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NVIDIA Broadcast 1.2: turn any room into a home studio

NVIDIA Broadcast 1.2: turn any room into a home studioNo more dog bark, room echo or video noise are some of the reasons to use the new NVIDIA Broadcast 1.2. All you need is a compatible NVIDIA GPU.

NVIDIA Broadcast is a universal plugin that works with most popular live streaming, voice chat and video conferencing apps. Introduced last September, the app is supported on any NVIDIA GeForce RTX, TITAN RTX or Quadro RTX GPU, using their dedicated Tensor Core AI processors to help the app’s AI networks run in real-time, right alongside your other software. The features in NVIDIA Broadcast can be used in anything from game broadcasting to video conferencing with Zoom or any other situation where a sound and image connection to the world is needed.

As millions of people discovered when forced to work from home, backgrounds and noise became part of any home broadcast, problems that software companies tried to solve with different apps. NVIDIA had been playing with green screen effects and noise reduction for all those streaming from home, so the next evolution was a tool that offered an integrated solution for NVIDIA GPU users. That’s how NVIDIA Broadcast appeared, to allow the world’s 20 million live streamers – and all the others – to turn their bedrooms, living rooms and kitchens into a broadcast studio.

The NVIDIA Broadcast app has now been updated to version 1.2, bringing new room echo removal and video noise removal features, updated general noise removal and the ability to stack multiple effects for NVIDIA RTX users.  Version 1.2 includes new effects that enhance your microphone and webcam quality, plus features requested from the streaming community. NVIDIA Broadcast technologies are also being integrated natively into top streaming apps such as OBS Studio, AVerMedia and Notch.

NVIDIA Broadcast 1.2: turn any room into a home studioThe new Room Echo Removal

According to the company, “NVIDIA Broadcast uses AI to improve the quality of your microphone, speakers and webcam. RTX GPU owners can apply AI effects to their own microphone, or any incoming audio, removing unwanted noise. AI features also enhance the camera, including Background Removal, which removes a cluttered background from the camera feed, or Auto Frame which keeps the subject centered in the camera, even if they move. These effects run in real-time using Tensor Cores found on GeForce RTX GPUs. It’s the perfect tool to enhance both live streaming and video conferencing.”

The new Room Echo Removal feature is a key element in NVIDIA Broadcast 1.2, as it removes the echoey sound of your voice in rooms with poor acoustics. That echo may not feel so bad at first, but after a long streaming session or more than 400 days of meetings from home, your audience or colleagues will thank you for getting rid of it.

Because better sound deserves a better image, the updated version also includes a beta feature, Video Noise Removal that aims to make video noise a thing of the past… even for lower quality cameras. While NVIDIA acknowledges that the reduction of output “noise” – static that the audience can see on the video feed, especially in low-light situations, is one that will take some time to perfect, the function now included is a first step, helping to reduce video static to deliver a cleaner image.

NVIDIA Broadcast 1.2: turn any room into a home studio

Able to run multiple AI effects

NVIDIA says that existing features also receive improvements. The new update further enhances the quality and performance of the popular audio noise removal tool, with added profiles to better separate the sound of cats, dogs and even insects (cicadas be gone!). Auto Frame is also getting an update with a “buffer zone” that will let the subject move within the frame, without the camera updating. Now, it’ll move only when the talent leaves the middle-third of the screen.

Feedback from users has played a key part in the introduction of new features. For example, one bit of feedback, now incorporated in the app, is being able to run multiple AI effects on a single device. Now users can combine Background Blur with Auto Frame, or any combination they choose.

Follow the link to download the updated version of NVIDIA Broadcast app.

New NVIDIA Studio laptops for photographers and video editors

New NVIDIA Studio laptops for photographers and video editorsNew GeForce RTX gaming and Studio laptop models are now available, more than 140, including new RTX 3050 and 3050 Ti models, some bringing Studio laptops to the mainstream.

Both AMD and NVIDIA are in a race for the fastest, more powerful graphic cards… and your money. NVIDIA has just made its move, with the introduction of NVIDIA Studio laptops from Dell, HP, Lenovo, Gigabyte, MSI and Razer. The new Studio laptops are powered by GeForce RTX 30 Series and NVIDIA RTX professional laptop GPUs, including designs with the new GeForce RTX 3050 Ti and 3050 laptop GPUs, and the latest 11th Gen Intel mobile processors.

The invitation from NVIDIA is clear: create in record time using the new solutions. With the latest NVIDIA Ampere architecture, Studio laptops accelerate creative workflows with real-time ray tracing, AI and dedicated video acceleration. Creative apps run faster than ever, taking full advantage of new AI features that save time and enable all creators to apply effects that previously were limited to the most seasoned experts.

