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News for Professional Photographers: Gear and Software

 Gear News for Professional Photographers


 Mamiya Leaf Announces Two New Credo Models: Wide Spectrum photography

Mamiya Leaf


Mamiya Leaf is pleased to announce the availability of two new models in the Credo range: The Credo WS 80 & the Credo WS 60.

The WS (Wide Spectrum) backs are based on the successful Credo 60 and 80 backs. However there is one difference, the Infrared block filter has been replaced with a custom glass filter and the sensor’s position has been adjusted. This extends the captured spectrum of the back, enabling recording of Near IR images (~700nm).

By using different filters mounted on the lens you can achieve dream-like effects with false colors – especially in landscape images that include foliage. They can also be used for research and scientific purposes using UV lights.

An IR block filter can be fitted onto the lens to allow “normal” color images to be captured. The new backs are available in Mamiya AFD/ DF/ DF+ and V (Universal) mounts.

A standard Credo 80 or Credo 60 in M or V mount can be converted.

The Leaf Credo WS enables you to shoot:

  • Infrared (use a IR-pass, visible-block filter)
  • Standard Color (use IR-block, visible-pass filter)
  • Infrarcolor (use an orange/red filter)

Some uses of Credo Back

Creative professional photographers will explore their art using the Leaf Credo WS using techniques such as:

  • Woods Effect — landscape images with dark green foliage becoming very bright and light blue skies become very dark.
  • Portraits — skin blemishes are typically much less visible in IR and skin “glows”.
  • Invisible flash — Use a flash filtered with an IR-pass/visible-block filter and you can do flash photography without anyone else being able to see the flash.
  • Macro — Some flowers show patterns in the IR space that aren’t in the visible spectrum (more common with UV than IR) .

High Resolution and High speed:

The Leaf Credo uses high resolution DALSA CCD sensors with up to 80 Megapixel, measuring up to 53.7 x 40.3 mm.
Wireless Preview and Control:
With the Leaf Credo, you or your client can use Capture Pilot to preview and rate images during the shoot on an Apple iPhone, iPad or iPod touch, and remotely control your camera.

More info on Leaf Credo WS


One year ago Phase One announced “Phase One iXA” – Medium Format Aerial Camera System ( 60MP ($53,000) or 80MP ($60,000) versions) and can have  RGB or NIR (near infrared) sensor modules and have 12.5 stops of dynamic range.It can be plugged into the aircraft’s power bus or any other 12-30 V DC source for a reliable source of power.


There are four available lenses for this back+camera are Schneider-Kreuznach 55 LS f/2.8, Schneider-Kreuznach 80 LS f/2.8, Schneider-Kreuznach 110 LS f/2.8 , Schneider-Kreuznach 150 LS f/3.5 and Schneider-Kreuznach 240 mm LS f/4.5 with 72mm thread filter.

Some of the features of this camera for professional photographers:

  • Camera facilitates bi-directional communication with the flight management system (FMS) and an onboard computer.
  • Phase One SDK on the host computer enables setting up the camera, camera status, indication of the remote capture and storage of the images.
  • Modular system, the iXA is a natural choice for integration into large or small configurations.
  • Available as 80 megapixel, 60 megapixel or Achromatic version.
  • A wide selection of lenses (28 mm to 240 mm).
  • Focal plane shutter speeds up to 1/4000 second or leaf shutter speeds up to 1/1600 second.

I did not plan to write what you will see next,but this 16 bit per channel(Phase One IQ2) what caused me to do that.

Little bit of interesting (related) stuff (only interesting facts):

As you understand from image below, the infrared spectrum of waves is converted to our human visible spectrum of wavelengths.



Do you see (maybe for the first time) how narrow we see? Only in range of 400-700 nano meter wavelengths.All the rest is invisible to humans, but when there is a converter from the sensor that capable of capturing wave length that human can’t see and transform it to visible spectrum,then it’s much better. Another example of some photographers that capture in X-rays (we also captured by this machine when we have bone fracture) and convert it to visible range.

Human eye has 120 millions of rods and 6 millions of cones. Rods and Cones are photo-receptors.



