Editorial

Peter Flower

Looking at the Programme brochure for the current season I was reminded that this was the 80th season for the society. This serves as a reminder about the rapid passage of time and the fact that five years ago we were making preparations for the celebratory events in February 2013. This was an exciting time for the society. For the benefit of newer members I will recall some of the activities that took place in a later edition of the Newsletter. There are several interesting events in the programme in the immediate future. These are listed in the following section. Looking further ahead, Stephen Hewes is busily organising a series of Extra Events, details of which will appear soon.

A number of reminders for your diary -

Saturday 28 October – Annual Exhibition in the Reigate Community Centre.

30 October – Panel competition – Notes from Stephen Hewes - A very informal opportunity to present groups of 3 images – either as 3 prints (bring on night) or as PDIs, with the winner decided by popular vote. PDIs should be uploaded to the PhotoEntry system under 'internal competitions' by Saturday 28th. You'll see a maximum 3 panels as PDIs are allowed (+ 3 print panels if you wish), with the instruction to 'Load 4 images for each panel - 3 separate images plus a collage of all 3 as a panel'. For the collage I stick the 3 images onto a MSPowerpoint slide which I then save as a pdf file (there are not doubt other ways!). Contact me if you get stuck.

31 October – Deadline for Chatham Challenge entries

Saturday 4 NovemberSaturday Natter in the conservatory restaurant of Denbies Vineyard. An informal gathering starting from about 10:30am. If you have not been before this is a chance to socialise, chat and maybe get some advice about photographic techniques or problems. There is an added bonus this time in that the Mirage Group of Photographers will be holding their annual exhibition from 24th October to 5th November 2017, displaying their work in the gallery.

6 November – Please note this special revised event.

© Photographs copyright of Heather Angel

A late change of programme has given us a great opportunity to secure Heather Angel to give her talk entitled Exploring Natural China. This is an illustrated talk by this famous nature photographer on the wildlife and landscape of China. Further details are on a Home page advertisement.

City of Widows & Portfolio – 2 October 2017 - Susannah Ireland

Report by Peter Flower

© All photographs in this article are copyright of Susannah Ireland

The evening did not start well. News was received that the train on which Susannah was journeying from London to Redhill had been stopped en route due to a bomb scare at one of the stations. As a result she was having to seek a taxi to complete her journey. Our chairman, Mike Weekes, took an executive decision and declared an early tea/coffee break. Even better, the drinks and biscuits would be free. Things were looking up! When Susannah did arrive there was another slight delay whilst the problem of getting her Apple laptop talking to our projector was sorted, but Jill and Cass were able to sort this out fairly quickly, and from then on we were able to enjoy Susannah's inspiring images and commentary.

Susannah is an experienced photo-journalist who has undertaken a wide variety of photographic assignments, principally for newspapers and magazines, but also commercial clients and charity organisations. As a result the photographs were very varied, ranging from some covering the Afghan war to formal portraits and extensive documentary assignments in India.

In the following section of my report I present just a small selection of the images that we were shown on the evening. The opening photograph showed the dramatic scene as British army troops sheltered from the dust storm as their Chinook helicopter departs from Cher-E-Anjir town in Helmand Province, Afghanistan.

In a totally different photo-reportage situation we were shown images of refugees at a camp in France hoping to gain entry into Britain.

Afghan refugees wait for the night to draw to a close bringing with it French police to dismantle their makeshift camp 'The Jungle' in Calais, France. The 'sans papiers' refugees are hoping to get to the UK at some point but are made increasingly unwelcome by French authorities.

Susannah stressed the importance of thinking carefully about the presentation of a record of an event to gain maximum impact, and potential interest to picture editors. This is illustrated in the following photograph. An immediate attitude might have been to present the speaker in close-up (as you can see is being done by other photographers in the foreground). Instead, the photograph shows the context of the event to much greater effect.

American civil rights campaigner Rev. Jesse Jackson speaks to residents of the Occupy Camp at St Paul's Cathedral in London. The church minister addressed crowds to attack the culture of corporate greed and hail protest as direct descendent of civil rights movement.