New NVIDIA Studio laptops for photographers and video editorsThirteen new Studio laptops were introduced this time, including:

  • Nine new models from Dell: The professional-grade Precision 5560, 5760, 7560 and 7760, creator dream team XPS 15 and XPS 17, redesigned Inspiron 15 Plus and 16 Inspiron Plus, and the ready for small business Vostro 7510. The Dell Precision 5560 and XPS 15 debut with elegant, thin, world-class designs featuring creator-grade panels.
  • HP debuts the updated ZBook Studio G8, the world’s most powerful laptop of its size, featuring an incredible DreamColor display with a 120Hz refresh rate and a wide array of configuration options including GeForce RTX 3080 16GB and NVIDIA RTX A5000 laptop GPUs.
  • Lenovo introduced the IdeaPad 5i Pro, with a factory-calibrated, 100 percent sRGB panel, available in 14 and 16-inch configurations with RTX 3050, as well as the ThinkBook 16p, powered by an RTX 3060.
  • Gigabyte, MSI and Razer also refreshed their Studio laptops, originally launched earlier this year, with new Intel 11th Gen CPUs, including the Gigabyte AERO 15 OLED and 17 HDR, MSI Creator 15 and Razer Blade 15.

New NVIDIA Studio laptops for photographers and video editorsGeForce RTX 3050 Ti and 3050 Studio laptops are perfect for graphic designers, photographers and video editors, bringing high performance and affordable Studio laptops to artists and students, says NVIDIA. The new line of NVIDIA Studio laptops introduces a wider range of options, making finding the perfect system easier than ever.

  • Creative aficionados that are into photography, graphic design or video editing can do more, faster, with new GeForce RTX 3050 Ti and 3050 laptops, and RTX A2000 professional laptops. They introduce AI acceleration, best-in-class video hardware encoding and GPU acceleration in hundreds of apps. With reduced power consumption and 14-inch designs as thin as 16mm, they bring RTX to the mainstream, making them perfect for students and creators on the go.
  • Advanced creators can step up to laptops powered by GeForce RTX 3070 and 3060 laptop GPUs or NVIDIA RTX A4000 and A3000 professional GPUs. They offer greater performance in up to 6K video editing and 3D rendering, providing great value in elegant Max-Q designs that can be paired with 1440p displays, widely available in laptops for the first time.
  • Expert creators will enjoy the power provided by the GeForce RTX 3080 laptop GPU, available in two variants, with 8GB or 16GB of video memory, or the NVIDIA RTX A5000 professional GPU, with 16GB of video memory. The additional memory is perfect for working with large 3D assets or editing 8K HDR RAW videos. At 16GB, these laptops provide creators working across multiple apps with plenty of memory to ensure these apps run smoothly.

New NVIDIA Studio laptops for photographers and video editorsSupport for top creative apps

The laptops are powered by third-generation Max-Q technologies. Dynamic Boost 2.0 intelligently shifts power between the GPU, GPU memory and CPU to accelerate apps, improving battery life. WhisperMode 2.0 controls the acoustic volume for the laptop, using AI-powered algorithms to dynamically manage the CPU, GPU and fan speeds to deliver quieter acoustics. For 3D artists, NVIDIA DLSS 2.0 utilizes dedicated AI processors on RTX GPUs called Tensor Cores to boost frame rates in real-time 3D applications such as D5 Render, Unreal Engine 4 and NVIDIA Omniverse.

The Studio ecosystem is flush with support for top creative apps. In total, more than 60 have RTX-specific benefits. Here are some:

  • GeForce RTX 30 Series and NVIDIA RTX professional Studio laptops save time (and money) by enabling creators to complete creative tasks faster.
  • Video specialists can expect to edit 3.1x faster in Adobe Premiere Pro on Studio laptops with an RTX 3050 Ti, and 3.9x faster with a RTX 3060, compared to CPU alone.
  • Studio laptops shave hours off a single project by reducing time in playback, unlocking GPU-accelerated effects in real-time video editing and frame rendering, and faster exports with NVIDIA encoding.
  • Color grading in Blackmagic Design’s DaVinci Resolve, and editing using features such as face refinement and optical flow, is 6.8x faster with an RTX 3050 Ti than on CPU alone.
  • Edits that took 14 minutes with RTX 3060 would have taken 2 hours with just the CPU.
  • 3D artists working with Blender who are equipped with a laptop featuring a GeForce RTX 3080-powered system can render an astonishing 24x faster than CPU alone.
  • A heavy scene that would take 1 hour to render on a Macbook Pro 16 only takes 8 minutes to render on an RTX 3080.
  • Adobe Photoshop Lightroom completes Enhance Details on RAW photos 3.7x faster with an RTX 3050 Ti, compared to an 11th Gen Intel i7 CPU, while Adobe Illustrator users can zoom and pan canvases twice as fast with an RTX 3050.

New NVIDIA Studio laptops for photographers and video editorsRegardless of your creative field, Studio laptops with GeForce RTX 30 Series and RTX professional laptop GPUs will speed up your workflow, says NVIDIA.  Starting at $799, GeForce RTX 3050 laptops add immersive ray tracing to the latest games, accelerate performance by up to 2x with NVIDIA DLSS, and increase the speed of video editing by up to 7x vs. a CPU. Compared to GeForce GTX 10 Series laptops, DLSS and the company’s latest innovations can deliver an astonishing 4x boost in games, and up to 2.5x in video editing applications, making your gaming better and your content creation far faster.

Sony Xperia PRO: European content creators get it too!

Xperia PRO: European content creators get it too!New Xperia PRO launches in Europe as the world’s first smartphone with dedicated HDMI input offering 5G speed and efficient workflow for content creators.

