Yes, we’re talking about the big ‘C’ word and for once, we don’t mean Covid! Christmas is not that far away so now’s the perfect time to start thinking about gifts for friends, family, loved ones and don’t forget yourself!
Did you know that the majority of photographers are inspired to get into photography by receiving a camera as a gift? No, we didn’t either but if you want to nudge someone in the direction of a photography hobby then Christmas might be the ideal time to do it. However, a problem many come across is the price of a camera/lens as they can be rather expensive and as a result, turn into a rather extravagant gift. In fact, research suggests that 66% of people believe the cost of kit is the primary barrier for people who want to get into photography but MPB want to bring down the barriers by encouraging consumers to buy second-hand.
“MPB wants to encourage consumers to give a present that is good for the planet as well as the wallet, and gift used this year,” MPB.
Photography as a hobby doesn’t have to cost a fortune or the earth and MPB offers used cameras and lenses in perfect working condition for as little as £34.
Whether you’re buying for a student looking for something more professional or a loved one who loves family photography – MPB has thousands of products for all skill levels.
Here are MPB’s top gifting recommendations for both professionals and beginners this Christmas:
If you have more cash to spend then a kit pairing such as the Nikon D750 with the Nikon AF-S 24-70mm f/2.8G IF-ED could be the ideal present for the photographer in your like. Ideal setup for an advanced photographer who wants to cover most needs in terms of focal length and performance. The Nikon D750 Digital SLR Camera sets a benchmark for DSLR technology. The impressive mix of technology and performance makes it an agile camera ready for any scenario. Paired with Nikon AF-S 24-70mm f/2.8G IF-ED – its versatility makes it a hit with all professionals, and a vital tool for any photographer’s kit.
To shop more products, visit the MPB website where you can also trade in your own kit.
Design-wise, nothing much has changed with the camera remaining a pocketable APS-C camera but there is a new lens, exchanging the Ricoh GRX III’s 23mm equiv lens for a 40mm one.
The GR III was released in 2019 so it’s been a few years since Ricoh fans have seen an update to the popular camera, with Ricoh introducing the Ricoh GR IIIx in response to user requests.
Software-based innovations will later be available for the GR III with a firmware update.
The main features of the RICOH GR IIIx at a glance:
26.1 mm high-performance lens (40mm equiv.) With aperture F2.8 and macro function (approx. 1:4 at 12-24 cm focusing distance). Consists of seven elements in five groups, with two aspherical lens elements.
24.2 megapixel APS-C sensor with Shift Shake Reduction sensor with an exposure reliability of up to 4 exposure levels, low-pass filter simulation, filter simulator and dust cleaning function
Image processor GR 6 with an accelerator unit for fast image processing
Sensor sensitivity ISO 100 to 102400
Fast start-up time of 0.8 seconds
3-inch monitor with touchscreen and low light reflection for good image reproduction even in direct sunlight
Intuitive camera control using many buttons and switches with clear menu navigation
Multiple options for individual key assignment
“Image Control” function for different film simulations
Various trigger functions (series shots, multiple exposures, interval shots, bracketing, camera control via app)
Wireless communication via WLAN and Bluetooth
Compact and high-quality housing design made of magnesium alloy
Battery charge in the camera
Pricing & Availability: The RICOH GR IIIx will be available from September 2021 with an RRP of £899.99.
From Ricoh Imaging:
RICOH IMAGING COMPANY, LTD. is pleased to announce the launch of the RICOH GR IIIx. This premium digital compact camera features a newly developed GR lens with a 40mm angle of view in 35mm format, while harmonising professional-grade image quality with a compact, lightweight body perfect for street photography.
The RICOH GR IIIx has been developed in response to user requests for a new GR series camera that will add a new perspective to the highly acclaimed RICOH GR III. The GR III was released in March 2019, featuring a 28mm wide-angle lens and designed to further enhance the essential values of the GR series: optimising image quality, snapshot capabilities whilst still being able to fit in the pocket. The newly designed 26.1mm GR lens provides a 40mm angle of view in 35mm format, which is close to the photographer’s own field of view. Depending on the way the lens is used, this versatile angle of view can create different image perspectives: you can capture an image similar to those taken at a 30mm semi-wide angle, or create a completely different visual expression as if taken at a 50mm standard angle. The camera also provides a range of new and upgraded editing functions to adjust the images to the photographer’s preference.
