Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Leica X Vario Review

Mark Goldstein
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The Leica X Vario is a compact camera for professionals, featuring a 16 megapixel APS-C sensor, 28-70mm zoom lens, 1080p movie recording and the usual superlative Leica handling and build quality. Read our in-depth Leica X Vario review to find out if it's really worth the £2150 / $2850 asking price...

OnaBags Launch New Camera Bags

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Accessories
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Onabags today launched three new camera bags and a leather camera strap. The Astoria camera and laptop messenger bag ($359) is designed to accommodate a 13" laptop, 1-2 full-frame DSLR cameras, 3-5 lenses and small personal items. The Capri ($269) is a tote bag designed to protect a camera, up to three lenses and small personal items. The Leather Capri ($349) is a chic, understated camera tote designed to protect your camera, up to three lenses and small personal items. Finally, the Presidio camera strap ($99) is handcrafted with an Italian-tanned leather neckline that is padded with soft neoprene. The Presidio camera strap is most comfortably worn crossbody and is designed for use with camera kits weighing up to 6 pounds.

Fujifilm Launches New X-T1 Accessories

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Accessories
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Fuji has launched five new accessories for the Fujifilm X-T1 comapct system camera. The new range includes two handgrips, the MHG-XT Large (pictured) and MHG-XT Small; the GB-001 camera grip strap (which is compatible with a number of other X series Fujifilm cameras in addtition to the X-T1); the EC-XT extended eyecup; and the CVR-XT cover kit, which contains three covers – one for the sync terminal, another for the hot shoe and another for the vertical battery grip terminal ensuring users can easily replace any of these covers if lost. Availability is slated for late May. Pricing to be confirmed.

Fujifilm TCL-X100

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Accessories, Lenses
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The Fujifilm TCL-X100 is a new 1.4x tele-conversion lens designed specifically for the Fujifilm X100 and X100S cameras. Converting the focal length of the lens from 23mm to 32mm (approximately 50mm in 35mm terms), the Fujifilm TCL-X100 employs a 4-element construction featuring Fujinon’s unique Super EBC coating for superior contrast. Once mounted to the camera; just select the ‘Tele- Conversion Lens’ option in the Fujifilm X100/X100S’s shooting menu. To enable this extra functionality, the camera must be updated with the latest firmware (X100 : ver2.10 or later / X100S : ver1.20 or later), which also allows the option to be selected via the function (Fn) button. The Fujifilm TCL-X100 retains the lens's maximum aperture of f/2. Availability is slated for May 2014. The UK SRP will be issued closer to the availability date.

Sony QX10 and QX100 Firmware Update 3.00

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Accessories, Camera Phones, Digital, Lenses
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Sony has issued a firmware update for its DSC-QX10 and QX100 camera-lens modules. Version 3.00 enables users to focus with a half-press (and take a photo with a full-press) of the shutter release, and improves upon the "NFC One-touch connection." Note that this requires PlayMemories Mobile app version 4.2 or later.

Website: Sony UK

Hasselblad Flextight X1/X5 Promotion

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Scanners
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Haselblad has announced a trade-in promotion on its Flextight X1 and X5 scanners. Between now and 30 June 2014 you can get €3,600 off the price of an X5 and €2.300 off an X1 when you trade in your old scanner, regardless of make or model. For details, contact your local Hasselblad stockist.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Fujifilm FinePix S9400W Review

Mark Goldstein
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The Fujifilm FinePix S9400W is a new bridge camera with a massive 50x, 24-1200mm zoom lens. The Fujifilm S9400W also offers built-in wi-fi, full 1080p movies at 60fps with stereo sound, a 3 inch LCD screen, electronic viewfinder, 10ps burst shooting and a 16 megapixel back-illuminated EXR sensor. Read our Fujifilm FinePix S9400W review now...

Digital CameraMart

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Websites
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Digital CameraMart is a new free website which allows allows photographers and photography retailers in the UK and USA to advertise their new or used photo gear. Sellers can add up to eight images and a YouTube video to their ads, while prospective buyers can contact themthrough the website's email system  or via their telephone number. All adverts can be shared on all the most popular social networking site to help exposure and can be done by both sellers and buyers.

