When we heard that Gitzo, the Italian manufacturer of premium tripods and accessories, was showing a 200 Euro mini tripod at Photokina we just had to see it for ourselves. The Gitzo Mini Traveler Ball Head is, indeed, gorgeous can carry a full frame DSLR and only weighs 265g, but is it worth the price tag? A Gitzo mini tripod would always be special, but how special?
The Gitzo mini tripod is already available for pre-order in the UK via dealers for around £189. It uses the same kind of carbon fibre leg construction as its bigger counterparts in the Gitzo stable. It has a neat patent-pending mechanism for switching each leg between standard and low positions. There is no thumb-wheel to tighten the tripod screw, unlike its Manfrotto Pixi cousin, but it’s lighter, smaller and stronger.
The aluminium ball head can safely carry an attached load locked in position up tp 3kg in weight, though there is no quick-release option. To unlock the ball head you rotate a collar at the base of the head. It’s available in grey and black.
The engineering, materials and design all look superb as you can see in our pictures. But it costs 200 Euros.
Chuck in a bundle of assorted size photo prints and the Epson FastFoto FF-680W scanner does the rest
The Epson FastFoto FF-680W is a very clever solution to a familiar old problem. What are the odds that you have a box (boxes?!) or a drawer full of odd-size photos lying about the house? Wouldn’t it be great to scan them so you could share them conveniently via the cloud or social media?
But have you tried scanning dozens or more old prints? It’s a thankless task and it takes ages. A quick demo of Epson’s new and unassuming-looking FastFoto FF-680W scanner at Photokina genuinely wowed onlookers.
The FF-680W’s feeder is remarkably unfussy; you can place a wad of of different size prints up to A4 dimensions into the feeder and they will processed by the scanner without any fuss, one by one, at a rate of about one print per second.
The companion software then automatically crops the prints and even scans the back of each print to detect written or other notes, which are also scanned and saved as images linked to the front image.
You can configure the software to automatically upload the images to Google Drive, Microsoft OneDrive or DropBox. For a stack of, say, 30 prints, the whole process takes literally no more than a couple of minutes. You really have to see it working to appreciate how clever the Epson FastFoto FF-680W is.
Too good to be true?
So is the Epson FastFoto FF-680W too good? in a sense, some will think so once they learn the prospective price, which is around €600. The FF-680W is not aimed at household consumers. Instead, Epson hope you will see them in retail locations for customers to use as a service and for other companies to offer photo print digitising services.
Touching Photokina anecdote
A rather lovely anecdote shared with me by the Epson staffer, Julian Maddock, demonstrating the FF-680W on the Epson booth here at Photokina was that an elderly gentleman produced a Photokina pass and ID from way back in 1954, In fact the person first started attending Photokina in 1950. Of course, the precious souvenir from 1954 was duly scanned by a FF-680W for posterity.
The Epson FastFoo FF-680W in America and will start shipping it in Europe at the end of the year.
ARRI and Angelbird introduce CFast™ 2.0 Memory Card
Lustenau, September 28, 2018 – ARRI is introducing the ARRI Edition AV PRO AR 256 CFast 2.0 card by Angelbird. The card has been designed and certified for use in the ALEXA Mini and AMIRA camera systems* and can be used for ProRes and MXF/ARRIRAW recording.
ARRI has worked closely with Angelbird Technologies GmbH, a hi-tech company based in Vorarlberg, Austria. Angelbird is no stranger to film production, and some of their gear can be found at ARRI Rental European locations. The company’s young yet experienced team has a passion for quality and great attention to detail.
“Many of the CFast cards we tested delivered good results, but it usually takes the manufacturers a few attempts to stabilize their performance for high data-rate write patterns,” says Oliver Temmler, Product Manager for Storage Media at the ARRI headquarters in Munich, Germany. “Angelbird really stood out—they listened to us closely and quickly determined which parameters they had to tweak.”
For the ARRI Edition CFast card, the Angelbird team did not want to settle for “good enough” but went straight for “the very best.” They developed an ARRI-specific card that uses a combination of thermally conductive material and so-called underfill, to provide superior heat dissipation from the chips, and to secure the electronic components against mechanical damage.
The result is a rock-solid 256 GB CFast 2.0 card, with super-stable recording performance all the way across the storage space, making it the perfect addition to an ALEXA Mini or AMIRA camera setup.
