Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Epson SureColor SC-P600

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Photokina 2014, Printers
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The Epson SureColor SC-P600 is Epson’s new top-of-the-range A3+ photo printer. Combining professional quality, high productivity and superior wireless connectivity in a relatively compact and affordable package, the Epson SureColor SC-P600 features the manufacturer's new nine-colour UltraChrome HD inkset for excellent quality prints. Designed for medium-volume production, the SureColor SC-P600 outputs an 11 x 14 inch print in 153 seconds. Twin paper paths enable A3+ printing on a wide variety of photo and fine art papers, canvas and thick media, while the machine’s roll-paper capability is perfect for high-impact panoramic images.  The 2.7 inch, colour touch panel interface makes it simple to set up and manage, even without a PC, while the unit's Wi-Fi Direct, Epson Connect and Google Cloud Print support provide for excellent wireless connectivity. The SureColor SC-P600 printer will be shown for the first time in Europe at Photokina (Stand B11, Hall 2.2).

Benro Aero 2 and Aero 4

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Accessories
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Benro today launched its Aero 2 and Aero 4 travel-friendly video tripods. Designed for those who are tired of checking their tripod at the airport, or sick of carrying a heavy tripod up a mountain, and of course for the filmmaker on the go no matter where the destination, these compact video tripods utilise reverse folding legs, making them small enough to fit inside of a backpack, rolling case or carry on. Each kit includes a removable flat base fluid effect video head with both pan (left to right) and tilt (up & down) controls for smooth and precise camera movements. Both Aero tripods feature secure quick flip leg lock levers, independent leg angle adjustments allowing easy set-up on uneven ground, a weight hook to secure your tripod in the windiest of conditions and convertible rubber/spiked feet to secure your tripod to any surface. The Aero 4 model additionally includes a 501PL compatible QR6 plate. Suggested retail price for the Benro Aero 2 is $199, whilst the Aero 4 costs $259.

Sony DSC-RX10 Firmware Version 2.00

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Digital Compact Cameras
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Sony has issued a firmware update for its Cyber-shot DSC-RX10 digital superzoom camera. Version 2.00 eables shooting 60p/30p/24p/120p movies in the XAVC S format, which supports high bit rates. Specifically, users can shoot 1080p movies at frame rates of 60/50/30/25/24fps, and 720p videos at up to 100 and 120fps in the new format. Note that when shooting a movie in the XAVC S format, you'll need to ensure that an SDXC card of Class 10 or faster is used.

Website: Sony UK

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Zeiss Loxia 2/35 and Loxia 2/50

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Lenses
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Zeiss has announced two new manual-aperture, manual-focus lenses for Sony's E-mount full-frame compact system cameras. The Zeiss Loxia 2/35 (€1149/$1,299) is a 35mm f/2 lens that features 9 elements in 6 groups and weighs in at 340 grams. The Loxia 2/50 (€849/$ 949) is a 50mm f/2 "normal" prime comprising 6 elements in 4 groups. The Loxia 2/50 will be available worldwide starting October 2014 and the Loxia 2/35 from the end of the fourth quarter of 2014.

Perfect Photo Suite 9

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Software

onOne Software has announced Perfect Photo Suite 9, an updated version of its photo editing and effects app for Mac OS X and Windows. New features include an overhauled Browse module,, a new Lens Flare filter, a new Quick Mask brush, a new Smart Photo feature and an integrated noise reduction algorithm. Additionally, all the masking and selection tools have been improved and integrated throughout the Suite’s modules. And, Perfect Layers and Perfect Mask have been combined into a single module, streamlining the process of compositing photos. Perfect Photo Suite 9 will be available in late October 2014, in two versions: Premium and Basic. The Premium version has an introductory price of $129.95. The Basic edition, which does not have plug-in support, is $79.95.

Hasselblad Masters Volume 4 Evolve

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Books, Competitions
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Hasselblad has announced Hasselblad Masters Volume 4 Evolve, a 240-page hardback priced at €79.90 / $95.00 / £65.00, which will be published by teNeues in September 2014. Over the past few years, the company has provided funding the prestigious Masters photography contest, which honours both established top photographers and outstanding newcomers. In 2014, the theme of the competition was “Evolve.” In Hasselblad Masters Volume 4, twelve photographers present their stunning images on the subject, with accompanying text in English, German, French, Spanish, Italian, Japanese, and Chinese. The winners were selected from nearly 4,000 applicants and were given the opportunity to portray their ideas with high-end Hasselblad equipment.

