The L-Mount Alliance: a strategic cooperation between Leica Camera, Panasonic and Sigma

Cologne, 25 September 2018. At the company’s press conference prior to the opening of photokina 2018, Leica Camera AG, Panasonic and Sigma announced a strategic partnership. The ‘L-Mount Alliance’ is a previously unparalleled form of collaboration that will particularly benefit the customers of all three partners. The collaboration enables Panasonic and Sigma to make use of the L-Mount standard developed by Leica for their own developments and to offer both cameras and lenses utilising this lens mount. As a joint effort of all three partners, this alliance will increase the importance of the L-Mount technology to the world of photography even further.

Due to their numerous interchangeable components, system cameras are extremely versatile and can be individually configured for a wide range of photographic needs. Here, the bayonet is the most important interface, because the lens makes a decisive contribution to imaging performance and, in turn, to the quality of the final results. Thanks to the strategic partnership between Leica, Panasonic and Sigma, customers will be able to choose from a much wider selection of cameras and lenses without having to limit themselves to a particular brand, as all three brands will share the same proprietary bayonet mount.

Dr. Andreas Kaufmann, Chairman of the Supervisory Board of Leica Camera AG and majority shareholder: “For photographers, the ability to choose from a wide range of

lenses for their system of preference is extremely important. Especially in the strongly growing market for mirrorless system cameras, users seek increasingly greater product diversity to fulfil a wide range of different photographic needs. We have therefore decided to work together with prominent partners in the photographic segment as an immediate response to these needs. Our long-established partnership with Panasonic is a collaboration based on mutual trust, and the company’s expertise in the area of electronics is unquestioned. Sigma is also a highly respected company that has become firmly established especially in the areas of optical design and lens manufacturing and is able to perfectly complement our existing portfolio of L-Mount products. We are convinced that we and our partners can realise mutual and sustainable growth for all our products.”

Mr. Tetsuro Homma, Senior Managing Executive Officer, Panasonic Corporation: “Panasonic has always focused on revolutionising the camera sector to make the lives of photo enthusiasts easier, more sophisticated and more enjoyable. Our longstanding partnership with Leica has brought many high-performance and high- quality digital cameras to the market; fusing Leica’s superior optical technology with Panasonic’s digital technologies. Our partnership has enabled us to accelerate the development of excellent digital camera products, and the L-Mount alliance with Leica and Sigma is a great example of such acceleration. This is an alliance of growing players, which will make a fundamental difference to the future of the imaging industry. We have always been a challenger, bringing innovation to the industry under the slogan of “Changing Photography” to meet the high expectations of professionals. Our partnership with Leica and Sigma will create additional business opportunities for our businesses, but more importantly will advance our customers’ joy of photography.”

Mr. Kazuto Yamaki, Chief Executive Officer, SIGMA Corporation: “As cameras evolved
into digital and mirrorless, requirements from users and systems introduced by each

brands diversified. Currently, there are overwhelming choices for users, but in terms of extensibility and possibility, the system truly meets user’s needs is not yet available. SIGMA is joining this alliance to develop mirrorless cameras benefiting from a short flange back. As SIGMA strives to develop high performance, high quality and innovative products, this alliance will strengthen the level of completion and the extensibility of our camera system and provide greater user benefits. Leica is a magnificent company that has been contributing to photographic cultures for more than 100 years, and Panasonic is leading the industry by developing reliable technologies across various fields. Together with SIGMA’s unique, high performance and high quality products, the L-Mount will evolve as an extremely attractive system for users.”

About the L-Mount
The L-Mount was developed by Leica Camera under the proviso of providing customers with a future-proof, flexible, robust and precise bayonet mount that would fulfil even the most demanding photographic needs. Since its initial appearance in 2014 within the Leica T, development of the L-Mount was continued by Leica as well as by its strategic partners, which led to significant improvements and therefore an effectively new and more polished L-Mount technology.

To ensure maximum product diversity, the diameter of 51.6 millimetres was chosen to make the L-Mount suitable for use not only with full-frame cameras, but also on cameras with APS-C sensors. The short register of only 20 millimetres enables a short distance between the lens and the sensor, which in turn enables considerably more compact construction – which is particularly helpful for developments in the wide- angle lens segment. To ensure resistance to even the most extreme stresses, and to guarantee customers maximum reliability in many years in intensive use, the camera bayonets are manufactured from wear-resistant stainless steel and with four flange

segments that prevent canting and ensure particularly secure and precisely positioned lens attachment. The standardised L-Mount contact strip ensures trouble- free communication between the electronic components of the lens and the camera
– including the possibility of installing future firmware updates for lenses to react to technological advances and exploit the full performance potentials of the lens.

