Thursday, July 31, 2014

Sony Cyber-shot WX220 and W810 Hit US Market

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Digital Compact Cameras
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Sony USA today expanded its product portfolio with two Cyber-shot models, both of which have been available in other markets for a while. The pocket-sized Sony Cyber-shot DSC-WX220 (read review) is extremely slim and compact, yet packs an 18.2 megapixel Exmor R CMOS sensor with 1080/60p movie recording capabilities, a 10x zoom lens bearing the prestigious 'G' designation, and an integrated Wi-Fi module. The entry-level Sony DSC-W810 features a 20.1MP CCD sensor and 6x optical zoom lens, and can shoot HD movies at 720p. For convenient movie shooting, there’s a dedicated movie button on the camera that instantly starts video recording without digging through menus. The new Sony Cyber-shot WX220 will be available in August in black and gold for about $200, and the new Cyber-shot W810 will be available in September in silver for about $100.

Aperture Exporter Released

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Software
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Aperture Exporter is a Mac application allowing users of Apple Aperture to transfer their images and libraries to another photo manager such as Adobe Lightroom. "With only a few options and a click of a button, Aperture Exporter re-generates your Aperture Library as a set of folders and subfolders containing your images," the developers say. The program enables users to "retain meticulously crafted project hierarchies," keep all their metadata including ratings and comments, export images contained in their albums and smart albums, and convert Aperture flags and colour labels to keywords. Aperture Exporter is now available on the Mac App Store, priced at $14.99.

Adobe Releases ACR 8.6 & Lightroom 5.6

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Software
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Adobe has released final versions of ACR 8.6 and Photoshop Lightroom 5.6, which were earlier posted as 'release candidates.' These updates add support for raw files generated by the Nikon D810, the Panasonic FZ1000 (pictured) and Lumix GH4, add profiles for twenty-two camera-lens combinations, and fix bugs.

Source: Adobe Lightroom Journal

Macphun Releases Tonality

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Software
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Tonality from Macphun is a new Mac app for creating superior black-and-white images. The software uses a proprietary 16-bit raw processing engine, advanced imaging algorithms and a comprehensive set of unique digital darkroom features permitting photographers "to do things they never before have been able to achieve," the company says. Starting with "professionally inspired" presets, Tonality includes features like layer-based image editing, adaptive exposure and smart contrast, overlay textures, advanced clarity and structure detail, grain and film emulation, adjustment brushes and a selection of finishing tools for photographers to craft their finest work. Each layer includes separate opacity controls, blending modes and preserves colour data of the original image. “For many photographers, crafting dramatic black-and-white images is their favouritee form of creative expression yet presents uniquely difficult and time-consuming challenges,” said Paul Muzok, CEO of Macphun. “We designed Tonality to overcome those challenges, and be not only the best app for those passionate about monochrome image making but also appeal to the casual photographer who is exploring the genre." Tonality is available today as an electronic download from the Macphun Web Store.

RPS International Print Exhibition 157 Winners Announced

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Competitions
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The winners of the world’s longest running photography exhibition have been announced. Student, amateur and professional photographers from around the world were invited to enter their images to The Royal Photographic Society’s International Print Exhibition 157, and over 6,600 images were submitted. The five award winners are Jacqueline Roberts (Germany), William Lakin (UK), Mandy Barker ARPS (UK), Tamara Staples (USA) and Damien Wootten (UK). The exhibition at Berkeley Gallery, Greenwich Heritage Centre, Woolwich, runs until  28 August 2014 before moving on to venues around the United Kingdom.  All the selected images will be posted on the RPS website at the beginning of August. For information about venues and the exhibition, visit the RPS website.

Canon IXUS 145 Review

Matt Grayson
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The Canon IXUS 145 (also known as the PowerShot ELPH 135) is a stylish and affordable point-and-shoot compact camera. Stand-out features include a 16 megapixel sensor, 8x wide-angle zoom lens and a metal body. Read our in-depth Canon IXUS 145 review now...

Win a Sony Cyber-shot DSC-QX10!

Mark Goldstein
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We've teamed up with Sony to give away a fantastic Sony Cyber-shot DSC-QX10 camera!

The Sony Cyber-shot DSC-QX10 is a completely new type of device that adds a 10x zoom lens and 18 megapixel sensor to your smartphone.

