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Please note that this article will be updated over the course of the holiday week. We will make every effort to keep it up to date but we cannot guarantee that all of the deals listed below will be available at the time of reading.
Here in the US, we're looking forward to Thanksgiving. While this year's Turkey Day will be a little unusual thanks to you-know-what, some things remain the same. Holiday season traditionally means shopping season, and the week of Black Friday, Small Business Saturday and Cyber Monday deals is here.
We've compiled a list of the best offers on cameras, lenses, accessories and software, and we're going to be updating this article regularly as more deals are listed and others are taken down. If you find a nice deal you think we've missed, or you notice one that's expired, please let us know in the comments below.
Do note that the 'SAVE' figures below represent discount from original MSRP and we make no guarantees that the discounts listed will be available across the entire holiday weekend.
We're focusing on deals from major U.S. online retailers in this article, and if you choose to shop via the Amazon links below, you'll be supporting DPReview in a small way.
502 Bright Full HD On-Camera Monitor Save $100
$699, usually $799
Entire Store — Save 15%
You can see a full list of Canon’s deals on its dedicated holiday deals page
You can view all of Nikon’s deals on its Black Friday camera deals page
a7R IV with 24–70mm F2.8 lens — Save $715
$5,118, usually $5,833 (B&H)
a6000 with 16–50mm Lens — Save $150
$498, usually $648 (B&H)
Please note, DPReview is a wholly-owned but editorially independent subsidiary of Amazon. This article was put together entirely and exclusively by DPReview's editorial staff, without any involvement from our parent company.
Customers have gotten their hands on Apple's latest family of iPhones, including the largest iPhone ever, the iPhone 12 Pro Max. While customers have been enjoying using the new phones, over at iFixit, the team has been busy tearing them apart. They've taken apart the iPhone 12 mini and the two medium-sized iPhone 12s, the 12 and 12 Pro. Over this past weekend, the iFixit crew got to work dismantling the iPhone 12 Pro Max.
|Image courtesy of iFixit and Creative Electron.|
Before diving in, it's worth recapping the iPhone 12 Pro Max's features. It is powered by an Apple A14 Bionic system on chip and includes 6GB of RAM. Internal storage options include 128GB, 256GB and 512GB options. The phone features a 6.7" Super Retina XDR OLED display with a P3 wide color gamut and Apple's True Tone technology. It is the largest display ever in an iPhone, and according to DisplayMate, it's a fantastic display.
|iPhone 12 Pro Max camera modules. Image courtesy of iFixit.|
With respect to photography, the iPhone 12 Pro Max has unique components. It has a 12MP triple camera system like the iPhone 12 Pro, but the Max includes a 47% larger image sensor, a faster F1.6 lens, improved image stabilization, a new 65mm (equivalent) telephoto lens, and improved high ISO performance. If you want to learn more about the performance of the new camera system in the iPhone 12 Pro Max, check out this article: 'Halide's deep dive into why the iPhone 12 Pro Max is made for 'Real Pro Photography'.
|X-ray image of the iPhone 12 Pro Max's rear camera module. The bottom left camera, the standard wide angle camera, has a 47% larger image sensor than the camera found in the iPhone 12 Pro. The four black magnets around the same camera are used for the new sensor-shift image stabilization feature, found exclusively in the iPhone 12 Pro Max and not Apple's other iPhone 12 models. Image courtesy of Creative Electron and iFixit.|
After taking apart the iPhone 12 Pro Max's new case construction, iFixit was able to investigate the new camera array. As you can see in the x-ray image above captured by Creative Electron, the standard wide camera (shown bottom left) has a noticeably larger image sensor. You can also see magnets around the sensor, which are being used for the new sensor-shift image stabilization tech found exclusively in the iPhone 12 Pro Max. For those lamenting the lack of the larger sensor in the standard iPhone 12 Pro, iFixit states that 'There's a decent chance this sensor wouldn't fit in the cramped corner of the smaller iPhone 12 Pro without compromises.'
|Close-up image of the standard wide angle camera module in the iPhone 12 Pro Max. Image courtesy of iFixit.|
There's a lot to see inside the iPhone 12 Pro Max. You can head to iFixit's teardown for more photos and information about the different internal components and how they relate to the features of the iPhone 12 Pro Max. You can also see a replay of iFixit's live-streamed teardown of the phone below.