In her time Susannah has photographed many celebrities and prominent figures. I include just two examples of this work. The first is of Sir David Frost. She explained that on this occasion she had used a wide-angle lens in order to show him in the environment of the room in which he was sitting. Looking carefully, you will note the effect that this has upon the apparent size of his feet! The second photograph is of former Prime Minister Gordon Brown. Susannah had an an interesting comment to make about this photograph. People will recall that Mr. Brown has fairly rugged features. It was pointed out that there was a significant depth to his head, front to back. In order to keep all his features in focus it had been necessary to use an f/8 stop !

It will be recalled that Gordon Brown had previously been Chancellor of the Exchequer for some considerable time. As such he was one of a number of chancellors who had paraded in front of the No. 11 Downing Street door with the famous red box. Susannah explained the difficulty of getting an interesting shot of the event for the newspapers. A phalanx of photographers was assembled across the street with limited room for manoeuvre and with the same backdrop each year. This was unlike the party conferences where an ingenious photographer could take a cunningly composed shot against the background slogans. (I enclose such a photograph in the 'And finally . .' section)

In the latter part of the talk the subject turned to India and the theme indicated by the introductory title. In some parts of the culture the women are seen as the cause of their husband's death and relatives believe that they should be cast out. The segregation of widows can be so extreme that in some places they are prevented from attending family gatherings, including weddings. Many poor widows are abandoned by their families and left to fend for themselves. Thousands live out their lives in the ashrams in the ancient temple-filled city of Vrindavan, popularly known as the City of Widows. Susannah had spent a significant time in this location recording their plight, but also the times when they were able to enjoy themselves, as in the following images. The first is, for me, a truly outstanding image. The composition and lighting are reminiscent of that in old master religious paintings.

Indian widows sing hymns around a bonfire ahead of celebrating Holi 'festival of colours' at the Meera Sahabhagini Mahila Ashray Sadam widows Ashram in Vrindavan, Uttar Pradesh, India

An Indian widow lies on a patio floor covered in flower petals and coloured powder as she celebrates Holi or 'festival of colours' at the Meera Sahabhagini Mahila Ashray Sad am widows Ashram in Vrindavan, Uttar Pradesh, India.

As was explained, the success of this project was due to the time that Susannah spent getting to know the women and empathising with their plight.

Susannah then showed some more generalised shots of life in India. In connection with the following street scene she made an important point about choice of focus point and depth of focus. Although the light level was obviously low it at dusk it would probably have been possible to ensure that the girl in the left foreground was in focus. However, her choice of focus ensured that the viewer's attention was drawn to the street scene in the Kathputli slum colony of New Delhi rather than being distracted by the girl.

The following collage shows a variety of colourful Indian scenes, including fire breather Amity Kumar Bhatt practising his craft at his home in the Kathputli slum colony of New Delhi, a man announcing the arrival of a wedding and a cycle rickshaw wallah pictured cycling through the streets of Old Delhi.

The final Indian photographs are of street scenes. Susannah liked the symmetry of the elements in the view across the railway lines. The second image is of a scene that will be familiar to just about everyone, with the disorganised tangle of wiring. However, in this case there is the added interest of the silhouetted monkey walking across illegal electricity cables in the Chawri Bazar market area of Old Delhi, taking advantage of this highway in the sky.

It is noticeable that almost all the images shown on the evening were of people – virtually no landscapes here! The following atmospheric shot shows a foggy morning for dog walkers in Richmond Park.

Throughout the meeting there were numerous questions asked of Susannah about her equipment and photographic techniques. Regarding equipment, she principally used two Canon EOS 5D Mk.3 cameras with a range of lenses. The most popular were a 35mm f/1.4 and 50mm macro f/2.5, although she also mentioned a 70-200mm f/2.8 and 17-40mm f/4. She said that she preferred to use prime lenses as these are often much sharper than zooms and produce more intimate images. She said that she always shoots on manual as she believes that this gives much more creative control over her exposures and cannot trust the camera to get it right on any other setting. She does however use autofocus although she configures this to trigger through one of the back buttons, rather than on the shutter button, as it's much quicker. This way she never misses a moment waiting for the camera to work out where to focus. She also has a tripod for the occasional night-time shot and ProFoto B2 lights for the occasional studio-lit portrait for clients who require it.