Mishka Henner: Black Diamond

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Events, Photographers
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Black Diamond is the first solo show at the gallery by Mishka Henner one of the UK's most significant artists working with the photographic medium. Hosted by Carroll7Fletcher (56 - 57 Eastcastle St. London, W1W 8EQ), the exhibition brings together four distinct but interrelated series of work, based on the collection and mediation of publicly available information sourced through social media, the Internet and drones, and considers the way in which these technologies are used by the government, intelligence agencies and corporations. In the artist's recent Oil Fields and Feedlots series (2013-14), large-scale photographic prints reminiscent of vast Abstract Expressionist canvases represent landscapes carved by industries meeting extraordinary levels of consumer demand for two of North America's most prized commodities: oil and beef. Displayed on plinths filling the rear gallery space, Fifty-One US Military Outposts (2010) is a series of photographs of overt and covert military outposts used by the United States in 51 countries worldwide. Finally, the exhibition also includes new multimedia works from Henner's Scam Baiters series.


Zoltan Arva-Toth | Accessories
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The award-winning BallPod is a colourful, tactile alternative to a traditional tripod. BallPod is the size of an orange and weighs just 298g, making it ideal to take on every adventure no matter how challenging the terrain is. The smooth silicone shell can quickly be moulded into any shape by hand, much like a stressball, and BallPod fits to all standard cameras, smartphone adapters and small video cameras. Priced at £20, BallPod is available to purchase from selected photography outlets throughout the UK.

ReaConverter 7

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Software
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ReaSoft has launched a new version of ReaConverter, its batch image conversion and editing program for Windows. New and improved features include 2x faster image processing, support for multi-threading, an entirely reworked user interface, built-in support for cloud storage, new editing options and graphic filters and advanced command-line processing. ReaConverter 7 is available in three edititons; Lite ($24.95), Standard ($49.95) and Pro ($99.95).

Fujifilm X-A1 Camera Winner!

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We've teamed up with CameraWorld to give away a fantastic Fujifilm X-A1 camera!

The lucky winner is Angela Smith. Congratulations!

CameraWorld is a real camera shop, helping you to make the most of your hobby. Our expert team has many years experience within the photographic trade with knowledge gained over 40 years. Many are photographers themselves and enjoy passing their knowledge on. You'll also find our online service fast, efficient and courteous and you can always call us if you want to talk to a human being! We are dedicated to bringing you the very best in service, choice and price.

We're very easy to find, our London store is just off Oxford Street between Oxford Circus station and Tottenham Court Road station. The Essex shop is located in High Chelmer Shopping Centre, just off the High Street in Chelmsford. Visit us and you'll always find a friendly welcome. Our policy is to serve our customers as we would like to be served ourselves, a simple ideal that we try hard to live up to.

Pentax 645Z

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Digital SLR Cameras
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The Pentax 645Z is a new medium-format dSLR camera with a 51.4-megapixel CMOS sensor, live view, dual SD card slots, 3fps continuous shooting and Full HD movie recording capabilities. The sensor has an imaging area of 43.8mm x 32.8mm, which is approximately 1.7 times larger than that of a 35mm full-frame imager.The Pentax 645Z boasts a maximum sensitivity setting of ISO 204,800; a 10-frame raw buffer, a newly designed SAFOX 11 phase-matching AF module with 27 sensor points (including 25 cross-type sensors), a tiltable 3.2-inch LCD monitor with a resolution of approximately 1,037,000 dots and a large, bright viewfinder with 98% frame coverage. The camera shoots Full HD video clips (60i/30p) and allows interval video recording of 4K-resolution images (in Motion JPEG or AVI video format). By installing the optional Flucard for Pentax 16GB O-FC1 memory card in the 645Z, the user can release the 645Z’s shutter, check the live-view image, and browse and download the images recorded on the card using a smartphone. The Pentax 645Z will be available in May, priced at £6,799.99 / $8,499.95 (or £7,699.99 with a 55mm lens).

