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Issue 55 14 May – 14 June

Canon EOS M50 tested

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Man on fire A close look at the World Press Photo 2018 winner. Page 20

Canon’s highly specified and nicely priced CSC tested. See page 34

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The Photography News survey Fill in our quick online survey and be in with a chance to win a case of wine The Photography News reader survey is your chance to shape the future of photography. We want to know what cameras you’re using now, what you’d improve about them, what you might buy next and where you buy your precious gear. It’s also an opportunity to tell us what you’d like to see more of in Photography News. So whether you’d like more tips on improving your photography, inspiring interviews with talented photographers, more gear reviews or something else entirely, just let us know.

The world’s best 29 leading imaging publications and websites from around the world, including Photography News, gather each year to decide on the best product launches of the last 12 months. And the results are in… There is no escaping the fact that the last 12 months have been exceptional when it comes to new photography product launches, and we have seen some awesome kit across the whole imaging spectrum. It is all credit to the designers, engineers and manufacturers that continue to push back the boundaries to give us photographers some amazing tools to use.

Look through the TIPA awards and you can pick out many products we would love to own. The Nikon D850, winner of Best DSLR Professional, the Sony A7R III, winner of Best Mirrorless Professional High Resolution, and the Elinchrom ELB 500 TTL, winner of Best Professional Flash System are just three. The full roll call of honour is on pages 5 and 6. Tipa.com

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Photography News | Issue 55 | photographynews.co.uk

News

Fujifilm adds to its GFX system Fujifilm has added to its mediumformat GFX system with the GF250mm f/4 R LM OIS WR lens, a 1.4x teleconverter and macro extension tubes. The GF250mm f/4 lens is a telephoto lens giving a view equivalent to 198mm in the 35mm format and its 16 elements in ten groups construction includes one super ED lens and two ED lenses to minimise chromatic aberration and deliver a high optical performance. Autofocus is fast and silent thanks to its linear motor and its performance is enhanced further with a focus limiter and focus preset feature to memorise distance settings. Minimum focus is a useful 1.4m to give a 0.22x magnification ratio. The lens’s integral image stabilisation system gives a 5EV benefit and seals in 18 different

Sigma confirm Sony prices

locations give the lens great dust and water resistance. Plus the front element has a fluorine coating to repel water and dust. Combined with the new 1.4x teleconverter, this 250mm lens becomes a top-quality 350mm lens, equivalent to a 277mm focal length in the 35mm format at the cost of a 1EV light loss. The GF 250mm f/4 is available this month at a price of £2899 while the GF1.4 converter is £749. Macro photographers will be happy at the arrival of two extension tubes in the GF system. The MCEX18G WR 18mm and MCEX-45G WR 45mm tubes cost £289 each. Adding the 45mm tube to the GF120mm f/4 macro lens gives a 1:1 lifesize reproduction. fujifilm.eu

Save money with Olympus

Samsung go for Endurance

Buy a selected Olympus OM-D camera or M.Zuiko lens from now until 31 July 2018 and you can claim cashback of up to £175 with each purchase. For the full product list and what you can save plus participating dealers please visit the website below, but to give you some idea, the E-M5 Mark II (£175 cashback) and E-M10 Mark II and III (£65 cashback) are the cameras in the scheme while lenses include the ED 45mm f/1.2 PRO and ED 9-18mm f/4-5.6.

Sigma recently announced a host of Art prime lenses for Sony E-mount cameras but prices were not available at the time. UK prices and availability have now been confirmed. Sigma 14mm f/1.8 DG HSM £1679.99, available from July 2018; 20mm f/1.4 DG HSM £859.99, available from June; 24mm f/1.4 DG HSM £799.99, available from June; 35mm f/1.4 DG HSM £799.99, available from May; 50mm f/1.4 DG HSM £749.99, available from May; 85mm f/1.4 DG HSM £1199.99, available from May; and 135mm f/1.8 DG HSM £1399.99, available from July. All of these Art series Sony E-fit lenses offer the same high level of optical performance as other lenses in the range plus you get high speed Fast Hybrid AF using contrast detect. They are also compatible with Sony’s in-camera image stabilisation. sigma-imaging-uk.com

bonus.olympus.eu

Samsung’s latest PRO Endurance microSDHC/SDXC memory cards are designed for surveillance and security cameras but also for body cameras and dash cams, these cards enable up to 43,800 hours of continuous video recording – this is 25 times longer than previous cards. Read speeds of these cards is up to 100MB/s and Full HD and 4K support is available with their write speeds of up to 30MB/s. These new cards also come with a five-year limited warranty. Guide prices for these cards are: 32GB £30.99; 64GB £58.99; and 128GB £111.99. samsung.com/memorycard

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Photography News | Issue 55 | photographynews.co.uk

News

TIPA votes for the world’s best kit Each spring, the editors of TIPA (Technical Image Press Association) gather to vote for the TIPA World Awards recognizing the best imaging products of the last 12 months. Editors from 29 professional, amateur, and business publications in print and online, from Asia, Australia, Europe and North and South America, with a delegate from the Camera Journal Press Club in Japan, discussed and then voted on awards. Photography News joined TIPA last year. Along with exciting cameras and lenses that cover every category, from entry level to expert to professional, TIPA World Award winners represent the wide range of products and services that make up the imaging industry today, including printers, inkjet papers,

The Award process

imaging software, storage media, action cams, accessories, 360° cameras and more. The grand awards ceremony and presentation will take place during photokina in Cologne, Germany on 26 September 2018.

Image This year the editors of TIPA – including PN’s very own Will Cheung, smiling and waving in the middle – gathered in Lisbon to vote for the best cameras, lenses and other bits of imaging kit from the last 12 months.

Underlying the prestige of the TIPA World Awards is the process by which winners are chosen. Beginning right after the main trade show season, stretching from late September through to early February of the following year, nominations within categories are gathered by the TIPA Technical Committee. Equipment is tested and evaluated, and new categories, representing emerging imaging trends, are considered. A list of finalists is compiled and sent to editors of the TIPA member publications from around the world, who then

comment and make further suggestions about products that should be added to specific categories. The information is collated and evaluated and a list of finalists is chosen. Winners are then voted upon and chosen at a general assembly of all member publications. In short, the TIPA World Award process is one that draws upon a global panel of knowledgeable experts who are exposed to a wide range of products. For a full list of the TIPA World Award 2018 winners, along with award citations and images, please visit tipa.com.


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Photography News | Issue 55 | photographynews.co.uk

News BEST DSLR PRIME LENS Canon EF 85mm f/1.4L IS USM A fast, versatile pro lens with IS

BEST CSC TELEPHOTO ZOOM LENS Sony FE 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6 GM OSS A super-tele for sports and wildlife photography

BEST PHOTO SMARTPHONE Huawei P20 Pro Hi-res, triple lens smartphone

BEST DSLR ENTHUSIAST Canon EOS 200D An ultra-compact DSLR BEST PROFESSIONAL LENS Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 180-400mm f/4E TC1.4FL ED VR A super tele with built-in teleconverter

BEST IMAGING SOFTWARE DxO PhotoLab A comprehensive and powerful image processing tool

BEST CAMERA DRONE DJI Mavic Air A highly portable, foldable drone

BEST CSC PRIME LENS Samyang AF 35mm f/2.8 FE High performance and high portability

BEST APS-C DSLR EXPERT Nikon D7500 A portable and powerful, feature-packed DSLR

BEST MIRRORLESS CSC ENTHUSIAST Canon EOS M50 4K video in an entry-level camera

BEST 360° CAMERA Samsung 360 Round A radical view from a unique camera BEST CAMERA ACCESSORY Manfrotto Camera Cage A versatile video aid BEST EXPERT COMPACT CAMERA Panasonic LUMIX DMC-ZS200/TZ200/ TZ220 A portable performer for on-the-go photographers

BEST FULL-FRAME DSLR EXPERT Canon EOS 6D Mark II A full-frame, full-featured DSLR BEST DSLR PROFESSIONAL Nikon D850 Fulfilling a pro’s wish list

BEST PHOTO PRINT SERVICE CEWE PHOTOBOOK Cover with Enhancement Judging a book by its cover with enhancement

BEST SUPERZOOM CAMERA Sony RX10 IV A great travelling companion BEST MIRRORLESS CSC EXPERT Panasonic LUMIX DC-G9 A fast performer BEST MIRRORLESS CSC EXPERT FULL-FRAME Sony A7 III A versatile full-frame camera

BEST PROFESSIONAL FLASH SYSTEM Elinchrom ELB 500 TTL A powerful and portable TTL light BEST PROFESSIONAL COMPACT CAMERA Canon PowerShot G1X Mark III A compact for pros and enthusiasts alike BEST RUGGED CAMERA Nikon COOLPIX W300 Tough and ready

BEST DSLR WIDE ANGLE ZOOM LENS Sigma 14-24mm f/2.8 DG HSM | Art A perfect match for today’s highresolution cameras BEST DSLR STANDARD ZOOM LENS Sigma 24-70mm f/2.8 DG OS HSM | Art A premium all-round zoom

BEST IMAGING STORAGE SOLUTION WD G-DRIVE mobile SSD R-Series Rugged and portable safekeeping

BEST PORTABLE FLASH Nissin MG10 A powerful zoom flash BEST TRIPOD Vanguard Alta Pro 2+ 263CGHT A lightweight tripod kit

BEST PROFESSIONAL PHOTO/ VIDEO CAMERA Panasonic LUMIX DC-GH5S Media producer’s favourite

BEST MIRRORLESS CSC PROFESSIONAL HIGH RES Sony A7R III High-res, full frame, impressive dynamic range

BEST PHOTO BAG Vanguard Alta Fly 55T The ultimate frequent flyer photo bag

BEST MIRRORLESS CSC PROFESSIONAL HIGH SPEED Sony A9 Built for speed

BEST PHOTO PRINTER Epson Expression Photo HD XP-15000 Wide format, compact size

BEST CSC STANDARD ZOOM LENS Sony FE 24–105mm f/4 G OSS Compact and lightweight, with image stabilisation

BEST INKJET PHOTO PAPER Hahnemühle Photo Gloss Baryta 320 Making images look their best

BEST TRIPOD HEAD Manfrotto 494 Center Ball Head A lightweight and versatile head

BEST PHOTO INNOVATION Canon Speedlite 470EX-AI Auto-pivot for creative bounce-light effects

BEST DSLR TELEPHOTO ZOOM LENS Tamron 70-210mm f/4 Di VC USD (Model A034) A compact and lightweight classic telezoom BEST DSLR SUPERZOOM LENS Tamron 18-400mm f/3.5-6.3 Di II VC HLD (Model B028) An exciting all-in-one 22.2X zoom

BEST PHOTO MONITOR LG 34WK95U-W 34in 5K UltraWide Nano IPS LED Monitor A full-featured multi-media monitor

BEST DESIGN Fujifilm instax SQUARE SQ10 System Tapping into the analogue trend


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Photography News | Issue 55 | photographynews.co.uk

News

Bags of Lowepro bags Leading bag brand Lowepro has introduced several bags to its m-Trekker range and a roller case perfect for the travelling photographer. The SH 150 sells for £64.95 and is a classic compact shoulder bag perfect for toting around a small mirrorless system, say a camera body and three lenses plus a mini tripod. For an even smaller outfit, there’s the m-Trekker HP 120, that costs £44.95 and can be worn around the waist or slung across the body. Going up in size, there’s the m-Trekker BP 150. This slim profile backpack, available in black Cordura or grey Canvex, is priced at £109.99. The interior is customisable to suit your kit and it’s

just about deep enough for a fullframe DSLR but it is more at home with an APS-C DSLR or, better still, mirrorless system. The camera can be stowed in the top compartment or in the main compartment, which is generously equipped with padded adjustable dividers. Access is from the back, which gives great security but is less convenient in use. There is easily enough storage for a twobodied CSC outfit and three or four lenses, plus there is a back pocket large enough for a 13in laptop. The PhotoStream SP 200 is a four-wheel spinner trolley case aimed at those photographers who travel with a full complement of camera kit. It is small enough to qualify as hand luggage (check

News in brief Buy a Spyder and save Buy a qualifying Datacolor Spyder product before 31 December 2019 and you will qualify for 50% off a Fujifilm Fotoservice product of your choice. The offer includes the Spyder5EXPRESS, 5PROP, 5ELITE, 5STUDIO, 5CAPTURE PRO and CHECKR.

with your airline) and yet is roomy enough to accommodate two fullframe DSLR bodies and several lenses, flashguns, filters and a 15in laptop. Build quality is impressive, giving a high level of protection to the contents and the four-wheel design is easy to push around. This case is priced at £269.95.

datacolor.com

lowepro.co.uk

Go super wide Leica has expanded its SL system with the launch of the Super-Vario-Elmar-SL 16-35mm f/3.5-4.5 ASPH wide-angle zoom. Featuring 18 elements in 12 groups, it costs £4699.99. Hasselblad has announced a 21mm f/4 ultra-wide lens for its X1D camera system. This gives a field of view equivalent to 17mm in the 35mm format. It sells for £3299. en.leica-camera.com hasselblad.com

Fujifilm firmware news Fujifilm’s commitment to updating its cameras with the use of firmware updates continues apace. Coming this month are updates for the X-H1, X-T2, X-Pro2 and GFX 50S, of which more when they become available, while updates for the X-E3 and X100F are available now. The X-E3 update supports Fujifilm X Raw Studio, a free software that lets you process

© Mark Littlejohn

fotofest.co.uk

fujifilm.eu/uk

BenQ’s monitor for photographers

Fotospeed’s Foto Fest Media specialist Fotospeed is taking its Foto Fest Central to Nottingham this July. The event plays host to five leading photographers, Charlie Waite, Mark Littlejohn, Ted Leeming, Morag Paterson and Tom Way, so it is a great opportunity to learn from experts and get inspired. As well as the individual talks there will be a panel discussion featuring all five photographers. Tickets cost £40 each for the day, and include the chance to snap up some exclusive money-saving deals. Foto Fest Central takes place on 15 July at the Patching Arts Centre in Nottingham.