Sweden, Finland, Denmark and Norway are the four Nordic countries getting the new Sony Xperia PRO, making them members of an exclusive club that also includes UK, Germany. Users in other countries will have to wait for the arrival on their shores of the world’s first smartphone with a dedicated HDMI input, meaning many content creators, videographers and photographers will not have a chance to use this new new professional 5G communication device that allows them to work, as Sony says, “faster and smarter than ever before”.

The Xperia PRO, which ProVideo Coalition mentioned before, is not just a smartphone. In fact, Sony uses the term “communication device”, and points to the fact that the dedicated HDMI input allows users to enhance their workflow by connecting the device to an Alpha camera or any other HDMI input equipped camera to enable a 5G data link to broadcast video in real-time. Using compatible third-party live streaming applications, Xperia PRO can stream video content from a camera that is connected to the HDMI input to an RTMP server or directly to popular social media platforms.

The Xperia PRO HDMI input can also transform the device into a high-quality 6.5-inch 4K OLED monitor through the pre-installed External Monitor feature. The External Monitor feature features a screen lock function, screen brightness adjustment, zoom capabilities, adjustable grid lines and more.

Xperia PRO: European content creators get it too!Key features of the Xperia PRO

A wired Ethernet or USB connection enhances the speed and stability of still image file transfer between the device and the camera. Users simply need to connect an Alpha brand camera to the Xperia PRO mobile device through the wired Ethernet or USB connection and the still images will automatically transfer to an FTP server – allowing content creators to spent less time manually transferring and more time focussing on capturing the best shots.

ProVideo Coalition already covered some of the key features of the Xperia Pro last January, when the communication device was introduced in North America. Here are some key features to remember if you’re a content creator:

  • Xperia PRO packs in all of the same imaging technology as the Xperia 1 II smartphone, which makes it – even as a standalone device – a powerful tool for photography and video content creation. Because the Xperia PRO is always with you, professionals and other content creators will never miss an opportunity to create high quality, professional-level content or share that content in real-time – even without a professional camera on hand.
  • Developed in combination with Sony’s Alpha camera engineers, the Xperia PRO integrates technology such as Real-time AF (autofocus) on both humans and animals. It also features an interface designed to meet the demands of professional photographers with a variety manual controls, the capability to shoot up to 20fps with 60 times per second autofocus/autoexposure calculations[viii] and RAW support.
  • Drawing on the expertise of Sony’s Digital Cinema Camera engineers, the Xperia PRO offers a range of tools to enhance filmmaking. Users can get creative with Look colour management pre-sets, 21:9 movie recording, 4K HDR in 24p, 30p, 60p and 120fps slow-motion and Intelligent wind filter. The 6.5-inch 4K HDR OLED display features a 21:9 CinemaWide aspect ratio and supports the BT.2020 colour space.
  • With Creator mode “powered by CineAlta”, and a specially calibrated D65 white point, it references the colour reproduction of Sony´s professional colour monitors.

Xperia PRO: European content creators get it too!Xperia PRO for real-time content broadcasting

“After successful roll-out in both the US and Japan, we are excited to launch Xperia PRO in our key European markets.” said Tsutomu Sato, Director of Mobile Product Marketing, Sony Europe. “Xperia PRO opens up expansive opportunities for content creators that were simply not previously possible. We continue to innovate using Sony expertise in optical technology from our Alpha series and have incorporated this into a powerful communication device for professional content creators, photographers and videographers alike. Connectivity and speed are key thanks to 5G and HDMI input. Xperia PRO is designed to deliver an extremely efficient workflow and real-time content broadcasting, and distribution. We have a created and are introducing a portable and professional solution for creators within markets that are progressively adopting 5G connectivity.”

The new Xperia PRO 5G device will be available to pre-order on 6th May 2021 and shipped from 10th May 2021 at a price of €2,499. Customers can purchase Xperia PRO at a select group of Sony’s authorised dealers throughout the UK, Nordic and German regions.

Rotation 180 backpacks: the new series is now available

Rotation 180 backpacks: the new series is now available 2If you’ve ever wanted a classic version of the MindShift Gear Rotation 180 backpack but wanted it in a smaller size, now you can: the revolutionary backpack comes in 22, 34 and 50L+ versions.

Fully funded in Kickstarter in four hours, the next generation of Rotation 180 backpacks made the news last September, when I wrote here at ProVideo Coalition about my experience with the revolutionary original MindShift Rotation 180 Pro backpack, after it was launched, in 2013. As I noted in various occasions, the Rotation 180 Pro backpack became my backpack of choice, because of its double function, as it has a belt pack that you can rotate to access your most used gear.

While I’ve lived happily with the Rotation 180 Pro, even having used the belt pack many times on its own, because it is the exact size to carry your gear when you need to travel light, I’ve always wanted to have an alternative backpack that would offer the same versatility, but was smaller, ideal for short treks, or a day outing with more than fits in the belt pack. Think Tank Photo has introduced some smaller backpacks, like the Trailscape or Backlight, but nothing similar to the concept of the Rotation 180 Pro, only smaller.

