Welcome to the March edition of Photography News, a special issue with the results of our annual Awards taking centre stage. Each year, as voted for by readers of Photography News, recognise and celebrate the best imaging kit and services. This year, we have innovated by adding the Editor’s Choice Awards too. All the winners are revealed in this issue. Lighting is also plays a big part in the issue with exclusive excerpts from Richard Bradbury’s new book, Mastering Lighting & Flash Photography, and a buyers’ guide to a full range of flash and continuous lighting kit. See you again next month. Will
ISSUE 86 9 Mar-12 Apr 2021 photographynews.co.uk
Big test: Nikon Z 6II / Is this the best stills/video hybrid?
Travel gallery / Awesome
Prize word search / Win a Samsung 256GB microSDmemory card
images from TPOTY 2020 AWARDS SPECIAL ISSUE
Thousands of readers voted and we’ve done the counting. The results are in. In wide-ranging categories, from cameras and lenses to inkjet papers and colour management kits, Photography News readers have picked the best that money can buy. The full roll call of winners is revealed inside, starting on page 15
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THERE'S A BIGANNIVERSARY thismonth, but it’s not one to celebrate. On 11March last year, theWHO declared Covid-19 a pandemic – and you know the rest. It’s been challenging, to put it mildly, but I’m thankful for being a keen photographer. For months, likemillions of others, I’ve stayed at home. If I didn’t have a camera, mymarbles would’ve rolled away a long time ago! My kitchen and living roomwere transformed into makeshift studios, while the hill, a ten-minute walk away, becamemy favourite location. Since then, I’ve taken thousands upon thousands of pictures, andmymacro lens has been very busy. Most shots aren’t keepers – or evenworth a second look – but I’m really happy with some, including a series of self-portraits (my homage to Andreas Feininger displayed above) that proved fun and rewarding. But, hey, things are looking up. There’s a plan to ease us out of lockdown andmillions have been vaccinated already. Recently, as the rain hammered on the window, I began to wonder what summer would look like this year, andwhether life would be anything like ‘normal’. Couldwe just jump into the car, or get on a bus or train, and go somewhere to take a few photographs? Just over a year ago, we took such freedom for granted. In terms of new cameras, the year is off to a flyer with Fujifilm’s GFX100S and Sony’s A1. Both are surely great bets to scoop future awards. Speaking of which, this issue contains the eagerly anticipated results of the Photography News 2020
The 28-70mm f/2.8 DG DN adds to the brand’s Contemporary line and offers versatile shooting for L-Mount and E-mount bodies BASED AROUND THE existing 24-70mm f/2.8 DG DN lens in the brand’s Art line, Sigma’s new 28-70mm f/2.8 DG DN standard zoom in the Contemporary line shares the same optical quality, but has a refined construction, making this lens the smallest and lightest in its class. This comes at the rather negligible loss of 4mm at the short end of the focal length range. At just over 10cm in length and 470g in weight, the lens is ideal for photographers travelling light. Useful focal length coverage and constant fast aperture render the lens versatile for use with a wide range of subjects. It also protects against dust and splash around the mount. High-quality performance is down to the supreme optical construction, with three aspherical, two FLD and two SLD elements, amounting to 16 elements in 12
Awards. Thank you to every reader who voted. This year, we’ve added Editor’s Choice awards, and I’ve used the privilege to recognise products that didn’t win the reader vote. I have to say, and I make no excuse for repeating this constantly, we photographers are truly blessed. I was thinking back to the time (in 2001) I took the Canon EOS D30, a 3-megapixel APS-C format DSLR, out on test. It wrote images to a painfully slow and unreliable CF Microdrive card – the body alone cost about £3000 and the images didn’t hold a candle to the full-frame FujifilmVelvia slides that I shot at the same time. In a single generation, we’ve gone from3-megapixel cameras tomodels that deliver 102-megapixel files, or rattle off (silently) 50-megapixel files at 30fps. However you cut it, we have come an incredibly long way in a remarkably short time. And, of course, that doesn’t just apply to cameras, but many aspects of life. I wonder what the next generation is going to bring.. See you in April.
groups overall. The inclusion of Super Multi-Layer Coating and Nano Porous Coating means flare is also well-controlled, along with distortions and aberrations. Part of the 28-70mm’s compact design is down to a small AF unit, containing a single focusing element. Sigma assures AF performance is responsive and quiet. There’s also a focus mode switch on the barrel of the lens for easy operation. Available now in L-Mount and Sony E-mount, the Sigma 28-70mm f/2.8 DG DN is priced at £759.99. sigma-imaging-uk.com
What’s inside 03 News Catch up with the latest happenings in the world of imaging gear. Plus, we have books to give away and it’s your latest chance to win a K&F carbon-fibre travel tripod worth £120 in our simple-to-enter contest 11 Word search Find the missing word and you could win a Samsung Evo Plus 256GB microSDXC card 12 Club news More virtual exhibitions and meetings – clubs are still enjoying photography in lockdown
15 Photography News 2020 Awards It’s time to reveal the best imaging kit and services, as voted for by PN readers 30 Travel Photographer of the Year 2020 Travel was a challenge in 2020, but the standard of TPOTY winners was as high as ever. Get inspired by our showcase 36 Make the Switch: Lowie Bingham LRPS The keen street and travel photographer picked Fujifilm cameras as her creative partners. She explains precisely why 39 Guiding light Exclusive excerpts from leading pro Richard Bradbury’s latest book, where he explains all you need to know about the use of lighting to achieve great results time after time
45 Lighting buyers’ guide We all need a helping hand, so having light you can control is ideal. This is our pick of the best speedlights, LED lights and flash – mains and battery powered – that money can buy 52 Big test: Nikon Z 6II Nikon’s update of the popular Z 6 sees the arrival of two card slots and dual processors, but is it enough to lure discerning content creators to the Nikon Z 6II? 55 First tests Our monthly look at some of the latest kit to reach the shelves: l Rode Wireless Go microphone system and Vlogging Kit l Laowa 65mm f/2.8 Ultra Macro l Nikon Z 14-24mm f/2.8 S l Canon RF 600mm f/11 IS STM& RF 800mm f/11 IS STM
Issue 86 | Photography News 3
Movie magic at your fingertips
Nikon has released a Z 6II Essential Movie Kit, alongside video-based firmware updates for the Z 6II and Z 7II
Canon reveals EOS M50 Mark II The compact mirrorless from imaging giants Canon is designed for content creators, with video and connectivity as key features
Targeting filmmakers and strengthening the camera’s claim as a strong stills/ video hybrid, Nikon has released a Z 6II Essential Movie Kit, containing a number of key accessories (see image above). So the Z 6II is joined by an Atomos Ninja V monitor/recorder, a SmallRig quick-release camera cage, the Nikon FTZ mount adapter and spare batteries. The kit offers a better equipped filmmaking set- up than the Z 6II and lens alone, and the body in this kit has its Raw video output fucntion already enabled.
