January 2020

Friday — January 31, 2020

Iridient X-Transformer 1.6.3 was released with Fujifilm X-T200 support. Iridient Developer 3.3.9 was released last week with much new Canon camera support.

If you're into portrait, wedding, or event photography, start planning for B&H's Depth of Field conference, which this year is February 11th and 12th at the New Yorker Hotel. If you wonder what kinds of things you can learn at Depth of Field, videos from the last two years' conference are on the URL I listed. As before, if you can't manage to get to NYC, the conference will be live streamed, as well. But if you plan to attend, you'll want to register, as seating is limited.

Thursday — January 30, 2020

The first Nikon D780 "discount" has hit. Starting Monday, you'll get an additional US$300 on your trade-in when you buy a D780. In case that didn't sink in: don't buy a D780 this weekend! You can trade in any brand working camera and you'll get the extra US$300 on top of trade-in value for the camera itself. But only starting next week (and lasting through March 29).

DxO has minor updates to PhotoLab and Nik Collection (latter now macOS Catalina compatible).

Wednesday — January 29, 2020

Updated (wording). Canon's 2019 financials were released today. A couple of relevant numbers should be noted. First, total ILC for all makers declined to 8.8m units in 2019, and Canon expects that to further decline to 7.5m units in 2020. Total worldwide compact cameras were 8.5m units in 2019 and Canon expects this to decline to 6m units in 2020. Overall, that's 3.8m fewer cameras being sold by the Japanese makers. To put that into context, for everyone to maintain sales numbers in place, they have to sell cameras that are 22% more expensive than what they've been selling. To quote Canon: "we have plans to launch a model that incorporates a newly developed image sensor and image-processing engine that offer even more advanced features." You'll see a lot more of that, I think. The upward push in model lineups will continue, and models will disappear at the bottom. 

What did I write in my proposal for a Nikon lineup? "Make the very best possible camera you can." Don't pull punches, features, or performance. That's the way I'm evaluating all new products now: do they really compel you to update? Will they really attract new users to the base?

By the way, if you're thinking you saw a lot of Canon discounting during the holidays, you did. Their camera inventories have come down dramatically, but that was at a cost of -17.4% in the group's sales compared to last year, and a whopping 51.3% decline in operating profit (because photo printers are also in the group, we can't say that's all because of cameras, though).

Tuesday — January 28, 2020

I've started a D780 Blog page for things I discover as I begin to write about and review the new Nikon DSLR.

Monday — January 27, 2020

The Nikon D780 manual is online at the central Nikon download site and available for download.

If you're picking up a Z50 from B&H, you should now check out the Build Bundle button before you add to cart. This allows you to get the FTZ Adapter for an additional ~US$50 (a US$200 savings).

It's gotten to the point where I can't always tell where one sale ends and another begins. I just got an email from NikonUSA that currently lists 28 F-mount lenses on sale. No indication of how long those prices are good for. No indication of whether this is new, changed, or an extension of a previous sale. The risk is that Nikon will simply end up with these being the "new" MSRP if they're not careful. I don't think that's what they want. However, the end of Nikon's fiscal year is coming up (March 31), so we're in "cram in some last minute sales" mode with them. This has nothing to do with making customers happy, and everything to do with making Tokyo investment banks happy.

Thursday — January 23, 2020

It appears that in the US, D780 shipments are starting to arrive at dealers. Dealers that ordered any should have them available for purchase this weekend. Not that a lot of you are planning to do that.

Wednesday — January 22, 2020

Okay, I've decided on a "style" for this page. Each week or two it'll get a new photo at the top, as before. The "quick news" and "short views" thing I've been doing besides pointing to new articles seems to be well received, so I'll continue doing that (this paragraph is one of those "quick/short" things). This means that software updates will show on this front page when they happen, and not be done buried in the dslrbodies.com site as before. Each week of these dated entries is separated by a B&H banner ad so that you can quickly tell this week's articles from last.

Last time I mentioned the following, it didn't last long before B&H had to pull the promotion. But those enrolled in B&H's EDU account (students, educators), can once again get a 15-20% discount on a bunch of Sony's best gear (A9, A7R m3 or m4, A6600, many of the Sony GM lenses). 

Tuesday — January 21, 2020

DxO PhotoLab 3.1 added support for a number of recent cameras, including all the new Canon models, the Fujifilm GFX 100, the Nikon Z50, the Olympus E-M5 m3, the Sony A9 m2, and the Sony A6100/6600 models. Keyword support has been improved with new management tools.

Pixelmator Pro (macOS only) 1.5.4 adds ML Super Resolution, which is a machine-learning based ability to increase resolution of images, and improves ML Denoise, which does the same thing for noise reduction.

Here's a quickie for you: I've discovered that with a bit of care, the Tenba BYOB Insert 9 [advertiser link] will exactly fit a Nikon Z50 with 16-50mm (middle), 10-24mm AF-P on FTZ (outer left), and 50-250mm (outer right). And I mean exactly, as in tight fit. If you're just carrying the two kit lenses, it actually fits the SB-500 flash in the third slot with a bit more relaxed fit. I'd been looking for some way to "store" my Z50 gear on safari on the floor next to me in the Land Cruiser, and this looks like the one. Remember, the Z50 doesn't have sensor cleaning, so keeping it snug in a dust free case is going to be more critical for this kind of trip.

B&H also has the Sigma 20mm f/1.4 Art lens for Sony FE mount for US$699 [advertiser link], today only in the DealZone.

