The RF 85MM F1.2L USM is one of Canon’s fastest aperture autofocus lenses for its full-frame mirrorless range of cameras
NAIROBI, Kenya, May 15, 2019 – Canon Europe, world leader in lens manufacturing, today builds on its ongoing commitment to photographers, with the launch of the latest generation of Canon’s iconic 85mm f/1.2L lens, the RF 85mm F1.2L USM. Offering the highest resolution of a Canon lens launched to date, it features a super-fast aperture and outstanding AF speeds, making it ideal for capturing candid portraiture and wedding photography. Following Canon’s lens development announcement in February, the RF 85mm F1.2L USM is the first of six RF mount lenses being introduced by Canon in 2019. This lens, endorsed by award-winning Canon Europe Ambassador Félicia Sisco, will take users of the legendary EF 85mm f/1.2L II USM to the next level of performance. All six RF lenses will offer incredible quality and versatility for those looking to get the perfect shot.
Impressive resolution for every detail
Designed for the EOS R System, the RF mount redefines the possibilities of photography and videography, providing the tools for users to enhance their skills and shoot creatively without limitations. Developed in line with technological advancements and end user feedback, the RF 85mm F1.2L USM uses the RF mount’s advanced possibilities to enhance image quality and communication between the lens and the full-frame mirrorless camera body.
The 85mm short telephoto lens provides the ideal focal length for portraits and a flattering perspective for faces. The RF 85mm F1.2L USM is only the second lens in Canon’s line-up, after the EF 35mm f/1.4L II USM, to use Canon’s unique BR optic technology, which effectively corrects axial chromatic aberration that is not completely correctable with a combination of traditional glass lenses – improving resolution and sharpness. Ensuring incredibly high image quality for every shot, the aspherical and UD lens elements reduce lens aberrations enabling stunning optical performance.
The RF 85MM F1.2L USM is one of Canon’s fastest aperture autofocus lenses for its full-frame mirrorless range of cameras. When coupled with the short telephoto length and Dual Pixel CMOS AF, the fast f/1.2 aperture creates stunning shallow depth of field, bokeh and background separation. The lens aperture makes the subject leap from the image, whilst the nine-aperture blade system enhances the subject against the smoothly blurred background, ideal for portraiture photography. The ultra-wide aperture transmits 50 per cent more light than a f/1.4 lens for shooting in challenging, lighting conditions – down to -6EV (EOS R) and -5EV (EOS RP) – capturing the atmosphere in every moment.
Using the same ring type USM motor as the RF 50mm F1.2L USM, the RF 85mm F1.2L USM ensures sharp focus is found swiftly and accurately, allowing objects to be tracked as they move around the frame. Coupled with a new microprocessor, which uses a new high-performance CPU and firmware, the lens utilises the EOS R system increasing data transfer, resulting in faster operation and AF, allowing the photographer to capture split-second moments.
Exceptional handling and durability
Incorporated in Canon’s RF lenses is a control ring – where settings are programmable to TV, AV, ISO and exposure setting – adds a layer of customisation, making it ideal for wedding photographers who need ranging settings for both perfect candid moments and beautifully modelled shots. The lens is also equipped with a full-time manual focus ring, which allows manual focusing by turning the focusing ring, without the need to switch to MF mode. Ideal for shooting outdoors, or on location, the RF 85mm F1.2L USM features the iconic L-series weatherproofing, sealing the lens to protect against adverse weather conditions when shooting outdoors or on location.
Award-winning wedding photographer and Canon Ambassador, Félicia Sisco commented, “As a wedding – and portrait – photographer, I need to be able to trust my tools so that I can focus on the subject and tell their story. I have been using Canon’s iconic 85mm 1.2 lens for over 20 years because of its speed and wide-aperture which guarantees beautiful images, even in low light.
“The new RF 85mm F1.2L USM is better than I could have imagined. This lens produces a depth of field and bokeh that is impossible to achieve with other lenses and I already know it will become a staple in my kitbag. It separates the subject from the background and delivers a sharp focus on the subject’s eyes which is simply breath-taking, capturing every special moment.”