Rotation 180 backpacks: the new series is now availableThink Tank Photo also introduced, in 2015, another family of backpacks following the same concept, with the Rotation 180 Horizon, with 34 liters capacity, the 22-liter Rotation 180 Panorama and the 16-liter Rotation 180 Trail, the smallest in the family. All with a different design from the classic MindShift Rotation 180 Pro backpack, and optionally available in blue… that I dislike.

So, it was a pleasant surprise for me to discover the new series, which looks like the original MindShift Rotation 180, but is available in three sizes. That’s the answer to my dreams regarding a backpack, because, as I wrote last September, I want to have “a smaller version to use when you don’t need all the space provided by its 38 Liter capacity” but one with a belt pack that rotates, as I grew so much used to it.

Rotation 180 backpacks: the new series is now availableThe three new backpacks

After the successful Kickstarter campaign, which was created as a solution to support the cost of developing a product that was well received by those supporting it, Think Tank Photo is now announcing that the new series is available, just in time for all those outdoors photographers and videographers who are preparing to come out from a long “social distancing” period and want a new backpack to return to the wild.

Here is what you can fit in each of the three new MindShift Rotation backpacks that Think Tank Photo introduced through the Kickstarter and Indiegogo campaigns. One of them will, no doubt, be the right choice for your adventures.

  • Rotation 22L
    Belt Pack (6 Liters): One ungripped Mirrorless or DSLR camera kit with 2-3 lenses or 24-70mm f/2.8 attached to body.
    Main Backpack Compartment: 16-liters of capacity for personal items
  • Rotation 34L
    Belt pack (8.5 Liters): One gripped Mirrorless or DSLR kit with 3-5 lenses or 70-200mm f/2.8 attached to body
    Main Compartment: 25.5 liters of capacity for personal items or Stash Master Top Load photo insert (sold separately)
  • Rotation 50L+
    Belt Pack (10 Liters): One gripped Mirrorless or DSLR kit with 3-5 lenses or 24-70mm f/2.8 attached.
    Main Compartment: 40-liters of capacity for personal items and can be expanded to 46 liters with the top collar – making the Rotation 50+ a 56-liter bag! Stash Master pro photo insert significantly expands your camera carry (sold separately).

 

Rotation 180 backpacks: the new series is now availableWhich backpack to choose?

The decision to create three different sizes of the backpack means that independently of the size chosen, the user can expect to have the same good-looking bag, what is, from my perspective, a good thing. Also, if you’re a photographer that needs different sized bags, depending on what you’re doing, you may decide to buy not one but two backpacks. If those bags are from the same series, it becomes easy, despite some layout differences, to consistently pack gear the way you prefer, in either of the bags.

For those who spend a lot of time in the wild, the Rotation 50L+ may be the best choice, but if you’ve to consider a compromise between carrying a lot and walking long distances, the Rotation 34L may be the best choice. I would bet that the Rotation 34L, considering my experience with the original MindShift Rotation 180 Pro (38L) is the right choice for most people.

Still, as I wrote then, “the Rotation 22L is ideal for short hikes and is the bag I would choose for one day scouting trips. While it is true that the 38L version I own or the new 34L are not much larger, the fact is that they are overkill and for casual use the 22L backpack is a welcome addition to any collection of backpacks. Photographers, in fact, tend to have more than one backpack that they use according to the needs of each specific shoot.

The new Laowa Argus 33mm f/0.95 CF APO for APS-C has arrived

The new Laowa Argus 33mm f/0.95 CF APO for APS-CFirst revealed by multiple rumor websites, long before it was supposed to be announced, the Argus family of lenses from Venus Optics is finally here, starting with the Laowa Argus 33mm f/0.95 CF APO.

Venus Optics finally confirms the introduction of the first of its Laowa Argus family of lenses, the Argus 33mm f/0.95 CF APO for APS-C, which will be available this month, for a price of $499.00, first for Fuji X and Sony E mount, with versions for Nikon Z and Canon RF starting shipping by the end of May.

As a side note, it’s interesting to see how companies name their lenses. Argus, the name chosen by Laowa for this series, comes, according to the company, from the Greek mythology “and was the name of a vigilant guardian with a hundred eyes and an “all-seeing” sight”. Argus Panoptes, the complete name of the mythical figure, is a many eye giant known for having generated the saying “the eyes of Argus”. Venus Optics says that the name was chosen because it represents “the ultra-bright f/0.95 aperture of the lenses and the exceptional image quality they deliver.”

The new Laowa Argus 33mm f/0.95 CF APO for APS-CThe “eyes of Argus” in this case will be not one but four lenses, as revealed at the start of the year by rumor websites. They are the Laowa Argus 25mm f/0.95 for Micro Four Thirds, Laowa Argus 35mm and 45mm f/0.95 for full-frame, and this Laowa Argus 33mm f/0.95 CF APO for APS-C. Multiple “eyes of Argus” covering a variety of formats, all offering a super fast aperture, perfect for low light photography.

The 35mm f/0.95 is the first released lens of what Venus Optics says is “the much anticipated Argus line.” Featuring the ultra fast f/0.95 aperture with APO design, the lens offers photographers and videographers a classic focal length for everyday shooting and a versatility to shoot at difficult lighting conditions. According to Venus Optics, “the lens delivers exception image quality wide-open and suppresses the chromatic aberration to the minimal. Coupled with the 35mm (1.15 feet) minimum focus distance, a buttery smooth and exquisite bokeh rendering can easily be created.

