Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX1R Photos

Mark Goldstein
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Ahead of our full review, here are 54 sample JPEG photos and a 1080p movie taken with the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX1R compact camera, including the full ISO range from 50-25,600.

The Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX1R is a premium compact camera with a 24.3 megapixel full-frame sensor, 35mm prime lens with a fast maximum aperture of f/2, 5fps burst shooting and Full HD movie recording at 50p/60p or 25p/24p. The only difference between this new model and last year's RX1 is the removal of the optical low-pass filter, promising increased resolution but at the risk of increased moire effects.

Fujifilm XF 55-200mm F3.5-4.8 R LM OIS Review

Mark Goldstein
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The Fujifilm XF 55-200mm F3.5-4.8 R LM OIS is the first ever telephoto zoom lens for Fujifilm X-series compact system cameras. Offering a focal range of 84-305mm in 35mm terms, 4.5 stops of built-in image stabilisation, a compact and lightweight design, 0.3 second auto-focusing and an aperture ring, is this new 55-200mm lens a worthy addition to the XF family? Read our Fujifilm XF 55-200mm F3.5-4.8 R LM OIS review to find out...

Children with Cancer Photo Competition 2013

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Competitions
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Children with Cancer, a UK-based children’s charity, has announced its 2013 photo competition. Now in its second year, the competition is aimed at raising awareness and helping fight childhood cancer. There is a special category for children aged 16 years or under and a second category for adults aged 17 or over. The organisers are looking for the best photographs which represent ‘childhood’ - it could be a special moment in a child’s life, something that represents youth or a snapshot that illustrates the innocence of childhood. There is no entry fee for the Young Photographer category. For adults, the entry fee is £5 per image. The competition runs until 5pm on Monday 2nd September. The best photographers will be in with a chance of winning an opportunity to attend a photoshoot with celebrity photographer Nicky Johnston, a family photoshoot with Little Bunny Photography and Amazon vouchers. As always, we suggest that you read the terms and conditions before entering your work.

Website: Children with Cancer

JPEGmini for Windows - Free Version

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Software
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Windows users can now download a free version of JPEGmini, the flagship photo optimisation tool from technology innovator Beamr. "Photo storage used to refer to stashing a shoebox full of snapshots. Today, the proliferation of digital photography has freed up our closet space while creating its own set of storage challenges, including hard drives that are bursting at the seams, and slow online transmission times," said Sharon Carmel, CEO of Beamr. "JPEGmini for Windows offers a simple solution to the storage crunch and sharing dilemma, without compromising the quality of precious photographs." Available at the website below, this free desktop version of JPEGmini for Windows optimises up to 20 JPEG photos a day. (The full version of JPEGmini for Windows retails for $19.99, and accommodates an unlimited number of photos.)

YouFrame Launches “Aqua Canvas”

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Accessories
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YouFrame has launched a new product called "Aqua Canvas," which allows photographers to sell images to customers for showers, bathrooms and outdoor locations. “100% waterproof. You can display your canvas anywhere. Inside or outside. Even under water! You can't do that with a wooden frame,” said Andrew Ainge, Managing Director of YouFrame International. Pricing for the new "Aqua Canvas" starts at £44.

DxO ViewPoint v1.2.1

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Software
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DxO Labs have just released DxO ViewPoint 1.2.1, the newest version of its software dedicated to correcting keystoning and volume anamorphosis. This update adds full compatibility with Adobe Photoshop CC and Lightroom 5. With just one licence, DxO ViewPoint v1.2.1 can be used as a plugin for Adobe Photoshop and Lightroom, and as a standalone application. DxO ViewPoint v1.2.1 is now available in the DxO Labs online store and at photo resellers at a special discount price throughout July. Click through / scroll down for the details.

Creativity Backgrounds Launch Two New Backdrops

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Accessories
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Creativity Backgrounds have launched two new backdrops for photographers. PhotoDrapes are available in 11 colours across three dye processes (wash, crush and tie dyes) which add elegance, gothic flavour or classic beauty to portraits depending on the colour. Priced at £144, each PhotoDrape comes in a size of 10'x12'. PolySilk backdrops (pictured) are available in three colours and are easily transportable, ideal for photographers on the move. They are washable, it does not matter if they get wet or damp so they be used outdoors. The price of the Creativity Backgrounds PolySilk backdrop is £95.

NEC MultiSync PA242W & PA242W-BK-SV

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Accessories
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NEC has announced the 24-inch MultiSync PA242W colour accurate display and colour critical PA242W-BK-SV display solution. Suitable for applications where accurate colour is necessary such as photography, retouching, video editing and pre-press, the MultiSync PA242W monitor is built on a GB-R LED backlight, which provides a wider colour gamut and more colour control than a conventional white LED backlight. It also features a 1920 x 1200 resolution, internal 14-bit programmable 3D lookup table and 10-bit wide colour gamut LCD panel. The PA242W-BK-SV is the same monitor complemented by a SpectraViewII Colour Calibration Solution, which includes software and colorimeter to provide automated monitor matching and calibration. The MultiSync PA242W and PA242W-BK-SV are now available at an estimated street price of $1,049 and $1,299, respectively.

Alien Skin Software Announces Cloud Compatibility for Eye Candy 7

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Software
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Alien Skin Software has released an update to its Eye Candy 7 plug-in, which adds the capability to store presets in a cloud storage folder. It also adds compatibility with the new Adobe Photoshop Creative Cloud. “Graphic designers who rely on Eye Candy 7 will appreciate the ability to store special effect presets in the cloud,” said Terence Tay, the designer of Eye Candy. “It’s convenient to develop a customized effect on one computer and have access to it anywhere.” Current owners of Eye Candy 7 can download the update free of charge.

