You are here: Home Latest News
Earlier this month smartphone manufacturer OnePlus hosted on Open Ears Forum, an event designed to gather user feedback, in New York City. This time around the focus was on smartphone videography and attendees included OnePlus users with varying degrees of video experience, from casual users to video shooters that use smartphones as a work tool.
Now OnePlus has published its own comments from the Q&A sessions held at the event and committed to improving video quality and features on its existing products as well as upcoming models. The most important points include exposure and color consistency across all camera modules, LUT options in editing and a video night mode. You can see the full list below:
It's a long list and we'll have to see if the OnePlus engineers will manage to implement all of the features and improvements in it. In any case it's good to see manufacturers interact this closely with its customers and vowing to make improvements that users are asking for.
Autel’s three EVO II drones were set for a late January release, but due to a last-minute software bug the engineering team discovered during production, Autel has confirmed to DPReview that its EVO II drones will likely be pushed back to a March release.
The bug, which ‘could limit flight performance under normal operation,’ according to an email sent to us and copy shared on Autel’s social media accounts, is being addressed on the production line, rather than needing to be fixed by consumers as a day-one software update. Due to the combination of this delay and the Chinese New Year, Autel is estimating that the first units should hit shelves in March, although it notes ‘this is not a set date or time frame,’ as ‘things can always change.’
The post, which is shared in its entirety below, thanks interested customers for their patience as the 18-member Autel team works to get units out as soon as possible.
You can read our original Autel EVO II series coverage for more information about the impending drones and keep up to date with the latest developments via Autel’s Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and YouTube channel.
First, we want to thank all of our fans and followers. It doesn’t matter if you just follow one of our social channels, or if you fly our products every day. Your support and enthusiasm have always kept us going here at the Seattle office.
With the announcement of EVO II at CES, the response has been absolutely crazy. This community is exploding, and we thank you for your patience with us as we are still trying to catch up on responses. We also want to be as transparent as possible and give you all periodic updates on the status and availability of EVO II. That way you have the most up to date information straight from us and not just rumors.
Our goal at CES was to get the initial units of EVO II (8k) into the hands of dealers by the end of January. Unfortunately, during production, we found a bug in our software that could limit flight performance under normal operation. Instead of shipping the hardware with a known issue and forcing users to perform day 1 updates, we have decided to delay the rest of production and shipments until we have resolved the issue. Our projected timeline is to have EVO II available for purchase in March. This is not a set date or time frame, and things can always change. But with the information we have today, that is our goal.
The team in Seattle is very small and we are adding channel support as we can. We are looking to start up our website newsletter again in the next few weeks. So for any future updates, please check our website, the official social channels, and emails coming directly from us.
We thank you for your patience. If you have any questions please do not hesitate to get a hold of us at email@example.com
Thank you all again and fly safe!
Collaborations between smartphone camera manufacturers aren't anything new. We've seen Leica labels on Huawei phones, the Zeiss logo on Sony and Nokia handsets and Motorola used to offer a Hasselblad-branded camera module for its Moto Z series. It's often difficult to tell if the teamwork is mostly marketing-driven or actually happening on an engineering level but one thing is clear: smartphone manufacturers like the logo of a big-name camera brand on their devices.
Chinese company Xiaomi has so far (as far as we know) worked without the help of a big name in the camera business, but it appears this could be about to change. The company launched a survey on the Chinese social media platform Weibo, asking users which camera company it should collaborate with.
Options included Hasselblad, Canon and Nikon. The 'vote' was won by Hasselblad. There is, of course, no way of knowing if we'll see a Xiaomi phone with Hasselblad-branded camera anytime soon but out of three camera manufacturers, it would be the most logical choice. It's the only one with previous experience in the mobile business (through the Hasselblad True Zoom module) and has previously collaborated with other manufacturers in the camera category. In any case, we'd hope a company like Xiaomi does not base strategic business decisions solely on social media surveys.
DNP Photo has released its new QW410 compact dye-sublimation photo printer featuring a 4.5in print head, 5.9kg (13lbs) weight and relatively small dimensions at 20 x 19.6 x 24cm (8 x 7.75 x 9.5in). When compared to the maker's DS-RX1HS and DS620A models, the QW410 has 28% and 35% lower power consumption, respectively.