Domke Next Generation Camera Bags Now Available

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Accessories
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Tiffen's new Domke Next Generation camera bag line, which was introduced at CES 2014, is now available in the USA. The new range includes the Journalist Series ($269.95 - $349.95), the Adventurer Series ($159.95), the Metropolitan Series ($229.95 - $379.95) and Viewfinder Series ($249.95 - $289.95). Each series offers several purpose-designed models, materials and colours. Shooters can customise their Domke bag using the new PocketFlex storage component system, an ingenious system of pockets, patches and pouches that keep accessories such as lenses safe and secure. The GearProtex system lets photographers organise bags into compartments of any size or shape using bendable, self-adhering separators. For more information, including model dimensions and specs, materials, colors and pricing, visit the website below.

Benro Video Monopod Kit

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Accessories
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Kenro, the official UK and Ireland distributor of Benro products, has announced a new Video Monopod Kit. This new Benro Video Monopod Kit is supplied complete with the S4 Head which has an ergonomic pan bar handle, while the folding 3-leg base ensures stable support for video gear. Supplied complete with a durable carrying case with strap for ease of transportation, the Benro Video Monopod Kit is available for £203.40.

Canon Celebrates 80th Anniversary of Kwanon

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Global
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Canon is commemorating  the 80th anniversary of its first product, the Kwanon, which was Japan’s first 35mm focal-plane-shutter camera. The engineers who created the camera decided to name it after Kwannon, the Buddhist goddess of mercy, hoping the deity would share her benevolence as they pursued their dream to produce the world’s finest camera. The camera’s lens, called Kasyapa—after Mahakasyapa, a disciple of Buddha—also took its name from Buddhism. Additionally, the top portion of the camera body featured an engraving depicting the thousand-armed Kwannon. Masaya Maeda, Managing Director and Chief Executive, Image Communication Products Operations at Canon Inc., comments: “Over the 80 years since the birth of the Kwanon camera prototype, Canon has continuously innovated to fulfil the Company’s never-ending ambition to create the world’s finest cameras. Leveraging the technologies and know-how it has acquired over its history, Canon will continue contributing to the development of the photographic and video imaging culture through its technologies and products designed to satisfy the expectations of our customers.”

Monday, September 1, 2014

Metabones Speed Booster ULTRA

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Accessories
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The new Metabones Speed Booster ULTRA adapter features an advanced 5-element / 4-group optical design incorporating ultra-high index tanatalum-based optical glass for improved corner sharpness, distortion and reduced vignetting. Like the original Metabones Speed Booster announced in January 2012, the Speed Booster ULTRA allows various full-frame lenses to be mounted on certain compact system camera bodies and has a magnification of 0.71x, so it effectively reduces the crop factor of cameras with APS-C sized sensors - such as Sony E-mount and Fuji X-mount cameras - from 1.5x to 1.07x. According to Metabones, the Speed Booster ULTRA performs extremely well with professional-grade f/2.8 zoom lenses such as the 24-70mm f/2.8 and 70-200mm f/2.8 zooms. Pricing starts at $449.

Nissin i40 Flash for FourThirds and Sony

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Accessories
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Kenro, has announced that the Nissin i40 - 'love mini' compact flash gun is now also available for FourThirds and new hot shoe style Sony cameras. With an auto adjust zoom ranging from 24mm-105mm and a built-in diffuser giving 16mm lens coverage, the Nissin i40l is also equipped with a LED video light providing 9 steps of output level adjustment. Other features include a guide number of 40 at 105mm, high-speed synchronization (supporting up to 1/8,000 seconds shutter speed), wireless TTL mode and the ability to tilt the head horizontally 180° to right and left and up 90°. The flash is powered by 4 x AA batteries and has an SRP of £204.

International Landscape Photographer of the Year - Winner Announced

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Competitions
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The winner of the inaugural International Landscape Photographer of the Year  is Christian Fletcher from Western Australia. "My aim was to produce striking images from the air that had an industrial theme," Christian says. "As a photographer I feel it is my duty to capture the world we live in, be it pristine wilderness or industrial oblivion. Both are inspiring in a photographic sense but only one is sustainable."

Chasing the Light Magazine Issue #32

Zoltan Arva-Toth | General

Issue 32 of David Noton’s Chasing the Light Online Magazine is now available to purchase. In this month’s Behind the Lens article, David Noton describes his recent productive photo trip to the market at Issigeac in the Pays de Bergerac to capture the bustle of colour found there, as well as many other happy hours spent capturing the Gallic idyll of the region; this is all accompanied by his usual Video Blog. And the Low Down continues with Part Three of David’s articles on printing, this time getting down to the nitty-gritty of making a print, including discussions on the topics of colour management and soft proofing. Ross Hoddinott continues his Hangout series by writing about his own home patch of Cornwall, and the inspiration and benefits this popular location has always brought to his photography, all accompanied by some of his favourite shots. For How It’s Done, Ian Badley continues the Cornish theme, sharing the story behind his spectacular shot of a super-yacht in the 2010 Pendennis Cup Regatta. Do note that the full contents of Chasing the Light Online Magazine is available to full f11 subscribers only. However non-members can purchase individual issues of the magazine at a price of £4.20.