The new RICOH GR IIIx is a camera that harmonizes all the benefits of the ever-evolving RICOH GR series with a new, innovative perspective perfect for dramatic, inspiring street photography.
Main features of the RICOH GR IIIx
1. Newly designed, high-resolution GR lens The RICOH GR IIIx incorporates a newly developed 26.1mm F2.8 GR lens, which harmonises exceptional image quality with a compact design. Unlike past GR models which featured a 28mm wide angle of view for exaggerated perspective, this lens provides a 40mm standard angle of view in the 35mm format, delivering images with a more natural perspective and a more truthful sense of depth for a completely different type of street photography. The newly designed optics incorporates two aspherical optical elements at the most effective positions to reduce distortion and keep chromatic aberration to a minimum, while effectively minimizing flare and ghost images when shooting against backlight. In macro photography, the camera allows the user to move in on a subject to as close as 12 centimeters from the front of the lens. Coupled with the standard focal length, it captures close-up images with a natural perspective, set against a beautifully defocused background. It also comes equipped with an ND (Neutral Density) filter, which closes the aperture down by two stops to capture high-contrast, high- resolution images with a variety of scenes and subjects and under varying shooting conditions. Its nine-blade diaphragm mechanism creates a natural bokeh (defocus) effect and a truthful sense of depth at open and larger apertures, while capturing beautiful light beams at closed- down apertures.
2. High-quality, high-resolution images The GR IIIx incorporates a large APS-C-format CMOS image sensor with an anti-aliasing (AA) filterless design and a newly developed GR ENGINE 6 imaging engine to optimize its image resolving power. With approximately 24.24 effective megapixels, this image sensor assures super-high-resolution images rich in gradation. It is also compatible with multi-tone 14-bit RAW image recording. The camera also features the RICOH-original accelerator unit designed to optimize the image data delivered by the image sensor, and provides a top sensitivity of ISO 102400 for super-high-sensitivity photography.
3. Hybrid AF system for high-speed, high-precision autofocus operation The GR IIIx features a hybrid AF system combining a contrast-type AF mechanism, superior in focusing precision with a phase-detection-type AF mechanism assuring high-speed focusing operation. During autofocus shooting, this AF system can detect the subject’s face or eyes with precision*, focuses on it, and indicates the in-focus position on the LCD display using the AF frame. When the camera detects multiple faces, it automatically distinguishes the main subject from secondary ones and indicates this on the focus frame. Photographers can also change the main subject with simple touch-screen operation. * A firmware upgrade for the RICOH GR III will be provided soon. GR III users are advised to update the camera’s firmware to use this function.
4. RICOH-original SR mechanism • Three-axis, four-step* shake reduction: The RICOH-original SR (Shake Reduction) mechanism means that the GR IIIx effectively compensates for camera shake at the time of shutter release. The three-axis mechanism minimizes the adverse effects of camera shake caused by pitch, yaw and roll by as much as four shutter steps. Since the SR mechanism shifts the image sensor to the ideal position horizontally and vertically, the camera lets the user take advantage of the Auto Horizon Correction function to effortlessly optimize image composition.
* Measured in conformity with CIPA standards.
• RICOH-original AA Filter Simulator*: By applying microscopic vibrations with sub-pixel precision to the image sensor unit during exposure, the camera’s AA (anti-aliasing) Filter Simulator provides the same level of moiré reduction as an optical AA filter. This innovative simulator allows the user not only to switch the AA filter effect on and off, but also to adjust the effect to the level best suited for a given subject.
* This function is available at shutter speeds slower than 1/1000 second.
5. Compact, lightweight design Despite the incorporation of the large APS-C- image sensor and the newly developed optics with a longer focal length, the GR IIIx is designed to be extremely compact, functional and portable, in keeping with the GR-series camera concept of being a pocketable imaging tool or a handy picture-taking tool. It also provides a host of user-friendly features – such as a short start-up time of approximately 0.8 seconds, control dials conveniently positioned next to the four-way controller, and effortless touchscreen operation – to enhance operation and allow the user to swiftly react to once-in-a-lifetime shutter opportunities. The exterior frame is made of highly rigid magnesium alloy to improve reliability and durability while being carried or stored.