These were just a few of the topics questioned by audience members and discussed by Susannah. I cannot remember a recent event at which so many questions were asked. It was a mark of the great degree of interest that Susannah's images and background stories aroused in the audience. We all had to be thankful that Susannah was able to attend, despite the early problems, and to provide such an interesting evening's entertainment.

Many more of Susannah's photographs can be viewed in the portfolios of her web site at -

http://susannahireland.com/albums

Following the evening's talk I asked Susannah for a résumé of her career. Her reply is given below.

'I did a degree in Sociology at the University of Leeds, which, while not a photography degree, was a valuable insight into the background of journalism as a whole and provided me with a root understanding of the issues much of humanitarian journalism deals with.

I then took a gap year where I worked as a photographer on an Indian newspaper, The Hindustan Times in Jaipur, Rajasthan.

I then undertook a one year National Council for The Training of Journalists (NCTJ) course in Photojournalism at Sheffield College. From there I got my first staff job at regional news agency in Birmingham called News Team International (now South West News Service - SWNS). Here I covered everything from premiere league football to page three as well as more broadsheet based assignments and hard news. It was a great training ground for a future in national newspapers. After a year in Birmingham I was lucky enough to gain a 6 month placement working as a news, features and portrait photographer with The Times newspaper in London after winning their Young Photographer of The Year award in 2007 at the age of 24.

I continued to freelance for The Times for several years after that before transferring over to The Independent newspaper more-or-less full time. It was here that I got the opportunity to travel to Afghanistan and various conflict zones whilst on assignment and working alongside The Independent defence correspondent. These were primarily media embeds with the British Army or Navy, covering their work in conflict zones. Kevlar bullet proof vests and helmets are a necessary requirement, which can be a hindrance to mobility and not helpful to wear in extreme heat. The dangers are less extreme than if I was working alone or just with the writer. Journalists usually work with 'fixers' who are local guides and facilitate the stories they need as well as a translator. I feel that a way of combating any potential dangers is to focus on the job I am doing in hand and to provide as much good photography as the situation will allow.

In 2014 I then moved out to Delhi in India to work on more longer term documentary assignments and cover more social documentary and humanitarian stories for various international newspapers and charities including Save The Children, UNICEF, the Financial Times, The Sunday Times and National Public Radio, as well as undertake my own personal projects. I have been back in London since last year, after visa problems working as a journalist in India. I am still continuing to cover editorial and documentary stories for a variety of newspapers, magazines and commercial clients.'

Women in conflict zones

I also asked Susannah for details of her involvement and experiences in Afghanistan.

'Working as a woman in conflict zone poses its own challenges in terms of people's attitudes more than the assignment itself. Personally I feel that women face much misogynistic discrimination from editors in deciding what they believe a female photographer should or shouldn't photograph, which doesn't usually extend to conflict zones. Women are more than capable of covering conflict with equal skill to men, if only given the opportunity. It can often be an advantage in Islamic countries being female as I will get access to areas of life which men are prevented from penetrating. I would rather just be known as a photographer first rather than have my gender alter perceptions of what kind of photography people think a woman would do.'

I was particularly interested in her experiences as a female photo-journalist in a conflict zone. My mind went back to the story of Lee Miller, one of just four female photographers accredited as official war correspondents with the US armed forces in World War 2. She followed the US troops overseas on D Day + 20 and was probably the only woman combat photo-journalist to cover the front line war in Europe. Of course, these were very different times. Photographic evidence of the atrocities of war were not always welcomed by officialdom, and especially the presence of females on the battlefield. Readers familiar with the story of Lee Miller may well recall the famous photograph of her luxuriating in Hitler's bath. However, I show the image of Lee Miller in steel helmet specially designed for using a camera.