The lens mount is currently used in the Leica SL full-frame camera system and the Leica CL, TL2 and TL APS-C camera models. All lenses made for the various different systems can be used on all cameras without adapters and without any functional limitations – this illustrates only one of the numerous benefits the common bayonet brings for customers. In the near future, not only Leica Camera AG, but also Panasonic and Sigma will be announcing further products that use the common standard.


India’s Renge Dragon Studio Colours 63 Commercials in One Month Using Collaboration in DaVinci Resolve 15

Blackmagic Design’s DaVinci Resolve 15 was used to color grade 63 commercials in one month with the help of DaVinci Resolve 15’s collaboration workflow by RengeDragon Studio, an Indian boutique studio. As part of the 63 commercials, RengeDragon used DaVinci Resolve 15, along with DaVinci Resolve Micro Panel, for color grading the new Vaseline Sun & Pollution Protection commercial campaign.

DaVinci Resolve 15 was introduced at NAB 2018 in April and began shipping in August, 2018. The DaVinci Resolve 15 collaborative workflow dramatically speeds up post production because customers no longer need to import, export or translate projects between different software applications and work no longer needs to be conformed when changes are made.

“RengeDragon Studio was responsible for colour grading all 63 commercials. As we were the only production house and not an outsourced vendor for the Vaseline commercial, we chose to edit, colour grade, sound design, create visual effects/composites and finally deliver using DaVinci Resolve 15,” says Adolf Dsouza, Director, RengeDragon Studio.

“RengeDragon Studios has three senior colourists, two compositors, four junior colorist and finishing artists. With a staff strength of nine, every man hour needs to go into producing quality work. All projects enlist DaVinci Resolve 15’s collaboration workflow. Once the project has started on our office’s shared network, our visual effects artist, compositors and rotoscoping artist start working on the ungraded timeline with the reference LUT (that was prepared during presentation pitch phase) while the colourist works on colour grading the footage in the timeline. They are all working on the RAW camera files in full 4K and there is no need to pull the shots separately for visual effects. Once the color grading is done, stills are sent to the visual effects and finishing department where they just apply them and deliver the final master. Since we are working with RAW files, the highest level of detailing remains with no data loss,” says Adolf Dsouza. He continues, “These highly creative processes often take the most manhours. However, when they are happening simultaneously, you save so much time!”

“Our client was very happy and impressed when they were giving us their feedback. As DaVinci Resolve 15 delivers looks fast, we were able to create many options with the DOP sitting in during an interactive client supervised session. Traditionally, a lot of time is wasted exporting and switching timelines in and out of different software. This often frustrates the client as waiting for changes to be made in order to compare options is a pain only people in post production are familiar with. With DaVinci Resolve 15, the changes are quick and comparing the effects in multiple screens is so easy that it really impresses our clients who have little to no background in post production,” says Adolf Dsouza, Director, RengeDragon Studio.

Pollution Protection Lotion’s commercial was also delivered using a Blackmagic Design DaVinci Resolve Micro Panel and DeckLink Mini Monitor.

“I enjoy using Blackmagic Design equipment for its reliability and cost effectiveness whilst delivering on high end post production standards. DaVinci Resolve 15 has made it possible for artists to now own the creative and deliver even better results in a totally cost effective way. Blackmagic Design has opened the doors to uncompromised post for a boutique studio like us who are now competing with giants operating on much bigger systems,” said Dsouza. He continues, “DaVinci Resolve 15 has amazing color grading and finishing tools which allows one to bend images without restrictions. The speed, accuracy, ease of use and flexibility that DaVinci Resolve 15 offers is exceptional, making it the best tool for productivity. We work on RAW 8K footage and the performance is just seamless.’’

DaVinci Resolve 15 has brilliant colour management and colour science. Footages from different cameras can be matched flawlessly now without much effort. The node based workflow allows one so much flexibility. The new 3D match moving tools allows us to track any complex shots. As a colourist from a strong finishing background, I can quickly do a lot of paint, tracking shapes, sky compositing, beautification and other compositing jobs while grading. Another thing I love is the range of options you can deliver to. It delivers instantly for YouTube, Vimeo, Broadcast, DCP and many other platforms,” he said.

“We are now even looking at providing remote grading as a service for our overseas supervised clients sessions. I’m very excited about the next stage of my business!”

VR Studio 365 – ease of use disguises the Virtual Reality capability and power of this program

Making virtual reality a mainstream technology has been threatening for some years now, but everything I have tried to use has proven to be – while workable – mostly too hard for classification as a “consumer” product.

Or even semi-pro for that matter.


There are any number of online sites that promise to take your 360° footage and make it into something worthwhile, but either they are a) hard to use, b) expensive or c) require copious amounts of bandwidth that in Australia, we just (mostly) don’t have! There must be hundreds if not thousands of 360° degree cameras out there all waiting for something to actually do! Now along has come VR Studio 365 from VEGAS Creative software.