Priced at £2909, the
Essential Movie Kit is available this March. In other video news, firmware v1.10 has been released. The update improves the performance of face detect autofocus on the Z 7II and Z 6II, and is now able to work even when the subject's face is smaller in the frame. The update also enables additional recording formats, including 4KUHD/60p, when shooting with the Z 6II. There’s a review of the Nikon Z 6II in this issue, starting on page 52. nikon.co.uk
THE CANON EOS M50 MARK II has landed, designed to meet the needs of content creators. Built around a 24.1-megapixel APS-C sensor, the EOS M50 Mark II offers quality stills up to 10fps and 4K video. The latter can be streamed directly over HDMI and a USB output is also available. Elsewhere on the connectivity front, a 3.5mmmic jack is featured, while the M50 Mark II’s Wi-Fi and Bluetooth capabilities have seen some
improvements. Canon assures control from a mobile device, along with the direct upload of media to social channels, is easier than ever before. This includes an automatic video transcoding feature for use across various platforms. Other key features for a content creation audience are Canon’s Intelligent Auto modes, eye detection autofocus and AF down to -4EV, a vari-angle touchscreen and compatibility
with native EF-M lenses or EF lenses with an adapter. Weighing in at 387g, it’s a lightweight camera that’s highly suitable for carrying around in daily life, or placing within a space-effective streaming set-up. The Canon EOS M50 Mark II is available for pre-order now at a price of £589.99, with shipping from the end of March 2021. canon.co.uk
The wonder of pinhole
In your element with S-system Panasonic has launched a new telephoto zoom, expanding its optical offerings for its full-frame mirrorless Lumix S series
Justin Quinnell is a world-leading expert on pinhole photography, and has used his 30 years of experience in this field to create a new website. It’s the place to go if you want to learn how to make a pinhole camera from a breakfast cereal box or beer can, to enjoy six-month-long exposures of the sun. “Many of the experiments and designs are my own inventions, often a result of looking at my recycling box,” says Quinnell. “Many of my designs, for a few pence, can introduce people to the wonder of light, time,
Panasonic’s Lumix S 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6 Macro OIS is a highly versatile offering on a number of fronts. The wide focal length range appeals to a variety of photographic pursuits, from travel and street, to sports and nature. Image stabilisation also aids shooting of all kinds and, when combined with S Series cameras’ in-built stabilisation, offers up to 5.5EV benefit.
When it comes to construction, Panasonic assures impressive sharpness and fewer artefacts, with 17 lens elements in 11 groups, including one UED (ultra extra-low dispersion) lens, two ED lenses and one UHR (ultra-high refractive index) element. Rounding out a strong design, the 70-300mm is dust- and splash- resistant, capable of functioning
down to -10°C and it’s compact, too. The Lumix S 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6 Macro OIS will be available from the beginning of May, priced at £1259.99. panasonic.co.uk
photography, science, astronomy and creativity. At a time when finding wonder (and something to do) is getting trickier!” pinholephotography.org
Editorial team Editorial director Roger Payne Editor Will Cheung FRPS 01223 499469 email@example.com Features writer Lee Renwick firstname.lastname@example.org
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Design team Design director Andy Jennings Senior designer Laura Bryant Design & ad production Lucy Woolcomb, Man-Wai Wong and Emma Di’luorio Distribution Distribution and subscriptionmanager Phil Gray firstname.lastname@example.org Publishing team Managing directors Andy Brogden & Matt Pluck As well as your local camera club, you can pick up Photography News in-store from: Cameraworld, Castle Cameras, Jessops, London Camera Exchange, Park Cameras, Wex Photo Video, Wilkinson Cameras
Photography News is published 11 times a year by Bright Publishing Ltd, Bright House, 82 High Street, Sawston, Cambridge CB22 3HJ. No part of this magazine can be used without prior written permission of Bright Publishing Ltd. Photography News is a registered trademark of Bright Publishing Ltd. The advertisements published in Photography News that have been written, designed or produced by employees of Bright Publishing Ltd remain the copyright of Bright Publishing Ltd and may not be reproduced without the written consent of the publisher. The content of this publication does not necessarily reflect the views of the publisher. While Bright Publishing makes every effort to ensure accuracy, it can’t be guaranteed. Street pricing at the time of writing is quoted for products.