RF 85mm F1.2L USM Key Features:
- Extreme high performance 85mm prime lens
- 85mm focal length to provide flattering perspective ideal for portraits
- Very Large f/1.2 aperture with 9-aperture blade for superior low light performance and smooth background blur
- BR optics (Blue Spectrum Refractive optics) reduce chromatic aberration ensuring the highest image quality
- Aspherical and UD elements ensure the highest resolution across of the image
- USM motor for smooth, near-silent operation
- Control Ring – giving direct control over Tv/Av/ISO settings
- ASC (Air Sphere Coating) prevents flare and ghosting from deteriorating image quality
Canon Central and North Africa (CCNA).
Gareth Grobler, Founder and CEO of iCE3X on the role of Digital Asset Exchanges in Africa
Gareth Grobler is a digital currency entrepreneur and founded the cryptocurrency exchange iCE3X in 2013. He is a founding member of the UK Digital Currency Association. Gareth has over 15 years of experience in IT infrastructure and architecture development. He started iCE3X as a proof of concept and has been involved with other ventures including Merkeleon, a software company that builds exchange and processing software based out of Austria, with offices in Minsk and London. In this exclusive interview with Heath Muchena of Business Africa Online, Grobler provides clarity on developments in the industry within Africa and shares his views on cryptocurrency adoption on the continent. Excerpts:
Heath: What impact do you think cryptocurrencies will have on how people trade especially in Africa considering that a huge number of people on the continent remain unbanked and excluded from the traditional financial system and cross-border trade is slow and inefficient?
Gareth: It is a double-edged sword. Crypto gives more people access to more options but also creates a void where unscrupulous entities fleece consumers who are not as financially savvy due to the fact that they have not had regular exposure to financial products and or have no experience with investments.
Heath: What government issued African fiat currencies does your platform currently support?
Gareth: The iCE3X platform currently supports two fiat currencies, the Nigerian Naira (NGN) and the South African Rand (ZAR) in addition to the more than 10 cryptocurrencies.
Heath: iCE3X has been operational since 2013. What prompted the early move in the space especially in African markets you operate in i.e. South Africa & Nigeria?
Gareth: iCE3X began as a proof of concept for the SaaS exchange product but now we have more functionality and features than any other exchange in Africa. Our focus is on being the best trading platform and not a cryptocurrency custodian since our vision is to give end-users more options especially when it comes to storing cryptos and do not advocate storage on our exchange, only responsible trading.
We have a loyal user base and are very proud to be one of the few exchanges with legitimate trades and volumes. We take a customer-centric approach to development and delivery of our offerings. Our primary focus is user education with regards to both cryptos and fiat money and blockchain technology adoption. An example is our free crypto trading platform feature which allows users to learn how to trade in real markets using demo tokens native to our exchange.
Heath: How is the cryptocurrency industry developing in South Africa?
Gareth: iCE3X is the abbreviation for “Internet Currency Evolution” so we understand that the industry still has a long way to go and we will see many transitions as the industry develops. We are constantly working on new ways to educate users about the underpinning technologies behind cryptocurrencies and are pleased with the trajectory.
Crypto markets are maturing and user security and knowledge is the main focal point for most honest operators. Part of the downside to the success of bitcoin has been the rise of scams being perpetrated under the bitcoin banner by opportunists looking to defraud unsuspecting ecosystem participants.
Heath: You’re part of the group helping to advise the South African Reserve Bank with respect to cryptocurrency regulations. How would you ideally like to see them approach regulating the industry particularly crypto exchanges?
Gareth: We see cryptos such as Bitcoin as complementary financial instruments rather than replacements for traditional fiat. The SARB have been doing a great job in taking great care to understand the industry and any new challenges it faces, both technically and socially. It is pretty clear to everyone that cryptocurrency such as bitcoin itself cannot be regulated or controlled, but rather that the interaction of fiat money and cryptocurrency should and can be regulated.
Ultimately citizens require consumer protection and the best way to provide this is by vetting and licensing the operators who facilitate the interaction of FIAT and Cryptocurrency. The wheels of government, unfortunately, do not turn as fast as we would like, but we are moving in the right direction and we look forward to being a licensed crypto-asset service provider (CASP).
