Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Nikon Coolpix L27 Review

Matt Grayson
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The Nikon Coolpix L27 compact camera has 16 megapixels, a 5x wide-angle zoom lens, 3 inch LCD screen and 720p movie recording, yet costs less than £60 / $100. Read our in-depth Nikon Coolpix L27 review to find out if it makes the perfect stocking-filler...

Light Boost for iOS

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Software
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Interealtime have launched Light Boost, an iOS app promising "brighter, clearer photos and videos in low light." There are three low-light exposure modes on offer. Light Mode, which "instantly boosts brightness while preserving image clarity," Night Mode, which enables long exposure times and Grain Reduction Mode, which uses a noise filtering algorithm to produce cleaner images. Other key features include live shutter speed and sensitivity display and separate locking of exposure, focus and white balance.Light Boost is currently available at a 50% discount on the iTunes App Store.

DxO Optics Pro 9.1.1

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Software
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DxO Labs have launched version 9.1.1 of DxO Optics Pro. This update adds support for the Nikon Df (Elite Edition), the Sony Alpha 7 (Elite Edition), as well as for the Sony DSC-RX10 and A3000, the Pentax K-3, and the Panasonic Lumix DMC-LF1. Additionally, DxO Optics Pro v9.1.1 benefits from the addition of 580 new DxO Optics Modules. Photographers who acquired a DxO Optics Pro 8 licence on or after 1 September 2013 are entitled to a free upgrade to version 9.

Filipe Brandao Wins ZeissImages Photo Competition

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Competitions
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Fiipe Brandao from Portugal has won the 2013 ZeissImages.com contest with his photo, Bengula Blues: Couch Surfing (above). This years theme was "Ordinary Life" and the jury thought Filipe's image captured it best. "The photograph portrays a moment in our daily life which many of us have surely experienced on numerous occasions," says Jorge Torralba, the mastermind behind the ZeissImages.com website. "The pose and expression on the subjects face shows us a natural moment of apathy toward what we presume to be a television. The photographer captured this moment at the right time." You can view Filipe Brandao's portfolio at the website below.

Website: Photos by Filipe Brandao on ZeissImages.com

Tooga Gear Launches on Kickstarter

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Accessories
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Launched today on Kickstarter, Tooga Gear is billed as the first truly modular camera gear that allows you to capture video footage in a small form factor without compromise.  Tooga comprises two different types of component: Tooga Shell and Tooga Extensions. The Tooga Shell mounts to your camera of choice and connects to the unique Tooga Extensions, which are the legs and arms of the system. Currently, there are 3 Tooga Extensions including a dolly, a guerilla cage and a suction mount, with others planned for the future. The design, prototyping, and testing is complete but now the inventors need your help to finance the commercialisation of the system. Interested readers are encouraged to visit the project's Kickstarter page for further details.

Photodex ProShow 6

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Software
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Photodex has announced version 6 of its award-winning ProShow Gold and ProShow Producer applications. New in ProShow 6 is a suite of advanced creative tools that give users more control over the look and sound of their slideshows. These include new advanced audio controls, completely overhauled captions, text layers and a new iOS companion app called ProShow Remote. Users can also import photos and videos directly from Facebook, Instagram, Zenfolio and Picasa, directly into a new slideshow. ProShow 6 is available now for $69.95 (ProShow Gold) and $249.95 (ProShow Producer) from the website below.

Fujinon XF10-24mmF4 R OIS

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Lenses
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The Fujinon XF10-24mmF4 R OIS is a new, optically stabilised wide zoom for X-mount compact system cameras. Equivalent to 15-36mm in 35mm format, the Fujinon XF10-24mmF4 R OIS from Fujifilm has an optical formula that comprises 14 lens elements arranged in 10 groups, including 4 aspherical and 3 extra-low-dispersion elements. The lens features Fujifilm's unique High Transmittance Electron Beam Coating to minimise ghosting, and boasts an iris diaphragm with 7 rounded blades. Its high-speed AF is achieved via its inner focusing system which drives smaller lenses in the middle or rear lens groups without moving the larger lenses in the front lens groups. Thanks to light weight internal lenses and the addition of a stepping motor, the XF10-24mm lens is also very quiet to use. Going on sale in March, the lens is expected to retail for £849.99.

Full-Frame Samyang Lenses Now Available for Sony A7 / A7R

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Lenses
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Two months ago, Samyang announced that it planned to release five of its full-frame lenses with Sony E mount. The company says the Samyang 14mm f/2.8 ED AS IF UMC, 24mm f/1.4 ED AS IF UMC, T-S 24mm f/3.5 ED AS UMC Tilt-Shift, 35mm f/1.4 AS UMC and 85mm f/1.4 AS IF UMC are now available for purchase. All of these are manual-focus lenses originally designed for SLR cameras.

PMH 2014 Grant

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Competitions
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The Photographic Museum of Humanity (PMH) has issued the call for entries for the 2014 PMH Grant, an international photography contest offering $4000 in cash prizes. The jury features Alec Soth (Magnum Photos), Iata Cannabrave (Brzilian curator, creator of the Latin American Photography Forum of Sao Paulo), Olivier Laurent (Associate Editor for the British Journal of Photography) and Diana Markosian (PMH 2013 Grant New Generation Prize winner). The deadline for entries is 26 February 2014.