VEGAS Creative software, a brand of Germanybased MAGIX Software, which has been around for aeons and is especially big in Europe where its video, audio and graphics software are ubiquitous.

It wasn’t really until MAGIX purchased Sony’s range of software (which it had purchased 10 or so years earlier from US based Sonic Foundry) creating the VEGAS Creative Software line that Aussies became aware of both the VEGAS and MAGIX brands.

That software range included Vegas Pro, Sound- Forge, DVD Architect and ACID.

VR Studio 365 (which I’ll concentrate on here as there is also a VR Studio which slightly differs from the 365 version) allows you to import a 360° still image or video from a camera such as a Samsung Gear 360°, 360Fly, Garmin VIRB 360° or GoPro Fusion 360° and have that placed as a “scene”.

Once this initial scene has been created, other elements can be added including text, captions, images, video, audio, music and links  These links can be to other scenes, themselves containing further elements.

In this way, a complete environment can be built letting viewers interact and “walk through” at their leisure.

VR STudio Lounge


The concept of VR Studio 365 is best explained by an example.

Where I live – well 30Kms north as there is NOTHING where I live – is a tavern called “Tall Timbers”  The only other watering hole in the town centre is the local pub, which, as nice as it is, (and does good pub grub) is still a “country pub”.

And there is nothing wrong with that! Tall Timbers is more upmarket and prides itself on promoting the local area’s produce – food, wines and beers specifically.area of Tall Timbers (it could equally be a video by the way).

Along the main wall is a roaring open fire – it gets bloody cold here in winter I can tell you; 2 degrees last night) and the opposite side contains the main bar with an entrance to the kitchen behind that to the left.

Between these are the stool / customer counter areas and the dining tables, chairs, sofas and so on.

Through a glass door and to the right is the beer garden with more stools and counters, a BBQ, umbrella covered tables and a huge gold fish pond.

Finally, the back wall has a specialty fridge / storage area containing all the local red and white wines you can buy or try.

Each separate area – bar, dining, beer garden, kitchen etc – can be its own 360° scene video or still image with back and forth links in it.

Back to the main bar area / dining room, and let’s place a blackboard with the specials of the day from the restaurant on it.

This could be an overlaid image on the 360° scene in a specifi c p o s i – tion with a “link” attached, or the actual blackboard itself in the 360° scene that has had a “link” attached to it.

Clicking on this link might take you to a larger image of the menu with photos attached showing each meal and details of it including pricing.

This could equally be done with a menu placed on each table that each contained the same link to an image or video.

Switching this concept to the wine racks, clicking a bottle might show a large ver- sion of the bottle with its label and details, and a link could take you to a totally new space which is a 360° view (still or video) of the actual vineyard.

Links inside this space might allow you to hear and see a video of the wine maker discussing the wine, see a drone view of the vineyard (in glorious 4K footage) – whatever your imagination can throw at it! The same could be done for the locally brewed beers of which there are plenty – Eagle Bay is our favourite by the way.

Going back to the main bar area, (links backwards are automatically generated) a click on the front door takes you outside to the main street of the town (called Manjimup) and from here, other scenes could be called such as the Tourist Centre next door which might take you to even MORE scenes using our tall trees (the Diamond and Gloucester trees after which the Tall Trees tavern is presumably named), local areas of interest (the King Trout Farm and Marron fishery or Sky Tree Top walk towards Denmark further south), or other businesses in the district – again the imagination and available resources are the only limitation.

One BIG thing is that as VR Studio 365 uses WebVR to display your project, it can be seen on desktop computers, mobile devices, in a web browser or VR headset equally.

A free VR-X player is also available.

So far, I have used a hospitality business as the focus, but VR Studio 365 could equally be used in business, education, travel and training.

Ease of Use

Like all software, especially packages that are in a new genre, VR Studio 365 has its quirks and idiosyncrasies, but overall it is pretty intuitive.

The hardest part we have found is the generation of the 360° footage and stills to make sure they are of sufficient high quality to be usable.

This is not a fault of VR Studio 365 per se, and simply a matter of knowing your tools, their limitations and how to tweak them to obtain the best from them.

You can say the same about a pair of scissors or a chainsaw.

The “standard” Windows interface and menu system is not used which I do think is a shame (there is no Mac version) as there is some relearning to be done but overall VR Studio 365 is stable, and we have been dabbling with it now for a few weeks with no major dramas.

One thing we did find is that unlike a lot of VR software, VR Studio 365 does NOT stitch your camera video into a 360° panorama. If the camera does not do that internally, or with software supplied, then you’ll need to manually do this with another package.

