Dateline 14 June 2014

 

Astrophotography - 12 May 2014 - John Slinn

Report by Peter Flower 

This was the final talk of our season and on a topic that is unfamiliar to most of us. I suspect that many will have tried taking photographs of the moon, with varying amounts of success, and the occasional comet. For those fortunate enough to have visited Iceland or northern Scandinavia they might even have been able to capture the spectacular displays of the aurora. However, John takes his photography of the night skies to a much more serious level, involving the use of telescopes and tracking devices. This is a hobby that requires detailed knowledge of the universe as well as the techniques necessary to capture successful images of distant stars and galaxies.

John had brought a selection of the equipment that he uses including some very substantial tripods, the tracking devices of various different types, and the telescopes with their adapters for the attachment of conventional cameras. In respect of cameras his preferred choice was for Canon DSLRs although he did show a shot that had been taken with a Samsung Galaxy S3 phone. (Proving that they can be used for purposes other than 'selfies'!) He explained that a number of different telescope designs were available, ranging from the simple Newtonian design, that was the cheapest, to ones such as refractors and catadioptrics. They varied in their use of mirror and lens technologies. An example of the sort of equipment used is shown in this image of enthusiasts at night.

 

 

He further explained that a very solid tripod and tracking mount were essential pieces of equipment. Because lengthy exposures are required to capture the very dim light coming from vast distances away it was necessary for the telescope to keep track of the relative movement of the subject and the earth's orbit. In some instances the individual exposures might take up to 20 minutes. However, added to the problem of very low light levels there was that caused by heat haze and light pollution. Even if it was possible to get well away from highly-lit areas such as cities, where light reflected back from the atmosphere above, the image could still be distorted due to warm air radiating from the ground. For this reason multiple long-exposure images were taken and some very clever software was used to select the best of the matching images to combine them into the finished photograph.

John showed several examples of this technique and it was quite amazing to witness how a stack of original photographs which appeared like an image of orangey brown 'soup' were transformed into a final result that clearly showed some very distant galaxy or nebula. By selecting the best images that were presented to it and carefully matching any highlight points in those it was possible for programs such as Deep Sky Stacker (a free program), Registax which was used with video clips and Automaker 2 to produce such good ultimate results.

Examples of the before and after images of the Rosette Nebula and Andromeda are shown below, together with another technique where RAW images of a prominence are stacked, sharpened and then coloured.

 

Similar techniques have been used in these images of the sun.

 

Obviously, these photographs require the use of specialist equipment and techniques. John showed one of the aids required – a Bahtinov Mask. Although the photographs are taken with manual focusing at 'infinity' when talking in astronomy terms this is not such a precise term as we are used to with landscapes! The mask produces a diffraction pattern image on the sensor which can easily show when accurate focus is achieved. The following images are of the mask and the way that it shows focus.

 

However, there were many examples of photographic possibilities that are more within the capability of a the average enthusiastic photographer. Given a firm tripod and a suitably long focal length lens, shots of the moon are reasonably straight-forward. They may not be quite up to the following quality, but decent results are achievable.

 

Please remember not to try using flash ! (Apologies for that old joke!)

 

Other photographs that are well within the capability of us all, given the ability to travel to the right location, are shown by the following examples of the aurora over Reykjavik.

 

Perhaps some of the most satisfying images, which are also possible with conventional camera equipment, were those that recorded the rotational movement of stars in the night sky as a backdrop to ground-based objects. The beautiful examples of Spinster Rock, Dartmoor and Haldon Belvedere, taken in remote parts of Devon, illustrate this point.

  

Making certain that the Pole Star is included within the image area ensured that a pleasant circular pattern is created.

Like some of the talks that we have had in the past on specialist subjects, such as forensic photography and the photographic records of artefacts in the British Museum, this was perhaps of limited appeal to some of our members. Nevertheless it was an interesting insight into a fascinating area of photography. There were elements of the techniques for night-time and sky photography that are applicable to the more earth-bound imagery that our members are used to. It is obvious that John and his colleagues require a good deal of knowledge and dedication to overcome the problems of photographing distant objects through the atmosphere of Earth. As will be seen from the following article, even huge investment and the design skills of of the best technicians do not guarantee perfection! 