The  Cyber-shot DSC-QX10 unites the creative power of a premium camera with the convenience of your smartphone. The lens-style cameras dramatically improve the quality of digital photographs captured on smartphones.

It’s a dream come true for anyone who loves their smartphone, but wants the photo quality that only a dedicated camera can deliver. And whilst they look like lenses, the DSC-QX10 is a complete camera in its own right.

To enter, simply login via Facebook or by entering your email address, then like the Photography Blog Facebook page and additionally refer your friends to stand the best chance of winning.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Nikon Capture NX-D 1.0.1 for Windows

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Software
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Nikon has released an update to the 64-bit Windows edition of its new Capture NX-D software. According to the company, when the 64-bit Windows version of the application was used to create JPEG-format files converted from raw (.NEF/.NRW), TIFF, or JPEG images using the Convert Files... or Run Batch Process... option in the File menu, a gray band was sometimes visible at the bottom of the images when they were opened in the 64-bit Windows version of Capture NX-D. This issue has been resolved in version 1.0.1.

Website: Nikon

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Pentax 645Z Review

Mark Goldstein
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The Pentax 645Z is a 51.4-megapixel medium-format camera that's styled very much like a DSLR. The well-appointed 645Z has a wealth of features in addition to its very large sensor, not to mention a very competitive price tag (for a medium format camera at least). Read our in-depth Pentax 645Z review to find out if it's worth making the leap to medium format...

BounceLite

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Accessories
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The new BounceLite is a mini-softbox/bounce-card combination for your hotshoe-mounted flash. Currently raising funds on Kickstarter, this ingenious light modifier attaches directly to the flash head and comes with a filter cassette for colour temperature modifying gels such as CTOs and CTBs. The entire BounceLite Collection includes the BounceLite itself, the filter cassette, neoprene case, mounting pads, a filter wallet and two sets of gels. Interested readers are encouraged to visit the project's Kickstarter page.

Zeiss Touit Makro Planar 2.8/50mm T* Firmware Update

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Lenses
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Zeiss has announced the availability of a firmware upgrade for the E-mount version of its Touit Makro Planar 2.8/50mm T* lens. This update addresses two issues including AF hunting in continuous auto focus mode and "clearly noticeable shutter release delays when pressing the release button with activated flash." Note that you cannot install this firmware update yourself - you will need to send the lens, together with a completed copy of Zeiss' delivery note, to the Zeiss Service address nearest to you.

Canon Launches Teaser Campaign

Zoltan Arva-Toth | General
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Canon India has posted a teaser ad on its Facebook page. The advert, reprinted above, promises "something big" for your camera (if your camera happens to be a Canon, of course). This could be something literally big, such as a new full-frame telephoto lens, or a brand new accessory that represents a technological breakthrough - there's no way to tell yet, although speculations abound.

Via Photography Bay

Nikon D810 Sensor Crowned King by DxOMark

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Digital SLR Cameras
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The 36-megapixel FX imager of the new Nikon D810 has achieved a DxOMark Sensor Score of 97, which is higher than those of its predecessors, the Nikon D800 (95) and D800E (96); prompting DxO Labs to declare it the"new leader" in their database. "It’s an outstanding score with excellent colourr depth and an extremely wide dynamic range at base ISO for the most subtle tonal gradations in highlights and shadows," DxO Labs said in a statement. "The low-light score of 2853 ISO is also excellent however it’s somewhat behind the best in that category."

Website: DxOMark

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Nikon Coolpix S5300 Review

Matt Grayson
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The Nikon Coolpix S5300 is a stylish and fully-featured compact camera. The S5300 offers 16 megapixels, an 8x zoom with 25mm wide-angle setting, built-in wi-fi connectivity, 1080p HD movies and a 3 inch LCD screen. Read our expert review of the Nikon Coolpix S5300 to find out if it's a bargain or not...

CarryOn Jib

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Accessories
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ProAm USA has just launched a Kickstarter campaign to help fund the commercialisation of its latest innovation, the CarryOn Jib. Billed as the most compact, yet full-sized crane on the market, the ProAm USA CarryOn Jib features a 360-degree, lockable bearing base with built-in bubble level to provide smooth, fluid motion. Every joint features oil impregnated brass bearings to ensure smooth rotations. The crane’s coated steel cables that connect to the camera platform provide automatic leveling, while the platform can be swapped out for an optional 75 mm bowl mount. The CarryOn Jib Kickstarter campaign offers a number of varying donation levels, from a supportive $5 donation to the $799 level, which gets generous backers the four-section eight-foot CarryOn Jib with bag, quick-release plate, sandbag, tripod and full 7” HDMI LCD kit.