Thankfully Vegas Pro 16 does allow you to do this


VR Studio 365 is available via subscription starting at $14.99 / month for a 12-month subscription or to buy outright (as VR Studio) at $329.95 and all the details are at https://www vegascreativesoftware com/us/vr-studio/

*VR Studio 365 includes updates and online training which VR Studio does not

We have had an advanced copy here for a few weeks and love it

To get a special price on VR Studio 365, simply click the banner below to get a 30% discount


Panasonic develops its first full-frame mirrorless camera

Introduces LUMIX S Series with two inaugural models

Panasonic Corporation has developed two models of its first Digital Single Lens Mirrorless camera with a 35 mm full-frame image sensor, the LUMIX S1R and the S1. These models are the world’s firstii full-frame cameras to offer 4K 60p/50p video recording, and the Dual I.S. image stabilisation system. As the inaugural LUMIX S series models, Panasonic aims to release them on the global market in early 2019.

Scott Mellish, Product Marketing Manager, Imaging, Panasonic, said: “LUMIX continues to forge the way and set new directions in imaging with the announcement of the S Series. This marks a new era of growth and opportunity for LUMIX – with the S Series providing Panasonic with even greater reach into the world of the professional, while we continue to grow the highly-regarded G Series.

Importantly for the photographer, Panasonic’s alliances with Leica Camera and Sigma see an impressive array of adaptor-free lenses available at launch.

Prototypes of the new cameras are being unveiled at Photokina 2018 in Cologne, Germany.iii The key features of the LUMIX S1R and S1 are as follows:

  1. Highly expressive detail and outstanding versatility achieved with the newly-developed 35 mm full-frame image sensor and image processing

(Effective pixels: approximately 47M for the S1R and 24M for the S1)

  1. World’s first support for 4K 60p/50p video recording in a full-frame Digital Single Lens Mirrorless
  2. World’s first full-frame camera with Dual I.S. (Image Stabilisation), enabling handheld shots for dark or distant scenes that would previously have required a tripod or other
  3. A double slot for XQD memory cards and SD memory cards, the first for Panasonic; and a rugged triaxial tilt LCD, delivering ease of use and supporting professional photography and videography.
  4. Leica Camera’s L-Mount, making it possible to use interchangeable lenses that meet the L- Mount specifications of the partnersiv Leica Camera and Sigma. Expressiveness is further enhanced by increasing options for interchangeable

Panasonic will also build a lineup of LUMIX S series compatible lenses, developing more than ten by 2020, including a 50 mm/F1.4 fixed-focus lens, 24-105 mm standard zoom lens, and 70-200 mm telephoto zoom lens.

In addition, for the LUMIX G series of Micro Four Thirds Digital Single Lens Mirrorless cameras, Panasonic has begun developing a LEICA DG VARIO-SUMMILUX 10-25 mm F1.7 lens that will achieve the world’s firstv zoom with maximum aperture of F1.7 across the entire zoom range.

A new chapter in LUMIX history

For the 100 years since its founding in 1918, Panasonic has strived to help realise better lives for customers around the world by responding to their needs. With a vision of creating a new photo culture in the digital camera era, in 2008 Panasonic released the LUMIX G1, the world’s firstvi Digital Single Lens Mirrorless camera. Over the ten years since then, Panasonic has continued to lead the industry with product innovations, such as the world’s firstvii camera supporting 4K video recording; cameras equipped with the Dual I.S. (Image Stabilisation) system, combining stabilisation both inside the camera unit and the lens; and the world’s fastest autofocusviii function using the company’s proprietary DFD (Depth From Defocus) technology.

The LUMIX G Series GH5, G9, and GH5S cameras have gained a solid reputation among professionals and high-level amateurs across the world for the quality of their images and ability to capture the vitality and beauty of life.

Scott Mellish added: “Panasonic developed the G Series as a compact system, providing greater scope for photographers to work in challenging locations, with a lightweight kit to capture amazing travel and wildlife shots.

“Working closely with our users to further perfect the system, we developed enviable innovations such as 4K and Dual I.S. Now, we’re introducing these and other capabilities in a full-frame body to further revolutionise the world of the professional photographer. We’re excited about the opportunities the S Series will bring.”

The S Series has the user-friendliness and robustness essential for professional photography and videography; and incorporates an entire array of Panasonic technology refined over a century in the consumer electronics business and ten years developing Digital Single Lens Mirrorless cameras. This includes digital technology like image and signal processing, plus optical and heat dispersion technology and more. Panasonic’s LUMIX strategy will see the company continue to provide new value to customers through the unique features of the LUMIX G series; while also moving further into the professional market through the introduction of the full-frame LUMIX S series.

