Thursday, April 10, 2014

Unresolved Dreams: Azerbaijan’s Refugees and IDPs

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Events, Photographers
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Unresolved Dreams is an exhibition of photographs by photojournalist Ed Kashi, currently on display at the gallery@oxo in London. Commissioned by The European Azerbaijan Society (TEAS), Ed has charted the lives of a handful of the approximately one million Azerbaijani internally displaced persons (IDPs) and refugees who are the ongoing casualties of the Armenian-Azerbaijani conflict over Nagorno-Karabakh. The exhibition runs from 10–13 April, and is open every day from 11a.m. to 6p.m.

Contour Returns to Action Camera Market

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Digital Video Cameras
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After completing a financial overhaul, Contour is now under new ownership and is back on the map as a player in the action camera market, the company says. In the coming months Contour plans to launch new cameras with a one-touch locking record switch, laser alignment system and 270-degree rotating lens. The company’s return to the market is punctuated by the re-launch of its website that currently offers the Contour+2 with wireless connectivity (pictured), the waterproof ROAM2 and a full range of accessories.

Fujifilm WP-XQ1

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Accessories
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Fuji has revealed an officialunderwater housingfor the Fujifilm XQ1 digital compact camera. The Fujifilm WP-XQ1 Underwater Housing allows you to use the XQ1 camera at depths up to 40m. Built from Transparent Polycarbonate the sturdy housing not only protects the camera but allows you to use all its controls whilst underwater. With built in Wireless Image Transfer you don’t even need to take the camera out of the housing to transfer your images to smartphone or tablet, so you can start sharing your shots as soon as you come up to the surface. The WP-XQ1 housing can be yours for £249.95 / $329.99. An XQ1 dive kit will be available in the UK through the network of Authorised Fujifilm Dive centres nationwide.

Lensbaby 5.8mm Circular Fisheye Lens

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Lenses
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Lensbaby has launched  a 5.8mm circular fisheye lens in Canon EF and Nikon F mounts. This manual lens has built-in aperture control ranging from f/3.5-22 and features an angle of view of 185°, close-focus point of 1/4 inch as well as traditional distance and DoF scales. Unlike most other Lensbaby optics, the 5.8mm Circular Fisheye is not a selective-focus lens. “Our Circular Fisheye lens, from a hardware perspective, functions just like any other manual lens,” said Craig Strong, Lensbaby co-founder & Chief Creative Officer. “Simply attach it to your camera, and start shooting - no additional parts needed. Of course it wouldn't be a Lensbaby lens without something fun, different, and wacky. That’s why Circular Fisheye lets you focus on objects nearly touching the lens, while getting a 185 degree view of your surroundings. Plus, the flare this lens can produce adds a creative element to the border around the sharp circular image.” The lens is currently available for pre-order from B&H, Adorama and Amazon, priced at $299.95. Availability is slated for mid-May.

Nikon 1 J4

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Compact System Camera
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The Nikon 1 J4 is a new, WiFi-enabled compact system camera with an 18-megapixel CX sensor with no low-pass filter, improved hybrid AF system, touch-sensitive LCD screen and an aluminium housing. The auto focus system offers 105 focus points with phase-detection AF and 171 focus points with contrast-detect AF. The Nikon 1 J4 supports high-speed continuous shooting at approximately 20fps with AF tracking, and up to 60fps when focus is locked. Other highlights include a sensitivity range of ISO 100-12,800, a 1-million-dot 3" touchscreen, Full HD 60p movies, improved Motion Snapshots and manual exposure modes. Availability is slated for June, with pricing to be confirmed.

Nikon SB-N10 Underwater Speedlight

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Accessories
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The Nikon SB-N10 is an underwater flash unit compatible with the Nikon 1 AW1 and new Nikon 1 J4 compact system cameras. This speedlight can be attached directly to the AW1 or the Nikon WP-N3 waterproof case, which is compatible with the J4. Powered by 4 AA sized batteries, the Nikon SB-N10 has a guide number of 28 in metres at ISO 100/21° and is depth rated for 100m.

Nikon WP-N3 Waterproof Case

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Accessories
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The Nikon WP-N3 is a new underwater case for the Nikon 1 J4 compact system camera. Depth rated for 45m, the Nikon WP-N3 is designed to accommodate the Nikon 1 J4 with the 1 Nikkor VR 10–30mm PD-ZOOM lens or the 1 Nikkor 11–27.5mm f/3.5–5.6 lens attached. Comfortable to grip, even when you’re wearing gloves, key camera controls remain easy to access. When used with the Underwater Speedlight SB-N10, underwater flash photography is also possible. Pricing and availability have yet to be confirmed.

