Mar 302016
Panasonic GH4 firmware update

panasonic gh4 firmware update
Release date: 2016/03/30

New functions

Seems there are many new functions like post focus (set the focus point after shooting and save as a separate photo), 4K photo mode, burst shooting with external flash (with Panasonic External Flash DMW-FL580L / DMW-FL360L ).

There are some performance improvements as well

-Red eye reduction in RAw files improved
-AF On function can be used during video recording
-The time lag of stop signal transmission through HDMI is adjusted to make the length of the recorded contents same either on the SD Memory Card or on the external recorder via HDMI.

Official download page

Download Panasonic GH4 firmware update here

 Posted by at 10:19 am
Mar 282016
Venus Laowa 15mm f/4 Macro

(479 USD, manual focus, true 1:1 macro)
This is a relatively new lens from 2015. It has two interesting functions: it is an ultra wide angle lens with true 1:1 macro functionality. Currently I don’t know any other lens with such specification. The macro ability add some depth of field capabilities to the ultra wide angle lens. The aperture has 14 blades which can be closed down to f/32.
venus laowa 15mm f4 macro
The lens takes 77mm filters and has 1 ED and 3 high reffractive lens elements. The minimum focusing distance is 0.12m (4.72″) which results in 1:1 true macro maginification. The lens is relatively compact and lightweight with it’s 410g (14.46 oz.) weight.

When used with Aps-C cameras +-6mm shift is possible to correct perspective.

[do_widget Text]

According to early reviews it is recommended if you want to use the true macro ability, otherwise as a wide angle there are better options. Do not think it will match with a tilt shift lens for architecture photography.

Venus optics laowa 15mm f4 macro

As I see it can make decent images but the corners are not as sharp as the center, it is still very interesting lens, as you can as close as the front element to the subject.

Venus Laowa 15mm f/4 Macro specs
Venus Laowa 15mm f/4 Macro
Canon EF, Nikon F / Sony Alpha / Pentax K / Sony FE mounts available
Filter size:
77 mm
Lens elements / groups:
12 / 9
Exotic Lens elements:
1 Ed and 3 high reffractive elements
410 g (14.46 oz. )
83 x 65 mm (3.30 x 2.55″)
Close focus distance:
0.12 m ( 4.72″)
HSM ring-type ultrasonic
Manual focus autofocus
Lens Mount:
Full frame
Reproduction ratio:
1 : 1
Aperture blades:
Distance scale:
Manual focus override:
Focal length:
15 mm
Telecoverter compatible:
Max Aperture:
Min Aperture:
Angle of view:
110.4° on Full frame / appr. 73.7° on Aps-C
Focus limiter:
Front element rotates?:
FTM (Manual focus override):
 Posted by at 10:48 am
Mar 112016
Nikon DL premium compacts

Nikon DL
The compact camera market is declining because of smartphones. Several manufacturers announced they only going to make premium compact cameras, because of this competition. It is an interesting move that Nikon announced the new DL line of compact cameras.

Nikon DL premium compacts the basics

This cameras has a 1″ sensor (13.2 x 8.8mm), most compact cameras has a 1/2.3″ sensor(app. 6x4mm). The bigger sensor is normally translates to better image quality, lower noise etc. The sensor is a 21 Megapixel BSI-CMOS sensor, with an ISO sensitivity of 100-12,800.

The optics are the following for these cameras:

24-85mm f/1.8-2.8 an ideal zoom for landscapes and general usage
16-50mm f/1.8-2.8 (this is an ultra wide angle)
24-500mm f/2.8-5.6 (super telephoto)

Just based on specification this looks quite impressive: brightness, reach, wide angle everything you can dream of.

Nikon DL 24-85mm

What is interesting the this camera offers 1:1 macro with manual focusing, which is rare in compact cameras. Optional viewfinder can be purchased for this camera for extra money. The camera has a 3″ tilting touch OLED monitor.

Nikon DL 16-50mm

This super wide angle camera has distortion correction, which corrects keystoning. (if we photograph a building from below the lines are not straigt but become closer and closer). Optional viewfinder can be purchased for this camera as well. This camera also has a 3″ tilting touch OLED monitor.

Nikon DL 24-500mm

Only this camera has an inbuilt viewfinder out of the three, but the price is higher as well. The viewfinder is an 2.359 million dots OLED screen. An optional external mic is also can be purchased to this camera which can record UHD videos. For this camera apart from the viewfinder there is a 3″ vari-angle OLED touch monitor.


All there cameras has Wifi and NFC compatibility with compatible systems. Nikon snapbridge application must be installed on the device. Out of the three the one with the big lens is the most interesting for me. This is what many wildlife/bird fans always wanted: a big sensored compact with a long lens. But the Nikon P900 is much more interesting regarding reach: 2000mm instead of 500mm. This is a huge difference. Other competition is the otherwise not so successful Nikon 1 line (with similar sized sensor) where you can attach Dslr lenses with bigger reach as well. A 300mm lens will be 810mm equivalent.

The super wide angle is also interesting and unprecedented in this compact segment. The widest angle offered in a compact was a 21mm equivalent if I remember well. It all comes on the lens, how good the lens will be, how control flare, which is usual problem with these types of lenses and things like that. If the lens will be very good a camera can be a hot seller.