The model offers a number of key features, including a lay-flat printing function that reduces print curl, support for glossy and matte photo paper, an optional wireless accessory that add supports for directly printing from Android, iOS, Windows and macOS, as well as print speeds as fast as 19 seconds for 4 x 6in prints.
The QW410 features a 300 x 300 dpi resolution and support for the following print sizes:
Photographers who need to print photos while away from the office can pair the QW410 with an optional portable battery for use without an outlet. DNP Photo also offers an optional carrying bag. The photo printer is available to purchase from several retailers like B&H Photo in the USA, Canada, and Latin America for $469.
Adorama has published a new video featuring photographer Pye Jirsa as he teaches photographers more than 20 couples poses in less than 10 minutes. This is the second part of Jirsa's Couples Crash Course; the first part introduced five foundational couples poses that 'every photographer should know.'
This is part of the 'Master Your Craft' photography tutorial video series published on the Adorama YouTube channel.
About this photo: This image of people rowing through chunks of glacial ice was a semi-finalist in Red Bull's Illume competition.
Chances are, if you follow what's happening in the world of photography, you've already seen at least one image taken by French photographer Florian Ledoux. His work has won multiple awards, has been published in major magazines including National Geographic, and was recently on display at the Louvre Carrousel in Paris. Ledoux took a big risk, several years back, and left his 9-to-5 job to pursue photography full-time. His involvement with the Arctic Arts Project is what made his images stand out to an international audience.
I got a chance to interview Ledoux and discover what inspired him to start documenting the effects of climate change. Florian will be leading a guided photo tour through East Greenland next September. To learn more, contact him through his Facebook page.
I love the polar regions of the planet for their immense landscape and nature, which remains wild and almost untouched by human activity. You can sail, hike, and explore for several days or weeks without witnessing any sign of human presence. The scale of those landscapes where incredible species live is what draws me there. I was deeply touched while I took my first journey above the Arctic Circle when I was ten years old, with my parents, and this feeling is something that is still growing in intensity as I explore further.
As I got into photography, it came naturally that my work has to serve science and conservation. The Arctic Arts Project aims to work together with scientists and conservationists. The main idea is that they have the data and we have images to combine to better communicate to the public and leave a stronger impact. In March, for example, Jason Box and other researchers published a meta study gathering 35 years of data on climate change in Greenland — from temperature increases to sea ice loss, from shifts in the tundra to land ice loss.
Two months later, in May, Arctic Arts Project photographers went to Greenland to see exactly how those changes are playing out in real time. We captured images of early flora bloom, of dissolving sea ice, and the ice sheet melting. The Arctic Arts Project presented the findings from our May expedition to Greenland to the IUCN (International Union for the Conservation of Nature). Here is a video of the presentation, if you'd like a better look at what we found and some thoughts on the changes in Western Greenland and the world.
Nature is everything to me, it is the place where I feel connected to the rest of the world. Nature is the place where it all makes sense, the place where we find all the answer about life. It feels like it is where it all began! These are our origins. Not only do we come from nature, but we are part of this complex ecosystem – the mysterious equation called LIFE.
When I find myself in the remote Arctic, co-existing in harmony with the wildlife that calls it home, I know that this is where everything makes total sense. I know it because I feel it deep within myself. It is a deep vibe that consumes my body and soul in its entirety. At this moment, the urge to create an image that I would remember for the rest of my life with a strong message to protect it comes naturally to me.
The bird's eye perspective a drone provides has become a major part of my work. It started as I was always seeking a new way to show our planet. Drones are a revolution, allowing us to capture images that wouldn’t have been possible with and helicopter. Drones are also much more eco-friendly.
I believe in, and aspire to bring, a new perspective of capturing wildlife we already know well from traditional photography. I believe these images allow us to observe and document patterns from a new angle and approach, revealing the animals in their entirety as well as in a wider habitat and landscape, in a way not before possible. Using a drone has provided a new way of learning about the white Northern part of our planet. Drones need to be used with care and ethics, especially when it comes to documenting wildlife. The same principles apply for a normal wildlife photographer, no one should run toward the animal or disrupt their habitat.