The new Laowa Argus 33mm f/0.95 CF APO for APS-CA lens for narrative filmmaking

The lens will be appreciated by photographers for portraits, low light photography, and astrophotography, but videographers will find “multiple touches of videographer friendly features for narrative filmmaking”, from minimum focus breathing to a stepless aperture ring. Here are the key features that videographers will appreciate:

  • Low Focus Breathing
    Venus Optics also attempted to compress the focus breathing of this new Argus lens to the minimal in its class. This is perfect for narrative filming where the distraction of the framing changes is no more.
  • Stepless Aperture
    The stepless aperture ring allows videographers to adjust and control the exposure smoothly.
  • Extended focus throw with 62mm filter thread
    Laowa Argus 33mm f/0.95 CF APO has a long focus throw (300°) and allows photographers and videographers to have a precise control of the focus over the shallow depth of field for isolating the subject better. A 62mm filter thread is designed to fit with screw-in filters.
  • Internal Focus Design with a small form factor
    An internal focus optics design has been adopted so that the lens will not extend in length during focusing, it offers additional stability and prevents dust from getting into the lens. It is particularly useful for videographers where add-on accessories like matte-box are often used. Venus Optics still managed to keep the lens compact (3.26” / 83mm long) and lightweight (590 g/1.3 lbs) despite the internal focus design.

Venus Optics says that the lens was designed to deliver impressive performance at wide-open aperture. It incorporates one Extra-low Dispersion Glass, one Aspherical Lens and three Ultra High Refraction Glass to suppress both lateral and longitudinal chromatic aberration (CA) to the minimal at all apertures in its class. It also delivers an exceptional image sharpness across the frame.

The new Laowa Argus 33mm f/0.95 CF APO for APS-CButtery smooth bokeh

The fast aperture makes handheld shooting at low light situations much easier, meaning that you can now tell your story in any condition without compromising your image with higher ISO. As an extra bonus, you get a shallow depth of field that offers great versatility for selective focus and isolate the subject for a better story telling.  The 9 circular aperture blades produce smooth, round bokeh with no hard edges.

The new Laowa Argus 33mm f/0.95 CF APO for APS-CThe closest focusing distance of 35cm (1.15 feet) from subject to sensor allows photographers to capture different perspectives with details of the object, with clean images at both ‘in-focus’ and ‘out-of-focus’ areas. The fast f/0.95 aperture concurs with the focusing distance to offer a close up shot with shallow depth of field, allowing you to create buttery smooth bokeh with breathtaking close-up details, for visually and aesthetically appealing images.

Venus Optics introduces its first lens of the f/0.95 ‘Argus’ line, Laowa ‘Argus’ 33mm f/0.95 CF APO with a clear invitation to photographers: start capturing chromatic aberration-free image at f/0.95. If a manual focusing lens is in your plans, the name Argus is one to keep in mind.

SIGMA 35mm F1.4 DG DN: the evolution of a classic

SIGMA 35mm F1.4 DG DN: the evolution of a classicExclusively for L-Mount and Sony E-mount mirrorless cameras, compatible with full-frame cameras, the SIGMA 35mm F1.4 DG DN | Art signals the company’s passion for a concept introduced nine years ago.

Superb optical performance and usability power up the most popular focal length. SIGMA says that the 35mm F1.4 Art is reborn through this new model, which offers, the company claims, fast and quiet AF in a compact body and a professional feature-set. As with all of SIGMA’s lenses, the 35mm F1.4 DG DN | Art is built entirely at its sole factory in Aizu in Japan, where the standard of craftsmanship is of the highest level.

The existing 35mm F1.4 DG HSM | Art was SIGMA’s first GLOBAL VISION lens. Released in 2012, it set the standard for all of SIGMA’s subsequent Art-line lenses, and thanks to its exceptional image quality it is still the 35mm prime lens of choice for many professional photographers. Nine years on, the 35mm F1.4 has been redesigned from the ground up specifically for mirrorless cameras, and is the culmination of much of the optical design expertise and advanced production techniques gained over the past decade of GLOBAL VISION lens development.

As is true with all SIGMA lenses, class-leading optics are right at the heart of the design concept of this new 35mm F1.4 DG DN | Art. Despite being significantly smaller and lighter than the existing 35mm F1.4, it displays an outstanding level of sharpness right to the edges of the frame at all apertures, as well as exceptionally smooth and attractive bokeh and remarkably well-controlled optical aberrations.

Designed exclusively for use with mirrorless cameras, the 35mm F1.4 DG DN | Art is light enough to feel perfectly balanced on a compact mirrorless camera, yet is packed with an array of professional features including ultra-fast AF, a de-clickable and lockable aperture ring and a customizable AFL button. This gives the lens operability and portability without compromise, making it as ideal for professional projects as it is for casual outings, and as well-suited to video as it is stills.

SIGMA 35mm F1.4 DG DN: the evolution of a classicThe new gold standard in 35mm primes

SIGMA says with this new lens the company introduces users to the new gold standard in wide-aperture 35mm primes. Central to the design of the 35mm F1.4 DG DN | Art is its sophisticated optical performance, which is consistent with the development of all Art line lenses. The lens incorporates 15 elements in 11 groups.

