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on
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Better Technique. Better Insight. Better Pictures

BP Excellence Awards
Celebrating the best gear
to grace our test bench EXCLUSIVE TESTS
Z' Nikon 1 V3
T A X 6 4 5
Easy ways to make party pictures PHEENFIRST 'AFFORDRAMBLAET GoPro Hero4
T DIUM FO
51MP ME VIEWED!
Canon EOS 7D Mark II
that are fun and truly memorable RE
Olympus 40-150mm f/2.8

ON ASSIGNMENT TIPS AND TRICKS GREAT MASTERS PROFILE


An escapade to a world of Ideas on making pictures Sebastio Salgado explores Neeraj Priyadarshi's prolific
beautiful self-portraiture of kids, murals and more our planet's pristine origins journey as a photojournalist
V o l u m e 1 8 i s s u e 8 j a n u a r y 2 0 1 5

President & editorial director, tV18 Group Coo, network18 Get Published in better PhotoGraPhy
Senthil Chengalvarayan Alok Agarwal Participate in online contests, share your best tips
and techniques to get your work noticed. Follow
editor-in-chief, Web & Publishing, network18 Ceo-network18 Publishing these simple guidelines:
R Jagannathan Sandeep Khosla For your Pictures, readers Gallery and readers tip:
Visit http://betterphotography.in/contests and
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There will always be a contest open for you to take
K Madhavan Pillai
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Kamlesh Mathakar, Vaibhav Ghavale, for viewing, to contribute articles to the
Features Writers logistics team following sections:
Conchita Fernandes, Anant Shirke On Assignment, Step-by-Step, Photofeature, Tips & Tricks,
Natasha Desai Shooting Technique, History, Story Behind the Picture
PrintinG Get in touch with us:
To have your images reviewed by our panel of experts:
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ja n ua ry 2 0 1 4 Better PhotograPhy
editorial a Year For our own leaps of Faith
The last year It is already 2015. How quickly time flies! Not so long ago, twenty fifteen
was the stuff of distant future and science fiction. Arthur C Clarke had
has been that of written 2001: A Space Odyssey in 1968, and Stanley Kubrick passed
space odysseys of away in 1999 (apart from being a filmmaker who produced some
a different sort, of the most visually compelling cinema, he was also a published
and photographs photographer). The first commercially produced Digital SLR was
released by Kodak all the way back in 1991, using a Nikon F3 body.
from millions
If all this seems to be a long time ago, the first 1GB CF 16x card, made by Lexar, became
upon millions of available in 2003 (it cost about Rs. 76,000, by todays value). Apple launched its first iPhone
kilometres away. in 2007. The original 5MP GoPro HD Hero was unveiled in 2010. Nikon announced the
D800 in 2012, and its upgrade, the D810 in 2014, challenged their best optics. Now we can
barely remember a time when cellphones had number-pads and no cameras in them.
The last year has been that of space odysseys of a different sort, and photographs from
millions upon millions of kilometers away. Mangalyaan made us proud when it sent its first
photos of Mars. Rosetta lifted our spirits into the sky when she successfully landed on comet
67P/ChuryumovGerasimenko, and sent back a panoramic view (published in the last page
of our December issue).
If it was a year of humanitys greatest leaps of faith, the last month also showed us how
singularly cruel, depraved, faithless, ugly and inhuman some factions of our species could be.
Children, 141 of the 148 who were massacred in a school in Pakistan, for no other reason than
that they were... children! The incident is so shameful, that words and pictures fail woefully to
describe the horror of it. The hearts of the BP Team go out to the parents and the survivors.
10 The significant lives of others can offer a glimmer of hope. Sebastio Salgado, one of the
worlds most legendary social documentary and environmental photographers (featured in
this issues Great Masters), had started planting trees over a decade ago, in his deforested
homeland in Brazil. Since then, he has planted over two million trees, and recorded a barren
piece of denuded earth come back to life as a beautiful, resplendent rainforest.
Perhaps, 2015 is a year to take a page out of his book... to return some of what we have so
easily consumed, and to make the planet a better place for our children.

K Madhavan Pillai
editor@betterphotography.in

Chinstrap penguins
on an iceberg,
between Zavodovski
and Visokoi islands,
South Sandwich
Islands, 2009
by Sebastio Salgado
Journeying across
ideologies, Sebastio
had once said, So many
times Ive photographed
stories that show the
degradation of the planet...
In the end, I thought the
only way to give us an
incentive, to bring hope,
is to show the pictures of
the pristine planetto see
the innocence.

To know more about


Sebastio Salgados
truly inspirational life
Turn to page 138

Better PhotograPhy ja n ua ry 2 0 1 5
January 2015

54
SnapShots GearGuide CellphonePhotography
26 Book Review
Photographs from Rural 66 test
Pentax 645Z 102 test
OnePlus One
India by Jyoti Bhatt 51MP affordable Hits all the right sweet
medium format spots! Well... mostly.
30 Look Whos Shooting
Shashwat Prakash

32 Retrospective
K G Maheshwari

104 Xiaomi Redmi Note

82 Canon EOS 7D Mark II


Does it match up to the
Delightful and efficient!

ON THE COVER legacy of the 7D?

88 Nikon 1 V3
The latest sharpshooter
on the block

92 GoPro Hero 4
The best action camera
available today? 106 Alina Rudya
cellPhoNe Profile

A look into the


96 Olympus 40-150 mm
f/2.8 PRO
visual diary of the
poetic storyteller
Versatile focal length
with fast optics

98 micro test
Sony 128GB SD Card and
Sirui N-2204X tripod
DESIGN: santosh d KaMbLe
InFocus

128 134
BetterPictures ShowCase PhotoFinish
116 shootiNG techNiQUe
Its Party Time! 128 Neeraj Priyadarshi
Profile
192 The Ultimate Sacrifice
storY BehiND the PictUre

Seven creative ideas to A look at the fast-paced


bring back the fun in life of the prolific
your party photographs photojournalist

IndIas bIggest weddIng


photography awards return!

120 ExploringtheSelf 134


For more details, turn to page no. 52
oN assiGNmeNt Great masters
Sebastio Salgado
An escapade to beautiful A breathtaking journey
self-portraiture into the photographers
exploration of the planet Regulars
124 tiPs & tricks
feeDBack ............................................................14

140 TamronChallenge2014
Learn how to shoot showcase cellPhoNe Diaries ............................................105
playful children, reaDers GallerY .............................................. 112
street murals and A view of the winners of 1000 worDs ......................................................144
religious places YoUr PictUres ..................................................146
the nation-wide contest
Feedback
Send your suggestions, thoughts, and feedback letters to...
feedback@betterphotography.in
Every month, the Letter of the Month will win a special gift from

CellPhone teChnique CellPhone teChnique

The Instagram- A Photographers Guide To Becoming #InstaFamous


Friend, Philosopher and Guide
Instagram isnt just an easy-to-use photosharing social network, it also happens to be the fastest growing medium for self publication that has ever existed for photographers. In addition,
to being able to showcase your photos to millions of people, the app is filled with potential editors, clients, art lovers and collaborators whom you can engage and work with. Ultimately, this

based article in
isnt a story about getting millions of followers overnight, rather about getting found by the right people who appreciate the images you make. Aditya Nair shows you how.

Creative Use of Apps


Build up your instagram handle
andle Nothing wows a photography audience like seeing something

I discovered Better Photography for the first

Natasha Desai (@curlsb4swine)


Before you start publicising your Instagram handle add at least 15 great images that unique. There are a number of apps available that help
represent your work. This gives people an idea of your work and a reason to follow you. you conceptualise weird and unique ideasfrom editing

the December
(Snapseed), filters (VSCO), B&W tones (Hueless), collages
Who you are makes a difference
ifference (Photo Grid) to more interesting prospects like animated
A catchy handle and a descriptive bio about who you are and what you shoot will go a 3D graphics (Matter), multiple exposures and layer blending
long way in distinguishing you from the hoards of spam bots out there. Choose a profile (Union) and psychedelic effects (Glitch). Even adding music

time when I was visiting a friends home.


picture that is welcoming and easy to understand in a small size. or augmented virtual reality in an everyday setting can result
in some fun photo-video projects to enthrall your audience.
leverage your existing networks
etworks
Connect your Insta account to Facebook, Twitter, Flickr and share your images here.
most importantly, Be aspirational

2014 issue was


If you have business cards, have a link to your account so that potential clients can
connect and see your work here as well. People visit Instagram to see stunning imagery and read interesting stories
behind them. There is a reason that travel, food, pets and kids are popular topics.

His son, a photography student, was


dont Be a ghost
host Positivity works wonders on Instagram. Even if it is your objective to bring to light social
62 The most annoying kind of Instagram users are the ones that go around following issues, avoid lamenting or ranting about them. Instead point your followers towards 63
everyone in a hope to boost their own follower count. Instead, follow people whose NGOs or groups working to fix the problem, through your captions.
work you enjoy and engage with them about their photographs. Have a look at the
people they follow as it will help you discover even more great photographs. Partner up With Popular Blogs
Ask them if they would like to feature your stories and photographs. Most blogs

very informative reading the magazine and offered to share


#dont #Be #that #guy #either
ither will jump to the chance as it means free content for them. Ask them to embed the
Hashtags are useful but add them within reason. Stick to relevant hashtags. If you are Instagram images they use. Or, at the very least link to your profile.
use apps like VSCOCam, or a particular brand of cellphone or camera, mention them in
your tags. Certain brands pick up these images and share them with a their followers. the Best time to upload Photographs
Figure out when your followers are most active. Do they check Instagram as soon as
our Pictures
geotag your they wake up? Or prefer to end their day looking at beautiful imagery, before going to
Tag the images to the places where you make them. This serves two purposes. bed? Give them something to appreciate... an interesting story.

it with me. It was the January 2012 issue,


Firstly, your photographs act as a document for others to see. And secondly, it is

and I was able


always fun to go to the Map feature of Instagram and go through all the places you dont Become the King of Spam
have visited when you want to reminisce. Post regularly but dont spam peoples feed. Avoid posting more than three images at a
stretch. Conversely, avoid going off the grid too often. If you feel the need to share a lot
Be a Part of the Community of images in one go, try using apps like @Flipagram or HTCs Zoe to create slideshows.
There are plenty of collaborations that happen on and as a result of Instagram.

and I was amazed to see the coverage of


For example, since the @EverydayAfrica and @EverydayAsia handles gained popularity, experiment With Video
it has spawned many local replicas like @EverydayMumbai. Try getting your work Can you tell a great story in a few seconds? Or show off the breathtaking scenery of
featured by such handles. Additionally, Instagram themselves run Weekend Hashtag the place you are travelling to? Or even capture a funny moment? Then you may want

to learn several
Projects each that you can participate in to get featured on their account. to mix your photography up with some entertaining 15-second video snippets too.

Join insta Walks in your


our City get Personal
Groups of Instagrammers getting together and going on photowalks are now a Your style may define you as a photographer but also throw in a few images that help

the best cameras of the previous year,


common sight in almost every city. There is no better place to network, share ideas humanise you. Photos of friends, family, your workplace, funny things that your pets do
and talk about photography. If there isnt one in your city, start one! are all good fodder to feed the insta-hungry.

try Being a guest instagrammer


nstagrammer Stay Current

new tips.
Take over another account for a week or two and post your images there. Choose subjects that are current in peoples minds. Before a festival, photograph the
This could be an account of a magazine, group or even trade accounts with a making of idol. During the IPL, try making pictures at the stadium highlighting the team

along with interviews and techniques.


fellow photographer. It exposes you to a whole new and interesting audience. you support. You can use websites like Webstagram (websta.me) to get an idea of
One of the best examples of such a collaboration in India was by @Scroll_In, where popular hashtags.
photographers across the country documented the Indian elections. Be Known For a Style
As you start building your followers, people will start associating you with a certain let instagram evolve your Style
monitor your
our Statistics kind of imagery and quality. We all love to experiment but new Instagrammers are It is always fun to scroll down to the very first of thousands of images posted by
Sites like iconoSquare (formerly Statigram) and totem (nitrogram)
itrogram) give you analytics for more likely to follow you if they see a profile filled with great photographs. So, be Instagram pros and see how their styles morphed over the years. You can see when
instagram
nstagram like number of followers, unfollows, comments and likes to help you understand picky about what you choose to share. Above all, avoid clichs. Sunsets may get you

In a few weeks, I started subscribing


certain trends, hashtag projects and apps became popular, even how short or
your followers and what they are interested in. immediate likes but they will severely limit your audience. longlived their popularity was.

Better PhotograPhy deCemBer 2014 deCemBer 2014 Better PhotograPhy

to the magazine and found myself


Famous on Social Media A Photographers completely hooked. I even attended
Thank you BP for publishing the Guide to Becoming a workshop on photography and was
#Instafamous appeared
Cellphone Technique A Photographers in the December 2014 surprised to find out how quickly
Guide to Becoming #InstaFamous in issue. It listed useful I picked up all the lessons I was taught.
the December 2014 issue. What I really tips to improving your After seeing my enthusiasm, my wife and
liked about the article was that the tips Instagram viewership. son gifted me a Canon EOS 550D.
were not generic, as with most web-based It has been three years now, and
articles on such topics. I was wondering I would like to thank Better Photography for
if you could do similar articles on Flickr, always being my teacher and my guide.
500px and Facebook? It will be really Now, most of my evenings are spent
helpful for photographers like me who teaching photography to the children in
are keen on promoting their business. my society.
14 Amrohit Pawar, Indore, via post Santosh Prabhakar, Patna, via email

Our Readers Tell Us About their Photographic Resolutions for 2015


We asked our Facebook readers to tell us how they plan to turn over a new leaf for the year 2015. The response that we received
ranged from the simplelearning how to use a camera, to the thought provokingshooting videos based on important social issues.

A click a day shall keep my stress away. I want to up my game by shooting a lot more than I currently do.
Prasanna Jeni Shayne D Souza
I will focus on updating my vision, rather than my 2015 is going to be the year that I dedicate to making videos
photography gear. of important social issuesdiscrimination against skin
Saha Debojyoti colour and prostitution.
My resolution for the new year is to experiment more, Sigmaa Upadhyay
increase my learningspecifically my knowledge on wedding Market myself better.
photography, and look for a teacher who will mentor me. Jon Poulson
Moumita Rudra I have resolved to not let arrogance creep into me.
I want to develop my vision by travelling around Also, I have to subscribe to Better Photography magazine!
the country. Faizan Patel
Raashi Metkari I want to reduce my dependence on software and make all my
No resolutions for me. I am going to continue adjustments before shooting the moment. I also want to work
photographing the way I do. more efficiently.
Sumit Patel Shailesh Liya
2015 is going to be the year that I am going to dedicate to Learn how to use my camera!
photographing personal projects. De Cavendish
Amit Vakil I want to explore and experiment with the possibilities of
In 2015, I want to photograph at least one wedding! flash photography.
Uday Bhaskar Pratti Paras Shah
I think my perspective and way of seeing things around me I am aiming to have my photographs published in Better
got a little too redundant. I would like to change this. Photography magazine.
Pankaj Kumar Rahul

BETTER PHOTOGRAPHY JA N UA RY 2 0 1 5
Twitter: twitter.com/betterphoto
Facebook: facebook.com/betterphotography
Youtube: youtube.com/betterphotoindia FIND US ONLINE!
Website: betterphotography.in

The Gift of Photography


For as long as I can remember, my mother has always I know for sure that she is going to be absolutely
been a self-designated photographer of family get- delighted to receive the gift. We believe that the
togethers and vacations. Relatives and friends would Roshan Thomas, Kochi, via email joy of a family photo
gather around her so that she could photograph them. is in displaying
She continued to actively shoot until four years ago, Editors Response: We are really happy to know it. To make your
when she suffered from a severe stroke. This left her that you are thinking about returning the joy of special memories
without the ability to speak, and also resulted in the photography to your mother. Unfortunately, there stand out, this
paralysis of her right arm. Despite this, she has always is very little that you can do to customise
Letter of the
been quite active, even though she uses a wheelchair the photographic process as per your
to move around. Month wins a
mothers convenience.
To reignite her love for photography, my wife and Instead of purchasing a camera for her, special Photo Frame
I were thinking about gifting her a camera. The only I would suggest that you buy your mother a good from Red Moments!
problem is that since she has lost all sensation of cameraphone. Not only are they smaller devices to
her right arm, it might be difficult for her to handle handle, but they also either have inbuilt voice-enabled
the camera. Are there any specific contraptions or shooting features, or you can download an app for it.
accessories attachable to the camera, that can help If you are on a budget then the Xiaomi Redmi 1S is a
her? Also, since all cameras are designed for right- great option at just Rs. 5999. But if you are looking for
handed people, what camera do you suggest I should superior quality, then the Samsung Galaxy S5, the LG
buy her? Thank you in advance for your suggestions. G3 or the Apple iPhone 6 are good options.

Distinct Ways of Seeing medical photography in the 19th century.


For the month of November, I had For instance, Albert Londe made several
challenged myself to make different photographs of patients who were
photographs of my daily commute to suffering from hysteria. Some of them were
16 work. The first 15 days of the challenge strange and quite scary-looking, but still
went about smoothly, but after that I felt equally interesting.
very uninspired. I could not think of any The articles made for a very interesting
other innovative way to shoot a picture Sunday afternoon read.
of the same subject again. I would really Gayatri Sarang, Puducherry, via email
appreciate it if Better Photography could
do an article on exploring the various Matte or Glossy Paper?
perspectives that one can explore and Thank you Better Photography for always
shoot in an urban environment. giving your readers the best tips and
Vidhya James, Bengaluru, via email advices on the latest in the world of gear
and photography techniques.
Strange Medical Photography However, I wish you could do articles
A few weeks ago, I was browsing on the postproduction aspect by
through Better Photographys website, reviewing the best printers in the market,
when I decided to search the words and even the different types of paper that
CORRIGENDUM medical photography. are available for printing photographs.
We inadvertently What came up were interesting articles For instance, I am always confused about
mispelled Dr Alok on Duchenne de Boulogne, the Elephant whether to use glossy or matte paper for
Bharadwajs name
in Snapshots in the Man and a story behind Albert Londes printing my images. It would be beneficial
December 2014 issue. cronophotographic images, amongst to learn the advantages and disadvantages
We apologise for others. I was quite surprised at how much of both.
the error.
I did not know about the application of Nelson Pinto, Mumbai, via email

BETTER PHOTOGRAPHY JA N UA RY 2 0 1 5
w H AT S n E w

Casio Exilim EX-MR1


Photography Great K G Maheshwari Passes Away
The EX-MR1 is a 14MP,
1/2.3-inch square CMOS
L egendary pictorialist, portraitist and
teacher, K G Maheshwari passed away
due to natural causes on 4 December, 2014.
skilled at creating
beautiful pictograms.
We shall miss his
sensor which features a lens
behind a mirrored surface, He was 92-years-old. guidance, eye for
and shoots full HD video. As a young boy of 15, his singing teacher detail, and ready
Additionally, it comes with a
Make Up mode that provides said that he had no talent. Instead of wit. Students of
users with six modes of skin letting the incident pull him down, photography will
tone adjustment, and 12 levels K G Maheshwari dedicated himself to find themselves deprived of a great teacher.
of skin smoothness adjustment. The camera is
excelling in some art form. Inspired by He was forever willing to share his techniques
available in the colours pink, white and green.
Illustraed Weekly, photography became and to that end, he conducted hundreds of
BlackBerry Classic his preoccupation and this passion stayed workshops with nominal fees.
The Blackberry Classic comes with him throughout his life. He was a perfectionist when it came to
with a QWERTY keyboard, a Even though he devoted a significant his photographs and they can be studied
3.5-inch screen and trackpad.
amount of time to his cotton ginning for their tonal range, perfect composition
It features an 8MP rear and 2MP
front camera, and captures and pressing business, he photographed and timing. We at Better Photography are
1080p video at 30fps. The phone everyday and received unending support thankful for his time with us and offer our
comes with a 1.5GHz processor, from his wife, Shantidevi. He was also deepest condolences to his family.
16GB of storage, 2GB RAM and
runs on the BlackBerry OS 10.

18 Huawei Honor 6 Plus


The Honor 6 Plus comes with three
8MP cameras. One of them is front
facing while the other two are
beside each other on the rear to
allow the refocusing of captured
images. However, no other
information about its processor or
sensor size have been released yet.

Seagate Archive 8TB


Seagate announced
a 3.5-inch 8TB
hard disk drive
as a part of their
new Archive HDD
lineup. The external
hard disk has an
average read speed of 150MB/s. The drive has six
K G Maheshwari

platters and uses technology that allows an extra


25% more data per platter. It is priced at USD 260
(approx. Rs. 16,500).

To know ahead of time what youre looking for means youre then
only photographing your own preconceptions, which is very
limiting, and often false.
DoRoTHEA LAngE (18951965)

A documentary photographer, Dorothea Lange was best known for her work on the Great Depression in the USA. Her images brought out the human
side of the entire period. One of her most famous photographs titled Migrant Mother, from her series on agricultural workers, became symbolic of the
depression era. Lange studied photography at Columbia University and her work paved the way for serious documentary photography and influenced Image source:
several photographers as well. In 1941, she received a Guggenheim scholarship to photograph the various religious groups in USA. Wikimedia Commons

Better PhotograPhy ja n ua ry 2 0 1 5
s naps hots

w H AT S n E w

omega Reflector
Celebrated Photographer Phil Stern Passes Away
The ten-in-one reflector is
designed with a removable
center panel, so that the
A merican photograher, Phil Stern
passed away on 13 December, 2014.
He was 95-years-old and suffered from
He started his career
as a photoengravers
assistant in New York,
reflector can be used like congestive heart failure and emphysema. USA but with the onset
a ring flash or beauty dish.
of World War II, he
The 38 x 45-inch reflector
can fold down to one third of its size and is enlisted and became a

Image Source: www.philsternarchives.com


priced at USD 100 (approx. Rs. 6300). war photographer.
After the war, he began
Sony 64gB UY SD Card shooting Hollywood celebrities and was
The 64GB card from Sony
features a read speed of
credited with humanising them. His images
up to 40MB/s, and has a often caught them in relaxed, intimate and
UHS Speed Class 1 rating. candid moments. I was never interested
The waterproof, dustproof, in the glamour, I was interested in the tears
temperature proof and X-Ray
proof card supports full HD and agony behind it, he once said in an
recording. It comes with the Sony File Rescue interview with Entertainment Weekly.
software. This software supports 3D movies and
photos as well. The durable card is priced at

India Bans Sale of Xiaomi & OnePlus Smartphones


Rs. 4100, and is available in stores across India.

Fyuse App
Fyuse is a spatial photography
app that lets you capture images
in 3D. When using the app you
T he entry of
Chinese cellphone
manufacturers Xiaomi and
Qualcomm chipsets. However, any
devices running on the Miditek
processors continue facing the ban.
can make a dynamic photo by
20 OnePlus caused quite a On the other hand, a partnership
moving your phone around.
Viewers will able to see your stir in the Indian market. between Micromax and Cyanogen
3D images by moving and tilting Soon after they began selling led to the ban of all OnePlus devices
their phones. It also offers filters
their phones, both companies faced in India. According to the agreement,
and the opportunity for users
to share photographs on Fyuses own social injunctions from the Delhi High Court. Micromax will be the sole manufacturer
network and Facebook, Twitter and the web too. Acting on a case filed by Ericsson India of the Cyanogen based OS devices in
against Xiaomi, the Delhi HC banned the the country.
Venus Eco Photobook manufacturer from selling its smartphones Since the OnePlus flagship device called
The Eco Photobook is printed on the HP INDIGO
WS 6000p digital press. The book is a 36-inch in India. According to the case, Ericsson the One, comes with the CyanogenMod
long single print which will be able to open 180 accused Xiaomi of infringing on patents. ROM for Android, Micromax sought
and lie flat on a surface. This accommodates However, a week later, the courts lifted an injunction to prevent further sale of
panorama printing without a crease in the
the ban on Xiaomis devices that ran on the smartphone.
center. This book is available in Metallic Pearl,
Metallic Silver, Deep Leather, Medium Super
Gloss and Medium Silky with a texture of Silk
photo paper.