Air Iceland Connect changed my life. In June 2017, I got an opportunity to embark on a sailing expedition from Greenland to Nunavut. Many of us have this life where we are stuck in a 9-to-5 job with excuses not to do things we love. So I quit! I quit my stable life, quit my job, I quit holding myself back, and feeling trapped with not being who I would like to be. I followed my heart, my passion. I now have the most beautiful life I could imagine. In the end, all I want to say is this: Live and don’t let anybody tell you that it is not possible to follow your dreams.
About this photo: Here is a group of crabeater seals resting on the ice in Antarctica early in the morning after a feed during the night. They mainly haul out onto the packed ice in early Spring where they form small family groups consisting of a male, female, and pup. According to some studies, most haulouts are shorter than 24 hours without change through the seasons. However, the timing of haulouts shifted during the study period. After midwinter, the pattern shifted with haulouts starting in the morning and ending in the late afternoon.
Gear and specs: DJI Phantom 4 Pro +; f/7,5; ISO: 400; Shutter Speed: 1/1000 sec
About this photo: It has been a year seen the Canadian government and Nunavut agreed on creating a Marine Protected Area in the Lancaster Sound called Tallurutiup Imanga. It is also a year that I captured this beautiful image of the polar bear leaping the ice with its message on climate. Since then, the image has traveled a lot all around the world.
I am so grateful to everyone that understands the importance of my work, to help conservation efforts in the Arctic. I believe visual images connect us to nature, it helps us to better understanding the planet where we live and make the right decisions. My hope for dear future generations is that you will be able to witness what we see now.
In 2016 only 4.7% of the Arctic’s marine areas were protected. Hopefully, the target of 10% by 2020 will be reached but progress is too slow. Polar bears need the ice not only to hunt but to rest and live.
Gear and specs: DJI Phantom 4 Pro+; f/8; ISO: 100; Shutter Speed: 1/640 sec
About this photo: I have seen beautiful things in my life but I have never seen such a thing as crazy as Antarctica, a place so hostile, so powerful but so fragile. When I lose the words, moved by this beauty of the world, the photos to come will take over what I can not articulate.
This expedition was amazing, with its ups and downs, extensive hours of work, short nights, 11,250 photos taken, 1TB of video stored, a furious sea on our way back, but what images I managed to capture!
Gear and specs: Nikon D5 with 60-600mm 4.5-5.3 lens; f/6.5; ISO: 360; Shutter Speed: 1/1000 sec
About this photo: Where am I going next, asked a guy when I met him on my journey in 2017? There was almost no ice left in the Lancaster Sound and the area. As the sea ice declines, industrial activities such as fishing, shipping, mining, and drilling are expected to expand Northward. But I believe in a world where humans are able to learn from nature and reconnect with it. I believe in a world where polar bears will still be among us and will not be just a memory from the past.
Gear and specs: DJI Phantom 4 Pro+; f/8; ISO: 800; Shutter Speed: 1/100 sec
About this photo: This image was captured in Ilulissat, Greenland, on an expedition last December. I am honored to be part of the Arctic Arts Project team. I joined three other incredibly talented photographers to work together on capturing images in this region. In light of new scientific findings on the effects of climate change in the Arctic, our team also traveled to Western Greenland during the Arctic springtime, as several critical elements of change are evident only during this time frame.
Gear and specs: Nikon D5 with a 60-600mm 4.5-5.3 lens; f/8; ISO: 640; Shutter Speed: 1/2500 sec
About this photo: It was a magical night but hard work as I was trying to fly blindly in the thick mist. This was one of the last sunsets in the area before a long period of the year. It set the sky on fire while my drone was navigating through the large piece of icebergs that calve from Sermeq Kuuatdleq in Ilulissat.
Gear and specs: DJI Phantom 4 Pro+; f/4.5; ISO: 100; Shutter Speed: 1/120 sec
About this photo: Gentoo penguins are ground-nesting birds. They collect rocks from the beach that they bring on the hill to build the nest, or sometimes give it to their neighbor. The way back from the beach is long and other penguins will come and try to steal it when they arrive close to the colony.