With two Special Low Dispersion (SLD) elements, an Extraordinary Low Dispersion (ELD) element, an ‘F’ Low Dispersion (FLD) element and two aspherical elements, and as well as other high-performance glass, the lens’ advanced optical construction utilizes SIGMA’s state-of-the-art optical design technology, minimizing all types of aberration including axial chromatic aberration, which cannot be corrected in-camera.

In spite of having a very wide aperture of F1.4, the lens is able to control sagittal coma flare extremely well even wide open, stopping bright points of light from flaring out near the edges of the frame. This will be particularly appealing to night sky photographers.

Owing to its 11 rounded diaphragm blades, the lens displays smooth, round bokeh so that out-of-focus areas are not distracting. This makes the 35mm F1.4 DG DN | Art well-suited to portraits, supported by its ultra-sharp image quality and minimal color bleeding. It also performs very well in backlit conditions thanks to SIGMA’s anti-ghosting and anti-flare technology that it has cultivated through countless simulations and real-life testing in our many years of lens development. This keeps shots high contrast and free of excessive flare even when working in difficult light.

The focusing mechanism in the SIGMA 35mm F1.4 DG DN | Art features a stepping motor. This motor controls a focusing lens group composed of a single, lightweight element, which means AF is responsive and quiet, and is able to keep track of moving objects very effectively. Manual focusing is smooth and precise, but with the right amount of resistance for filmmakers. Certainly, this lens has a focus mode switch on the body.

SIGMA 35mm F1.4 DG DN: the evolution of a classicDesigned with filmmakers in mind

The SIGMA 35mm F1.4 DG DN | Art wholly embraces the Art line concept, which is “designed with a focus on sophisticated optical performance”. This—paired with its advanced autofocus performance and the convenience of a compact size—makes for a lens that raises the standards.

On the body of the SIGMA 35mm F1.4 DG DN | Art is an aperture ring that allows aperture to be controlled via the lens, or when set to Auto, using the camera. An aperture lock switch on the lens body allows the aperture ring to be locked in Auto so that it’s not accidentally knocked during shooting. A big plus for filmmakers, the aperture ring can be de-clicked, allowing users to seamlessly adjust exposure. Also on the lens barrel is a focus mode switch and an AFL button, which can be customized to a desired function from within the camera menu (depending on the model). The switch is ergonomically positioned to be controlled by the thumb during use.

A petal type lens hood is included in the box, which helps reduce flare and offers the lens added protection if dropped. The hood has a lock mechanism that keeps it attached securely to the lens, and its rubberized grip makes it quick and easy to attach and remove.

On top of this impressive array of features and elegant exterior, the body of the 35mm F1.4 DG DN | Art offers an exceptional level of durability that helps it withstand long-term professional use as well as individual operating parts that give a good fit to the hand. The dust and splash proof structure provides sealing on buttons and along joins between constituent parts, and there’s a rubber gasket around the mount. There’s also a water and oil repellent coating applied to the front element ensures that photographers can rely on it in any conditions.

New Gemini 1×1 Hard is Litepanels’ most versatile LED panel ever

New Litepanels Gemini 1x1 Hard is their most versatile LED panel everWith ultra-smooth dimming from 100 percent to .1 percent, the new Gemini 1×1 Hard RGBWW LED from Litepanels delivers hard or soft light and is the brightest and most fully featured LED panel from the company.

Litepanels, a global provider of professional broadcast and cinematic lighting solutions and a Vitec Group brand, continues to expand its lineup of Gemini RGBWW LED panels, with the introduction of the Gemini 1×1 Hard RGBWW LED Panel, which delivers an incredibly bright output of over 3000 lux @10ft/3m to produce the brightest and most accurate 1×1 panel ever.

The new addition to the Gemini range delivers hard or soft light with outstanding bright output that users can control. Like all LED panels in the Gemini range, Gemini 1×1 Hard produces highly accurate full spectrum white light as well as full RGB output and a range of creative cinematic effects. Its remarkably compact and lightweight form weighs just 13.2 lbs (6kg), including yoke and power supply, and has a maximum draw of just 200W yet Gemini 1×1 Hard produces an impressive output 20% brighter than a 200W HMI.

“The exceptional output of the Gemini 1×1 Hard is possible because of our advanced lensing technology,” said Michael Herbert, product manager, Litepanels. “We tightly lens individual red, green, blue, tungsten and daylight LEDs to ensure that every bit of light emitted from each LED is captured and delivered forward. This individual separation of LEDs also lets heat dissipate easily and allows more power to run through them for greater output.” He added, “No other RGBWW panel available produces as much light from such little power.”

New Litepanels Gemini 1x1 Hard is their most versatile LED panel everMore power to command and control

The power of Gemini Hard, expands the creative potential of a 1×1 panel. With more power to command and control, users can choose a wider range of diffusion and creative light shaping tools, not possible with less powerful fixtures. Combined with full RGB control of over 16 million colors, 300 gels and 11 customizable special effects, the powerful Gemini 1×1 Hard is Litepanels’ most versatile LED panel ever.