Raws on the computer when the camera is connected with a USB cable, and enhanced Bluetooth connectivity via Fujifilm’s Camera Remote app. Key camera settings can be made bigger and customised in the viewfinder/ monitor. Bigger camera settings customisation is the benefit with the X100F firmware update.

The BenQ SW240 PhotoVue LED IPS monitor is aimed at enthusiast photographers and comes in at the keen price of £399. Key features include a 24.1in screen, big enough to show two A4 images side by side, a wide colour gamut showing 99% of the Adobe RGB colour space and the display is 10-bit showing more than one billion colours for smooth colour gradation.

The unit comes with Palette Master Element software and hardware calibration, a hotkey allowing you to switch colour mode easily and the monitor features an advanced black & white mode. A shading hood to stop extraneous light striking the monitor front is available as an optional extra, or bundled with the monitor. benq.co.uk


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Photography News | Issue 55 | photographynews.co.uk

News

Colour from Nanguang

Go for global glory with Canon Canon’s 41st New Cosmos of Photography competition is now open and you have until 6 June to get your entries in. Judging by the selection committee will take place in July; they will choose seven Excellence Award winners, from which the Grand Prize winner will be chosen in November, and 14 honourable mention award winners. The Grand Prize winner receives one million Japanese Yen (around £6700), a Canon product and gets the chance to host a solo exhibit at the exhibition of 2018 winning entries that launches the 2019 event. This contest encourages creative pieces of work that push the boundaries of photography and previous winners have gone on to achieve international success. The award winners will have their work featured in exhibitions and collections as well as on the New Cosmos of Photography website. For entry details and galleries of past winners, please go the website below. Global.canon/en/newcosmos

Above Last year’s Grand Prize winners, front centre: Trond Ansten (right) and Benjamin Breitkopf (left).

Gitzo go outdoors

Gitzo has launched two premium backpacks designed for landscape and wildlife photographers. The Adventury backpacks are available in 30 and 45 litre sizes costing £219.95 and £299.95 respectively. The Adventury 30L suits a pro DSLR fitted with a 70-200mm f/2.8 plus a second body and four extra lenses. Or if you are a mirrorless shooter the interior can be configured to suit a Sony A7/A9 outfit. If your camera outfit is even more extensive, perhaps with a 500mm or 600mm fast aperture telephoto as well as a couple of pro bodies, the Adventury 45L is the backpack for you. The 45L has an adjustable waist belt complete with a good-size pocket for accessories which can be removed. This model has a side infinity pocket for extra storage including a tripod. Both backpacks feature a Gitzo smart photography insert that can be removed so that the pack can be used as an everyday backpack, and each can accept a 15in laptop as well as a 12in tablet. With multi-link straps, adjustable shoulder straps, a ventilation system on the back for maximum comfort and an expandable roll-top, these Adventury bags are ideal for outdoor photographers. gitzo.co.uk

Sponsored by the Institute of Physics, Solargraph pinhole camera day takes place on 17 June starting at 10.30am at the St Pauls Learning Centre, 94 Grosvenor Road, Bristol BS2 8XJ. It has been organised by leading pinhole photographer Justin Quinnell, and is a free event with workshops throughout the day and short talks on the hour. Attendees will get the chance to make a pinhole camera and shoot a six-month exposure of the sun crossing the sky. “Every individual or ‘family’ that turns up can make a six month exposure camera for nothing until we run out of empty beer cans,” says Quinnell. “We’ll probably have enough materials for 120 plus but we will see how many people turn up and the results will be unveiled on 9 December at the Winter Equinox Solargraph workshop.” realphotographycompany.co.uk/events

panel measuring 34.8x24cm giving an output of 27 watts. This is perfect for studio use but weighing just 1.48kg it suits location shooting too. This sells for £449.94. Next down in price is the RG888 which sells for £239.94. This is a handholdable sword/wand-shaped light so ideal for adding light where it is needed and comes with a tripod adapter too for extra versatility. It also comes with a carrying case and hand strap. Finally, there’s the RGB66 which costs £164.99. This is a compact model that can be mounted on the camera hot-shoe and has an output of 11 watts so ideal for adding fill-in when needed. It is powered by mains adaptor or by Sony NP-F battery – both cost extra. kenro.co.uk

New book From Dawn to Dusk, mastering the Light in Landscape Photography, is produced by well-known landscapers Ross Hoddinott and Mark Bauer, so it is full of inspirational landscapes and technique advice on how you can achieve great results too. The book is published by the Ammonite Press and costs £16.99. thegmcgroup.com

© Justin Quinnell

Now for something completely different

Nanguang has introduced a very versatile family of RGB LED lights that allow you to bring colour to your still or video shoots. Three models are available; each unit has red, blue and green LEDS on-board and these can be adjusted to produce more than 360 colours in the RGB spectrum including light within the 32005600K colour temperature range for normal shooting. For film makers there are additional features such as the Flash mode for simulating scenarios such as flashing lights from emergency vehicles or a flickering TV screen. All three devices can be powered by Sony NP-F type batteries or mains – power adapters are included with the two larger models but optional with the hotshoe mounted RGB66. The most powerful model is the RGB173 (shown below) with a LED


Photography News | Issue 55 | photographynews.co.uk


Photography News | Issue 55 | photographynews.co.uk


Photography News | Issue 55 | photographynews.co.uk

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Tell us your club’s latest news, email: clubnews@photography-news.co.uk

Camera club news If your club has any news that you want to share with the rest of the world, this is the page for it. Your story might be about your club’s success in a contest, or a member’s personal achievements; it could be about a group outing you had recently or when the annual exhibition is on show. Any news is eligible for inclusion, so club publicity officers please take note of the submission guidelines and get your stories in

How to submit

Clubs Deadline for the next issue: 8 June 2018

We need words and pictures by 8 June 2018 for the next issue of Photography News, which will be available from 18 June 2018. Write your story in a Word document (400 words max). Please include contact details of the club, exhibition or event: website, meeting times, opening times, whatever is relevant. Images should be JPEGs, 2000 pixels on the longest dimension, any colour space, and image credits should be included. If the story is an exhibition or event, please send a picture from the exhibition (not the publicity poster) or one from the event. If it includes people, please identify them. Attach the Word document and JPEGs to an email and send to clubnews@photography-news.co.uk

Winchester National exhibition and instructions for entry can be found on the society’s website. Each entry costs £1.50, with a minimum fee of £6. Entry is open now and closes 30 June 2018 and, after a private judging by experienced exhibition judges, the results will be announced in July. See the website for how to view the exhibition. winphotosoc.co.uk

Above: Victoria & Violin by Stephen Riley, awarded the Walton Shield.

The Aldershot, Farnham and Fleet CC holds its annual print exhibition on 25 and 26 May from 10am to 5pm on both days. Entry is free and the venue is The Harlington, Fleet Road Fleet GU51 4BY. Please come along to view and vote on the work of club members.

accringtoncameraclub.org.uk

© Paul Mannering

Aldershot, Farnham and Fleet Camera Club

119 prints and two TV screens where the projected images can be viewed. The camera club has a long association with the Haworth Art Gallery and has taken an active role in several photographic projects in conjunction with students from the Hollins Technology College.

© Brian Chivers

© Stephen Riley

Accrington Camera Club Accrington CC’s annual exhibition opens on 25 May and runs until 15 July at the Haworth Art Gallery Accrington. It opens Tuesday to Sunday afternoons from 12 noon. Entrance to the gallery is free and there is a tearoom and licensed bar. The exhibition comprises

affcc.uk/index.shtml

© Lorraine Grey LRPS

Winchester PS’s National Exhibition returns for its fourth year. This photographic competition and exhibition of projected digital images for 2018 is run in association with the BPE. Photographers are invited to submit up to ten images in total across five classes: people, scapes, nature, creative and pictorial, with no more than three images in each class. Full details, rules

Overton Photographic Club Overton PC is in its 40th season and to celebrate, it is running an exhibition from 26 to 28 May. The show is free and takes place at the Overton Community Centre, High Street, Overton, Hampshire RG25 3HB. Everyone is welcome and the club members look forward to seeing you there and talking photography. overtonphotographicclub.co.uk/exhibition

Sevenoaks Camera Club Sevenoaks CC’S annual exhibition will be held in The Sevenoaks Kaleidoscope Gallery, Buckhurst Lane, Sevenoaks TN13 1LQ, from 13 June to midday on 30 June 2018 during normal Sevenoaks Library opening times. Admission is free.

Meetings usually take place on three Mondays a month between September and May and the club is open to photographers of all ages and abilities. sevenoakscameraclub.org.uk


Photography News | Issue 55 | photographynews.co.uk


Photography News | Issue 55 | photographynews.co.uk

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Interview Profile

Nicky Heppenstall Losing a baby is a devastating time for parents. Nicky Heppenstall is one of the founders of charity Remember My Baby that aims to help families deal with the grief through photography

Biography Years in the photo industry? Eight years, part time. Current location? Derby. Last picture taken? Ballet rehearsals, Russia’s Astrakhan State Ballet, in their home theatre in Astrakhan, about a thousand miles south east of Moscow, Russia. The theatre was a gift from Putin. When you were younger, what did you want to be when you grew up? Vet, hairdresser, museum curator. Dogs or cats? Cats, three of them! Toast or cereal? Toast, with real butter. Email or phone call? Email. Contact See panel opposite.

PN: The title of your charity sounds obvious but for clarity please can you tell PN readers what Remember My Baby is all about? NH: Remember My Baby (RMB) is a registered charity providing remembrance photography free of charge to parents losing their baby before, during or shortly after birth. We are entirely run by volunteers. How long has RMB been going and how did you set it up? RMB was launched just over three and a half years ago by myself and seven other passionate, driven women, determined to make remembrance photography available in every hospital across the UK. Some of us had previously volunteered for a US organisation but the UK really needed its own dedicated charity to make widespread coverage in the UK become a reality. Five of those eight remain as trustees and we have a team of regional coordinators looking after volunteers, as well as digital retouchers. What is the aim of RMB? RMB aims to make remembrance photography available as a choice in every hospital across the UK so that more families have the opportunity for high-quality portraiture at a time when it’s the last thing they might think of having done. We know that many families print their images and have them on display in their homes and at work, which is heartening to hear. RMB is a charity; so how can PN readers who are interested in what you do contribute? Is there a Just Giving page? Do you need equipment? There is a donate button on our Facebook page, and also on our

Our biggest need is for volunteer photographers so recruiting remains our higher priority website, and we have a Just Giving page full of incredible stories from bereaved families wanting to donate to help us reach our goal. But our biggest need is for volunteer photographers, so recruiting remains our highest priority at the moment. Can readers volunteer their photographic services or time? We are recruiting volunteer photographers and also digital retouchers – the majority of our volunteers are professional photographers, but we also have a number of non-professionals – we recognise that there is a pool of highly skilled photographers who have a different day job, or who are retired, and we welcome applications from them. All applicants are assessed against the same criteria. Digital retouchers help with more challenging editing, such as tube removal where a session took place in a neonatal unit for example. Do photographers need to have any special skills or there are qualities you look for? We need our volunteers to have an empathy for the families we meet who are going through unimaginable grief. They need to be gentle and sensitive whilst capturing precious images for each family. Many of our members have suffered a loss of their own or been touched by the loss of someone close to them; others simply understand the value of what we do and have the empathy to provide it. How do families arrange a session with RMB? In over 100 hospitals we have midwives, neonatal nurses and other health professionals telling families in their care about our free service and making the arrangements for an RMB volunteer photographer to visit. In other areas, parents may have heard about us already, or are told about us by a relative or friend. If we have availability, a volunteer meets the family the same day or the next day as a rule, though sometimes we meet them later either at their home, or at a funeral home. We also visit hospices.

Above Charity Remember My Baby offers solace to parents in the most tragic situation in the form of a free remembrance photography session. We are routinely carrying out two to three remembrance photography sessions every day across the UK. We have very recently met our 2000th family. What does a session involve? After arriving to meet a family, usually at short notice, our volunteer will take images of the baby, details like fingers and toes, little ears and a button nose, as well as wider shots such as in a Moses basket surrounded by teddies and toys, or being held by mum and dad. We often capture siblings and extended family during a session, sometimes a blessing may take place with a hospital chaplain, or the parents may bath their baby which is an emotional but beautiful event to witness and record. We can be with the family for as little as 20 minutes, but sometimes we stay for as long as a couple of hours depending on circumstances; less than an hour being the average. Black & white images are sent to each family four to six weeks later, free of charge. Does RMB have any affiliations with organisations such as the NHS or care organisations? RMB is an independent registered charity, not affiliated with but very happy to work alongside NHS Trusts, hospices, and funeral directors to reach as many families as possible. It is obviously a very emotional time for the family; do you offer training for RMB photographers on how to deal with challenging situations? Yes, it’s a big ask for a volunteer to enter the room and meet a family in such devastating circumstances, and we are mindful that strategies for coping are essential for our volunteers

to succeed. Something as simple as pretending the baby is asleep can be remarkably effective. Volunteers support each other in our closed support group, and we also have a counsellor available to volunteers affected by their experiences. The task is challenging, but incredibly rewarding and feedback from families is incredibly positive. We’re clearly making a significant difference to their grief. Do you have an ultimate goal for RMB? Ultimately, we wish for every family facing the loss of their baby to be offered high quality remembrance photography as a choice. We need to increase our teams of volunteers to reach more families, and also to spread the load amongst a larger pool – many hands make light work. This is the most important photo opportunity ever. There are no second chances and there is a small window of opportunity to capture memories to last the family a lifetime. I’m incredibly proud of what RMB is achieving, and to be part of such an amazing team making it happen.