Concurrence / competition

This segment is dominated by the Sony RX 100 line of cameras out of which the Mk IV is the latest, but the earlier ones has a great value as well. Apart from the little confusing/complicated menu system, which most Dslr users don’t like, these cameras offer the best quality in premium compacts.

Apart from compact cameras at this prices Dslr’s are the biggest competition, which are much better in terms of image quality but a good optics can cost a fortune, especially the long one.

Nikon DL price

The price of the Nikon DL camera with the 24-85mm lens is 650 USD, the one with the long 24-500mm lens is 1000 USD, the third one with the ultrawide angle lens is 850 USD.

 Posted by at 11:16 am
Mar 092016
Tamron Tap in console

Tamron Tap in console

Product name: TAMRON TAP-in Console (Model TAP-01)
Date of launch: March 24, 2016
Versions: there are separate versions for Canon and Nikon later Sony as well

What is this console good for ?

This console allows us to update firmware microadjust focus and many other functions as well, for example setup focus limiter (near and far limit) for some lenses, adjust vibration reduction, and customize other functions as well. This console in function is similar to Sigma’s USB dock, but of course for Tamron lenses. It seems as a system (the program of the consol will be updated as well) which helps to make many refinements in the future, without sending the lens to service centers.

How is it operates ?

The console can be operated from PC or Mac via the Tap-in utility program.

Compatible lenses

So far the following lenses are compatible with the Console: Tamron 35mm f/1.8 VC, Tamron 45mm f/1.8 VC, Tamron 90m f/1.8 Di VC USD (the newest version I think) and the Tamron 85mm f/1.8 di Vc USD. In the future there will be many more lenses.

Tamron Tap in console price

There is no information about the price of the console yet.

 Posted by at 9:17 pm
Mar 092016
Speedy Hippo

Speedy hippo
Hippos perhaps mostly known to welter in the mud, not as speedy animals like cheetah or antelopes. On the other hand Hippo’s part of the big five in Africa and very dangerous animals. Check the video how fast the Hippo can swim in deep water, I was surprised to see that, how speedy that big animal is.

Speedy Hippo Video

You can check how speedy the Hippo can be in deeper water at below video.

 Posted by at 10:42 am
Mar 082016
Tamron sp 85mm 1.8 di vc usd release date

Tamron 85mm 1.8
Tamron started to manufacture prime lenses which is exciting. Before Tamron only have macro lenses at 90mm and 180mm, but since they released the Tamron 35mm f/1.8 and Tamron 45mm f/1.8 as well.

The 85mm is one of the most popular lens, especially for portrait photographers. Many people still waiting for the Sigma 85mm f/1.4 art but the Sigma 50 100m f/1.8 Art arrived instead. Many people still want their 85mm f/1.4. Now comes the Tamron but this lens is ‘only’ f/1.8 but stabilized. This lens is part of the new design, it is a well built metal lens for Full frame cameras.

The minimum focusing distance is 0.8m which results in 1:7.2 magnification. The filter size is 67mm. The weight of the lens is 700g. The lens has a rather complex design for a prime lens with 13/9 lens elements including two low dispersion elements, one of which is an X glass.

The lens has sealing against dust and moisture.

Tamron Tap in console

Similarly to Sigma’s USB dock, Tamron uses the new Tap-in console

Optical qualities

According to the MTF curve it is a very fine lens. Compare to the Nikkor 85mm f/1.8 the MTF chart is much better.
tamron 85mm mtf
There are two lines one for contrast (30 l/mm) one for resolution (10 l/mm). If the lines placed more upwards and more horizontal this shows better performance.

Tamron sp 85mm 1.8 di vc usd specs
Item: Tamron f/1.8 di VC USD
Model: F016
Focal length: 85mm
Compatible: Full frame
Lens elements: 13/9
Weight: 700g / 1.54 pounds (Canon) the Nikon version is lighter 660g (23.3 oz.)
Dimensions: 84.8 x 91.3mm / 3.34 x 3.59″
Tamron sp 85mm 1.8 di vc usd release date

The lens will be available at the end of March 2016.

Tamron sp 85mm 1.8 di vc usd price

The initial price of the new Tamron sp 85mm 1.8 di vc usd is 749 USD.

 Posted by at 9:38 am
Mar 072016
Sigma MC11 lens adapter

Sigma MC11 adapter
This new adapter allows Sigma Canon mount or Sigma Sigma mount (SA) lenses to adapt on Sony FE mount cameras. We can use such lenses as the Sigma 35mm f/1.4 Art or Sigma 50mm f/1.4 Art or the popular Sigma 150-600mm lenses on Sony full frame cameras with autofocus. According to several sources the combination works fairly well, even with Sony’s newest af technology. Autofocus and autoaperture maintained. An integrated led shows compatibility with the adapter.

Sigma MC11 lens adapter price

The initial price of the adapter is 249 USD. Obviously it is not a mass product.

Sigma MC11 lens adapter release date

The adapter is expected to be available at the end of March 2016.

 Posted by at 12:57 pm