Monday, April 14, 2014

Manfrotto Advanced Bag Winners

Mark Goldstein | Competitions, PhotographyBLOG
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We've teamed up with Manfrotto to give away THREE fantastic new Advanced Camera Bags worth up to £84.95!

The three lucky winners are:

1st Prize: Advanced Tri Backpack small (MB MA-BP-TS) – RRP £84.95 - Karen Herbert

2nd Prize: Advanced Active Backpack I (MB MA-BP-A1) - RRP £79.95 - Fiona Johnstone

3rd Prize: Advanced Gear Backpack Small (MB MA-BP-GPS) – RRP £59.95 - John Machar

MANFROTTO ADVANCED BAGS COLLECTION

Protection, design and quality in a brand-new fully-featured collection of camera bags.

Manfrotto Advanced Camera Bags

Aimed at passionate photographers looking for full-featured, reliable equipment that share the Manfrotto heritage trusted by professionals. Alongside our well-known hobbyist tripods, Advanced bags are an ideal way in to Manfrotto’s range. All Advanced bags are made using durable, resistant fabrics, metal zip pulls and buckles… all carefully assembled and stitched to ensure that Advanced bags are made to last. Based on the real needs of photographers, the functions of Advanced bags have been made easy to use on the move: tripod holders, dividers, pockets, rain covers, all carefully designed around the keen photographer.

For more information or to view or buy Manfrotto products online visit: http://www.manfrotto.co.uk

Sigma Optimization Pro 1.2.0

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Software
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Sigma will release an update to its Sigma Optimization Pro software on 18th April. Version 1.2.0 will offer additional customisation when used with the Sigma 50mm f1.4 DG HSM lens. Click through / read on for the details.

Friday, April 11, 2014

Tamron 16-300mm f/3.5-6.3 Di II VC PZD Pricing Announced

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Lenses
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Tamron has announced availability and pricing information on the Tamron 16-300mm f/3.5-6.3 Di II VC PZD Macro superzoom lens. Designed for dSLRs with APS-C sized sensors, the Tamron 16-300mm f/3.5-6.3 Di II VC PZD Macro has a 35mm equivalent focal range of 24-450mm and an optical formula comprising sixteen elements in twelve groups, plus an iris diaphragm with seven rounded aperture blades. Shipping with a petal-shaped lens hood, the Tamron 16-300mm f/3.5-6.3 Di II VC PZD Macro has a 67mm filter thread, 39cm minimum focus distance and a maximum reproduction ratio of 1:2.9. The lens incorporates a PZD (Piezo Drive) focus motor and Tamron’s exclusive VC (Vibration Compensation) technology to combat motion blur resulting from shaky hands. The lens will be on sale in the USA starting May 15, 2014 at a street price of $629.

Sony Cyber-shot DSC-HX60V Review

Mark Goldstein
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The Sony Cyber-shot DSC-HX60V is a new premium travel-zoom camera with a 30x zoom lens. The HX60V also features built-in wi-fi, NFC and GPS, full 1080p high-definition video with stereo sound, a 20 megapixel CMOS sensor, high-resolution 3-inch screen, manual shooting modes, 10fps continuous shooting, ISO range of 100-12800 and fast auto-focusing. Read our Sony Cyber-shot DSC-HX60V review to find out if it's the best travel-zoom camera...

Voigtländer Nokton 25mm f/0.95 Type II Now Shipping

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Lenses
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The new Voigtländer Nokton 25mm f0.95 II lens is now available. This revised edition benefits from a new aperture control mechanism which allows the user to switch between "clicked" and stepless operation as required, just like the Voigtländer Nokton 42.5mm f/0.95 and Nokton 17.5mm f/0.95. Otherwise unchanged from the previous version, the Voigtländer Nokton 25mm f0.95 II is a manual-focus lens with an optical formula comprising 11 elements in 8 groups and a 10-bladed iris diaphragm. In the UK, the lens is available for £660 from Robert White. In the USA, you can buy Voigtländer Nokton 25mm f0.95 II from Amazon for $999.

Sigma 50mm f/1.4 DG HSM Pricing Announced

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Lenses
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Sigma has announced the recommended price of the new Sigma 50mm f/1.4 DG HSM Art lens. The Sigma 50mm f/1.4 DG HSM has an optical formula featuring 13 elements in 8 groups and an iris diaphragm with 9 rounded blades. The lens incorporates a floating system that adjusts the distance between lens groups while focusing, thereby reducing the amount of lens movement required. A Hyper Sonic Motor (HSM) enables fast and quiet auto focus operation. The 50mm f/1.4 DG HSM Art lens will be available later this month for $949 in the USA. In the UK it will cost £849 with Canon and Sigma fits available in May, Nikon fit following in June, and Sony and Pentax still to be determined.