Canon's RF 85mm F2 Macro IS offers EOS R-series shooters an affordable, stabilized and fast-ish portrait prime. Its 'Macro' designation also reflects its close-focusing capabilities and while it falls short of true 1:1 reproduction, its 0.5X magnification gives this lens another layer of versatility. Take a look at how it handles subjects out in the real world.
Oceanographic Magazine announced the winners and finalists for its annual Ocean Photographer of the Year awards. Over 3,000 images were submitted to six categories. Canadian photographer Nadia Aly was named Ocean Photographer of the Year and also received the Collective Portfolio award.
'The photograph is perfectly exposed, compellingly dramatic and deeply intriguing. I know from experience that this image was not easy to create. Nadia Aly’s acknowledgement as the Ocean Photographer of the Year is a testament not only to the sheer power and uniqueness of her imagery, but to her journey as a photographer as well,' says awards judge Cristina Mittermeier.
|This top-down image of crabeater seals resting on icebergs has won Florian Ledoux many accolades, from international photography competitions, throughout the year.|
Florian Ledoux, who received a third place nod in the Conservation category for his image (above) of crabeater seals resting on icebergs, told DPReview: 'It gives my work even more exposure and a deep sense to it, and a bigger commitment toward conservation of the oceans' ecosystems that makes our life possible on Earth. It is an honor be amongst very talented photographers working in the same direction with love for the planet.'
All winners, and highly commended images, can be viewed here.
Artist Statement: An aggregation of mobula rays in clear waters off Baja California Sur, Mexico.
Artist Statement: Between two realms. A surfer seemingly waves to the world below as he surfs a wave at Log Cabins, Oahu, Hawaii.
Artist Statement: A rare white southern right whale photographed off Puerto Pirámides, Argentina.
Artist Statement: The silky tentacles of a brightly coloured Magnificent Anemone sway in surging water, exposing Maldivian anemone fish. Laamu Atoll, South Maldives.
Runner-Up, Young Photographer of the Year: Ben Cammarata
Artist Statement: A juvenile black skimmer hunts for prey at the water’s surface. Martha’s Vineyard, USA.
Artist Statement: A dolphin breaches the waterline, USA.
Artist Statement: Two penguins look out across the water, Melbourne’s lights in the distance. St Kilda, Australia.
Artist Statement: A hermit crab crawls atop a pile of plastic in a shell made from manmade waste in the Maldives.
Runner-Up, Ocean Conservation Photographer of the Year: Andrea Benvenutti
Artist Statement: A plastic bottle lies amongst the nests of the world’s largest colony of imperial cormorants, 100km south of Puerto Madryn, Argentina.
Third Place, Ocean Conservation Photographer of the Year: Joe Daniels
Artist Statement: A diver’s regulator holder cuts into the flesh of an oceanic whitetip shark, damaging its gills. Photographed in the Red Sea, Egypt.
Artist Statement: Penguins march through heavy snowfall and strong winds in St. Andrews Bay, South Georgia, Antarctica.
Artist Statement: A freediver explores a cave in Tonga.
Artist Statement: A freediving instructor waits for their student to return from a dive below Cenote Angelita’s microbial cloud. Yucatan Peninsula, Mexico.
Artist Statement: Two sharks surf a wave at Red Bluff, Quobba Station, in remote Western Australia.
Artist Statement: Three spinetail devil rays engage in sexual courtship – a behavior rarely observed or photographed. Honda Bay, Philippines.
First, an acknowledgement: this holiday season is unusual. It's been a grim year to say the least, and it might seem a little frivolous to be recommending gadgets and stocking stuffers when many people are struggling.