Hubble Space Telescope

PF

This was carried into orbit by Space Shuttle in 1990. (Mission STS-31 – a joint ESA/NASA project) It was put into Low-Earth orbit 569 km above the ground. The objective was to place the telescope above the distorting atmosphere to enable high resolution observations of planets, stars and galaxies. It had a 2.4 metre primary mirror. However, after being placed into orbit it was found that the images beamed back were far from perfect. This was due to a tiny flaw in the mirror. In December 1993 a space mission took place in which astronauts installed corrective devices, under the name COSTAR. NASA released the first new images from Hubble's fixed optics on 13 January 1994. The pictures were beautiful, with excellent resolution. Hubble was transformed into the telescope that had been originally promised. 

Mirror Lenses

Techman 

Catadioptric design is not limited to telescopes. It was available for ordinary cameras under the simple name of mirror lens. This is a lens that is seldom seen today, its popularity having waned since conventional telephoto lenses became more compact. Mirror lenses were once quite popular as they offered long focal lengths (typically 500mm, sometimes 300mm or 600mm) as well as being both lighter and shorter then typical prime lenses of that focal length, not to mention often cheaper.

As implied by the name, the lens was unusual in that it was designed using internal mirrors (plus some conventional optics) that shortened the light path by reflection to and fro. As will be seen from the following image, because of the size of the mirrors the lens had a very different appearance. It should be noted that the lenses were normally manual focus. The Minolta is a very rare exception, being autofocus.

 

There are certain limitations to lenses of this type. The most serious was probably the fixed f-stop. Generally, this was set at f/8 and could not be changed. Also, filtering had to be done after the optical components, not on the end of the lens as is normally done. Some mirror lenses offered small filters in the common (for B&W) colours that could be inserted into a chamber in back of the lens and in front of the lens mount. Another drawback was the odd and distinctive doughnut-shaped bokeh produced by such lenses. This was due to the fact that light entered the front of the lens around a small reflecting mirror. The effect can be seen in the following image.

 

Photo Club de Brunoy, France

Report by John Fisher 

You may or may not be aware that Reigate is twinned with Brunoy (pronounced Brunwa) which is in the South East suburbs of Paris. Well it is and there is an exchange between the towns in both directions each year.

 Last year someone who is involved in the twinning got in touch with Reigate Photographic Society to see if we were interested in twinning with the Photo Club as it was their 50th anniversary in 2014. Some of them came over last year, although sadly after our 75th celebrations and one couple (Andre and Brigitte) stayed with Stephen and Sandrine Hewes.

However, we were invited to submit photographs for their exhibition this year and to go over there for the weekend if we wished. Such was our enthusiasm that we doubled our attendance, as Kathy and I were able to join Stephen and Sandrine. We were hosted by members of the Photo Club (Andre and Patrick) and their wives (Brigitte and Catherine) and we had a wonderful time.

The exhibition is most impressive and is held annually between 6 local clubs. It was in Brunoy this year for their 50th and they also invited us and a club from Germany to attend. They were delighted that four of us went, as nobody from Germany made the trip although they did send some pictures.

The club took care of printing all the pictures, A4 size directly onto backing board and then mounted in black plastic frames. Reigate was very well represented and I am hoping that we can get a link to all the pictures.

On the Saturday afternoon, after an excellent lunch, we took part in the Photo Marathon. At 2.00pm exactly, we were given one hour to take two photographs and the subject was revealed by Christophe the club president as Melange (mixture). They downloaded our files onto laptops and were then given the second topic and an hour to shoot Romantic. Again these were downloaded and we were given an hour to shoot 2 pictures on the topic of Musicality.

The members of Brunoy were not allowed to enter but there were about 50 people who had a go and a team of 6 people acted as the Judges. I am also hoping that we will be able to get a link to all the entries for this competition.

In true French fashion there were nibbles and Champagne at 7.30pm, after people had looked at the exhibition. There was a speech from the Mayor and then the prizes (substantial ones donated by Companies) were given out. Then we headed to a nearby museum for dinner followed by painting with light until we headed home sometime after midnight.

Here is a link to the club web site http://www.club-photo-brunoy.fr

People may also be interested in a link to Andre's website which is impressive:

http://regardetlumiere.fr/WordPress3/

 

Anniversaries

Peter Flower 

Not only does 2014 mark the centenary of the start of The Great War (later referred to as World War 1) but June in particular has witnessed a number of significant anniversaries. I comment below on some aspects of significance to us as photographers. 

100 years of Leica 

The following logo may well come to your attention if you have any interest in Leica cameras. It is their symbol that marks the centenary of camera production.

