Photography News: These broken filters add sweet in-camera effects

Afraid of missing out on the latest photo industry news while you’re out, well, actually taking pictures? Photography News of the Week is all the news you might have missed this week, published on the weekends. Alongside the biggest stories of the week, like Canon’s new instant cameras, the new Sony RX0 II, and the Sony a9’s new A.I.-powered autofocus, find briefs on the latest in accessories and photography news from this week.

Prism Lens FX new variable prism filters hack your lens for creative effects

Love light leaks, flare, and bokeh? New variable prism filters from Prism Lens FX are designed to make adding creative in-camera effects simpler. The variable filters allow users to position different effects around the image using a traditional circular filter design with a few non-traditional elements thrown in.

The prism filter adds broken pieces of glass to catch the light to create bokeh and flare to the image. Meanwhile, the chromatic flare filter creates anamorphic or streak flares and the split glass filter creates light leak effects. The manufacturer suggests using all three with telephoto lenses that are 50mm or greater, with wider apertures of at least f/2.8.

The filters are expected to start shipping next month and are available for pre-order for $75 each. It’s worth noting, however, that there are some do-it-yourself hacks such as using fishing line to create anamorphic flare.

With upcoming firmware, the Canon EOS R will improve autofocus

The Canon EOS R will soon be able to grab focus on the eyes even while shooting in continuous autofocus mode. According to Canon South and Southeast Asia, version 1.2.0 firmware will bring the feature to the EOS R next month. The update will also support continuous autofocus with the small AF frame size selected, as well as correcting a handful of bugs.

The Tiffen Steadimate-S turns inexpensive one-handed gimbals into steadier pro rigs

photography news march 30 2019 pbazzzeq

One-handed gimbals are becoming more common — and now there’s an option to add more stability and long-term comfort to the growing video accessory. The Tiffen Steadimate-S, launched this week, turns single-handed motorized gimbals into body-worn stabilization by allowing them to be adapted to Tiffen’s Steadimate vests.

Tiffen says the Steadicam Steadimate-S makes the smaller gimbals more comfortable to use for long shoots while still allowing the videographer to move the camera around. The accessory also adds Z-axis stabilization, offering smoother performance for gimbals that are typically just X-axis and Y-axis stabilization. 

The accessory fits gimbal arms with a 0.5-inch post like the DJI Ronin-S. The accessory negates some of the perks of the more budget-friendly gimbals, however. Available in 15-pound capacity and 30-pound capacity versions, the Steadimate-S adapter is $500 and needs a pricey vest, too.

CyberLink PhotoDirector 365 gains A.I.-powered facial recognition

CyberLink’s photo editor Photo Director 365 has a handful of new tools, thanks to an update launched this week. The photo software now has FaceMe tagging using facial recognition to find images of specific people. The update also adds one-click alignment for layers, as well as new Frame Packs and Express Layer Packs.

The company’s video tool, PowerDirector 365, adds dual preview windows for faster edits. CyberLink also added snap alignment to help align titles, masks, and other objects. The update also integrates new custom hotkeys, enhanced multi-screen support, and new add-on packs.

The updates are available now for subscribers. Director Suite 365 is available for $130 a year or $30 a month.

Profoto wants to simplify off-camera flash with the button-free Profoto Connect

photography news march 30 2019 profoto connect bts 2 evan pantiel
Profoto / Evan Pantiel

Flash is one of the more complex photography skills to master, but lighting company Profoto is hoping to encourage more photographers to try off-camera flash with the Connect, a simple trigger that is button-free. The Profoto Connect has three options — auto, manual and off. There are no other buttons on the body to bump, while connection to the Profoto app offers for more options for adjusting settings, including eight channel options.

The Profoto Connect is compatible with the Profoto AirTTL lights. The trigger also uses a rechargeable battery. The Profoto Connect is available for Canon, Sony, and Nikon systems, retailing for $300.