The cones are dedicated to daylight for color (not intuitive) and Rods for B&W. I will not go deep into it explaining the whole chain of processes happening when the photon(unit oflight, BTW has no mass !) enters our eye(through the Cornia,pupil,lens,foves and then gets through 3 layers) passing to Ganglion,Bipolar and Photo-receptor  layers and causing to chemical processes that  i hope it’s not relevant to explain them here.Because of the  1:1:1 ratio of the photo-receptor to bipolar to ganlion cells,the sharpness is maximum at the fovea and not in perifery (Although we are not always conscious about that).The primary colors of our eyes are R,G,B and Y(yellow- mix of  R and G), and mix of primary colors lets us to perceive all the rest visible spectrum colors.Another interesting “feature” is that our vision is “crossed”- the visual pathway that enterso left eye passes to left primary visual cortex and vise versa(The signals cross in LGN).





Signals pass to  primary visual cortex that itself is contained of modules(~2500 such modules in primary visual cortex).



These modules contrained from “strips” and response to lines/edges/bars in various orientations(angles). The yellow blobs(see in above image)  mainly responsible to wavelength (=color) we perceive.

The story is much more complex, as there are regions that more responsible to “where”/”how” action happened and regions that responsible to “what” is that object.And there is not end to this.

BTW, sharpness is mostly determined by Cones(responsible for color) .Cones almost not active during the darkness and that is the reason we don’t see color in dark- very similar to our friends DSLR’s.

The last thing i want to mention is how our eyes respond to luminous intensity.



The full story of this graph is long but interesting. It’s about measurement of JND principle- just noticeable difference. How much of luminous intensity we have to raise in order to perceive that there was difference increase in brightness.(small enough increase in luminous intensity not guarantees that human will perceive this difference)

X axis represents the real world luminous intensity,Y axis represents the perceived (be eyes->brain) brightness. “The bottom line is that eye response to light intensity – or the sensation called brightness – is not linear, i.e. proportional to the light input.”

That means that as the real world luminous intensity “steps” higher (red curve, by Stevens) we perceive this increase less. In another words, as the  luminous intensity gets higher we will perceive (brightness) also higher but not proportional. In another words, if we increase  luminous intensity (for example , equal 1-stop raise in studio strobe and again 1-stop increase) in equal step, we will perceive the less increase in brightness (although we will still perceive increase, but not twice as big as we raised  luminous intensity).

You can think about how it relates to photography.

When you have ~( 248,248,248) values on pure white(255,255,255) you will not perceive the difference.Same applies to blacks.It can apply to many different situations on our images when we think about how bright for example the image will be perceived.Sometimes only small bright spot makes us perceive that the image is overexposed/bright. For example, if you want to impressive / popping image or area in image,then consider if you want as many brightness levels as possible to be perceived – big enough brightness levels separation between areas in image and hence more unconscious perceptual load as you have to move your eyes between separated in brightness areas/big enough changes in brightness (not color separation which also makes impact) in order to perceive more detailed image.

You can think how to implement this in camera or in post production, for example with Levels tool or brush  or any other tool that can affect the brightness separation. In contrary, maybe you want smoother gradation in brightness, hence think how to compose your lighting (if it’s in studio) in order go get less separation in brightness levels between areas and as a consequence less separation. If you are a studio photographer you know that Dark Bright Dark or vise versa regions create shape,and that’s the brightness values that do that, color contribution in this case is of  less impact.

Without saying how to implement this in camera/post production, the thought is that if you have jump with your ayes across the image and perceive brightness of neighbor areas, think about JND, do you want the person to perceive- to get just noticeable difference in brightness(more separation)  or not(not separation) or even make the just noticeable difference not just noticeable, but also huge increase in “noticeability’.

This can be applied to B&W image, but when color comes in, it’s harder to control the differences in brightness although possible because color itself separates between areas/objects if the brightness is sufficient to see that colors.(No matter what hue you have in HSL (hue saturation luminance) scale, you will not see that hue(and saturation) if the area is dark -say (10,10,10) in RGB values).Think about JND  principle itself and make your conclusions.

I have to stop here , because there is another interesting stuff out there.

I started with Phase Aerial, and finally got here which is the 2013 news from Phase One.


IQ2 Medium Phase One Digital backs

This year, Phase One introduced new Digital Backs – IQ2 Medium Format Digital Camera Backs with 13 F-Stops of Dynamic Range.


The sensor size is more than 2.5 times larger than the sensors found in full-frame 35mm DSLR cameras.

There are currently three digital backs in the IQ2 series:

1)IQ280 – 80MP

2)IQ260 60MP – capable of recording up to 1 hour single exposure.

3)IQ260 Achromatic -Achromatic offers pure black and white images; no filters or interpolation applied. The 60 megapixel captures are stunning and pin sharp. As there is no IR cut-off filter mounted on the sensor, there are   endless opportunities to create very distinct imagery both for artistic and scientific purposes using the wide array of lens-mounted filters on the market.