Gear and specs: Nikon D5 with a 60-600mm 4.5-5.3 lens; f/8; ISO: 360; Shutter Speed: 1/640 sec
About this photo: Here is an aerial perspective of the sea ice formation in East Greenland. This image won 3rd prize at the international contest of drone photography, 2017, organized by National Geographic and Dronestagram.
Gear and specs: DJI Phantom 3; f/2.8; ISO: 131; Shutter Speed: 1/25 sec
About this photo: This is a crabeater seal resting on the fast ice of Antarctica in December. The crabeaters do most of their feeding at night (typically between 9:00 - 10:00 pm). They can dive as deep as 430 meters although feeding dives are usually around 30 meters.
Gear and specs: Nikon D5 with a 60-600mm 4.5-5.3 lens; f/10; ISO: 300; Shutter Speed: 1/800 sec
Photographer and filmmaker Mark Holtze has shared a video explaining ‘5 Reasons Why You Need Vintage Lenses in 2020.’
Throughout the eight-minute video, Holtze highlights five particular reasons vintage, manual lenses still make sense despite increasingly impressive lenses manufacturers are making nowadays. Holtze says in a comment beneath the video ‘I could have made a list of top 100, but honestly…nobody is sitting through 90 mins of this,’ so eight minutes it is.
Not all of the reasons will make sense for all photographers or filmmakers, but each is valid in their own way. You can find more videos from Holtze on his YouTube channel and keep up with his work on Instagram and Twitter.
Stellina is a self-contained, portable telescope designed to easily take photographs of celestial objects. All you need is the Stellina itself and a smartphone. It is not a traditional telescope that lets you explore the universe through an eyepiece. Instead, it captures images with its built-in camera which then you can view on your phone (or tablet). During my latest trip to Yellowknife, Canada I was able to put the Stellina to the test and capture some classic telescope targets.
When folded, the Stellina looks like a retrofuturistic home appliance and one could hardly guess that it holds a telescope and a camera inside. Its weight of 11 kg (25 lb) makes it portable but its bulky size of 49 x 39 x 13 cm (19 x 15 x 4.7 in) and the lack of handles makes it a little awkward to move around. The Stellina comes with a Gitzo carbon fiber tripod (1.3 kg, 2.2 lb) which provides leveling and stability to the telescope.
|Stellina is a portable astronomical telescope and camera. Everything you need to take photographs of celestial objects is contained in this unit and on a smartphone/tablet app.|
The Stellina requires 5.1V / 2.4A to operate. It can be powered by an external battery connected through a USB Type-C port and stored in a compartment, or by an AC external power adapter. The 10,000-mAh battery included with the Stellina should provide approximately 5 hours of use. Once powered up, the Stellina creates its own Wi-Fi network which you use to control it from the Stellina app (available for both iOS and Android devices) .
The Stellina reads the local time and GPS coordinates off your smartphone and then it automatically focus and aligns itself by looking around the sky and identifying stars. All this is done in a completely automated fashion and in just a mater of minutes. Pretty smart!
|The Stellina comes with a 10,000-mAh battery that is easily stored in its own compartment and provides approximately 5 hours of use.|
The Stellina uses a 400mm F5 apochromatic lens and a 1/1.8" CMOS Sony sensor (3,096 x 2,080 pixels, 6.4 MP) to produce a series of exposures which are then combined into a final image with a Field-of-View (FOV) of 1° x 0.7°. But first you must pick a target.
Once the automated calibration is completed, the Stellina offers you a catalogue of astronomical objects that are visible from your location at that particular time. For each of these objects the Stellina app provides you basic information about the object, its current location in the sky (altitude and azimuth), as well as the recommended exposure time.
|Stellina provides useful information of the potential targets up in the sky at the current time, including recommended exposure times.|
According to Vaonis, the Stellina manufacturer, "The catalogue includes all Messier objects and the most interesting NGC targets in the Northern and Southern hemispheres." Some objects whose angular diameters exceed the Stellina's FOV are excluded from the catalogue, but Vaonis plans to extend that list when they add the ability for the Stellina to combine multiples images in a mosaic.
Vaonis is also planning to let users enter sky coordinates manually and point at any direction in the sky. That will be another welcome feature since the Stellina does not let you manually slew. Luckily, these features should easily become available through software updates.