  

In the previous newsletter we reported that Leica had just announced a completely new camera - the Leica T, a mirror-less compact system camera that features a 16 megapixels APS-C format CMOS image sensor. However, to further mark the anniversary the company has introduced no less than three limited-edition 'specials'. These are luxury items that will primarily sell to collectors.

The first is the Leica M Edition 100 that comprises a set within a black anodized aluminium case, including two cameras and three Leica Summilux-M lenses with focal lengths of 28, 35 and 50 mm. This brings together a purely mechanical rangefinder camera for film photography (the Leica M-A) with a digital Leica M (Leica M Monochrom) in one set. Both cameras stand as symbols for the origins of Leica photography and the present day. The Leica M-A is based on technical specifications of the currently available Leica MP film camera. The second camera, a Leica M Monochrom, is the contemporary variation of the theme composed a century ago by Oskar Barnack. This is the first time that stainless steel has been employed for the visible metallic elements of Leica products. The cameras and lenses will be available exclusively as sets from Leica Stores and Boutiques and strictly limited to 101 sets. No price is published on the Leica web site, but an American commentator has speculated that it might be about 22,000 euros.

 

The Leica S ‘Edition 100’ consists of the Leica S medium-format system camera and two of the most popular S lenses: the Leica Summarit-S 2.5/70mm ASPH (CS) and the Leica Elmarit-S 2.8/30mm ASPH (CS). The special feature of this anniversary edition is its unique engraving marking the 100th anniversary, which adorns the Leica S camera as well as both S lenses. The products are supplied in a Leica variant of Rimowa’s Topas Multiwheel Trolley, made of light-coloured aluminium and with a high-quality insert, making it also ideal for use as hand luggage. It securely protects the camera and lenses, even when on photo assignments in extreme conditions. The anniversary edition is available exclusively as a set from Leica stores.

 

 

The Leica D-Lux 6 ‘Edition 100’ is a limited edition of only 5,000 sets worldwide. This anniversary set includes the compact Leica D-Lux 6 camera featuring the two-tone styling (with silver lens and black high-gloss body) and the unique engraving marking the 100th anniversary. The set also comes with a black, elegant camera case made of real leather also featuring the 100 year logo as well as a matching shoulder strap and wrist strap.

 

The release of these special editions also coincides with special events celebrating Leica's opening of their new corporate headquarters in Wetzlar, Germany, the place where Leica Camera was born. 

Tiananmen Square protests – 25 years ago 

Student demonstrators had occupied the square in the heart of Beijing for the seven weeks leading up to 3 June 1989. The student-led democracy movement received broad support from city residents, exposing deep splits within China's political leadership. The protests were forcibly suppressed by hard-line leaders who ordered the military to enforce martial law in the country's capital. The crackdown that initiated on 3 – 4 June became known as the Tiananmen Square Massacre as troops with assault rifles and tanks inflicted casualties on unarmed civilians trying to block the military's advance towards Tiananmen.

Perhaps the most iconic image from 25 years ago at Tiananmen Square was that of a Chinese man standing in the middle of the street halting the progression of four army tanks. This dramatic act on 5 June 1989 came to represent the spirit of struggle between ordinary citizens and a repressive government. The photograph, 'Tank Man', was taken by Jeff Widener, and has been published frequently in recent media reports of the anniversary. He explained the circumstances. From a high vantage point in a hotel Widener heard tanks rumbling down the street. Suddenly this man walked out in front of the tanks with his shopping bags. Widener took three shots before realising that his camera was on the wrong shutter speed. But by the time he solved the problem the protester had already been dragged off the street, but the dramatic shot had been captured.

However, what makes the events of that time particularly interesting is that three members of our society were in Beijing at the time, witnessed the lead up to them, and reported them in an account of their travels in the December 1989 edition of 'Vision' which was the name of our printed newsletter at that time. The three members, David and Molly Brown, plus Ray Ashbee (who was accompanied by his wife, Gina) travelled around the country before staying at the Academy of Art in Beijing for a short time, where the wives were on a painting course. They visited the square where the students were assembled, taking photographs and talking to them. At various points in their report it is evident that there were tensions building up but they were not to know that such awful bloodshed would occur after they left.

David commented “ The next day Ray and I left the Academy, our wives, and the rest of the painting group. We did not feel that we were leaving them (the students) in any danger, and had no idea of the way in which events were to develop.” 

