March 10, 2019

The Leica Q2 is an update to one of the best travel cameras around

Leica Q2 Camera Fixed-Lens Travel

The Leica Q was among a niche of high-performing fixed-lens prosumer cameras. Four years after the original release, Leica introduces the Q2. The Q-series shared the competitive landscape with only a handful of other models. These models including the Sony RX-1 and the Fujifilm x100 series, all take a similar approach. These cameras all traded in an interchangeable lens for great optics and small footprints. In essence, this segment made for great everyday/travel companions.

A quick rundown of the specs

  • 47.3 MP full-frame sensor with DC and UHD 4K video recording
  • Leica Summilux 28mm f/1.7 lens (carried over from the Q1)
  • OLED panel with 3.68M dots (a change from the Q1’s LCD)
  • Built-in crop functions to create focal lengths of 35mm, 50mm, and 75mm
  • IP52 dust and water resistance

Price tag aside, why the Q2?

The Leica Q2 comes in at USD $4,995. It’s a unique offering that lacks versatility at times. However, if you’re looking for one of the best cameras in class, the Q2 is hard to beat. The focal crops may not result in a true optical difference but offers a degree of flexibility. The Q1 has been a workhorse travel camera for many. And based on its longevity, the Q2, price aside, is a worthy investment.

Other cameras with fixed lenses and small sizes

Fujifilm x100f (35mm-equivalent 35mm f/2 lens)
+ Significantly cheaper
+ Great lens
+ Smaller than the Q2
+/- Not a full-frame sensor
– Lack of stabilization
– Mediocre battery life

Sony RX1R II (ZEISS Sonnar T* 35mm f/2 lens)
+ Similar full-frame design
+ Cheaper
+/- Most similar to the Q2 across the board
– Challenging controls/handling
– Nearing an update as it was announced on October 14, 2015

If you’re interested in learning more about the Q-series, Craig Mod has an extensive review of the Q1. The essay/review is based on a 6-month test across Japan.

January 24, 2019

After significant backlash, Apple agrees to compensate #shotoniphone winners

Apple’s recent “Shot on iPhone Challenge” promises to use photos from 10 selected photographers for a series of marketing campaigns. The catch? There’s no compensation, or, there wasn’t any compensation

After backlash from creators on Twitter and other social media platforms, Apple quietly updated the announcement for the competition. The new description specifies that the final 10 winning photos will receive a licensing fee for their use on Apple marketing channels.

The idea of artists working for exposure is not a new one, and can benefit the creators in question, but it is a concept that the creative community is trying to combat. Apple have changed the small print of the competition, but for a company that “believes strongly that artists should be compensated for their work,” Apple had the opportunity to redefine the relationship between big brands and creatives.

December 13, 2018

Remove.bg shows off some impressive AI to remove backgrounds.

Remove.bg is giving photo editors a taste of what’s to come. “Sophisticated AI technology” is able to quickly remove foreground and backgrounds for portraits.

Why is this important?
While the usecases are somewhat limited (you can only download a 500x500px image for), it foreshadows what’s to come as AI starts to take some of the grunt work out of certain creative tasks.

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