The counter-argument is that in these difficult times, creative pursuits are more important than ever. For many of us, photography is therapeutic – something that invigorates us when we're feeling depleted. If we can assist you in helping the photographer in your life find a little calm in the storm that is 2020, then we've done our job.
So in light of all of this, most of the gifts in this guide are well under $100, and many of them are geared towards enabling and enriching the experience of photography, rather than just adding to the world's landfill sites. If you're looking for camera cufflinks – and we advise against gifting them – you'll need to look elsewhere.
If you're shopping for someone whose photography takes them out into the elements, you really can't go wrong with hand warmers ($24 for 40 pairs). They're a wintertime wildlife or landscape photographer's best friend. Plus, they'll be great for all of those chilly outdoor hangouts with your COVID pod squad.
Outdoorsy types also tend to be early risers, so it's a good idea to make sure they're equipped with an excellent coffee tumbler. The Yeti Rambler ($35) is vacuum insulated, dishwasher-safe and uses a magnetic latch for easy opening and closing.
Also consider a membership or annual pass to a nearby park or wildlife preserve. In the US, an America the Beautiful interagency pass ($80) is like a golden ticket – it gets you into federally-managed sites including all national parks and national forests for a year from the time of purchase. Access to some federally-owned land has been tricky this year, but hopefully 2021 will be different.
It's a safe bet that many of us will be spending a lot of time in the great indoors over the next six months. With than in mind, we've got some ideas for photo-centric gifts to help curb cabin fever.
This deck of photography-themed playing cards ($35) has a couple of tricks up its sleeve. For starters, they're gorgeously designed. They also serve a dual purpose with photography tips and techniques printed on each card. And of course, they function as regular ol' playing cards, which will come in handy when every jigsaw puzzle in the house has been assembled and disassembled again.
Henry Carroll's Photographers on Photography ($20) is another good bet for photographers of all skill levels and disciplines. It's a collection of images and reflections on the photo-making process from a wide range of established photographers. It's more thought-provoking and inspiring, less a technical guide or how-to.
For the truly ambitious tinkerer, consider a Raspberry Pi computer ($35 and up) and interchangeable lens camera module ($50). A helpful companion guide ($14) coaches the user as they build a working camera from scratch. Python coding experience is helpful, but not absolutely necessary – just ask The Verge's Becca Farsace. And don't forget a lens: Raspberry Pi offers two compatible lenses to choose from ($30/60).
We've recommended an Instax Share instant printer in our gift guides several years in a row now, and for good reason: it's really good! You'll find lots of cheaper non-Instax options if you go looking for an instant smartphone photo printer, but you won't necessarily find the quality of of Fujifilm's instant prints in the lower priced alternatives. The Instax Share SP-3 ($100) uses Fuji's slightly larger, more Polaroid-esque square format film. It's a truly delightful way to share photos.
Capturing great-looking video clips starts with stabilization. The DJI OM 4 ($150) is smartphone gimbal that produces amazing results right out of the box with very little setup (its predecessor, the Osmo Mobile 3 is $30 cheaper and also a good buy while it's still available). The included tripod accessory will also make it possible to shoot timelapses with movement. For the photographer who's curious about video, or just wants to try something new, it's a great low-cost tool that works with the camera they already have in their pocket: their smartphone.
The Lensbaby Omni ($100) is a little sci-fi looking, but hear us out. It attaches to the front of a lens and provides adjustable, magnetic mounts that hold included pieces of glass and objects in front of the lens for creative effects. Resulting images will include dramatic flare and reflections of light in the scene, which make for interesting effects in portraits or landscapes. It's a fun way to let loose a little more creative energy and capture familiar scenes in a different way. Be sure to purchase the right size Omni – the 'small' will fit most standard DSLR kit lenses.
Fun trips to other parts of the world have been cancelled for the foreseeable future, but that doesn't mean we have to stop planning or reminiscing about past trips – and that's part of the fun. Moleskine's travel journal ($30) is part planner, part memory keeper for short trips and long journeys alike. Sure, it's a little twee in the year 2020, but sometimes it's nice to do things with pen and paper and stop looking at screens for two seconds.