Acknowledgement – photo from internet source - photographer unknown

Purely by chance, in the course of a Google search on the subject of female war photo-journalists, I came upon the name of Dickey Chapelle, a pioneering female American war photographer who brought her camera to combat fields from World War II (but in the Far East) through to the Vietnam War (which ran from 1 November 1955 to the fall of Saigon on 30 April 1975). Chapelle became a war photographer for National Geographic during World War II at a time when few women were welcomed in a battle zone. She covered the battles of Iwo Jima and Okinawa. An article about her exploits at that time is headed 'A Woman with Balls and Pearl Earrings'. Perhaps typical attitudes at the time are summed up in this reported encounter - “Get that broad the hell out of here!” That unchivalrous comment was levelled by a United States Marine Corps general at Dickey who had made her way to his front during the bloody battle of Okinawa, toward the end of World War II.

The following photograph shows Dickey Chapelle with trade-mark earrings.

Acknowledgement – photo from internet source - photo by Marine Master Sergeant Lew Lowery

Tiny yet tough, Chapelle was known for wearing pearl earrings with combat fatigues to show that she “wasn’t one of the boys.” During the Vietnam War, Chapelle shot the first photo of a US soldier actively engaged in combat. National Geographic ran the photo despite protests from the Pentagon, earning Chapelle a “Photograph of the Year” award in 1963 from the National Press Photographers Association.

Marine crew chief Nelson West and South Vietnamese soldiers patrol an area near Vinh Quoi

Acknowledgement – photo from internet source – photo courtesy Wisconsin Historical Society

After returning to Vietnam with a marine unit in 1965, Chapelle became the first female American journalist to be killed while covering a war. On 4 November 1965 Chapelle died from shrapnel in her neck from mortar and a grenade when a Marine inadvertently stepped on a nylon fishing line, setting off a booby trap.

Strangely, despite being one of the pioneer female photo-journalists to cover conflict zones, Chapelle was largely forgotten until relatively recent times, but has been remembered in an hour-long documentary and been the subject of numerous accolades.

Summing up, the stories of these female photographers illustrate the adverse attitudes that they experienced. They had to be strong-minded and persistent. Times have changed, to the extent that female service personnel are now allowed into war zones. Perhaps this has led to easier acceptance of photo-journalists like Susannah into areas of conflict, but I judge from her remarks that it is not necessarily universally welcomed.

Canon PowerShot G1 X Mark III

Techman

On 16 October 2017 Canon announced a new flagship addition to its acclaimed G-series of premium compact cameras, the Canon PowerShot G1 X Mark III. Lightweight and portable, the new G-series flagship features a 24.3 megapixel APS-C CMOS sensor (for the first time – previous models had much smaller sensors) plus Canon’s Dual Pixel CMOS AF (Auto-Focus) technology and fast DIGIC 7 processor inherited from interchangeable lens cameras like the EOS 77D and EOS M5. However, like previous G series cameras, it has a fixed lens, 24-72mm equivalent f/2.8-5.6 zoom combined into a relatively compact body weighing just 400g/14oz. It should be noted that the requirement to keep the lens compact, whilst still able to provide image size for the larger sensor, has necessitated a smaller maximum aperture and reduced zoom range compared to other The camera has an SLR-style design, featuring dials on the front and back, a built-in flash, an OLED viewfinder and fully articulating LCD. The body is sealed against dust and moisture.

The camera is available for pre-order with expected availability in November. The price is shown as £1199 at Park Cameras.

Canon cameras with common features

Techman

The introduction of the G1 X brings to a total of seven the models in the range that share a number of common features. The most significant is the 24 megapixel APS-C sensor. All have fast DIGIC processors and touch screens that are either fully articulated or tilting. Built-in flash is also a common feature. The three DSLR-style cameras (200D, 800D and 77D0) can be fitted with exchangeable EF or EF-S lenses and have fully articulating screens. The M-series cameras (M5, M6 and M100) fit EF-M exchangeable lenses and have tilting screens, whilst the G1 X has a fixed lens and fully articulating screen.