    • 13 f-stop dynamic range – can eliminate the use of HDR or bracketing.
    • 16 bit color depth per channel – i will say some words about this below the features.
    • USB3 or FireWire 800 connection for tethered shooting
    • You can connect your iPad or iPhone to it wirelessly and use Capture Pilot to set exposure, trigger the shutter and instantly check focus and composition on a large screen.
    • You can also review images wireless on Ipad.
    • Touch Screen on DB.
    • Black & white on display
    • You can speed up the focus validation process using the Focus Mask of the IQ2. This feature will display a colored, semi-transparent mask on top of the preview to show which parts of the image are in focus.


16 bit color depth  per channel ,right? You will probably will not see that. Why?

Calculation: 3 channels (R,G,B). 2 is the base.  2 in power of 16 (R)  X  2 in power of 16 (G) X 2 in power of 16 (B)=2 in power 48=281474976710656=281474976.710656 =~ 281474976 =~281474 billions of colors.

The basic display can display 16.7 millions of colors. The professional display like Eizo ColorEdge CG246 can display 16.77 million (from a palette of 278 trillion) colors in DVI, HDMI. So , mine 200$ monitor is the same in this respect because the bottleneck is the cable that capable of transferring info. However if you connect through DisplayPort (Eizo) then you will get 1.07 billion (from a palette of 278 trillion) colors visible.

The point is that it’s there is no monitor for displaying such big range of colors (and of course no printer), so the 16 bpc will be compressed at the end to much narrow range.

Even at Canon’s official site, when you look at specs of their best printer Pixma pro-1, they don’t even mention how many bits of color (at least equivalent) the printer can print( The resolution is another non-related parameter for measuring dimension at the end).

Of course there is more data with 16 bpc with smoother gradation and variation in color, details and so.

Correct me if I have made a mistake in my calculations. Thanks




Lens Announcements

Sigma 18-35mm f/1.8 DC HSM  (Art category, Price not yet available)


Product Highlights:

  • Fast Constant Maximum Aperture
  • Designed for APS-C-Sized Sensors
  • Hyper Sonic AF Motor
  • Internal Focusing and Zoom Design
  • One Aspherical Element and SLD Glass
  • Super Multi-Layer Coating
  • Compatible with Sigma USB Dock (Compatible with Sigma’s USB Dock and Sigma Optimization Pro software for fine-tuning your lens’ performance, updating its firmware, and better suiting it to your needs)

It will be interesting to compare this Sigma lenses(1.8 !) to Canon EF 16-35mm f/2.8L II USM and AF-S Nikkor 16-35mm f/4G ED VR when the lens will be available.



Canon EF 24mm f/2.8 IS USM ~700$






Product Highlights:

  • Image Stabilization Prevents Shaky Pix
  • Fast, Silent Autofocus Operation
  • 7 Diaphragm Blades for Beautiful Bokeh
  • Minimum Focusing Distance of 7.87″
  • Lens Coatings Minimize Ghosting & Flare
  • Manual Focusing Available At All Times

These lenses are good build quality, with fast and silent AF , but it’s still not a L class lens and have natural vignetting at maximum aperture(not optical or mechanical or pixel vignetting,click here or here to read about different vignetting types), hence one of the solutions is to apply A.C.R. correction to all the images with these lens. Another cool feature is weather sealing. The lens can be useful for trips(shooting landscapes) when you don’t want to carry tripod for miles and will be good for interiors.


Nikon Nikkor AF-S 800mm F/5.6 FL ED VR ~17000 $


Product Highlights:

  • FX Format Compatible
  • Vibration Reduction Image Stabilization
  • Two Fluorite and Two ED Lens Elements
  • Nano Crystal Coating
  • Silent Wave Motor and MF Override
  • Electromagnetic Aperture Mechanism
  • Magnesium Alloy Lens Barrel
  • Included Dedicated 1.25x Teleconverter

Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 18-35mm f/3.5-4.5G ED ~750$





Product Highlights:

  • Two ED Lens Elements
  • Three Aspherical Lens Elements
  • Silent Wave Motor and MF Override
  • Internal Focusing Mechanism
  • Rounded 7-Blade Aperture


Sony 20mm f/2.8 Alpha E-mount ~350$ (30mm Equivalent in 35mm Format)






Product Highlights:

  • Internal Stepping Motor(smooth, low-noise operation ideally suited for shooting video.)
  • Direct Manual Focus(Autofocus and Direct Manual Focus, which allows for precise manual focus even in AF mode, is supported for both photo and video.)
  • 7.8″ (0.2 m) Minimum Focus Distance
  • 3 Aspherical Lens Elements
  • Ultra-compact Design
  • Fits Sony NEX-mount Cameras(APS-C)


Nikon AF-S 24–85mm f/3.5-4.5G ED VR




Product Highlights:

  • Three Aspherical Lens Elements
  • One Extra-Low Dispersion Lens Element
  • Nikon VR Image Stabilization
  • Nikon Super Integrated Coating
  • Silent Wave Motor & Superior Close Focus
  • M/A (Manual/Auto) Focus Mode Switch
  • Round 7-Blade Diaphragm & Internal Focus

See full test on photozone website.

Sigma’s Micro Four Thirds 60mm f/2.8 DN Art Lens~240$ (Art category)

Product Highlights

  • Telephoto Prime Lens
  • 35mm Focal Length Equivalency: 120mm
  • Aperture Range: f/2.8-22
  • Minimum Focus Distance of 19.7″
  • Special Low Dispersion Glass
  • Internal Focusing System
  • Linear Motor for Accurate and Quiet AF


Other Gear

Wacom Cintiq 24HD Interactive Pen Display ~2400$ (Art category)

Darren Higgins specializes in portraiture and commercial product photography.


The Cintiq 24HD touch offers creative professional photographers the most natural and complete tool for design, video, art and animation. The integration of multi-touch capabilities directly on the Cintiq screen, along with Wacom’s most advanced pen technology, give you a truly “hands-on” creative experience as you work digitally.

Features of new Cintiq:

  • Multi-touch functionality gives you the freedom to quickly position and navigate your artwork with natural, intuitive gestures right on the screen.
  • The Cintiq 24HD touch displays 97% of the Adobe color gamut and more than one billion colors. It’s ideal for color-critical workflows such as animation, photography and video editing.
  • The ergonomically designed, counterweighted stand lets you quickly and effortlessly adjust the incline and height of the Cintiq 24HD touch to your favorite work position. You can even position the display to overhang the edge of your desk, allowing it to float just above your knees.


Click here to see all the info in the official website.

Whant to do Time-lapse with one card?

Lexar Announces 256GB SDXC Card ~600$


Product Highlights

  • 256GB Data Storage Capacity
  • Max. Read Speed: 90MB/s
  • Max. Write Speed: 45MB/s
  • Ultra High Speed Class 1

BRNO Dri + KIT Dehumidifying Caps ~50$ for kit

brno kit



Product Highlights:

  • Nikon Lens and Body Cap Set
  • 8 Silica Gel Packs
  • Protects Lens & Camera From Humidity
  • Prevents Fungus and Mold
  • Minimizes Condensation Build-Up
  • Maintains Optimum Relative Humidity
  • Color Change Tells When to Change Gels



There is a new line of Cokin Filters (Pure Harmony)- they are thin and light:

From the manufacturer:

“PURE Harmonie filters are the thinnest and the lightest in the world. With a thickness of 3.3mm for the Multi-Coated Anti-UV (UV MC), 4.5mm for the Circular Polarizer (C PL) and 9.5mm for the Variable Density Neutral Gray (ND X) they are almost invisible when mounted on your lens.”

Cokin PURE Harmonie Multi-Coated UV Filter



Product Highlights:

  • Absorbs Ultraviolet Light
  • Reduces Bluish Cast of Daylight
  • General Protective Filter
  • EVERCLEAR 5 Coating Technology
  • Ultra Thin Design Reduces Vignetting


Cokin PURE Harmonie Circular Polarizer Filter



Product Highlights:

  • Helps to Eliminate Reflections and Glare
  • Reduces Haze and Blue Cast in Landscapes
  • Greater Color and Tonal Saturation
  • EVERCLEAR 5 Coating Technology
  • Ultra Thin Design Reduces Vignetting

Cokin PURE Harmonie Variable Density Neutral Gray Filter



Product Highlights:

  • 0.2-2.4+ Variable Neutral Density Filter
  • Increase Exposure by 1 to 8+ Stops
  • Greater Control Over Exposure Settings
  • EVERCLEAR 5 Coating Technology
  • Thin Design Reduces Vignetting


Photography Software news

Adobe Creative Cloud: step to a future or step towards the end?