DaVinci Resolve 15 goes all Kiwi with HDR and 4K Post Production

Blackmagic Design today announced that New Zealand’s Department of Post is using DaVinci Resolve 15 as part of their HDR and non-HDR work with a number of film, commercial and television productions. This included color correction, conform and VFX work for a number of different projects, including the popular TV show “Cul De Sac.”

Department of Post is one of the most influential post production houses in Australia and New Zealand, providing end-to-end post production services, including DIT, editorial, online, finishing, color and audio for film and television productions, both local and international. Recently, they have focused on opening up New Zealand’s first fully HDR compliant post workflow to a wider range of productions, using DaVinci Resolve Studio as one of the core components.

One of the primary uses of DaVinci Resolve 15 at Department of Post is as the post production software used for UHD and HDR projects, as part of one of the top HDR suites in Australia and New Zealand, where they have already completed HDR work for a number global projects.

“Resolve makes HDR workflow simple, and the addition of HDR internal scopes in Resolve 15 is great. Resolve 15’s color management in particular we use a lot. Now that projects are delivering in SDR and HDR, Resolve’s node structure specifically helps us to handle complex workflows that allow us to do both passes on one timeline. The Resolve color management is similar to the ACES workflow, but more accessible to the broad range of productions we handle,” said Katie Hinsen, Department of Post’s Head of Operations.

With the inclusion of Fusion Studio VFX in DaVinci Resolve 15, Department of Post has also been able to handle grading, conforms and VFX work within a single application. “We recently had to use Resolve 15’s Fusion features for VFX comps for an upcoming film. Screen replacements and background replacements. It was very helpful and time saving to keep it all in Resolve 15.”

A non HDR project the Department of Post pro used DaVinci Resolve 15 on was the popular New Zealand television show “Cul De Sac,” which was completely conformed and graded using DaVinci Resolve 15. The show is a post-apocalyptic drama series where one day teens wake up to find the world has changed and includes no adults, no technology and no explanations.

“The look and feel was apocalyptic, with a specific color palette. Resolve 15’s hue v hue and hue v sat really helped maintain this. I also used 15’s OFX lens blur strategically to increase depth of field and accentuate the character’s feelings of alone-ness and despair. It’s a great tool, as it really blurs like a lens, not like a blur,” said James Gardner, Department of Post senior colorist.

GoPro HERO7 Black Features Gimbal-Like Video Stabilization In-Camera

GoPro, has announced its new product lineup including its $599.95 flagship, HERO7 Black, which sets a new bar for video stabilization with its standout feature, HyperSmooth.

HyperSmooth is the best in-camera video stabilization ever featured in a camera. It makes it easy to capture professional-looking, gimbal-like stabilized video without the expense or hassle of a motorized gimbal. And HyperSmooth works underwater and in high-shock and wind situations where gimbals fail. HERO7 Black with HyperSmooth video stabilization – you’ve got to see it to believe it.

With HERO7 Black, GoPro is also introducing a radical new form of video called TimeWarp. TimeWarp Video applies a high-speed, ‘magic-carpet-ride’ effect to your videos. Imagine a scenic drive, ocean dive or walk through the city compressed into a super-stabilized, sped-up version of itself, with the entire experience playing out in seconds. TimeWarp Video transforms longer experiences into short, flowing videos that are compelling to watch and easy to share.

And when it comes to sharing, there’s no faster way to do it than live. HERO7 Black is the first GoPro to live stream, enabling users to automatically share in real time to Facebook, Twitch, YouTube, Vimeo and other platforms internationally. The result is an exciting and convenient way to share life’s more interesting, on-the-go moments.

“HERO7 Black is the GoPro we’ve all been waiting for,” said GoPro founder, Nick Woodman. “With HyperSmooth video stabilization, HERO7 Black is a camera anyone can use to capture amazingly smooth, professional looking shots of their favorite activities. And they can do it live.”

$599.95 HERO7 Black Features:

  • HyperSmooth Stabilization – Gimbal-like stabilization without the gimbal
  • Live Stream – automatic sharing as you live it while saving your streamed videos to your SD card in high definition
  • TimeWarp Video – Super-stabilized time lapse ‘magic carpet ride’ videos of your experiences, up to 30x speed
  • SuperPhoto – Intelligent scene analyzation for professional-looking photos via automatically applied HDR, Local Tone Mapping and Multi-Frame Noise Reduction
  • Portrait Mode – Native vertical-capture for easy sharing to Instagram Stories, Snapchat and more
  • Enhanced Audio – Re-engineered audio captures increased dynamic range, new microphone membrane reduces unwanted vibrations during mounted situations
  • Intuitive Touch Interface – 2-inch touch display with simplified user interface enables native vertical (portrait) use of camera
  • Face, Smile + Scene Detection – HERO7 Black recognizes faces, expressions and scene-types to enhance automatic QuikStory edits on the GoPro app
  • Short Clips – Restricts video recording to 15- or 30-second clips for faster transfer to phone, editing and sharing. Great for new users and kids.
  • Photo Timer – Countdown timer for convenient selfies and group shots
  • Stunning Image Quality – 4K60 video and 12MP photos
  • Ultra Slo-Mo – 8x slow motion in 1080p240
  • Rugged and Waterproof – Waterproof without a housing to 33ft (10m), goes everywhere your phone can’t
  • Voice Control – Verbal commands let you go hands-free in 14 languages
  • Auto Transfer to Phone – Your photos and videos move automatically from camera when connected to the GoPro app for on-the-go sharing
  • GPS Performance Stickers – Track speed, distance and elevation, then highlight them by adding stickers to videos in the GoPro app
  • Touch Zoom – Frame your photos and videos with just a touch