Nikon D4S Firmware Version C:1.10

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Digital SLR Cameras
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Nikon have posted a firmware update for the Nikon D4S professional DSLR camera. Version C:1.10 incorporates the following improvements:

  • When SPORT VR mode, built into the AF-S NIKKOR 400mm f/2.8E FL ED VR, is selected, the same continuous shooting rate available when OFF is selected is now possible.
  • When memory cards with capacities greater than 128 GB were formatted with the camera, they were formatted using the FAT32 file system.  They are now formatted using the exFAT file system.
  • Operation has been changed so that when menus are displayed during movie live view and the movie-record button is pressed, the menu display disappears and display returns to movie live view. To begin movie recording, press the movie-record button again.
  • The Zoom on/off option for playback mode with Custom Setting f1: Multi Selector Center Button can now be used to zoom-in on images with zoom display centered on the active focus point, even if they were captured with live view photography. However, the focus point will not be displayed.
  • The Help explanation provided for the Preset focus point option under Custom Setting f19: Lens Focus Function Buttons has been revised.

Friday, August 29, 2014

Olympus E-PL7 Sample Images

Mark Goldstein
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We tried out the new Olympus E-PL7 compact system camera at yesterday's UK press launch, putting this mid-range model through its paces. Olympus are hoping that the E-PL7 will prove particularly alluring to women, who so far haven't bought into mirrorless cameras (90% of compact system camera sales are to men), and also to fashion-focused bloggers.

Here are 43 full-size sample JPEG photos taken with the E-PL7, using the 45mm and 14-42mm lenses.

Olympus E-PL7 Hands-On Photos

Mark Goldstein | Compact System Camera
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Want to see exactly what the new Olympus E-PL7 compact system camera looks like in the flesh.

Check out our extensive hands-on gallery of photos of the Olympus E-PL7 compact system camera.

Canon at Photokina 2014

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Photokina 2014
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Canon has announced details of its presence at Photokina 2014. The company's programme at the show will offer visitors a digital imaging experience that highlights its line-up of products and services. Within an open, free-roam environment, visitors will be invited to undertake shooting challenges, with experts on-hand to guide them along the way. The stand will also feature live presentation sessions with Canon’s world famous photography ambassadors. Presenters will include landscape and travel photographer David Noton, photojournalist and documentary filmmaker Ulla Lohmann, and action shooter Richard Walch. Furthermore, Canon Explorer Jörg Kyas will be taking on interactive challenges set by visitors – providing a unique way for enthusiasts to learn about new styles or techniques. To allow attendees the opportunity to retain their experience, Canon Live Pass RFID cards will be supplied to allow visitors to scan in at key points around the stand in order to create a souvenir site which is tailored to their interest areas, and to which they can refer after the show. Canon’s stand will be located in Hall 3.2.

Booq Boa Flow Now Available in UK

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Accessories
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The Booq Boa Flow Graphite bag is now available in the UK.The bag's weatherproof ballistic nylon exterior is equipped with water-repellent coating to endure even the most hazardous weather conditions. To keep you fully covered, a rain cover with reflective elements makes you visible in low light conditions. A malleable interior compartment allows you to enhance or collapse the main and bottom compartment, making room for a DSLR, large headphones and other necessities. A back laptop compartment has been densely padded to fit up to a 17” MacBook or PC, meanwhile a plethora of exterior pockets keep all other fundamentals safely tucked away and easily accessible.Boa flow is available now for £200.

Jessops Academy Big Cats Photography Course

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Events
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The Jessops Academy's one-day Big Cats Photography Course, launched just last month, offers attendees a chance to get up close and personal to nature’s giant cats. Amongst the cats you can photograph are the critically endangered Amur Leopard, the beautiful Snow Leopard and the mysterious Jaguar. Throughout the day you will be guided by a Jessops Academy Tutor, assisting you to get the best from your camera by advising you on both technical and creative aspects of photography. The cost of attendance is £125. For more information, visit the website below.

Professional Photography: The New Global Landscape Explained

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Books
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Professional Photography: The New Global Landscape Explained by Grant Scott is a new title from Focal Press. Topics covered in this book include practical examples and detailed advice on designing and maintaining a well-structured website, exploring personal projects to find new clients, managing print sales and exhibiting, and of course being well-versed in creating both still and moving images. The accompanying podcast interviews with some of today’s top professional photographers provide additional insider information to help photographers understand their place in both the commercial and creative worlds, the publisher says. The book is available for $38.95.