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Issue 86 | Photography News 5
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Gitzo goes green
Bundles from Benro Lots of support kit from accessory expert Benro Benro has announced two new tripod ranges, Bat and Tortoise, a monopod series called SupaDupa, as well as the lightweight VX and GX ball heads. The Tortoise range comprises seven models, ranging from the 03C+GX25 that costs £220, up to the 35C+GX35 head at £320. The range exudes selling points, but the big one is the lack of a central column. That makes these carbon-fibre tripods light with a thin profile when folded, although optional centre columns are available. The Bat range contains six models: two alloy and four carbon fibre. They’re incredibly versatile, enabling five preset leg angles. These establish stable camera positions in the most challenging positions. Prices start from £190 for the 05A+VX20 head. In the SupaDupa monopod range, three models are on offer, all made of carbon fibre. The MSD36C is the smallest and costs £110. Finally, there are three options in the GX and VX ball head series. The GX prices begin at £110 and the VX ranges from £80 to £110. benroeu.com
CamRanger 2 updated
Purveyors of fine gear, Gitzo’s latest kit partners craftsmanship with sustainability and toughness
The CamRanger 2 allows you to control your camera wirelessly up to 150m away via Wi-Fi, using free apps for iPad, iPhone and Android handsets, as well as Mac and Window computers. The device adjusts focus and exposure, captures stills or video, and uploads content to social media – and all remotely with its own Wi-Fi network. It offers great potential for numerous photographic genres. The updated CamRanger 2 is compatible with the Sony ZV-1 and even operates the zoom lens remotely. It’s available for £430. intro2020.co.uk
The Gitzo Légende tripod and backpack are designed and engineered to last a lifetime and exert a low environmental impact. “We set out to create a product that was repairable forever, could withstand any adventure and would never be thrown away,” says Gitzo CEO, Marco Pezzana. “After months of design and development, we’re excited to bring Légende to the globe’s photographers.” Pre-orders for the tripod and bag can be placed on
the website below, with shipping beginning in June. There are a couple of kit options and the prices below are for a limited period. A super early bird kit costs £503 and includes a Légende tripod, backpack and Gitzo Mini Traveler. Otherwise, a standard early bird kit is £489. It contains the Légende tripod and backpack only. Finally, the backpack and tripod on their own cost £129 and £374, respectively. indiegogo.com
Welcome boost to Silver service High-performance storage cards at competitive prices from Lexar
Storage giant Lexar has expanded its wide range of options, with its Professional 1066x SDXC UHS-I Card adding to its Silver Series. The SD cards speed up the workflow of photographers and videographers to a professional level. Each Class 10 card offers read speeds up to 160MB/s, UHS-1 speed Class 3 (U3) and video Class 30 (V30). They also deliver write speeds up to 120MB/s, save for the smallest
capacity option, which caps at 70MB/s. Designed to function in tough conditions, each member of the Silver Series family is protected from moisture, shocks and vibrations as well as X-rays. The Silver SD cards come in four sizes: 64GB, 128GB, 256GB and 512GB. They’re priced at £26.99, £45.99, £84.99 and £155.99 respectively, and are available now. lexar.com
Laowa expands choice Laowa has broadened the appeal of its lenses by offering them in different mounts Laowa has been busy working hard to expand its lens range. But instead of introducing new lenses, it’s making existing products available for additional camera fittings. The latest introductions are the Laowa 4mm f/2.8 Circular Fisheye (£249), 9mm f/2.8 Zero-D (£499), 25mm f/2.8 2.5-5x Ultra Macro (£399) and 24mm f/14 2x Macro Probe (£1599), each now available in L-Mount. Its 11mm f/4.5 FF RL is now on offer in Canon RF fitting (£769), while the 65mm f/2.8 2x Ultra Macro now comes in a Nikon Z fitting (£409). laowalens.co.uk
Issue 86 | Photography News 7
ADVERTISEMENT FEATURE Beautify your home with photography WhiteWall’s experts offer styling tips and inspiration on how tomake artistic features of your photographs at home
SPRING IS TRADITIONALLY a time for a house clean and a close look at our environment, and that applies even more this year, considering the amount of time we’ve spent there. With the longer days, and the easing of lockdown, it is the perfect time to begin renovations and focus on decor projects. One of the best ways to achieve these goals is by using your favourite images, the right products and frames. Pictures could include landscape shots from your favourite holiday, family portraits or a moment in time. WithWhiteWall, these special memories are turned into stunning works of art, preserving life “Aparticularly cherished image deserves a special place in your home”
events for eternity and personalising the design of your rooms. WhiteWall expert and product manager, Jan-Ole Schmidt, has some perfect recommendations for creating a cozy, yet distinct ambience throughout your entire home. START BY THINKING THROUGH YOUR LAYOUT assembled pictures in proportion on the floor, or by designing it on paper with a sketch. This can save unnecessary drilling, hammering and nailing. Use painter’s tape to align the pictures and make it easier to hang them. For even more accuracy, use a spirit level for perfect results. Pictures should always hang at eye level, as this truly optimises their presence. A reference line is considered to be approximately 1.5m (5 feet) above the ground to the centre of the picture. You should also consider whether the best angle for viewing the pictures is You can spread out the possible arrangements for hanging your
from a sitting position on the sofa or a standing position as they are passed. Here, too, existing reference lines such as window edges, furniture pieces or door frames can provide a good idea of orientation. Not all pictures have to be hung directly on a wall. Picture rails can be used to allow for a more flexible and interchangeable image arrangement. You can also combine a table-top picture ensemble alongside small home accessories or furnishings. The advantage is that picture rails and tabletops allow for the space to be redecorated and rearranged easily. Another presentation method is propping pictures against the wall. This practical alternative creates a casual, yet impactful environment. An important factor here is to use pictures framed in a large format to help define the space. CONSIDERYOUR HANGING OPTIONS If you don’t want to hang a picture in the centre of the wall, and would rather
ABOVE TOP The row method is the classic, effective way to present images of a similar size and orientation ABOVE You could apply the Petersburg method option and go for organised chaos. A mix of sizes and frame styles can work well if your pictures follow a single theme
MAKE DECISIONS BASED ON YOUR ROOM AND IMAGES Generally, you need to get the proportions of your home gallery right. A large picture works well above a large couch. Conversely, wall-filling works of art overwhelm small guest bathrooms. While vertical arrangements make walls appear higher, horizontal groupings give the impression of a wider space. Placed in front of a colourfully painted wall, your own images gain a special place in the limelight. There’s a degree of harmony created when similar colour tones appear on walls, in pictures and in various home accessories or furnishings. You can’t go wrong with a white background, as standalone pictures don’t create a massive impact when displayed against patterned or multicoloured walls. Choose an eye-catching or matted frame that stands out and provides a focal point. When combining several images, it’s helpful to think about the layout and image assortment in order to create harmony. For example, pictures from holiday ‘A’ can be presented on one wall, with pictures from holiday ‘B’ on another. Alternatively, you can hang images that are just black &white next to each other. Images with similar colour styles group well together.