6. High-definition LCD monitor with intuitive touchscreen operation The GR IIIx features a 3.0-inch high-definition LCD monitor with approximately 1,037,000 dots. Its touchscreen operation provides swift, intuitive control of various camera functions, such as AF frame shift, menu selection, and image advance/magnification during playback. It also features an air gapless construction, in which special resin is inserted between the LCD touchscreen monitor and a protective cover made of reinforced glass, to effectively reduce the reflection and dispersion of light for improved visibility. The Outdoor View Setting allows the user to instantly adjust the monitor’s brightness to the desired level for greater visibility in difficult lighting conditions.
7. Image Control function to produce desired visual effects The GR IIIx features a creative Image Control function, which integrates effect modes into conventional image setting operations. Using 11 basic Image Control modes, the user can easily adjust various parameters, such as saturation, hue, key, contrast and graininess, to the desired level and create their preferred finishing touch. A set of adjusted parameters can be added as a custom setting to the Image Control function menu.
8. Advanced image editing The GR IIIx provides built in RAW development, while allowing the user to edit a captured image as desired by adjusting parameters such as recoding size, aspect ratio, white balance, Image Control setting, and exposure compensation factor, all without the need of a PC. Since the camera reduces the time required for preview after the user adjusts the parameters of RAW images, it enhances the speed of built in RAW development. The camera also lets the user retain the adjusted parameters after the initial RAW development is complete, making it possible to make minute re-adjustment of the already developed image with greater efficiency. The camera’s image quality adjustment function for JPEG images is also upgraded: a newly added monochrome mode allows more minute adjustment of parameters in full-colour images, such as filter effect, toning, contrast and sharpness, to create monochrome images with the desired finishing touches. The camera also provides such creative tools as a choice of aspect ratio (16:9 or 4:3)* and image rotation in 0.1-degree steps* to facilitate the image editing process.
* A firmware upgrade for the RICOH GR III will be provided soon. GR III users are advised to update the camera’s firmware to use these tools.
9. Bluetooth and Wi-Fi dual communication The GR IIIx provides Wi-Fi functions for easy pairing with mobile devices such as smartphones and tables. By installing the dedicated Image Sync application, the user can transfer images to a mobile device, display a Live-View image on the device’s monitor, change various settings remotely, release the shutter from a distance, and even upload captured images to various social media sites with ease. Even when the camera’s power is turned off, the user can browse and download the images stored on the camera to a mobile device. The user can also send a mobile device’s location data to the camera, and record the data on captured images. The Auto Resize function,* which automatically reduces the image size before transmitting an image to a mobile device, also helps improve the camera’s performance.
* A firmware upgrade for the RICOH GR III will be provided soon. GR III users are advised to update the camera’s firmware to use these tools.
You can either use matching pre-set book templates and layouts or start with empty pages and design a book from scratch. Plus, Pixum has a free-to-download app you can use to design your photo books on. Various sizes are available and depending on your paper choices, you can use up to 202 pages.
Printed in the UK, your new book arrives just a few days after you have submitted the order.
To save 20% on your new Pixum Photo Book, enter code: NEH2YA38JUMY73. This offer is valid through 30 September 2021.
The Real Photography Company are running some free-to-attend photography workshops in July and August, in Bristol, that people of all ages can take part in.
In these workshops, the Real Photography Company invites you to participate in a creative exploration of the world around you, to make images from plants, everyday kitchen ingredients, and the action of the sun on light-sensitive materials, no cameras required.
The free photography workshops are taking place on 11 July and 15 August. Places can be booked on the Real Photography Company website where you can also find more details on the events.
You can either use matching pre-set book templates and layouts or start with empty pages and design a book from scratch. Plus, Pixum has free-to-download software which you can use to quickly create your Photo Book offline which can be saved to your computer for easy access. Various sizes are available and depending on your paper choices, you can use up to 202 pages.
Free photo book templates include the Family Tree book, Yearbook for kids, Cookbook and many others. All templates can be adjusted to your liking, too, so you can change the page order, replace backgrounds, add, or delete spare pages etc.
To save 20% on your new Pixum Photo Book, enter code: NEH2YA38JUMY73. This offer is valid through 31 July 2021.
It isn’t by anyone you’ve heard of. Nor the work of some new star in the photographic firmament. And its not even one of mine. Its not gracing this blog, because of lots of things I dont have permission to use it, its a very personal shot But I am going to write about it. Youll have seen similar ones, though, and they often appear on Facebook. But it is the most wonderful, beautiful thing I have seen.
And oddly, its a completely unedited shot, and it suffers from the problem that people used to have with cameras that imprinted date and time: its got pretty full EXIF on it (including date and time, and location). You cant switch them off.