Panalux, the leading supplier of lighting rental equipment for film, television, and media production, are first to take delivery of the new Gemini 1×1 Hard panels.  “We’re delighted to have secured the first ten Gemini 1×1 Hard fixtures to add to our rental fleet.” Said Dave Amphlett, Technical Director, Panalux.

“We already have over 500 Gemini 2×1 Soft panels and accessories and since we added them to the rate card at the beginning of 2019, we’ve seen rental demand grow. Gaffers and DOPs working on everything from commercials and drama to major features appreciate the benefits of high-quality white output, light weight, and its integrated power supply, and those are the features that make Gemini stand out from other similar products,” he added.

New Litepanels Gemini 1x1 Hard is their most versatile LED panel everReady to start working right out of the box

“The Gemini 1×1 Hard is a versatile addition to the Gemini range, providing a smaller form factor delivering punch and high output with the ability to easily soften the light with a range of diffusers.  The option to run the fixture at full power from a battery adds more flexibility making it quick to set up and suitable for a wide variety of applications.”

Gemini 1×1 Hard is ready to start working right out of the box, with no assembly required. Ultra Light and Domed Diffusers are supplied as standard with the fixture.  In addition to its onboard controls, Gemini Hard offers a broad range of control options, including DMX, RDM, wireless DMX, and Bluetooth for easy integration into any existing lighting setup.  Just like other Gemini fixtures, Gemini Hard delivers consistently accurate, flicker-free performance at any frame rate, shutter angle, or intensity with ultra-smooth dimming from 100 percent to .1 percent.

Gemini 1×1 Hard is available to buy now priced from $2,250 at Litepanels authorized retailers.

Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences gets Cooke Archive

Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences gets Cooke ArchiveThe historic Cooke Archive of original documents and photographs was donated to the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, and it will be on display at the Margaret Herrick Library.

The first Cooke lens was made from an elegantly simple design, patented in 1893, known as “The Cooke Triplet Patent” and since then Cooke has been at the centre of the filmmaking business. From that point through the 1960s, many series of Cooke stills lenses were designed, produced and engraved with the Cooke name in Leicester, England by Taylor, Taylor & Hobson. This Cooke Compendium, compiled by Barbara Lowry, offers detailed highlights and specifications about each and every Cooke lens series that was published in the many Cooke lens catalogues that reside in the company’s Cooke Archives.

Cooke’s lenses are deeply connected to our collective past. For over a century, wherever films have been made, Cooke has been there. Cooke’s photographic lenses captured images from many historic moments in the first half of the 20th century; original photographs survive from the infamous Shackleton expedition of 1914-16, and Cooke lenses were used exclusively by British and US armed forces for cartography and photo-reconnaissance during World War II. The acclaimed American photographer Ansel Adams also shot many of his most famous images using a Cooke lens.

Now, Cooke Optics, the award-winning manufacturer of precision lenses for film and television, has transferred the Cooke Archive, an historic collection dating from 1886, and that covers covers development of lens design for photography and film through the 20th century, to a new permanent home at the Margaret Herrick Library, the main repository of research materials of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, located in Beverly Hills, California. The Cooke Archives, which includes documents, photographs and audiotapes cataloguing the rich history of Cooke lenses as well as the wider development of the film and photography sectors, will be available for research purposes.

Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences gets Cooke ArchiveA test chart from 1897

The collection includes original letters from H. Dennis Taylor, inventor of the famous Cooke Triplet patent of 1893. Taylor designed the first five Cooke lenses using his new technology that for the first time solved the problem of astigmatism – uneven definition, particularly with softness at the edges – and achieved sharpness throughout the image plane. The remarkable correspondence shows the emotional political situation that erupted over the Cooke patent between the lens competitors; the design was deemed so good that competitors took the stance that it couldn’t be true.

Here is an explanation of the two key images used with this text:

One is from the stylized test chart that Taylor, Taylor & Hobson had made to test the crispness and clarity of their new Cooke Triplet lenses.  The background is covered with glowing testimonials signed by photographers. When the chart was published next to its twin, photographed with a Rapid Rectilinear 5.05-inch, f/8 lens, the competitor backlash was so great that TT&H took advantage of the publicity by publishing and distributing to the public, a hard-cover booklet called

The second image is from the booket “The New Era.”  The booklet explains why the “Cooke lenses, Series III, will produce perfectly sharp definition at any part of the plate, with full aperture f/6.5,” with photographs showing “plainly the superiority of the Cooke lens in comparison with the best of the old types.”  Note the emphasis on “the best.”

Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences gets Cooke ArchiveCooke and the advent of ‘talking pictures’

“The Cooke Optics archive is an excellent addition to the archival holdings of the Academy’s Margaret Herrick Library, providing comprehensive documentation of the firm’s contributions to a fundamental motion picture technology, spanning the entire history of the cinema itself.  We are honored to have been chosen as the permanent home for this important collection,” said Howard Prouty, Manager, Acquisitions, Margaret Herrick Library.

The Margaret Herrick Library, which is closed until mid-2021, for the safety of its patrons and staff, is a world-renowned, non-circulating reference and research collection devoted to the history and development of the motion picture as an art form and an industry. Established in 1928 and now located in Beverly Hills, the library is open to the public and used year-round by students, scholars, historians and industry professionals. Now they will have another reason to visit the library: the Cooke Archive.