Photojojo Now Carries Luxi Diffusion Dome

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Accessories
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You can now buy Luxi, a small diffusion dome that turns your iPhone 5 into an incident light meter, from Photojojo's online store. Available for $30, Luxi helps you determine the best settings for your SLR or other camera so that you can take perfectly exposed pictures regardless of your subject's reflectance.

Website: Photojojo

Chiawa Camp Develops Chiawa Filter

Zoltan Arva-Toth
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Located along the banks of the Zambezi River,  Chiawa Camp is offering a unique technique that will allow you to take wildlife shots during night game drives without compromising the animals’ natural behaviour. The camp has developed a spotlight protocol which comprises red light filters and the Chiawa Filter. Red light filters are used on headlights and spotlights for locating animals and reducing any discomfort; the Chiawa Filter is then used for maximum photographic effect, eliminating the disorienting hot spot and unwelcome red tinge, using instead a specially-designed filter that creates diffused, natural light. For more information, visit the website below.

Sony A7S Now Available to Pre-Order

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Compact System Camera
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Warehouse Express has started taking pre-orders for the brand new Sony A7S, a 35mm full-frame compact system camera that shoots 4K video without pixel binning. The camera's professional video functions include XAVC S Full HD recording at 50Mbps, time code and optional XLR audio inputs. The new α7S full-frame digital camera from Sony will be available in Summer 2014, priced at £2499 without a lens. For comparison, Warehouse Express sells the Sony A7 for £1235 and the A7R for £1669.

Website: Warehouse Express

CION Shoots 4K Video at 120fps

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Digital Video Cameras
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AJA Video Systems have announced a professional grade 4K/2K cinema camera called CION. When recording in HD or 2K, the image is oversampled from the full 4K sensor, retaining focal length and angle-of-view. Featuring a PL mount, CION is compatible with industry-standard cine lenses and offers in-camera recording directly to the Apple ProRes family of codecs. Additionally, CION has the ability to output 4K raw data at up to 120 fps via 4x 3G-SDI outputs and can record directly to AJA Pak SSD media at up to 60 frames per second. CION will be available Summer 2014 via a worldwide network of AJA resellers at a US MSRP of $8,995. AJA Pak SSD media is available at a US MSRP of $695 (256GB) and $1295 (512GB).

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Sony Cyber-shot DSC-HX400V Review

Mark Goldstein
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The Sony Cyber-shot DSC-HX400V is a new premium super-zoom compact camera. A 50x zoom lens, 20.4 megapixel CMOS sensor, 1920x1080 50p Full HD video with stereo sound, tilting 3-inch screen, 10fps continuous shooting, built-in Wi-Fi/NFC/GPS, and a full range of creative shooting modes are all offered by the Sony HX400V. Read our in-depth Sony Cyber-shot DSC-HX400V review complete with sample photos, test shots, videos and more...

Leica and Ricoh Sign Up for The Photography Show 2015

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Events
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The Photography Show has announced that Leica and Ricoh, absent from the 2014 event, will be exhibiting at the 2015 show. “Selection for the 2015 show was made on the basis of the 2014 show evidence and exhibitor feedback," says David Bell, Managing Director of Leica Camera. "Fresh and alive, the 2014 show attracted new visitors and exhibitors as well as the important seasoned photographic community. This at a time when the industry is facing many challenges was good to see." According to officially audited data, attendance for the 2014 exhibition was 30,003.

Tamron 16-300mm f/3.5-6.3 Di II VC PZD Macro

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Lenses
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Tamron today officially announced the Tamron 16-300mm f/3.5-6.3 Di II VC PZD Macro lens. Designed for dSLRs with APS-C sized sensors, the Tamron 16-300mm f/3.5-6.3 Di II VC PZD Macro has a 35mm focal range of 24-450mm and an optical formula comprising sixteen elements in twelve groups, plus an iris diaphragm with seven rounded aperture blades. Shipping with a petal-shaped lens hood, the Tamron 16-300mm f/3.5-6.3 Di II VC PZD Macro has a 67mm filter thread, 39cm minimum focus distance and a maximum reproduction ratio of 1:2.9. The lens incorporates a PZD (Piezo Drive) focus motor and Tamron’s exclusive VC (Vibration Compensation) technology to combat motion blur resulting from shaky hands. Pricing has yet to be communicated.

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.