Today the photography market got shook up even more. Recent dismal announcements from Nikon and Cannon on their entries to the mirrorless market set the tone for anything exciting.  The endless train YouTuber’s regurgitating the same specs over and over since NDA’s are lifted has now quieted down.    What did we learn today?  Today things are starting to change, that’s what!

Boom

Out of the Fuji Corner

Fuji already hit us early with the X-T3, new lenses earlier this past month. But wait, there’s more?!  Yes sir there is, Fuji came out swinging like Micky Ward.  They drop GXF 50R on us and more GF lenses now and to come. But wait, there’s more?!  They also announced the GFX 100S.   The one camera I might actually think spending that much on if my landscape photography gets to a point where the Nikon D850 isn’t enough.  I guess that’s why Fuji coined the term “Super Full Frame” as something better than the full frame market.

If this is all news to you you must be living under a rock.  I’d highly suggest you head to Fuji Rumors and catch up on it.  It’s pretty amazing stuff if medium format is of interest to you.  If not, they have the new Instax that may be more your speed.

Capture One + Fuji

But wait, there is even more!!  Capture One announced at the Fuji press release that there is… brace for it… wait…  you may want to sit down!  A free Capture One Express Fujifilm, it supports all Fuji cameras.  You can upgrade to the Pro version for $150 USD to even support tethering and more.  Do you hear that?  It is another nail in Adobe’s coffin.  You can find more about the Fuji version of Capture One here.

Speaking of Paper

I’m slowly becoming obsessed with photo paper.  Oddly enough none of the photography sites talked about this.  Fuji just announced new  line of Crystal Professional Archive Maxima Paper.   I know Whitewall has it now so I might need to check it out soon.  This goes to show you the sate of photography.  Printing is hardly exciting or important as it used to be.  To me it is pretty damn important as it would be a shame to not hang up pretty prints somewhere.    Photography should be enjoyed and not consumed like fast food on Instagram.

Pretty Much Fuji

I should have probably wrote this stuff last but this is how I felt about Fuji after today’s announcements.

Mic Drop

 

Trifecta of Power

Leica, Panasonic and Sigma join forces to come up with a new L – Mount?  Yeah what would this year be without  a new lens mount. Z then R and now L.  What does that spell?  New stuff, maybe good, maybe bad but we will have to see how it all shakes out come 2019.  Bold move on their part but a smart one with the tech shift upon us.  More on this topic here.

 

Panasonic Stepped Up

Panasonic actually did what Canon and Nikon couldn’t.  They created a “full” full frame mirrorless camera.  They checked almost all the boxes their competitors couldn’t.  Dual IBIS, dual cards, crap load of lenses coming down the pipe.  Still TBD if these new cameras are any good but kudos to Panasonic.  This makes me think that it is quite possible that Canon and Nikon are so set in their ways they their business practices are starting to resemble the archaic super powers of the past?  Does Xerox and IBM ring a bell?  Does (or is) history repeating itself now in the world of photography?

 

Sigma

These guys with the new L-Mount Alliance are cranking out lenses left and right. 5 new lenses plus the L-Mount stuff to come!!!  Sigma has taken the crown as the 3rd party king.  Personally I am still a Tamron fan but that is just my preference since I like running around in the rain with my cameras.  Sigma though is on the fast track to having lenses for everything except Fuji.

 

But wait, there is even more

So there is actually more stuff dropped today that wasn’t at Photokina that is some what promising.

Luminar announced the following:

  • The new Luminar with Libraries will come this December. 
  • This update is free for all Luminar 2018 users.
  • There will be NO paid upgrade to Luminar 2019.
  • Instead, you will get the new tools and features as free updates to your current version of Luminar.
  • More AI-powered tools will come to Luminar soon.
  • We will get better in keeping you updated on what’s coming.
  • Some of you will have a chance to become a part of Luminar development.
  • More users will get an early access to beta versions of Luminar.
  • For new users, Luminar is available at a discounted price for a limited time.
  • We are sorry to keep you waiting for these updates.
  • We love you!!