Press the President Photo Contest

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Competitions
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Press the President (PTP), an online collaborative blog, is hosting a photo competition throughout the month of April. Challenging Americans to start a new beginning by “going green” and share their stories and photographs with its readers, PTP is asking amateur photographers to tweet their entries @PTP_US with the hashtag #GoGreen, post them on the blog's Facebook page or email them to At the end of the campaign, the editorial staff at Press the President will select the photo the best represents the idea of going green and will donate $500 to the winner’s charity of choice.

SpyderHD Now Available in the US

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Accessories, Software
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Datacolor's SpyderHD calibration suite is now available to purchase in the United States. Introduced a week ago in Europe, SpyderHD is a complete workflow solution including the Spyder4 ELITE HD integrated display calibration application, the innovative SpyderWEB (a universal mounting system that securely mounts the Spyder for calibration of most screens), the SpyderCHECK colour reference and gray card system and the portable SpyderCUBE (which provides white balance, exposure, black level and highlight references). The Datacolor SpyderHD package is available for $349.

Monday, April 14, 2014

On Location with Jared Platt

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Events
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Profoto has introduced renowned photographer Jared Platt as the new host for the Profoto webinar. Starting 23rd April, the Profoto webinars will be hosted by renowned wedding and lifestyle photographer Jared Platt. The series’s title is On Location with Jared Platt “Our aim is to show powerful yet simple lighting techniques for photographers working in less than ideal situations,” says Jared. “While some episodes will be more elaborate in scope, many will deal with lighting challenging locations with limited time and resources. In most of our webinars we will take the viewers on location with us in a behind the scenes look of various photo shoots." The first On Location with Jared Platt webinar will take participants to the Arizona desert - for more information, visit the website below.

Win a Booq Python Bag!

Mark Goldstein | Competitions, PhotographyBLOG
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We have two great Booq camera bags up for grabs!

Booq have just launched their new Python range that includes the Python Slimpack and the Python Mirrorless and we have one of each to give away.

The Python Slimpack has been designed for the digital age photographer with space for two DSLRs and up to four mid-size lenses, as well as one large zoom lens, a tripod and a 10-inch tablet or iPad. The Python Slimpack is also waterproof and has a rubberised base. The Python Slimpack is worth £110.

The Python Mirroless a compact camera bag designed to hold a mirrorless camera with a large lens, or a compact DSLR with a small lens. The Python Mirrorless keeps photography gear safe from knocks and bumps and is water-resistant. The Python Mirrorless has been designed to be practical and compact, it is worth £68.

All Booq bags they come tagged with a Terralinq serial number. Once registered, the Booq Terralinq service may help reunite you with your lost & found bag.

For more information on Booq and their other products please visit:

Just answer this simple question to enter the contest

Win 2014 Sony World Photography Awards Exhibition Tickets

Mark Goldstein | Competitions, PhotographyBLOG
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With the Sony World Photography Awards taking place next month we’ve teamed up with headline sponsors Sony to give 10 lucky readers the chance to win a pair of tickets to the winner’s exhibition, which will take place at Somerset House, London from the 1st – 18th May 2014.

The Sony World Photography Awards Exhibition will showcase the winning and shortlisted photographers from the awards across photojournalism, fine art and commercial photography. The exhibition has been expanded this year, being hosted in both the East and West Wings of Somerset House in London, making it one of the largest of its kind in the UK.

Alongside the winning and shortlisted photographers of the 2014 Sony World Photography Awards, special curations include: A collection of 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.

Sony is committed to providing a camera solution for everyone and every budget – take professional quality pictures, whether an amateur or an expert.

With Sony’s ongoing development of its camera portfolio, choose from the point and shoot Cyber-shot to the entry-level interchangeable lens Alpha range or the new innovative QX lens-style cameras, Sony aims to make photography more accessible to all and educate people in the art of taking pictures.

For further information about the 2014 Sony World Photography Awards and the Somerset House exhibition visit

Just answer this simple question to enter the contest

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


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:

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.