HERO7 Black Million Dollar Challenge – It’s Time For Our Customers to ‘GoPro’

With HyperSmooth video stabilization, HERO7 Black makes it easier than ever to capture professional looking shots of your favorite activities. To celebrate, we are inviting HERO7 Black owners to shoot this year’s HERO7 Black highlight video for their cut of USD$1,000,000 Beginning September 27 worldwide, users can submit their best HERO7 Black raw video clips to the Million Dollar Challenge. Our creative team will pick their favorite shots for the highlight reel and award an equal cut of a million dollars to the individuals whose footage is selected.

For all HERO7 Black Million Dollar Challenge submission guidelines and details, please visit

HERO7 Silver + HERO7 White – Meet the Rest of the Lineup

GoPro has a new HERO camera for everyone this fall, including newbies, active go-getters and social sharers of all ages. Joining HERO7 Black to round out the lineup are HERO7 Silver and HERO7 White – the perfect active-lifestyle cameras for entry and mid-level users.

The 4K $449.95 HERO7 Silver and 1080p $299.95 HERO7 White are tough, tiny and waterproof to 33 feet. Tell them what to do using voice commands, or just tap the shutter button, and the camera will turn on and capture the moment automatically. And of course, it wouldn’t be a GoPro without the stunning video and photo quality that’s made GoPro the best-selling camera in North America for more than four-and-a-half years straight. Both HERO7 Silver and White feature significantly improved video stabilization, making it easier to get great looking shots on-the-go.

To review a full set of features and capabilities for all of our HERO7 cameras visit GoPro’s news blog, The Inside Line.

Global Availability

The $599.95 HERO7 Black, $449.95 HERO7 Silver and $299.95 HERO7 White are available for pre-order today at Cameras will be available in-store beginning Friday, September 27.

Greenpeace meets the Antarctic – in 360 Virtual Reality

For decades, Greenpeace has used photographs and video to document their activism—and to show people the at-risk environments and animals they’re working to protect. Recently, the organization has begun incorporating 360-degree virtual-reality (VR) video into their work, as a way to immerse viewers in far-off places and help people more deeply connect with them. A recent journey to the bottom of the Antarctic Ocean demonstrates the power of this fast-developing technology.

One of the videos produced by Greenpeace on their recent Antarctic mission was a 360-degree virtual-reality underwater journey. Greenpeace is using VR video to immerse viewers in, and get them engaged with, endangered habitats such as the Amazon rainforest and the Antarctic Ocean—they publish the videos on YouTube and elsewhere online.

And to give people the full viewing experience, they also set up VR viewing pods around the world. Although the number of people getting the full VR experience is relatively small, Greenpeace’s Matt Kemp says it’s proving to be a very effective way to reach audiences. Click on the image above to join actor Javier Bardem on a journey few people ever get to take.

For the full story see Adobe Create magazine

All images (c) © Christian Åslund / Greenpeace  or Matt Kemp / Greenpeace

New: What is Blackmagic RAW

We have just received an email from no less than Grant Petty, the CEO of Blackmagic Design, explaining all the good stuff about the new Blackmagic RAW codec.

Here ’tis …

Grant PettyCEOBlackmagic Design Pty Ltd


I wanted to email you to give you an update on our new Blackmagic RAW file format that’s been made available today for our URSA Mini Pro cameras and DaVinci Resolve.

What is Blackmagic RAW

Blackmagic RAW is a modern codec we designed as a replacement for both RAW and video codecs, because we wanted it to be very easy to use, very fast and much higher quality.

We have a video that explains all about Blackmagic RAW if you would
 like to watch it.

Faster and More Intelligent

Blackmagic RAW is much more intelligent than simple RAW container formats like the CinemaDNG format we have used in the past, because it understands the characteristics of the image sensor and the camera’s color science. This means we get much more cinematic images and the quality is much better for smaller file sizes.