Adobe Lightroom 5.7.1 and Camera


Sony Announces the Alpha 7 II and Three Lenses
Raw 8.7.1
Adobe announced the availability of Adobe
Camera Raw 8.7.1 to support the Sony ILC-A7M2,
S ony has announced
the 24MP full-frame
mirrorless Alpha 7 II. It has
The Alpha 7 II supports
S-Log2 and the XAVC S codec,
which records 1080/60p
and updated support for the Samsung NX1 a 5-axis sensor-shift image video at 50Mbps. As for the
cameras. The updates are available on their
website www.Adobe.com or through the update stabilisation, which is a first design, the grip is larger and
mechanism in Photoshop CC 2014 and Photoshop for a full-frame mirrorless the shutter release button has
CS6. Also available is the 8.7.1 version of the DNG camera. The company claims been placed on it. The front
Converter. 8.7.1 and Lightroom 5.7.1.
that by CIPA standards, the shake will be command dial too, has be repositioned on
reduced by 4.5 stops. to the grip. Prices and release dates are yet
FCE Photo Video Begins Distribution
Across India Additionally, the Alpha 7 II has 117 phase to be announced.
As part of a new initiative, FCE Photo Video will begin detect and 25 contrast detect points on Soon after, the company announced three
distributing photographic products across India. its CMOS sensor. Sony is claiming a 30% A-mount lensesthe 70300mm f/4.5-5.6
Their new lineup of products include Tiffen filters,
improvement in the cameras AF speed, G SSM II, the Vario-Sonnar T* 2470mm
Think Tank bags, SKB hard cases, Cinematic Film
lens cases and Motion 9 DSLR cages. along with a better tracking performance f/2.8 ZA SSM II and the Vario-Sonnar T*
than its predecessor. 1635mm F2.8 ZA SSM II lenses.

Better photography ja n ua ry 2 0 1 5
E V E n TS

22 november 201415 January


nobodys Art India
Wonderwall, new Delhi

P R o TA L k

Self-timer is the
CP+ 2015All Set to Begin in February
mechanism that keeps
the shutter open for
some seconds after
T he Camera and
Imaging Products
Association (CIPA)
UHDTV that is being developed by the
NHK (Japan Broadcasting Corporation)
will be on display. The video Makinos
the release button has will be hosting the CP+ Wondrous Guide to Plants and takes of Mt.
Swedish artist Reg Fallah
been pressed.
travelled around India Camera & Imaging Fuji will be played on the screen.
and photographed the Show 2015 from 1215 Visitors will also be able to view
minute details on the
walls of various cities February at the Pacifico 4K video on a dedicated 4K viewing
and villages. A mix of Yokohama hall in Japan. Now, in its fifth experience corner.
expressionism and year, CP+ annually brings together the In a special weekend event only, CP+
surrealism, the images
latest in technology and the culture of exhibitors will be holding a sale on
find comparisons with
Indias classical periods. photo imaging. This years theme FOCUS! photography accessories. With so much
Inspiration lies beyond the frame, will see a to look forward to, we are eagerly waiting
8 December 20143 January plethora of events planned around it. for the show to begin!
Retro-Spective To start with, the main event is a one-
the harrington Street arts Centre
(ho Chi Minh Sarani), Kolkata day seminar with Martin Parr, President
of Magnum Photos. Along with this, the
GALERIE PARIS will host an exhibition

Image Source: www.cpplus.jp


Magnum Paris in Monochrome from
1015 February.
Additionally, visitors to the event
Waswo X. Waswo

will be able to view a photo exhibition


of the winners of the LES ZOOMS
22 photo contest. Along with this, an 8K

Retro-Spective will be
CA L L Fo R E n T R I E S
a showcase of artist
Waswo X Waswo,
Categories: Macro Traditional, Macro Unrestricted, Wide
who is known for his
Angle Traditional, Wide Angle Unrestricted, Compact
photography and unique
Cameras, Conceptual and Fashion and Video.
hand coloured portraits
Prizes: The grand prize winner will receive a cash prize of
of India. Over 40 of
USD 1000 (approx. Rs. 6,33,000).
his best photographs
Entry Fee: USD 10 (approx. Rs. 633)
and coloured portraits
website: www.underwatercompetition.com
are on display.
Deadline: 8 February
His themes explore
colonial ethnography
in humourous and
51st wildlife Photographer of the Year
The Competition: The competition is held by the National
poignant ways.
History Museum in London and the BBC.
Categories: There are 10 categories for adults and
8 December 201424 January
three for photographers under the age of 17.
A Yanks Memory Prizes: The Wildlife Photographer of the Year will
of Calcutta receive 10,000 pounds (approx. Rs. 9,90,000).
aakriti art gallery, Kolkata
The Adult and Young category winners will receive
1250 pounds (approx. Rs. 1,23,000) and 1000 pounds
Forest Europe is Show off Your Forest (approx. Rs. 90,000) respectively.
Clyde Waddell

giving you the chance to The Competition: Forest Europe is conducting a Entry Fee: 30 pounds (approx. Rs. 3000) for the
visit a protected forest competition to highlight the importance of the Adult category.
area in Spain! worlds flora. website: www.nhm.ac.uk/visit-us/wpy/index.html
Theme: Participants have to depict the benefits of Deadline: 27 February
In 1946, Clyde Waddell
was a military forests and how they protect us.
photographer with the Categories: Cellphone and Camera. Phodar Biennial 2015
US Army. Apart from Prizes: The first prize winner will receive a trip for two to The Competition: The festival will take place in Bulgaria
photographing Calcutta, a protected forest area in Spain. and the images will be judged by a panel made up of
as it was known then, website: www.showoffyourforest.com/info international judges.
he captured the life of Deadline: 8 February Theme: No vice is greater than fear.
American soldiers too. Prizes: The grand prize winner will receive 750 euros
The exhibition features our world Underwater Competition (approx. Rs. 58,000).
60 gelatin silver prints The Competition: Photographers are invited to submit website: www.fodar.dir.bg/index.html
made by him. their underwater images and videos. Deadline: 28 February

Better PhotograPhy ja n ua ry 2 0 1 5
E V E n TS

8 December25 January
The Urban Story
apparao galleries, Chennai
In their own way,
artists Deidi Von

Tamron Challenge Declares Winners for 2014 Contest


Schaewen and George K
explore the urban city P R o TA L k
through photography.
Pincushion Distortion

T
George discovers an his year, Better Photography was amongst other characteristics. The next
abandoned furniture is a lens effect where
factory and vies it as a images appear pleased to partner with Tamron for round consisted of a portfolio review
political aspect of social pinched at the center. the Tamron Challenge 2014. With entries session of 20 additional images from
outcasts. On the other this distortion usually pouring in from all corners of India, the the shortlisted contestants. These were
hand, Deidi explores the occurs at the tele end
of a zoom lens. competition wrapped up its third edition conducted by judges in several cities
hidden agenda of politics
using scaffoldings as in the second week of December. around India.
a metaphor. Kasturi Mukherjee, Jayanta Roy, Ankit After this, five promising candidates
Nandwani and Rajneesh Panwar were the from each city were given a Tamron
13 December23 March
what is Home four photographers who made the final cut. Photographers Vest. Out of this shortlist,
Ideas of Belonging Participants were invited to submit the four winners were selected.
gallery Veda, Kochi five images each and were judged on To view the stunning images of the
Documentary originality, photography prowess, winners, you can turn to page 140.
photographer Anshika
Verma explores how
differently we perceive
the idea of home.
Through the series, she

Images Courtesy: Tamron India


finds her connection to
them and their worlds.
During the course of this
exploration, she hopes
to find the place she
belongs to.

19 December5 January
24 Hybrid Modernism The photographs above are of contestants and judges from the portfolio review session in kolkata (left) and
Woodlands theatre, Chennai
Mumbai (right). At the session, judges discussed their images and gave them tips and feedback on the same.
Sabine Haubitz/
Stefanie Zoche

Photography Exhibition Profondeurs (Surfaces and Depths). It was held at the


Dr Mukesh Batra hosted an exhibiton of his Alliance Francaise de Bangalore from 121 December.
Hybrid ModerismMovie The two artists dug into the depths of the roots and
photographs, featuring the landscapes of Switzerland.
Theatres in South India explored French and Indian culture.
The annually held exhibition was in its tenth year and this
explores the influence
time it was hosted at the Piramal Art Gallery, Mumbai
and reinterpretation of
from 112 December. An Ensemble of Stories: Season 2
western architecture The exhibition was a The Bengaluru chapter of the Kolkata Photographers
in South India. culmination of Pascal
Surfaces et Profondeurs Club, hosted a photography exhibition with elements
Artists Sabine Haubitz Bernards images and
A collaboration between Indian poet Anupama Raju and that depicted the flavour of colours in their stories.
and Stefanie Zoche Anupama Rajus poetry.
Pascal Bernard resulted in the exhibition Surfaces et The exhibition was held from 1214 December at the
photographed the
Rangoli Metro Art Center.
structures that have
been around since the
early 1950s.
Treppe
Aashish Vyas held a photography exhibition at Jehangir
Art Gallery, Mumbai on 1622 December. Titled Treppe,
2325 January
which translates into steps in German, Aashishs images
DIBI Expo 2015 featured a variety of steps that he has encountered.
Dr. Prabhakar Kore Convention
Centre, Bengaluru
The Red Light Rising
On 19 December, Leena Kejriwal organised an outdoor
visual installation at Sonagachi in Kolkata, of her
ongoing project titled M.I.S.S.I.N.G. It was exhibited in
collaboration with Apne Aap Women Worldwide and
The Digital Image and hamari Muskan, two NGOs in Kolkata. It was a part of
Broadcasting Show 2015 is the One Billion Rising in Revolution event.
dedicated to photography, Her project addresses the issue of millions of girls
video, digital imaging and disappearing without a trace. She works with at-risk
broadcasting. It will be girls from red light districts of Sonagachi, Munshiganj
organised by Richmond and Bow Bazaar in the city. The aim of the project was
Events and is supported to give them a platform through which they may be able
by the Government Pascal Bernard
Kaamna Patel to realise their true potential.
of Karnataka.

Better PhotograPhy ja n ua ry 2 0 1 5
s naps hots

I N d u ST Ry vo I c e

expectations from India are high and we


TIPA Photo Trophy 2015 Calls for Submissions
have to be a giant to continue.
Canon India has been
T he Technical Image Press Association
(TIPA) is calling entries from all over
the world for one of the largest photo
The TIPA Photo Trophy is free to enter
and is a special theme that forms a part of
the Trierenberg Super Circuit and Special
around for a long time,
and with my move, it art contests. Themes Circuit 2015. To submit your
is only natural that the The theme this year is Discover the world: entries, visit www.tipa-photocontest.com
company will now look
open (y)our eyes to the beauty of planet Earth
at internal capabilities
and strengths. We have and the deadline for submitting your
focused on people photographs is 23 March 2015.

Image Source: www.tipa.com


development and I will be The first prize winner will receive
dr. Alok Bharadwaj making the move knowing
5000 euros (approx. Rs. 3,87,000),
Executive Vice President, that there is a robust
Canon India Pvt Ltd
team in place. This change while the second and third prize
creates several opportunities for them to step up winners will receive 3000 euros
and take responsibility as there will be several new (approx. Rs. 2,32,000) and 2000 euros
initiatives in the pipeline.
(approx. Rs. 1,54,000) respectively.
At Canon Singapore, I will be responsible for
the strategic business planning and execution,

Trierenberg Super & Special Circuit Call for Entries


along with corporate communications for Canons
Southeast and South Asian regional operations.
Canon Singapore is a diverse company with around
18 countries under its umbrella. Additionally, I will be
overseeing business development in 13 emerging
markets. In this diverse arena, we would like to
create leaders who will be able to carry forward the
T he Trierenberg Super Circuit and
Special Themes Circuit invite
photographers to participate in their
Wildlife, Red, Seen from Above, Macro, Music
and Dance, Underwater, Night and Artificial
Light, Unusual and Avant Garde, Series
successful practices in Canon.
Along with this, I will don another cap where I will
contests. The deadline for submissions is and Sequences.
26 23 March. To enter the contests, participants
undertake leadership development. With business
environment and technology evolving so fast, The Super Circuit has two themes will have to pay a fee of USD 60
the company requires capable leaders with General and Nature. On the other hand, (approx. Rs. 4500) for any one category
longevity. My focus will be on building capability
in these future leaders, particularly in the
the Special Circuit has several themes and USD 5 (approx. Rs. 380) for each
emerging markets. Experimental, Phototravel, Landscape, Nudes, additional category.
I leave Canon India on a hopeful note. With the Portrait, Water, Panorama, Architecture, The grand prize winner will receive
speed of innovation only going faster, expectations Human Emotions, People and Pets, Sports, 5000 euros (approx. Rs. 3,87,000) while
from India are high and we have to be a giant to
continue. This connected world will make our lives Seasons and Weather, Trees and Woods, theme winners will receive gold medals.
different and will continue with ferocity. I know that Children of the World, Colour Ecstasy, China, To view more details and submit your
the speed of response will be such that Canon is Self-portrait, Streets, Roads and Paths, photographs, you can visit
seen as the best.
Mountains, Sunrise and Sunsets, African www.photocontest.at
As told to Natasha desai

Book RevIew

Title: Photographs from


Rural India
Witnessing Passages of Change
Authors: Jyoti Bhatt Jyoti Bhatt is an eminent printmaker, painter and photographer. And, you can clearly see the effect of the
ISBN: 978-1-62890-107-8 this mix of media in Photographs from Rural India. The book is Jyoti Bhatt's attempt to preserve the dying
Publisher: Tasveer, art forms across rural India, where he saw a haste to accept the new and discard the old. It is divided
in partnership with
Vacheron Constantin
into three parts, the first being photographs from Gujarat, the second from Rajasthan and the third from
Price: Rs. 1000 Haryana, Bihar, West Bengal, Orissa and Madhya Pradesh.
The book takes you back to the 1970s, where, as he puts its, "...There was nothing I could do about my
concern for preservation, but I continued making photographic records of the art forms and art traditions
that were still alive."
Every photograph has people or animals or both in them. Each page is as much a portrait of the mural,
floor art design or decoration, as it is of the person in it. All his frames are carefully constructed, much like his
paintings and graphical prints. Every part of the image is assigned a specific role to play.
Eloquently crafted, the book takes you on a journey across India's villages, where you see similarities,
intricacies, stark differences and Jyoti Bhatt's dedication to recording a very important aspect of Indian identity.
A line in the Foreward by artist Tyga Helme most aptly sums up this beautiful book"Although he does not believe in
forcibly keeping traditions alive, he was determined to document what he could for posterity and preserve in some
way, the dying traditions and changing ways of life."
Written by Natasha Desai

Better photography ja n ua ry 2 0 1 5
s n a ps h ots

Capital to Use Drones for Security Surveillance Magnum Workshops at


F or a while, India was one country
where civilian drones could be used.
city. The drones will be made to fly at a
height of 600 feet each patrolling a few Goa Photo 2015 Festival
Concerned about the use and regulations
governing them, the Directorate General of
Civil Aviation (DGCA) announced that until
square kilometres of the city.
While the ban on civilian use of drones
was quite a blow for photographers and
A ll set to begin on 25 February, the Goa
Photo 2015 festival will see a four-day
Magnum photography workshop. It will be
appropriate rules are made, the civilian use videographers, it is interesting to see how the conducted by Harry Gruyaert and Stuart
of drones will be banned. device will fare as surveillance equipment. Franklin and will be held in Panaji. The aim
In the wake of New Delhis most If the New Delhi project is successful, of the workshop is to help photographers
recent incident of rape, police sources the same surveillance model will be to refine and construct visual narratives
are reportedly planning to use drones applied to other cities across the country through practical assignments. The cost to
with cameras as surveillance in the as well. attend the workshop is Rs. 58,000.
Also available are two scholarships for

The First Lumia Phone from Microsoft is Here Indian photographers. To apply for the
workshop and scholarship, visit

T he Microsoft Lumia 535 has finally


arrived. After a fairly complicated
business partnership Microsoft ended up
Windows 8.1 OS, 1.2 GHz quad-core
Qualcomm Snapdragon 200 processor and
a 5-inch screen.
www.goaphoto.in/magnum-photos-workshops

Image Source: www.goaphoto.in


buying Nokia's phone-making business.
Soon after, the newly-formed company
announced that the name Nokia will be
dropped from all future phones.
The Lumia 535 is the first rebranded
phone to hit the markets. It features 27
5MP front and rear cameras, the latest

ja n ua ry 2 0 1 5 Better photography
s naps hots

APP RevIew

Moldiv
The photo collage app market is quite a competitive
one with apps like Diptic and PicsGrid being favourites.
Moldiv proves to be a contender in its own right.
The app offers 80 basic frames and more elaborate
ones available in the premium range. During image
selection, you can import all the photos at one go
and arrange their placement at the same time, which
is time saving. You can also select patterned or
solid colour backgrounds and filters for the photos.
Additionally, the app also offers text and stamps, with
fun options in them. One function I really like is the
Frame Adjust function, which lets you can adjust
the frame size using a slider. Another feature that
makes the app a worthy download its cut out option.
Here, you can select part of an image and have
it pasted on to your collage, without a set frame.
The collage can be saved in the maximum resolution
of 3264 x 2674 on an iPhone 5. Even with so many
features packed into the app, its design is simple,
and users will find it easy to navigate. The app is
available for both iOS and Android.
written by Natasha desai

Guinness Record for Photographer's Image Sells for Over Rs. 40 Crores
Most Whales in a Photo A ndreas Gursky's Rhein II has been
dethroned as the most expensive
photograph, has caused controversy. It has
led to many many art commentators to call

D
28 arren Jew, an underwater photograph by Peter Lik's Phantom. It is a the sale, a marketing gimic.
photographer from Australia, has derivative of his colour image Ghost, made in
recently set the Guinness World Record Antelope Canyon in the USA.
for being the first person to capture nine While Gursky's photograph sold for over
whales in a single frame. USD 4 million (approx Rs. 25 crores), Lik's
The 48-year-old photographer has has sold for a staggering USD 6.5 million
been photographing Humpback Whales (approx. Rs. 41 crores).
since 2001. On this occassion, everything Phantom has been bought by an anonymous
including the light, water clarity, buyer but, the claim has remained unverified.

Peter Lik
location and the pod of whales came The photo being priced at USD 2.2. million
together perfectly. (approx. Rs. 13 crores) more than the Gursky's
Japanese free diver Ai Futaki is also
featured in an image from the series.
She is swimming beside the pod of
Instagram Updates App Win Prizes Through the
Humpback Whales off the coast of the
Kingdom of Tonga in the southern Pacific
With Five New Filters TIPA Readership Survey
Ocean. She also holds a Guinness World
Record for free diving.
The whales in this image were travelling
W ith its most recent update for iOS
and Android, Instagram has added
five new filtersSlumber, Crema, Ludwig,
T he Technical Image Press Association
(TIPA) is a body of 29 photography
magazines in 16 countries, and is conducting
at 10 knots and she had to react quickly. Aden and Perpetua. an international readership survey.
Her presence of mind helped Darren Jew Additionally, users 50 participants of the survey will win
add an extra element to his images. can now view how Better Photography's 12 Pocket Guide set.
the filters will affect Internationally, they will be entered in a
the colours of the draw where they stand a chance of winning
photo. Apart from Nikon D4S, Sony Alpha 7R, Canon EOS
this, they have added 70D, Fujifilm X-T1, Nikon D3300 or an
a Manage button Olympus OM-D E-M10 camera. Hurry,
where users can as the deadline to submit the survey is 10
Natasha Desai

arrange their favourite January! Go to page 34 and mail or fax the


filters in the order of survey on the address provided, or, visit
Darren Jew their preference. www.presseforschung.de/betterphotography

Better photography ja n ua ry 2 0 1 5
s naps hots

CEIF Photofair 2015 Set to Begin in New Delhi Federation of Indian


T he CEIF Photofair is ready to kick off at
Pragati Maidan in New Delhi, from 811
Photography Workshop

Image Source: www.aiptia.org


January. The Photofair is organised annually
by the All India Photographic Trade and
Industry Association (AIPTIA). The expo
A nil Risal Singh, Anup Shah and Threesh
Kapoor will be conducting a workshop
from 1720 February in Uttarakhand.
will feature the latest in imaging technology, For more details and to register for FIP's Call to
along with galleries and various workshops. the Himalayas workshop, visit www.fip.org.in

Lo o k w h o S S h o oT I N g

A Young Eye in the Old City


Being a teenager can be a tumultuous yet exciting soon gifted him a DSLR. From this point on, there was
period in one's life. While some may drift through it no turning back.
in confusion, other's like Shashwat Prakash find an Apart from going out to make pictures regularly,
interest, that is a little different from his peers. Shashwat attends workshops, seminars and group
"Nobody in my class likes photography!", laments shoots with other photographers in the town. One of his
the Class 10 student. But this has never stopped him images was very recently published in the Federation of
from photographing his hometown at every chance he Indian Photography's monthly magazine.
Shashwat Prakash
gets. This can be quite the challenge, considering the At the moment, he has no plans of taking up
is a photography demands of school. photography as a profession after school. He does,
enthusiast based Shashwat discovered photography two years ago, however, plan to keep at it as a serious hobby.
in Varanasi. He is with a little point-and-shoot that was lying in his home. To view more of Shashwat's photographs,
16- years-old and He purchased a few rolls of film to experiment with visit www.betterphotography.in
30 wants to earn a and....he was hooked! Seeing his interest, his father written by Natasha desai
B. Tech degree after
completing school.

Steve Mccurry,
Raghu Rai and
vineet vohra
are some Shashwat goes
around the city looking
my favourite for interesting things
to photograph. he was
photographers walking around early one
and inspire me morning when he noticed
that the birds, the man
to shoot better and sun just fell into place
every day. Shashwat Prakash in front of him.

Better photography ja n ua ry 2 0 1 5
tr i Bute

In Memoriam
32 Feline Grace

The late Krishna Gopal Maheshwari was a pictorialist par excellence.