New Canon records

Techman

On 17 October 2017 Canon announced a couple of major production milestones. It has now produced 130 million EF-series interchangeable lenses and 90 million EOS cameras. An EOS 5D Mark IV was the 90 millionth EOS camera to go through production, whilst the 130 millionth interchangeable lens was an EF 16-35mm f/2.8L III USM. The EOS series (which were of course film cameras to begin with) and the EF lenses made their debut in March 1987. The introduction marked a bold step for Canon. The conversion to a different, electronic lens mounting system and fully digitized communication between the lens and camera body meant that the existing FD-mount lenses could not be used with the EOS models. However, the new lenses provided auto-focus capability, later improved with ultrasonic drive, and image stabilisation. (It should be noted that Nikon took a much more cautious approach to the transition, resulting in potential compatibility problems depending on the age of the lens and body)

Canon boasts of a 14-year consecutive No. 1 share of the global interchangeable lens digital camera market.

Canon PowerShot G and A series cameras

Peter Flower

On the Park Cameras site, commenting on the introduction of the new G1 X Mk.3, there was an image comparing the original G1 PowerShot camera (introduced in 2000) with the more recent G1 X Mk.2 and Mk.3 models.

Acknowledgement – image from Park Cameras

Although a lot has changed in the intervening 16 years there is at least one feature common to both cameras. I refer to the fully articulating screen. To me, it is quite amazing that a greater number of modern cameras do not have this facility. It is so useful, and the fact that it could be included in the specification of such a small and relatively low-priced model all those years ago raises the question of why it is not almost universal. There was a further advantage, as illustrated by the following rear view image of a Power shot G3 camera. This was the ability to protect the screen, when not in use, by folding it inwards.

Surprisingly, very few of the most expensive Canon or Nikon DSLRs are fitted with any form of adjustable screen. Some comments have been made by the manufacturers about weather-proofing problems of the fully articulated screens, but I cannot believe that this is an insurmountable problem.

Reverting to discussion of the original G series cameras, I remembered that Marion Gatland had a model some time ago. She confirmed that it was a G3 PowerShot (introduced in August 2002) and that she still owns it.

This has a 4 megapixel 1/1.8” CCD sensor and 35-140mm F2 zoom lens. The fully articulating screen was just 1.8” in size. A common feature of all the models was an optical viewfinder, which zoomed in synchronisation with the lens.

In parallel with the G series Canon also sold a lower-price A series range. As a general rule the A models incorporated many of the improved features of the G Models, but a year or so later. The A series models were also more compact. My first ever digital camera was an A80 (introduced in October 2003). This was replaced when I bought an almost new A640 in December 2006 ( model introduced in September 2006). This model featured a 10 megapixel 1/1.8” CCD sensor and 35-140mm F2.8 lens. This had the same optical finder, but by now the fully articulated screen was up to 2.5”.

Like Marion, I retain this camera, and it still gets occasional use.

Saturday Natter – Denbies Vineyard - 7 October 2107

Peter Flower

About a dozen of us gathered at a reserved table in the Denbies conservatory restaurant for another of our regular monthly meetings. This is always an opportunity to discuss and compare notes on our photographic exploits and camera equipment that we use, or maybe hope to acquire in the future! At our end of the table the discussions mainly featured Don Morley (with his Leica) John Fisher with his compact Nikon DSLR and myself with Panasonic GX8, with some lenses, and the very compact Sony HX90V. As reported in previous reports, John had originally acquired a Panasonic TZ100 to take as a travel camera on a recent holiday visit to South America, as a supplement to his normal bulky Nikon DSLR. Sadly, his experience was that he did not adapt well to the unfamiliar modes of operation and was disappointed with the quality of photographs produced. As a result he had disposed of it and bought a small Nikon DSLR. This had the advantage that the controls were similar to those of his existing Nikon kit and that, by using some of his existing smaller lenses, he had a reasonably compact and light-weight carry-around camera. Knowing of John's long-term ownership of Nikon cameras I mentioned the fact that its latest model, the D850, was receiving universal praise in recent reviews. Whereas the choice of a model by professionals had been divided by those requiring the highest possible image quality or speed of operation (for sports etc) the new camera satisfied all the requirements.