The ARRI Edition AV PRO AR 256 memory card by Angelbird is available exclusively from ARRI and other sales channels offering ARRI products.
*Support for new CFast 2.0 cards is currently not planned for ALEXA XT, SXT(W), and LF cameras.
A Leica-built, Russian-designed Zenit M rangefinder clone with a 35mm f/1.0 lens
The Russian Zenit is making waves at Photokina this week. We’ve been to the Zenit booth to find out what all the fuss is about.
The Leica phenomenon
We’re in Cologne, Germany for Photokina 2018 and it’s a German company that keeps on making the headlines this week. That company is Leica. Next to the Leica booth is Huawei, whose premium smartphone models, like the innovative triple-camera P20 Pro, use Leica-branded optics.
Leica also revealed it has licensed the use of its mirrorless system L-mount to its long-time partner, Panasonic Lumix. Even Sigma’s CEO was a guest at Leica’s Photokina press conference. So who else might we find with Leica-related news?
Zenit? Who are they?
Zenit of course. Zenit? Who are they? Some readers will be familiar with the name. Back in the 60s and 70s Zenit, a Russian manufacturer, produced primitive and cheap SLR cameras and lenses popular with beginners. But Leica represents the exact opposite end of the camera spectrum.
Limited edition Zenit M and Zenitar 35mm f/1.0
So how could Zenit somehow join forces with Leica? Well, it’s happened. Zenit is showing a digital full frame M rangefinder clone. It’s a limited edition camera bundled with a remarkable 35mm f/1.0 Zenitar branded lens.
Designed in Russia, made in Germany?
Etched on the back of the Zenit M body is the message ‘Designed in Russia’ though I understand the body is actually produced at Leica’s Wetzlar facility in Germany. It certainly contains Leica components, Andrey Verfolomeev, vice president of the Zenit company, confirmed to me.
Designed and made in Russia
The Zenitar lens, however, is entirely the work of Zenit, both designed and manufactured at the company’s Krasnogorsky base near Moscow. Verfolomeev points out that much of their work is for the Russian military, so the optics of the Zenitar 35mm f/1.0 can be expected to be top-class.
Just 500 Zenit M and Zenitar 35mm f/1.0 combos will be produced, according to Verfolomeev, 450 of the bodies will be light grey (it’s a matt grey, not the customary silver) and only 50 will be black.
The price is €5,500 and most are reserved for the Russian market, though around a hundred will be available to European buyers.
If you’ve used the old cheap Zenit film cameras, you may recall the strong Russian leather odour that came as a no-cost extra. Apparently, the leather used on the Zenit M has been specially chosen to match the hide used back in the old days.
Verfolomeev says Leica and Zenit have been working on the Zenit M project for two years and it owes much to the enthusiasm of Dr.Andreas Kaufmann, chairman of the Leica Supervisory Board.
Fundamentally, the project is designed to remind everyone, in Verfolomeev’s words, “that we’re still here”. Zenit, which is owned by the Russian state holding company Shvabe, employs 3,500 people and apart from its military work, the facility is gearing up to produce more mainstream cameras and lenses.
A range of Zenit lenses compatible with a variety of camera mounts is already on the market and the 35mm f/1.0 design will eventually join the rest of the range.
While the Zenit M is a strictly limited-edition model, less expensive successor camera models are in the pipeline and these will sell at a lower price, if not at the bargain basement prices of notorious old Zenit Bs and Es. Watch this space!
Zeiss are developing their own full-frame compact system camera, the Zeiss ZX1.
Press release issued by Zeiss
The Camera Concept for the Creative Flow in Photography
First full-frame camera from ZEISS with first-class image quality and the familiar, intuitive image editing and connectivity of a smartphone.
ZEISS ZX1 – That is the name of the newly developed mirrorless full-frame camera from ZEISS that was presented today in Cologne, Germany. Thanks to the ZEISS lens and a sensor developed in-house at ZEISS, the camera delivers first-class image quality combined with an operational concept and user experience that make the photographer’s jobs-to-be-done as intuitive as on a smartphone.
The ZEISS camera concept is just the first step to opening up a new world of possibilities for ambitious photographers – from taking the shot to editing the image and sharing it on the web.
