Pentax K-1 II Review: A minor—but worthwhile—update to an already-great camera


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Psychologists and retail experts alike will tell you about a phenomenon known as “extremeness aversion”. In a nutshell, if consumers are offered a choice of three outwardly-similar products, they'll tend to opt for the middle-priced of the three. The lower and higher-priced offerings will sell in smaller quantities, because we see them as “budget” and “luxury” options. The best value, we assume, is in the middle offering.

Yet sometimes, it's actually so — and one example can be found in the interchangeable-lens camera…

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Phase One announces first IQ4 Infinity Platform enhancement, featuring improved capture features


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When Phase One released the IQ4 digital backs last year, one of the big new features of the digital backs was the Infinity Platform. Essentially, what this new platform offers is continued updates, innovation and regular improvements to IQ4 digital backs. Today, Phase One has announced its first IQ4 Infinity Platform enhancement, the Creative Control Package.

The Creative Control Package is focused on enhancing the creative control of photographers using the IQ4 system and offering them additional functionality, more control and…

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Photoshop tutorial: How to cut out hair from a complex background & recreate hair using brushes


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As Unmesh Dinda of PiXimperfect says in a new video, “As of recording this video, there is no easy way to cut out hair from a busy background.” Fortunately, while challenging, it's not impossible and there are numerous techniques and tools you can use inside Adobe Photoshop to cut out hair from a complex background and even convincingly recreate hair using advanced brush techniques.

Before using the techniques Dinda outlines in the video below, you can download the images he uses by clicking here. Further, if you need to brush up…

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How to balance natural light and a strobe when shooting outdoor portraits


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When shooting portraits in bright sunlight, there are numerous ways you can make the light less harsh on your subject. You may like the overall light in the scene, but perhaps the light on your subject's face doesn't work well. In the video below, photographer Sean Tucker uses his Godox AD200 strobe to control the light hitting his subject while also utilizing and complementing the available natural light in the overall scene.

To shoot in bright ambient light, you are often working with fast shutter speeds, which means that you…

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The Sony A6400 may not be super exciting, but it is the camera for the “every man”


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Click here to read our Sony A6400 Field Test Part II

The Sony A6400 got a lot of coverage when it first came out, but that was more due to Sony's PR and marketing blitz than to anything about the A6400 itself. Though it was the first camera to receive Sony's new “real-time tracking” autofocus, it not only seemed an odd place to put such high-level technology into what is now Sony's lowest-end ILC, but it also was the only feature of note that could really grab headlines. And perhaps that was the problem: this was not an…

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Leica announces the M-E Typ 240 digital rangefinder: A more affordable M camera


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Leica Camera has announced the newest member of their iconic Leica M family, the Leica M-E (Typ 240). The new M-E is aimed at newcomers to the M series while building upon the established formula of the existing Leica M Typ 240, which was released in 2012.

There are many similarities between the M-E and the M, including the use of a 24-megapixel full-frame CMOS image sensor, Leica Maestro processor, 0.68x optical viewfinder, 3-inch 920k-dot LCD, ISO 200-6400 range, 3 frames per second continuous shooting and Full HD video…

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Firmware Friday: Fuji X-T30, Olympus E-M1X and M1 II, Nikon KeyMission 170 and lens updates aplenty


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After a couple of smaller roundups, our regular Firmware Friday series returns this week with a much longer list of updates shipped by imaging companies in the past seven days. In all, we're aware of updates for four cameras and an impressive 15 lenses. Among the camera updates there's one which is a major, feature-enhancing update, and we also have news of a couple of pieces of updated software, so there's plenty to discuss.

Without any further ado, let's get right down to what's new!

Fujifilm X-T30 plus 23mm, 32-64mm,…

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Symmetry in landscape photography: How to compose a symmetrical photo with reflections


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There are many different aspects of a potential photographic composition, but one of the strongest ones, and most common if you shoot near still water, is symmetry. In the video below, Danish photographer Mads Peter Iversen discusses different ways to use symmetry in landscape photographs along with various example images from eastern Iceland.

During his many trips to Iceland – and 44 videos, including the one below, focused on photographing Iceland – Iversen has passed by the mountain, Fellsfjall, many times and never stopped to…

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How to create a natural-looking depth of field effect in Photoshop


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If you try to blur the background of a portrait in Photoshop, you may find that you get strange halos and oddities around the edges of your subject. Fortunately, there are techniques you can use to reduce the halos around edges and be able to cleanly add artificial depth of field to your images. In the video below, Colin Smith of PhotoshopCAFE breaks it down.

An important aspect of creating a natural-looking depth of field effect in Photoshop is making the effect be graduated. This means that the area closer to the distance your…

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Capture One’s new “Pacific” & “Infinite Peaks” Styles bring out the natural aesthetic in your photos


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Capture One has released a pair of new Styles packs as part of their “Latitude” series. The new packs, “Pacific” and “Infinite Peaks” have been developed by commercial photographer John Schnell and Fujifilm X-Photographer Bryan Minear. The photographers have signature looks which have been seen in work for clients such as Skechers and Budweiser. The new Capture One Styles packs are the first time Schnell and Minear's editing styles have been available to the public.