Nikon Coolpix S810c

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Digital Compact Cameras
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Nikon has announced a new Android-powered compact camera called the Nikon Coolpix S810c. Equipped with 12x optical zoom, a 16-megapixel sensor and WiFi, the Nikon Coolpix S810c features a newly adopted comment function which enabless users to add comments, such as their impression of the scene, immediately after the shutter is released. Successor to the Coolpix 800c, the Nikon Coolpix 810c adds a 3.7" display with a resolution of 1.2 million dots. Other feature highlights include Vibration Reduction, geotagging, Google Play support and Full HD video recording capabilities. The camera will be available in May for £249.99 / € 299.00 / $349.95.

Nikon AF-S DX Nikkor 18-300mm f/3.5-6.3G ED VR

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Lenses
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The AF-S DX Nikkor 18-300mm f/3.5-6.3G ED VR is a new, stabilised superzoom lens for Nikon dSLRs with DX  size sensors. Approximately 30% lighter than the existing AF-S DX Nikkor 18-300mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR (read review), the new lens has a brand new optical formula comprising 16 elements in 12 groups, and a smaller 67mm filter thread. The Nikon AF-S DX Nikkor 18-300mm f/3.5-6.3G ED VR will be available next month for £629.99 / €749.00 / $899.95.

Akvis Retoucher 7.0

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Software
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Akvis has released Version 7.0 of Retoucher, an image restoration program for Mac and Windows. This update adds two new options, Flip Vertical and Flip Horizontal, to the Chameleon Brush; support for more raw file formats (standalone version); new shortcuts for workflow efficiency; and a few bug fixes. Registered users of the software can upgrade to version 7.0 at no charge.

Russar+

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Lenses
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The Lomographic Society has announced the upcoming launch of the Russar+, a rebirth of the legendary 1958 Russar MR-2 lens. With a focal length of 20mm and a maximum aperture of f/5.6, the Russar+ is compatible with all L39/Mmount analogue cameras (and nearly all CSCs when using approriate mount adapters). On a 35mm film camera, the Russar+ offers an angle of view of 94°. Going on sale in July 2014, the lens is already available for pre-order in the Lomography Online Shop, priced at €599 .

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Sony Cyber-shot DSC-H400 Review

Mark Goldstein
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The Sony Cyber-shot DSC-H400 is a new superzoom compact camera with a incredible 63x zoom lens. The Sony H400 also features a 20 megapixel CCD sensor, 720p HD video with stereo sound, 3-inch screen, electronic viewfinder and a range of manual shooting modes. Read our Sony Cyber-shot DSC-H400 review to find out if it's the right super-zoom camera for you...

Macphun Partners with MILK Tailor Made Books

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Software
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Macphun has announced its partnership with MILK Tailor Made Books. The first Macphun product to integrate MILK print services is Focus 2, which provides photographers with selective focus, creative blur, tilt-shift and motion blur effects and more. By accessing a new “Order Prints” command in the software, users can now turn their images into fine-quality postcards, folded notecards, framed gallery prints or wrapped canvas prints. The update to Focus 2 (Mac App Store version) and Focus 2 Pro that contains MILK print services is available today, free of charge to current owners of the product. To get the update, select the “Updates” button in the Mac App Store or choose “Check for Updates” in the Focus 2 Pro menu of the Pro software.

Four New Simply Elegant Products from IT Supplies

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Accessories
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IT Supplies have announced four new additions to their Simply Elegant private label collection: Metallic Canvas, Fiber Gold 310, Premium Luster, and Photo Panel Displays. The Metallic Canvas joins the range of five metallic papers from Simply Elegant, whilst the Fiber Gold 310 baryta product can be embraced as a replacement product for past Ilford baryta users, the company says. Premium Luster boasts the best properties of non-glare paper selections, has a clean, bright white finish. Finally, the Photo Panel Displays are rigid, adhesive-faced panels with black edging, ready to receive an image by simply peeling away the release liner to adhere the print to the panel face. Three sizes are available: 5 x 7”, 8 x 10” and 11 x 17”, and are sold individually or in packs of 10, with prices starting at $7.99.