To accompany David's article and Ray Ashbee's photographs I arranged for the article title to be accompanied by Chinese text. At the time the 'Friendly Villa' Chinese restaurant was located at Western Parade, Woodhatch. I spoke to the owner, Katie Woo, and she kindly provided the necessary script. A copy of this is shown below, together with two of Ray Ashbee's photographs and the title heading of the newsletter.

 

 

Apologies for the quality of reproduction of Ray's photographs – but these are scans of images that were originally photocopied for reproduction in the 'Vision' newsletter.

 

World War 2 – D-Day Landings – 6 June 1944 

One of the most iconic photographs of this event was the following one taken by Robert Capa.

 

 

He was with American soldiers when they landed at Omaha Beach on 6 June 1944. He used three rolls of film and exposed 106 frames of the event whilst on the beach under heavy gunfire. After what seemed like an eternity Capa spotted an incoming infantry landing craft and headed for it. With his cameras held high to keep them from getting waterlogged Capa was pulled aboard the craft and was soon out of harm's way. After reaching England he sped by train to London and delivered his precious film for developing.

Many thought that the blurred images were due to the tension of working under such intense danger, but the true reason was very different. A darkroom technician was almost as anxious to see the invasion images as Capa himself. In his haste the technician dried the film too quickly. The excess heat melted the emulsion on all but 10 of the frames. Of these few that survived, including this shot, there remained blurred and slightly surreal images that probably better conveyed the chaos and confusion of the day. 

Another photograph that, strangely, stands out from the thousands taken on that day is shown below.

Acknowledgement to Imperial War Museum

It shows a landing craft heading for Sword Beach on D-Day. This has been widely published over the years and at first glance does not appear to be exceptional in any way. However, in my view it is the fact that there is just that single face of one commando in the crowded landing craft, dominating the centre of the frame, that makes it so memorable. I believe that the person in question has recently been identified, but unfortunately I cannot find reference to the details.

 

Old Reigatians Rugby photography project

Comments by Don Morley 

This was a project that I thoroughly enjoyed. It was John Gall's idea and my own first thought when he asked me to do it was 'Cripes, can I still do it myself ?' I have been retired for 27 years so I quietly took myself off to a rugby match to find out the problems. In addition I checked out all of the angles at The Old Reigatians ground, especially the potential problems of confusing backgrounds, so that I could brief everyone signed up for it before the day.

Actually I went to the ground on four different Saturdays before the planned Reigate PS outing day, only to find the games called off on every occasion due to this having been the wettest winter on record. An additional problem was the Club sadly having a web site which never seemed to get updated until such time as the Monday after the cancellation!

This was a great frustration for John and I as in real terms we lost over six weeks and were rapidly running out of games and season to run it on. Finally, when we did think it was all systems go I ran the tutorial at my home on a glorious morning intent on us all then going off to put words into practice. What happened? The game got called off again, and this time not even due to the weather or waterlogged pitch. Ugh!

My worry then, of course, was that people might lose interest altogether, and forget all I had told them. In fact the interest and turnout was terrific. Games spread over the following three Saturdays attracted attendance by a significant number of members, with some members going along to all. I must say I was truly delighted, and likewise with everyone's results as seen at the recent review meeting held in the Community Centre.

It was a pity though that in effect we lost the winter, as there is no doubt in my mind we would all have got better 'Muck and Bullets' type shots in muddier conditions. But what still pleases me enormously is that our members were so prepared to just try and have a real go at something different. I say that because I strongly believe no one will ever learn anything worthwhile in photography (or life) UNLESS they are prepared to go out beyond their own comfort zone and take a few risks. 

My point here being that you do not have to be interested in the sport itself any more than you might be interested in such as insects or macro photography. But in trying something we do not normally do we widen our skill base and learn valuable lessons which sooner or later will reap benefits in many other facets. Hence my applause for John Gall's vision, and for that of others in the club who have helped promote our outings on other topics.

 

The Way We Were . . . 55 years ago

Peter Flower 

Purely by chance I came across a printed copy of the society's newsletter from 1959. Quite apart from its historical value I found this particularly interesting on two counts, which illustrated the contrasts between then and now. The first was the very different way in which news of society events was presented. The details of the printing process are outlined below. The editor and production staff at that time could not possibly have envisaged the vast difference that computing would bring in a relatively short time-span, enabling the sophisticated presentation of our current Focal Points newsletter with illustrations and photographs. The second aspect was the attitude towards incorporation of inbuilt light metering. Reference was made to the doubtful benefits of “automation”, the presentation of exposure readings as “Light values” and things taking place “inside the magic box” ! Imagine the attitude towards digital cameras with all the “automation” that this brings to our current photography!

