despite this, Nikon still claims a CIPA image stabilization rating of 5-stops, where the a7R III claims 5.5.
Another unique aspect: the cover glass of the Z7’s sensor is about half a thick as the Sony’s, coming in at 1.1mm. This means the Nikon will have better performance with adapter lenses right out of the box. However, with our ultra-thin conversion measuring down to 0.2mm, the camera will still benefit a great deal from a modification service if you’re a Leica lens (or other legacy glass) enthusiast.
The Nikon Z7 is a beautiful camera inside and out, one that genuinely surprised us with its simplicity when compared to other mirrorless cameras. It seems to have taken a few design pointers from the a7R III but is still very much its own unique camera. Is it the new standard for full-frame mirrorless? Time will tell. Other DSLR titans like Canon and Panasonic are entering the arena. Old underdogs like Sigma are coming out of retirement. Fujifilm has announced another, smaller medium format mirrorless camera. This is shaping up to be the war to end all camera tech wars, and it’s only just beginning.
About the author: Ilija Melentijevic is the founder of Kolari Vision, an infrared camera conversion business based in New Jersey. You can learn more about the company’s service’s on its website. This article was also published here.
Sigma Lenses Fully Compatible with Nikon Z, But Tamron Lenses Aren’t
Sigma and Tamron are both popular manufactures of third-party lenses that are used by Nikon DSLR shooters. But customers of the two brands may have different experiences migrating their lens collections over to Nikon’s new Z Series mirrorless ecosystem.
We would like to announce that we have confirmed that SIGMA’s interchangeable lenses for Nikon mount in the current lineup do not have any issues with general operation when they are used on the “Z7”, released by Nikon Corporation, via their “Mount Adapter FTZ”.
In addition, please note the information below when using the following lenses.
Interchangeable lenses that do not incorporate an AF drive motor will operate only in manual focus.
Some interchangeable lenses shipped out before November 2013 that are not compatible with the latest DSLR cameras will not operate.
We will continue verification and provide updates on the operating conditions including discontinued models.
We appreciate your continued support for our company and products.
Tamron lens owners may not be as fortunate. Tamron just issued a statement warning that its lenses may not work correctly on a Nikon Z7 using the FTZ adapter.
Dear users and potential purchasers of Tamron interchangeable lenses.
Thank you for using Tamron products and for your continuous support.
We would like to announce that we have discovered issues that some of Tamron Di/Di II series for Nikon mount models may not operate properly on Nikon Z7, which was newly released on September 28, 2018, with Nikon Mount Adapter FTZ.
We are investigating the causes and will make further announcement of the compatibility for every single model once we find the solution.
It remains to be seen whether Tamron can work out the issues and bring full compatibility to its lineup. Otherwise, we may soon see a rash of Nikon photographers dumping their Tamron lenses on the used market in switching to the Z Series.
ExperimentalOptics 35mm f/2.7: The ‘Thinnest Fastest’ Lens Ever
A Berlin-based startup called ExperimentalOptics has unveiled a 35mm f/2.7 pancake lens for full frame cameras, which it calls “the smallest lens in the world.”
The lens is just 0.276 inches (7mm) in thickness and weighs just 1.4 oz (40g), making it an ultra small and portable lens for taking everywhere. But despite its size, the lens is purported to be “razor sharp.”
“This is not just an engineering achievement, it is truly the perfect lens for photographers: it puts the least amount of glass and kit between you and your world,” ExperimentalOptics tells PetaPixel. “It’s a joy to handle and operate, a beautifully crafted object in itself, and creates absolutely stunning results.
“Our careful choice of focal length, aperture, design and handling allow photographers to capture the world exactly as they see it and truly express their creative vision.”
Developed and tested over a period of two years, the lens features a combined Leica M and M39 mount that allows it to be adapted to a wide range of cameras. It’s a 35mm focal length on full frame cameras, a 50mm equivalent on APS-C, and a 70mm equivalent on Micro Four Thirds. Its minimum focusing distance is 11 inches (30cm) using a mirrorless adapter.
Here are some sample photos captured using the lens:
Unlike mass-produced pancake lenses that have appeared in the past, the ExperimentalOptics 35mm f/2.7 will be handmade and ultra limited. The company expects to ship just 20 of them in 2018 and another 20 in 2019.
So as you might expect, the lens doesn’t come cheap. It’s being launched through a Kickstarter crowdfunding campaign, through which only a pledge of €1,199 (~$1,380) or more will score you one of the lenses if the project delivers on its promises.
At the time of this writing, though, 8 backers have already signed up, pushing the project past its initial $2,635 goal.