We speak to his family and those he influenced, for our humble tribute.
K G Maheshwari

W
(2 November 1922 hat began as a hobby It was his diligence and passion that
4 December 2014)
during school, turned led him to be schooled by the very best
He dedicated over seven
decades of his life to into a lifelong passion for in Indian photography. Jehangir Unwalla
the art of photography. Krishna Gopal Maheshwari. introduced him to tabletop photography
He was the recepient Interestingly enough, and photograms while Burjor Fanibunda
of over 1600 Salon Maheshwaris father wanted him to learn from the Photographic Society of India
acceptances, and music, but the teacher declared that the taught him darkroom techniques.
around 400 awards. young Krishna did not have the voice K G Maheshwaris photographs are not
His work resides in a
for music. This spurred him to learn just strong compositions, they also show his
coin museum owned
some form of the arts, and eventually intimate understanding of his subjects and
by him at Nashik,
along with the trophies, photography is where he found his calling. of light. Initially known for his prowess in
plaques and medals. While he made a career out of cotton portraiture, his explorations in other genres
He was also one ginning and pressing, photography are being recognised as serious works of art.
of the first four never took a backseat. In order to divert It is to this master of light and portraiture I think
photographers to my mind from the stresses of my daily that we bow our heads to. May his legacy live photography
be awarded with a
Lifetime Achievement
routines, I started a darkroom at home forever in all those he taught and all those makes you
and made photograms. Each image he influenced.
Award by the more aware of
required visualisation and understanding
Government of India.
of exposure, he said in an interview with To read the Great Masters article on K G
yourself.
Neha Mutreja in the October 2010 issue of Maheshwari, please visit: www.betterphotography. Krishna Gopal
Better Photography. in/perspectives/great-masters/maheshwari/262 Maheshwari
Better PhotograPhy ja n ua ry 2 0 1 5
t r i Bu t e

He lived and breathed


photography till his very
last days.
A week before my father passed away, he
was visited by a delegation of photographers
who wanted to speak to him about his
portraiture lighting techniques. Despite his
frail health, he spent hours with them,
helping them out of their problem areas,
and also handled their heavy DSLRs. All my
life, this is how Ive known him to be. He
never refused anyone, and tried his best to
I began guide those who approached him.
He also wanted me to take up
employing photography. The rst time I went abroad,
the things he handed me a lm camera and asked me to of the Photographic Society of India Domes and Minarets
I learnt through make pictures of my time there. But I did not (PSI), to our faculty. This is the kind of
photography in know how to wind lm and I came back with largehearted man he was. His gesture made
the roll unshot. us incredibly happy.
my business.
Now, it is my fondest wish to see his legacy Prasad Pawaskar, Hon. Secretary, PSI
I started solving endure, and to ensure that his photographs
problems see even more acclaim. When he was exhibiting at
at work by Kamlesh Kumar Maheshwari, son of the
the NCPA, he taught me a
33

eliminating late K G Maheshwari


great deal about lighting.
unwanted He donated his equipment
details, just like to PSIs faculty and to me. He would come to the gallery quite often
I would when and we would talk about photography for
I composed Just a few weeks before his death, he hours. I come from a photojournalistic
called me and a colleague, and told us background, and his natural lighting
a frame. he was giving us his equipment. He also techniques were invaluable to me.
Krishna Gopal gifted his entire portraiture lighting setup, Mukesh Parpiani, Head of the Piramal
Maheshwari which is currently situated at the ofce Gallery, National Centre for Performing Arts

Sanguine Saga of the Sky

ja n ua ry 2 0 1 5 Better PhotograPhy
E X C E L L E N C E AWA R D S

BP EXCELLENCE AWARDS 2014


AND THE AWARD GOES TO...
The BP Excellence Awards are a stamp of quality, and our way of celebrating cameras and
lenses that have earned the highest rating on our test bench, in the past one year.

M
onth after month, the BP recognise the gear that has scored the
team tests, inspects and highest ratings in our tests. For the Camera
introspects how the latest of the Year and Innovative Product of the Year
technology will help you awards, we weigh the pros and cons of each
chronicle the most important gadget, and then decide the best. For us,
moments
moments in your life. We appreciate the best imaging products should be those
some of this equipment, despise others that are not only feature-packed, but also
and occasionally, test cameras that make efficient and capable of delivering the best
us fall in love. With these awards, we results in their respective categories.

Camera of the Year


46
Reviewer Speak

The D750 is the best


value-for-money pro DSLR
one can get.

Nikon D750
The D750 is a powerhouse performer. Image quality is
fantastic. The amount of detail and headroom in the RAW
files is jawdropping and at the lowest ISO, the camera boasts
of having the best dynamic range today. Noise performance
at 100% levels is slightly better than the D810... this
actually makes it as good as the D3S/D4, and implies a
good two-stop improvement over the D700. Autofocus is
fast, and battery life, excellent. In fact, the only place where
this camera does not knock the competition flat is video.
While quality and features are excellent, the similarly priced
Sony Alpha 7S has better video.
The D750 offers a far superior headroom in RAW... and
it is a lot cheaper! At a price of Rs. 1,34,450, it is the best
value-for-money pro-DSLR one can get. I would go as far
out to say that the tilting screen and AF improvements mean
that you should go for the much-more expensive D810 only if
you really need that extra resolution and buffer speed.
The D700 was a mythical camera that was so far ahead
of its time, that apart from the lack of video, it has stayed
competitive, all these years. Neither of the new Nikons
felt like an adequate replacement, but the D750 has now
changed all that. The legend has moved on, and we have a
new pronouncement. Waiting for it was well worth this
legendary camera.

BETTER PHOTOGRAPHY JA N UA RY 2 0 1 45
E XC E L L E N C E AWA R D S

Basic Compact Camera of the Year


Reviewer Speak

The P600 is surprisingly lightweight,


but reasonably sturdy. For its price
the 60x zoom is a very good deal!

Nikon COOLPIX P600


This camera is characterised by a huge 60x zoom
range equivalent to 24mm1440mm in 35mm parlance,
optical vibration reduction with an Active mode that
increases the action of the VR for shake-free viewing and
shooting at extreme telephoto ends of the lens, and 7fps.
The performance is absolutely exemplary.

Advanced Compact Camera of the Year


Reviewer Speak

The RX-10 is the first to feature a


superzoom lens with a constant
f/2.8 aperture on a 1-inch sensor. 47

Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX10


Simply put, the RX10s image quality is superb. It uses
the same sensor of the much-appreciated Sony RX100 II.
The 24-200mm equivalent lens has surprisingly low
distortion. The dynamic range allows excellent recovery
of details. With features like a responsive AF system,
Flexible Spot focusing, and fantastic video that employs the
entire sensor area with every pixel being used to create the
video frame, the RX10 stands out among the crowd, racing
ahead of its competitors, despite its hefty price.

Consumer Mirrorless Camera of the Year


Reviewer Speak

If you want great image quality and


the ability to travel light, then the
X-E2 is a wonderful choice.

Fujifilm X-E2
This is a small, quiet, rangefinder-styled camera.
Its retro-look and handling belies some rather advanced
features that make this camera a pleasure to use. It is also
supported by some very fine lenses. It produces outstanding
image quality across the ISO range. It features improved
focus functions and better low light EVF visibility over its
illustrious predecessor, the X-E1.

JA N UA RY 2 0 1 45 BETTER PHOTOGRAPHY
Advanced Mirrorless Camera of the Year
Reviewer Speak

It is the best image quality you


would get with any cropped-sensor
camera, and rivals some full
frame DSLRs as well.

Fujifilm X-T1
The X-T1 is a fantastic mirrorless camera and at the
pinnacle of mirrorless technology. It has superb low-light
performance and an excellent electronic viewfinder that can
be easily said to rival a good OVF. Ergonomically, the camera
is a combination of advanced functionality and old-world
charm that can get very addictive.

Pro Mirrorless Lens Of The Year


Reviewer Speak

The lens exceeds expectations.


It is optically excellent and
48 it is also superbly designed.

Olympus M.ZUIKO Digital ED


40-150mm f/2.8 PRO
With an equivalent focal length of 80-300mm, this lens
proves itself in practically every area. It has excellent
sharpness and contrast with negligible aberrations,
performs well fully wide open, is weather sealed against rain,
can operate in extreme temperatures, and it is also very well
designed... a perfect balance.

Large Sensor Camera of The Year


Reviewer Speak

The G7 X can produce


astonishingly good image
quality at higher ISO settings.

Canon PowerShot G7 X
Considering this is the companys first use of a 1-inch
sensor, the G7 X has exemplary image quality. It features
a fast lens with a significantly bigger zoom range, a large
shutterspeed range that can be hugely useful, excellent
ergonomics, and rugged build. If you are a purist looking
for exceptional image quality and handling finesse, the
Canon G7 X offers great value.

BETTER PHOTOGRAPHY JA N UA RY 2 0 1 45
E XC E L L E N C E AWA R D S

Consumer APS-C DSLR of the Year


Reviewer Speak

The image quality is admirable for a


budget DSLR such as this.

Pentax K-500
The K-500 becomes the most highly rated entry-level DSLR
this year because it is so perfect for the budding hobbyist as
a great price. It is not a camera that comes with plenty of
frills, especially in terms of video, but what it does well is to
condition a beginer to make pictures in a spartan way, unlike
other entry-level DSLRs.

Semi-pro APS-C DSLR of the Year


Reviewer Speak

The Sony Alpha A77M2 gives you


fantastic speed, good image quality
and class-leading video control that
will leave you very satisfied.
49

Sony Alpha A77M2


The Alpha A77M2 makes a point that is hard to ignore.
It has excellent image quality up to ISO 3200, is built
like a tank and its autofocus system is fantastic. In fact,
the Alpha A77M2s autofocus system matches shoulder
to shoulder with some cameras that are far more
expensive, as well. Add to this the fact that you get the
excellent 1655mm f/2.8 as a kit lens, and you have a
winner on your hands.

Pro Full Frame Camera of The Year


Reviewer Speak

The Nikon D4s is a fantastically


crafted marvel of balanced,
insightful design, cutting edge
technology and precise engineering.

Nikon D4S
For a high-end professional photographer, the performance
of the Nikon D4s is the very best that Nikon has delivered
yet. In terms of low light high ISO capabitites, it beats every
other DSLR around. It can shoot at 11 fps with full autofocus
and auto exposure, coupled with tracking of moving subjects.
The build is exceptional and it is supported by a range of
excellent optics.

JA N UA RY 2 0 1 5 BETTER PHOTOGRAPHY
Consumer DSLR Lens of The Year
Reviewer Speak

If you are looking for a reliable,


telephoto lens with a great zoom,
Tamron has you covered.

Tamron SP 150600mm
f/5-6.3 Di VC USD
The absolutely unique nature of the focal length range
draws attention to this rather large lens. Wildlife and
bird photography enthusiasts, and sports and action
photographers alike will certainly love it. It is economical and
performs well, both optically and in terms of AF.

Pro DSLR Lens of The Year


Reviewer Speak

The Canon EF 200-400mm f/4L IS


USM Extender 1.4X has exceptionaly
50 good optics and focusing speed.

Canon EF 200-400mm f/4L


IS USM Extender 1.4X
This is a giant of a lens, with a big price tag and incredible
specifications. For professional sports and wildlife
photographers, this lens can deliver unlike any other lens
can, with a performance that is incredibly close to prime
lenses with similar focal lengths in this class.

Innovative Product of The Year


Reviewer Speak

How often can compact cameras


boast of coming so close to medium
format territory... resolution and
optics included?

Sigma Quattro Series


The three Quattro cameras from Sigma, the DP1, DP2
and DP3 must be the most exotically designed cameras
on the planet, and act as great conversation starters.
Differentiated by fixed prime lenses of focal lengths 28mm,
45mm and 75mm in 35mm equivalents, and housing exactly
the same Foveon sensor, their indivual optics and resolution
is simply astounding.

BETTER PHOTOGRAPHY JA N UA RY 2 0 1 45
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BUYERIASL
SPEC

54

The abundance of cameras currently available in the market can make


choosing your next camera quite daunting. Dont worry, weve got you
covered. Here are Team BPs recommendations for the best cameras today!

W
hile the last few months of new entries, while image quality, focusing
2014 saw a significant push speeds and low light performance reached
towards 4k capable cameras, incredible levels.
there were also plenty of With all of this in mind, here are our
significant improvements favourite cameras (and five cellphones too!)
made in photographic technologies as well. that offer the best features and the most
Compact cameras appear to be making a value for money. Although, no gear can
comeback through the large sensor category, make up for a photographers imagination
the mirrorless segment has seen many and vision, who doesnt love a great camera?

Key to Essential Features


20mp Total effective pixel count of the camera sensor RAW Availability of RAW format recording in the camera LCD Avbailability of a full-colour LCD information display 2160 4k video, 4096 x 2160px or similar, at 30fps
30p

CC 7.6 x 5.7mm or 5.76 x 4.29mm compact camera sensors 20x Available zoom ratio of the built-in lens of the camera LCD Tilting colour LCD display, allowing a higher or lower Extreme weathersealing with resistance to
EWS WS rain / Normal weathersealing
T viewing angle

1in 4/3 1-inch CX sensor by Nikon. 4/3 refers to the Four


10fps Highest framerate available in the Continuous Shooting mode LCD Swivelling colour LCD display allowing 180o viewing angles WP
Thirds sensor used by Olympus and panasonic S 10m Waterproof up to a maximum depth of 10 metres

APS-C 23.6 x 15.7mm half frame sized sensor IS In-camera optical or sensor-shift based Image Stabilisation LCD Touchscreen LCD to access various controls via the screen SP Shockproof up to a fall from a maximum height of
TCH 2.2m 2.2 metres

FF 36 x 24mm or 35mm or full frame sized sensor OVF Availability of an Optical Viewfinder in the camera 720 HD, 1280 x 720px video, progressive scan at 30fps WiFi In-camera availability to transfer data through WiFi
30p

MF medium Format EVF Availability of an Electronic Viewfinder in the camera 1080 Full HD, 1920 x 1080px video, progressive scan at 60fps Near Field Communication for extended camera
NFC WiFi features
60p

Better PhotograPhy Ja n ua ry 2 0 1 5
Bu y e r S S P eC Ia L

BELOW `20,000

Canon Digital IXUS 145 announced in February 2014 Nikon COOLPIX S32 announced in February 2014
16mp CC 8x 0.8 LCD 720 13.2 CC 3x 4.7 IS LCD 720 WP SP
fps p mp fps p30 EWS 10m 1.5m

MRP MRP
Rs. 5995 Rs. 6950

Best For? Gifting and casual use Best For? Gifting, casual and underwater use, great for children
Why? While the features may be rather basic16MP resolution, 8x optical zoom, Why? Apart from the 13.2MP resolution and Full HD video shooting capability, the
and a Digic 4 processora superbly low price point, and a reasonably good waterproof, shockproof and freezeproof rugged build and large buttons for easy
performance offer excellent value for money. operation makes the camera an attractive buy.

Canon Digital IXUS 265 HS announced in January 2014 Canon PowerShot SX600 HS announced in January 2014
16mp CC 12x 3.9
fps IS LCD 1080
30p WiFi NFC 16mp CC 18x 3.9
fps IS LCD 1080
30p WiFi NFC

55

MRP MRP
Rs. 8995 Rs. 12,995

Best For? Gifting, casual use, great for travel and uploading to social media as well Best For? Gifting, casual use, street photos, travel and social media purposes
Why? With 12x optical zoom, WiFi capability and Full HD video, this stylist compact Why? Automatic shooting options, on-the-go sharing, and a useful zoom range in a
is the perfect choice for everyday use. It delivers good quality images and even has lightweight package makes the camera a great buy. While 18x may not be the highest
fun modes like the Creative mode and Hybrid Auto at a great price. zoom range in the market, it is what keeps the price of the camera reasonable.

Nikon COOLPIX S9600 announced in February 2014 Nikon COOLPIX P340 announced in February 2014
16mp CC 22x 6.7
fps IS LCD 1080
30p WiFi 12mp CC RAW 5x 10fps IS LCD 1080
30p WiFi

MRP MRP
0 Rs. 18,950
Rs. 14,95

Best For? Casual use and street photos, great for travel Best For? Serious enthusiast use, indoors, street, travel
Why? A powerful as well as attractive camera, the S9600 is well suited for travel Why? A larger-than-usual 1/1.7-inch 12MP sensor and RAW shooting capability
photograpers. Its 22x zoom, Full HD video, in-built WiFi coupled with a 16MP ensures that out-of-the camera images are good, and it also provides the option to
resolution and 1cm macro capability makes shooting any kind of subject a breeze. process images in any editing software to personal satisfaction.

Ja n ua ry 2 0 1 5 Better PhotograPhy
B uye rS S PeCI aL

`20,000-`40,000

Nikon COOLPIX P530 announced in February 2014 Canon 1200D announced in February 2014
16mp CC 42x 7fps IS EVF LCD 1080
30p 18mp APS-C RAW 3fps OVF LCD 1080
30p

MRP
MRP
Rs. 19,950 Rs. 27,9n9ly5)
(Body O

Best For? Gifting, casual use, sports, street, travel Best For? Beginner, hobbyist
Why? Versatility would be another name for this camera. 41.7x optical zoom, Full HD Why? If you are looking for an entry-level camera with good image quality and
video recording, detailed image quality, reliable exposure metering, and a DSLR-like sensible ergonomics, this should be your camera of choice. As a bonus, Canons
feel makes the camera one of the top choices this year. app for IOS and Android devices is a good teacher of photography on the go!

Nikon D5200 announced in november 2012 GoPro Hero4 Silver announced in September 2014
24.1 APS-C RAW 5fps OVF LCD 1080
mp 30p 12mp CC 30fps LCD 2160 WP
15p EWS 40m SP WiFi

56 MRP
0
Rs. 34,90
MRP
Rs. 34,4 50
(BodyOnly)

Best For? Hobbyists


Why? Though the D5200 was released in 2012, it is still excellent value for money for Best For? Adventurists, extreme weather photography
photographers who are neither beginners nor completely advanced users. It is a Why? Shockproof, waterproof at up to 40m, improved photo and video features,
simple enough camera with advanced features suited for all kinds of photography. a host of mounts and the signature GoPro eld of view. Need we say more?

Canon PowerShot SX60 HS announced in September 2014 Nikon 1 AW1 announced in September 2013
16mp CC RAW 65x 6.4
fps IS EVF LCD 1080
60p WiFi NFC 14mp 1in RAW 60fps LCD 1080 WP
30p EWS 15m
SP
2m

MRP
0
MRP
Rs. 3ic9e,,9with511-
(kit pr
5
Rs. 35,99
ns)
27.5mm le

Best For? Hobbyists, travel photographers


Best For? Hobbyists, underwater use
Why? With the largest zoom range any advanced compact camera is offering,
apart from Full HD video, 16MP resolution and image sharing ability, the camera is a Why? The camera is ideal for everyday use, general purpose photography on dry
good all round buy! land and for those who are adventurous, some underwater photography as well.

Better PhotograPhy Ja n ua ry 2 0 1 35
BU Y E R S S P EC IA L

`40,000-`85,000

Sony Alpha A6000 Announced in February 2014 Canon PowerShot G7 X Announced in January 2013
24MP APS-C RAW 11fps EVF LCD 1080
T 30p WiFi NFC 20MP 1in RAW 4.2x 6.5
fps
LCD 1080 WiFi NFC
IS T/TCH 30p

MRP
0 MRP
Rs. 40,99ly)
n Rs. 44,99
5
(Body O

Best For? Serious enthusiast, wildlife, action Best For? Enthusiasts, social media users, landscape, travel, street, action
Why? An impressive AF system (even for moving objects) combined with a good Why? Bright apertures at the wide end (f/1.8) and telephoto end (f/2.8), speedy AF,
11 FPS burst shooting rate, makes this camera an ideal buy for photographers who features for both stills and video combined with connectivity options ensure that
love to shoot action. this camera gives the other contenders of this category a run for their money.

Ricoh GR Announced in April 2013 Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX100M3 Announced in May 2014
20.1 APS-C RAW 2.9x 10 fps EVF LCD 1080 WiFi NFC
16MP APS-C RAW 4fps OVF LCD 1080
30p WiFi NFC MP T 60p

58

MRP MRP
5 0
Rs. 52,99 Rs. 54,99

Best For? Street, travel, serious hobbyists


Why? In addition to the superb handling and customisability, the GR delivers Best For? Street, travel, multimedia use, video
excellent image quality because of sensor, high quality lens and other photography Why? An in-built viewfinder, consistently fast lens, great stills and video output in
features. This makes it a wide-angle photography delight. within a tiny camera body make it a great camera on the go.

Sigma Quattro DP2 Announced in February 2014 Sony Alpha A77M2 Announced in May 2014
20.1 APS-C RAW LCD
MP 24MP APS-C RAW 12 fps IS EVF LCD 1080
T/S 60p WiFi NFC

MRP
MRP
0 Rs. 84,9 90
Rs. 75,00 Only)
(Body

Best For? Street, travel, action, wildlife, enthusiasts, serious hobbyists, video,
Best For? Landscape, studio, portraiture, large print makers backup body users
Why? The DP2 is incredibly inexpensive for the medium format-esque image quality Why? Fast AF, in-body IS and high ISO capabilities, make it a great camera for
it offers, at lower ISOs. It becomes a must-have for a very specific kind of quality- photographers looking to shoot action. Good image quality and other handy photo
obsessed photographer, despite its many quirks. features ensures this cameras use across genres.

JA
B ENTUA
T RY
E R 2 0P1H5 O T O G R A P H Y B E T T E R P H OJAT NOUA
G RRYA P2 0H1Y35
B UYE RS S PECI AL

`85,000-`1,30,000

Pentax K-3 Announced in October 2013 Fujifilm X-T1 Announced in January 2014
24MP APS-C RAW 8.3
fps IS OVF LCD 1080
30p EWS 16MP APS-C RAW 8fps EVF LCD
T
1080 WiFi WS
60p

MRP MRP
5
Rs. 85,36ly)
n
Rs. 91,99ly9)
n
(Body O (Body O

Best For? Extreme weather, street, travel, photojournalism, wildlife, enthusiasts,


serious hobbyists Best For? Casual use, street, travel
Why? Smart camera features, not seen in other manufacturers, a large viewfinder Why? Forget that this camera has excellent image quality and a great AF system,
with 100% coverage, customisation, solid build and weathersealing make this a intuitive handling, portability and a phenomenal viewfinder. All you need to know is
camera designed for serious photographers. that it is just an absolute pleasure to shoot with!

Olympus OM-D EM1 Announced in September 2013 Panasonic Lumix DMC-GH4 Announced in February 2014
16MP 4/3 RAW 10 fps IS LCD 1080 EWS WiFi NFC
EVF T/TCH 16MP 4/3 RAW 12 fps IS LCD 2160 WS WiFi NFC
EVF T/S/TCH
30p 30p

59

MRP MRP
00 0
Rs. 1,05O,0nly) Rs. 1,11O,9nly9)
(Body (Body

Best For? Serious enthusiasts, prosumers, street Best For? Serious enthusiasts, prosumers, wedding, video
Why? Photographers who want the customisability of a DSLR in a relatively Why? Not only is it a serious videographers camera, it is also one of the best
compact, weathersealed body, will love it. movie/stills package available today at its price.

Sony Alpha A7R Announced in October 2013 Canon EOS 7D Mark II Announced in September 2014
36.3 FF RAW 4 fps EVF LCD 1080 WS WiFi NFC 20MP APS-C RAW 10 fps OVF LCD 1080
MP T 60p 60p WS

MRP MRP
90 95
Rs. 1,24O,9nly) Rs. 1,28O,7nly)
(Body (Body

Best For? Studio, landscapes, portraiture, prosumers, serious print enthusiasts Best For? Video, hobbyists, serious enthusiasts, action, wildlife, backup body
Why? When it comes to high image quality in a tiny full frame camera, this Why? The 7D crams many pro-level features, especially video, into an APS-C body.
Sony has beaten everyone else. Coupled with a great sensor, the lack of an Though the output quality and dynamic range could have been better, a fantastic
AA filter helps too! focusing module and well designed ergonomics make it a winner.

JA
B ENTUA
T RY
E R 2 0P1H5 O T O G R A P H Y B E T T E R P H OJAT NOUA
G RRYA P2 0H1Y5
BU Y E R S S P EC IA L

ABOVE `1,30,000

Nikon D750 Announced in September 2014 Sony Alpha A7S Announced in April 2014
24MP FF RAW 6.56 LCD 1080 WS WiFi
fps OVF T 60p 12MP FF RAW 5 fps EVF LCD
T
1080 WS WiFi NFC
60p

MRP MRP
50 90
Rs. 1,34,4nly) Rs. 1,54,9nly)
(Body O (Body O

Best For? Almost everything Best For? Prosumers, serious enthusiasts, video, street, wildlife, action
Why? The D750 comes close to hitting the camera sweet spot. Excellent image Why? Targeting serious video users and low light shooters, the A7S offers
quality, fast AF, decent video features and great value for money, the camera will incredible high ISO performance, ISOs up to 4,09,600 and uncompressed 4k video
entice enthusiasts and pros alike. when using an external recorder through HDMI.