I've updated my Z50 review with a couple of small additions and corrections. Note that everything on my sites is "live." When I discover errors or omissions, I go back and make a change. The date at the bottom of the page will tell you when an article was last updated.

Monday — January 20, 2020

Friday — January 17, 2020

The Tokina 85mm f/1.8 telephoto lens was introduced for the Sony FE mount. 

Leica announced the 40.1mp M10 Monochrom camera.

The Sony A9 Mark II got a firmware update to 1.01.

The compact Hasselblad 45mm f/4P lens was introduced for the XCD system. This brings the number of lenses for XCD cameras up to 10. 

Nikon updated most of their software this week. Two things drove that: updating to support the D780, and updating to support macOS Catalina (10.15, but ending Sierra support, which was version 10.12). If you're not on High Sierra, Mojave, or Catalina, Nikon software is no longer supported on the Mac side. As always, my page for current Nikon software versions will be updated (probably this weekend). 

Thursday — January 16, 2020

B&H has the very good Sigma 14mm f/1.8 lens on sale [advertiser link] for the FE, EF, and F-mounts today only, with a US$400 discount.

The Z50 book and review are just about done. I've been a little quiet this week while trying to deal with all the remaining little bits and pieces I need to do before posting.

Tuesday — January 14, 2020

Imaging USA, the trade show of the 30,000 member Professional Photographers of America (PPA) association is later this week in Nashville. Canon, Fujifilm, and Sony have big booths. Nikon, Olympus, and Panasonic are all apparently absent. Here's my question: if high-end cameras and lenses are what you want to sell, wouldn't showing up at a show filled with users of said cameras and lenses be a better use of your money than joining the mob scene in Vegas for the Consumer Electronics Show (CES)? 

Worse still, sales of photography products have always been dominated by "influencers." Originally that was pros endorsing the cameras they used in ads and in word of mouth; more recently it's become much more expanded to additional options as the Internet got wings. If I were in charge of camera marketing, my mantra would be "find all the influencers, hit them every chance I get, and make sure they are talking about my products." Sorry, Nikolypan, but doing that some of the time to some of the influencers is not going to cut it. There's not enough pie left to let others have first dibs.

I don't care if you have to have a smaller booth/show presence that ends up mobbed. In some ways, that's better than a big booth that isn't. 

Next up: WPPI (Wedding & Portrait Photography International) in Vegas in late February. Missing from the current exhibitor list: Fujifilm (really?), Olympus, Panasonic, and Sony. 

Monday — January 13, 2020

The Youngnuo 14mm f/2.8 and 40mm f/2.8 lenses for Canon EF and Nikon F mounts are on sale today only at B&H [advertiser link]. I reviewed the 40mm f/2.8 recently, and now it's only US$72.

My favorite slide show creation program, Fotomagico, is now available for the iPad at the iPad App Store. Unfortunately, it's available only as a subscription product for US$39.99 a year, which I'm sure will put some of you off.

Friday — January 10, 2020

Canon showed their new Photo Culling plug-in for Lightroom Classic at CES. This tool looks at imported images and then uses Lightroom's color flags to mark for sharpness, noise, exposure, closed eyes, and other problems. The plug-in will be available on Adobe Exchange App Marketplace with a monthly subscription (!) soon.

So, now that Nikon has introduced the 70-200mm f/2.8 S-line lens, where's the TC-14 and TC-20 for the lens? Currently not on the roadmap through end of 2021, and many will want them once they have this lens. 

Thursday — January 9, 2020

Wednesday — January 8, 2020

Luminar 4.1 was released. This is a bug fix release of their standalone raw converter and editor, with a few minor new features (atmospheric haze in sky replacement, a new erase tool, and a portrait enhancement tool that works in more situations). 

Canon released firmware 1.0.6 for the 70-200mm f/2.8 RF lens to fix focus issues at minimum focus distance.

Nikon is live-streaming their 40+ stage speeches from CES (Tuesday through Friday), and you can go back and watch any that have already occurred. 

Tuesday — January 7, 2020

I've added the Nikon 120-300mm f/2.8 details to the DSLR lens database. Likewise the Nikon 70-200mm f/2.8 S has been added to the mirrorless lens database.

If you're an NPS member and didn't renew your membership in December, you still have time to do so at nikonpro.com. Also, the new offerings (D780, 70-200mm, 120-300mm) are already available for NPS Priority Purchase.

I've done some minor cleanup of the 1DX m3 and D780 specifications in the databases. I'm doing a test of moving the weekly photo to the date it appeared, not the top of the site.

Canon published a white paper on the 1DX Mark III.

Monday — January 6, 2020

Capture One 20.0.1, a bug fix release, is now available. 

It's actually unusual for Canon and Nikon to announce significant products at the same time, so pardon me while I try to catch up to everything that was said and promoted. 

Friday — January 3, 2020

Thursday — January 2, 2020

Welcome back. As you might see from the links below I posted a few year-end things without warning you. So be sure to catch up, as my fingers are moving quite fast on the keyboard at the moment. And yes, I've also changed the front page designs a bit. I'm trying to make things a little more succinct and organized, but also allow for more daily comment.

For instance, this is a good time to warn you that this year I intend to take my "month off the Internet" in April, not August. Both times tend to intersect with a few new product offerings, but, as usual, I'll do a full catch up when I return.

Wednesday — January 1, 2020

Monday — December 30, 2019

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