Website: PMH 2014 Grant

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Fujifilm XF 35mm F1.4 R Review

Mark Goldstein
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The Fujifilm XF 35mm f1.4 R is an ultra-fast standard prime lens for Fujifilm X-series compact system cameras. Offering a classic focal length of 53mm in 35mm terms, is the Fujifilm XF 35mm f1.4 R a must-have lens? Read our Fujifilm XF 35mm f1.4 R review to find out...

Shooting Shallow

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Books
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FlixelPix has published a new 38 page guide to depth-of-field. The ‘Shooting Shallow' ebook takes photographers through the concept of depth-of-field as well as addressing the application of 'shooting shallow'. Divided into three sections. Concepts, Camera and Practice, the ebook explains the concepts of depth of field and bokeh, teaches readers about the theory and application of DOF, and provides a number of tips and practical examples. The 'Shooting Shallow' ebook costs $5, but you can get a 20% discount by using the coupon code shooting at checkout. This offer is valid until 30 December 2013.

Apple iPhoto 9.5.1

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Software
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Apple has released an update to iPhoto. Version 9.5.1 fixes a bug that could cause print previews to render incorrectly, and includes a number of stability and performance improvements. The upgrade is available now on the Mac App Store.

Zeiss Confirms Plans to Release Otus 85mm f/1.4

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Lenses
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In reply to a question raised by a commenter on the company's lens-themed microsite, Zeiss has confirmed that "[t]he next lens of the ZEISS high-end lenses family will be the Otus 1.4/85." Posted via Facebook, the enquiry originally concerned the company's plans on wide-angle lenses but the company would only confirm the planned release of the Otus 85mm f/1.4 - saying it "will be available at your local dealer in the course of the year 2014" -, declining to comment on "possible other focal lengths."

The Great Photo App

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Software
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The Great Photo App by Baglan Dosmagambetov is a photo education app for the Apple iPhone and iPad. The app teaches users about the concept of exposure and its main variables - aperture, shutter speed and sensitivity - as well as depth of field, camera lenses and much more. The Great Photo App is available on iTunes priced at $0.99.

Olloclip Macro 3-IN-1 Clip-On Photo Lens

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Accessories
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Olloclip has launched a new Macro 3-IN-1 photo lens solution for Apple iPhone 5 & iPhone 5S users. Experiment with the three different magnifications (21x, 14x, 7x) to photograph small objects like coins, stamps, rocks, relics, insects, plants, gems, circuit boards, and even your own skin. Small enough to fit into a pocket or palm of the hand, the olloclip Macro 3-IN-1 clip-on photo lens ships with bespoke "Instafocus" hoods that are specially designed to diffuse the light and facilitate focusing. The lens will be available from 20th December for £59.95 / $69.99.

TPOTY Winners Revealed

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Competitions
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The winners of this year's Travel Photographer of the Year (TPOTY) prize have been revealed. The top prize – the Cutty Sark Award for the Travel Photographer of the Year 2013 – goes to British photographer Timothy Allen for his B&W images of the mud mosque replastering festival and Dogon life in Mali, and his studies of individuals in Wales and Bhutan. The Young Travel Photographer of the Year 2013 is 14 year old Jonathan Rystrøm from Denmark, while the 14 and Under Young TPOTY category was won by 10 year-old Patria Prasaysa from Indonesia.

Instagramers Photo Prize

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Competitions, Websites
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The Instagramers Gallery - billed as the world's largest online photo gallery that also has two physical locations in Miami and Madrid - has announced the Instagramers Photo Prize featuring a grand prize of $100,000. Open to all Instagram users worldwide registered with InstagramersGallery.com, the Instagramers Photo Prize also offers daily prizes worth $1000 every day from now until 30 April 2014. The overall winner will be chosen from the daily Photo of the Day finalists.

Monday, December 16, 2013

Plustek OpticFilm 8100 Review

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Accessory Reviews
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The Plustek OpticFilm 8100 is an affordable film scanner with an optical resolution of 7200dpi, a low-power LED light source, multi-sampling and multi-exposure capabilities, and version 8 of LaserSoft Imaging’s acclaimed SilverFast scanning software. Read our Plustek OpticFilm 8100 review now...

Akvis NatureArt 5.5

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Software
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Akvis has released version 5.5 of its NatureArt for Windows and Mac OS X. This update adds a Share option that lets you post your images from the program to Facebook, Twitter, Flickr, Tumblr and Google+, changes the installation process for Windows, adds support for raw images from various cameras, fixes bugs and adds compatibility with Mac OS X 10.9 Mavericks. Additionally, the plug-in variant gains compatibility with Adobe Photoshop CC, Adobe Photoshop Elements 12, and Corel PaintShop Pro X6. Pricing for Akvis NatureArt starts at $72.

Braun Vidi Proof Digital Camcorder

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Digital Video Cameras
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Kenro has announced the UK availability of a waterproof digital camcorder, the Braun Vidi Proof. In addition to recording Full HD videos, the Braun Vidi Proof camcorder can also capture 5-megapixel stills. Other features include a self-timer and a 2.0 inch LCD screen. The camera is powered by two AA-sized batteries, and records photos and videos on microSD memory cards. The suggested retail price is £103.80.