I selected the Andromeda Galaxy, the Stellina slew to the correct location in the sky, and started imaging. To do this, the telescope relies on a technique called image stacking where a series of relatively short exposure are combined to produce an image with a higher signal-noise ratio. As more images are exposed and added, you can interactively review how the stacking and image processing improves the final image and decide when to stop exposing.
In the two screenshots below, you can see how the image improved from a combined exposure time of 2 min 40 sec (16 exposures of 10 seconds each) to a combined exposure time of 8 min (48 exposures of 10 second each). As expected, the spiral arms of the Andromeda Galaxy appear more prominent as the Stellina gathers more light.
|Comparison of a 2 min 40 sec exposure with a longer 8 min exposure. Stellina has the impressive ability of showing you in real-time how the final exposure improves as more images are added and total integration time increases.|
I could have exposed for a longer time but, unfortunately, clouds rolled in. Impressively, the Stellina software rejects cloud-covered images and does not add them to the stack, so when clouds cover the FOV you will notice how the total exposure time pauses until the clouds move out of the way. Evidently, automation is at the heart of Stellina and Vaonis has done a great job in the programming of this telescope.
On the other hand, what did not impress was the feedback given by the Stellina app when saving JPEG photos. You can either save images on the app itself or on your smartphone's photos app (and in the cloud if your phone is set up that way), but if you choose the latter, the photos are deleted from the app (with no warning) along with any observation information. That is, photos copied to your photos app are saved without any metadata. Furthermore, JPEG photos produced by the Stellina are downsampled from 6.4 MP to 1.4 MP.
There's definitely room for improvement in documenting Stellina's features
If you want to enjoy full-resolution images you need to retrieve FITS (Raw) files using the USB port. That's great! As long as you know that options exists. And therein lies a problem. The Stellina instruction manual does a good job of explaining how to set up the telescope up to the point of connecting it to the app, but nothing further. Once you start controlling the telescope via the Stellina app, documentation and feedback from the app is underdeveloped.
I learned about the ability to save Raw images on a Q&A page on the Vaonis support site. Unfortunately, by then I had returned the unit. There's definitely room for improvement in documenting Stellina's features. I look forward to someday using the Stellina again and processing its FITS files.
Below is the resulting 8-minute exposure of the Andromeda Galaxy. The Stellina did a good job of automatically focusing, tracking, stacking, and processing the images. Nevertheless, a bright vignette is fairly noticeable. According to Vaonis, the vignette 'is produced by the luminescence of the sensor' and they are working on improving the image processing algorithm.
|1.4 MP JPEG of the Andromeda Galaxy saved from the Stellina app. This is the result of 48 10-sec exposures stacked automatically by the Stellina for a total exposure time of 8 minutes.|
Afterwards, I selected the open cluster The Pleiades from the catalogue and let Stellina combine 60 10-sec images. Judging by what the Stellina captured in a total exposure time of 10 minutes, it's a shame that the clouds rolled in again. The blue reflection nebula around the cluster stars was starting to nicely show up in the final image.
|1.4 MP JPEG of The Pleiades cluster saved from the Stellina app. This is the result of 60 10-sec exposures stacked automatically by the Stellina for a total exposure time of 10 minutes.|
The Stellina is a well-thought out smart telescope. It can easily be transported from one location to another and setting it up cannot be more simple. A carrying case to move the telescope around would be a welcome addition.
The fact that the Stellina finds its orientation with respect to the sky, focuses, exposes, stacks, and process images in a completely automated fashion is quite the feat for a prosumer device. Although the Stellina app needs further development, the whole experience of operating the Stellina is fun and the ability of seeing the final exposure improve as more images are stacked is quite gratifying.
The whole experience of operating
the Stellina is fun
Once you're happy with your final exposure you can easily share your astrophotographs with friends and the rest of the world in a matter of minutes. Stellina is definitely a telescope for the social media age. Then at home, you have the option of experimenting with the Raw files.
Unfortunately, all this comes with the high price tag of $3,999. For that price, some will consider instead the more versatile combination of camera, lens, tripod, and star tracker. But if you want a fun-to-use, click-and-shoot device that will work for you while you relax and enjoy the night sky then the Stellina is right for you!