Members will be aware of Don's long-standing enthusiasm for Leica cameras. Although he used a variety of camera makes during his professional career he never abandoned his admiration of the engineering quality of Leica bodies and optical excellence of the lenses. However, in recent times he has added Fujifilm cameras to his arsenal of equipment. With somewhat lighter bodies he is still able to enjoy the benefits of comprehensive and convenient camera controls together with excellent image quality that the X-range cameras provide. As an aside to this subject, although John Gall was not present we had been intrigued by his notice about disposal of a collection of Nikon DSLR camera and lenses, plus Fuji X-E2 camera. When I asked John about this at the next Monday meeting John confirmed that he had bought a Fuji X-T2, second-hand (at an advantageous price!) with a very low shutter count. I know that Don and John are not alone in their purchase of X-range cameras. This seems indicative of a trend towards acquisition of lighter camera equipment. Whilst it is acknowledged that, all other things being equal, the full-frame models with their larger pixels on sensors and greater pixel counts are capable of better image quality there is an increasing resentment to lugging around the heavy equipment. The comparisons can be quite revealing. As an example I had an Olympus 45mm f/1.8 (equivalent to 90mm) on my Panasonic GX8 (micro 4/3) camera. Olympus lenses, going back to the era of the 35mm film cameras, have always enjoyed a reputation for high quality and from my own observation with this particular lens this is still justified.

The following images show the size of the lens, alone and mounted on the camera, plus some photographs taken at the time.

© Peter Flower Olympus 45mm f/1.8 lens (equivalent to 90mm)

© Peter Flower          Gerry Stone and Jill Flower at Saturday Natter (both photos f/1.8)

© Peter Flower         Stephen Hewes (f1.8) and Jan Adcock (f/2.8) at Saturday Natter

Photographs have been slightly cropped from the originals, but otherwise unedited. The backgrounds are well subdued. As discussed with Don, this is an area where the compact cameras often come in for criticism, compared to the larger frame ones. In this case the availability of a large f-stop has alleviated this potential problem.

Subsequent to the meeting I researched comparison of equivalent lenses for M4/3, APS-C and full-frame cameras. The tremendous differences in size and weight are illustrated below. The figures in brackets show the equivalent focal lengths.

Olympus 45mm (90) f/1.8 116g 46mm (L) 56mm (D) for M4/3

Canon EF-S 60mm (90) f/2.8 335g 70mm (L) 73mm (D) for APS-C

Canon EF 85mm (85) f/1.8 425g 72mm (L) 75mm (D) for full-frame

Nikon 85mm (85) f/1.8 350g 73mm (L) 80mm (D) for full-frame

Leica 90mm (90) f/2.5 360g 67mm (L) 55mm (D) for full-frame

(Summarit-M)

The figures in bold indicate the heaviest and largest lenses. However, these do not even begin to compare with the bulk of the Sigma 85mm F1.4 DG HSM|A lens! Admittedly this is an f/1.4 lens - 1130g 126mm (L) 95mm (D) for full-frame.

In the latter part of the morning we were joined by Rosemary Callinan who was seeking advice on choice of camera for her son to take on a holiday. It is always a problem to choose a camera that will meet all the requirements. Compromises are inevitable in relation to factors such as price, size, lens focal length ranges, viewfinders/viewing screens, and ease of control. Both Don and I advised reference to the D P Review internet site. This not only has comprehensive reviews of cameras but, more importantly, has two facilities - Camera Feature Search and Side-by-side Camera Comparison – that assist in locating suitable models and potentially narrow down the choice for cameras to try. A possible choice was the Panasonic TZ100 and Rosemary was able to look at Colin Hodsdon's model of this camera that he had brought to the meeting.

Meanwhile, Stephen was moving around the table discussing potential events for the Extra Programme and canvassing opinions. I have spoken to him since, and it is likely that he will be finalising and publishing this programme shortly.

Nikon D850 reviews

Techman

It is almost impossible to provide features in a single camera that will satisfy everyone. The sports photographer requires such things as quick focus, rapid frame rates and speed of writing to the memory card. This can compromise the image size (pixel count). On the other hand the portrait photographer can work at a more leisurely pace, with the emphasis on high picture quality. A wedding photographer might like a silent shutter action at the church ceremony. A look at the specification for the D850 reveals that it potentially satisfies the requirements of photographers at both ends of this spectrum.