Another big feature of Blackmagic RAW is how it’s designed. We have done a partial de-mosaic in the camera, so that part of the processing pipeline has been hardware accelerated by the camera itself. This means Blackmagic RAW does not load up the software with lots of processing and so the result is incredibly fast playback and faster rendering.

You also get total control over RAW settings such as ISO, white balance, exposure, contrast, saturation and custom color spaces. Blackmagic RAW also includes extensive metadata support including user customizable sidecar metadata files, plus GPU and CPU acceleration, new Blackmagic Design Generation 4 Color Science, different encoding options for constant quality or constant bitrate and more.

Modern RAW Format

We designed Blackmagic RAW to be a replacement for both video and RAW formats. It’s really dramatically better than video codecs because the images don’t suffer from the 4:2:2 video filtering. Plus compressing video is much more noticeable as image artifacts. But Blackmagic RAW is also better than other RAW formats such as CinemaDNG because it’s a single file, is hardware accelerated by the camera so it’s much faster, you also have all the color detail and you get full RAW adjustments.

Powerful Metadata

When it comes to metadata, Blackmagic RAW can embed metadata into the file itself, as well as add sidecar files that means users can add their own metadata. A good example of how this works, is you could record to Blackmagic RAW with camera settings, however when you do RAW adjustments in DaVinci Resolve, you can save that into the sidecar file
 and all other software that reads the files will see those changes.

Where this is really powerful is when working in video gamma. If you select video gamma in the URSA Mini Pro camera, you will see video gamma if you edit the files. But it’s only the metadata in the file that’s telling the software that the files are video gamma. Underneath they are always film gamma. So if you ever want to color grade the images, you don’t get clipped whites and blacks, and all that film dynamic range is there. When you pull up the blacks, or pull down the whites, all that detail will just appear!

Developer SDK Library

The good news is it’s easy to add Blackmagic RAW support into any software because we have bundled up all the downstream software processing into a single software library that’s free for developers. This library is available on Mac, Windows and Linux and it means all the complexity of using Blackmagic RAW has been handled and reading sidecar files, setting RAW parameters and all the color science is included.

This ensures you get consistent images between different software applications and across operating system platforms. DaVinci Resolve 15.1 also uses this library so any RAW settings changed in DaVinci Resolve will be seen by other software. We have also built a simple app called Blackmagic RAW Player that lets you review Blackmagic RAW files.

Cost and Availability

The good news is this update is free of charge. If you own a Blackmagic URSA Mini Pro camera then you can download a public beta for your camera that adds Blackmagic RAW and it also upgrades your camera to Generation 4 Color Science.

So you can start shooting in Blackmagic RAW immediately, we are also releasing a new version of DaVinci Resolve 15.1 today. This release has several new features, but most importantly, it includes support for Blackmagic RAW.

If you would like to play with some Blackmagic RAW sample files,
 we have posted some camera original files on our web site. Please go to and select the URSA Mini Pro product page. You will see a new Blackmagic RAW tab that includes extra information, however on this page we have these camera original files to download.

You can also download the Blackmagic RAW Player from this page and it lets you play the files. Perhaps you can download DaVinci Resolve and do some test color grades on the files. You will be able to go to the camera tab in the primary color corrector area and see the RAW settings. You can even save sidecar files.

If you want to add Blackmagic RAW support to your own software, the Blackmagic RAW Developer SDK is also available on this page and it includes sample code so you can see how to use the library.

Please check out our web site for more information. I am personally very excited by Blackmagic RAW and the feedback from the beta testers has been incredible. I was playing some Blackmagic RAW clips yesterday and then realized I was playing them from an old USB mechanical hard disk. I cannot play 4K video files off this disk, but I could play 4.6K Blackmagic RAW files perfectly. It’s quite amazing how good the pictures look at small file sizes. It’s very exciting.

I hope this gives you a good update on what Blackmagic RAW is and how it works. We look forward to discovering what you can do with it!


Grant Petty


Sony Introduces New Handheld NXCAM Camcorder, HXR-NX200

Sony today announces a new model to its NXCAM handheld camcorder line-up, the HXR-NX200. Targeting professional videographers and content creators, the latest camcorder, capable of delivering stunning 4K[1] images in beautiful colour, achieved by a newly refined colour science. It is a cost-effective choice offering all the professional features in a robust yet compact chassis.

“When Sony develops new camera technologies, our top consideration is to listen to the requests of our customers. The HXR-NX200 is no exception,” said David Green, Product Manager, Sony Australia. “The latest addition to our NXCAM family is a versatile camcorder that is perfect for on-the-go shooters, with its stunning picture quality and long battery life, allowing content creators and videographers to focus on what they do best, with minimal hassle.”