Contact If you want to know more about Remember my Baby or would like to offer your photography or retouching skills, below are key contact details. remembermybaby.org.uk justgiving.com/remember-mybaby Freephone 0808 189 2345 info@remembermybaby.org.uk


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Outdoor Photographer of the Year

The great outdoors

Last year’s Outdoor Photographer of the Year competition attracted over 17,000 entries from across the globe, with the overall winner scooping a prize package worth £3000. Here are some of our favourite images

The Outdoor Photographer of the Year competition is now in its seventh year and its growing popularity meant that last year it attracted over 17,000 entries across its nine categories. At the Water’s Edge, Live the Adventure, and Spirit of Travel are among the most popular categories, and to reflect the boom in aerial photography (whether from drones or aircraft) a new category, View from Above, was added last year. The contest is organised by Outdoor Photographer magazine, and editor Steve Watkins explains the thinking behind it. “When we launched the competition in 2010 there were a few ground rules we put in place about how it went forward,” he says. “One of the critical ones is that we don’t want it to be ‘just another competition’; there has to be photographer-centric progression each year in terms of what it offers and delivers to the people who enter, and those who engage with it in other ways. It’s a tough path but I think we’ve largely managed to achieve that so far. The development of the prizes and sponsor partnerships with Fjällräven and Spectrum Photographic, and the addition of the exhibition and book, have been significant steps in the right direction. It’s great, too, that the national and international media now have the competition firmly on their calendars for coverage. “As the competition has grown, the standard of entries has improved and the number of top photographers entering has also gone up. One of the great things about the competition, though, is that there isn’t any bias towards professional entries; anyone who enters, whether they take a few photographs a year or are out there shooting every day, can scoop the top prizes if they have the skills and knowledge (and perhaps a little bit of luck) to capture an extraordinary photograph.” Mikolaj Nowacki’s overall winning image is very powerful but perhaps not a traditional outdoor shot, so what attracted the judging panel to it? Steve explains: “Mikolaj’s image of the yacht captain getting a battering in a storm works on many levels. There is the obvious human drama of the situation they are in, which grabbed our immediate attention, but then it comes down to the small details: the relaxed pose of the captain bracing himself against the stomach-churning roll of

© Lee Acaster

Words by Will Cheung

Most photographers would have their cameras tucked safely in a waterproof bag

the boat, the ice-calm expression on his face, which counters the edginess of the scene, and the storm cloud on the distant horizon. The captain is completely immersed in the experience, and Mikolaj’s viewpoint from behind the mast not only readily puts the viewer into his position but also leaves no doubt that Mikolaj is fully connected to the experience, too. Most photographers would have their cameras tucked safely away in a waterproof bag, but Mikolaj is an experienced photojournalist who could see the power of the scene before him and couldn’t resist the urge to capture it.” Well done to Mikolaj and all those photographers who got recognised in this year’s contest. If the idea of grabbing some glory appeals to you, the 2018 contest launches this September, so keep your eye on opoty.co.uk if you want to enter.

Overall and Live the Adventure category winner,

Mikolaj Nowacki


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Outdoor Photographer of the Year © Mikolaj Nowacki

This year was the first time that the winner was kept secret until the actual award ceremony, which took place at the NEC during The Photography Show back in March. “When I was invited to the OPOTY award ceremony from Poland I felt I had a chance of winning the competition, but I was already very happy having won the Live the Adventure category. I had an appetite for more and I thought that it would be great to win the runner-up prize at the very least. My friends were betting that the overall winner would be either Jose

Fragoso with his wonderful photograph of giraffes and impalas, or me. “When I saw on screen that Jose's photograph won the second prize, I thought I had a chance but at the same time anxious of not winning. Moments later, my image appeared, and my name was announced. I couldn't believe it. I was going to the stage and laughing with happiness and relief. It was such a great feeling for the first time in my life to be an overall winner. It was a very, very joyful moment! I'm grateful to the jury for choosing my image.

“The funny thing was that I only learned about the contest when I was in Portugal and when I got home I only had one day to send images. It was a deadline day, and I barely made it! “I worked on this photograph of captain Jacek Pasikowski being flooded with waves for almost an hour, changing perspective slightly and waiting for the best moment. Although I have 11 years of experience of shooting at sea, this was the first time that I was on a small yacht. Luckily, I don't get seasickness – just sleepy.

“It was compose and wait. Sometimes there was too much water in the air, and sometimes too little. It was also very difficult to keep my camera in the position I wanted, because the yacht was jumping on the waves like a whale. But after many unsuccessful tries, I took a series of pictures and in this particular series one photo looked just as I wanted it to. When I saw it on the screen of my camera I thought, ‘Wow! Got it!’” Follow Mikolaj on Instagram, @mikolajnowacki


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Outdoor Photographer of the Year © Witold Ziomek

© Mark Bridgwater

© Stephen King

© Craig Dentford

© Jaak Sarv

© Saeed Rashid

© Stefan Gerrits

© Gunarto Gunawan

Be inspired

© Johan Siggesson

© Wojciech Kruczynski © Hamish Frost

These images are reprinted here with the permission of Ammonite Press. The book Outdoor Photographer of the Year: Portfolio III collects over 150 photos entered into the competition, RRP £25, and is available to order now direct from the website below. This 208-page hardback will make a handsome addition to any book collection and essential inspiration for landscape enthusiasts of all levels. thegmcgroup.com


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Advertisement feature

Your viewing pleasure Gone are the days of dedicating your monitor to photo editing, now monitors get put to all kinds of viewing uses. And your prints may be paying the price. That’s why regular calibration with a reliable device is crucial to ensure beautiful photographic prints © Simon Baxter

Our monitors are more multipurpose than ever before; we read news articles, check our emails, watch our favourite TV shows and, of course, edit our photos on them. If you’re a photographer, you probably already know the importance of calibrating your monitor. Perhaps you already calibrate your monitor every few months. But do you calibrate your monitor every time you adjust the display? It may not seem obvious, but every time you turn up the brightness or adjust the contrast to see every detail of your favourite gritty drama, you’re losing the custom profile your calibration device has created and therefore losing the benefits when it comes to editing your photos. This results in printed images that are too dark, and even incorrect colours. Luminance is a crucial factor for landscape and woodland photographer, Simon Baxter. His images of the British countryside, which you can check out at www.baxter.photos, perfectly capture the beauty of natural light, so it’s paramount this beauty is not lost when it comes to printing. “I remember the precise moment that my understanding of light in photography changed forever,” says Simon. “I was stood by a river in Scotland as it grew in intensity, the water edging closer to my feet and the noise becoming louder as the rain bounced from my umbrella. I was photographing the river and the mountains of Glen Coe and although the weather was ‘dull’, I noticed how the flat light bounced off every tiny droplet of water that clung to the branches and how the lack of harsh contrast highlighted all the wonderful detail in the wet rocks. Ever since, I have sought soft light © Simon Baxter

Images When we do everything from watching blockbusters to editing photos on our monitors, calibration is more important than ever. Thankfully Datacolor’s product range has it covered.

– light that complements the texture, colour and the fine detail of woodland – detail that comes to life when printed. “Many photographers place light as the most important element of photography. Some refer to photography as painting with light, but I see light as one of the key ingredients that make up composition. I don’t seek light, I seek subjects or scenes that speak to me and then I’ll await light that allows the subtle qualities of the subject to speak louder than the light itself. “I always have printing in the back of my mind when creating photographs. In fact,

I’m trying to visualise the end result before I’ve taken the camera out of my bag, so it’s imperative that the print matches what I see on screen. My own experience is that this has only been made possible with two key steps in my workflow – screen calibration using my Datacolor Spyder5ELITE and custom profiles to match my paper of choice. I recalibrate my monitor if my working environment changes – this ensures I can produce accurate prints time and time again.” When it comes to printing, guesswork can be costly. That’s why Datacolor has teamed up with FUJIFILM Fotoservice pro to ensure your prints turn out as perfectly as you imagined. Until 31 December 2019, you can save 50% on a FUJIFILM Fotoservice pro print product of your choice when you buy a qualifying Spyder product.

Contact datacolor.com/ffspro-01


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World Press Photo

World Press Photo 2017 WINNERS For over 60 years, World Press Photo has been recognising and honouring the work of photojournalists with its prestigious awards. This year, Photography News had a front row seat for the gala celebration Words by Will Cheung

Photographers risk their lives every day bringing the world’s attention to tragedy, human suffering and environmental issues. Achieving global acknowledgment for their work was the motivation for four Dutch photographers to start an international contest in 1955. Its winners over the years have included many iconic, unforgettable, history defining pictures. In 1973 Nick Ut won with his picture of Phan Thi Kim Phuc fleeing from a napalm bombing and in 1964 Don McCullin won with his image of a Turkish woman mourning her dead husband. From a few hundred entries it has grown and grown and the World Press Photo last year received 73,044 images taken by 4548 photojournalists from 125 countries. There are various subject categories but there is just one World Press Photo Award winner. This year the five finalist photographers were invited to the awards ceremony in Amsterdam unaware of the result until the big

reveal at the end of the night. The six shortlisted images are shown on these pages. Lars Boering is the managing director of the World Press Photo Foundation. “I was very happy with all six shortlisted pictures and each of them is a conversation starter,” he says. “I think the winner (Venezuela Crisis by Ronaldo Schemidt) is really impressive and powerful. Of course, there is a human being in there and we are happy he is still alive but the photograph does shine a light on a topic in Venezuela. “I’m not involved in the judging and I sit there and watch the jury working, sometimes in agony, sometimes in joy. This is a wonderful system and the jury has its role. It is interesting to see the aggregate of content but I don’t interfere. I am there if the jury has a problem or needs a rule clarifying.” “The level of work again was very high this year, and that includes all the work you don’t see. All I can do once the jury has made its decision is create events like

IMAGE Not every winning World Press Photo image lives long in the memory, but many do and over time attain era-defining status.

this exhibition that really reach an audience and tell these stories to a larger crowd. I think that is why World Press Photo is growing, and I am very proud of that.” You can see the winning pictures on the World Press Photo website, worldpressphoto.org, while exhibitions are on right now with

venue details again on the website. The only UK venue is the Scottish Parliament, Edinburgh, 1 to 25 August. Definitely worth a visit – perhaps combine it with some photography at the city’s world renowned Festival Fringe which is on around the same time.

Be inspired

IMAGE Lars Boering (left), managing director of the World Press Photo Foundation, and Lee Bonniface, marketing director of Canon Europe, at the official opening of this year’s World Press Photo exhibition in Amsterdam.

Copies of the World Press Photo 2018 Yearbook cost €25 plus postage from the web address below. Within its 240 glossy colour pages you will see 178 prize-winning images from 42 photographers from 22 countries. worldpressphoto.org


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World Press Photo © Ronaldo Schemidt, Agence France-Presse

Patrick Brown, Panos Pictures, for Unicef 28 September 2017. Rohingya Crisis. The bodies of Rohingya refugees are laid out after the boat in which they were attempting to flee Myanmar capsized about eight kilometres off Inani Beach, near Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh. Around 100 people were on the boat before it capsized. There were 17 survivors.

© Patrick Brown, Panos Pictures, for Unicef

Ronaldo Schemidt, Agence France-Presse 3 May 2017. Venezuela Crisis. José Víctor Salazar Balza (28) catches fire amid violent clashes with riot police during a protest against President Nicolas Maduro, in Caracas, Venezuela.


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World Press Photo © Adam Ferguson, for The New York Times

© Toby Melville, Reuters

© Ivor Prickett, for The New York Times

Adam Ferguson, for The New York Times 21 September 2017. Aisha (14) stands for a portrait in Maiduguri, Borno State, Nigeria. After being kidnapped by Boko Haram, Aisha was assigned a suicide bombing mission, but managed to escape and find help instead of detonating the bombs.

© Ivor Prickett, for The New York Times

Toby Melville, Reuters 22 March 2017. A passerby comforts an injured woman after Khalid Masood drove his car into pedestrians on Westminster Bridge in London, UK, killing five and injuring multiple others.

Ivor Prickett, for The New York Times 12 July 2017. An unidentified young boy, who was carried out of the last ISIScontrolled area of the Old City by a man suspected of being a militant, is washed and cared for by Iraqi Special Forces soldiers. The soldiers suspected that the man had used the boy as a human shield in order to try to escape, as he did not know the child’s name.

Ivor Prickett, for The New York Times 15 March 2017. Civilians line up for aid distribution in the Mamun neighborhood of west Mosul.


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Advertisement feature

World-class images with Canon lenses

Canon Ambassadors and the lenses they can’t shoot without Leading pro photographers reveal how they capture world-class images using Canon lenses image and a wasted opportunity. Professional photographers of all stripes naturally turn to Canon’s L-series lenses for their excellent quality and reliability. To anyone who knows anything about lens manufacturing, that won’t be a surprise. SciFi style robots, fault-hearing engineers, anti-static shoes – Canon’s Utsunomiya lens factory is a hotbed of innovation and precision. Canon’s L-series lenses are known around the world for their professional-quality build

Canon EF 16-35mm f/2.8L III USM

and sharp results, but to produce such outstanding lenses requires impressive levels of craftsmanship, attention to detail and a few surprising practices, including the hand-testing and calibrating of every Canon L-series 16-35mm lens – not just the samples – ensuring that each lens meets the high standard expected in the premium line. Here, the world’s leading photographers tell how the craft behind the lens helps them tell their story.

© David Noton – Canon Ambassador

Every photographer has a go-to lens that’s a permanent fixture in their kitbag. Whether they’re shooting wildlife, sports, portraits or any other kind of professional photography, the quality and reliability of the lens is paramount to success. In the field, in sometimes challenging conditions, professionals need a lens they can depend on to deliver precision autofocus, speed and weather sealing to truly make the difference between capturing an iconic

David Noton

To sign up to the Canon Europe newsletter, and read more about the Canon L-series lenses world-leading photographers are using, visit http://www.canon.co.uk/pro/stories

IMAGE Taken on a Canon EOS 5D Mark IV with a Canon EF 16-35mm f/2.8L III USM lens at 120secs at f/2.8, ISO 12,800.