In the film world, Cooke lenses were famously instrumental in the advent of ‘talking pictures’, which needed faster lenses to capture restricted light, since the traditional arc lights were too noisy to have on sets while recording audio. Cookes are also documented as contributing to the success of the original Technicolor colour process.

Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences gets Cooke Archive
The Margaret Herrick Library in Beverly Hills, California

The Cooke Compendium continues online

“Our Cooke Archivist, Barbara Lowry, has spent years gathering together this important and comprehensive collection, detailing the very beginnings of what eventually became Cooke Optics and the early lens designs that would change photography forever,” said Tim Pugh, CEO, Cooke Optics. “We are incredibly grateful for Barbara’s labour of love in collating this collection, and her recent retirement seemed like the right time to donate the archive to the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. Future generations of photography and film students can now appreciate the significant impact that Cooke had, and continues to have, in the photography and film worlds.”

While the original Cooke Archive is now in its new home, two history sections remain on the Cooke website. The Cooke Compendium at https://cookeoptics.com/t/compendium.html features some of the earliest stills and cine lenses, while a history of how the company and lens designs developed can be found at https://cookeoptics.com/t/history.html.

Flanders Scientific introduces the AM211 and BM211 monitors

Flanders Scientific introduces the AM211 and BM211 monitorsIf a new monitor is in your plans, take a look at the most recent solutions available from Flanders Scientific: the AM211 and BM211, which are available at the same price as the AM210 and BM210.

Flanders Scientific has two new monitors, the AM211, promising color accuracy on a budget, and the BM211, which the company says builds on the AM211’s capabilities to offer the tools you need and an image you can rely on. The AM211 and BM211 are direct replacements for the AM210 and BM210 respectively with one key distinction from the older units, an all new backlight providing two significant measurable performance improvements:

  • Maximum color gamut is now 96% of P3 compared to Rec709 maximum of previous models.
  • Better black levels thanks to a 30%+ increase in contrast ratio.

Additionally, says Flanders Scientific,  the new backlight uses a very similar LED element to that found in our higher-end DM170, DM240, and XM310K monitors offering a better perceptual match than ever between entry level and top of the line solutions.

Best of all, adds Flanders Scientific, the AM211 and BM211 will be available at the same price as the previous AM210 and BM210 monitors they are replacing. The company believes that “the AM211’s and BM211’s wide color gamut, higher contrast, and new backlight technology will be a welcome addition to facilities and productions that want to mix in more affordable monitoring options while preserving a great deal of visual consistency with their hero monitors.”

Flanders Scientific introduces the AM211 and BM211 monitorsThe AM211 monitor

The AM211 is an affordable and accurate professional broadcast monitor. It is large enough to be used in an edit suite yet lightweight, durable, and compact enough to work exceptionally well as a field monitor. The monitor features industry leading tetrahedral LUT interpolation for greater accuracy and visual performance than hardware utilizing trilinear LUT interpolation. A wide variety of scopes and meters are also available. Display up to two scopes on screen at a time. Scopes can be positioned in any of 6 on-screen positions. When using two scopes the scope windows can be stacked horizontally or vertically depending on your preference. Video scopes work across all inputs, even DVI.

The AM211 features full 12-bit video processing and a native HD resolution panel capable of reproducing over 16.7 million colors on screen. The monitor is equipped with 3G/HD/SD-SDI, DVI-I, Component, and Composite Inputs. As with all FSI monitors the AM211 offers support for virtually any signal format including advanced 12-bit, 4:4:4, and XYZ signal formats.

Flanders Scientific introduces the AM211 and BM211 monitorsThe BM211 monitor

The BM211 is a lightweight, power-efficient, and color accurate professional display with an extended feature set geared towards production, editorial, and broadcast environments. The BM211 builds on the AM211’s capabilities with hardware that additionally supports popular features like live side-by-side viewing for two signals, look LUT support, dual-link SDI compatibility, our advanced Video Data Analyzer, HDR Preview modes, and much more.

Additionally, Flanders Scientific brought tetrahedral LUT interpolation to the BM211 to maximize the performance of both calibration and look LUTs. Moving from trilinear to tetrahedral LUT interpolation on the BM211 helps to further ensure consistency with FSI’s higher-end DM and XM series monitors, which all use tetrahedral LUT interpolation as well.

The BM211 is a lightweight, power-efficient, and color accurate professional display with an extended feature set geared towards production, editorial, and broadcast environments. This Multi-Format broadcast monitor comes with 3G/Dual-Link/HD/SD-SDI, Component, Composite, & DVI-I Inputs. Like all BM series monitors this unit features full 12-bit video processing and a native 1920×1080 resolution 8-bit panel capable of reproducing over 16.7 million colors on screen. The BM211 offers support for virtually any signal format from NTSC/PAL to HD and 2K, including advanced 12-bit, 4:4:4, and XYZ signal formats.

AM211 and BM211 are available to order starting today at ShopFSI.com, or ShopFSI.eu for customers in Europe. The list price for the AM 211 $2,150.00 while the BM211 costs $2,595.00.