Nikon D810 Announced in June 2014 Nikon D4s Announced in February 2014
36.3 FF RAW 5fps OVF LCD 1080 WS 16MP FF RAW 11fps OVF LCD 1080
MP 60p 60p WS

60

MRP MRP
50 50
Rs. 1,99O,9nly) Rs. 4,19O,9nly)
(Body (Body

Best For? Studio, landscape, portraiture, pro-use, serious print enthusiasts, video Best For? Prosumers, street, multimedia use, photojournalists
Why? Unparalleled dynamic range, particularly at ISO 64, fantastic high ISO Why? Designed for the most demanding users and multimedia pros, the D4s
capabilities, pro-grade video features and a fantastic AF system inherited from the improves on the already excellent D4 with an better AF system, enhanced image
Nikon D4S. quality, video features, an astonishing high ISO range and performance.

Canon EOS-1D X Announced in October 2011 Pentax 645Z Announced in April 2014
18MP FF RAW 14 fps LCD OVF 1080 51MP MF RAW 3fps LCD OVF 1080 EWS
30p WS T 30p

MRP MRP
95 50
Rs. 4,55O,9nly) Rs. 6,29O,4nly)
(Body (Body

Best For? Prosumers, street, multimedia use, photojournalists Best For? Studio, portraiture, landscape, making large prints
Why? In short, it is the D4s for Canon users. While the image quality falls slightly Why? Not only does it offer stunning image quality at a phenomenally low price,
short of its Nikon rival, a blazing fast AF system and drive modes, along with it also has fantastic high ISO performance and good video capabilities while also
improved video functions more than make up for it. introducing DSLR features, never seen before in a medium format camera.

JA
B ENTUA
T RY
E R 2 0P1H5 O T O G R A P H Y JA N UA RY 2 0 1 35
BU Y E R S S P EC IA L

Our Favourite Cameraphones

T
he year 2014 has been great
BEST BUDGET PHONE
for cellphone photographers. Xiaomi Redmi 1S
Key to Essential Features The camera modules started
8MP RAW 1080
30p LED 4.7in
Total effective pixel count of the rotating, RAW imaging picked up
20MP camera sensor
speed, experimental apps started
1/XX Camera sensor size growing and so did the acceptance for
commercial cellphone photography. P
MR 99
5,9
RAW RAW capability out of the box
8MP and 13MP resolutions have quickly .
Rs
1080 Highest video resolution and become the norm, even for entry level
60p frame rate
smartphones. New entrants into the market
OIS Optical image stabilisation are galvanising market shares of reigning
Who Should Buy It?
LED The kind of flash available
manufacturers by offering fantastically Photographers with on a tight budget, people
specced phones at incredible prices. who want a good spare phone
5.5in Screen size In 2015, 4k and improved video is going Why? At Rs. 6000, the 1S offers great image
to be a definite norm, large sensors and OIS quality, even in low light and maximum value for
WR Weather resistance money. It also has many features like LED flash
are a possibility, better AF an eventuality.
Prices mentioned are the launch and 1080 30p video that more expensive budget
MRPs. The phones may be But while we wait for that, here are our some phones dont include.
` available for cheaper online. of favourite phones, currently available.

BEST ANDROID PHONE BBEST IPHONE


Samsung Galaxy S5 iPhone 6 Plus
16MP 1/2.6 2160
30p LED 4.7in WR 8MP 1/3 1080
Dual
60p OIS LED 5.5in WS

450 500
P P
MR MR
s. 53, s. 62, 65
R R

Who Should Buy It?


Who Should Buy It? Anyone who can afford the fantastic shooting
Android fans looking for a great cameraphone experience offered by one of the best
and lots of fun features cameraphones available today

Why? 4k video, an incredibly fast phase-detect Why? Optical image stabilisation, phase detection
AF system, stellar image quality, realtime AF, a superior JPEG engine and sharp lens make
HDR and weather resistance are only a few it a great camera. Not to mention the numerous
highlights of what this phone is capable of. apps photo apps available that are still iOS only.
The LG G3 comes a close second. If you want a smaller screen and can live without
OIS, there is also the iPhone 6.

BEST WINDOWS PHONE INNOVATIVE PHONE


Nokia Lumia 1020 Oppo N1 and N3
41MP 1/1.5 RAW 1080 13MP 1/2.3 1080
Dual
30p OIS LED 4.5in 30p LED 5.9in

16MP 1/2.3 1080


Dual
60p LED 5.5in RAW

MR
P
50 MR
P
99
. 1 8,7 . 3 9,9
Rs Rs

Who Should Buy It? Who Should Buy It?


Photographers who swear by image quality While we loved the rotating camera module and
alone and arent bothered by the lack of apps image quality of the N1, the improved N3 will be
launching very soon.
Why? Despite being over a year and half old,
Why? The 206 rotating camera of the N1 and
the quality delivered by the 1020 remains
N3 are great if you want to shoot discreetly or
the best seen in cameraphones today. It is
conveniently change your perspective. The N3
also one of the first phones to include optical
will also offer RAW capability and improved
image stabilisation and RAW.
video features to boot.

JA N UA RY 2 0 1 5 BETTER PHOTOGRAPHY
GearGuide
test
te st

HOW WE TEST
Product categorisation
We first segregate products
into categories for the purpose
of equitability in testing.
The DSLR is divided into
D
entry-level, semi-professional
MM ENDE
and professional categories. RECO
For compacts, we distinguish
between advanced and basic
compact cameras. Similarly, we
also test consumer and pro
lenses, flashguns, printers, and
other photographic accessories
and gear.

The Process
We primarily test for features,
performance, build, ergonomics,
warranty and support. While this
remains constant, the weightage
we give to these parameter
differs from category to
category, because different
types of consumers have diverse
expectations from products.

Final ratings
Under each main parameter,
66
we list out hundreds of individual
variables (for eg. colour accuracy Pentax 645Z

When Size Matters


for individual colours in different
lighting, individual features,
dynamic range, center-to-edge
definition, light falloff, etc) against
which we either give points
or simply mark yes or no.
Thus, we arrive at a score for
that parameter, and then, the final
score, denoted as a percentage.
Additionally, based on the current The first truly affordable digial medium format in recent times, the
pricing of a product, a star
rating for Value for Money is
Pentax 645Z has features not seen before in its genre. Does it have what it
considered. Value for Money does takes in todays varied digital climate? K Madhavan Pillai finds out.

A
not affect the final percentage,
because prices for products mongst the companies with a Features
change constantly. legacy in producing medium While this sensor is shared with the
Our Seals of Approval format cameras, Pentax Hasselblad H5D-50c, and the Phase 1
Any product that scores 80% has maintained a common IQ250 digital back, the 645Z stand apart
or higher in individual tests gets
WEIgHTAgE OF philosophy since the launch from other medium format cameras
BP Recommendeda seal
PArAmETErS of the venerable Pentax 67 in 1969 because of features that make it very much
of approval from our team.
In comparison tests, we also tag make them like SLRs. The Pentax 645Z like a high-end DSLR. For instance, the
products as BP Best Performer (announced in April 2014, it succeeds the 640Z goes all the way up to ISO 2,04,800,
5% 15%
and BP Best Value for Money.
15% 40MP 645D, released in 2010) uses a large, can shoot at a rate of 3fps, actuates AF
BP Excellence Awards new 43.8 x 32.8mm 51.4 MP Sony sensor using the SAFOX 11 AF system also found
At the end of the calendar year, 20% 45%
with no anti-aliasing filter. on the Pentax K-3 DSLR (with 27 AF
the highest rated products in
While this is viewed as the standard points, 25 of which are cross-type) that
each category automatically
win the Better Photography sensor size for medium format cameras, can focus down to -3EV and has an 86,000
Features
Excellence Award. This is
Performance digital parlance can be rather forgiving. pixel RGB colour metering sensor.
Better Photographys recognition It is about half the size of 60mm x 45mm Like a DSLR, it also features Live View
Build Quality
of the very best products
ergonomics (the dimensions of a frame in older 645 shooting, Full HD video functionality,
launched in the course of the
Warranty & film cameras), but it contains 56% more and a 4K interval movie shooting
year, and the companies that
support
made them. real estate than a full-frame 35mm. function. It also uniquely has a sensor dust

Better PhotograPhy ja n ua ry 2 0 1 5
test test test
Canon EOS 7D Mk II Nikon 1 V3 GoPro Hero4 test
Can it recapture the The third generation of Does this edition live
magic of original 7D? this 1-inch sensor ILC up to the hero worship?

82 88 92
removal system using ultrasonic vibrations, build and airtight weatherproofing inspires
and a tilting LCD. The shutter and mirror confidence. The camera is heavy, but I found
mechanism has been tested for up to myself using the weight of the camera quite
100,000 shots. It houses two SD card slots, effectively to steady my shots. With the left
boasts of high-speed data writes and image hand held under the lens, the 645Z was as Handheld shooting
review in less than a second after shooting, maneuverable and felt as good as a Nikon or with the 645Z?
and can be controlled with a smartphone Canon agship DSLR. I had to relearn the
art of being careful!
using the prorietary FluCard. The camera inherits its control layout
The huge pixel counts
The 645Z has a comprehensive menu from the 645D, and the K-3. There are meant that even
WHATS In THE BOX system, a host of in-camera RAW edit dedicated buttons for almost every the tiniest camera
functions, including set of digital filter function (perhaps too many of them). shake is magnified.
Pentax 645Z body Despite the DSLR-like
Li-ion battery effects like Toy camera and Fish-eye! The range of customisations available are
handling, the 645Z
(1860mAh) It has a huge range of controls and image extensive and brilliant. As with its Pentax weighs upward of
Battery charger customisation options, just like in the K-3. DSLRs, using the 645Z needs some time to 2 kilos, with one of
AC cord learn, but once you get used to it, you will the smaller lenses
Large eye-cup attached. I started
Body mount cover Handling realise how intuitive it all is. using double the
Hotshoe cover One would not consider the word abuse Here lies one of the biggest advantages reciprocals of
Neck Strap to be used as loosely with medium format of the 645Z. With other medium format focal lengths, to
Software CD cameras as with pro-DSLRs. But here is cameras, one needs to adhere to an almost calculate minimum
Warranty card shutterspeeds.
a camera that falls in that class. The solid painfully slow process, taking the time to

67

Owing to both the


large sensor and
high resolution (and
subsequently large image
viewing and print sizes),
All photographs by K Madhavan Pillai

the DOF can get very,


very critical. I resorted
to using a DOF calculating
app on my phone, until
I got the feel of it for
different lenses.
Lens: DA 645 120mm f/4 macro
Exposure: 1/125sec at f/4
(ISO 200) with the subject at
about five feet away.

ja n ua ry 2 0 1 5 Better PhotograPhy
test

set the camera perfectly to get the best image


quality. While the pixel count and weight of
the camera necessitates a certain level of care
while shooting, the 645Z is extremely fast to
operate and control.

Performance
It is a given that sensor technologies
advance every two years so that todays ISO
3200 is yesterdays ISO 1600. However, the
noise performance and fine detailing in
images by the Pentax 645Z, especially at
low ISO levels, are simply off the charts,
with every speck and hairline visible
beautifully. The quality is good enough for
perfect 30 x 40-inch fine art prints.
The lack of an AA filter improves
sharpness to a great degree, but one needs to
be careful. Over-sharpening in post process
starts throwing up the inevitable jagged
edges, when viewed at 100 percent. I was
quite happy with the in-camera controls
for both sharpness and noise reduction.
They are reasonably subtle and can be
68 pushed. I preferred working with DNG
on Adobe Camera RAW, even for minor
processing. It offered a better level of control.
AF and metering is quite accurate, even in
tough situations. In low light, focusing does
slow down, but locks conclusively. There is
something to be said about the 13-stop plus
dynamic range, easily appreciable when
working with the DNG files. In over 1000
frames exposed, highlight clipping occurred
only when shooting straight into bright light.
There was plenty of detail to be recovered A horizontal crop of
from shadows... easily upto 5 stops at lower a vertical frame, this
portrait loses 60%
ISO levels. of the original image
I havent gone all out in testing the lenses area. Taken almost
that came with the camera, but as expected, at dusk, with distant,
not all lenses are made equal. I found myself colour-leaching
sodium vapour street
very happy with the 55mm AW lens across lamps being the only
the aperture range in terms if detailing, and source of illumination,
not so much with the 150mm f/2.8 (although I committed every
I liked the bokeh it produced). The 120mm cardinal sin of
low light, high ISO
macro is another fine lens to work with. photography, including
With a sensor this large, DOF gets extremely underexposing by
critical at close distances. 1.5 stops and then
recovering it later in
While Full HD video is available on the
post process. I never
645Z and I like what lenses can do in terms expected this image to
of constricting DOF, bitrates are restricted to do well at all, let alone
21mbps VBR, there is no clean HDMI out, be published cropped.
Fantastic!
and this is not a fully featured camera for Lens: DA 645 55mm f/2.8
video. If video is important, you would be Exposure: 1/80sec at f/2.8,
ISO 12,800 (Auto ISO)
better serviced with a full-frame DSLR.

Better PhotograPhy ja n ua ry 2 0 1 5
test

69

ja n ua ry 2 0 1 5 Better PhotograPhy
test

Test Shots

Colour Settings that can be Easily Fine-tuned Quick, DSLR-like Responsiveness on the Field
An important consideration is whether the 645Z can adhere to standardised profile The 645Z takes 1.5sec to start up, about 0.5sec to actuate and lock AF in reasonably
based workflows... and it does this well. From ISO 100 to 800 in daylight, the 645Z good light, and there is no perceptible shutter lag. It achieves 3fps for 10 frames of
has over 13 stops of perceivable dynamic range. It records 14-bit data on open DNG with JPEG Fine, and then slows down to 0.5fps. It takes 36 seconds to clear
source DNG, or using the proprietary PEF RAW formats. Customised settings can the buffer completely onto a UDMA 1 SDXC card. All very respectable speeds for a
be saved to three user profiles, directly accessed through the main mode dial. 51.4MP medium format, with a much larger reflex mirror slapping up and down.

P lu S
conclusion format cameras available today, the 645Zs
The 645Z costs Rs. 6,29,450 (body only). DSLR-like usability, all-weather ruggedness
51.4MP, large sensor Expensive? Yes. But for the first time, a and exceptional ISO range opens up a realm
Dynamic range medium format camera is at a price point of possibilities for large, detailed images of
ISO performance
DSLR-style handling for there to be debates on whether the landscapes, architecture, weddings, travel,
Speed Nikon D810 or the Sony A7R might make or outdoor fashion, and especially for those
Unbeatable price! a better buy at a much, much lower price. who do not want to pack up their gear at the AlSO lOOK FOr
And these perfectly capable 36MP cameras first hint of rain or snow.
70 mInuS Hasselblad H5D-50c
may very well be what you just need. While the overall system of available
Phase 1 IQ250
Only third party TS But let us be very clear. The 645Z lenses and accessories may not match
digital back
adapters available represents the next step in the evolutionary that of Hasselblad, a line-up of 18 smc 645 At its price in India,
ladder in terms of image quality, and a whole lenses ensure that you are certainly not left it beats other
level above DSLRs. It does not end there... behind. A Pentax adapter, that allows their equivalent systems
by well over 60%
unlike most other competing medium older 6x7 lenses to be mounted onto the
ErgOnOmIcS
Front Top rear rear input dial
mirror up dial Sync socket
Dioptre Auto exposure
Shutter release button/ Strap lug Viewfinder lock
adjustment
On-off switch/Preview rAW/function, ring
exposure
bracketing,
AF area, Front command
and dial
lock buttons

Exposure mode
dial

Front input
dial
AF mode dial 3.2-inch, live View/ 4-way
Self-timer lamp/ 1037k dot lcD Delete button controller/
remote control rubber eyecup Still/movie OK button
receiver switching dial
The camera is a solid hunk of magnesium alloy on The on/off lever around the shutter button usefully The rear of the 645Z shows a plethora of controls
an aluminium chassis, with no plastics visible on the houses the DOF/digital preview function. Separate tripod almost identical in placement and function to the older
outside. The well-rubberised grip is deep and well- mounts for both horizontal and vertical orientations 645D, including the famous green dot button, that
contoured, affording an excellent grip. Those with ensure that you can make do with an inexpensive tripod offers immediate switching between modes. This button,
small hands will find it difficult to comfortably reach head, and maintain the centre of gravity on a tripod. and many other functions and behaviours, are superbly
the controls at both the top and back simultaneously, A row of buttons for less accessed controls lie recessed customisable, making the 645Z wonderfully intuitive to
though. While the camera is blocky, owing to the deep on the top left edge, to prevent accidentally pushing handle. The LCD shows shooting info, a range of easily
mirror well, the handling is surprisingly very DSLR-like. them during handheld vertical shooting. accessible settings, and can be completely switched off.

Better PhotograPhy ja n ua ry 2 0 1 5
test

S P Ec I F I cAT I O n S

Model name Pentax 645Z Noise Test


MRP Rs. 6,29,695 (body only)
Effective pixels 51.4MP, 8256 x 6192 pixels
645Z, is available as an accessory. The only
Sensor size, type 43.8 x 32.8mm (4:3), CMOS,
serious lacuna with the system is the lack
no anti-aliasing filter
of a Tilt Shift adapter, vital for product and
ISO Auto, 100-204800 ISO 6400
architecture photography. Third party TS
Exposure Modes P, A, S, M, Sensitivity priority,
Shutter & Aperture priority, adapters are available though, that need to
Bulb, Flash X-sync speed, be used with the older 67 lenses, owing to
USER1, USER2, USER3 the larger image circles needed for any kind
Focusing type, modes Contrast Detect in Live View, of tilting or shifting.
TTL 27-point Phase Detect (25 ISO 12,800
And finally, consider thisfor the price
cross-type, -3EV to 18EV)
Spot, Select, Zone select, of a Hasselblad H5D-50c body (an identical
Expanded area AF (S, M, L), sensor type and size), I could buy two
Auto (27 AF Points), AF-S, AF-C
645Z bodies, and have enough left over for
Metering TTL open aperture metering
several lenses too. When a pro photographer
using 86K pixel RGB sensor,
Multi, Center-weighted, Spot thinks of buying medium format gear, the ISO 25,600
Shutterspeed range 30sec1/4000sec, bulb first thoughts are about recovering the
Exp. compensation -/+5 EV (at 1/3 EV steps)
investment. The 645Z cuts this short to a
great extant. For those who are clear about
White balance Auto WB, 11 Presets, CTE,
Manual, Colour Temperature, going in for medium format, the 645Z is
7-step Fine Adjustment on simply the best out there at this point. At the
A-B or G-M axis, copy from ISO 51,200
time of going to the press, Pentax India
previously shot image possible
informed us that they are also currently Noise characteristics are excellent, with amazing
Drive modes Single, Continuous (H, L), detail and very little difference visible between
Self-timer (12, 2sec), Remote offering early bird discounts to new buyers.
ISO 100 to 800. ISO 1600 to 6400 is correctable to
control (immediately, 3 sec, Photographers, especially the ones who near perfect levels with minimal noise reduction.
continuous), Multi-exposure,
review cameras, are a sorry bunch because Noise increases substantially at ISO 12,800, but
Interval shooting,
72 Interval composite movie, they are never satisfied, are they? In the colour noise can be reduced nicely to leave a
Mirror Lock-up Shooting spirit of innovation and cult cameras that wonderfully film-like grain structure. ISO 25,600
is best used in full size in B&W, or in colour with a
LCD 3.2-inch, tilting, 1037k dots Ricoh Pentax is known for... if only we could 30% reduction in size. ISO 51,200 onwards needs
Viewnder Optical, 98% coverage convince them to use this sensor, remove progressive downsizing for printable results.
storage types SD, SDHC, SDXC, the mirror, use a atter body, develop a Downsizing extremely high ISO images from the
Eye-Fi, FluCard compatible series a of primes, build adapters for the 645Z to a resolution of 16MP is quite revealing.
Noise levels are easily 1.5 stops better than the
Video Yes, Full HD current line-up... and price it as effectively Nikon or Canon flagship DSLRs.
Weather Sealing Extreme weather, rain, dust as the 645Z... Now perhaps that would be a
Dimensions, Weight 117 x 156 x 123mm, 1550g choice worth mulling over and breaking the
bank deposits for, wouldnt it?.
FINALRATINGS
Features 14/15
51.4MP, reasonably fast AF, unique ISO range

Performance 44/45
Superb dynamic range, very good high ISO
performance, superb detail

Build Quality 19/20


Magnesium alloy, fully weather-sealed; can be
ued in the rain (with weather-sealed lenses)

Ergonomics 13/15
Handgrip, DSLR-like handling, intuitive controls

Warranty & Support 4/5


Good service network

I honestly did not


OVErAll 94%
Who should buy it? High-end pros, who want a
quite expect to use a versatile, high-resolution system for use in-studio or on-field.
medium format camera
so easily for regular Why? The image quality, dynamic range, handling, weather-
street shooting. proofing and build, is superlative, and it easily belies the
Lens: DA 645 55mm f/2.8
excellent value-for-money price tag in India.
Exposure: 1/60sec at f/8,
ISO 25,600 Value for money
Better PhotograPhy ja n ua ry 2 0 1 5
te st

DED
MMEN
RECO

Canon EOS 7D Mark II

Updating a Legend
82

Ambarin Afsar reviews the Canon EOS 7D Mark II, the long due update of
the classic EOS 7D, and finds out whether it is worthy enough of its history.