offset it to the side, you should create a visual counterbalance using another piece of furniture or home accessory. A single picture sets a clear focal point in the room. It could be a particularly cherished image that deserves a special place in your home. Whether it’s a large format print set behind acrylic glass, or a small framed art print, if it is hanging alone on the wall, it attracts everyone’s eyes. With the edge-to-edge method, all of the corners and edges of the images are oriented to the same imaginary centre line. The distances between the images should always be consistent. In comparison, the rowmethod is a classic way to arrange images. For the best effect, hang pictures of the same size in a line, either vertically or horizontally. An alternative to this is the grid method. It’s similar to a chessboard, where the individual pictures are arranged according to a strict geometric scheme using the same picture spacing and format. If you wish to cover a large space, you can use the Petersburg method, also called the salon hanging method or ‘ordered chaos,’ which places a number of closely placed images over almost an entire wall. This hanging method ignores visual axes, however there are other connecting elements used for the pictures. These can include images with stylistically similar themes, as well as similar frames and formats. The starting point can be a central image, which could also be in a larger format.
ABOVE Edge-hanging works if you keep gaps between images consistent and have the same imaginary central line
8 Photography News | Issue 86
Delivering the ultimate flash Profoto’s top-of-the-range flash generator offers awesome power, very brief flash durations and AirX connectivity
Get it every fortnight Every fortnight, the
EPISODE 20 Spring is here (almost!) and the PN team offer up seasonal tips to try out EPISODE 19 Who truly needs 30fps shooting, 102 megapixels and 8K video? PN mulls over the Fujifilm GFX 100S and Sony A1 EPISODE 18 National lockdown v3, plus new indoor shooting techniques for you to try EPISODE 17 Why you should set yourself some photo projects for 2021 EPISODE 16 The final episode of 2020 takes a look back at the year and the team dream about what Santa is bringing them EPISODE 15 In the depths of winter, bad weather is part and parcel of life. The team talk through their techniques for dealing with the difficult conditions EPISODE 14 The team discuss the ‘dark arts’, plus advice for enjoying night photography EPISODE 13 Indoor portraits and the best lighting techniques are discussed. Plus, tips on getting your photo mojo back when motivation is low EPISODE 12 PN chats exclusively with Matt Barker, founder of hugely successful MPB, an online second-hand photo retailer EPISODE 11 The PN team offer musings on autumn, including locations, techniques and the best kit for this glorious season
EPISODE 10 Expert insect photographer, Ann Healey ARPS, speaks to the team EPISODE 9 PN shoots big sky landscapes, bugs and drooling dogs, plus an interview with Epson’s Dom Gurney EPISODE 8 The team pick their Desert Island Kit, explaining their indispensable choices EPISODE 7 The team name their best-ever lenses, past and present EPISODE 6 A landscape special, including an exclusive interview with master landscaper, Charlie Waite EPISODE 5 The team offer their advice for astrophotography and long exposures, plus why back-button focusing can really add to your image quality EPISODE 4 The team reveal their self-portraits, plus why contests are worth the effort EPISODE 3 With the realities of lockdown truly setting in, the team set out to give you inspiration, plus they discuss their best-ever DSLRs EPISODE 2 A shooting-at-home special, with product photography in the bath, as well as astrophotography EPISODE 1 In this inaugural episode, there’s advice for at-home shooting and the team discuss their favourite cameras
Photography News team – comprising editor Will Cheung, contributing editor Kingsley Singleton and editorial director Roger Payne – assemble and chew the photographic cud with picture-taking advice, the latest hardware developments and the team’s own photographic endeavours. Feedback, opinions and questions are always welcome, so if you have ideas for the pod, views about the current state of image-making or queries for the PN team, please email us on podcast@ photographynews.co.uk photographynews.co.uk HERE’S HOWTOTUNE IN Every podcast is posted on the website: photographynews.co.uk/ podcast-library Or you can go to our YouTube channel using the bit.ly address below. Subscribe and hit the bell if you want to be notified when a new episode is posted: bit.ly/2Kz5By4
The Profoto Pro-11 is a high-end flash generator that’s packed with features. Perfect for high-volume professional studios, it delivers up to 2400Ws with an output range that can be controlled across 11EV in 0.1EV steps, from 2.4Ws to full power. Flash recycling can be as brief as 0.02sec to 0.7sec, and there’s quick burst capability with up to 50 flashes per second. These flash durations are brief, too. In normal mode, duration is 1/800sec at 2400Ws to 1/12,000sec at minimum power, while in freeze mode, bursts are a brief 1/80,000sec. Colour temperature stability rates highly, as you would expect from Profoto. Meanwhile, Profoto AirX technology provides wireless connectivity with all Profoto remote triggers and apps.