Audun Rikardsen Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II USM © Audun Rikardsen – Canon Ambassador

Norwegian photographer and Canon Ambassador Audun Rikardsen says that Canon L-series lenses help him capture the majesty of nature in his photographs of whales during Norway’s polar night. “In the last few winters, hundreds of humpback whales have arrived at Tromsø in Northern Norway to feed on overwintering herring,” says Audun. “They come during polar night, where there’s no sun above the horizon, making the light and the weather conditions challenging. The Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II USM is my favourite lens for photographing the whales during this period because of it robustness, large aperture and accurate focus during low-light conditions. It always delivers, even in the most challenging conditions!”

IMAGE Taken on a Canon EOS 5D Mark III with a Canon EF 70200mm f/2.8L IS II USM lens at 1/640sec at f/2.8, ISO 1600.

Another photographer making good use of Canon lenses is Canon Ambassador David Noton, who captured this shot of Durdle Door in Dorset, England while the galactic centre (the brightest part) of the Milky Way was visible. “For night sky photography – when the maximum amount of starlight needs to be captured in an exposure lasting less than 20 seconds – quality lenses are a must, and the wider and faster, the better,” says David. “I'd previously tested the EF 16-35mm f/2.8L III USM lens and

been impressed by its corner-tocorner performance at its maximum aperture of f/2.8, even at its widest focal length of 16mm. This L-series lens now resides virtually permanently in my camera bag. “I had a composition in mind that would balance the arc of the Milky Way above with the sweep of the beach and Durdle Door below. With my 16-35mm lens at its widest angle and aperture, I composed, focused on the lights in the distance, then locked focus by switching to Manual, and waited for the magic moment."


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Advertisement feature Alessandra Meniconzi

Clive Booth

Canon EF 100mm f/2.8L Macro IS USM

Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II USM

This impactful profile of a Mongolian eagle hunter was shot by documentary photographer and Canon Ambassador Alessandra Meniconzi. She had wanted to photograph these hunters for 18 years, having become fascinated with their hunting techniques after first meeting some in Kazakhstan. In 2017, she travelled to the Altai Mountains in Mongolia to realise her dream.

© Clive Booth – Canon Ambassador

© Alessandra Meniconzi – Canon Ambassador

IMAGE Taken on a Canon EOS-1D X with a Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II USM lens at 1/250sec at f/4, ISO 32,000.

IMAGE Taken on a Canon EOS 5D Mark IV with a Canon EF 100mm f/2.8L Macro IS USM lens at 1/60 sec at f/6.3, ISO 100. “The Canon EF 100mm f/2.8L Macro IS USM is great for flattering facial proportions and the f/2.8 aperture creates excellent depth-of-field,” she explains. “It is also very light and discreet. Moreover, the lens has been created for small details – the images really are razor sharp! And finally, the focal length means you can get closer to your subject.”

Guia Besana

Canon Ambassador Clive Booth says that image sharpness is one of the key advantages of Canon L-series lenses for his work. “I was looking to take a Highland cow picture that was a little different, and on the way home from a day’s shooting on the island of Islay in the Inner Hebrides, Scotland, we came across this chap. It was late afternoon in February and he was backlit with a neutral background. I love the detail in this picture, shot at f/4 and

ISO 32,000, in which you can even see single hairs attached to the end of the horns. Thanks to its sharpness, Image Stabiliser and the ease with which I can carry it, the versatile Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II USM lens is always in my bag. With a wide aperture, world-beating optics and superb bokeh, this is often my go-to lens when I’m shooting in low light and need the extra reach. Even cropped, files remain sharp from edge to edge."

Christian Ziegler

Canon EF 40mm f/2.8 STM

Canon EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS II USM © Christian Ziegler – Canon Ambassador

© Guia Besana – Canon Ambassador

IMAGE Taken on a Canon EOS 5DS R with a Canon EF 40mm f/2.8 STM lens at 1/125sec at f/5.6, ISO 800. Canon Ambassador Guia Besana took this picture on a trip to Longyearbyen, Svalbard, Norway on 15 February 2018. “I was heading towards the car after a five-hour walk and suddenly turned towards the sea to meet this Arctic deer looking back at me,” says Guia. “It was in the middle of nowhere and surrounded

by such a delicate light. The Canon EF 40mm f/2.8 STM lens is perfect for taking this kind of shot because it’s a light lens to carry, it’s versatile, and silent. It’s one of those lenses that makes everything so comfortable that you never need to put the camera back in your backpack, so you don’t lose situations.”

IMAGE Taken on a Canon EOS-1D X Mark II with a Canon EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS II USM lens and Canon Extender EF 1.4x III at 1/160sec at f/8, ISO 4000. Canon Ambassador Christian Ziegler, meanwhile, captured this stunning image while he was walking through the rainforest in central Panama, and a small group of whitefaced capuchin monkeys (Cebus capucinus) appeared. “A mother with her offspring was the last in line and I had just a few seconds to

get the shot before they disappeared,” says Christian. “I took the Canon EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS II USM lens with me because it’s light but powerful. I usually walk a lot when taking wildlife photographs, and it’s hot and humid in the jungle, so it’s best not to carry too much weight and bulk.”


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Technique Explore the world of used camera kit

Second to none Thinking of buying second-hand? It’s a great way to save a packet on photo gear. But you need to be careful. Here are some things to look for when picking up pre-owned cameras and lenses... Words by Kingsley Singleton Buying second-hand camera gear is something we all used to do a lot more of; most of us started with film cameras and lenses that had been around the block plenty of times. But while mass consumption has, in many cases, reduced the appeal of second-hand shopping, the relentless march of digital cameras has actually provided new opportunities. Because upgrades are fast and frequent, there are lots of great deals out there to be found.

Sure, having the latest gear is great, but is it essential? After all, it’s the photographer who makes the picture, not the camera. Just because a new generation of camera arrives, it doesn’t make the old one obsolete. Resolutions increase as does ISO and AF performance, but if you shoot with skill you can still use older generations of camera to produce wonderful images. What’s more, by buying secondhand, whether it’s latest generation

1. Where to buy?

or not, you can pick up mid-range or pro models that would be out of your price range when new, saving hundreds or even thousands off the original retail price. That’s money you could spend on actually going somewhere to take pictures. As when making any purchase, compare lots of prices – and don’t go for the first you find – study the gear and ask questions. Genuine sellers and specialist retailers will be happy to answer.

2. Buying basics

Above Of all the places to buy, specialist photography dealers are often the safest; gear is checked and usually warrantied. Specialist shops & dealers Many dealers and specialist shops offer second-hand gear as well as buying older kit, or taking it in part exchange. At reputable dealers you’ll also get a level of warranty and lots of detailed info on the camera. The downside is that they’re more expensive than private sales. See page 28for our pick of specialist stockists. Second-hand stores If you’re buying from nonspecialist second-hand stores you’re less likely to get a warranty or have it honoured. Make sure you check the gear thoroughly, using some of the tips on these pages, and if anything seems off, walk away.

Above Get your hands on the gear you’re buying and look for signs of damage, and whether dials and buttons move freely. Light scuffs indicate more prolonged use, but aren’t as bad as dents and scrapes.

Buying online or privately You’ll likely get the best deals when buying privately, whether it’s online or in person, but you have far less recourse. Avoid paying cash if possible, and be wary of deals that are begun on, but finished off sites like eBay. Using PayPal or credit cards adds some protection.

The first thing to look for is general wear and tear; if a camera or lens looks shabby it’s a good indication of heavy use, or abuse. Look for knocks and scuffs and lots of wear around the tripod screw and hotshoe accessory port, or anywhere on the barrel, filter ring or lens mount. Scratches are one thing, but actual dents and gouges might mean it’s been dropped, which is a deal breaker, unless it’s a giveaway price. Dirty and loose rubber covers, and worn straps can be easily fixed, but are also signs of mistreatment.

If a camera or lens comes with its original box and accessories, plus bespoke cases, it’s likely to have been looked after

Conversely if a camera or lens comes with its original box and accessories, plus bespoke cases it’s more likely to have been looked after. If you can, get hands on a camera, power it up and check all the basic features. Do the screens light up, and do they read OK (older LCDs can lose definition). Are camera and lens contacts reasonably clean? And do buttons move freely (and register function)? Any screen covers should be removed to check for damage, and the same goes for protective filters on lenses.


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Technique 3. Checking the sensor

4. Camera bodies

Above You can physically inspect the sensor, but it’s often easier to shoot a white wall at a small aperture to check for problems. Certainly the camera’s sensor is one of the principal things to check, and while dirt can be cleaned, scratches, though rare, cannot. Take off the body cap, lock the mirror up if required (this will likely be done via the setup menu) and inspect the chip. If you can, use a sensor loupe, like Visible Dust’s Quasar Plus. A test shot will all reveal dirt or

damage to the sensor. Attach a lens in manual focus, defocus it, set f/16 or f/22 and point it at a bright, even subject, like a white wall. Take a picture, zoom in on the screen and check for lines or smears, both of which can be damaged caused by poor cleaning or other mishaps. Any evidence of damage means the camera is best avoided.

One of the biggest factors in choosing a second-hand body is shutter count. Why? Well, even though cameras are increasingly electronic rather than mechanical devices, most cameras still have a shutter that needs to open and close to begin and end an exposure. The shutter count, also called shutter actuations, is how many times this has happened. All cameras have a limit, which obviously varies from entry level to pro bodies, so while a Canon EOS 700D might be expected to reach 100,000 shots, an EOS 1Ds Mark IV should guarantee something closer to 300,000. Of course these are just estimates of how long the shutter mechanism will last, but it can also be taken as an indicator of how well used the camera is. Amongst everything else, on a DSLR, every

Above On DSLRs check the mirror box moves freely, and, if possible check the number of shutter actuations, too.

time the shutter opens the reflex mirror also moves up and down. You don’t need to worry about the mirror mechanism on CSCs, but they still have mechanical shutters. Age is another factor in shutter count though; just like a one-yearold car with 50,000 miles on the clock versus a five-year-old-car with the same mileage would suggest more sporadic and careful use. Few cameras actually display their

shutter count, and even then it’s likely to be buried within menus, so to find it most people download freeware shutter checkers or upload images to sites that will do the count for you. A physical inspection of the shutter and mirror box with a torch may also throw up problems: does it move freely? Is there oil or residue? Also check the viewfinder when the camera is on and off; some DSLRs need a battery on board for the viewfinder to function. Check whether the view is clear, or whether there are scratches and dirt? And do the various modes of the LCD work?

5. Lenses Cosmetically checking lenses is a reasonable indicator of their quality, but you may not find any real problems until shooting with them, which is where warranties come in so handy. The best inspections involve checking the lens against another model using a lens chart, but you’re unlikely to have that luxury. It’s well worth taking the time to look at a new version of your chosen lens, or some other used examples for comparison though. Inspect front and rear elements for scratches or chips, remembering to remove the front filter if one is fitted. Are the contacts clean at the mount? Tilt the lens to the light and look through; a bit of dust can be expected depending on the age of the lens, but smears and fogging are more serious. Attaching the lens you can check some basics: does it focus

Some older lenses may not look wonderfully sharp on the latest very high-res DLSRs quickly and quietly? If focusing is staggery and sounds ‘gritty’ there may be problems. Use the zoom and manual focus rings, checking they move freely without slackness; sudden bumps in the zoom range can mean damage. Wear to the rubber is less serious and these can be cheaply replaced in servicing.

You can check basic sharpness with a test shot, but it’s best to use live view mode when doing this as a DSLR’s phase detect system may need calibration and adjustment itself. Try setting up on a tripod, focusing on a certain point of the frame and running through the apertures; sharpness wise, there’ll be a sweet spot, probably from f/5.6 to f/11, but if performance drops hugely at different settings, there’s a problem. It’s worth noting that using some older lenses may not look wonderfully sharp on the latest very high-res DSLRs; results can look a bit soft. After cycling through the apertures, are the exposures fairly even? If not, there may be a malfunction in the diaphragm, too. On lenses with a manual aperture ring, you can look through the lens as you open and close the diaphragm; some lenses like Nikon’s G series have a lever to control it. You can visually inspect the movement.

Above For second-hand lenses, see that the zoom and focus rings move freely, and cycle through the apertures to check for problems.


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Accessories test

Bestsellers Buyers’ guide

Looking to buy used camera gear? Want to trade in kit you no longer use against something shiny and new? Or maybe just release some cash from antique items? These firms are here to help with a great service on buying and selling all kinds of photographic gear… Chiswick Camera Centre Chiswick Camera Centre is a traditional retail shop selling a wide range of the latest gear, including professional Nikon and Fujifilm medium-format cameras and lenses, general photographic accessories, and also film and darkroom kit. Trading for over 50 years, the company also stocks a large range of used equipment. Chiswick prides itself on this selection and the range covers everything from classic and collectable cameras to modern digital equipment. All used equipment is extensively tested and come with three months’ warranty; for example, digital bodies all have a full sensor clean before sale. Used gear on Chiswick’s website is graded and individually photographed, so you see exactly what you’re buying and there’s a threemonth warranty, extendable on some items. As well as selling first-rate used gear, Chiswick Camera Centre buys, part-exchanges and sells customers’ second-hand gear on a 25% commission basis, and pays very fair prices for used equipment; a recent example being the purchase of a Rolleiflex f/3.5f from a customer, where Chiswick’s initial offer “was double that of one dealer and £100 more than another… the customer thanked us for a very fair valuation.”

Top deals from Chiswick Camera Centre*

Drop in or call and you’ll be treated to expert advice from one of the knowledgeable and friendly three-man team. Chiswick’s staff are photographers as well as retail specialists, with the team including published wildlife, press and landscape photographers.