Apple Updates MacBook Pro with Retina Display

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Accessories
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Apple today updated its MacBook Pro with Retina display with faster processors and double the memory in both entry-level configurations. The 13-inch MacBook Pro with Retina display now features dual-core Intel Core i5 processors up to 2.8 GHz with Turbo Boost speeds up to 3.3 GHz and 8GB of memory, up from 4GB in the entry-level notebook. The 13-inch model can also be configured with faster dual-core Intel Core i7 processors up to 3.0 GHz with Turbo Boost speeds up to 3.5 GHz. The 15-inch model features faster quad-core Intel Core i7 processors up to 2.5 GHz with Turbo Boost speeds up to 3.7 GHz, 16GB of memory, up from 8GB in the entry-level notebook, and can be configured with quad-core Intel Core i7 processors up to 2.8 GHz with Turbo Boost speeds up to 4.0 GHz. The top-of-the-line 15-inch MacBook Pro with Retina display has a new, lower starting price of £1,999 / $2,499. Apple today also lowered the starting price of the non-Retina 13-inch MacBook Pro by £100 to £899 / $1,099.

Canon PowerShot SX520 HS

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Digital Compact Cameras
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Building on the features of the PowerShot SX510 HS, the new PowerShot SX520 HS digital camera incorporates a 42x otical zoom with optical image stabilisation, a 16-megapixel CMOS imager, and a dedicated movie button that enables users to easily record 1080p Full HD videos. Upgraded from its predecessor, the PowerShot SX520 HS features Canon's Creative Shot mode that uses a combination of lighting, colour and composition from the original image to create unique, artistic images. The PowerShot SX520 HS digital camera will be available in September 2014 for an estimated retail price of £299.00/€359.00$399.99.

Canon PowerShot SX400 IS

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Digital Compact Cameras
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The Canon PowerShot SX400 IS is a CCD-based, 16-megapixel digital compact camera with 30x optical zoom and 720p movies. The camera has a Smart AUTO mode that identifies an ideal image setting by intelligently selecting from one of 32 pre-defined modes for still shots and 21 scenes for video, while the updated grip design improves handling comfort. The PowerShot SX400 IS digital camera's High Speed AF, also upgraded from the previous model, helps to reduce lag time so that the perfect shot can be captured quickly and with ease. The PowerShot SX400 IS digital camera will be available in August 2014 in black or red for an estimated retail price of £259.00/€315.00/$249.99.

Sony XDCAM PXW-X70

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Digital Video Cameras
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Sony Professional has launched a "business" camcorder with a 1"-type sensor and 12x optical zoom. Equipped with a 13.2×8.8mm, 20-megapixel Exmor-R branded CMOS imager and a 29-348mm equivalent Carl Zeiss T* lens, the Sony XDCAM PXW-X70 camcorder weighs in at 1.4kg and measures 180.9×287×130.3mm. Supporting multiple video recording formats, the Sony XDCAM PXW-X70 features an XLR terminal, dual memory card slots as well as HDMI and 3G-SDI interfaces, and records video at up to 1080p resolution at up to 60fps, with Sony promising 4K recording capabilities via a future firmware upgrade. In addition, the Sony XDCAM PXW-X70 has an integrated Wi-Fi module and supports NFC, making it possible to control the camera via your smartphone. Availability and pricing have yet to be confirmed.

Source: Sony Professional - Japan

Monday, July 28, 2014

Phase One iX Capture

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Software
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Phase One Industrial today released Phase One iX Capture, an image capture and raw conversion application designed specifically for aerial photography. The software enables operators to track each capture and utilize real-time feedback to be confident that each image has been captured correctly. Dov Kalinski, General Manager of Phase One Industrial said, “Our new iX Capture application has been designed to boost efficiency — enabling inflight picture review, ensuring high quality image results and streamlining the inflight capture process." Compatible with the Windows 8.1 operating system, the Phase One iX Capture application was created for use exclusively with Phase One aerial cameras. It is a free application available immediately from the website below.