Adobe CC

 Adobe Keynote Presentation @ Photoshop World 2013

Adobe presented some of the new features and innovations on their products.

Here is presentation from Scott Kelby  and Adobe guys  with all the demonstration of new features.

Adobe Photoshop Touch

Adobe® Photoshop® Touch lets you quickly combine images, apply professional effects, and share the results with friends and family through social networking sites like Facebook — all from the convenience of iPad or Android tablet, iPhone or Android phone, and iPod Touch.


  • See your images like never before with Retina display.
  • Work on files up to 12 megapixels with higher resolution capabilities.
  • Work with core Photoshop tools.
  • Use your mobile device camera to fill an area on a layer.
  • Select part of an image to extract by scribbling.
  • Sync files to Adobe Creative CloudTM and open them in Photoshop and see your layers.

Click here if you are interested in full details about the product including pricing.


Adobe Creative Cloud

Adobe introduced some time ago CC that applies to many of their products.
We are interested in photography part (Photoshop and Lightroom), so click here if you want to read official information.
The new features in short are new Smart Sharpen, Adobe Camera Raw 8, Content-Aware technology, and more. Plus new editing and organizing tools in Lightroom.

The new “feature” from Adobe is that you have to pay every month ~50 $ for that service. For me it seems that within ~12 month you are buying Full version of CS6, but you continue to pay! Think if you need that.

More detailed description of the new features:

  • A fleet of new tools introduce the most advanced deblurring and sharpening technologies to date. The new Camera Shake Reduction tool analyzes and corrects for blur from camera movement to produce a better image. The all-new Smart Sharpen tool uses adaptive sharpening algorithms to minimize noise and halo effects while producing high-quality results. With intelligent upsampling users can increase the size of an image – large enough for a billboard – without pixelating the image.
  • Adobe Camera Raw 8 brings three new photo-editing capabilities to Photoshop CC. The Advanced Healing brush allows photographers to “heal” or “patch” images with a brush stroke instead of a circular area. The new Radial Gradient offers powerful controls to draw attention to the focus of an image without applying a standard vignette, and the Upright tool automatically straightens horizons and applies perspective corrections without distorting the image. Camera Raw edits can also be made to any layer or file within Photoshop CC.
  • For designers, improvements to rounded rectangles add the ability to adjust corner radii at any time. Users can also now select multiple paths, shapes and vectors at once, providing a faster, easier workflow for working with multiple objects.
  • In previous releases, Adobe Photoshop Extended was released as a separate application comprising all Photoshop features as well as 3D and image analysis capabilities. Beginning with Photoshop CC, all Photoshop Extended features will be integrated within one application, providing all users with advanced capabilities for 3D image editing and image analysis.
  • Photoshop CC is the first Adobe desktop app to include theability to post files directly to Behance fromwithin the application, showcasing work immediately and integratin peer feedback into the creative process. Behance is the world’s leading online creative community, with over 1.4 million members.
  • Photoshop CC includes all the Photoshop feature innovation delivered exclusively to Creative Cloud members over the last year, including: Smart Object support for Blur Gallery andLiquify effects, Conditional Actions, andCSS support for faster web design.
  • Adobe is also previewing a new workflow from Photoshop CC to Edge Reflow CC that will enable creatives to build web designs in Photoshop that can easily be turned into responsive websites, viewable across devices. Adobe expects to update Photoshop CC with this new capability this summer, underscoring the constant steam of innovation delivered to Creative Cloud members.

Interesting Photo Related News


The 29th Annual Infinity Awards

Jeff Bridges (movie actor) wins Infinity award for his photography that he has done during starring in his movies.
Click here to see short movie where he tells about his photography.

Jeff Bridges




1 responses on "News for Professional Photographers: Gear and Software"

  1. Hey Guys
    Interesting article from discover magazine(less scientific than my stuff)-http://discovermagazine.com/2012/jul-aug/06-humans-with-super-human-vision#.UZzMorUwfPo
    Hence , you can conclude that people with normal vision(that perceive only 1 million of colors – 100 shades per 1 type of cones(R,G,B) ,hence 100*100*100= 1 million of colors) cannot discriminate more than 8 bit per channel(16.7 million of colors), while nowadays DSLR are 12 bit pet channel and more and monitors of 16.7 million of colors and more.
    Hence, there are other factors that determine quality of those 12/14/16 bpc DSLRs – like better color accuracy,better dynamic range and other factors but for sure not 12/14/16 bpc which is a big (not needed) excess for us to perceive.

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