Nikon D610 £749

Chiswick Camera Centre chiswickcameras.co.uk 020 8995 9114 Chiswick Terrace, Acton Lane, Chiswick, London W4 5LY O  pen Mondays to Saturdays 9.30am-6pm

Fujifilm X-E2 (Silver) £279

Park Cameras Park Cameras is approaching its 50th birthday, and in that time has built a reputation across the photographic industry as one of the top independent retailers in the UK, serving the needs of enthusiasts and professionals alike while priding itself on the very highest level of customer service. A stockist of new photo gear, whether it be cameras, lenses or accessories, Park

Cameras also hosts a large used department with a team of highly knowledgeable and passionate advisers. Used kit includes DSLRs, CSCs, lenses and film cameras. For customers’ peace of mind, all products that come into the company’s stores in Burgess Hill and Central London are fully inspected, tested and cleaned before going on sale on the website or in store. And to

back that up, there’s a six-month warranty on most items. Customers can also get hands-on with the product prior to making a purchase, at either the London or Burgess Hill store, and there’s a click and collect function on the website for simpler ordering. When it comes to trading in your gear, Park Cameras claims competitive rates and provides estimates either via its easy-to-use website or over the phone. There are also trade-in bonuses on selected items to further save customers money on their brand-new camera of choice. Park Cameras parkcameras.com/used 01444 237070 York Road, Burgess Hill RH15 9TT 53-54 Rathbone Pl, Fitzrovia, London W1T 1JR Open daily. Burgess Hill 9am-5.30pm; 9am-7.30pm Thursdays and 10am-4pm Sundays; London 10am-6.30pm; 10am-7.30pm Thursdays and Fridays; 10.30am-4.30pm Sundays

Top deals from Park Cameras*

Olympus OM-D E-M5 Mark II £659

Fujifilm X-T2 £949 *Prices not guaranteed and subject to change.


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Accessories test

MPB.com Founded in 2011, MPB provides photographers and filmmakers with an easy and reliable service whether they’re buying or selling used equipment. MPB.com is said to be the world’s largest marketplace for used photo and video equipment and unlike websites like eBay or classified ads, MPB allows buyers and sellers to avoid the hassle that comes with traditional ‘peerto-peer’ marketplaces, priding itself on “a trusted end-to-end customer experience and the best prices on the market”. The company buys and sells an extensive range of second-hand cameras, lenses and most other digital photography equipment. If you’re a buyer there’s next working day delivery and a seven-day return policy, but all used equipment also comes with a six-month warranty. Product listings include information like shutter counts and an easy-to-understand condition rating, from ‘heavily used’, ‘well used’ and ‘good’, to ‘excellent’ and ‘like new’, and all product photos are shot in-house to ensure any wear and tear is seen by the buyer before purchasing. If you’re selling, getting a quote is simple and commitment free. You fill out a form online and receive an instant quote via email. If the item’s condition matches what is described on the sell form, MPB confirms the quote and pays the customer for the gear with a 3-5 business day turnaround on payment. Sending gear is free and fully insured and if you change your mind items are returned free of charge.

Specialist Auction Services (SAS) Top deals from MPB.com*

Sony Alpha A7R II £1329

Nikon D810 £1239

MPB mpb.com 0330 808 3271 48a Old Steine, Brighton BN1 1NH Open daily 9am-5.30pm

Canon EOS 1Ds Mark III £879

Ffordes Photographic Originally based in Essex, Ffordes moved to the highlands of Scotland in 2001 and sells a range of kit as broad and captivating as that landscape. Operating mainly as an online mail-order business, the company is the largest independent photographic pre-owned specialist in the UK, with over 35,000 preowned listings and its website promises to be the “most live around, updating every five minutes for pre-owned gear”. Pre-owned and new gear includes Canon (for which Ffordes has just been awarded Canon Pro Dealer status), Fujifilm Pro, Hasselblad, Nikon, Panasonic, Sony, Pentax, Leica Premier, Sigma, Tamron, Voigtländer, Zeiss and more, while the range spans entry level to pro gear, and even a range of largeformat field cameras. Ffordes also stocks accessories like tripods, bags, rucksacks, filters and lighting equipment. All Ffordes’ pre-owned gear is fully checked by in-house technicians with up to 25 years’ experience, and all pre-owned purchases

are assured by a 15-day conditional approval period and a six-month warranty after that. The company ships next day anywhere in the UK, and also sells worldwide. When it comes to selling your kit, gear can be collected from anywhere in the UK, and as long as it’s well packed, it’s fully insured by Ffordes. Interestingly, Ffordes also offers a commission sale service (something it’s been doing since 1960); the company tests, and services if appropriate, all equipment then promotes it through its website and magazine adverts; once sold the customer picks up 80% of the sale value, minus any servicing costs, which is a good way to increase your return hassle free.

Top deals from Ffordes Photographic*

Fujifilm X100F £949

Ffordes Photographic ffordes.com 01463 783850 The Kirk, Wester Balblair, By Beauly, Inverness-shire IV4 7BQ Open Monday to Friday, 9am-5.30pm

Canon EOS 7D Mark II £849

Nikon 14-24mm £849 *Prices not guaranteed and subject to change.

Specialist Auction Services (SAS) is different from the other companies outlined here; it deals with secondhand photographic equipment, but as an auctioneer. Goods are offered at nine or so sales a year, and there’s no retail presence. SAS sells a lot of cameras and lenses this way; in 2016, for example, the company shifted £1m worth of photography-related lots making it the largest UK camera auctioneer by far. SAS started life in 1991 and is staffed by people who have worked for large London auction rooms in the past. While those auctioneers focus on the upper reaches of the paintings and Oriental market, SAS also deals in specialist sales. Camera auctions began in 2009, and grew in scale and quality very quickly. Equipment is sold as it comes to SAS, but the company does grade it for cosmetic and optical condition and does basic checks like testing the mechanical shutter. The sales calendar is divided into Fine for the best pieces (which also includes photographs) and Express for well used or intrinsically less valuable photography equipment. As you might expect, Leica is king of the photography auction market, but SAS also sells antique British mahogany and brass plate cameras. According to the firm, “gems to look out for at the back of drawers are very fast 1950s and 1960s British lenses such as the Dallmeyer Super-Six, which can realise £8,000 to £10,000 a piece in good condition.” SAS also recently sold a Leitz black M-fit f/2 35mm Summicron lens, circa 1958, for a whopping £4400. Specialist Auction Services (SAS) specialauctionservices.com 01635 580595 81 Greenham Business Park, Newbury RG19 6HW Opening hours: Monday to Friday 9am-5pm; closed on Bank Holidays


Photography News | Issue 55 | photographynews.co.uk


Photography News | Issue 55 | photographynews.co.uk


Photography News | Issue 55 | photographynews.co.uk


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Camera test Specs Price Canon EOS M with 15-45mm f/3.5-4.5 IS STM lens £649, M50 body £539 Sensor 24.1-megapixels (6000x4000 pixels) and DIGIC 8 image processor Sensor format APS-C, 22.3x14.9mm CMOS with low pass filter and EOS integrated cleaning system ISO range 100-25,600 with expansion with 51,200 available. Auto ISO 100-6400 Shutter range 30secs-1/4000sec plus B Drive modes Single frame, high speed continuous (up to 10fps in one shot AF, 7.4fps with servo AF), low speed continuous, self-timer (2s, 10s) Metering system Evaluative metering (384 zones), partial, centre-weighted average and spot (2.8%). Centre-weighted only in movie shooting Exposure modes PASM, picture styles (auto, standard, faithful etc), creative assist (background blur, monochrome), creative filters (fisheye, toy camera etc), scene intelligent auto, hybrid auto, SCN modes (smooth skin, food, handheld night etc) Exposure compensation +/-3EV in 0.3EV steps, AEB in three shots +/-2 EV in 0.3EV steps Monitor 3in touchscreen LCD, 1040K dots, vari-angle, shows 100% coverage Viewfinder 0.39in OLED EVF with 2360K dots. Dioptre correction possible Focusing Dual Pixel CMOS AF system. Phase detect pixels built onto the imaging sensor. One shot AF and servo AF provided. Face + Tracking – face and subject tracking via automatic recognition or manual selection via touch screen. Autofocus AF point selection when no face recognised within the frame. Eye AF available in one shot AF Focus points Maximum 143/99 points depending on the lens. Maximum 25 in Zone AF, single point AF Video MP4 type, 4k 3840x2160 (23.98, 25fps), Full HD, HD. Max duration 29mins 59secs, max file size 4GB Connectivity High speed USB, HDMI, Bluetooth, Wi-Fi with dynamic NFC support Other key features In-camera digital image stabilisation in movie mode, built-in flash GN5 (ISO 100/m), records Raws and JPEGs simultaneously, eight customisable buttons, accepts EF and EF-S lenses via EF-EOS M mount adapter Storage media 1x SD, SDHC, SDXC Battery life 235 shots approx., 370 in eco mode, 85mins movie recording time Dimensions 116.3x88.1x58.7mm Weight 387g body only Contact Canon.co.uk

Canon EOS M50

Canon was left in the starting blocks when the gun went for the mirrorless race, but it is quickly making up for lost ground, launching no fewer than four models in the past 18 months. We check out its latest arrival, the EOS M50 Words and images by Will Cheung The Canon EOS M50 is a mid-priced mirrorless camera, selling at £649 with an 15-45mm f/3.5-6.3 IS STM standard zoom, or £539 body only. It’s a 24.1-megapixel APS-C format CSC with an impressive features set for the price, and will appeal to those used to shooting with smartphones, and compacts, as well as those with DSLR experience. As you would expect from Canon, there are significant innovations compared with other members of the EOS M family. The sensor is the same as that used on other M models but works with Canon’s latest DIGIC image processor, which helps deliver a 10fps burst rate in single-shot AF or 7.4fps in servo AF. It is the first Canon to use the CR3 compressed Raw format for full size files – M50 Raws are typically around 25-35MB each, which compares with 4045MB files from the EOS M6. It is also the first M-series camera to offer 4K video although this comes at the price of a 1.7x crop, which makes wide-angle shooting a challenge. There’s also no Dual Pixel AF, which is only available for stills and Full HD video shooting. The EOS M50 is also the first Canon that can be set up to automatically send images to your smartphone immediately after they have been shot, so perfect for social media fans. As you might expect, this is just the start – there is plenty more on offer and the specification is attractive for the money. It is an EVF and a monitor camera, giving the EOS M50 a wider appeal than some budget CSCs that are monitor-only. The vari-angle touchscreen monitor folds out, and once in that position it can be rotated 270°, from facing forward for selfie shooting to facing straight down for directly overhead shooting. It can also be turned to face inwards for that film shooting

experience. The touch function has the usual options: touch function on or off, touch AF, touch-and-drag AF point, and AF touch release. Being able to navigate the AF point by using your thumb or finger on the monitor is a neat feature and easy to do even with the eye up to the viewfinder eyepiece, and you can choose which part of the monitor that’s active. I’m a left-eyed shooter and with my eye to the finder I could use my left thumb to move the AF point around the screen, then use the shutter button to focus and take the shot an instant later without any grip change. I am less of a fan of the touch-shutter release feature.

It is an EVF and monitor camera giving the EOS M50 a wider appeal than some budget CSCs that are monitor only Left The EOS M50’s control layout is clean and simple with the option in many cases of using the touch monitor rather than physical buttons to choose key camera settings. There is plenty of customisation potential so you can tailor controls to your most-used functions for speedy handling. The EVF viewfinder image is nicely detailed so fine for critical composition and there is no obvious image smearing or flickering. Many will prefer using the vari-angle monitor that folds outwards making low and highangle image viewing easy.

It is handy for sneaky candids but it did seem to have a slight time lag and I did end up with shots of my feet when I forgot that it was active. For image reviewing, you can swipe left and right from image to image, or pinch to zoom in and then use your finger to check out different sections of the image. The screen’s image quality is very good. When you first set the camera up, go into the menu and you have two options. The standard layout gives a menu structure identical to Canon DSLR cameras, so any current Canon user will find their way around quickly. Those without that benefit can opt for the guided menu display. Both menus give the same number of options in the identical running order, but the guided option is cleaner and uses simple graphics and a few words on the front screen to explain what you will find under Shooting settings or Function settings, for example. The camera’s physical control layout is simple, with all the controls grouped on the right-side of the body. Customisation of eight controls is possible and the options under those eight is very good, too, so those coming from a DSLR background will find the level of choice well up to the standard they’d expect. For example, on the shutter button you


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Camera test Performance: exposure latitude To look at the exposure latitude of the EOS M50’s Raws, a manual bracket with a tripod mounted camera was shot. On a bright, hazy day the manual meter reading at ISO 100 showed that settings of 1/125sec at f/8 were needed. The images were adjusted and processed through Lightroom. It is typical that Raws recover from underexposure better than overexposure, and so it proved on

the EOS M50. The -1EV shot looked like the original but from -2EV you can see the early signs of artefacting and detail looked coarser although perfectly acceptable up to -3EV. Overexposure was tolerated less well and files shot at +3EV and +4EV could not be recovered with any degree of success at all. The highlights just had that veiled grey look that you can’t do anything with, so while low contrast shots

could work, introduce a bright sky and you are stuck. More moderate overexposure to +1EV and +2EV is much more correction friendly so you should have no problems here. In summary, the EOS M50 has decent exposure latitude with a better showing for underexposure compared with overexposure, but it’s probably not as good as leading APS-C cameras in this respect.