Sony World Photography Awards Exhibition

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Competitions, Events
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The 2014 Sony World Photography Awards Exhibition will be held from 1st - 18th May at Somerset House (Strand, London WC2R 1LA). In addition to the works of winning and shortlisted photographers of the 2014 Sony World Photography Awards, special curations include a collection of images by American photographer Mary Ellen Mark, the recipient of the Sony World Photography Awards’ Outstanding Contribution to Photography, plus exclusive Sony commissions of celebrated photographer William Klein and a group show by Panos Pictures photographers. British photographers in the exhibition include Spencer Murphy, Amanda Harman and Mary Turner. The exhibition will also include special displays of the winning, shortlisted and highly commended books of the KKF Book Awards for the Best Photography and Moving Image Books of the Year, and the winning and finalist images of a UK-wide student photography competition run in conjunction with Hotel Indigo.

Mary Ellen Mark Honoured at Sony World Photography Awards

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Competitions, Photographers
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​American photographer Mary Ellen Mark has been honoured with the 2014 Sony World Photography Awards’ Outstanding Contribution to Photography award. "Beginning as a freelance photographer often working on film sets, Mark’s career has spanned four decades and seen her travel extensively," the World Photography Organisation said in a statement. "Her work is characterised by a constant vision to make pictures that reflect a high degree of humanism and to capture and acknowledge people on the edges of society." A special retrospective of Mark’s work will be shown at Somerset House from 1-18 May as part of the 2014 Sony World Photography Awards Exhibition.

G-RAID Sudio and G-Speed Studio

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Accessories
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G-Technology has announced the first products in its new Studio line – the G-RAID Studio and G-Speed Studio. The G-RAID Studio is a high-performance storage system with hardware RAID. User-selectable in RAID 0, RAID 1 or JBOD, the G-RAID Studio features Thunderbolt 2 technology and has transfer rates up to 360MB/s for editing high-resolution photos or multiple streams of compressed 2K and 4K projects. The G-RAID Studio ships with two removable enterprise-class 7,200 RPM hard drives for total capacities up to 12TB. The G-RAID Studio will be available in May for an MSRP of $1,299.95 for 12TB, $849.95 for 8TB and $699.95 for 6TB.  The G-Speed Studio with hardware RAID is a four-bay Thunderbolt 2 storage solution that supports user-selectable RAID 0, 1, 5 and 10. Shipping with four removable enterprise-class hard drives, the G-Speed Studio will be available in May for an MSRP of $3,599.95 for 24TB, $2,699.95 for 16TB and $2,199.95 for 12TB.

G-Drive ev SSD

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Accessories
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G-Technology has announced the latest additions to its Evolution Series family – the G-Drive ev SSD and the 500GB G-Drive ev external drive modules. Offered in a capacity of 512GB, the G-Drive ev SSD (£374.95) is capable of delivering transfer speeds up to 480MB/s when paired with the Evolution Series G-Dock ev with Thunderbolt. The G-Drive ev 500GB is a 7,200-rpm portable hard drive offering upto 125MB/s transfer rates via USB 3.0, and is available for £74.95.

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Adore Noir Magazine Issue 19

Zoltan Arva-Toth | General
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The 19th issue of Adore Noir Magazine is now available for purchase. Adore Noir is a fine art photography magazine available exclusively in digital format. Featuring photographs of deserted Baltimore buildings by Perry Manuk, images of Paris by Laurence Garçon, artistic nudes by Marc Koegel, and much more; this edition reinforces the magazine’s commitment to high-quality black-and-white Photography. The latest issue of Adore Noir is available for $2.95 from the website below.

Adobe DNG Converter 8.4 and ACR 8.4

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Software
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Adobe has released final versions of Adobe DNG Converter 8.4 and ACR 8.4. These updates add support for the Canon EOS 1200D, Canon PowerShot G1 X Mark II, Casio EX-100, Fujifilm X-T1, Hasselblad H5D-50C, Hasselblad HV, Nikon 1 V3, Nikon Coolpix P340, Nikon D3300, Nikon D4S, Olympus OM-D E-M10, Panasonic TZ60 / TZ61, Samsung NX mini, Samsung NX30, Sony A5000 and Sony A6000 cameras, the Phase One IQ250 digital back (pictured) and the DJI Phantom quadcopter; similarly to Lightroom 5.4. Additionally, ACR 8.4 brings support for a host of new lens profiles, implements changes to local corrections and updates to the Preview Controls, and fixes bugs. Camera Matching color profiles for more than a dozen Fujifilm cameras have also been added.

Source: Lightroom Journal