New IR Remote from Sony

Sony has announced the RMT-VP1K IR, a new remote commander & IR receiver kit for all Sony cameras with a multi terminal. The IR has a dependable range of 35’ for shutter, video, and zoom controls and will be available next month for $69.99.

Features :

  • Remote Shutter Release
  • Video Start and Stop
  • 3-Channel Position
  • 360° IR Receiver
  • Time Code Reset, Multi Camera Shooting
  • For All Sony Cameras w/ Multi Terminal
  • Runs on 2 “AAA” batteries

A Visit to the Brewery: Shot Exclusively on the Leica D-Lux 109

The D-Lux 109

It is so easy for us photographers and filmmakers to get carried away with the tools we use rather than getting carried away with the subject matter we are pursuing. I used to regularly shoot Canon DSLRs, Sony cine type cameras and the occasionally RED camera. Sometimes I still use those tools. Are they amazing tools? ABSOLUTELY, but they can slow things down, require extensive rigging, and more times than not they can dampen the aura of a moment. In the work I typically do I am shooting on the fly and trying to capture moments that are not staged. When I point a camera at a person, and they see me I don’t want to disturb them. I also have to get shots while remaining unnoticed, which requires minimal rigging.

I have never encountered a camera that was so capable at taking amazing pictures, and filming than the Leica D-Lux 109.  Per square inch the D-lux 109 packs more power than any other camera. The D-Lux is phenomenal!

My recent visit to the Coachella Valley Brewing Company presented the perfect opportunity to get some spectacular black and whites. I recently visited there, and the only camera I had on me was the D-Lux 109. So, I immediately got to shooting some shots around the brewery and then switched to free handing some 4k shots on the fly. The ability to pull a camera out like that and start shooting some really incredible material was extremely liberating!! 

Not only is the D-Lux inconspicuous, and readily available, but it is also has a GREAT lens. I Love the f1.7 @24mm and the macro mode. The lens is sharp at all focal lengths and apertures. 

Honestly the 4k out of the camera is just outstanding. Below is a frame I pulled out of the video once I had finished grading. Again, this not a photograph, this is one frame of video! I could make a nice print of this frame if I wanted to.

4k frame

The video has low compression at 100mbps @4k 24fps, and since this is a Leica camera (yes, I know they aren’t made in Wetzlar) the color is lovely.  Now, I don’t appreciate 4k for the immense amount of resolution it gives me, but rather for increase in bit rate, grading opportunities as well as reframing capabilities. The D-Lux’s settings do require some tweaking to shoot serious video. I messed with the Gamma curves to get a in camera flat-ish profile, and there are a few other oddities that are required to get the camera from being a “stills” camera to being somewhat of a cine camera. Below is a piece I shot in about 10-15 minutes, all by hand with nothing but my D-Lux 109.

I plan to use the D-Lux 109 for a lot more than just personal projects in the near future. I plan to use it in a couple up coming documentary films I will be heading up. The D-Lux will not simply be used as a B or C camera but as my primary camera. The 4k is absolutely lovely out of this camera and so is the color. Convenience, and great color when paired with a outstanding lens, and nice 4k for 1080 or 2k downscaling makes for the right tool for the job.


About the Author: Ben Carpenter is a photographer and filmmaker originally from the Midwest. Ben now resides in the Coachella Valley where he works as a sales representative at Camera West Rancho Mirage. Ben shoots a variety of films ranging from wedding and commercial films to documentary films in the southern California region. He also enjoys leading a variety of workshops at our Rancho Mirage store.

New Ultra Wide from Tamron

Tamron has announced the world’s first full frame ultra-wide-amble zoom lens with image stabilization. The Tamron SP 15-30mm F/2.8 Di VC is a state-of-the-art lens design featuring an XGM (eXpanded Glass Molded Aspherical) lens element and eBAND Coating for outstanding detail and performance from the center to the edges of the frame over the entire zoom range.

Key features :

  • USD (Ultrasonic Silent Drive) for high torque, high precision, and virtually silent autofocus action.
  • Enhanced sharpness with exclusive VC image stabilization when shooting handheld in low light
  • 9 Circular diaphragm blades
  • Minimum aperture : F/22
  • 18 elements in 13 groups
  • Minimum focus distance of 11 in.
  • Maximum magnification Ratio of 1:5
  • Length for Canon 5.7in. / for Nikon 5.6in.
  • Weight : 38.8 oz.

The lens will be available with Canon and Nikon mounts on January 30 and will retail for $1199. The Sony mount version release date will be announced at a later date.

LEICA Geovid HD-R 42mm (Type 402 & Type 403)

For more than 20 years, Leica has been renowned as the pioneer of laser range finding products. Now Leica is continuing its success story by introducing their newest member of the popular Geovid laser range finder binocular line up – the New Geovid HD-R with proven open-bridge ergonomic design and fast, simple to use inclined shooting solutions.

With the newly added EHR™ functionality the GEOVID HD-R 42, quickly provides ranging information based upon distance and angle for the hunter and shooter. At the touch of a single button and within a split second the background algorithm working with the Advanced Rifleman’s Rule geometric calculation delivers precise EHR distance information for determining the correct hold over, turret adjustment or drop down reticle aiming point. Within only 0.2 seconds, the Leica GEOVID HD-R 42 provides highly accurate and usable information for an accurate shot, especially at steep inclines and over longer distances.

The New Geovid HD-R provides line of sight laser ranging from 10 to 2000+ yards and precise EHR calculations from 10 to 600 yards.

Key Features:

  • Quick handling, comfortable open ergonomic bridge design
  • Actuation button on right-hand side
  • Quiet, non-slip rubber armoring
  • Bright, patented, advanced Perger Porro Prism system
  • Lightweight, highly durable magnesium body
  • Bright, easy-to-read display system with auto-brightness control

LEICA Geovid 8×42 HD-R (type 402) retails for $2,599 and the LEICA Geovid 10×42 HD-B (type 403) is $2,649. Available in late February.

John Ricca : On Motion and Movement

Thank you to fine art photographer John Ricca and everyone who joined us last night at Camera West Walnut Creek for his presentation on using motion and movement to create unique, fine art images.

John showed us a variety of his evocative images, explaining exactly how he made each one by either letting the subject move and create motion or by purposely moving the camera during long exposures.

John uses his camera to capture a mood and visual experience usually associated with other visual art forms. Much of his work focuses on natural and close-up images that emphasize shapes, textures, and patterns.

John’s images are currently on exhibition at the Camera West Walnut Creek Gallery. They will remain on display through March.