Original image

-4EV

-3EV

-2EV

-1EV

0

+1EV

+2EV

+3EV

+4EV

have just three options, and the *AEL button has six options while the remaining six buttons all give 26 options, including off. Pushing the Q button (either the physical or the virtual one) brings up 11 virtual buttons so here you can quickly set self-timer, light measuring pattern and aspect ratio, for example. In the monitor’s normal view, five icons have a thin outline box to tell you these are virtual buttons to take you into key camera features – ISO, focus magnifier, exposure compensation, aperture and touch shutter enable/disable. Pushing the INFO button scrolls from this option to adding a spirit level, plain screen and then into another settings screen, where touching the Q icon makes key features active so you can adjust settings from here. Essentially, the EOS M50 caters for all preferences in terms how you want to set up and use the camera, and accessing everything is easy. I mostly shot in aperture-priority AE mode, with the odd excursion

into manual as well as the creative, subject and art filter modes. I stuck with the Evaluative light measuring pattern. After close to one thousand exposures I can report that the exposure system’s accuracy and consistency rate highly. That said, I did use exposure compensation and the selective metering button on occasion when the system didn’t get it quite perfect, which wasn’t too often. To be fair, the good exposure latitude of the Raw files meant that there was plenty of room for fine-tuning in post so I could forego compensation except in the most contrasty situations, when I needed to choose between recording highlights or shadows. Autofocusing proved generally as good as the camera’s exposure system but the face and tracking option can be a bit more random, as is often the case with multi-point systems. If there was no face in shot, the system could latch onto the wrong part of the scene, so you need to watch for this and use the touchscreen to help the camera focus where you want. Most of the time the system worked well but give it a busy scene and it was less surefooted. In that respect, the zone AF (which has a grid of 5x5 AF points) and single AF options were preferable, and being able to pick the focus zone on the touchscreen very quickly made shooting more decisive, even though you do not get 100% coverage. Overall, the AF system’s ability rates highly and it was accurate and only occasionally

Images The exposure latitude of the new, more compact Raw format from the EOS M5 proved pretty good, especially with underexposure where the heavy shadows recovered quite nicely with minimal noise.

Images Our test period enabled us to shoot in a variety of lighting and the EOS M50 coped generally very well, with the AF, exposure and auto white-balance systems delivering sharp, lifelike images time after time. stumbled, sometimes due to an inability to lock onto the subject and sometimes due to user error. The latter was usually down to touching the screen inadvertently, therefore moving the AF point away from where you expected it to be and not realising this until it was too late. So while focus was fine, it was not necessarily where you wanted it. The EOS M50 is not really an action camera, but its 10fps continuous shooting rate with single AF, dropping to 7.4fps with servo AF, is more than enough for most users. I did try some continuous tracking on walkers and cyclists using the face and tracking mode with modest success. Sometimes locking onto the subject was uncertain, which made

subsequent tracking difficult, but on other occasions the AF locked on and tracked reasonably well. Success rate was higher with a bigger, strongly defined subject, such as a car. To be fair, though, as I said: the EOS M50 isn’t designed for fast action, so my expectations weren’t high – with that in mind, I thought it did pretty well. Still image quality at the low/ medium speed ISO speeds is very good. My out-of-the-camera JPEGs looked good and punchy, and I processed my Raws in Lightroom with some extra dehaze and clarity to give comparable, crisper-looking shots with better contrast. I’m not the most committed social media user but the EOS M50 does

make it easy to get images online. Connecting to the smart device was easy, using the Canon Connect app, and the connection was pretty stable. The camera can be set up to automatically transfer images as you take them over to your smart device using Bluetooth. For those who like using their smart device to shoot with (great for candids) the level of functionality was very good in terms of adjusting settings and using touch AF, but also press the virtual shutter release and there is minimal shutter lag, which makes timing much easier. To sum up, Canon’s latest mirrorless model is a competent, well featured camera that works nicely and offers very good value.


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Camera test Performance: ISO A dull daylight scene was used to assess ISO. The EOS M50 with its 15-45mm lens was tripod mounted and all in-camera noise reduction switched off. The Raws were processed in Lightroom with no noise reduction selected. As expected, image quality at speeds up to ISO 400 was first rate with images looking clean and free of any graining. At ISO 800 grain starts to appear in the shadows although detail remains crisp and

colour saturation is rich, identical to slower speeds. Image quality remains of a high order at ISO 1600 and no problem using this speed for large prints. There is grain but it is crisp and neutral giving it a filmic appearance and colour saturation is less good but pictures still look nicely detailed. Up another stop to ISO 3200 and image quality is still high, but it is at the point where some will say enough, as fine detail starts to

look less crisp and images look less smooth. It is still pretty good and if you need to shoot at this speed then it is definitely worth trying, Image deterioration ramps up a notch at ISO 6400 and noise is very obvious and starts to pick up colour; that effect is even more obvious at ISO 12,800. By the time you get to ISO 25,600 the negative impact on detail and saturation is very evident and ISO 51,200 is probably best avoided.

Original image

ISO 100

ISO 800

ISO 1600

ISO 3200

ISO 6400

ISO 12,800

ISO 25,600

ISO 51,200

Above There’s no problem getting critical quality images out even at fast ISO speeds. Scene shot at the Andaz hotel, Amsterdam.

Verdict

Performance: creative filters Soft-focus

Watercolour

Toy camera

Miniature

Canon’s latest introduction is aimed at the mirrorless newbie, whether they are arriving from camera phones or from DSLRs. Either way, buy the EOS M50 and you have a capable, high-quality camera and while it does not truly break new ground, what it does it does very well, thank you. Not only that, of course, it buys you entry into the Canon system. So, with the EOS-M adapter, you can fit one of the very many Canon EF/ EF-S lenses available for it or stick with the more limited selection of EOS M lenses. Clearly there is the penalty of weight and size with the former option but it is an option nevertheless, although it would obviously be nice if Canon expanded its collection of EOS M lenses in the fullness of time. Features  22/25 Lots on offer including 4K video and new compact Raw file format Performance  23/25 Capable exposure and focusing systems in still and movie modes Handling 22/25 The mix of physical and virtual controls make for good handling

The EOS M50 is similar to many cameras in this price range and it offers users pain-free ways to get creative. The various options undoubtedly broaden the camera’s appeal, particularly to those coming from smartphones. In A mode you have the choice of colour presets, but you can play

with various image parameters and save the settings as your own. So, for JPEG shooting you can adjust the degree of background blur, adjust contrast and colour saturation. There are also scene modes under the SCN setting on the mode dial. This includes a self-

portrait and a food mode. There’s also a silent mode for noise free picture taking – this silent mode is not an option offered elsewhere in the camera. Finally, there are creative filters and here you will find toy camera mode, miniature setting and softfocus, among others. These are

fun to use, work perfectly well and give nice effects – mostly. I especially enjoyed playing with the miniature setting for some eye-catching focus effects. Creative filters can also be applied post capture in-camera and files saved separately rather than overwriting the original.

Value for money 23/25 Nice price for a well specified mirrorless camera with plenty of potential Overall 90/100 A capable mirrorless camera that is attractive value for money Pros Price, image quality, vari-angle monitor Cons Limited choice of EOS M system lenses


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Photography News | Issue 55 | photographynews.co.uk

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First tests Imaging kit

First tests

We get our hands on the latest kit and share our first impressions – so you know whether or not to add it to your wish list Reviews by Will Cheung and Kingsley Singleton

Specs Prices £189.99. Bi-colour version (32005600K) £209.99 In the box LM8 ring light, carrying case, 5in mirror with accessory shoe, mobile phone holder, 15V DC power adaptor Watt usage 220W Fitting Standard ⅝in stand mount Output – colour temperature 5600K +/-200K Lux/foot-candles at one metre 1430 Lux Lux/foot-candles at two metres 329 Lux Power supply 15V DC 5A Battery type Accepts two Sony NP-F series (not included) Dimensions 27x24x7cm Weight 1.39kg Contact Interfitphotographic.com

Interfit LM8 18in ring light £189.99 LEDs have revolutionised lighting offering high quality, colourconsistent light output from small cells with good power efficiency and generating hardly any heat. Interfit’s new ring light uses LEDs, this version having a colour temperature output of 5600K (+/200K) so the same as daylight. At £30 more, a bi-colour version is also available and here the colour temperature of the output can be varied from 3200 to 5600K. A mains adapter comes with the unit but for location shooting it will accept optional two Sony NP rechargeable batteries. This test was done with the mains adapter only. There’s not much in terms of controls. An on/off switch and a dial to control output, from 0 to 100%. I tested the colour temperature of the light output by shooting an X-Rite colour test chart at 50% and 100% output. To the human eye comparing the shots side-by-side there was no discernible difference at those power settings and the colour chart was well reproduced in both instances with a slight leaning towards the warm side. In Raw processing I did prefer the look of shots with the colour temperature slider down to 5000K but that is a matter of personal taste. Next, I moved to light output. For this I

Light quality was lovely and shadow free, thanks to the light’s white translucent diffuser panel

Above Shoot through the ring light for shadowless lighting; great for still-lifes and product shots.

Verdict took incident light readings using a Gossen Digipro F2 lightmeter. At ISO 200 and at a distance of 2m from the light, the meter gave a reading of f/2.8 at full power and, showing good output accuracy, f/2 at 50% power. Moving in closer to 1m gave a reading of f/4 at full power and f/2.8.5 at 50%. We’re not talking high levels of light but certainly good enough for headshots, which is probably what you are going to shoot with a ring light and if you need an extra f/stop it’s not an issue going up to ISO 800 Left A ring light gives circular catchlights that can look stunning.

on modern cameras. Just make sure you focus carefully so that you get depth-of-field where you want it. I tried the LM8 with portraits and close-ups of food to assess light quality and coverage. With the supplied 5in mirror and phone mount, I also did some self portraits. Light quality was lovely and shadow free, thanks to the light’s white translucent diffuser panel, and you get a nice sheen on the skin that you can control with the highlight slider in editing. In portraits, the ring highlight effect in the eyes is very obvious and not something that is easily edited out, so while it is an attraction it could equally put some photographers off too. WC

The Interfit LM8 gives lovely, shadow-free results and ringshaped eye catchlights. Obviously it depends on your needs and how you intend to use the LM8 in terms of mixing in other light sources, but going for the Bi-colour version for an extra £30 is probably worth the money. That said, the daylight-only LM8 is worth the money with its solid build, consistent performance and light quality. Add its ability to be powered by battery for location is an additional attraction. Pros Lovely light, build quality, adjustable output, colour output consistent, option of battery power, good for videos and stills Cons Power output isn’t that great


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First tests

Hahnemühle Photo Gloss Baryta 320 From £29.80 Specs Prices and availability 25 sheets of A4 £29.80, A3 £56.70, A3+ £72, A2 £111. Also available 17in, 24in, 44in, 50in rolls in 15m lengths Surface High gloss Media colour Bright white Whiteness 100% Water resistance Good OBA content Yes Acid free Yes Thickness 330μm Weight 320gsm Contact hahnemuehle.com

Below Comparing the image featuring the X-Rite ColorChecker with the card itself revealed that the two were impressively similar.

Hahnemühle has won plenty of awards for its products over the years and its Photo Gloss Baryta 320 follows in the same tradition, scooping this year’s TIPA World Award for Best Photo Inkjet paper. Photo Gloss Baryta 320 is a high gloss, true baryta paper. Baryta is barium sulphate, a clay-like compound. On fibre-based darkroom printing papers baryta is used to provide a surface on the paper base for the emulsion coating and helps to produce a detailed image with an extended tonal range. With inkjet printing papers baryta’s job to give a smooth reflective coating and to make the most of the potential of black pigment inks. My test printer is an Epson SureColor SC-P800 and its UltraChrome HD pigment inkset is capable of impressive D-Max so, in theory, should show off this paper’s skills very nicely. Generic profiles are downloadable from the website so I downloaded the appropriate one for my printer/ ink combination, but also made my own using the X-Rite i1 Studio kit. I made profiles for colour and black & white output. Out of the box, this paper lies nicely flat with no corner curl so I had no issues with headstrike during the test. The finish is a lovely gloss, striking a good balance between a sheen and reflective high gloss. For those used to darkroom papers, it is more glossy than a typical air-dried glossy fibre print. I was rather taken by it although I appreciate it is not ideal for exhibition under spotlights because of its finish. On heavily inked prints, there’s no patchiness where there’s tonal change that you see on some gloss finishes. One thing to note; the paper’s data sheet does say the paper needs careful handling as the surface is prone to abrasion during normal handling, so once totally dry prints need mounting or stored in acetate sleeves as soon as possible. The base does use OBAs resulting in a pure white look with a slight warm, creamy feel. I printed a selection of colour and monochrome images including several of my standard test files, and I have to say that I was very impressed

The paper’s ability to deliver punchy results was excellent

by the overall quality of the output. This was not just in terms of colour accuracy but also with the levels of vibrancy and saturation as well as the solidity of the blacks. Comparing the print, under daylight lamps, featuring the X-Rite ColorChecker test chart with the actual thing was very telling. The two appeared impressively similar in accuracy and saturation and that includes the potentially tricky colours such as the blues. No complaints here. On actual pictures, the paper’s ability to deliver punchy results was excellent. I have some street shots processed for a vivid look, and these looked great on this Hahnemühle paper with the gutsy look that I envisaged. I deliberately picked a few black & white scenes that were shadow heavy just to see how the paper handled it and these were reproduced very nicely too. On screen, plenty of shadow detail mixed in with areas of solid black is on view and the prints were exactly the same. There was no blocking up in the shadows, just lots of smooth gradation across the tonal range – and of course, no sign of bronzing either. Highlight detail didn’t fare poorly either and whites stayed white; where there was tone that was reproduced well too. WC

Images. Top This paper does a great job of moody monochromes with strong blacks and shadows loaded with detail. Above centre Photo Baryta 320 has a lovely gloss with a combination of sheen and pure gloss. Above left and directly above Photo Baryta 320 handles richly coloured shots really well; the warmth of this sunrise shot and the vividly processed street shot are nicely reproduced on this paper.

