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News & Insight

Instagram Goes HD, Westcott Announces LunaGrip, Schneider Ditches M 4/3 Plans | Daily Roundup

By Anthony Thurston on July 7th 2015

Welcome to our roundup series where we will hit on several gear news and rumor topics each day. This gives you a chance to get caught up on all of the day’s news and rumors in one place. Make sure to check back daily for the latest gear news, rumors and announcements.

Instagram Goes HD

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Probably the biggest annoyance for anyone who has used Instagram over the last year or two has been the tiny image size of 640×640. To put it plainly, mobile resolution, in general, has grown exponentially over the last couple years, and 640px images just don’t cut it on quad HD screens coming on most phones these days.

Luckily, Instagram has realized this, and while it has not yet been officially announced, the company has started storing uploaded images in 1080×1080. The resolution is a significant increase over the old 640px size and brings Instagram into HD territory – allowing images to look great on any display.

Unfortunately though, it seems that this update currently only applies to the iOS and Android apps – the Desktop app apparently will not see the new resolutions – not yet anyway.

Westcott’s New LunaGrip Pairs Speedlights with Reflectors

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We have talked about the power of pairing a speedlight with a reflector in our Lighting 101 Workshop. For many photographers though, the struggle is real trying to control the reflector; many of us can’t hire assistants and many reflector holders are finicky. That all changes today.

Westcott has announced their new ‘LunaGrip’ and new kind of speedlight bracket that is designed to hold your reflector at the optimum distance from a speedlight for maximum effect.

Designed by Kevin Kubota, the LunaGrip can support discs 20 inches to 42 inches in diameter. You can use your own reflector or buy the LunaGrip in a Kit which includes a 40-inch diffusion disc. You can learn more about the Lunagrip over on Westcott’s website, or you can purchase one now from B&H here.

Schneider Backtracks, Will NOT Produce Micro 4/3 Lenses

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Back at Photokina 2012, Schneider announced that they would be producing three new Micro 4/3 mount lenses. Schneider is known for their incredible image and build quality, and the announcement was seen as huge news for the Micro 4/3 community.

Now, going on three years later, the lenses never materialized and today the word finally came down that the lenses had been axed. Photoscala has reported that Schneider will not produce any of the three lenses that they announced at Photokina. There is no reason for the change of heart; no doubt many micro 4/3 shooters will be disappointed.

[REWIND: THREE COMPANIES YOU DON’T KNOW ABOUT, BUT SHOULD]

Lens Flipper’s ‘Clip’ Seeks Your Support on Kickstarter

The lens flipper is one of those unique and interesting products that if you can get the hang of, can really improve your speed and make you a more productive photographer. They are currently raising money on Kickstarter for their new ‘Clip’ and just passed their goal of $30,000. Learn more about the ‘Clip’  over on Kickstarter here.

What are your thoughts on today’s roundup? What news/rumors did we miss? What would you like to see covered in future roundups? Leave a comment below and let us know what you think!

Anthony Thurston is a photographer based in the Salem, Oregon area specializing in Boudoir. He recently started a new project, Fiercely Boudoir to help support the growing boudoir community. Find him over on Instagram. You may also connect with him via Email.

Q&A Discussions

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  1. Stephen Jennings

    The flipclip is a smart idear .. but .. who the hell would ever carry around an exposed lens?? I carry cases/bags for a reason.

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  2. Jimmy Arcade

    I wasn’t aware that Instagram had begun storing 1080×1080 images. I thought I had noticed an improvement in the image quality, but wasn’t certain. Now, if they would just follow in the foot steps of EyeEm and enable the ability for viewers to zoom in on images. Maybe not quite a necessity for tablet users, but it would be helpful for smart phone users. EyeEm is beginning to corner the market, as they seem more geared towards photographers, IMHO.

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  3. Andrew Leinonen

    Back in 2012 a few M4/3 shooters might have been disappointed. At this point? Almost all the focal lengths and apertures that Schneider was going to make are already covered by at least one, and sometimes several options – many of which are very good, and cost somewhere between 1/5 and 1/2 of what Schneider was planning.

    No, I think Schneider made the right choice. If they’re going to be competing with Panasonic, Olympus, and Sigma, they needed to at least differentiate – made an ultrawide prime, a fast ultratelephoto, or a tilt-shift. Other than that? The M4/3 line-up is full up.

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    • Stan Rogers

      They’re already rocking the T/S if you don’t mind all-manual and can stand a little length (a 50mm Super Angulon or a 90mm Makro Symmar). Sure, they cost like a good used (economy) car, are larger and heavier than the camera, and the MFT version (just the mount, really) is third-party (can’t remember the name off-hand; it’s a small, boutique European operation that also does the Sony E/EF adaptation), but 12mm shift (any direction) and 8° tilt (any direction) that are usable together at their maximums is a lot for that little sensor (13mm x 17.3mm). But $5K+, well over a kilogram, and “special order and wait till they make it for you — after you’ve spent a couple of days scouring the internet to find the shop that does it” will probably keep it ’em out of most camera bags. Schneider could probably do the mount in-house to save you the internet search, but who (apart from maybe B&H) would actually stock something that niche?

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    • Barry Cunningham

      This comment is attached to the wrong article.

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  4. Timothy Going

    That Luna grip looks brilliant. Why no one has thought of that before is beyond me. Missed my chance to be a millionare….

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    • Graham Curran

      I saw Kevin make a DIY version of it on one of his videos. Unfortunately I’m on the move and can’t give you the link.

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    • Graham Curran

      Sorry, it was a CreativeLive course which is no longer available for free.

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