The Biggest Innovations in Photography in 2016

Photography is evolving: it seems like everyone is really into 360 video, VR, etc as it continues to evolve. But traditional camera companies are continuing to innovate and other companies have been becoming better and better at what they do. We’ve seen a large number of changes in the community this year that is pushing the boundaries and how the industry is going to continue to progress.

Take a look as we round up some of the best innovations of the year.

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Gifts Ideas for the Polaroid Photo Fanatic

Instant film has had a sort of reemergence with the ever growing popularity of Fujifilm’s Instax cameras, and Impossible Project’s various cameras and instant films. There are a lot of new converts to the instant film phenomenon, but there are also plenty of old timers who came up with polaroids and that classic instant film.

Today we are taking a look at six great gifts for the instant film fanatic,l: everything from film to cameras. So let’s get started!

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Essentials: The Semi Serious Fujifilm Instax Film Photographer

Essentials is a series where we round up specially curated kits for different photographers in different situations. Other items could surely be substituted, but these are what we personally recommend.

While it’s still not totally there yet, the Fujifilm Instax format is starting to offer support for the more serious minded photographer out there. The imaging area is around the size of true 645 format, and for that reason it would be absolutely incredible as a serious image capturing format. The film is more than capable of delivering great details but the problems for many years has been the cameras. However, two cameras in particular are fantastic choices for a photographer looking to get more seriously into the Instax format.

As always, the Essentials series isn’t sponsored but instead designed to give a photographer various kit options.

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Antti Viitala On Character Defining Portraits

Huskys1 copy

All images by Antti Viitala. Used with permission.

Photographer Antti Viitala not only creates incredible photos of the Aurora Borealis, but he also is able to capture and create portraits that are telling of the person he is photographing. He finds inspiration of great painters and believes that making a subject comfortable is the best way for them to help you create better photos. Essentially, he’s all about having the subject forget that the camera is there.

To that end, some of his portraits have incredible stories behind them.

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National Geographic Photographers Talk About Their Scariest Moment

Iceland © Bob Krist

Iceland © Bob Krist

All images are copyrighted by the photographers, and are being used with permission.

Adventure is the word many people would say when they think of National Geographic photographes. I certainly do. Thumb through the pages of any given issue, and you’ll see images from a wide range of often exotic locales. They’re images that not only look great, but they have something to say. Rarely do we give thought to what went into the making of those images. How exactly did they get the shot of that tiger, and how the hell did they get to the top of that mountain? These are questions worth considering, and those assignments are not without their pratfalls.

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The Phoblographer’s Introduction to Shooting Better Portraits


Shoulders meticulously positioned to emphasize evenness. You'll have to move one behind the other, Bring the hair to the side side opposite of the key light, part the lips slightly and bring the chin out forward a bit more

Shoulders meticulously positioned to emphasize evenness. You’ll have to move one behind the other, Bring the hair to the side side opposite of the key light, part the lips slightly and bring the chin out forward a bit more

When it comes to creating portrait photos, you’ll need to understand that the process is in some ways a collaborative effort. But it also requires empathy, understanding and a creative vision. You’ll need to be specific about posing, and have a knowledge of how the person will actually look on camera. The best way to do that is to go ahead and make lots of mistakes, figure out solutions, apply them and re-shoot.

But to help you along the way, we’ve got an Introduction to Shooting Better Portraits compiling lots of information right here for you.

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Mugshots from the 1920s are Significantly Cooler Than Mugshots from Today



Images courtesy of the Sydney Living Museums

We recently found this collection from the Sydney Living Museums via the Historic Houses Trust that contain a plethora of mugshots from the 1920s. And the photos themselves were not only kept in impeccable condition but they also have details such as the person’s name, the crime they committed and more.

But even more awesome is the fact that they’re remarkable looking and significantly better than modern day mugshots where the person takes a frontal photo with a sign and side photos.

On the website’s blog, they talk about the over 2,500 glass plate negatives and some cellulose negatives. The photographer perhaps asked the folks to pose themselves. More of the images are after the jump.

Via TwistedSifter

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Review: Sony a58

sony a58 front

I got my first taste of this camera back at a Sony event held at the Museum of Natural History in New York City. The event wasn’t strictly about photography, but they were showcasing some of their newest cameras. I sketched my first impression of the camera after my few hours with it, and a few months later, I had it in my possession for a month. With 20.1MP, an APS HD CMOS censor, and smooth contours, the a58 can take some fantastic photos. I took it out alongside my a580, the a58’s portly older brother. As time progressed, I found that I warmed up to this camera, more so than I did initially.

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First Impressions: Sony A58

Sony a58

Sony a58

Sony rang, and we answered the call. Editor-in-Chief Chris Gampat and I headed over to the Museum of Natural History for an invite-only press event for Sony’s new line of consumer electronics. There were upcoming television, audio, and photo offerings on display, and it was the latter of the three that particularly interested us. Following a presentation by COO Phil Molyneux and several product specialists, we signed out cameras and went on a small tour of three exhibits. Chris took the new NEX-3N and I had the a58, Sony’s latest addition to its SLT line. In summary, it’s something you’re either going to like or not.

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First Impressions: Sony NEX 3N

Chris Gampat The Phoblographer Sony NEX 3N First Impressions product shots (6 of 8)ISO 2001-125 sec at f - 5.6

Sony recently announced the NEX 3N in the US and we were fortunate enough to join the company at the Museum of Natural History on a little tour of the area as well as some personal hands on time. The 3N and 3 series in general have always been amazingly great when it comes to ergonomics and the 3N is no exception. But the weird thing is the zoom lever now added in around the shutter release. Otherwise, the camera was very comfortable to hold and shoot with–though sometimes limiting. Despite that, this is one stylish looking camera.

We tested a pre-production version and our copy was literally right out of Japan. In fact, the menus were all in Japanese and I had to use my knowledge to try to navigate around. I was able to shoot some JPEG files but for some odd reason, the camera mostly saved the RAWs instead. However, the JPEG files I shot were final production quality–which tells us that Sony is using a previous sensor in this camera.


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Review: Sony NEX C3

The Sony NEX C3(or NEX-C3 or C-3 as all the cool kids on the forums are calling it), is the latest in the line of mirrorless cameras from Sony. Promising better ergonomics, more control over your image, and better image quality than the predecessors, the NEX C3 has quite a bit to live up to. As a system that has previously promised amateurs better image quality by essentially designing the camera around just leaving it in auto, the NEX system has taken off to the point of helping Sony capture the #2 camera spot in Europe. But can the new NEX C3 target the same amateurs while still making that extra bit of control a bit easier for the pros?

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