Verdict There is no doubt in my mind that Hahnemühle’s Photo Gloss Baryta 320 is a very good paper indeed and if you want output on a lovely gloss material, you have simply got to try this one. Highly recommended. Pros Capable of powerful results, finish, great blacks, slightly warm base, lovely feel Cons Paper needs careful handling to avoid surface abrasion


Photography News | Issue 55 | photographynews.co.uk

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First tests Specs Price £89.99 Compatible cameras This is an edited list, please see the website for full camera/flashgun listing. There is a dedicated version for Sony cameras. • Canon EOS-1D X MkII, 5D Mk IV, 6D • Fujifilm X-H1, X-T2, X-Pro2, GFX 50s • Nikon D810, D750 • Olympus OM-D E-M1 II, E-M5 II • Panasonic DMC-GX8, GH4, GH5 • Pentax K-1, K-3, K-3 II • Sigma dp2 Quattro, sd Quattro Working frequency 2.4GHz Number of channels 16 Number of groups Four Max working distance 100m High speed sync Yes, normal HSS, power sync Max sync speed 1/8000sec Camera voltage Up to 6V Flash voltage Up to 300V Power supply Two AA cells Interfaces Mini USB, minijack Dimensions (lxwxh) 79x77x48mm Weight 96g (no batteries) Contact Swains.co.uk Cactus-image.com

Images The Cactus’s LCD panel toggles between the interface to adjust power output (top) and the flashgun’s zoom head. In these examples, all four groups are active on channel 1.

Cactus Flash Transceiver V6 II £89.99 Triggers for wireless flash photography are commonplace and available at various price points depending on what features you need, the kit you have and how you want to work. At the most basic level, a trigger does no more than fires the flash. Climb the evolutionary ladder of the trigger world, though, and life becomes significantly more interesting and the latest triggers can do the sort of heavy lifting that was unheard of a few years ago. Take, for example, the Cactus V6II. You get (in most cases) wireless, TTL control, high speed sync up to 1/8000sec and TTL pass through so you can mount the trigger on the camera and then the flash onto the trigger and enjoy the unit’s TTL functionality. None of this, of course, is new or innovative but the thing about this Cactus is that it works across different camera platforms. It is the world’s first trigger to offer compatibility with Canon, Nikon, Olympus, Panasonic and Pentax cameras and flashguns in one unit. You might have spotted that Sony is missing from that list and there is a dedicated unit just for that brand. This is a real, practical and possibly money-saving benefit. While many people use just one system, more and more photographers (including me) have more than one brand, perhaps running a mirrorless system alongside their DSLR kit. This is where this Cactus comes into its own and means you can brand hop with impunity. Trigger set-up and handling are good but I wouldn’t say intuitive. The unit has so many features and there are so many options that I would advise downloading the full PDF manual off the Cactus website and printing the thing out and stashing it (or the pdf) in the camera bag for ready reference. Become a regular user and you won’t need it, but if you are an occasional user, it will get plenty of use. A quick start guide is available too but this is two pages full of menus, icons and setup options but minimal quick start advice. A good read of the manual, in a quiet room, with the units and your camera/flashgun is the way to go. Another point on set-up is to make sure the firmware is up to date, not just for the Cactus itself but that it is equipped with the latest camera brand firmware. The unit has a mini USB for this and an updater app is available

on the website so the process is easy. I mention this because I checked and found an update for the unit but I couldn’t get it working and that was when I realised the camera brand firmware needed updating too. Once I got the D810/SB-900/ Cactus V6 II combination working, though, I was impressed with how the units worked. The on/off switch chooses whether you want a unit working as a transmitter (on the camera) or receiver (fitted with the flashgun) and you have four quickly selectable groups (A, B, C, D) and 16 channels. Output can be adjusted in 0.3EV steps and you can change output in all the active groups in one go, or just deselect groups when you want to adjust power in one or two. I tried a pair of Cactus V6 IIs on a Canon EOS 6D Mark II, Fujifilm X-T2, Nikon D810 and Olympus OMD 5D Mark II. I am not blessed with flashguns of every brand and I had two for this test. A Cactus RF60X and my own Nikon Speedlight SB-900. The latter I got working with each camera, albeit with just flash triggering and no remote output or zoom head adjustment. With the Nikon DSLR/ flashgun combination, however, I got the full monty including zoom head control, flash sync up to 1/8000sec

It is the world’s first trigger to offer compatibility with Canon, Nikon, Olympus, Panasonic and Pentax cameras

Below left The on/off switch means you either select TX (transmission) or RX (receiver) operation. Below Two buttons and the scroll wheel let you set menu functions.

and TTL. The claimed wireless working range is 100m and certainly I had no problems in a 30m long office or with the two units working in separate rooms. Adjusting output and zoom head coverage worked well so long as you remember to turn off the groups that you do not want to adjust. I did get the odd strange thing happening. For example, having started with Nikon I tried the units on various cameras finishing on an Olympus before going back to my Nikon D810/SB-900 duo. Then I found the menu did not have the option of setting the camera system to Nikon – the options were Olympus and Others – nor did camera auto detect work (holding down the shutter button while switching the unit on in TX). I got the power and zoom control working so I knew the units were talking to each other but the flash refused to fire, even after a factory reset. Normal service was resumed after reinstalling the Nikon firmware in both units. Small point, but it goes to show you have to work a little with these units if you system hop. All told, though, once you get familiar with the Cactus, performance and handling rate highly. WC

Verdict The Cactus V6 II is a very well appointed trigger system that offers plenty of creative potential, and its cross brand ability puts it ahead of rivals. A pair of triggers costs £180 which seems impressive value for the facilities on offer. Pros Impressive compatibility with long list of camera/flash models, versatile, AF assist LED built-in, LCD readout Cons You have to read the instructions, firmware issue


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First tests Specs Prices £129.99 In the box KFL201 macro flash, lens adapters, bag Guide number 14 (ISO 100) Power TTL of manual in ⅓ stop increments Maximum sync speed 1/320sec Colour temperature 5500K Recycle time 1-5secs Power supply 4x AAs, or power pack Angle of light 80º Ratios 1:8 to 1:1, asymmetric in ½ stops Contact Kenro.co.uk

Used with care, the quality of light is good for macro

Kenro KFL201 Macro Ring Flash £129.99 The Kenro KFL201 Macro Ring Flash is a lighting attachment composed of two flash tubes and two LED lights, which sit in a circular array, mounted around the front element of your lens. For starters, that’s not really a ring, is it? I mean, if by way of engagement, you gave someone a ring which was basically a two sections of circle, joined by plastic sections, they’d rightly tell you where to put it. You might say, in fairness, using two flash tubes is how many macro ‘ring’ lights are now made, and it allows asymmetric control. But your intended will have lost interest by this point, amorously surveying the £2300 Profoto ProRing2 Plus, with its majestically large single flash tube, even though it’s way too big for their finger. These metaphors, are getting a bit mixed, aren’t they? Anyway, the KFL201 is designed for macro work, but, like all such lensmounted lights, should be able to give some interesting effects on portraits, too, with a very even, shadowless lighting effect, and distinctive catchlights. With the flash emitter on the lens you can add light very close to the front element, where you’ll be focusing for macro effects; but this is useful whenever lighting is awkward due to obstructions. It comes with eight adapter rings, allowing use on lenses with threads of 40.5, 52, 55, 58, 62, 67, 72, and 77mm, a decent level of coverage, and you can fit stepping rings for missing sizes; beyond 77mm, say when mounted on a lens with an 82mm filter, you could use a step-down ring, though you will get vignetting. The rings are plastic, but solid enough, they screw in easily and the emitter mounts neatly, with a locking button on either side. However, after mounting I found I couldn’t secure its angle; there’s mention of that feature in the instructions, but there didn’t seem to be any grip and it wasn’t possible to go from, say, side lighting to a clamshell arrangement, without physically turning the camera or holding the emitter. The unit is small and light enough for easy transportation and won’t weigh the front of your lens down or cause any problems in composition.

Connected to the pack by a thick coiled cable it’s possible the tension of the cable might cause problems on longer lenses which rack out a long way when focusing; I tested it on a Nikon D810 and 60mm f/2.8G macro, and found no such problems as the lens focuses internally. Cycled via the Mode button there’s TTL (where you can also bias the energy by +/-3EV), and manual, and a ratio setting for either. You bias the power between the tubes from 1:1 and 1:8 (or 8:1). Only in full manual ratio (1/1 to 1/128 power) can you switch one of the tubes off entirely. The light has a guide number of 14, which is plenty for macro; in fact, it’s easy to overexpose when shooting a subject up close to the emitter. At about 3cm, with ISO 64, and the flash on 1/128 power, I didn’t get good exposure until f/10. In TTL mode it was still overexposing, even at -3EV, by nowhere near as much, and was spot on at f/5.6. Kenro quotes effective distance as 20cm to 5m, so presumably TTL isn’t guaranteed below that. Obviously you can use an ND if you need to, but it’d be nice to get much lower power settings. At greater ranges, TTL was good. Setting power and ratio you use the main dial and a button within it. I found this a little light in touch, and as a digital dial, you can keep cycling through flash compensation forever, so it’s too easy to go from +3 to -3EV without knowing. Overall it handles fine though; buttons are clear, and there’s a big backlit LED screen, though the text is quite small. Recycle times are fine for macro, ranging from 1sec to a pretty lengthy 5secs, but it’s unlikely you’ll be using those highest outputs, as mentioned above. At the low end you can easily shoot focus stacked images with flash. The Canon version also has a multi (stroboscopic) mode, but we had the Nikon variant on test. Running on four AA batteries, you can’t expect Li-ion type life and consistency, and the number of shots

Images For a lovely, shadowless light, this Kenro ring flash unit does a fine job with plenty of power in reserve and it is very reasonably priced too. Lens adapters up to 77mm screw thread are provided in the outfit.

depends on the type of AA you’re using; but it’s rated from 100-800 shots and I got beyond 400 with no power warning in general use. The flash has a power save mode to extend life. Used with care, the quality of light is good for macro. For florals and wildlife, I found best results when mixing it with natural light as a fill; as the light is very soft it can look a bit too flat otherwise. Of course you can bias the strength to one side or the other. For portraits it gives a reasonably soft, but still quite direct look – the emitter is too small for proper portrait ring lighting, and this also means you get quite a small broken circle catchlight. Colour consistency was good; there’s no obvious change from 1/128 to full. The focusing lamp is helpful, coming on automatically in dim conditions, and can be used as a (very subtle) fill light when the flash is turned off. It would be nice if it functioned like a modelling light, with a scalable output, but that didn’t feel like much of an omission, especially at the price. KS

Verdict An affordable and well-performing macro flash. It’s £200 cheaper than similarly spec’d Metz and Sigma lights, and £400 less than the Canon. That said, you can pick up a Neewer version that looks identical for £50. Pros Costs a lot less than many, handles easily Cons Not a full ring and too small for crossover to portraits


Photography News | Issue 55 | photographynews.co.uk


Photography News | Issue 55 | photographynews.co.uk

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First tests Specs Prices and availability 25 sheets A4 £31.99, 25 sheets A3 £59.99, 25 sheets A3+ £73, 25 sheets A2 £113, 17inx15m roll £100, 24inx15m £148.99, 36inx15m £220, 44inx15m £269.99, 60inx15m £370 Features Acid-free and optical brightening agent (OBA) free Weight 305gsm Base 100% cotton Compatibility Dye and pigment inks Contact Fotospeed.com

The base has a gentle, warm, creamy tinge

Below Cotton 305 is a matt paper with a smooth, fine texture that does a very good job is showing off intricate detail.

Fotospeed Platinum Cotton 305 From £31.99 Fotospeed has been busy recently and it was only a couple of issues ago that we tested its Cotton Etching 305 paper, and now we have Cotton 305. Both materials are matt, textured 305gsm papers but Etching 305 has a more pronounced surface finish compared with Cotton 305 and uses optical brightening agents (OBAs) which Cotton 305 doesn’t. For most photographers the finish is the first consideration, so if your preference is for a smoother textured finish then Cotton 305 is the one to go for. But for fine art photographers marketing their work and perhaps for those with an eye on the future, being an OBA-free paper gives Cotton 305 an extra appeal. OBAs or UV brighteners are compounds used in many inkjet papers to make them appear whiter than they actually are. The materials used to make papers are very slightly yellow or orange so without OBAs, they look warmer and creamier. That in itself is no problem but of course many photographers and their clients want a pure white look and that is why OBAs are used. OBAs work by absorbing ultraviolet light from ambient light and then re-emitting it as a slighter bluer light by fluorescence which cancels the paper’s natural yellowness to give bright white. That is all well and good and using OBAs to give whiter papers is not an issue, but because they degrade over time (a long time) and stop working the paper reverts to its yellowish look. So if serious long-term colour stability is an issue, non-OBA papers is the way to go. The long and the short of it is that this Fotospeed product does not use OBAs so print longevity is claimed to be excellent. Of course, any number of variables can impact on print life, from ink type to display and storage conditions, but all things being equal this material will last very well. From all this, you will have probably worked out for yourself that this paper’s base is creamy, and it is, very slightly. A side-by-side comparison with Cotton Etching 305 shows this clearly but looking at it in isolation it is not that obvious; but the base has a gentle, warm, creamy tinge. As for the finish itself, it is matt so no sheen and if you run your finger gently over the surface it is smooth but you can feel a very fine tooth. To the eye,

though, there is nothing discernible in normal viewing conditions. For this test, I started as usual by making a custom profile using the X-Rite i1 Studio colour management device. This means making a test print on the paper in question, once dry scanning the result with the i1 Studio unit which results in a second file to print, and then scanning that print to provide the profile. Fotospeed offers free generic profiles from its website for immediate use but if you have the time it is worth downloading the custom profile kit and getting a custom profile made for your system. This is free so certainly worth the postage and some paper. Prints were made using an Epson SureColor SC-P800 with Epson inks, and I used a mix of regular test images with a few new scenics thrown in. Colour accuracy proved to be impressive. Looking at the test print featuring an X-Rite ColorChecker card

Top Cotton 305’s colour reproduction is on the muted side compared with a lustre or glossy paper but as you can see there is no issue with accuracy. Above If your black & white shots are of a more tonally delicate nature then they will very likely look fabulous on this new Fotospeed material. and comparing it with the original showed lovely accuracy across the colour range. The difference, as you would expect from a matt paper, was that vibrancy was relatively toned down which will certainly suit those wanting a more delicate yet totally accurate colour approach. Contrast was also impressive with good differentiation across the tonal range, while shadows looked deep and full of detail. D-max is also good and you do get decent blacks although they are not the deepest you can get, but that is typical of a matt paper. All round, I thought Cotton 305 performed and handled really well giving excellent results across a range of subject matter. WC