The working range with Profoto Air remotes is 300m, while 30m is possible with Bluetooth smart devices. The Profoto Pro-11 is a studio power pack, designed to last a lifetime. The product is priced at £12,995. ProHead Plus heads start from £2094. profoto.com
Rode goes again Rode has updated its highly respected Wireless Go wireless microphone system, announcing the Go II
The Rode Wireless Go changed how vloggers and videographers captured high-quality audio. Rode has now enhanced its offering: the Wireless Go II retains all the successful elements of original Go and has added even more to thrill its users.
The Go II records from two sound sources simultaneously, with a stable line-of-sight working range that reaches 200m. It also boasts a rechargeable battery that runs for seven hours, and there’s on-board recording for up to 24 hours of audio. The Wireless Go II is
available in-store now for £279. The kit includes a dual channel receiver, two transmitters, three furry windshields, the necessary cables and a carry pouch. rode.co.uk
In last month’s review of the Nikon Z 7II, editor and tester Will Cheung noted the monitor was unable to display a data-free viewing image. PN reader Robert Shepton kindly pointed out that this was incorrect. In fact, the movie record button can be set to show an EVF/monitor image that’s free of info.
“Thanks, Robert, you’re right of course,” says Will. “My error was that I didn’t make it clear that this feature resets once the camera is turned off, with the movie record button requiring another push as it powers up. The self-timer resets, too. I really wish Nikon would allow the user the option.”
Issue 86 | Photography News 9
ADVERTISEMENT FEATURE Editing excellence The addition of significant new tools in its recent v1.9 updatemakes Affinity Photo evenmore powerful, delivering exciting levels of creative potential
RIGHT Following the recent update, the Liquify tool can be used non- destructively using a live filter layer BELOW For greater creative control within multi-layered masterpieces, a wide range of blend modes are available, including the new Divide mode
AFFINITY PHOTO BY SERIF has long been a standout option in a sea of photo editing software. It’s designed well, it’s packed with powerful tools and, perhaps best of all, it’s free from ongoing subscriptions. At £48.99, this makes the full version for Windows and Mac a real steal. Recently, the brand has outdone itself on functionality and price. The new v1.9 update has introduced even more features for photographers to enjoy. And to support creatives during the ongoing struggles of Covid-19, Affinity Photo is currently available with a staggering 50% off, pricing the desktop versions at £23.99 and the iPad version at just £9.99. The numbers already suggest there’s a good deal to be had, but it’s the software’s shiny, new toys that add substance to that claim. While Mac users have enjoyed optimal performance for a while, Microsoft users can rejoice at the inclusion of hardware acceleration. This uses a computer’s GPU devices to improve rendering performance considerably throughout demanding operations, such as compositing pixel layers or adjusting layers and live filters. The performance gains are huge and make workflow an undoubtedly smoother process. Serif has also improved usability, thanks to the addition of studio presets. A wide range of the software’s highly customisable interface features can be saved as profiles, either to suit different users or to meet the needs of the varied disciplines within editing.
One of Affinity Photo’s greatest draws has always been its non-destructive editing through the application of layers. In the latest version, linked layers can be used in all new ways. They can be duplicated, or specific attributes of each layer can be unlinked – this is particularly of use in composite work or extremely
Affinity Photo is a powerful editing software for Windows, Mac and iPad that’s packed with features. The program boasts plenty of highlights: it can process Raw files, stitch panoramas, focus stack and HDR merge, and it has unlimited layers and smart object support. Affinity Photo also functions seamlessly with its sister software programs, Designer and Publisher. And let’s not forget, it has a great outright purchase price. With those credentials, I feel it deserves extra recognition.” Will Cheung–Editor
fine-tuned edits. Conversely, unique attributes from completely unrelated layers can be linked and managed precisely as you wish. Astrophotographers, who may have been reliant on dedicated software previously, can now use Affinity Photo v1.9 to handle their entire workflow. Deep-sky images, including FITS and Raw file formats, can be stacked and further edits can be applied immediately after. When stacking, hot or cold pixels are picked up automatically and column defects can be highlighted manually. There’s also a dedicated background removal filter, which is ideal for removing light pollution, sensor defects and more after stretching the tone.
What’s more, all of this is offered in no less than 32-bit detail. It’s important to note that these new additions are only building upon what was already an extremely capable editing software. Through many past versions, it’s been an asset that has photographers at its very heart, with all the necessary and traditional tools to raise a photographer’s work to new heights. Serif has also thought about the more experimental among us, with countless advanced yet uncomplicated ways to create an image you’re proud of. Affinity Photo v1.9 is a free update for existing users. For newcomers, the ongoing deals mean there’s never been a better time to buy. affinity.serif.com/en-gb/
10 Photography News | Issue 86
A Samsung memory card! WIN!
Win a K&F carbon fibre tripod
Capture life’s magical moments with the Samsung Evo Plus 256GBmicroSDXCmemory card with SD adapter, achieving read speeds of 100MB/s and write speeds of 90MB/s. It’s ultra reliable and water, temperature, X-ray and magnet proof, unwavering in challenging conditions. We have one 256GB Samsung Evo Plus microSDXC card with SD adapter worth £51.99 for the eagle-eyed winner. Find one word in the list that’s not in the word search and email email@example.com with that word in the subject box by 12 April 2021. The correct answer to PN84’s word search was ‘fungi’, and the winner was J Robinson fromKent. • samsung.com/uk/memory-cards
The best tripod is the one you have with you, which means the K&F TC2535 could be your dream partner. The tripod is carbon fibre, so it’s super light and perfect for travel and walking around all day. It has a maximum load capacity of 10kg and is robust for its size. The TC22535 is worth £120 (legs only), and if you enter our free contest, you could be the proud owner of one! To be in with a chance of winning the
TC2535 (legs only), just answer the following question correctly. How many leg sections does the K&F TC2535 carbon-fibre tripod have: A) 3, B) 5 or C) 7? To enter, go to photographynews.co.uk and follow the link. The closing date for entries is 12 April 2021 and the first correct answer drawn at random after that date will win a TC2535 tripod.