The Pacific and Infinite Peaks Style packs are designed to bring…

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Determining if you should turn your photography hobby into a profession


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Two years ago, professional photographer Nigel Danson decided to quit his stable desk job to become a full-time photographer. This meant giving up something known and safe for something unknown and risky, but it also meant changing photography's place in Danson's life from being an enjoyable hobby to his profession and the way he makes his living. For some, this can take away some of the joy and passion they had for photography. In a new video, Danson explores his transition from amateur to professional photography and discusses…

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Twisted forest photography with Adam Gibbs: Using light to find a composition amongst the clutter


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Landscape photographer Adam Gibbs recently visited the Isle of Mull in Scotland. This location is distinct for its woodland, which features many twisted oak trees and mossy boulders. While very interesting to look at, the trees pose challenges when trying to make a nice images. In the video below, we go on location with Gibbs and follow along as he works with the light and trees to make compelling compositions.

With the sun setting and light fading fast, Gibbs settled on a backlit scene featuring two foreground oak trees, a third…

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Landscape photography tips and tricks: What matters most when you are just starting out?


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When pursuing great landscape photographs, what matters most? In his newest video, photographer Adam Karnacz discusses the “do's and don'ts” of landscape photography and takes a closer look at the fundamentals which he believes should be at the foundation of every landscape photographer's process, whether they are just beginning or are a master of their craft.

While there's certainly a baseline for acceptable and useful photographic gear, Karnacz argues below that its importance is often overstated. When you begin to view your…

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Hasselblad announces updated, faster, 50-megapixel medium format mirrorless: the X1D II 50C


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Click here to read our Hasselblad X1D II Preview

Hasselblad has announced a flurry of new products today, capped by the reveal of the X1D II 50C, the successor to the X1D medium format mirrorless camera. The X1D II 50C is the second generation medium format mirrorless that brings 50-megapixel medium format image capture into a compact and lightweight body. Additionally, Hasselblad announced a new XCD 35-75mm f/3.5-4.5 zoom lens to accompany the new X1D II, an update to their Phocus Mobile application, and the development…

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Olympus debuts new 2x teleconverter, plus software updates for E-M1 II, E-M1X and Olympus Workspace


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It's a good day to be an OM-D owner, as Olympus has just announced a handful of new goodies! The sole physical new product is a new 2.0x teleconverter for their current two Zuiko Pro telephoto lenses, as well as their upcoming 150-400mm f/4.5 TC1.25x PRO lens. On the software side of things, there are firmware updates now available for both the E-M1 Mark II and E-M1X cameras, plus a new version of refreshed Olympus Workspace desktop image processing and tethering software.

M.Zuiko Digital 2x Teleconverter MC-20

When Olympus…

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Datacolor’s SpyderX bundles aim to eliminate any inconsistency in your raw photo workflow


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Datacolor, a global leader in color management solutions and the maker of numerous color calibration tools, has announced a pair of SpyderX Tool Kits for digital photographers. This announcement comes a few months after the company announced its newest monitor calibration tool, the SpyderX, which you can read more about by reading my review. The SpyderX monitor calibration tool is featured in both tool kits: the SpyderX Capture Pro and SpyderX Studio. Where these two kits differ is with their additional accessories.

Looking first…

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You’re an animal! Sony A6400 gets real-time animal eye AF and more on Firmware Friday


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This week's Firmware Friday roundup is uncommonly brief, with just one new firmware update appearing on the scene in the past seven days. It's Sony which sails to the rescue with a significant firmware update for its A6400 mirrorless camera, at least if you're a pet owner or like to take pictures of animals.

As of the newly-released firmware version 2.00 (download here for Windows or here for Mac), the A6400 becomes the fourth Sony model after the A7 III, A7R III and A9 to get the company's Real-time Eye AF for Animals…

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OnSet with Daniel Norton: Being creative with colored gels & using cosmetic gels to capture great skin tones


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In all types of color photography, color is an important part of the overall mood of an image. All else equal, a cooler image tells a different story than a warm image. When shooting portraits with artificial lights, you can place colored gels over the light to dramatically change the look and feel of a shot, as Daniel Norton shows us in the video below.

When creatively working with colored gels in portraits, you are able to impact the saturation of the light by controlling the intensity of the lights and the exposure of your…

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Adam Karnacz visits with legendary landscape photographer Charlie Waite


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Landscape photographer Adam Karnacz recently headed out into the Yorkshire Dales with accomplished photographer Charlie Waite. In addition to having an illustrious career as a photographer, Waite also cofounded Light and Land, one of Europe's premier landscape photography tour companies.

In the video below, we learn more about Waite's career and join him and Karnacz as they explore the area to find landscape compositions. Waite also shares numerous tips and methods for creating powerful images. It's a very enjoyable and…

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How to use a polarizing filter to improve your photography


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One of the most important tools in a landscape photographer's kit is a polarizing filter. Unlike a graduated neutral density filter, the effects of the polarizer cannot be easily replicated in Photoshop or other photo editing software. In the video below, photographer Mads Peter Iversen discusses the various ways you can use a polarizing filter to enhance your images.

Essentially, a polarizing filter reduces the visibility of reflected light hitting your image sensor. When light hits an object, some light is reflected and…

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