Verdict Fotospeed’s latest cotton paper is a very welcome addition to its already extensive collection of inkjet media and being OBA-free will certainly give it an extra appeal among fine art photographers selling their work. Pros Smooth matt finish, print quality, OBA-free is a long-term benefit Cons Lacks punch especially if you like powerful black & whites


Photography News | Issue 55 | photographynews.co.uk

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First tests

Anthropics Portrait Professional Body Studio 2 from £29.99 Specs Prices £49.99 (free trial available); regular version £29.99 Features Studio edition supports Raw files, works in 16-bit, can be used as a Photoshop plug-in System requirements Windows: Windows 10, Windows 8, Windows 7, or Vista Mac: OSX 10.7 or later Contact portraitprobody.com

Overall, the simpler the backdrop the easier it is to make an adjustment

Portrait Professional Body is aimed at improving full-length shots, rather than its forebear’s facial focus. It slims, corrects postures and removes pinches and bulges in clothing. It also corrects faces and smooths skin, and anything you do should be, in theory, much faster and easier than working manually with a tool like Liquify in Photoshop. Buy the ‘Studio’ version and it works as a plug-in to Photoshop, or you can run it standalone. It also handles Raw files. New things in version 2 include better warp masking (where you fix background elements affected by warping a figure), integration with Photoshop Smart Objects, and a Lite mode that reduces the number of tools to those which don’t require marking up the subject. Now of course, the first question is ‘shouldn’t you be using your photographic skill to improve figures, for example learning to pose people in the most attractive way?’ Almost certainly, but when all else fails, the software may help. Loading it up for the first time you get a quick tutorial. This is excellent, explaining well the main tools, for instance how the basic sliders work to warp various sections of the body, how to ‘mark up’ a figure ready to work on, and how to mask the effect where it’s not needed. Loading up an image, the first thing you have to do is mark up the subject. You’re asked to first click on the nose, pick a male or female form, and then click on the various joints forming a virtual skeleton, right shoulder, right elbow, right wrist and so on. Next, lines appear near the limbs and you drag them in to match the outline of arms, legs and torso. Finally, if body parts overlap you’re asked to choose how so by clicking on a ‘in front’ or ‘behind’ picture, for example an arm being held behind the torso. It’s very quick and easy, though sometimes I found the instructions getting in the way of accuracy. Once you finish marking up, there’s some calculation, and after that you can go back and tweak the shape if required, with no annoying annotations blocking the view. Next you either drag on the lines to alter

Images Easy to use and with plenty of features, this software lets you fine-tune your full-length shots in a very effective manner. At £49.99 for the full version, it is respectable value for money too.

body shape or use sliders. I found the latter much easier; control is more restrained, and I was less prone to twisting the subject into some tortured and distorted mess. The first set of sliders is Shape; controlling height, curviness (‘build’ if the subject is male), slimness and lift, which pushes the chest and waist up without affecting height. Then you fine-tune specific areas; like the arms, chest or hips, change the skeletal shape, thinning shoulders or lengthening the neck. Next, the Shape tools, work much like Photoshop’s Liquify panel; there are brushes to pinch and bloat areas of the body, increasing or decreasing size. Again, these work fine, and the tools can be move through using Tab and altered in size with shortcuts ([ and ] for size and 9 and 0 for strength); Shift temporarily switches to an alternate tool, for example toggling Expand and Contract. All good there. Next is Skin, which automatically picks up skin tones. If there’s lots of contrast between skin tone and background it works fine, but I found it easily fooled if the backdrop was similarly warm in colour. It did okay with darker skin tones, and there are tools to add and remove from skin selection. Smoothing can be done using a slider, and a modest amount seemed to look pretty good. Fixing blemishes is brush based, and worked well again. There’s also the facility to swap belly buttons from a built in library; it worked okay, though I suspect will be a bit far for most people. The Face options use similar, though

streamlined methods to the regular Portrait Professional package. At the bottom of the options is Picture with a range of colour and contrast settings. The big question is how well its warping functions work on figures against complex backgrounds. For example, a person against a brick wall; changes will stretch and bend the background too, making straight lines bow. To address this PP Body has a Warp Fixer where you paint over affected areas to restore them to normal. Most of the time this works fine, but I did find it occasionally struggled, leaving the background torn. Overall, the simpler the backdrop the easier it is to make adjustment, just as you’d expect as all the software is doing is pushing pixels around. As editing can take a while, projects can be saved in progress, so there’s no problem revisiting something; in fact it’s sometimes a good thing, as fresh eyes can make you think you’ve pushed the effects too far. I found the magnifier tool a bit clunky for navigation, and missed by usual Hand tool scrubbing as in Photoshop, but as usual it’s a matter of getting used to things. Speed is good with most adjustments being made in real time; I was working on a mid-2015 MacBook Pro, 2.2GHz Intel Core i7 with 16GB ram and Intel Iris Pro 1536MB graphics card. There was occasional lag though, particularly when editing in the Face panel. KS

Verdict Portrait Professional Body works well. Minor changes are effective, and like any tool, it’s up to you, the user, not to push it too far; use of the ‘flip to original’ button is vital in making sure you don’t. Editing is probably easier than using the equivalent tools in Photoshop and there’s certainly plenty of handholding. Pros Easy to use, lots of options, mostly good results Cons Some slowdown, occasionally clunky navigation


Photography News | Issue 55 | photographynews.co.uk


Photography News | Issue 55 | photographynews.co.uk


Photography News | Issue 55 | photographynews.co.uk

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Technique

Camera School Here we lift the lid on all things camera related, showing how to get better results from your CSC or DSLR, and providing all the info you don’t find in the manual. So, stick with us and you’ll soon be wielding your camera like a pro. This month, how to use ND filters to make long exposures

Using a longexposure filter 1 Set up and meter Compose and focus, then switch to manual focus. Now, in aperturepriority mode (A or Av), dial in the f/number you want to use, for instance f/11. Set the ISO to a low level, like 100 and take a look at the resulting shutter speed. Let’s say it’s 1/30sec. Now fit your ND or LE filter.

Words & pictures by Kingsley Singleton When you want to create a long exposure, you’re limited in terms of shutter speed by the brightness of the scene. You can lower the camera’s ISO to its minimum, like 100 or 50, and close the aperture as much as possible, say to f/22, but there will be a shutter speed beyond which the image will overexpose. So when you’ve reached the limits of what’s possible, you have two choices. You can either wait until the available light dims, or you can use a neutral density (ND) or long exposure (LE) filter. ND and LE filters reduce the amount of light entering the camera by a given amount, stated in stops, just like the ISO, aperture and shutter speed settings on the camera. In this way you can tell that a one-stop filter will reduce the amount of light entering the camera by half, so ¼sec becomes ½sec, while a three-stop ND will halve it three times, so ¼sec becomes 2secs. So what’s the difference between ND and LE filters? It’s not in terms of strength, although LE filters are typically much stronger than NDs, and designed to give you shutter

speeds of many seconds or minutes even in bright light. It’s more down to whether they’re ‘neutral’; an ND filter should only block the overall intensity of light, not blocking any individual wavelength and therefore not changing the colours. But this gets more difficult as filters become stronger. So very strong filters, like those of ten stops will often give a colour cast. In any case, for marketing reasons, most manufacturers label their long exposure filters as NDs whether they’re truly neutral or not. Any colour cast you get from an LE filter can usually be corrected in Raw processing, but many photographers who shoot long exposures prefer to work in black & white as it also suits the simplicity of the images created. ND and LE filters can be bought in different strengths, typical examples being one, two, three, five and ten stops. When choosing, these may be referred to in terms of stops, or density. So, a one-stop filter is also called an ND2 (or ND 0.3), a two-stop filter an ND4 (or ND 0.6), a three-stop filter an ND8 (or ND 0.9) and so on. A tenstop filter is also called an ND1024, or often an ND1000, as it looks better in adverts (also ND 3.0). These numbers come from the light-reducing factor, so an ND8 is 2 to the power of 3 (stops).

Above This two-minute exposure was taken in the middle of the day so required a ten-stop ND filter.

Long-exposure noise reduction

Most cameras have a long-exposure noise-reduction function, which is turned on by default. This records a second, ‘dark’ exposure of equal length after the first to remove digital noise caused by keeping the sensor charged for an extended period; this noise isn’t the same as that found when using high ISOs. Long-exposure NR slows down your shooting, so if you’re not going over a few minutes with your exposure, consider turning it off.

To increase the light stopping power of individual filters you can stack them. This works whether you’re using square filters in a holder or screw-in types, though the latter are more likely to vignette first, showing as a shadow or a hard line at the edges of the frame. This can be cropped out in processing, so it’s still an option if you need to generate more lightstopping power than one filter alone provides. There’s also the chance that image quality will fall due to stacking, due to the extra glass softening the details and potentially adding flare, but this depends on the quality of the filters you’re using. If you’re using regular NDs you can rely on the camera’s metering when shooting, but with very dark filters you’ll need to work it out yourself. It’s not hard to do, and if shooting with very long shutter speeds, remember 15 to 30secs is still only a stop, so you can afford a few lapses in accuracy; shoot in Raw and you’ll have more control after the event, as well as helping to correct colour. Of course, it’s not just about hitting the slowest shutter speeds possible. Another benefit of using these filters is that you don’t have to use the extended low ISO settings or very small apertures which can both affect image quality.

2 Calculate exposure Now take the metered shutter speed and adjust it by the strength of the filter. So, if you’re using a three-stop filter (ND8 or 0.9), you can double the length of the shutter speed three times; 1/30sec falls to 1/4sec. If you’re using a ten-stop filter, it would be 30secs. 3 Shoot and start timing Switch to manual mode (M) and dial in the time required (if it’s over that allowed by the camera, switch to bulb mode (B) and a fit a remote release. Now, if the camera has one, cover the viewfinder eyepiece, and open the shutter. If in bulb, time the exposure yourself (unless your remote has a timer), then close the shutter when the calculated time is up.

NEXT MONTH

MORE ABOUT LONGEXPOSURE TECHNIQUES, INCLUDING CREATIVE INTENTIONAL CAMERA MOVEMENT EFFECTS.


Photography News | Issue 55 | photographynews.co.uk

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Competition

Editor’s letter

Awards matter You will probably have heard of TIPA and you might have seen its logo on a box of kit you’ve bought. If you haven’t, then you are about to. TIPA is a worldwide organisation of 29 imaging magazines and websites, and last year Photography News got voted onto its ranks. It was an outcome that had a double meaning for me. Firstly, because membership will benefit the magazine’s status and give us access to TIPA’s technical resources, and secondly because I was involved in TIPA from its inception in 1991 when I was working on Practical Photography. It was originally a European organisation but as its influence and the importance of its awards has grown, so too has its geographical reach. Last month, the TIPA editors gathered in Lisbon to decide on the winners of its product awards. TIPA’s approach to awards is different from ours. The PN Awards are for products on current sale while TIPA’s are for products announced in a specific time period. Anyway, all the winners are featured in News in this month’s issue. Speaking of awards, I had a couple of days in Amsterdam thanks to Canon, one of the main sponsors of the World Photo Press Awards. I was there for the awards ceremony, exhibition opening and the photography festival that accompanies the awards. The awards ceremony itself was a celebration of the photographers who regularly risk life and limb to capture events in strife-torn parts of the globe, bringing the plight of their people or nature to our attention. I say strife-torn parts of the world but one of the final six shortlisted images in contention for the overall World Press Photo Award was taken in London by Toby Melville who photographed the attack on Westminster Bridge in March 2017. And the winner of the Spot News: Stories category was a set of shots taken by David

WIN!

A Samsung memory card!

Becker during the Las Vegas shooting last year, where 58 people died. In these cases, the photographers were on typical press assignments when the tragic events unfolded in front of their lenses. The images Melville and Becker captured are remarkable in so many ways and that applies to all the winners and shortlisted images. There are so many talented photojournalists around the world doing incredible work but I get the impression (and it is no more than that) that their work is not as appreciated as it was in the past. This might be for any number of reasons – social media, TV, compassion fatigue or maybe such work does not get the platforms it used to get, ie. the way such images are used in printed media. As I said, it is only an impression and perhaps I just don’t pick up the right newspapers. Whatever, and I am sure minds far greater than mine will have a theory on this, but for me I have to say that most of the pictures I saw at this year’s World Press Photo exhibition were thought-provoking, provocative and emotional, unless you have a house brick for a heart, and visually intensely powerful. So, if you get the chance see the show as it is well worth a visit. The exhibition will be on a worldwide tour over the coming year, although at the moment Edinburgh in August is the only UK venue at the moment. Of course, you can check the images out online but seeing them in the flesh, as it were, is hard to beat. Finally, to finish on another award, the final of Camera Club of the Year is happening in May. Our full report on the final and details of how the five clubs got on will be in the next issue, so see you next month for that.

Capture life’s magical moments across all devices with the Samsung EVO Plus 128GB microSDXC memory card with SD adapter offering read speeds up to 100MB/s and write speeds of up to 90MB/s. Samsung’s latest cards are also ultra reliable and are water, temperature, X-ray and magnet proof, so shooting in the most challenging conditions isn’t an issue. We have one 128GB Samsung EVO Plus microSDXC card with SD adapter worth £78.99 for the eagle-eyed winner. Complete the word search below, and you’ll find one word in the list that’s not in the grid. Email us on puzzle@photographynews.co.uk with that word in the subject box by 17 June 2018 and the winner will be randomly drawn from all correct entries received. The correct answer to PN53’s word search was Comics and the Samsung 128GB PRO+ card was won by Chris Sheehy from Newport. samsung.com/uk/memory-cards

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Photography News 55  

Issue 55 of Photography News

Photography News 55  

Issue 55 of Photography News