The detailed comments appear in an extract from the editorial of 'Focus' (the Society's Newsletter) No. 16 edition of December 1959 at the end of this article. As will be seen from the photographic reproduction of the newsletter it was prepared on a conventional typewriter.

 

Briefly, for the benefit of those too young to recall the details, the process was as follows. The typewriter, with ribbon removed, was used to create a stencil which was then mounted on a rotary mimeograph machine, normally a Roneo. Ink was forced through the stencil onto the paper to create the finished print. It was possible to make diagrams using a metal stylus, but it appears that the editing team thought that this was a step too far. Interestingly, the newsletter was printed double-sided on sheets of foolscap paper (13” x 8”) which were stapled together. It should be added that A4 had not yet been 'invented'!

(Not many people know that . . . It is called foolscap because, in the 18th century, folio-sized paper had the watermark of a fool's cap on it.)

An extract from the editorial follows -

Undoubtedly the photographic world in general, has been influenced this year by “automation”. What has this meant to the photographer? To the ordinary snapshotter – who has today become very colour conscious – it does perhaps mean a larger proportion of acceptable transparencies. But to the club member, especially the more experienced worker, it means absolutely nothing, and is perhaps more of a hindrance than a help. Most of us prefer to know that a shot was taken at 100th sec at F11 rather than be told “Light Value 12” was the setting and on some of the more advanced models one just does not know what is taking place inside “the magic box”. With all this automation one will still have to see, select and compose your picture. The finest automatic camera will not produce for you any better pictures than you get from your old early model Leica, Rollei or modest Kodak 620. It will always be up to you to find and make pictures whether they be in colour or monochrome.

 

Looking Back – John Gall on his three plus years as Chairman

Following Colin Gregory, our Chair, being diagnosed with a terminal illness I was asked to temporarily take over the role of Chair in December 2010. As you can gather I was not challenged at the 2011 AGM and stayed in the role for the maximum 3 year term until May 2014.

Whilst I was not intending being Chair, having been new to the Committee, I have found the role very rewarding and thoroughly enjoyable. I have worked with an excellent committee of enthusiastic and positive people and a great deal has happened in these three and a half years.

The most notable success was the planning and execution of our 75th Anniversary Exhibition in February 2013. A sub committee was formed to deliver the event and members past and present exhibited their work, local retailers supported us in many ways, the Town Trail was a great success and Will Cheung delivered an entertaining keynote presentation on the Saturday night.

Initiatives launched by the committee over the three years were:

  • A mentoring scheme for members and non members to enhance their skills;

  • A competition for Young Photographers, now run annually, to foster their interest;

  • Exhibiting of members work in the Reigate Community Centre and local retailers as part of our publicity efforts;

  • Rebranding of the Society with a new logo and new publicity material;

  • Development of a new and attractive website;

  • Updating our Flickr site and regular usage of this for galleries and competition images;

  • Opening several club nights per season to the public and members of SPA clubs as a fund raising and publicity initiative;

  • Developing links with other local clubs which will include shared club nights and the booking of one high profile speaker per season, with costs and profits from this event shared;

  • Including a link to Amazon on our website as an income generator;

  • Fostering a close working relationship with the Surrey Mirror for publicity purposes;

  • Having a nominated member to meet and greet prospective members coming to club nights;

  • A programme of skills improvement and practical sessions outside of club nights;

  • Obtaining two grants from the Reigate & Banstead Arts Council, one for our 75th and the other for new exhibition boards; 

Over these three years we have seen our expenditure grow with the rising costs associated with our annual programme but we have managed to cope with this whilst still leaving the Society in a financially sound situation.

We have another website design about to be implemented and should look to refresh this on at most a three yearly basis. This is the first port of call for prospective members and needs to be fresh and exciting. Similarly Flickr is an important tool to showcase the Society and members should seriously consider making greater use of this to show how good we are.

We now have a vibrant Society that has increased membership from 33 full members three years ago to 49 today and club nights have a busy and exciting feel to them. We are going places and seeing our results in SPA competitions improve year by year, so we need to keep the momentum we have built going into the future. It is up to all of us to ensure that this happens!