Heath: How would you describe the progress in South Africa in terms of regulating the industry?
Gareth: South Africa is one of the leading countries worldwide in this respect. Our COO, Eugene Etsebeth was the inaugural Chairperson for the IFWG (Intergovernmental Fintech Working Group) back in 2016 during his tenure at the South African Reserve Bank. I’ve been consulting with the financial regulator since 2012 so overall as a whole RSA have been keeping on top of the curve, yet have been very careful not to tie the industry with unnecessary red-tape so I can honestly say that it is one of the best jurisdictions in which to operate.
Heath: What are some of the legal and regulatory guidelines you currently follow and how will the organisation monitor emerging regulatory considerations? For example Anti-money laundering (AML) laws; and know your customer (KYC) laws.
Gareth: We are proud to have been ahead of the game since inception. We have in fact set the standard in some respects. We follow Financial Action Task Force (on Money Laundering) (FATF) recommendations and already comply with all the suggested government regulations in terms of KYC and AML, even though these requirements are not yet legal requirements. We are also fortunate as I am a FATF recognised private sector expert and as a result, get to not only influence regulatory thinking on an international level but also benefit from first-hand exposure to the direction regulators are taking.
Heath: What can you tell us about the product roadmap for the exchange? You continue to release new features and list new digital assets, what upcoming features are you most excited about rolling out?
Gareth: There are a host of new features, functionality and assets scheduled for release during 2020. This includes stable coins, auto trading, 5 new order types, completely revamped and unique rewards system, new mobile apps, gamification and more deposit and withdrawal options. We are most excited about Artificial Intelligence Coin, our native utility token which will take cryptocurrency adoption and use in South Africa to a whole new level. This is due for release towards the end of Q1 2020.
Neil Sahota, IBM Master Inventor and UN Artificial Intelligence advisor to speak at AI Expo Africa 2020
The AI Media Group, organisers of Africa’s largest AI Business Event – AI Expo Africa – is pleased to announce that IBM Master Inventor and UN Artificial Intelligence advisor Neil Sahota will speak at AI Expo Africa 2020.
AI Expo Africa is the continent’s largest B2B trade-focused artificial intelligence (AI) business event. The expo, which is now in its third year, will be held at Century City Convention Centre in Cape Town 3-4th September 2020.
AI Expo Africa Event Director Roy Bannister stated, “We are really excited to welcome Neil Sahota to our community, he has amassed 20+ years of business experience in a multitude of domains and has 17 awards, 26 publications and 15 patents under his belt. His thought leadership around helping clients and business partners create next generation products powered by emerging technology will be highly valued by our community.
Besides lecturing at UC Irvine in the US, he is also a keynote speaker and author on topics that include emerging technologies like artificial intelligence (AI) and blockchain, as well as entrepreneurship, intrapreneurship, innovation and social good.
Sahota stated, “I am very excited to gain insights from the African AI community. The AI Expo Africa 2020 event gives both myself and many business leaders the opportunity to immerse themselves in 2 days of real-world AI debate, talks and hands on demos of the 4IR technologies that are changing business and society, it’s the largest event of its kind on the continent and looking forward to making a contribution”.
During AI Expo Africa 2020 Sahota will deliver talk on “The AI Frontier: A Great Divider or A Solution?” in which he will discuss techniques and tools which organizations and under-served communities can use to ideate and implement value added solutions. In addition, he will be hosting a master class on AI for Good coupled to social innovation models and joining an expert panel discussing ethics in AI.
AI Expo Africa Event Co-founder Dr Nick Bradshaw stated, “His work experience spans multiple industries including legal services, healthcare, life sciences, retail, travel and transportation, energy and utilities, automotive, telecommunications, media, communications and government. He is also co-author of the best-selling book “Own the A.I. Revolution: Unlock Your Artificial Intelligence Strategy to Disrupt Your Competition” which will be made available at the show to delegates that attend.