F
ive years is a long time in the making Features
for an update of a agship APS-C While Nikons idea seems to be encouraging
camera. And when the successor high-end APS-C users on to full frame
finally arrives, it has big boots to cameras, Canons strategy has always
fill, especially when it is the Canon been to offer a range of options. Proving
EOS 7Ds boots were talking of. To give you this is the feature set of the 7D Mark II.
some perspective, the 7D wasnt just Canons The 20.2MP Dual-Pixel AF CMOS sensor
Weightage oF first high-end pro APS-C DSLR, it was also is a variant of the design first seen in the
PaRameteRs undoubtedly its best. The 7D brought dual 70D. The dual Digic 6 processors make a
DIGIC4 image processor, a first for any continuous frame of 10fps possible and
5% 15% EOS camera outside of the professional 1D pack in more power than the full frame
15% series, it also featured pro-grade autofocus 1D X. The 7D also has 65 AF points, all of
in an APS-C body. It was also one of the first them cross-type, and a 1,50,000-pixel RGB
20% 45%
DSLRs to feature 1080p video, a feature that and infrared metering sensor. These two
is now commonplace. The 7D also had a combine to give you the Intelligent Tracking
whopping buffer depth of 130 JPEGs and 25 and Recognition (iTR) system similar to the
Features
Performance RAW files. EOS 1D X. In fact, the new metering sensor
Build Quality But, a lot has changed this last half even improves on those in the 5D Mark III
ergonomics decade, not just for Canon, but for imaging and 1DX, which offer 1,00,000 pixels and
Warranty & technology in general. But does the upgrade lack infrared metering. While it is exciting
support
reect this? to see technology filter down like this, it is

Better PHOtOgraPHy ja n ua ry 2 0 1 5
test

confusing why Canon left out the 1D Xs low light compared to both these cameras.
ability to link spot metering to the selected Basically, this makes for a more robust
AF point. If theyre giving the 7D Mark II AF system.
broad advantages, why not the finer details? It also includes orientation-sensitive AF
Coming back to the iTR focus tracking point selection, allowing photographers to
system, it has the potential to aid not just configure AF points depending on whether
sports photography, but can also deal with theyre shooting in the landscape or
focus shift created by reframing or by portrait format, which can be invaluable for
subject movement. portraitists and wedding photographers.
Also, the 7D Mark II has more cross-type But the biggest autofocus upgrade,
AF points than the 61-point, 41-cross-type perhaps, is the Dual Pixel CMOS AF sensor
systems of the 1D X and the 5D Mark III. which provides fast, smooth Live View
Besides this, the 7D Mark II features a centre focusing. This means big things for video
AF point capable of high-precision, dual and stills. The 7D used contrast-detect AF,
cross-type focusing with f/2.8 and faster which meant that it was slow while focusing Whats in the box
lenses. Additionally, the centre AF point on fast-moving subjects in Live View, and Canon EOS 7D
the camera records is capable of focusing with lenses as slow video recording required manual focusing. Mark II body
a good amount of as f/8, as well as down to -3EV, which was The 7D Mark II has the same fast and Battery
information in shadow Charger
areas, in a strongly only possible on the 5D Mark III and the smooth video autofocus offered by the 70D.
USB cable
backlit situation. 1D-series (the 7D could only focus down In fact, the 7D Mark II improves on this by Body cap
Working on the RaW files to f/5.6). This means that the 7D Mark II offering the ability to adjust Movie Servo AF Camera strap
can help you recover will be an easy upgrade for supertelephoto speed and senstivity. You can customise the User guide
significant detail. with software
exposure: 1/250sec at f/10 and teleconverter 7D shooters, and that speed of focus transitions between subjects,
Camera manual
(ISO 100) the centre point offers a 1EV advantage in as well as how quickly the AF system
83

All photographs by Ambarin Afsar

aung ua
ja u stry2 02 01 31 5 Better PhotograPhy
te st

Test Shots

Extremely Fast Burst Shooting Punchy Colours and a Fairly Good Metering System
It allows you to shoot at 10fps, which is just about 1fps below the pro Nikon D4s 11fps. At 0EV and in the Program-shift mode, I just relied on what the cameras metering
Add to this the cameras phenomenal buffer and you have high-speed magic. told me. For punchier colours, I just shifted to the Portrait picture style.

aLso LooK FoR refocuses on different subjects. Another big AF system, why is there no touchscreen
feature is the addition of AF Lock, which capability? Instead of jogging the joystick,
Sony Alpha A77M2
was previously only found in Canons simply tapping on the screen to focus on
Samsung NX1
Nikon D7100 cinema line of cameras like the C100. The your subject during video, and then letting P Lu s
Pentax K-3 mode allows you to move seamlessly from the AF system take over would be such a
continuous video AF to locked focus, and breeze. While were at it, why are there no Flicker detection
back to continuous AF, all during one clip. inbuilt WiFi-NFC capabilities and 4k video? matches cycle
of lighting
The possibilities offered by this option Headphone jack
84 are amazing. handling Dual slots for SD
Now, what the 7D Mark II lacks in terms of The 7D Mark II is built like a tank, and and CF cards
other upgrades is just about a few things that Canon says that it is four times more Inbuilt GPS
should have seemed obvious to Canonan weathersealed than the 7D. It sure handled minus
articulated LCD, especially considering the quite a few knocks, felt as solid and heavy
sports, action and wildlife-oriented target as one of the newer full frame camera No focus peaking
audience of this camera. Also, considering bodies. It sure handled quite a few knocks Spot metering not
linked to aF
the wealth of AF options and a sophisticated in extremely crowded places. My only gripe

eRgonomics
Front top Rear
Joystick and
self-timer lamp, thumb switch
no aF-assist beam mono mic
aeL lock
comfortable
grip Dial lock customisable
multi-Fn button

button to give your


Quick menu button
images star ratings
DoF preview Lens aF area
button hot shoe button
From the front, the 7D Mark II looks much like its A lock has been added to the mode dial, and a small The button layout is almost identical to the 5D Mark III ,
predecessor, with the most prominent change being protrusion in front of the hotshoe indicates a GPS except for the thumb switch around the joystick. You can
the large repositioned DOF preview button that is a lot module. Canon has also removed the Creative Auto assign this button to toggle between AF areas, freeing
easier to reach now, especially when using large lenses. program mode from the mode dial. The M-Fn button up the M-Fn button. The joystick can be set to switch
Its magnesium alloy body is also weathersealed can be assigned to functions under Custom Controls. between AF points, thus making for fast AF operations.

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s P ec i F i cat i o n s Noise Test


Model name Canon EOS 7D Mark II

MrP Rs. 1,28,795 (Body only)


Rs. 1,50,795 (with an 18135mm
f/3.5-5.6 IS STM lens) portrait. In all other situations, the autofocus
Rs. 1,72,795 (with a 1585mm
f3.5-5.6 IS USM lens) performed admirably well. Once I had the
customisation of the thumb switch and iso 6400
Effective pixels 20.2MP, 5472 x 3648
joystick for AF modes and AF points down
sensor size, type 22.4 x 15mm, CMOS
pat, then focusing was fairly easy. The iTR
Aspect ratio (w:h) 3:2 / 16:9
system does a great job at identifying faces
Focusing type, modes Contrast-detection AF system or even user-defined AF regions, but fails to
(Face+Tracking, FlexiZone-Multi,
FlexiZone-Single), One-Shot track them fast enough. Fast is also relative
AF, AI Servo AF, AI Focus AF, to the speed of the photographer and the
Manual focus subject. Personally, I found it a little laggy iso 12,800
aF points 65 cross-type while tracking.
Focal length multiplier 1.4x The sensor is not that large an
Metering Evaluative, Partial, Spot, improvement from the 7D and not a reason
Center-weighted average for 7D users to upgrade. However, what
Shutterspeed range 30sec1/8000sec you do get is better processed JPEG files.
Exp. compensation -/+3 EV (at 1/3 EV steps) I found the dynamic range to be decent, with
IsO Auto, 16051200 the ability to open up underexposed areas iso 25,600
White Balance Auto WB, 6 Presets, Custom to a significant extent. But, it isnt exactly
Drive modes Single, High-speed continuous, class-leading performance. Perhaps, in all
Low-speed continuous, Silent the hullabaloo about autofocus and speed,
single, Silent continuou, 10sec
Canon forgot to pay attention to bringing
self-timer/remote control, 2sec
self-timer/remote control image quality up to par as well.
Built-in flash Pop-up, 11m at ISO 100
conclusion iso 51,200
Flash modes E-TTL II, Manual, wireless slave
flash supported via built-in flash Priced at Rs. 1,28,795 for the body only, The 7D Mark II offers very little noise upto ISO 1600, 85
LCD 3-inch, 1.04 million dots the 7D Mark II is a good option only if and even ISO 3200 in some cases. It is only when
you go beyond this that the limitations of an APS-C
Viewfinder Yes you have a Canon system and wish to
sensor strike you. With noise reduction switched to
Image stabilisation No upgrade from the 7D. It is clear that this low, the camera does a fairly good job of processing
camera is all about speed and autofocus. JPEGs. There is some luminance noise, but I prefer
storage types CF, SD, SDHC, SDXC
But, the competitive landscape is a whole it over clumps of colour noise.
Wireless No
lot different from five years ago. And for
Video Yes, 1920 x 1080 (59.94, 50.
29.97, 25, 24, 23.98 fps), 1280
x 720 (59.94, 50, 29.97, 25 fps),
people looking for upgrades in every area,
the 7D Mark II is going to disappoint.
FINALRATINGS
640 x 480 (29.97, 25 fps) Features 13/15
10fps, fast 65-point cross-type AF sensor,
Battery LP-E6N lithium-ion the camera does headphone jack, no WiFi, no 4k video
Dimensions, Weight 149 x 112 x 78mm, 910g a great job of
focusing in low Performance 40/45
Good sensor but not state of the art, fast
light situations, autofocus but tracking needs improvement
would be with the extensive menu system. given the -3eV
Unless you spend a lot of time exploring it, sensitivity of the build Quality 19/20
centre aF point. Magnesium alloy, weathersealed body
you are not likely to discover a wealth of AF
finetuning adjustments. exposure: 1/80sec ergonomics 12/15
at f/5 (ISO 6400) Good grip, customisability, no touchscreen,
The good part about the 7D Mark II is complicated menu layout
the sheer number of customisable buttons
Warranty & support 4/5
and dials on the camera. You can assign the Excellent service network across the country
large rear dial to cycle through just about

oVeRaLL 88%
any variable, from AF points and modes to
shutterspeeds, a feature that is lacking in
its competitors.
Who should buy it? Those looking to shoot sports,
action, wildlife or looking to upgrade their system.
Performance
I was primarily testing the 7D Mark II Why? It is a pretty high-speed pro-grade APS-C body. But, if
with the 18135mm f/3.5-5.6 IS STM lens. image quality and noise performance are what youre looking
for, then there are full frames available at this price point.
And in terms of autofocus, there was just
one instance that I found it huntingwhen Value for money
I zoomed into 135mm from 18mm for a

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88

Nikon 1 V3

Small Sharpshooter
The Nikon 1 series has seen some standout mirrorless cameras. Does the
new Nikon 1 V3 continue its predecessors legacy? Supriya Joshi finds out.

H
ow do you follow up an act that 18.4MP. A new Expeed 4A processor allows
has already set a pretty high the camera to shoot 20fps RAW images
standard? Either you one up the in full-time continuous AF with subject
WEigHTAgE oF former, or produce something tracking. Not only that, like the V1, you can
PArAMETErs which is at par with it. Thats the also shoot RAW images at a speedy 60fps,
challenge set upon the Nikon 1 V3, the with the focus locked on the first frame.
5% predecessor of the Nikon 1 V2, which was The V3 uses a hybrid AF system, which
15% 30% never brought out in India. Feature-packed combines 171 contrast and 105 phase
and compact, the V3 promised to be fun. detection areas, with the latter covering
20%
30% almost 100% of the frame. The V2, in
Features comparison, had 135 contrast and 73 phase
Like the V2, the V3 also features a 1-inch detection areas. The maximum sensitivity
Features
Performance CX sensor, but with no low-pass filter. has also been increased from ISO 6400 to
Build Quality In laymans terms, this means that the ISO 12,800.
ergonomics camera should be able to produce more An important feature that the V3 loses out
Warranty & detail and sharpness. The sensor has also on is the electronic viewfinder that came to
support
been bumped up from 14.2MP in the V2 to be a standard in the Nikon 1 V series. And its

Better PhotograPhy ja n ua ry 2 0 1 5
test

quite a significant loss, indeed. In their effort camera. However, the body is made from Downloading
to make a more compact and pocketable magnesium alloy, so you are certainly not
camera, Nikon has deprived users of a very dealing with a lightweight.
the Wireless
important feature. Its not all hopeless, The new additions to the V3 are the twin Mobile Utility
however. You can shell out an additional command dials, one of which sits next to app on your
sum and buy a separate viewfinder, which the lens in front of the camera. This system cellphone allows
sits on the accesory port. especially comes in handy while using
The video features of the V3 include the Manual mode, as each dial controls
you to wirelessly
1080/60p Full HD. There is also the option the aperture and shutterspeed settings connect to the
to capture slow motion videos at 1200fps. respectively. The mode dial on the back camera and
The V3 comes with the 1030mm f/3.5- of the camera also acts as an Fn button, shoot images
5.6 kit lens. However, because of the 2.7x if pressed. The handgrip is quite well-built
via the phone.
crop factor, it gives a roughly 2780mm and ergonomic.
field of view, in 35mm parlance. The other Another deviancy found in the V3 is You can be as
features of the camera include in-built that Nikon has switched the storage system discreet as
WiFi for image transfer and shooting, from SD cards to microSD cards. This left you desire!
several automatic modes and a 3-inch 1037k me confused. For a camera offering such
dots touchscreen LCD screen, which tilts high frame rates, at least a UHS 1 card is
up about 170 degrees and down about required. Strangely, the card provided
87 degrees. with the camera was a Class 6 one, which
The AF speed is
blazing fast. You wont simply was not good enough. I shot several
miss a crucial moment Handling moments at 60fps, and it took forever to
because of it. The dimensions of the V3 more or less finish reading. I could still continue to
Exposure: 1/320sec at f/5
(ISO 800) resemble that of a regular compact make images while the card buffered, but if 89

All photographs by Supriya Joshi

ja n ua ry 2 0 1 5 Better PhotograPhy
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Test shots

Plenty of Scope for Recovery Shooting from the Hip


The JPGs off the camera produced good colour and skin tones. During RAW The tilting LCD screen meant that I did not have to reposition myself. I simply
processing, a lot of highlights and shadow recovery was possible. lowered the camera and pointed the screen up to make my frame.

I switched off the camera during this time, blazing fast 20fps and 60fps burst rates,
P lU s
it would only switch on after it finished strangely, you can only record 40 frames in
60fps RAW shooting buffering. The tilting screen came in handy RAW as well as the JPG mode. Ideally, the
Speedy AF while framing low or high angle shots, but camera should allow for more frames to
Useful tilting screen I wished it tilted the whole 180 degrees, just be captured in the JPG mode. The battery
WiFi connectivity
to complete the whole selfie experience. life was also quite good. The camera lasted
MinUs the entire duration of continuos shooting
Performance during the wedding day, with more than
Lack of EVF
Uses microSD card One of the shooting situations I put the V3 enough to spare.
90 Long buffer speeds through was to shoot a very important day, Coupled with the FT1 adapter, you
my friends wedding. Of course, I had the can use practically any F mount lens with
Nikon D610 as my primary camera, but I the V3 for added versatility. The fast AF
decided to use the V3 as my backup camera, speed and the 2.7x longer zoom range
and I ended up using it quite a bit. would, on paper, make the perfect kit for a
First of all, the V3 is a fast camera, wildlife photographer. We tested out this
indeed. The AF speed was very quick and theory as well and mounted the Nikkor 70 Also looK For
the accuracy was almost always on point. 300mm f/4.5-5.6 on the V3. Sadly, the theory
There was barely any hunting, even in low only looks good on paper. Not providing an Sony Alpha A6000
Sony RX100 III
light situations. While the camera gives in-built EVF is a setback to those who would
ErgonoMics
Front Top rear
Pop up Power / shutter
Flash
camera strap flash Power zoom release button
pop-up
eyelet lens switch Menu button
command dial Mode dial

lens Tilting Four-way Quick Menu


Textured body, Kit lens release Accessory port touchscreen controller button
handgrip Video record
button
button
From the front, the V3 looks extremely similar to Dont be fooled by the section of the camera body The back features the four way directional pad and
a compact camera. The magnesium alloy body which looks like a hot shoe. It will only accept scroll wheel to control various settings. There are two Fn
feels sturdy, yet the camera is quite pocketable. proprietary accesories like the optional viewfinder. buttons which are customisable, and an F button, which
The texturised grip is very helpful as well. Speedlights and remote triggers cant be used. brings up a quick menu for key settings.

Better PhotograPhy ja n ua ry 2 0 1 5
test

s P Ec i F i cAT i o n s

Model name Nikon 1 V3 Noise Test


MrP Rs. 43,950 (with 1030mm lens)
Effective pixels 18.4MP, 5232 x 3488
seriously consider using the V3 exclusively
sensor size, type 13.2 x 8.8mm, CMOS for wildlife photography. It was extremely
Aspect ratio (w:h) 3:2 / 16:9 impractical on field and near impossible
Focusing type, modes Contrast Detect, to use without a tripod. Even with the EVF
Phase Detect, Multi-area,
and triod, you would have to be extremely iso 1600
Center, Selective single-point,
Tracking, Single, Continuous, skilled or patient to make this system work
Touch, Face Detection, for you. Even if you were to invest in the
Live View
additional EVF, we also found that using
aF points 171
the FT1 adapter only allowed you to use
Focal length multiplier 2.7x center point focusing, further adding to the
Metering Multi, Center-weighted, Spot shooting problems. iso 3200
Shutterspeed range 30sec1/16000sec On the other hand, the image quality
Exp. compensation -/+3 EV (at 1/3 EV steps) provided by the camera is quite good.
ISO Auto, 16012800 Straight from the camera, the colours in the
White Balance Auto WB, 6 Presets, Custom JPGs are vibrant. There was a lot of scope of
White Balance highlight and shadow recovey in the RAW
Drive modes Single frame, Continuous, Self- files as well.
timer, Delayed remote, Quick The images are quite usable up to ISO iso 6400
response remote, Interval timer
1600, after which the quality steadily
Built-in flash Pop-up, 5m at ISO 100 The sensor of the V3 is pretty good for its size.
drops. If youre not intending to print The sharpness up to ISO 1600 is quite good,
Flash modes Fill-flash, fill-flash w/slow sync,
them, you can push the ISO to 3200 in low but compression artefacts and loss of detail
rear curtain sync, rear curtain
light situations. steadily enters the frame soon after, but images
sync w/slow sync, redeye
reduction, redeye reduction w/ at ISO 3200 are still usable for online uploads.
slow sync RAW images have plenty of scope pull out
conclusion shadow and highlight details and control over
LCD 3-inch tilting touchscreen, The bottomline is, the V3 is a good white balance and noise reduction. The exclusion 91
10,37,000 dot of the anti-aliasing filter certainly bumped up the
camera, with the best AF and frame rate
Viewfinder None image quality, compared to its predecessors.
of its class. For photographers stepping
Image stabilisation No
up from cellphone and compact camera
storage types microSD/SDHC/SDXC photography, the V3 is a good choice.
Wireless Buit-in with smartphone app for Professional photographers for whom
image transfer and shooting
speed is paramount should also consider
Video Yes, 1920 x 1080 (60p, 30p),
this camera as their secondary body.
High speed video at 120, 400
and 1200fps Videographers will also enjoy using FINALRATINGS
Battery EN-EL20a Lithium ion the V3 for its good video quality as well Features 25/30
Dimensions, Weight 111 x 65 x 33mm, 381g as for making unique slow-mo vidoes. RAW capture at 60fps, no EVF, Full HD video,
100% AF sensor coverage
Theres something for everyone!
Performance 25/30
Great quality in RAW, speedy AF, good
battery life

Build Quality 18/20


Sturdy body with helpful tilting LCD screen

Ergonomics 14/15
Efficient dual command dials,
superior handgrip

Warranty & support 4/5


Two-year warranty, wide service facilities

oVErAll 86%
Who should buy it? Photographers for whom speed
i shot this image via my is paramount and those graduating from cellphones.
phone using the Wireless
Mobile Utility app. Why? No other camera in its category offers 60fps RAW
The camera itself looks shooting, which is a huge advantage. The missing EVF is
unassuming, and shooting unfortunate. It could have made for a very capable kit.
via the app allowed for
more discretion. Value for Money

ja n ua ry 2 0 1 5 Better PhotograPhy
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GoPro Hero4 Black

92
The Hero Complex
Besides creating an intense desire to jump out of airplanes, Aditya Nair finds
out what the GoPro Hero4 Black has to offer us mere mortals.

T
he rst thing that hits you when you be surprised by how often stray shadows, If you intend on
pick up the GoPro is an insane loss ngers, even entire body parts show up.
using the fast
of control. I dont mean that you start The biggest improvement to the Hero4
jumping off rooftops, sticking the Black is in the video frame rates, including frame rates, the
GoPro in peoples face, or dropping it in 4k at 30fps. With Full HD and HD, you can high bitrates or
washing machines. That comes later. If you go as high as 120fps for those fantastic slow 4k capabilities
are a someone who likes even a smidgen of motion action shots. There is also a WVGA
offered by the
control, for example, over composition or (768 x 480px) mode that shoots at 240fps.
exposure, you are in for a surprise. Besides this, the camera retains its ability
Hero4 Black,
to shoot 12MP images. It also has the same dont forget to
Features Timelapse and Continuous Shooting (up to invest in a fast
During 1995, the idea of Calm Technology 30fps) modes as the Hero 3+ Black. microSD card.
WEIGHTAGE OF was formulated. It was dened roughly Welcome additions are the Night Photo
PARAMETERS by these parameters: Technology should and Night Lapse modes which improve
require the least of our attention; it should the GoPros oft-lamented low light abilities.
5% 30% easily solve a problem; while remaining These modes let you shoot at, and control WHATS IN THE BOX
15% in the periphery of user attention. slow shutterspeeds from 2sec30sec. In the
Hero4 Black
Basically, Mark Weiser and John Seely Night Lapse mode, you can set the interval
Standard housing
20% 30% Brown were conceptualising what the times between 0.5sec and 60sec. Skeleton Door
GoPro ultimately did for photography. Curved and Flat
A three-button system is all you need Handling Adhesive mounts
Features Remote charger
to control its settings. But, once the Numerous accessories let you mount the Lithium-ion battery
Performance
Build Quality GoPro starts recording, your job as a GoPro in every imaginable way, including USB Cables
Ergonomics photographer is quickly reduced to a Fetch mount, for dogs! And where there Quick Release
Warranty & avoiding the its ultra-wide Field of View (the is no mount, you have the at and curved Buckle
Support 3-Way Pivot Arm
lens is equivalent to about 15mm). You will adhesive strips.

BETTER PHOTOGRAPHY JA N UA RY 2 0 1 5
t e st

Theres an App for It!


The GoPros lack of an
LCD or viewfinder that lets
you compose your shots
has always been an issue.
The solution?
The GoPro 3+ The beauty of the GoPro is that it can be
A WiFi-enabled app that
as discreet or attention grabbing as you want
Black came with it to be. You have the option to turn off all
turns your smartphone into
an LCD! There is quite a bit of
a WiFi-enabled LEDs making this tiny camera a voyeurs lag to deal with, which makes
it ineffective for shooting.
Remote Control dream. Conversely, if it is attention that
It is still great for framing
that was capable you seek, mount it on your head and walk your shots especially, when
around capturing equal parts amusement the camera is perched at
of triggering and bewilderment of those around you. awkward angles.
multiple GoPros. Then there is the housingthe reason
Additionally, you can change
settings far more easily.
With the Hero4 GoPro has become genre-synonymous Since it can be used to import
Black, you need with adrenaline driven sports. The standard media from the GoPro, I found
it to be quite handy when I
housing remains waterproof (up to 40m),
to purchase it wanted to confirm a shot.
dustproof and shockproof.
as a separate Besides a design change in the Hero4s
accessory that that make removing the battery easier, the makes it easier to identify the portion of the
costs Rs. 7080. overall dimensions of the camera remain clip you want to use, when editing.
the same, so it is still compatible with all Additionally, I wish that the tiny screen
older accessories. However, the battery itself on the front (from where you can change
is completely new, thus making your older settings) was at least back-lit. It would have
spare batteries defunct. The new battery meant better visibility and less fumbling
tops out at 1160mAh which is about 20mAh around. That said, the new menu design is a
The newly introduced lesser than the earlier version. While this lot easier to use.
QuikStart mode, lets is not a huge difference, the GoPros poor
you start shooting as
soon as the camera is
battery life has always been problematic. Performance
On the video front, pressing the Settings Since most cellphones today are f/2.2, 93
switched on, using a
predetermined mode. button tags that part as a HiLight. This some even faster, I was disappointed to

All photographs by Aditya Nair

Ja n ua ry 2 0 1 5 Better PhotograPhy
TEST

S P E C I F I CAT I O N S

Model name GoPro Hero4 Black


MOP Rs 43,900
Effective pixels 12MP
Max. resolution Stills 4000 x 3000px
On the video front, the Hero4 Black Video 3840 x 2160px
captures data up to 60Mbps, which serious Sensor size 1/2.3-inch
First introduced in
the Hero 3+, for video fanatics will welcome. The Superview Max. Aperture f/2.8 (Fixed)
video, Protune is now mode is pretty fun too. It takes the 4:3 aspect Camera Modes Single Photo, Burst mode,
available for images Timelapse, Night Lapse,
ratio and stretches it to 16:9, giving a wider
as well. Night Photo
FoV, for more immersive video.
Video Modes 4k up to 30fps,
Protune For a Bit More Control 2.7k up to 50fps
With Protune, you can change the metering, Conclusion 1440p up to 80fps
sharpness, white balance and exposure 1080p up to 120fps
Given the number of recently announced
compensation. It also lets you set an ISO limit (upto 960p up to 120fps
800). Mostly, its advantage is that it improves the action cameras that are nipping at the 720p up to 120fps
image quality through its Colour function. This lets heels of GoPros market, I assumed that WVGA up to 240fps
you choose between a GoPro option, for images there would be a drop in the Hero4 ranges File format JPEG, MP4
created by the cameras default algorithms and
pricing. Thats not the case. Instead, GoPro Storage types microSD/microSDXC
Flat, for a more colour neutral look that is better
for postprocessing. The latter also captures a has upped its price and changed who its Dimensions 60 x 40 x 20 mm
bit more shadow and highlight detail, where the camera segments cater to. Weight (inc. housing) 152g
cameras dynamic range is otherwise poor. It would appear that the GoPro Hero4
Black (Rs. 43,900) is now being targeted at
nd that the lens still remains xed at f/2.8. video professionals. On the other hand, the
A faster lens would have been welcome and cheaper Hero4 Silver (Rs. 34,900) has all of
so would image stabilisation. There is also the newly added photo functions, which
visible fringing in the images. is basically Protune, but 4k is limited to a
P LU S
While Protune helps, there is no quirky 15fps and Full HD to 60fps. If you
signicant improvement in image quality, want the slow motion that only 120fps 60Mbps video
94 which is unfortunate. The image quality is delivers, you will have to drop the resolution bitrate
Protune for photos
acceptable in good light. However, the low to 720p. Additionally, the Silver, has another
light quality left me seriously wanting. very important feature, an inbuilt LCD MINUS
Additionally, instead of letting me set for viewing images and changing settings,
an ISO limit (100800 for stills), I wish which is a rst for GoPro. Weak battery life
Still overheats
the camera let me choose the ISO. Often, For me, the Hero4 is a good video upgrade
despite choosing a limit of ISO 800,
the camera shot images at lower ISOs
but it isnt signicant enough, in terms of
image quality. That said, it still remains the
FINALRATINGS
(sometimes even ISO 100) resulting in best action camera out there. However, at
Features 27/30
Excellent video frame rates, an average f/2.8
slower shutterspeeds and completely least, from a photography standpoint, the lens, new night shooting modes, Superview
blurring all the action. competition is catching up fast. Performance 23/30
Good metering, average image quality, poor in
low light, Auto WB isnt always accurate
Shooting with this camera
is like watching sausages Build Quality 19/20
being made. Its messy. Exceptional, waterproof up to 40m,
The number of junk shockproof and dustproof
images you end up with Ergonomics 13/15
is incredible. Compact and lightweight, three function
buttons, updated menu system

Warranty & Support 2/5


One year immediate replacement warranty,
no camera service centres.