When it's safe to hit the road again, a Tom Binh organizer ($30) is a great tool for packing all of the cords and chargers that keep smartphones and cameras powered. An organized carry-on is truly the gift that keeps on giving.
If it's that little extra something you're after, here are a few inexpensive, useful items that you can't go wrong with. For starters, extra micro fiber cleaning cloths ($10 for pack of two) are always welcome in a photographer's life, and they're especially nifty when they fold up into their own storage pouch.
Another helpful item is this photographer's multi-tool ($10), with a 5/32" (4mm) allen wrench on one end and a flat-head screwdriver on the other. Between the two, you should be able to tighten or loosen attachments on most camera supports, cages and tripod plates. This handy double-ended tool is attached to a key ring so it's always close by. What could be handier than that?
Finally, for the family photographer a Shutter Hugger ($20) is a simple-yet-genius way to coax little ones into looking at the camera. These small stuffed animals fit around a camera lens and come in four adorable varieties: monkey, giraffe, dinosaur and Dalmatian. Cute, effective and inexpensive – a true triple threat.
A new Kickstarter campaign for VALOI 360 promises to deliver an affordable, high-quality way to digitize rolls of 35mm and medium format film.
VALOI 360, which is over halfway toward its roughly $74,000 USD goal, is a system of modular physical components you can use to digitize 35mm and 120mm film negatives using a digital camera. There are three main components in the 360 system. There is the VALOI 360 35mm Holder. The holder keeps 35mm film flat while allowing for a backlight to shine through. It is constructed of injection-molded plastic and has an S-curve film path to flatten the film without touching the image area.
|Prototype VALOI 35mm Holder|
The other holder, the VALOI 360 120 Holder, holds 120 medium format film up to 6 x 9cm frames. Like the 35mm holder, it allows light to shine through, is made of injection-molded plastic, and has an S-curve film path. Both holders also include rubber dome feet to make sure the holder sits flat on the light source underneath.
|Prototype VALOI 120 Holder|
The third component is the VALOI 360 Film Advancer upgrade. You place a film holder inside the Film Advancer and the advancer allows you to quickly forward to the next frame by rotating a knob. The frame and axle are made of steel and the rollers are rubber. It comes with screw-in rubber feet with long threads which can be used for leveling. As part of the Kickstarter campaign, the Film Advancer upgrade is only available alongside holders, but VALOI plans to sell it separately later.
To use the VALOI 360, you must have a digital camera (or, in a pinch, even a smartphone) and a light source. An ideal setup involves a digital camera, tripod, and a stable, color-consistent light source. The VALOI 360 holds your film flat, you capture an image of the film and if you're digitizing a negative, you use a computer to invert and process it. There is additional information about digitizing best practices on the Kickstarter page.
|Prototype VALOI 360 Film Advancer|
The primary challenge that VALOI hopes to overcome with its 360 system is how to hold film flat and stable in front of a light source. This is the problem that VALOI founder, Arild, first tried to address with various prototypes. Arild used plywood, acrylics, LEGO components and more in pursuit of building something affordable and easy to use when digitizing film. He even learned how to build 3D CAD designs. Mechanical engineer Wicher van Lambalgen, VALOI co-founder, came on board to turn Arild's ideas and early designs into a commercially viable prototype.
Assuming the campaign reaches its funding goal, by pledging €19 backers will receive the VALOI 35mm Holder. For €29, you can select the 120 Holder. The €44 pledge includes the VALOI Holder Pack, which includes both the 35mm and 120 film holders. For photographers wanting the VALOI 360 Film Advancer, you must step up to the VALOI 35mm Kit at €129 (the €139 kit includes the 120 Holder instead). A full kit with all three components is also available for €179. All pledge options include a scanning tutorial to help beginners learn how to best use the VALOI 360 system to scan their film. Products are expected to begin shipping to backers in April 2021. For full details about the VALOI 360 system and the available backer options, click here.