High Quality Picture in 4K/HD

Positioned as an optimal choice for users venturing into 4K productions, the HXR-NX200 is capable of capturing 4K high resolution images, in addition to its excellent HD capabilities. This is possible with Sony’s 1.0-type Exmor R™ CMOS image sensor with effective 14.2 megapixel that achieves high sensitivity and delivers superb image quality in 4K. Further, thanks to the large high-resolution sensor, superior image quality when shooting in HD is achieved effortlessly. In addition, the latest NXCAM camcorder offers users the flexibility to shoot in 4K and cut out in HD during post production

Beautiful Colour Reproduction

The compact and lightweight HXR-NX200 delivers stunning lifelike images with the newly developed refined colour science.  This major advancement allows the camcorder to express more vivid, deep, rich variation of colours and natural skin tones regardless of exposure condition. The well-balanced and true-to-life colour reproduction is ideal for applications including live events, weddings and other festivities, as well as houses of worship, education and seminars

Range of features to support professional shooting and workflow

To capture even the most expansive scenes with outstanding clarity, the HXR-NX200 is equipped with a 29mm wide-angle G Lens with three independent manual lens rings, enabling manual control of focus, zoom and iris, for quick and precise adjustment.

A 12x optical zoom is dramatically enhanced with Sony’s unique By Pixel Super Resolution Technology, Clear Image Zoom, at 24x in HD and 18x in 4K. With the built-in 4 Step ND Filters, the HXR-NX200 is able to adjust quickly to capture quality content in a multitude of environments, producing sharp, clear images without losing the detail.

Extending the recording format of Sony’s NXCAM family, the HXR-NX200 is capable of recording 4K XAVC S 100Mbps for superb picture quality with less noise due to higher bitrate. Further, the latest camcorder features dual media slots, enabling extended recording time and workflow flexibility through relay and simultaneous back-up recording.

The HXR-NX200 will be available from October 2018. For more information, please visit

[1] 3840 x 2160 pixels

Canon new flagship XF-HEVC capable XF705 camcorder

Canon Australia today announces the launch of the newest addition to its XF range of camcorders – the XF705. Equipped with the next generation XF-HEVC format, XF705 offers 4K UHD 50P 4:2:2 10-bit recording to SD cards, with impressive image quality and superior levels of detail. Combined with a 1.0 type CMOS sensor and DIGIC DV6 processing, the XF705 delivers vastly improved noise performance, sensitivity and cinematic depth of field. With a host of enhanced HDR capabilities, including an advanced 12G-SDI interface and IP streaming, the XF705 is poised to revolutionise UHD HDR production workflows for the better.

Versatile file formats to transform workflows

Underpinned by High Efficiency Video Codec (HEVC) video compression, and leveraging the industry standard Material eXchange Format (MXF) as the container, Canon has developed the XF-HEVC file format. HEVC offers a newer encoding technology that is about twice as efficient as mainstream H.264/AVC. By using XF-HEVC the XF705 streamlines the handling of 4K UHD data, offering the ability to record high-quality 4K UHD 50P 4:2:2 10-bit files directly to widely available SD cards.

The XF705 is capable of recording HDR files internally using both the Hybrid Log Gamma (HLG) and Perceptual Quantisation (PQ) HDR formats. The camcorder also features extensive HDR assist functions to support the user when controlling exposure. The XF705 can also output a SDR signal at the same time as recording a HDR file internally to a SD card, enabling simultaneous HDR/SDR production. Equipped with an advanced 12G-SDI interface, which sends a high-quality and uncompressed UHD 50P signal over a single SDI cable, the XF705 also has the ability to stream 4K UHD HDR using the HEVC format via the network. Ideal for broadcast and video production applications, the XF705 meets the requirements of any user who needs to capture 4K UHD HDR video with a streamlined production workflow.  Shoot with confidence 

To make critical focus easier with the larger 1.0-type CMOS sensor, the XF705 also has Canon’s unique Dual Pixel CMOS AF. This provides accurate and fast autofocus with touch focus control, Face Detection AF and object tracking. The Dual Pixel Focus Guide also provides a graphical guide to support accurate focusing when manually adjusting the focus.  Image capture starts with excellent optical systems and the XF705 offers incredible versatility combined with ease of use. It offers a 4K L-series quality lens which has a 15x optical zoom range, a maximum aperture of f/2.8, a wide angle of 25.5mm and effective IS to ensure maximum control for stable 4K UHD footage. This is combined with three independent control rings with end stops to ensure that the camcorder has the level of manual control that professionals expect.


XF705 – Key Features

  • UHD/50P 4:2:2 10-bit support with XF-HEVC
  • Simple HDR workflow
  • Advanced 12G-SDI and IP streaming
  • Accurate and reliable Dual Pixel CMOS AF
  • 15x L-series lens with wide-angle


The Canon XF705 camcorder is available from December 2018 and prices are set at dealer discretion.