John Gall

May 2014

 

John's '15 minutes of fame' when he appeared on television talking to John Sargeant at Reigate Heath Church in September 2011 (Photo by Ian Hunt) 

Samsung's 'Ditch' Day

Techman 

The popularity of camera types varies considerably in different areas of the world. Compact system cameras have struggled to gain popularity in the USA. In particular mirror-less cameras have not gained the same degree of acceptance compared to that in parts of Europe and Asia. Samsung, which is fighting hard to gain market share in this sector, decided to do something about this. Recently the company held a special event in Times Square, New York, at which it persuaded hundreds of existing DSLR users to ditch their cameras in favour of a brand-new Samsung NX30 camera. Needless to say this offer attracted a massive audience, eager to trade in their aged (but still working) DSLRs for a brand new model. A reporter at the event witnessed the handing in of the likes of Canon, Nikon and Olympus cameras.

It is reported that Samsung gave away cameras with a retail value of around a quarter of a million dollars at the event. As a consolation, those who didn't manage to get a camera of their own left carrying rebates on a mirror-less camera purchase. Great publicity for Samsung and promotion of awareness of mirror-less cameras in the States.

In this country Samsung's promotion of the NX30 is limited to a £200 cash-back offer in return for your working digital camera. It should be added that cash-back deals are on offer for other cameras and lenses in the Samsung range.

 

Bargains with Cash-backs and Trade-ins

PF

Whilst the Samsung deal mentioned above may be exceptional, just about all of the camera manufacturers are desperately fighting for their share of what is a falling market. Anyone reading the Amateur Photographer in recent times will have noted the increase in advertisements featuring special discounts, cash-back deals, trade-ins at guaranteed prices and offers of buying second-hand equipment. We have previously mentioned the dramatic drop in compact system sales, but the DSLR sector is also experiencing tough competition. The following examples illustrate this point.

Currys is currently offering the Canon EOS 1200D DSLR camera with 18-55mm and 75-300mm lenses, plus deluxe gadget bag at a price of £399 (with £20 cash-back on £419 price). The Amazon price for the camera with single kit lens £340. At the same time Cameraworld is offering a refurbished model of the same camera with the 18-55mm lens at £300. This is a new model that was only introduced four months ago at a nominal 'street' price of £400 and yet is already being heavily discounted.

 

Panasonic DMC-FZ1000 camera

Techman

The announcement by Panasonic of its Lumix DMC-FZ1000 superzoom camera, featuring a 1"-type CMOS sensor and f/2.8 - 4.0 25 - 400mm equivalent lens, adds to the number of cameras in this increasingly popular sector of the market. This began with the first of the Nikon 1 series of cameras, launched in 2011. It appeared that Nikon's plan was to announce a camera with superior imaging capability which would distance them from the increasing threat to their compact range by smartphone cameras. At the same time it would not threaten their DSLR range.

Since then the likes of Sony have entered this sector with their RX10 and RX100 series cameras, together with the recently-announced Samsung NX mini.

The new camera's sensor is the same size as on Sony's Cyber-shot DSC-RX10 and the same resolution at 20.1 megapixels. The lens doesn't have a constant aperture like that of the Sony but has the greater ultimate focal length. The lens uses Panasonic's Depth from Defocus technology, which promises faster focusing. The FZ1000 features both a fully articulating 921k dot LCD as well as a high resolution (2.36M dot) OLED viewfinder. A ring around the lens barrel can be used to zoom or manually focus. A full suite of manual controls are available, including highlight/shadow correction and in-camera Raw conversion. The big feature, for video enthusiasts, is its ability to record 4K video (that's 3840 x 2160) at 30p, with a bit rate of 100Mbps. The high video resolution allows users to grab 8MP stills from a video clip. The FZ1000 can also record full HD video. In common with many recently announced cameras the FZ1000 has built-in Wi-Fi and NFC. The camera can be controlled from your smartphone, and image sharing is easy, as well.

A feature that the FZ1000 provides is the possibility of capturing spur-of-the-moment still images at reasonable quality. This can be done by cutting out a 3840 x 2160 8 megapixel equivalent still image from the 4K video footage – far more effective than with the limitations of conventional burst mode at so many frames per second.

On a general note, the ability to video in 4K format, which is four times greater than full HD, has even becoming available on the latest smartphones. It is ironic that very few people will have television sets that can play back the recordings at that quality!

 

And Finally . . . .

PF

One of the possible hazards of trying to photograph the night sky !