Disclaimer: Remember to do your research with any crowdfunding project. DPReview does its best to share only the projects that look legitimate and come from reliable creators, but as with any crowdfunded campaign, there’s always the risk of the product or service never coming to fruition.
Smartphones capture amazing video, but to kick production value up a notch consider adding a compact gimbal to your kit. This week, we test three leading smartphone gimbals: The DJI OM 4, the Moza Mini MX and the Zhiyun Smooth XS.
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|Portrait of Sir Don McCullin from his website. To learn more about his career and work, click here.|
Legendary photographer Don McCullin will be portrayed on the big screen by Tom Hardy in an upcoming film based on McCullin's autobiography, 'Unreasonable Behaviour'. It has been announced that the movie will be directed by Angelina Jolie. Gregory Burke is handling the adaptation. Burke has previously written the screenplay for the movie, '71', based on The Troubles in Northern Ireland. The movie is being produced by Working Title and Hardy Son & Baker. The film's title and release date have not been confirmed.
In a statement, Jolie says, 'I am humbled to have a chance to bring Don McCullin's life to film. I was drawn to his unique combination of fearlessness and humanity – his absolute commitment to witnessing the truth of war, and his empathy and respect for those who suffer its consequences. We hope to make a film that is as uncompromising as Don's photography, about the extraordinary people and events he witnessed, and the rise and fall of a unique era in journalism.'
|The upcoming film will be adapted from McCullin's autobiography by Gregory Burke.|
This will not be Jolie's first time directing a movie about real-world conflict. She has previously directed 'First They Killed My Father' in 2017. The film documented the Khmer Rouge regime in Cambodia and its devastating, violent impact on the people there.
Of the movie, McCullin, 85, said, 'I was very impressed at how she made such a powerful and accurate representation of the place at that time. I feel as if I am in safe, capable and professional hands with her.' Jolie's directorial debut in 2011, 'In the Land of Blood and Honey,' took place during the Bosnian War.McCullin's autobiography follows his life and career as a respected photojournalist and war photographer. His photography career began in earnest after working as a photographer's assistant in the Royal Air Force. After his service, McCullin began taking photos in London and earned himself various photo assignments.
|Angelina Jolie has previously directed 'First They Killed My Father' in 2017. This film, along with her directorial debut, 'In the Land of Blood and Honey' (2012), focused on people caught up in violent conflict.|
In 1961, McCullin won the British Press Award for his essay documenting the construction of the Berlin Wall. Three years later, he won a World Press Photo Award for his work covering violent tensions in Cyprus. In the following decades, McCullin and his camera photographed conflict across the globe, including wars in Congo, Uganda, Vietnam, Cambodia, Israel, Lebanon, Iran, Afghanistan, Northern Ireland, and many more places.
His career has been a dangerous one. He's been shot (Vietnam), imprisoned (Uganda), expelled (Vietnam), and even been the subject of a bounty (Lebanon). His photography has focused almost exclusively on war, however, McCullin also shone a light on those who have fallen through the cracks in society, including the homeless in his native United Kingdom.
Conflict has never completely disappeared from McCullin's work, however. In 2015, McCullin traveled to northern Iraq to photograph the Kurdish struggle with ISIS, Syria and Turkey. For his prodigious work, McCullin was the first photojournalist to be an Order of the British Empire (OBE) in 1993.
McCullin's life is certainly rich with incredible events for Burke and Jolie to highlight in their film. For further reading, be sure to check out the movie's source material. McCullin's autobiography 'Unreasonable Behaviour' is readily available in multiple formats. McCullin has also recently released a limited edition three-volume box set of his work, 'Irreconcilable Truths.' Limited to 1,000 copies, each set is hand-signed by McCullin. You can order it here. Further, there is a documentary, 'McCullin', which was released in 2012 to critical acclaim. The film was directed by David Morris and Jacqui Morris.