SHOOT. EDIT. SHARE. – Harmonized hardware, software and optics for a seamless creative process
SHOOT: the ZEISS ZX1 features a newly designed, integrated ZEISS Distagon 35 mm f/2 T* lens with autofocus that has been perfectly matched to the 37.4 megapixel full-frame sensor developed in-house at ZEISS. The interplay between the lens and sensor ensures first-class picture quality with that typical ZEISS look.
EDIT: The ZEISS ZX1 enables photographers to professionally process RAW images directly on the camera thanks to fully integrated Adobe Photoshop Lightroom CC. Moreover, the ZEISS ZX1’s unique user interface supports the user’s particular workflow without any interruption – providing direct access to the most frequently used functions via a 4.3″ multi-touch display.
SHARE: when the networked full-frame camera is connected, the user can upload selected images directly to the internet – without the intermediate transfer to memory cards or other external devices.
512 GB of internal memory provide sufficient space for approximately 6,800 RAW files (DNG) or over 50,000 JPGs – more than enough to handle photos, even during a longer trip, and giving the photographer the chance to let their creativity flow. Versatile connectivity options such as Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and USB-C ensure that various peripherals can be connected. Over-the-air software updates keep the camera up to date without requiring a computer connection.
Designed with a passion for detail and a focus on the essentialsThe design of the ZEISS ZX1 is characterized by its iconic shape with carefully crafted details. The overall form and reduction to just those elements that are absolutely necessary lay the foundation for an ergonomic camera and ensure easy handling. The symbiosis of hardware and software is exemplified by the newly defined user interface that utilizes the 4.3″ multi-touch display. The slightly bent screen separates the live view from the control elements, making camera operation comfortable and straightforward.
“We know that we exploring new ways and initially addressing a special target group with the ZEISS ZX1. With our concept we are focusing on ambitious, professional creatives who want to produce their photographic experiences quickly and efficiently, and inspire as many people on the Internet as possible. This requires a streamlined workflow in addition to high-end features. This is exactly what the concept of the ZEISS ZX1 offers,” explains Jörg Schmitz, Head of the Consumer Products business group at ZEISS.
ZEISS ZX1 available from early 2019
The ZEISS ZX1 will be available at selected dealers in early 2019. ZEISS will announce the recommended retail price at the start of the official market launch. Starting now, anyone interested in receiving information on exact availability can register at www.zeiss.com/zx1
The ZEISS Batis 2/40 CF bridges the gap in the ZEISS Batis family lineup
With a 40 millimeter fixed focal length, the ZEISS Batis 2/40 CF (Close Focus) is the latest addition to the product family. This standard lens in the ZEISS Batis family features a quick autofocus and an extremely short minimum focus distance. Delivery will start in November 2018. “The focal length on the ZEISS Batis 2/40 CF makes it suitable for a wide range of applications, something customers have been eagerly awaiting. The lens bridges the current gap between the ZEISS Batis 2/25 and the ZEISS Batis 1.8/85,” says Dr. Michael Pollmann, Category Manager for Imaging at ZEISS.
The ZEISS Batis family was developed specifically for mirrorless full-frame cameras from Sony (Alpha 7 and Alpha 9 series). The lenses are compatible with all E-mount cameras and cover a total of five focal lengths ranging from 18 to 135 millimeters. Together with these cameras, the ZEISS Batis 2/40 CF ensures a lightweight, easy-to-use, high-performance system that delivers outstanding image quality, a minimum shooting distance of 24 centimeters for close-up shots and a magnification ratio of 1.3.3. “With the launch of the ZEISS Batis 2/40 CF, we now offer a focal length that falls between the standard 35 and 50 millimeter lenses people love to use. We have made the entire ZEISS Batis lens family even more attractive by offering the complete range of focal lengths,” says Pollmann.
The most versatile lens in the ZEISS Batis family
The ZEISS Batis 2/40 CF is able to tackle various photography challenges thanks to its special 40-millimeter focal length. From portrait and street photography to landscape and architecture – anything is possible with this high-resolution fixed focal length. “The lens is excellent for applications requiring normal focal lengths as well as common photographic situations where a bit more of a wide angle is needed. Our customers will enjoy a truly versatile lens which, thanks to its proven ZEISS look, and an outstanding image quality, is also ideal for close-ups. If you’re traveling light and decide to opt for just one lens, then this would be it,” says Pollmann.