OVERALL 84%
Who should buy it? Adventurists and extreme
sports photographers whose primary goal is video.

Why? Some great video features, plus a legacy lineup of


accessories make it the best go-to action camera for anyone
looking to add to their video arsenal.

Value for Money

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Olympus M.ZUIKO Digital ED 40-150mm f/2.8 PRO

Brilliance Personified
Shridhar Kunte takes a close look at the Olympus 40 -150 mm/2.8 PRO,
the companys attempt at serious optics, to find out what it has to offer.
96

D
uring the last couple of visits In 35mm parlance, this lens offers an
P LU S
to the Olympus booth at the extremely versatile focal length of 80mm to
international trade shows, we 300mm, along with an excellent constant Image quality
kept hearing about the efforts maximum aperture of f/2.8. Build quality
being made to strengthen their There were two features that impressed Lens hood design
lens line-up. We saw a big step in that me at the very first glance. The first is a MINUS
direction with the new 40-150 mm f/2.8 constant close focus distance of 0.7metre
PRO, during the Photokina 2014 show. (2.3 feet) at all focal lengths. The maximum Price
Weight
This lens is an ideal companion for magnification ratio is 1:2.3.
the Olympus OM-D E-M5 and OM-D The second is the lenshood design.
E-M1 cameras. Together with this lens, Regular lenshoods need to be removed
the cameras will offer resistance against and reversed back onto the lens before the
dust and moisture, and work in sub zero lens is packed into a bag. In the case of the
temperatures as well. 40-150, a simple twist allows it to collapse
over the lens, making it easier and quicker.
Features It becomes particularly useful while using a
WEIGHTAGE OF The premium quality of the metal lens is circular polarizer. Simply retract, adjust the
PARAMETERS easily appreciable when one picks it up for polariser, and then push the hood forward
the first time. It boasts of the worlds first before you shoot.
5%
20%
Dual VCM (Voice Coil Motor) autofocus
S P E C I F I CAT I O N S
There will always
15% mechanism. This motor drives the AF at
be a healthy level
fast speeds and is noiseless. This motor is
25%
35%
similar in construction to the motors used
Model name Olympus 40-150mm f/2.8 PRO of interest for a
MRP Rs. 1,05,000
for image stabilisation. practical zoom
Lens construction 16 elements/10 groups
Features
The lens contains 16 elements arranged
Max. magnication 0.42X
range with pro
Performance in 10 groups, which includes Olympus
Diaphragm blades 9 quality optics.
Build Quality ZERO-coated HD, ED, EDA, and for the first
Ergonomics time in a M.ZUIKO lens, a Super EDA glass
Filter diameter 77mm This is a good
Warranty & element. Super EDA glass keeps chromatic Dimensions 79.4mm x 160mm approach to take
Support
aberration, ghosting and flare to a minimum. Weight 880gm for any company.
BETTER PHOTOGRAPHY JA N UA RY 2 0 1 5
The lens exhibits excellent
sharpness, and colour
contrast wide open, and
it only improves when

Shridhar Kunte
stopped down to
mid-aperture ranges.
Exposure: 1/400 sec at f/6.3
(ISO 200)

Handling stop down. The focusing speed, even 97


I tried this lens on both the OM-D E-M1 in low light is fast, and the focusing was
and the E-P3. Using this lens necessitates spot on. Even at 100%, images display
an electronic viewfinder, to steady the lens plenty of details with no trace of colour
by holding it up, against the eye. The tripod fringing. This performance was consistent
collar rotates and can be fixed to any throughout the entire focal length.
position on the barrel, for easy rotation on The special elements did wonderful job
as tripod, from the horizontal to the vertical in correcting chromatic aberration. I noticed
shooting positions. It also helps you shoot
handheld without the collar getting in
the slightest hints of it only in images shot
against the light. Light falloff is barely
FINALRATINGS
the way. Once you mount the lens on the noticeable wide open, and by f/4, there is Features 18/20
Fast focusing speed, dual VCM motors,
camera, the collar cannot be removed. zero trace of it. Geometrical distortion is innovative lenshood, tripod collar
The lens is perfectly sealed against nonexistent in this lens. Performance 34/35
the elements with seals at 11 different This lens has MSC (Movie & Still Sharpness, contrast, speed
locations. By default, the L-Fn switch Compatible) tag and while shooting video Build Quality 24/25
on the lens barrel is set to stop focus. I found the lens was completely noise-free Metal construction, Weather sealing

This button can be very easily reached with during focusing. Ergonomics 13/15
left hand thumb, but as soon as you start Large and easy to grab zoom ring

shooting vertically, it gets tough to reach. Conclusion Warranty & Support 3/5
The zoom ring is large enough to grab The closest competition to this lens is the Replaceable in case of manufacturing defect
for 3 years
and operate. The focusing ring is ahead Panasonic 35-100mm f/2.8. In my opinion,

OVERALL 92%
of the zoom ring. Zoom as well as the the extra reach of the 40-150mm can prove
focusing action takes place internally very useful in many situations, such as
ensuring that the lens does not extend. sports, wildlife or portraiture. Despite the
The focus ring can be pulled back to switch weight, the 40-150mm handles very well. Who should buy it? Those who want an extremely
from AF to MF. Optically, the lens exceeded my expectation. versatile zoom with great performance for stills and video.
It is also superbly designed. The lens is
Why? The 40-150mm is designed extremely well, with an
Performance available at a MRP of Rs 1, 05,000, and is well overall performance that is difficult to match in a zoom
Lens balances well. The image sharpness worth the price. You can also buy a kit with of this range.

even with the wide open aperture (f/2.8) an extremely useful 1.4x teleconverter by
is remarkable. And it improves as you spending an additional 14,000/- rupees.
Value for Money Raj Lalwani

JA N UA RY 2 0 1 5 BETTER PHOTOGRAPHY
mi cr o test

Sirui N-2204X Carbon Fiber Tripod with K-20X Ball Head Sony 64GB UHS-I SDXC Memory Card (Class 10/U3)

Dependable and Sturdy The 4k Video Star


Natasha Desai discovers how unshakable the Ambarin Afsar tests the Sony 64GB Class 10
carbon fiber strength of the Sirui N-2204X is. card and finds out that it is pretty fast indeed.

T W
he Sirui N-220X tripod is extremely ith technology that can
S p e c i f i cat i o n S S p e c i f i cat i o n S
light to carry. Staying true to provide 4k video in DSLRs,
its carbon fiber construction, Product Name: there is a need for cards Product Name:
travelling photographers will find Sirui N-2204X that offer read as well Sony 64GB UHS-I
Carbon Fiber Tripod SDXC Memory Card
this to be a handy addition to their as write speeds that can
MRP: Rs. 42850 MRP: Rs. 9942
kit. The tripod comes in a padded bag that is Load Capacity: 15kg keep up. Sonys 64GB UHS-1 Class 10 64GB Storage
pleasantly light. Max Height: SDXC memory card offers a maximum Capacity
It comes with a load capacity of 15kg, 162.5cm read speed of 95MB/s and a maximum Class 10 / UHS-I /
Max Height without Speed Class U3
which is good for larger DSLRs and write speed of 90MB/s. The card is also
column extended: Max. Read Speed: 95
heavy telephoto lenses. The tripod is 136cm water, dust and X-ray proof, resistant MB/s
constructed of eight layers of carbon fiber Min Height: 14.5cm to UV light, magnets and static, and is Max. Write Speed:
making the overall build extremely sturdy. Retracted Height: also capable of withstanding extreme 90 MB/s
54cm Built-in Write
For additional balance, there is a tripod Folded Length: temperatures. Users can also download Protect Switch
hook for a weight bag. The split-center 47cm a file rescue software that can help in
column is effective and ideal for low angle Weight: 1.5kg case of accidental damage or deletion of
photographs. RAWs, JPEGs and video.
98 When fully extended, the legs are I tested the card with the Canon
sturdy and come with a three position EOS 7D Mark II, a camera that offers a
angle lock, ensuring that there is frame rate of 10fps. The card performed
no movement. The bottommost leg perfectly well when I was shooting in the
sections have markings on them. The Burst mode, and I had no trouble writing
legs extend quickly and the feet of the 50 consecutive RAW + Fine JPEGs.
tripod have retractable steel spikes that But, the camera also has a very large
are handy when shooting outdoors. buffer, and so, all in all, my experience
When transporting, the legs fold up to with the card was very smooth.
180 with the ball head intact. I found this I would recommend this card to anyone
especially useful as I could quickly pack looking to shoot video intensively, or
the tripod up without have to fiddle for for anyone requiring fast frame rates.
too long. However, SanDisk has a 64GB card with
Yet another feature of the the same read/write speeds and other
Sirui N-220X is that one of the legs specifications, available for about one
unscrews to convert into a monopod. thousand rupees lesser.
In addition, the center column can
be attached to it with the ball head for
more height.
The K-20X ball head that came with
the tripod has three adjustment knobs
on it. The ball head lets you rotate the
camera 360 on the tripod and the pan
Product source:
and tilt motion of the ball head is very
Foto Centre Trading
smooth. The locking system keeps the
Private Limited,
camera firmly in position and comes with
Tel: +91 22 22700909 Product source:
markings on it.
/ 22701010 Sony India
Overall, my experience with the tripod
was very good. It inspires confidence and is R at i n g R at i n g
packed with features and convenience and
is a good buy at its price point.

Better PhotograPhy ja n ua ry 2 0 1 5
Cellphone

POETIC STORYTELLING
Alina Rudya on how the Chernobyl disaster continues to
shape her vision and her life
OnePlus One: Hits all the right notes
A showcase of the best travel photographs in Readers Images
Editorial
Clean slates are Where the Wind Goes to Come Back
not such a bad
idea, afterall. This is a Brazilian phrase I learned from a Sebastio Salgado interview. Travelling to the
Antartic and nearby regions, Salgado found vast flocks of giant albatrosses off the Falkland
Islands. Islands at the end of the world, he called them. Or as we say in Brazil, where the
wind goes to come back. I found it to be such a lovely phrase. It means that all things are
cyclical, that nothing comes to an end, it just regenerates. The tide has to ebb in order to
flow again, and similarly, our style, our vision, have to endure highs and lows, they need
to be subjected to some soul-searching, some abject disenchantment, disillusionment or simply, boredom
and emptiness in order to achieve absolute satisfaction, joy and happiness. The phrase tells us that clean
slates, after all, are not such a bad idea. After all, what is more inviting than an empty page?
Heres to new journeys to the end of the world and back.

Ambarin Afsar
ambarin.afsar@betterphotography.in / Instagram: @batsaboutcats

Untitled 101
by Arati Kumar Rao
On 9 December
2014, a cargo ship
rammed an oil tanker
in the Bangladeshi
Sundarbans. Arati
Kumar Rao documents
the extent of the
damage caused to
natural and human life.
Find out more in our
next issue.

Amit Mehra speaks about


the influence of Nadav
Kander and Raghubir Singh
on his work, along with
the importance of having
varied influencers
Turn to page 105

Alina Rudya on how


surviving the Chernobyl
disaster continues to shape
her life
Poetic Storytelling
Turn to page 106

Cover photograph by
Alina Rudya
Arati Kumar Rao

The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new


landscapes, but in having new eyes.
mArCel ProUst
Marcel Proust was a French novelist, critic and essayist, and is also considered to be one of the greatest authors of all
time. He is best known for his monumental novel In Search of Lost Time, published in seven parts.

ja n ua ry 2 0 1 5 Better PhotograPhy
test

OnePlus One 64GB Sandstone Black

There Can
Only Be One
Since its launch, the OnePlus One has become
the most raved about phone in the market.
Aditya Nair finds out why.

G
iven that I was pretty confident of the phablet and wanna-be-a-phablet
that the Xiaomi Mi3 would be my variety. In my opinion, a 4.7 to 5-inch screen
favourite phone of the year, the is ideal for smartphones and I wish that was
OnePlus One came as a welcome the case with the One.
102 surprise. Mostly because Xiaomi Other similar features include a 13MP rear
has quickly grown to become the worlds camera, f/2 lens, 1/3.06-inch sensor, 4k video
third largest selling phone manufacturer recording and the ability to shoot RAW.
and the hipster in me likes exclusivity. However, it lacks the 50MP interpolation
Additionally, unlike Xiaomi, the OnePlus mode of the Oppo Fine 7a.
cant be accused of blatantly ripping off The phone also shoots Full HD video at
the iPhones UI. What the OnePlus One 60fps and HD video up to 120fps and the
is extremely similar to, however, is the ability to change video, including H.264 and
Oppo Find 7a. Both, in terms of looks and MPEG-4 and audio codecs.
The Burst Mode
hardware specifications. You can change shooting modes by
lets you shoot up to
20 images, but not flicking the screen, in the native app.
while shooting RAW. A Plethora of Features You can also restrict how many modes The camera app
Additionally, the number Like the Find 7a, this phone has a 5.5-inch change, thus keeping only your favourites. lacks Exposure
of shots can only be Compensation, which is
Full HD IPS LCD screen that renders vibrant As a result of the Dual LED flash, I no
controlled through the troublesome given the
settings menu, before colours and beautifully contrasty images. longer fear cellphone flash photography. cameras tendency to
you shoot. However, I do dislike shooting with phones That said, there is room for improvement, overexpose images.
All Photographs by Aditya Nair

Better PhotograPhy ja n ua ry 2 0 1 5
test

103
especially, when you consider what the Its Achilles Heel The One captures a
iPhone flash is capable of. But, as a rule, The autofocus system was sluggish in good amount of detail in
the JPEGs that is easily
I think that cameraphone manufacturers daylight and slow at night. Additionally, the
recoverable when you
should stop making phones with a single camera stops to refocus before every shot need it.
LED flash. Dual or nothing! even if the subject is in focus.
The native camera app doesnt allow you
Shooting Experience to switch off the synthesised shutter sound,
Unlike, the Mi3, the OnePlus doesnt give which is always annoying.
you full control over shutterspeed within
the native camera app. Through the Slow The Verdict
shutterspeed option you can, however, While the hardware on the phone comes
control the range between 1/2sec and 8sec. close to many of higher end cameraphones
While the ISO is limited to 1600, I found today, that cant be said of the camera.
them to be useable. The image quality is This prevents me from calling this Rs. 21,999
pretty great when viewing RAWs. phone, the best phone today. However, it
However, since most apps still comes excitingly close.
dont process RAWs yet, the in-phone
JPEG quality still remains important.
AT A GlAnCE
SPeCifiCaTiOnS 13MP, f/2, 64GB inbuilt memory, 3GB RAM, Quadcore 2.5GHz processor,
Comparing the DNGs to the in-camera Corning Gorilla Glass 3, Dual LED flash, CyanogenMod 11S, Rs. 21,999
JPEGs leaves a lot to be desired. The images whaT we like Excellent hardware at a resonable price
are heavily processed for noise reduction whaT we diSlike Autofocus lag, Needs more exposure control
and overexposed by at least one stop, in
The six lens average contrast situations, suggesting that
why Buy iT? Great specs, sleek design and a fantastic video/stills combo at an
unbeatable price
module used by the JPEG engine is not up to speed. FInAl RATInGS 84%
the OnePlus That said, this is the first RAW capable CaMeRa feaTuReS Timelapse, can change shooting modes by flicking the screen 21/25
Android that I have tested. It remains to be
camera is pretty iMaGe QualiTy RAW, Good image quality, acceptable in low light 26/30
seen if others show such disparity between
effective at RAW and JPEG files. I should also point VideO QualiTy 4k video, Full HD at 60fps, 720p at 120fps 14/15
controlling flare out that the in-camera JPEGs are quite good handlinG Textured back cover makes it almost impossible to drop 12/15

and fringing. when compared to most other Androids. SPeed & ReSPOnSiVeneSS No shutterlag, slow AF that needs to refocus 11/15

ja n ua ry 2 0 1 5 Better PhotograPhy
test

Xiaomi Redmi Note

Worth Noting
Conchita Fernandes puts the Redmi Note to
test and finds out what the fuss surrounding
Xiaomi phones is all about.

T
I enjoyed he first thing that I look for in
a phone is its camera interface.
shooting with I prefer simplicity rather than
the phones having a cluttered interface with
voice recognition features that I know I am not
104
software. going to use. The Redmi Note fortunately I shot this photograph
did not disappoint in this aspect. in the evening. Since the
In three seconds, colours appeared a little

Conchita Fernandes
I was able The Dynamic Note muted on the phone,
I used the Snapseed
to compose Equipped with a 13MP rear camera, app to bring out the
bright colours of the
and shoot the Note was delightful to shoot with. inflated toy.
photographs. The images and colours on the screen
were crisp and vibrant, and the focusing never heated up, despite continuously
too performed quite well, under optimal shooting and editing images with it.
lighting conditions. However, in low light I would recommend the phone to those
there was a slight lag in the focusing, on a strict budget, and who are also looking
but nothing to be too concerned about. at cameras with good image quality.
Also, when shooting at ISO 1600, which is Priced at Rs. 8999, along with features
the maximum, noise was present, but the that are sufficient to take care of most
images were usable. photographic challenges, the Redmi Note
is definitely very economical.
Abundant Features
The Redmi Note certainly does not AT A glANcE
disappoint in its features. It has everything specificatioNs 13MP, Android 4.2.2 JDQ39, 5.5-inch display, Octa-core 1.7GHz processor,
2GB RAM, 8GB storage (expandable up to 32GB), Rs. 8999
from a voice recognition shooting option to
a Fast-motion feature when making videos. What We like Good image quality and feature packed

BANNED oR The phone also offers 1080p HD video What We dislike Slippery and bulky to hold

NoT BANNED? recording and its 3100mAh battery too, Why buy it? The phones camera interface is simple and fuss-free, and its
quite affordable
At the time of review was sufficient to keep the device running
the 3G version of
the Redmi Note all day. Added to this, the 5.5-inch vibrant FINAl RATINgS 85%
was banned. display made the shooting and editing of caMeRa featuRes Advanced shooting mode, 13MP, 5MP front camera 22/25
However, the good photographs an easy and fun process. iMaGe Quality Very good sharpness and decent colour reproduction 27/30
news is that the 4G
variant of the same Video Quality Good quality Full HD video at 30fps 12/15
phone is available, Efficient and Practical
but at an increased haNdliNG Its smooth back cover made it a little slippery to hold 11/15
I really liked that the phone did not have any
cost of Rs. 9999. speed & RespoNsiVeNess Highly responsive and processes images quickly 13/15
lag and was swift to respond. Additionally, it

Better PhotograPhy ja n ua ry 2 0 1 5
Cellphone Diaries

Lessons from my Favourite Photographer Amit Mehra

105

Amit Mehra

O
ne of my greatest influences since the past when I started shooting with my cellphone. For me, his
few years has been the work of Nadav Kander. work defines the state of mind when on doesnt have
Whether he is shooting stark landscapes or any intention of reaching a set destination it is simply
portraits, there is a simplicity and tranquillity that goes photography for the joy of it.
beyond subject and genre, until the point where the Kanders vision and thoughts, of course, are very
photograph is not just about the photographed, but different, as opposed to my other favourite, Raghubir
also the photographer. Singh, who influenced me ever since I started
In this otherwise chaotic world of imagery, when I see photography. Inspiration and influences for any creative
Nadavs work, I feel a sense of quietude, a sense of peace individual are always vital. There can be times when ones
and thairaav. While I have always admired his work, work starts to look similar, but thats a fine line one always
I have personally gravitated towards it only in the past has to dance through. If ones influences are multiple and
two or three years, coincidentally, around the same time varied, the crossover of vision will bring us to the fore.

Constantly trying to walk on a tightrope between commercial and documentary photography, Amit describes himself saying, Im like an octopus who likes to deal with
different things at the same time. You can call me a schizophrenic photographer. The moments in this monthly diary are excerpts from his ongoing work titled Roznaama.

ja n ua ry 2 0 1 5 Better PhotograPhy
ProFILE

Poetic Storytelling
Having survived the 1986 Chernobyl disaster, Alina Rudya talks to
Conchita Fernandes about how the incident continues to shape her life.

A
Alina Rudya
When she was young, fter settling down for the day, quote, I never paint dreams or nightmares.
she wanted to be a I was casually browsing through I paint my own reality. Before I knew it,
photographer for Burn Diarys Instagram feed, when I had entered Alinas reality.
National Geographic. I stumbled upon Alina Rudyas
Her favourite authors
are Ernest Hemingway, photographs. I was specifically The radical Change
Haruki Murakami and drawn to her self-portrait. There was Born in Ukraine, Alina is the daughter of
Ivan Bunin. something morose yet dreamy about the a nuclear physicist father and a chemist
She is currently
image, which reminded me of Frida Kahlos mother. Her father was also an amateur
studying visual
communication, after
which she wants to
pursue a career in
art direction.
She currently holds
two Masters degrees
in Political Science
106 and Photography.

find Sarah here! alina grew up


surrounded by several
Instagram: Kiev and Zenit cameras
@rrrudya and started making
Blog: www. pictures at the age of
blueberriescherries. 13. But it wasnt until
tumblr.com the age of 16 that she
Website: became passionate
www.alinarudya.com about it.