I quote from two recent reviews by well-respected sources -

D P Review -

'In addition to the increased speed, the D850 also gains the full AF capabilities of the company's flagship sports camera: the D5. This includes all the hardware: AF module, metering sensor and dedicated AF processor, as well as the full range of AF modes and configuration options, which should translate to comparable focus performance combined with high resolution. Given the D5 possessed one of the best AF systems we've ever seen and could continue to offer that performance in a wide range of conditions and shooting scenarios with minimal need for configuration, this is an exciting prospect. Like the D810 before it, the D850 continues to offer an ISO 64 mode, that allows it to tolerate more light in bright conditions. The D850 promises the same dynamic range advantage as the D810, meaning it should be able to compete with the medium format sensors used in the likes of the Fujifilm GFX 50S and Pentax 645Z.

In the end, we feel that the D850 will satisfy the needs of an incredible variety of photographers, and we're comfortable saying the D850 is the best DSLR on the market today. For that, it merits our highest award.'

Amateur Photographer reviewed the new camera in its 21 October 2017 edition. Edited comments from Michael Topham -

'The great news for the Nikon faithful who've held out for the D850 is that it doesn't disappoint in the slightest. Professionals, semi-professionals and serious enthusiasts who settle for it will be thunderstruck by the performance of the high resolution sensor. (. . ) by successfully marrying high resolution with high speed they've made the D850 one of the most versatile DSLRs around.'

The magazine featured the front cover headline – 'Simply the best DSLR ever made' and gave it their 5-star Testbench Gold award.

Should I, Shouldn't I? - 16 October 2017 – Don Morley & Steve Lawrenson

Report by Peter Flower

This was an evening where members were invited to submit PDIs for comment on by our resident judges Don and Steve. As the title of the event suggested it was one where guidance would be given as to the suitability for competition entry. A critique would be given on the images, with comments about likely success or potential improvements. Perhaps the greatest lesson of the evening was that judges do not necessarily agree! There were images where Don and Steve were in accord, but also quite a number where the potential marks that they would have awarded in competition would have been somewhat different. Despite their individual preferences the people who submitted images would hopefully have received useful comments. The usual culprits were pointed out – distracting backgrounds, incorrect focus point, distracting features (especially on the edge of pictures), requirement for tighter cropping, lack of apparent motion in action photographs, blemishes on the image, and so on.

Given the task of evaluating so many images, over 90 in total, Don and Steve did very well. The event was enlivened by their banter on points of detail and general good humour.

And finally . . . . . . .

Referring to the comments made in the report on Susannah Ireland's talk, this is just one example of how the photographer's ingeniously framed shot can raise the image from mundane to brilliant.

Jeremy Hunt at a party conference

Acknowledgement to Joel Goodman – photograph from HuffPost web site

 

STOP PRESS – Sony a7R III – 25 October 2017

Techman

The Sony announcement of this exciting new model in their Alpha range came just too late for publication in this Newsletter. I will be reporting in greater detail on a number of advanced features that are incorporated in this camera in Newsletter 100, but the following information is about one of the most innovative - Pixel Shift Multi Shooting. The camera has a sensor that can move, normally used to provide image stabilisation. In the new feature it is used to provide higher definition images that have greater colour accuracy than normal.

As with just about every digital camera the sensor incorporates a mosaic of three colour filters over the individual pixels. This is known as the Bayer pattern. This has severe limitations in relation to colour interpretation

It will be obvious that at any one point the sensor cannot record the true colour, merely the bias towards red, green, or blue. The overall image requires an interpolation process, relating to surrounding pixel values, in order to decide on the actual colour at this point. What the new Sony feature does is to take four images in quick succession, moving the sensor by one pixel width between.

The effect is shown in the images above. What this means is that the value of each colour at any point can be captured in full, with four times as much detail available to interpret. The following images are taken from ones that appear in the Sony announcement -

The images on the right are intended to show the improvement made by the new facility. It may not show on your display, although the elimination of moire in the lower image should be visible. A series of fuller pictures can be viewed on the Sony web site, together with all the information about the new camera.

https://www.sony.co.uk/electronics/interchangeable-lens-cameras/ilce-7rm3?cpint=SG_CATEGORY_SEC-TOUT-OTHER-S41B41B41-EN_GL-2017-09-M01-M41B41-TOUT01-M41B41