Thanks to its high micro contrast and initial aperture of f/2, the lens can perfectly capture individual objects. Features like floating lens design for consistently high image quality across the entire focus range, the ZEISS T* coating for fewer reflections and weather and dust sealed housing and splash protection ensure maximum image quality in almost any situation. For creative work, the innovative OLED display on the ZEISS Batis shows the distance and depth of field, ensuring a perfectly adjusted focus range.
The price of the new ZEISS Batis 2/40 CF is 1.299 € (incl. German VAT) or 1.299 US$ (excl. local taxes).
Hasselblad adds three new lenses to its XCD lens family, including the XCD 1,9/80, with the largest aperture of a Hasselblad lens ever, the XCD 2,8/65 and the XCD 2,8/135 telephoto lens with X Converter 1,7.
Kodak Pixpro launches flagship AZ1000 at Photokina 2018
Award-winning line up of Kodak Pixpro digital cameras and devices continues to provide smart and affordable choices for photographers and creatives of all levels
JK Imaging Ltd., the worldwide licensee for Kodak Pixpro digital cameras and devices, has announced the launch of its flagship AZ1000 Astro Zoom camera at Photokina 2018 in Cologne, Germany today.
The newest, flagship Astro Zoom camera is a bridge digital still camera and will be revealed on the Kodak Pixpro. A powerful 102X optical zoom model, with 20.68 megapixel image sensor and 3.5 mm focal length, the AZ1000 showcases the brand’s commitment to offer outstanding performance at a fraction of the price of traditional and more expensive DSLR bodies and lenses.
Other features offered by the AZ1000 include multi-language support, a 4 hour charging time, 90 minutes of video shooting or 400 shots, a 15MB internal memory, red-eye reduction, slow synchro, 6 seconds or less recycling time, photo touch-up, and smile and blink detection, plus 7fps full resolution burst mode and 1/200 shutter speed (30 seconds).
Kodak Pixpro will also be exhibiting a wide array of its award-winning cameras at the Photokina 2018 show, which runs from 26th – 29th September, ranging from compact, point-and-shoot, mega-zoom bridge cameras to Kodak Pixpro’s growing category of 360° immersive VR cameras.
The company’s commitment to the emerging 360° VR camera category has born three generations of 360° cameras thus far and has answered the needs of enthusiasts worldwide, by providing easy-to-use cameras that go beyond traditional video. This year’s exhibit will feature a sneak peek into the next generation 4K 360° VR camera for the consumer market. The current Kodak Pixpro 4KVR360 consumer model is shipping now throughout Europe and will be demonstrated in booth with unique, engaging and immersive content.
The popular and award-winning Kodak Pixpro SP360 4K prosumer cameras preferred by dedicated content creators and professionals will also be displayed and demonstrated in booth. JK Imaging takes a unique approach by bundling useful camera accessories and complimentary PIXPRO software for editing and stitching on Mac and PCs with all 360° VR cameras. All Kodak Pixpro 360° VR camera models are YouTubeTM compatible for 360° interactive videos and Facebook compatible for 360° photos and videos.
The newest 2018/19 Kodak Pixpro family of cameras will continue to offer consumers a variety of feature-rich, long-zoom options within the Astro Zoom line. Rounding out the Kodak Pixpro Astro Zoom camera line up, the company will show the entry level 25X zoom option with the AZ252, and a myriad of other models including the AZ401, AZ422, AZ527, AZ652 and AZ901, all available now and designed to give photographers of every age and skill level more choices at more value.
This year’s Kodak Pixpro camera line will continue to offer four ever popular and affordable compact point-and-shoot models with the entry level FZ43, FZ53, FZ101, FZ102, FZ152 and new FZ201 comprising the Friendly Zoom category. These models give consumers a variety of choice between AA and Li-ion batteries depending upon preference and start under £100 for the entry-level models.
To add yet another option for savvy consumers, the Kodak Pixpro Digital Devices stand will feature and demonstrate their commitment to giving consumers added benefits and more power in a Micro Four-Thirds model with the S-1, a mirror-less lens camera with an assortment of detachable lenses for those avid photographers looking for a compact solution without compromise.