B E t t E r P H o t o G r a P H y ja N ua ry 2 0 1 5
ProFILE

She finds that she photographer. He had many cameras and old, and following the disaster, she and Two years ago, alina
can express herself even built a darkroom in our bathroom. her family were immediately evacuated. had the opportunity
better when shooting to visit iceland and
I think he must have taken over a thousand They moved to Kiev where Alina would
in black and white, and it was there that she
uses this medium a lot photographs of me. This would be her spend her time there. Later, she would made this photograph.
when not shooting for beginning in photography. graduate from Budapest and eventually She shot it at a northern
instagram. however, when But not before a life altering change that move to Berlin to study photography at the town called akureyri,
she does make use of and was captivated by
the app, she likes to left its imprints forever on her family and Lette-Verein school of Design. the huge dresses and
herself. She lived with her family in a small 107
incorporate colour. how they appeared to
town called Pripyat, three kilometers away Meeting a forgotten friend escape and fly away to
from Chernobyl, the site of the radioactive Later in 2011, when she was 26 years old, new adventures.
disaster. At the time, she was only a year she visited Pripyat to immerse herself in her

i find cellphones
very exciting
because of the
ability to shoot great
pictures with such
a tiny device. i like
that it is compact,
small and hardly
noticeable, and that
i can always keep it
with me.

as part of her
education, she got to
spend four months in
new York, which she
considers to be her best
and most enlightening
trip so far. She even shot
a series called a dream
They Live, where she
highlighted the subject of
loneliness in a big city.

ja N ua ry 2 0 1 5 B E t t E r P H o t o G r a P H y
ProFILE

alina prefers to match hometown, which she unfortunately never


her expectations with had the opportunity to know. In many
Tips on Being a Better Photographer
her results and says, Investing yourself in your Work: Whatever project you take up, always remember to
if i want a picture to respects, all my desires and passions sprung
research and prepare for it thoroughly. Its like laying the foundation for a house.
be grainy or blurry, it from the ruins of Chernobyl.
108 Having an open Mind: If youre starting out, dont restrict yourself to a particular
should be my artistic She documented her time in the ruins
genre. Try out everything. You can always narrow down your choices later.
decision and not a of the ghost town in the series Pripyat
technical failure. Extending your Knowledge: It is not enough to just study photography. To really
mon Amour, which also happens to be her make a difference in your images, immerse yourself in other art forms.
most favourite project. She feels that it has
When asked about helped her answer important questions where there were no good schools or a viable VSCO and Snapseed
the incorporation of about herself. I took self-portraits in that market for it. But, I know now that if I lived are the two apps that
art in her work, alina is abandoned town, in order to show who I am, in a different place, I would have probably alina uses to edit her
of the opinion that she where I come from and who I have lost. pursued photography much earlier. cellphone photographs.
became a photographer She mentions,
because she was too Snapseed is good for
impatient to study Moments of doubt a Little of everything improving the contrast
painting. She likes getting Going back to her days in Kiev, Alina always Alinas personality radiates out of every and making good black
fast results, which she and whites. VSCO Cam
knew that she wanted to do something single of her images. You can see her love
has been able to do with has nice vintage filters,
cellphone photography visual. She just wasnt sure if photography for art and shadows and even beautiful which i mostly use for my
and instagram. was the answer. At least not in Ukraine arrangements. She enjoys using artistic instagram uploads.

B E t t E r P H o t o G r a P H y ja N ua ry 2 0 1 5
PROFILE

Photographers who methods when it comes to composition, created a beautiful cocktail of urbanscapes, alina does not think
are able to tell an and usage of light and colours. Alina is also portraits, architecture and street work, that the device is
engaging story in a important and feels that
a big fan of the American realist painter and which eventually leaves you in a dreamy
single shot appeal to it should never come in
her. She considers printmaker, Edward Hopper, and loves how mood. With so many photographers strictly between the photographer
James nachtwey and he has used light in his paintings. restricting themselves to a particular and his vision.
Sebastio Salgado to You can also find a little of everything genre, I wondered if she ever felt the need
be good examples of
in her Instagram feed. In a way, she has to limit herself as well. To this she replies,
such photographers.

109

inSTa fOLLOW nOW


Iranian photographer
Ako Salemi (@F64S125)
makes poignant and
sometimes cinematic
photographs of Iran.
Using his iPhone, he There is a lot of play of
shoots black and white light and shadow in her
images of the streets, photographs. She loves
often leaving the incorporating natural
viewer with a beautiful light in her everyday
taste of the culture of
the country.
street shots.

ja N ua ry 2 0 1 5 BEttER PhOtOgRaPhy
PROFILE

alina does not like My Instagram feed is a platform for me to On inspiration and Practice
to overtly edit her experiment and to express myself without Sometimes I walk on the street, spot a
cellphone photographs. any limits or regrets. scene and think, That could be a great scene
She believes that a
Even though she naturally finds herself for a movie. She finds herself attracted
photo should remain a
110 drawn to topics involving loneliness and to movies with strong colours, camera
photo and not a digitally
manipulated image. self-discovery, Alina has also shot several angles or composition that emphasise the
other personal projects with contrasting meaning of certain cinematic moments.
themeslike a day in the life of her The greatest kisses do not always happen
85-year-old grandfather in One Day, the with a beautiful sunset in the background,
She loves to travel transformation of a drag queen in About but if, for an effect, a photographer or a apart from her dreamy
and makes several romantic portraits,
a Girl and her ongoing project on the cinematographer can make it happen,
images of her journey. alina has also sought to
She especially enjoys stereotyping of Eastern European women in people will never forget the feeling they had create photographs that
photographing people. Big-City Girl . the first time they saw it. encompass a narrative.

BEttER PhOtOgRaPhy ja n ua Ry 2 0 1 5
PROFILE

To anyone
starting out with
photography,
i would advise
them to go out and
shoot as much as
they can. also, look
at the works of
the masters,
be inspired
and learn from
their photographs.

This photograph is
part of her series called
Small Man in a huge
World and shows how
small one person is in
comparison to the big
world. alina has done
this by photographing
She mentions that lone figures in the midst
there will be situations of large wide landscapes.
where because of 111
certain limitations, a In an interview with Lomography Magazine, especially today, where photography is
photographer may not be Alina had said, Practice is key to better taken for granted. How else can you hope
able to shoot the desired pictures, not just by shooting your food with to create something different from the
picture that he had in
a cellphone, but by carefully photographing ordinary? she says, as thousands of her fans
mind. nevertheless, you
should go ahead and make your subjects and getting the best out continue to tune in to her visual storytelling
the best of what you have. of the situation. This advice holds true, on Instagram.

ja n ua Ry 2 0 1 5 BEttER PhOtOgRaPhy
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READERS GALLERY
Presented by
Better Cellphone Photographys took their
smartphones out on an adventure for this
months theme Travel.

Honourable Mention

Wanderlust
Anees K A, Bengaluru

What made me shoot this:


Most of us daydream
about leaving our desk
jobs and travelling and
112
exploring the unexplored.
What I learnt: The way the
light fell and the objects
in the frame interacted
with each other had to
be just right. I moved the
chair around till I was
happy with the overall
composition. The hotel
management were
not pleased with the
changes to their decor.

Winner Shot With: Apple


iPhone 3GS

Smoke Break
Sagarneel Biswas,
Bengaluru

What made me shoot this:


While smoking is banned
At the Peak
in Kolkatas local train,
Jiten R Bhatt, Mangrol
this elderly gentleman
What made me shoot this:
couldnt be bothered by
For me, the peacock
such rules and went about
atop the tree symbolised
enjoying his smoke.
finding your way through
What I learnt:
obstacles that life sets up.
Photography has become
What I learnt:
more of a reflex for me.
There were a lot of stray
I have learnt to trust my
leaves and branches that
instincts when it comes
I had to avoid including in
to compostion, geometry
the frame. I looked around
and the moment. I save
for the right vantage point
the thinking for when Im
that would allow me to
editing the image.
include more of the sky.
Shot with: Google LG
Nexus 4
Shot with: Samsung Galaxy
Grand 2
Honourable Mention
BETTER PHOTOGRAPHY JA N UA RY 2 0 1 5
hese
ured on t READERS GALLERY
To be featrticipate in our
pages, paby logging on to s
contests graphy.in/contest
to
betterpho exciting prizes! Honourable Mention
and in
w

GRAND PRIZE
The grand prize
winner, gets a
6000mAh Godrej
GP PowerBank, the
perfect companion
for cellphone and Life of a Wanderer
travel photographers. Abhijit Mondal, Kolkata

What made me shoot this:


Without ropes to tie the
chair to the top of the
rickshaw, the passenger
was forced to hold on
to it for the duration of
his journey. To me it was
a great example of the
Indian jugaad mindset
What I learnt:
All the nominees will Conveying human
also be featured on, emotions without including
betterphotography.in. a face can be difficult
but often I find that such
*Actual colour of the
Powerbank may vary
Honourable Mention images tell better stories.
Shot With: Nokia Lumia 525
113

Keepers of Honourable Mention


the Sand
Suman Bhattacharjee,
Kolkata

What made me shoot this:


The bamboo poles were
erected on the beach
to prevent erosion.
They stood like beaten
guardians, while battling
the force of the waves.
What I learnt:
I wanted to cature the
reflection of the poles in
the receding waves as it
gave showed lonliness.
I got lucky and made the
photo on the third try.
Shot with: Samsung
Galaxy S2

JA N UA RY 2 0 1 5 BETTER PHOTOGRAPHY
BetterPictures
SHO OT ING T E CHNIQUE

116

Its Party Time!


On birthdays, children
may go through a
variety of emotions,
from exhilaration to
sombreness, and it
is these expressions
that make a difference
between a mere
competent picture and a
memorable one.

Raj Lalwani tells you seven unique ideas that will help you make your
party photographs a lot more fun and interesting.
BETTER PHOTOGRAPHY JA N UA RY 2 0 1 5
ON ASSIGNMENT TIPS AND TRICKS
Exploring the Self Ideas to photograph SHO OT ING T E CHNIQUE
Self-portraits to children, street murals
reconnect with oneself and religious places

120 124

C
hristmas is round the corner,
everyones getting married and
people are in a festive spirit with
the new year in sight. Are you
wondering how to make your
Facebook albums of these crazy parties
more fun? Read on.

Flash is Your Best Friend


The light levels are low, everyones dancing
around, LED lamps are forming ugly
patches on skin, there are too many lights
in the background and theres an ugly
shadow under ones eyes. These are just
some of the various reasons why flash, Raj Lalwani
both on-camera as well as an external
flashgun, are invaluable. A lot of people all thats around. Tissue paper, tablecloths, The closer you get,
assume that a high ISO and a fast-aperture coloured bottles, especially those that have the more you can get
your friends to react. It
lens like a 50mm f/1.8 will suffice in low water or alcohol in them, can all make
would be a good idea to
light, but remember that these techniques fantastic light modifiers. If you dont have shoot multiple frames at
help you get in more light, but they do not an external flashgun, the torch of your such a time.
affect the quality or direction of the light. cameraphone can be a versatile enough
A sound knowledge of the Night Portrait light.
mode, Slow Sync flash and remote flash
control are vital. Raise that Glass 117
If you are using a fast lens, focus on your
Tissues, Bottles, All Else subject and then, while keeping focus
If it is not an assignment, you may not want locked, bring a bottle or glass in front of the
to get bogged down at a party by carrying a lens. The reflected and refracted light will
lot of equipment and light modifiers. Use make for gorgeous foreground bokeh.

Rajiv Kumar

Let there be an
app or a look for each
party. When you share
the images on social
media and when you
print them (dont forget
to print them!), your
friends would have fun
Raj Lalwani

anticipating what the


pictures are eventually
going to look like.

JA N UA RY 2 0 1 5 BETTER PHOTOGRAPHY
Sho ot ing t echnique

Make as many
frames as
possible, but
be extremely
judicious while
making an edit.

If there are too many


people dancing together,
it may be a good idea to
concentrate on one or
two to make your frame
simpler, and your timing,
Raj Lalwani more effective.

Formality in Treatment Process images of one party in a consistent


Shoot loose and edit tight. Make as many way, by using the same action, preset or app.
frames as possible. Group photos, both
posed and spontaneous ones, have a nasty But First, Let em Take a Selfie
habit of going wrong only because one Group photo selfies are a rage and while
person in the group has his eyes shut or one can understand practitioners getting a
is caught mid yawn. But while selecting little tired of seeing them everywhere, they
Even simple
the final images, be strict. Since there can be shot differently as well. Wait for a
celebrations can make
happy photos that may be a variation of shooting styles and bunch of friends to point their front-facing
118 portray relationships. techniques, the treatment can be cohesive. camera to themselves and then photograph

Anjan Chanda

Better PhotograPhy ja n ua ry 2 0 1 5
Sho ot ing t e chnique

While your family


or friends are
busy taking a
group selfie,
capture the
moments that
lead up to a
particular set
of poses or
expressions.

Raj Lalwani
their various attempts and expressions The Stills & Video Prank Start shooting well
as they get their pose right. Or, just walk Try this. Make a bunch of friends pose before the people come
behind them and shoot a Spot-metered and then pretend that you are struggling in. Thats the best time
to understand the venue
frame of their cameraphones screen. with the settings. In the meantime, press limitations and lighting
the Video Record button and get an challenges, as also to
Ring Them In! outrageously funny video that has them make pictures of the 119
Ring flashes are serious tools for macro standing and posing impatiently. ambience and the decor.
and portrait photography, but you can Eventually, all the technical expertise in
play with them during parties. Use a the world will fall flat if the expressions in
fisheye or a rectilinear ultrawide lens the frame are boring. Love and empathy
along with the flash. The flashs round for the person you are photographing can
3 Common shape will appear within the frame. Now make the simplest of frames memorable.
Mistakes to Avoid
use this to form a fun, unusual circular And lastly, remember to have a good time
1. Ghosting in the Frame
Parties may have a frame around people! Since you are have fun technically by experimenting as
lot of pointed light using a fisheye, you will need to go really, much as possible, and have fun otherwise,
sources, which create really close. and smile.
flare. Avoid cheap
UV filters and never
forget the lens hood!
2. Ghost-like Apparitions
Dont be scared of
increasing the ISO.
If you forget to do
this, your camera
will use too slow a
shutterspeed that
may make your
subject a ghost-
like blur.
3. Ghostly White Faces
In group photos, the
person closest to
the lens may look Party pictures have
blown out, especially gone from people posing
if they are fair and for the photographer
wearing white. Use a to everyone posing for
-ve Flash Exposure themselves. An ironic
Compensation value shift, it may be, but the
Raj Lalwani

and diffuse the light trend can itself be a


with a handkerchief. photo opportunity like
this one.

ja n ua ry 2 0 1 5 Better PhotograPhy
O n a S S I G nM E n T

In this double exposure


I have combined my
self-portrait with
120 leaves, in order
to create a sense
of mystery.

Exploring the Self


This was the rst
photo of the series.
This is the one that set
the ball rolling.

Ninjin Puntsag is a Mongolian photographer who works


with sports horses, and spends a lot of time reconnecting
with her own being through self-portraiture.

T
he idea of self-portraits occurred me an artistic void that needed to be filled,
to me in 2006, while photography and photography did that. It also allows me
sparked an interest in me when to overcome my introversion and is much
I was 18. I was fascinated by a easier than finding a model. I am both in
classmates B&W photos, but front of and behind the camera, and I know
I didnt start shooting until years later, and exactly what pose or expression I need.
the interest lay dormant for a very long time.
My first self-portraits were simply selfies, but My Assignment
soon, this wasnt enough. The ego-pics soon Description
turned into something that required more To express myself using portraiture
thought, planning and a proper camera. Duration
It is a 365-day project.
My Perspective notes
Self-portraits became a great way to express Some of the photos required a certain amount of
myself. I used to paint and draw as a child, physical effort. Running to and from the camera to
verify if the shot is fine is almost a sport.
but eventually quit in my teens. It left within

BETTEr PHOTOGraPHy ja n ua ry 2 0 1 5
O n a S S I G nM E n T
I was trying to create
a dreamy look using
owers and a reection.

121

ja n ua ry 2 0 1 5 BETTEr PHOTOGraPHy
o n a s s i g nm e n t

the mood I am in, the music and the images


Easy Tips for Emphatic Self-portraits of other people who inspire me.
Be Drawn to Simplicity: Try not to be attached to one particular style and use I enjoy khoomii (overtone singing), morin
different techniques. For me, the pose depends on how the light paints the subject,
and whether the contour of the body is in accordance with the mood, but above all, khuur (traditional Mongolian violin) and
I am drawn to simplicity. music that is able to take one to faraway
Use Natural Light: Play with shadows, and try using light from every angle. places. Sigur Rs, Sainkho Namtchylak,
Try Exaggerating Poses: Tensing the muscles and stretching will help you Altan Urag, Arga Bileg and Okna Tsahan
exaggerate the pose and emphasise form.
Zam are a few of the artists that put me
I kept seeing 365-day projects and one in a creative mood. I am also inspired
day, I said, why not? I already take a lot of by the wonderful photography of
photographs of myself, why not turn this Francesca Woodman, Lauren Simonutti,
into an everyday habit? Angela Bacon-Kidwell, Sally Mann and
Vivian Maier.
The Process I usually shoot in confined spaces
Most of the times, I dont really plan the and try to create the illusion of a larger
photo. Sometimes, I see patterns created space. Props play an important role Music instruments
Fabrics frozen in add a special touch
mid-air are reminiscent by light and shadow and use them. tooa floating piece of fabric creates because they are
of dance movements. Sometimes, it depends on the place I am at, something ethereal, flowers add a delicate very photogenic.

122

Better PhotograPhy ja n ua ry 2 0 1 5
123

Graphic lines and touch and so on. Melancholia, nostalgia, journey interrupted by whispers of By staying still while
shapes can become sadness and loneliness are the keywords colour from time to time. you move only some
the protagonists in parts of the body during
for the images. But, basically, it is all
some photos. a long exposure, you
improvisation. I keep shooting until I am As told to Ambarin Afsar can achieve a degree of
satisfied with the result. To view more images by Ninjin, you can visit sharpness in the frame.
I set the camera on a tripod and use www.flickr.com/photos/nomadwoman
My Equipment a remote control. I end up shooting at
When I got my first
home because it is private and I can
DSLR, I started to
learn on my own how concentrate better. If I am outdoors,
to use it. It continued I prefer quiet places without people
on and off, with a passing by, so that I dont feel self-
2 year hiatus when
conscious. I am also always on the prowl
I almost didnt touch
the camera. Now, I for textures, interesting shapes and light.
shoot with a Nikon A good image is one that after a single
D600 and a 50mm view makes you gasp in awe, and leaves a
AF Nikkor f/1.4D
permanent indentation in your memory
lens. The post-
processing, which is that serves as an inspiration an image
basically conversion that makes you feel, and awakens in you
to black and white the desire to create. I hope my photos
and adjusting the
contrast, is done
evoke a similar response in the viewers,
with Photoshop CS5. and I hope I am creating something that
I also plan to make can be identified as mine. 100 per cent
a few photos with I like long exposures
self-portraitssometimes gloomy and a as they allow me to play
film cameras.
little on the dark sidea monochromatic with movement.

ja n ua ry 2 0 1 5 Better PhotograPhy
Want to share your ideas and tips? Write to
The Editor, Better Photography,
Network18 Media & Investments Ltd,
One Indiabulls Centre, Unit No 501, Fifth Floor, Tower I,
Jupiter Textile Mills, Senapati Bapat Marg, Elphinstone Road
Mumbai-400 013, Maharashtra, India.
Email: editor@betterphotography.in

Children are always the


most comfortable when
they are in their own
environment. This is also
a place where they will
be themselves.

124

Dibyendu DeyChoudhury

phoTograph playful ChilDren Take permission first


When you are approaching children,
Turn into a Child avoid giving them toffees or gifts. If the
Children are quick to notice and will be the parents are around, they might find this
first ones to see you photographing them gesture suspicious. Instead, approach
with your bulky DSLR. the parents and seek their permission.
Dont be secretive and appear like This might make them less wary and
Sometimes children
a stranger or even worse, a stalker. more accepting of you.
find the most amusing
Approach them with a smile and engage companions to play
yourself in their little games. This will help with. Dont miss out always Be on your Toes
them open up to you and be more receptive on photographing Children are very unpredictable.
such moments.
to your picture-making process. Even before you realise it, they may
sprint off to another spot. Learn to
anticipate their actions. For instance,
during a game of football, when you see
that one of the players is approaching
the goal post, switch to the Burst Mode
on your camera and shoot away.

remember to Be respectful
If you want to be respected, you have to
earn it first. Dont force your authority
over children because this can put them
Sutirtha Chatterjee

off easily. Be a friend to them and talk to


them gently. You will be surprised at how
approachable children are when they
realise that you can be their friend.

Ja N Ua Ry 2 0 1 5
QuirKy Wall arT Quick Tip
When photographing
include a person strangers, always
Street murals offer great ways of creating have a strong reason
unique juxtapositions with passers-by. ready, especially for
Therefore, it will be worth your time to when they ask who you
are and why you are
observe them and see how they interact shooting them.
with the artwork, or how their presence
lends a different narrative to the mural.

using Colour Versus Black and White


This is completely dependent on your
aesthetic sense. If youre confused, ask including more of the
yourself what you want to convey through surroundings will help
you convey context. Jackie
the image.
Do you want to show moodiness, or explore other points of View When photographing
maybe just focus on the drawing by You dont always have to photograph street street wall art, give it
an urban perspective.
stripping away all the colours? Or do you art from the other side of the road. Look
Show how it has become
want to show how this wonderful piece of for different angles, even if it means not a part of the buildings
art stands out in the midst of dreariness? being able to capture the entire painting. around it.

125

Sivi Steys

Ja N Ua Ry 2 0 1 5 BETTER PHOTOGRaPHy
Sometimes in the
quest for attaining the
perfect photograph,
you need to invest time.
patience is key here, as
in this image, where the
photographer waited
for a man to enter
the frame.

Beverley Goodwin
For instance, try shooting the mural through overwhelming to photograph, especially
126 the bars or grills of a gate that is adjacent to it. if you have only a few hours to spend at
the place.
Dealing with Size Ask yourself how you would want to best
Sometimes murals are quite massive. Quick Tip remember this place, or how could you best
This will make it impossible for you to Use flash when represent the place. instead of making
capture the entire thing in a single frame. shooting a backlit crowd shots of large
The easiest solution would be to stitch portrait. This will help incorporate geometry and pattern congregations of
you to get details on devotees, look for smaller
different photographs that have been Look up at the ceiling and observe the groups and focus on
the persons face.
shot, while maintaining similar exposure paintings or the various symmetrical panels their activities.
settings in the camera. Alternatively, find
a vantage point that allows you to capture
the entire mural.

phoTographing holy plaCeS

observe the rules


Most places of worship have a strict no
photography policy. Visitors are either
prohibited from making pictures or are
allowed to do so only in specific areas
within the edifice. If it is the latter, then
make sure that you are discreet and do
not disturb the devotees visiting the site.
Also, avoid using your cameras flash, as it
is not only distracting but it can also harm
the old walls of the structure.

Concentrate on one aspect


Ambarin Afsar

Owing to its massive size, sites like the


Basilica of Bom Jesus in Goa or the Jama
Masjid in New Delhi, may be a little

Better PhotograPhy Ja N Ua Ry 2 0 1 5
Ambarin Afsar
that make the structure special. For instance, Silently approach
if you are visiting the Ramanathaswamy devotees in prayer.
Temple in Tamil Nadu, dont forget to check also, dont spend too long
making pictures of them.
the ceiling of its long corridor, which is filled They might feel conscious
with intricate and beautiful paintings. or unable to pray.
Alternatively, to show symmetry, you
could also make photographs of the way
the benches are arranged in a church.