Sahota joins a growing list of leading figures and companies that have engaged with the AI Expo Africa community, including the likes of AWS, Microsoft, Google Cloud, IBM, PWC, Kenyan Government, ITU, Nvidia, Intel, SA Government, Dimension Data, UiPath, Blue Prism, Vodacom, Hikvision, SAP, SAS, French Embassy, Telkom, Deloitte, Accenture, EY, Persistent Systems, ABSA & Standard Bank.
Aella, A Nigerian fintech startup raises a $10m debt financing round from HQ Financial Group
Aella co-founders, Akanbi Wale and Akinola Jones (Source: Aella)
Aella has made a visible impact on the lives of more than 300k borrowers across its Employer Backed and Direct to Consumer Verticals, who now have access to simple financial products
LAGOS, Nigeria, February 10, 2020 – Focused on improving financial inclusion for West Africa’s low-income segment, a Nigerian fintech start-up, Aella has raised a $10m debt financing round, from HQ Financial Group (HQF), Singapore-based private company specializing in new material science, semiconductor and blockchain financial investments. This debt financing round is Aella’s second raise and will bolster the company’s commitment to serve the underbanked population in West Africa and other emerging markets.
Aella was founded in late 2015 by Akin Jones, CEO (right) and Akanbi Wale, CTO (left) in Lagos, Nigeria and has remained committed to building trustworthy credit for emerging markets with an initial focus on Nigeria and the Philippines, where the company is licensed to operate. Aella has made a visible impact on the lives of more than 300k borrowers across its Employer Backed and Direct to Consumer Verticals, who now have access to simple financial products.
For millions of poor and low-income households, entrepreneurs, and nascent businesses in West Africa without access to financial institutions, micro-lending fintechs like Aella provide a broader array of financial products — savings, insurance, payments and specialized loans, focused on lifting many out of poverty. Aella plans to use this funding to scale its lending operations and expand its product base into payments.
“Lack of access to credit and financial services has been the main impediment to MSME growth and poverty reduction in several emerging economies. Aella’s commitment to providing trustworthy credit to millions of people in the world’s emerging markets is improving financial inclusion, enabling MSME expansion and accelerating economic growth and this raise will allow us scale our expansion across Africa quickly”, said Aella CEO, Akin Jones.
Aella will also invest in new products including a blockchain-based lending market called Creditcoin, to build borrower creditworthiness and aid in the acquisition of one million additional users by the end of 2020, making it the largest blockchain backed financial services project that is currently operational.
“We are building a one-stop app for all transactions partnered with regulated industry leaders to help distribute products faster, better and cheaper to end-users in Nigeria and across the markets we plan to launch. This app will allow users access multiple financial services at low costs compared to what is currently available in market”, Jones added.
Sun Han Gyu, Chief Executive Officer of HQ Financial Group said “We are excited to announce our partnership with Aella Credit which will significantly aid in the proliferation of micro-loan services to the underserved African populations who are unable to access banking services. HQF is impressed with their outstanding growth with very low default rate in the micro-loan business in Nigeria and look forward, through this initial investment of $10m to new growth opportunities in Africa and South Asia”. HQF has deployed over $70m in investments since 2015.
Aella previously raised $2m seed funding at the US startup program, Y Combinator from seed investors including Micheal Seibel of Y Combinator, Brian Armstrong of Coinbase, Bill Paladino (former head of Naspers eCommerce), Tae Oh, Shawntae Spencer (former San Francisco 49ers Cornerback), VY Capital, 500 Startups, Gluwa and others, which enabled it invest in digitalization and technology.
Over the last two years, the company has achieved significant growth with a 2-year compound annual user growth rate of 674%, over 193% increase in revenue and maintained a single-digit default rate. Aella was also recognized by Amazon as one of the world’s leading financial organizations pioneering the use of facial recognition technology for customer authentication and credit scoring.
This raise marks the conclusion of the start-up’s evolution to a full-service lending and payments platform, poised to play a greater role in providing a wide bouquet of financial services across Africa. Aella is focused on expanding across Africa and South East Asia enabling users to access a wide range of fast, convenient, and secure financial services. The company’s application will allow users to have access to loans, invest safely and securely, affordable insurance plans, bill payments and peer-to-peer money transfers.
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