Emerging Tech

Awesome Tech You Can’t Buy Yet: Halfbikes, VR for all your senses, and more

Check out our roundup of the best new crowdfunding projects and product announcements that hit the web this week. You may not be able to buy this stuff yet, but it's fun to gawk!

Light on price but rich on features, these are the best cameras for students

Need pro-level features on a budget? The best cameras for students mix advanced features with a more palatable price point. From $2K entry level full frame cameras to $600 budget picks, here are five of the best cameras for students.

Twitter has revealed a launch date for its handy hide replies features

Twitter has revealed a launch date for a feature that lets users hide replies to their tweets. The hope is that it will help the original poster filter out offensive or irrelevant content from conversation threads.

The Canon EOS Rebel T6 DSLR camera gets a steep price cut at Walmart

Modern smartphones can snap pretty impressive pics, but if you want pro-quality photos, you need a dedicated digital camera. The Canon EOS Rebel T6 is one of the best entry-level DSLR cameras on the market, and it’s on sale right now for…

Photography news: Sony brings Eye Autofocus to critters via A.I.

In this week's photography news, the Sony a7 III and a7R III have some new capabilities, thanks to updated firmware. Lexar teases a crazy fast 1,000MB/s memory card, while Vimeo launches bulk upload possibilities.

Fujifilm X-T30 vs. Sony A6400: Midrange mirrorless cameras compared

The Fujifilm X-T30 and Sony A6400 are two of the best cameras you can buy for under $1,000, but which should you choose? Each has an edge in certain situations which makes picking a winner difficult, but here's how they compare.

The Black Eye Pro Cinema Wide G4 is a knockout lens for any smartphone

Where cheaper wide-angle accessory lenses add distortion, and costlier models don't always justify their higher prices, the Black Eye Pro Cinema Wide G4 offers a valuable balance of modest price and high quality optics.
Product Review

Equal parts tool and toy, the Lensbaby Edge 35 bucks photographic tradition

The Lensbaby Edge 35, part of the Composer Pro optic swap system, creates tilt-shift-like blur without the tilt-shift price. Made for photographers who want find tradition boring, it opens up new ways to work with blur.

The best budget-friendly GoPro alternatives that won’t leave you broke

Cold weather is here, and a good action camera is the perfect way to record all your adventures. You don't need to shell out the big bucks for a GoPro: Check out these great GoPro alternatives, including some 4K cameras, that won’t leave…

Etch-A-Snap camera puts a modern spin on one of your favorite childhood toys

Can't draw on an Etch A Sketch? Snap a photo with the Etch-A-Snap and the camera will draw out the scene for you. The weirdly cool camera designed by Martin Fitzpatrick replaces the usual LCD screen with an old-school Etch A Sketch.

Family feud: Huawei P30 Pro vs. P20 Pro vs. Mate 20 Pro camera shootout

The Huawei P30 Pro's camera has an amazing zoom mode and low light capabilities. But take these away, and how does it compare when facing its sibling phones, the P20 Pro and Mate 20 Pro, taking regular photos?

Nikon Z 7 vs. Sony A7R III: High-res mirrorless cameras compared

The Nikon Z 7 and Sony A7R III both have over 40 megapixels, but which one comes out on top? With similar image quality, the answer comes down to speed, autofocus, battery life, and design.

Panasonic Lumix S1R vs. Nikon Z 7: When megapixels matter, which do you choose?

The 47-megapixels Lumix S1R and 46-megapixel Nikon Z 7 are the two highest-resolution, full-frame mirrorless cameras on the market. The S1R features a high-resolution mode that can take 187MP images, but the Nikon is lighter and cheaper.

Sweet 16: Wacom’s Cintiq 16 pen display makes retouching photos a breeze

Wacom’s Cintiq pen displays are usually reserved for the pros (or wealthy enthusiasts), but the new Cintiq 16 brings screen and stylus editing to an approachable price. Does it cut too much to get there?