As it goes, this one is pretty much composed according to the rule of thirds, though many similar pictures arent. And its in black and white, as well, which pretty much writes it off for many people Sharp? Well, up to a point, but not specially. And there are blurred foreground objects, as well.
I wont swap it for an Ansel Adams original print, though: and I bet you wouldnt. Though, like all good reportage images, a good caption has helped comprehension quite a bit. The extra data is that its a girl. The image is of course the ultrasound of my first grandchild.
Just because it isnt art, it doesnt mean that its not beautiful even if the eye of the beholder is adding rather a lot to the total experience.
This Last Week Considered as a Downhill Motor Race
24 Apr 2021 4:44PM
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Unique : 87
Everybody got off to a bad start…but sanity will return and things to be done. One lens review completed and the second one would have been but delivery of the lens was delayed, so at the moment technical tests are complete, product shots done and it remains to go out on location and then write the review. I’m thinking that a trip back to Arley Hall might be suitable as there is a good range of subjects there in a fairly compact site. It’s also not overly busy and that is still a consideration with Covid19 continuing to lurk.
I have also started to put together another Vintage Review, so that will be interesting once the new lens is done. I have been searching through images for that, as it is something I have been using for a long time. So, not a sneak preview as these pictures are probably shot with something else, but some interesting things that caught my eye as I trawled through the back images.
First rule of portrait photography – you have to find your subject interesting. Ivan Weiss, portrait photographer. And I need to emphasise that all of the pictures in this blog are mine though you can find his portfolio on here, or look at his website to find numerous images that will I suspect knock your socks off.
Ivans been a member of this website for a while, and his delicately-lit and perfectly posed portraits have delighted me. I find that he tends to relieve me of User Awards pretty regularly. One of my ambitions is to sit in front of his camera, and see what happens: his precise technical work is, I have always realised, just one part of the magic.
A consistent feature of good photographers in every genre is that they are interested in the world. They want to see, understand, observe and question and then to share their understanding with others. This underlies so much of what goes on in our hobby, even for those who make it a profession: they tend to remain amateurs in the sense that they LOVE taking pictures. Look at Platon, who I wrote about several months ago both the Netflix documentary and the YouTube clips show him as fascinated with people.
Its the same with any other subject theres got to be a fascination! One EPZ member is exploring the possibilities of light trails in a manner that I find fascinatingly methodical: others pursue wildlife with a passion that I cant match. Its really important that there are people who are fascinated by anything and everything, and we dont have to share their particular pursuits to be interested in the chase itself. Thats what makes photography a special thing well, one of the things.
By holding my camera, I give myself licence to be interested in people being interested. It doesnt mean that I want to do the same things they do, but it gives me a way in to a first understanding of things. You too? You know what to do, then
A Lensball is a brilliant photography tool that will make your photography more creative – it’s a crystal ball which acts as an external wide-angle lens capturing your world in 180 degrees.
Refractique will be providing a series of tips so you get comfortable with how to use a lensball and understand how to get the most out of your lensball photography!
Tip 1: How to use a Lensball
1. Simply hold up the lensball, place it on a flat surface or use one of our Lensball Stands to sit it on (this stand can be screwed onto a tripod or just used on a flat surface).
2. Position yourself in front of the subject and then just shoot through the ball with either your mobile phone or DSLR camera!
3. When you are positioning yourself think about the distance between yourself and the subject. The further the distance the crisper and more defined the image, however, if you are looking to eliminate background you will want to get closer to create a more distorted look.
Sometimes it’s nice to compose the photo so that the lensball is sitting on the left or right and then you can contrast the image inside the ball with the background. You can see an example above with the 12 Apostles in Victoria, Australia. In this case, the image inside the ball has also been focused on with bokeh (blur) in the background (we will discuss camera settings and focus in the coming days!). The image inside the lensball has also been flipped (post-production with lensball photography will also be discussed in coming days).
Bonus: Getting up close can be just as creative and an example of this can be seen in the Sydney Harbour Bridge photo below.
We hope you enjoyed today’s tip and we’ll be back with more lensball photography advice tomorrow.
Save 12% On Your Lensball Purchase
Refractique is a Lensball specialist photography retailer who is UK-based so just check out their website or click on the relevant link based on your location from the below. Plus, you can save 12% on your Lensball purchase by using the code: ephotozine at the checkout.
Your Local Refractique – Lensball Photography Retailers:
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