Visiting at the right Time


Find out if the temple that you are visiting 127
has a special puja scheduled for the day.
This would give you the opportunity to
observe the special activities and rituals,
and maybe even interact with the devotees. in the
ParticipateContest on
Tip
a wide angle lens can This would make for a far better shooting Reade raphy.in/contests
rs
og
be ideal to show the size experience then visiting the place on a betterphot a chance to be
to win azine and
of the structure. in the mag
Prayash Giria slow or an inactive day. featured citing prizes!
win ex

READERS Tip
Making Colourful abstracts
Even though we have all grown up playing with
soap bubbles, I bet that none of us have really paid
attention to the beautiful colours produced by it.
This photograph is an extreme close-up of a soap
bubble, shot just before it could burst. The vibrant
colours and patterns inspired me to create
this image.
I used a 100mm macro lens and an Elinchrom
beauty dish to make this photograph. I set the
camera on a tripod, focused manually and blew the
bubble in a small plastic bowl. I waited for some
time, and just when I knew that the bubble was
about to burst, I captured the shot.
There are a few tips and tricks to making such
photographs. You need to ensure that you are in
a cold room, because if the temperature is high,
then the bubbles are more likely to burst quickly.
Ramakant Sharda

An alternate technique is to use soap with glycerin


to extend the lifespan of the bubbles. Also, use a
narrow aperture like f/16 or higher to get a large
depth of eld.
ramakant Sharda using a good light source will ensure the vibrancy of the cosmic-looking colours on the surface of the bubble.

Ja N Ua Ry 2 0 1 5 BETTER PHOTOGRaPHy
ShowCase
Pr OFI LE

One Step Ahead


Oinam Anand

Conchita Fernandes finds out what keeps the versatile and


tenacious photojournalist Neeraj Priyadarshi grounded,
Neeraj Priyadarshi while always being on top of his game.
He joined The Indian

N
Express in 1991, where
he is now the National eeraj grew up in a small village in considered a career in writing but my
Photo Editor. Koilwar, an area in the Bhojpuri command over the language was not very
Neeraj is inspired by district of Bihar. Not far from good. I still felt a strong affinity towards
Sally Mann and reveres
her photography book where he stayed was a bridge. finding something that would require more
What remains (2003). Trains that frequented the bridge of my mind, soul and conscience, he said.
He loves water in any would leave the young Neeraj fascinated Then in 1988, during a French arts
form and aspires to
and introspective. Every time that I saw it, festival in Patna, Neeraj found his true
have a house by a
water body. I couldnt help but feel hopeful. I felt a kind calling. The legendary Marc Ribouds work
Also, he is keen on of certainty that this very train would take were being exhibited, and I saw his image,
authoring books in me on a journey, far away from my village. The Painter of the Eiffel Tower. The spark was lit.
the future.
Today, Neeraj Priyadarshi is one of the I knew exactly what I wanted to do.
most prolific photojournalists of our time.
Prime Minister
During a free-wheeling chat with him, The Big Break Narendra Modi and his
128 I found myself inspired by his vision. All he needed now was a camera. Pakistan counterpart
His brother gifted him the Pentax ME Nawaz Sharif greet each
other during the oath-
True Calling with a 50mm f/1.2 lens. He went about
taking ceremony of the
Even as a child, he knew he was not meant making pictures of whatever he thought BJP led government in
for a run-of-the-mill profession. I first was interesting, but he found himself New delhi in 2014.

B E T T E r P H O T O G r A P H Y JA N UA rY 2 0 1 5
GrEAT MASTErS SPECIAL SHOWCASE YOUr PICTUrES
Sebastio Salgado Tamron Challenge 2014 A showcase of the
PrOFILE
A look at the life of the A showcase of the winners best images sent by
famous photographer of the nation-wide contest our readers

134 140 146


And so, even in the midst of the tyranny
of death, he felt that he was able to define
himself as a photographer. Two essential
qualitiesfocus and agility, enabled him
to maneuver in between the atrocities he
Then Indian Prime
witnessed. But most importantly, he was able Minister Manmohan
to maintain his composure in such a high Singh is seen waiting to
stress situation. I have always followed a greet Chinese Premier
Li Keqiang, during a
simple philosophyno image is greater than
ceremonial welcome at
your life. Be cautious and smart and always the rashtrapati Bhavan in
put yourself first, he said. New delhi in 2013.

129
In 2010, during his being drawn toward street photography.
first visit to New delhi, Shortly, he began assisting Vikram Kumar,
US President Barack
a freelance photographer in Patna. Here he
Obama interacts with
school children at the learned all the nuances of darkroom
Mughal-era tomb of processes and printing.
emperor Humayun. Soon, freelance assignments began
trickling in, and his first breakthrough
came along. He was hired by Filmfare to
photograph filmmaker Mukul Anand.
An image from the day was chosen for a
centrespread. This was the true kickstart to
my career in photography, he said.
He soon landed a job with The Indian Express,
which he calls home, even to this day.

On His Feet
Working on the field meant covering
a range of events, each with their own
For a set of challenges. One of Neerajs first
photojournalist,
All photographs by Neeraj Priyadarshi for The Indian Express

assignments was covering the Bombay riots


the essence, the of 1992. I was surrounded by a blanket of
uncertainty. I was definitely scared, he said.
backbone and the
I saw bodies around me, people running
validity of ones around frantically. Also, I did not have any
work should be transportation and felt exposed and at the
based entirely mercy of the unfolding situations.
He was also asked to collect the body of a
on research,
close friend from the mortuary of Sir
discipline J J Hospital. This left him feeling devastated,
and study. but this was no time for backing down.

JA N UA rY 2 0 1 5 B E T T E r P H O T O G r A P H Y
Pr OFI LE

Here is a photograph Going Unconventional moment is unexceptional, doesnt mean the


130 of Sachin Tendulkar and G A d G e TS & G e A r
However, not all assignments are of this image needs to be.
his wife Anjali, after their
nature. Many times, photographers cover Photojournalism requires personality, His camera gear
wedding ceremony in
Mumbai in 1995. standard, unremarkable events, like ribbon attitude, strength and above all, a mind mainly consists of
cutting ceremonies or peaceful rallies. and soul that delves into a world that the Canon EOS-1Ds
Mark III, the Canon
But even then, Neeraj manages to create others are incapable of visualising, he said. EOS 5D and his
stunning frames out of these mundane This thought is clear in his images. You wont favourite, the Canon
situations. He believes that just because the find him photographing two dignitaries in a EOS 5D Mark III.
He primarily uses
the Canon EF
1635mm f/2.8L II
USM, the Canon EF
70200mm f/2.8L
IS II USM and the
Canon EF 50mm
f/1.4 USM lenses.

Indias flute
maestro Pandit
Hariprasad Chaurasia is
photographed during his
morning riyaaz, at the
Sanjay Gandhi National
park in Mumbai in 1998.

Better PhotograPhy ja n ua ry 2 0 1 5
PrOFILE

In 2002, on his 60th handshake or embrace. Instead, he will find bombing of the Indian Embassy in Kabul. A daily-wage worker is
birthday, actor Amitabh a way to visually represent the dignitarys He photographed mannequins from seen manually cleaning an
Bachhan attended a under construction railway
political personality. an adjacent shopping mall that was also
photography exhibition site between Goregaon
on himself, at the Oxford Even in the event of a tragedy, he finds affected. They were lying lifeless in the midst and Jogeshwari in Mumbai
bookstore in Mumbai. a way to subtly convey the unfortunate of rubble. On closer inspection, you will (2002). The impact of
situation, thus creating a stronger impact. notice two drops of human blood on one of the image later had the
HrC banning daily-wage
An example of his style would be a sensitive the mannequins hands. It is this inclusion workers in the railway
photograph he made during the 2008 that makes the photograph speak volumes. sector of the city.

On 17 October 1995,
after spending 16
months in prison for
the illegal possession 131
of firearms, actor
Sanjay dutt is released
from Arthur Jail road
in Mumbai.

ja n ua ry 2 0 1 5 Better PhotograPhy
Pr ofi le

Finding the Moment covering dangerous zones, while turning a A photograph of the
While his assignments take him all over the blind eye to the situation unfolding right in winter fog and chill at a
Tughlaq era monument,
The image shows eggs world, he emphasises that photographers front of homein your city or state.
now more famously
from a local poultry in dont need to go so far for stories. known as the deer Park
Navapur, Maharashtra,
being destroyed during a
Stories dont need to be sought out like Learning From the Best in New delhi.
bird flu outbreak in India treasures from faraway domains. It would be Even till date, the learning doesnt end for
132 in 2006. foolish to be enchanted by the prospect of Neeraj. I never had the opportunity to

South America/
Colombia: This is a
washing plant on a spur a
strike, which results in a
massacre. This arc by the
Cinaga massacre.

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PrOFILE

A mannequin from a study photography, which has been one time of limitless possibilities. We have Burmese pro-
handicrafts shop in a of the biggest regrets in my life. So, in a many talented photojournalists doing democracy Leader
mall in Kabul has blood Aung Saan Su Kyi,
way, I am making up for this by constantly commendable work in the form of photo
marks of victims of the photographed at the
2008 bombing of the meeting photographers and learning about cooperatives, online blogs, photo festivals Parliament house in New
Indian embassy. their life and work. He also maintains a and exchanges. These have opened delhi, where she was
close association with Prashant Panjiar, plenty of doors for our community. invited by the Lok Sabha
speaker, Meira Kumar,
who continues to mentor him. However, photographers need to remember during her visit to India
He taught me the single most one important thing. It is a piece of advice
I am fortunate in 2012.
important lesson that I have always that the legendary James Nachtwey gave me
to have adhered todiscipline. To this day, I am years ago. He told me to always be honest
supportive very focused and particular about my with my subject and myself.
editors like work. I value peoples time and hold it Before we concluded our interview,
rajkamal Jha to the utmost importance. I hate leaving I asked Neeraj that apart from all the advice
people waiting. Prashants advice to me so far, what would he personally convey
and Unni rajan was to always complete a project and to novice photojournalists. Always be a 133
Shanker who move on to the next, and never to leave social animal, he said. Go out there and
during the Union
have always anything incomplete. make friends with writers, painters, poets, elections of 2009, senior
stood by the filmmakers and those who colour the BJP leader and former
deputy Prime Minister,
saying No words AThe
New World of Possibilities world with their honest expressions and
L K Advani, is seen
changing face of photojournalism dialogues. But most importantly, remember
can match the in India excites Neeraj. This is the age leaving in a helicopter to
that photography is very personal. So dont address a political rally in
right image. of opportunity, he said. Now is the forget to fall in love with it. Katihar, Bihar.

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Southern right whales,


drawn to the
Valds Peninsula for the
shelter provided by its
two gulfs, often navigate
with their tails upright
in the water. After close
observation, it is possible
to predict when a whale
will jump: a sudden and
swift movement of the
tail provides the burst
of energy that enables
the whale to project
its massive body out of
the water.

Images courtesy Sebastio Salgado / Amazonas images


134

Sebastio Salgado
Old Mission Church from
the eastern foothills,
Santa Barbara, 1876.

Ambarin Afsar leafs through Sebastio Salgados love letter to the planet
and comes away amazed at the conviction and strength of his love.

W
hen I was a child, Id spend intense love for the world we inhabit, which
all my time watching National the book evoked in me.
Geographic, Discovery Channel
and Animal Planet on TV. 32 Destinations and a Decade on the Road Like other
These were less incriminating Salgado spent nearly a decade on what is ectothermal reptiles,
than cartoon shows, especially when I was undoubtedly one of the most monumental the marine iguana must
supposed to be studying for my final exams. projects of his lifeGenesis. He travelled far regulate its own body
temperature: as soon as
In the bargain, Id spend my afternoons and wide, in search of the untouched regions the sun rises, it lies flat,
immersed in the windblown white vistas of of the planet, places that have remained warming as much body
Antarctica, the sultry swamps of Louisiana, unchanged for thousands of years and tribes area as possible until
or the deep rainforests of South America, that have held on to their ancestral way of the temperature reaches
95.9 Fahrenheit; it then
depending on the channels programming. life for centuries. In an interview, Benedikt changes position to avoid
It was here that my love for nature and all its Taschen asked Salgado what it was like overheating. The marine
creatures took root. spending practically 8 months a year on an iguana needs a high
When I opened Sebastiao Salgados average on the road, and in some cases such body temperature in
order to swim, to move
Genesis, I was completely unprepared for as Ethiopia, where there were no roads, miles about and to digest.
the overwhelming wave of nostalgia and an and miles walking. Salgado corrected him Galpagos, Ecuador.

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135

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Chinstrap penguins
on an iceberg located
between the Zavodovski
and Visokoi islands,
South Sandwich
Islands, November and
December 2009.

136

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137

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138

138

Typically, the women saying, You say there were no roads. There witnessed death in hundreds and thousands
in the Zo village of were roads, only made by human feet for on a daily basis. He was so terribly affected
Towari Ypy use the red 3000, 5000 years. Walking in these places by the brutality and violence around him
fruit of the urucum to
colour their bodies. It is gave me immense energy from the past. that he started falling very ill. I lost my
a shrub originating from faith in our species. I didnt believe that
the tropical regions of the Almost Quitting Photography it was possible for us to live any longer,
Americas and has long
Much, much before the seeds for Genesis and I started to be attacked by my own
been used by American
Indians as body paint, were sown, Salgado was working on staphylococcus. I started to have infections
especially for the lips. Migrations in Rwanda. It was here that he everywhere. He soon saw a doctor in Paris

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g r e at mast e rs

But when he reached there, he was stunned. Mursi and Surma


The land that was filled with streams, ponds, women are the last
women in the world
trees, brooks and animals by the hundreds,
to wear lip plates.
now lay practically barren. The land was as No anthropologist has
dead as I was. In the name of development, been able to explain
we had ruined everything around us. This is with certainty the origin
or the function of this
when Lila had a crazy idea, she said, Why practice. Some say
dont you put back the rainforest that was 139
that this mutilation,
here before? You say that you were born in unaesthetic to the eyes
paradise. Lets build the paradise again. of the slavers, was
imposed by men to
Together, they planted about 2.5 million protect their women
trees of about 200 different species in order from slavers raids.
to rebuild the ecosystem. The farm has now Only women belonging
become a private national park and Sebastio to a high caste have
the right to wear lip
and Leila Salgado have created an instituion plates, which they
called Instituto Terra to look after it. display proudly when
We gave the land back to nature, and life they walk around the
started to come back in an incredible way, village in the company of
their husband and sons.
along with my desire for photography. This Mursi village of Dargui
time, my wish was not to photograph the in Mago National Park,
one animal I had photographed all my life near Jinka, Ethiopia.
us. I wished to photograph other animals,
landscapes... I wanted to photograph us, but
us from the beginning, the time we lived in
equilibrium with nature.
The places that Salgado visited are not I discovered
entirely unfamiliar to me, but the manner that I am part
in which he combines textures with of all this, that
lifeforms, the manner in which he sees
I am part of
who told him, Sebastio, you must stop. microcosms and macrocosms, makes one
Youre heading directly towards death. aware of a higher presence. Each image is a the animals.
living, breathing organism on its own, and That we are part
The Momentous Event that Led to Genesis combined, Genesis is an experience to be of everything
slowly savoured, a journey that takes us to
He decided to stop. He was really upset with
alive in the
photography and with the world and decided the heart of our planet and beyond. It shows
to return to the place that he was born us our place in the scheme of things, and it
planet. We are
Brazil. His parents bequeathed him and is a position of powerthe ability to make part of this huge
his wife Lila, the farm that he grew up on. change, and to preserve what is left of us. equilibrium.
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sPecial showcase

Tamron Challenge 2014


Celebrating the Photographers
A culmination of the intense country-wide competition, here are the
winners of the third edition of the Tamron Challenge.

F
rom Thrissur to Ichapur, Pune to Here they received constructive feedback
Kanpur, the Tamron Challenge from the judges and 20 more of their
saw entries pour in from all images were discussed. In this round,
over the country. This year, five candidates from six cities were
Tamron partnered with Better shortlisted and presented with Tamrons
Photography to present one of the most Photographers Vest. Jayanta Roy believes
unique competition in terms of its Finally, four winners are chosen based that the medium of
theme. Photographers had the liberty of on the judging criteria. The lucky winners B&W allows not only for
effective documentation
submitting five best images of their choice were given a choice of one Tamron lens
but for true expression.
which defined their style. from a selection of six. Additionally, they Colour distracts us
140 The participants were judged on received a cash prize of Rs. 25,000, from the real feelings
originality, genres and techniques a portfolio review session from an in an image, he says.
Jayanta will visit a place
attempted and improvement with accomplished photographer and a three
several times during
progression of time. The next round month subscription of Better Photography. different hours when
consisted of portfolio review sessions for Along with this, they will set off on a shooting landscapes.
the shortlisted candidates. mentored photo tour. A photography enthusiast,
Jayantas aim is to
further explore the

Jayanta Roy, Kolkata


medium and large format
film photography.

Better PhotograPhy ja n ua ry 2 0 1 5
Ankit Nandwani, New Delhi

As a student in Berlin,
Ankit Nandwani often
roamed the streets
at night, taking in the
colours and sights.
This manifested into a
series of HDR images
of the city by night.
The commercial
photographer also
makes fine art images,
and counts Steve
McCurry, Tarun Khiwal
and Tim Tadder as his
biggest inspirations.
141

ja n ua ry 2 0 1 5
sPecial showcase

Rajneesh Panwar, New Delhi

Rajneesh Panwar
has always enjoyed
capturing lines and
geometric shapes in his
photographs. In his words,
he tries to capture the
soul of the monument.
Rajneesh was fascinated
by the arts since he
was a child. He is now
all set to leave a career
142
as a dentist to take up
photography full-time.

Judges This Year


The competition
played host to the
following judges:
Ashok Kandimalla,
ConsultantIT
and Photography,
Eesh Dewan,
Photography and
Printing Consultant,
Nitin Goyal, CEO, K Madhavan Pillai,
Chief Editor, Better
Tamron India Photography, Lenny
says, It is our Emanuel, Advertising
Photographer, Ravi
endeavour to Dhingra, Independent
Photographer and
contribute to the Photography Mentor,
Rithwik V J, President,
photographic Photographic
industry and Society of Madras,
S A Ramesh,
to increase the Independent
Photographer,
skill-level of the Sanat Ghosh,
Senior Advertising
photographers Photographer, Shyam
through activities Prasad, Director,
Shoots and Shoots
such as this Academy and Vivek
Muthuramalingam,
competition. Documentary
Photographer.

Better PhotograPhy ja n ua ry 2 0 1 5
Kasturi Mukherjee, Kolkata

Kasturi Mukherjees
images are what she likes
to call soulful portraits.
The landscapes she
chooses for these
sessions reflect both
her subject and her own
moods. I find human
emotions to be like the
ever-changing seasons.
I want to capture all
the subtleties in my
photographs, she says.

In its third consecutive year, the competition has seen more professional
and enthusiast photographers showing interest in the activity. They have also
appreciated the overall format of this event.
143

ja n ua ry 2 0 1 5
A selection of some of
the best images from the
Indian mainstream media

144

Hemant Padalkar,
DNA
The Unmaking of a Giant
A worker is seen dismantling the INS
Vikrant, the Majestic-class aircraft carrier
of the Indian Navy during the Indo-Pak
war of 1971. The photo is a sad reminder of
the expiration of all things, no matter how
majestic or significant.

The Crusader
Ingrid Newkirk, the founder of People for
the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA),
protests outside a Kentucky Fried Chicken
outlet in Mumbai. The confused expression
on the elderly ladys face further adds
to the bemusing situation unfolding in
this moment.

Levin Raju,
DNA

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Pradeep Kocharekar,
The Indian Express
No Entry
Shiv Sena and Congress MLAs try to stop
Governor C Vidyasagar Rao from entering
the Assembly in Mumbai. The outstretched
arm of the officer against the barrage of news
cameras draws the distinction between the All for Hygiene
media and the politicians. Widows from Vrindavan hold toilet pots
at the International Toilet Festival to 145
mark World Toilet Day on 19 November.
Ravi Kanojia, The starburst effect adds to the overall joie de
The Indian Express vivre mood of the photograph.

ja n ua ry 2 0 1 5 Better PhotograPhy
YourPictures
This month we challenged our readers to photograph the streets in black and white. Here is a
look at the best images from the contest.

The Prize:
Grand Prize Winner: The winning image gets the Winner
coveted Better Photographys Collectors Edition 12
Pocket Guide set, which are comprehensive guides
on how to make the best pictures in every genre,
ranging from sports, wildlife to festivals and colours.

To see all the nominees images for this contest,


visit www.betterphotography.in

146

Covered Faces
rana Pandey, Kolkata
While framing this
image, I waited for the
woman to pass by so
that the composition
would look complete.
However, I realised that
the covered statues, in a
way, speak of the situation
of womens rights in the
country today.

Camera: Fujifilm FinePix


HS30EXR
Aperture: f/3.2
Shutterspeed: 1/60sec
ISO: 200

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Honourable Mention

Battle Stations
Deepak Kumbhar, Kolhapur
I wanted to compose the
frame such that it shows
a riveting scene from a
childrens game, but, only
through body language.
It was interesting to
see the varying stances
of the children in the
background, and I loved
how I could compose my
shot so close to the boy
148 throwing the ball.

Camera: Nikon D90


Aperture: f/9
Shutterspeed: 1/320sec
ISO: 200

Honourable Mention

Drove of Horns
Hitesh Solanki, Vadodara
It is not often that
one gets surprised
by a herd of cows
moving towards them!
The sheer endlessness
of horns was fascinating.
For me, the repetitive
pattern coupled with the
sunlight on the horns
made the image come
together harmoniously.

Camera: Nikon D90


Aperture: f/16
Shutterspeed: 1/125sec
ISO: 640

BETTEr PHOTOGraPHy Ja n ua ry 2 0 1 5
e in the
Participat Contest on
ures s
your Pict graphy.in/contest
to
betterpho a chance to be
to win e and
red in the magazin
featu g prizes!
win excitin

Momentary
Contemplation
Mandar Parab, Mumbai
I made this picture at
Chor Bazaar in Mumbai,
which is a hub for antiques
and rare artefacts.
I spotted this gentleman,
who seemed lost within
himself. The dismantled
mannequins looked
on, creating an
uncanny frame.

Camera: Nikon D90


Aperture: f/4.2
Shutterspeed: 1/50sec
ISO: 400
Honourable Mention
149

Honourable Mention

Leap of Joy
adithya anand, Chennai
I wanted to freeze the
mans motion just as he
took off from the sand,
to convey a sense of
freedom. By using a
wide angle lens, I was
able to include the
surroundings and get
close to the action
as well.

Camera: Nikon D7000


Aperture: f/8
Shutterspeed: 1/250sec
ISO: 800

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192

Photograph by:
Arthur Barrett The Ultimate Sacrifice

T
Image Source: he annals of the history of human rights movements are filled with stories of
Wikimedia Commons courageousness and selfless acts of defiance. The image above tells the story of
Emily Davison, whose tragic death paved the way for the suffrage movement,
which saw women fighting for the right to legally vote. A resident of London,
Emily Davison joined the movement in 1906, and she and her fellow protesters
were employing several guerrilla tactics to get their voices heard. On 4 June 1913,
Davison sneaked into the Epsom Derby, where King George Vs horse, Anmer, was also
to be part of the race.
Press photographer Arthur Barrett had positioned himself near a sharp bend of
the race track, where the speeding horses would naturally slow down and it would be
easier for him to make photographs. As the race began, Anmer galloped down the track.
Suddenly, Emily jumped on to the course in front of him, her hand reaching for his bridle.
Instead of stopping, Anmer trampled over her, rendering her unconscious.
Davison couldnt recover from the injuries, and she passed away four days later.
British newsreel The photo of the moment was published in various newspapers, which, in turn,
company Path intensified the movement. Her obituary in The Seattle Star newspaper read, She is the
had captured and first woman to suffer violent death for the cause of women suffrage, but who can say she
recorded this
moment on video.
will be the last?
You can watch For years, it was believed that Davisons death, an apparent suicide, was an act of
the fateful day martyrdom. However, recent studies of the image and videos from that day have shown
uncovering on this that Emily wasnt trying to kill herself for the cause... she was only trying to pin the
link: bit.ly/1qz1CMk
suffrage flag on Anmer.

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