Wow, free upgrade this year.  This little program has been getting a lot of bench time from me.  The way it handles layers and filters is pretty awesome.  The workflow just makes sense (in my head).  That being said, it is not perfect, without flaws and bugs but it is heading in the right direction.  The way it handles layers is a lot like Alien Skin’s Exposure but with a lot more tweakability.  Big new step with their upcoming DAM.  I have high hopes for Skylum but they are a small shop and seems spread a little thin currently.

I’ve yet to dive into their new Aura HDR but looks to be a good take on Luminar.  Yet it is still missing some necessary features when it comes to alignment and stacking.

ON1 2019:

I like these guys and have had good luck with 2018 and 2018.5.  Though it’s clunky layer section has held me back from a deep dive.  I’ve pretty much used it for finishing and film simulation (though Exposure still reigns supreme here) but just hasn’t got where I wanted to use it as a daily driver.  That looks like it is going to change soon.

  • A New Workflow for Layers
    • Layers will no longer be a separate module. Instead, the power of layers will be accessible within the non-destructive workflow inside of Develop and Effects.
  • New Lightroom Photo Settings Migration
    • New AI-powered algorithms will give customers the ability to transfer Lightroom-edited photos, keep the non-destructive settings, and move them into ON1 Photo RAW 2019.
  • Portrait Module
    • The new Portrait module will automatically detect faces in your photo and will retouch to smooth skin, brighten and sharpen eyes, and whiten teeth.
  • Focus Stacking
    • Blend multiple photos at different focus distances to increase depth-of-field.
  • Auto-Align Layers
    • Easily combine multiple photos as layers, then automatically align them based on image content.
  • Text Tool
    • Perfect for creating posters, adding your byline or adding editing annotations. Easily control font size, color, position, and more, then save to a preset to add the same text overlay to a batch of photos quickly.
  • Master Keyword List
    • Now you can see every keyword that you use in a single, searchable list. You can quickly apply, clear, edit, or delete keywords.
  • Improved Local Adjustments
    • Local adjustments will be updated to use the raw processing data. This allows for more highlight and shadow details with more tonal range.
  • Layered HDR Workflow
    • With the powerful new non-destructive layers you can combine other photos, text, or alternate exposures with your HDR photos. You can even use the powerful masking tools to combine multiple HDR renditions.
  • Filter Options in Effects
    • We have added dedicated film grain, curves, and color adjustment filters to Effects. There’s also a new way to select and browse filters.
  • User Interface
    • Overall contrast has been reduced to make photos stand out along with a new font to help increase readability. New icons, tabs, and sliders will also take up less visual space.

So ON1 just caught up to Alien Skin and Skylum on some workflow issues I had with it.  Cant wait to try it out and yet another possibility to wean off Adobe even further.  Adobe needs to step up and fast or they will be by the wayside in the photography world for the exception of Photoshop.  Lightroom is getting long in the tooth and Adobe’s push to cloud based software isn’t a great idea.  So all this stuff may not be exactly a direct Lightroom replacement just yet, but it is getting there and fast.

Conclusion

It’s all shook up now.  Like a hot soda after a 10 mile drive down a washboard dirt road shook up.  People are going to start rethinking, jumping ship, adding ships, going broke.  We will probably see hundreds of videos on YouTube stating why they are leaving Brand X for Brand Y.  I don’t think DSLR cameras are dead but the mirrorless foothold just got bigger and that isn’t a bad thing either.

I’m going to speculate we will see a lot of people just changing it all up in 2019, myself included.  Pushing software to new limits.  New lenses, brands and mounts in the bags.  Today is the day it all changed.  You may not see it but the butterfly effect is now starting in the industry again.  Change is good, just brace for impact.

Aaron

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