I V E S P B P P H O N E B N L S G N O T E P A D A W T D D P T X S B M S S A X R Z P Y R P V C T P C A I A R O J M R A L H O G P A S Q N E N E T B A E I S Q M E D R A Y C R D I K M N M Y R Z P D R I E C A L C U L A T O R K K K A S Z C O T P Q T D I T T S A C D O P L M Z N P E B B K L T K E G D I R T R A C X C A J S R E K A E P S A N L A N R E T X E T F H Y O E T A P E S G J N D J P H U I E Y P
Good luck! swains.co.uk Take part in our book competition Enter our prize draw to be in with the chance of winning a copy of Mastering Lighting & Flash Photography
How you use and control light defines you as a photographer, so it’s a rather important subject and one where you never stop learning. Mastering Lighting & Flash Photography is full of practical advice and aims to help enthusiast photographers who are keen on improving their lighting skills, whether on-camera speedlights, continuous lighting or studio flash. Author Richard Bradbury is an award-winning pro photographer, and he demonstrates how you can master different forms of location and studio lighting for awesome results. We have exclusive excerpts, including some of Bradbury’s excellent images, from the book in this issue to give you a flavour of coverage and content. This book is published by Ammonite Press and retails at £19.99, and we have four copies up for grabs! All you have to do is send an email to giveaways@ photographynews.co.uk with ‘Mastering Lighting’ in the subject box. The first four names drawn randomly from our virtual hat will win a copy each. The closing date for entries is 12 April 2021. • photographynews.co.uk • ammonitepress.com
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Issue 86 | Photography News 11
SUCCESS + EXHIBITIONS + PERSONAL ACHIEVEMENTS + OUTINGS News Camera club Potters Bar&District PS While virtual meets among camera clubs and photographic societies remain, optimism is gaining momentum, with a return to physical meetings and actual exhibitions finally on the horizon. Fingers crossed! Giannis D and is located off the Abu Nuhas Reef. It’s the only wreck I’ve dived,” Peter explains. Graham Adamson won was taken in the Red Sea. “The ship is called the
the cumulative advanced class competition 2020. “While I’m obviously pleased to have won this year’s competition, I don’t think 2020 is about the winning; it’s about the people who’ve enabled members to have a distraction from all that the year has thrown at us,” says Graham. “Watching 70 years of unbroken meetings in person go digital, it is good to see the members who have entered the competitions or supported our website events. May we all be together again in 2021.” The society has planned a full programme of online events lasting until April, and plan to review the situation after that. For more details, take a look at the club’s website. pottersbarphotosoc. org.uk
SPRING IS A POPULAR time of the season for annual exhibitions and, traditionally, the results of end-of-year contests. Like most clubs, Potters Bar & District PS has been running contests for projected images, having abandoned the print version during the pandemic. The was taken by Peter Regan. He also won the year-long cumulative general class competition. “This was my first full year at the society,” he says. “I’ve really enjoyed it, even though we’ve spent a lot of time on Zoom. To winner of its Projected Image of the Year 2020 win this prize was quite a surprise, but it’s nice to know that there are people who enjoy my images.” The winning shot (shown left), entitled Shipwrecked,
In February, Malling PS hosted a projected digital image battle via Zoom between 13 clubs from North Kent, with more than 130 attendees. Each club had to submit six images from six different photographers, totalling 78 pictures for Kirsty Ralfs ARPS to judge. Sevenoaks CC, last year’s trophy winners, kept their title with 110 points. Invicta PC finished second with 106 points, and third was Parkwood CC with 104 points. Bexleyheath PS, Crayford CC, Dartford PS, Faversham CC, Gravesend CC, Maidstone CC, Sittingbourne PS and Staplehurst PS were among the other clubs taking part. Displayed below is Dive by Milt Ives from Sevenoaks CC, the judge’s first-place choice. Well done from PN to winners Sevenoaks CC and to all at Malling PS (especially Linton, Hazel and Colin) for hosting the event. mallingphoto.co.uk
Richmond & Twickenham PS
The RTPS exhibition takes place online from 1 April to 20 May. It’s set to feature more than 300 pictures, hosted in a 3D museum on the Kunstmatrix digital platform. Like a conventional museum, visitors can explore the
Sheffield PS’s annual exhibition 2021 was judged by duo Colin and Chrissie Westgate. All entries were digital and 171 images were selected for the final exhibition. The picture shown right, Amur Leopard by Ian Ruthven, was judged Best Image in the beginners’ category. The exhibition is available to view on the society’s website. sheffieldphotosociety.org.uk Sheffield PS
pictures on their own, or they can be guided around the exhibits. “Visitors can immerse themselves in some stunning landscapes, beautiful wildlife, thought-provoking portraits and innovative street scenes from one of the country’s largest and oldest photographic societies,” says club president, Lorraine Clifton. “The society’s annual exhibition is usually held at the Landmark Arts Centre in Teddington and hopes to return there in 2022. While no digital encounter can fully emulate the physical experience of visiting an exhibition, Kunstmatrix’s virtual platform comes very close.” RTPS numbers about 120 members and meets on Thursdays at 8pm. For more details, email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit the website. rtps.org.uk
12 Photography News | Issue 86
The finest paper selection...naturally
Hahnemühle’s FineArt inkjet paper paves the way for a sustainable photo-printing future, and the quality is robust and sublime
WITHIN THE TECHNOLOGICAL elements of photography, such as high-resolution sensors, rapid autofocus and phenomenal low-light performance, it seems new groundbreaking standards are set every few months – much to all of our joy. Conversely, the art’s more traditional aspects – namely film or print media – have been less revolutionary. Across the board, these stubborn ever-presents are considered just that by many. With its Natural Line FineArt inkjet paper range, however, Hahnemühle has done something quite special. Made from bamboo, hemp and agave, the Natural Line is produced in an end-to-end sustainable manner, setting environmental standards that Hahnemühle exemplifies with its Green Rooster initiative. The papers are even certifiably vegan. Nonetheless, this would be something of a hollow victory if the photographic product wasn’t up to the task. Thankfully, that’s far from the case. At a weighty 290gsm, the paper quality is evident the moment they’re
held. Each material offers something slightly unique. Optical brighteners are absent due to their pure, natural tone. On top of that, the slightly textured finish offers a sense of depth and richness, though printed images remain sharp and colour accurate for true fine art results. While it’s easy to be fooled into thinking that entirely natural papers are fragile, in fact, these are exceptionally durable. As such, they don’t simply offer a sublime print for the present, they offer stunning artwork the longevity it deserves. It’s for this reason the range has been the subject of much acclaim, including the German Brand of the Century accolade, TIPA World Awards 2020 recognition and a recent win in our Photography News 2020 Awards as Best Inkjet Media: Fine Art Finish. For those wishing to discover which of the nuanced options is the right fit for their work, a sample pack is available, with two sheets
of bamboo, two sheets of hemp and two sheets of agave media. hahnemuehle.co.uk
“TheNatural Line range of papers is particularly popularwithour customers. The print quality is second tonone and the papers have aunique surface and tactile quality. Artists are drawn to these natural papers” Michael Setek Art4site Director, a Hahnemühle-certified studio
“We are delighted to have been awarded Best Inkjet Media: Fine Art Finish by the Photography News readers. Hahnemühle has led the market in fine art inkjet paper for the past 20 years, developing innovative products as we move with market trends and reflect the needs of fine artists, photographers, printmakers and illustrators. The Hahnemühle Natural Line brings us to a new market first, using highly renewable fibres – bamboo, hemp and agave – while maintaining high performance and longevity. In recent years, we’ve seen professional artists and photographers become increasingly concerned about the environment and look for ways to reduce their impact. Our new environmental choices of fine art media are one way of reducing environmental impact while retaining the sensation of the printed image.” SimonWaller Hahnemühle UK General Manager
IMAGES With its
Natural Line, Hahnemühle inspires exquisite printing finishes for environmentally conscious photo enthusiasts
Issue 86 | Photography News 13
London Camera Exchange
ADVERTISEMENT FEATURE High-street quality
Despite living in an online age, camera stores such as London Camera Exchange, winner of Best Retailer in the PN 2020 Awards, still offer plenty to consumers
THERE’S CERTAINLY A gratifying ease to clicking on an item, inputting a few details and having it delivered straight to your door. Despite this, there’s much to be said for actually handling a bit of kit in the world of photography. This provides you with a deeper understanding of exactly how the product performs before you commit potentially hundreds of pounds and a good few years to it. Beyond that, choosing the right camera, lens or accessory is simply much easier with an expert. So, before you click ‘buy now’, consider taking advantage of your in-person options. As far as high-street camera stores go, they don’t get much more
reputable than London Camera Exchange. As a testament to that reputation, our readers have just voted it Best Retailer in the Photography News 2020 Awards. When it comes to gear, London Camera Exchange offers a vast range of the latest offerings from all of the key brands across cameras and accessories. It also remains true to its roots, holding thousands of second- hand items – old and new – which satisfies a growing trend among consumers for used goods. Due to the current Covid-19 restrictions, store visits are not a viable option for many. Thankfully, London Camera Exchange also operates online. This even extends to the part exchange and selling of used kit, negotiated via the retailer’s microsite ( LCEgroup.co.uk/ WeBuyCameras ). The key difference that sets London Camera Exchange stores apart from online retailers is the ability to speak with experts. The team’s expertise in the field of image making is undeniable, whether you converse in store or over the phone.
ABOVE London Camera Exchange stores stock a wide range of kit from the biggest brands, with camera bodies, lenses and accessories all on offer
All in all, the customer experience provided by the company’s branches is difficult to replicate online, or even for much larger chains. This can be traced back to the company’s beginnings. The original London Camera Exchange was opened by two studio photographers-turned-dealers in Guildford in 1956, and it has remained in the family since. Despite branching out, stores remained very much at the
heart of their local communities, each with their own expert staff, unique deals and loyal customers. The brand owes much of its success to this business model, which has enabled it to thrive while others have suffered. Even today, the customer remains at the heart of everything the company does. Only UK-sourced goods are sold in its 26 stores across the country and
it continues to grow, with another opening imminently on Bristol’s busy Park Street. A five-star rating on Google also reflects how highly the business is regarded. So, next time you’re in the market for imaging gear, don’t just jump straight to an online only dealer. You can find a great deal, and much more, at London Camera Exchange. LCEgroup.co.uk
“The team’s expertise in the fieldof imagemaking is undeniable”
ABOVE London Camera Exchange’s new Bristol branch, located on Park Street, is well underway, with plans to launch as early as this March RIGHT Each of the brand’s stores has fitted into its local community and high street seamlessly
14 Photography News | Issue 86
The annual Photography News Awards enable readers to recognise fantastic kit and outstanding service. Thank you to everyone who voted – it’s appreciated by us and the nominees!
Without further ado, here’s your verdict on the best imaging gear and service providers
Issue 86 | Photography News 15
Nothing stays still in the imaging world. Manufacturers constantly strive for better performance, resulting in higher-resolution cameras, lenses with superfast apertures and more powerful lights. This progress is fabulous news for image makers, and recognising the achievements in our industry is what the PN Awards are all about.
We have categories covering every field of modern-day imaging, including retailers and service providers. Most importantly, the winners are decided by Photography News readers. Thanks again to everyone who made the effort to cast their votes. In an added twist this year, we’ve introduced the Editor’s Choice award.
“These awards add an extra dimension,” says Will. “While there’s only one winner in each category, there are so many outstanding products shortlisted. I’ve recognised more great products that help us realise our photographic vision.” Congratulations to our winners and commiserations to the other shortlisted products.
Fujifilm launched its GFX system to bring digital medium format photography to a wider audience. The GFX100 boasts a 102-megapixel resolution and is capable of pictures with incredible clarity and crisp detail. In-body image stabilisation with 5.5EV benefit, 4K/30p video skills and continuous shooting at 5fps are some of the GFX100’s key features. And with that kind of spec, it’s no wonder that it’s been winning awards since its launch, scooping another here.
BEST ENTHUSIAST MICRO
BEST TOP-END MICRO FOUR THIRDS CAMERA
BEST ENTHUSIAST APS-C
FOUR THIRDS CAMERA
SHORTLISTED: l Fujifilm GFX50R l Fujifilm GFX50S l Hasselblad 907X 50C l Hasselblad X1D II 50C l Pentax 645Z
BEST CAMERAPHONE WINNER Apple iPhone 12
WINNER Panasonic Lumix G100
WINNER Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mark III The Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mark II was a very popular camera, so when the Mark III appeared, it had big boots to fill. But fill them it certainly did, as a superb MFT camera with 18fps burst shooting, effective IBIS, a high-res shooting mode and several more tricks up its sleeve.
WINNER Nikon Z 50
By their very nature, smartphones are so much more than devices to chat on with your friends. The award-winning Apple iPhone 12 boasts a multitude of sensational features. Its 6.1-inch Super Retina XDR display gives a stunning image and there’s superfast 5G. It boasts a dual-camera system, with the wide camera bringing in 27% more light. This makes shooting quality pictures in the dark a breeze.
This Micro Four Thirds camera proves the ultimate choice for content creators. It delivers great image and sound quality, thanks to its 20.3-megapixel MOS sensor for 4K/30p video and OZO Audio by Nokia. Its fully articulated LCD and a frame marker help accurately compose images for various social media formats.
It’s Nikon’s first APS-C mirrorless camera that uses the Z mount – and it’s a cracker. The 20.9-megapixel DX-format CMOS sensor has partnered with Nikon’s highly respected Expeed 6 image processor, which is designed to deliver impressive image quality, ranging from ISO 100 to 51,200.
SHORTLISTED • Olympus OM-D E-M10 Mark IV • Olympus OM-D E-M5 Mark III • Panasonic Lumix G90
SHORTLISTED • Olympus OM-D E-M1X • Panasonic Lumix GH5S • Panasonic Lumix GH5
SHORTLISTED • Canon EOS M6 Mark II • Fujifilm X-S10 • Fujifilm X-T200
SHORTLISTED: l Google Pixel 4 l Huawei P40 Pro l Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra
BEST TOP-END APS-C MIRRORLESS CAMERA
BEST ENTHUSIAST FULL-FRAME MIRRORLESS CAMERA
BEST TOP-END FULL-FRAME MIRRORLESS CAMERA
BEST DSLR CAMERA
WINNER Fujifilm X-T4
WINNER Nikon Z 6II
WINNER Canon EOS R5
WINNER Nikon D780
WINNER Canon PowerShot G7 X Mark III The PowerShot G7 X Mark III has been designed completely with vloggers in mind. Without doubt, this model is a class act, packed with user-friendly features that include 4K video, 120fps Full HD and a 20.1-megapixel resolution.
The Fujifilm X-T4 strengthens the brand’s X Series even further. It is truly a class camera and boasts a dazzling skill set that supports its 26.1-megapixel sensor. While the in-body image stabilisation system gives up to 6.5EV benefit, 4K DCI and UHD video up to 60p and continuous shooting at 20fps with AF are among some of its other impressive features.
The Z 6II’s appeal stretches across stills and video shooting, not to mention its great value. Its back-illuminated CMOS sensor delivers output to dual SD card slots – the extra slot is one of the key upgrades from the Z 6. Besides that, it’s also gained a second Expeed processor.
The EOS R5 offers huge potential for stills and video shooters alike. Boasting an array of exciting features, it has a 45-megapixel sensor, 8K video, 100% coverage Dual Pixel AF and up to 12fps continuous shooting, thanks to its mechanical shutter.
While it’s true that more mirrorless cameras are launching these days, there are some pretty special new DSLRs. The Nikon D780 is a perfect example, with its 24.5-megapixel, back-illuminated sensor. It also boasts impressive autofocus, dual SD card slots and 4K/30p video.
SHORTLISTED • Canon PowerShot Zoom • Fujifilm X100V • Nikon Coolpix P950 • Panasonic Lumix LX100 II • Ricoh GR III • Sony ZV-1
SHORTLISTED • Canon EOS R6 • Leica SL2 • Panasonic Lumix S5
SHORTLISTED • Leica M10-R • Nikon Z 7II • Panasonic Lumix S1R • Sony A7R IV • Sony A9 II
SHORTLISTED • Canon EOS 5D Mark IV • Canon EOS-1D X Mark III • Nikon D6 • Nikon D850 • Pentax K-1 Mark II
SHORTLISTED • Fujifilm X-Pro3 • Leica CL • Sony A6600
• Sigma fp • Sony A7C
Photography News | Issue 86
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