Pets in B&W

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Competitions
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Photography education and entertainment site PhoozL announces a special cash-prize photo contest: ‘Pets in B&W’. This is a judged contest where the top three winners share a progressive (growing) cash prize pool from the paid-entry proceeds. The judge is pro pet photographer and author Andrew Darlow, and the contest is open to all logged-in members of Phoozl.com, amateur to pro, 18+ worldwide. To see more details and to submit, visit the website below.

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Sigma 18-35mm F1.8 DC HSM Review

Mark Goldstein
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The Sigma 18-35mm F1.8 DC HSM is the first ever zoom lens to offer a fast constant aperture of F1.8 throughout its range. Retailing for £799 / $799, read our in-depth Sigma 18-35mm F1.8 DG HSM review to find out if it's the best standard zoom lens for your APS-C DSLR camera...

New Xara Designer Pro X9

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Software
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Xara has announced a new release of their flagship editing suite, Xara Designer Pro X9. The software bundle includes Photo & Graphics Designer 9 for photo editing and vector illustration; Page & Layout Designer for printable documents, PDFs and Xara's unique 'DTP for the web' document publishing; Web Designer 9 Premium for website creation, and more. The program supports automatic image optimisation for Retina displays, and comes with an advanced photo healing brush. Xara Designer Pro X9 costs £249 with upgrades available from £79.

SanDisk Introduces World’s Fastest 64GB microSDXC Card

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Accessories
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SanDisk today announced the SanDisk Extreme microSDHC and microSDXC UHS-I memory cards. The microSDXC card is equipped with the fastest speeds available on the market (for a 64GB microSDXC memory card), with up to 80MB/sec read and up to 50MB/sec write speeds, allowing faster shot-to-shot performance, rapid data transfer, fast action photography, continuous burst mode and quick file transfers. SanDisk Extreme microSDHC and microSDXC cards are available worldwide now in 16GB to 64GB capacities, with pricing starting from £25 for the 16GB microSDHC card.

Nissin Di700 Flash Gun Now Available in UK

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Accessories
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Kenro has announced the UK launch of the Nissin Di700 flash gun. The Nissin Di700 features a zooming flash head with an extended 24-200mm coverage and a guide number of 50 (in metres at ISO 100/21°) at the 200mm setting. The model supports 180° horizontal rotation to the right and left, tilts up to 90° and expands 7° downwards to facilitate close-up photography. Other highlights include a recycle time of 0.1-4.0 seconds, an AF assist light, PC sync, 3.5mm sync and an external power socket that makes the Di700 compatible with the Nissin PS 8 power pack. The new Nissin Di700 is available now in Canon and Nikon digital SLR camera fittings (Sony fitting available in September 2013) and has a SRP of £195.

Nikon Presents New Robotics Solution for Photographers

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Accessories
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In collaboration with Mark Roberts Motion Control (MRMC), Nikon has introduced a new robotics solution that allows professional photographers to "achieve shots that were never before possible." Using a Nikon D4 digital SLR camera; one of MRMC’s SFH-30 robotic heads quickly moves and rotates the camera from a position that would not normally be physically possible, allowing photographers to shoot difficult angles and in impossible locations. The camera is then controlled and used to shoot images by a photographer from a remote location. "The impressive latency of this system of less than 0.1 seconds makes this robotics system an ideal solution for shooting fast action sporting events," Nikon claims. The setup was first trialled at Wimbledon 2013, by sports photographer Bob Martin who used a 200-400mm and a 80-400mm lens on his Nikon D4 to capture some truly interesting photos. Click through / scroll down to see a selection of his images.

Panasonic G5 Firmware Update 1.1

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Compact System Camera
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Panasonic has released a firmware update for its Lumix DMC-G5 compact system camera. Version 1.1 - which is intended for cameras sold and used in PAL broadcast regions - corrects the wording "60p/60i/30p" of AVCHD frame rate on [Rec Quality] menu to "50p/50i/25p." If you use the camera outside these regions - or if the wording of the menu item in question is already correct on your unit - you do not need to download this update.

Website: Panasonic Japan Support

Panasonic GH3 Firmware Version 1.2

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Compact System Camera
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Panasonic has posted a firmware for its flagship Micro Four Thirds camera the Panasonic GH3. According to the company, version 1.2 incorporates the following improvements and fixes:

  1. "Low Light AF" is added that makes it possible to set focus on the subject in low-lit situations (-3EV).
  2. "Silent Mode" is added which suppresses electronic shutter, shutter sound, operation sound and flash emission with a single setting.
  3. "Exposure Comp. Reset" is added which resets the setting of exposure compensation to ±0 whenever the camera is turned off or the shooting mode is changed.
  4. Performance of AF is enhanced in use with H-PS14042 and H-PS45175.
  5. Connection problem with Apple Mac computers via Wi-Fi is fixed.

Website: Panasonic Japan Support

OpenReflex

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Film
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"Printing your own pictures is all nice and well, but why stop there when you can print your own camera?" Perhaps this is what crossed Leo Marius's mind when he set about creating a fully functional 35mm film SLR camera using a 3D printer. The 24-year-old French student named his invention "OpenReflex," and made the documentation available on the Instructables.com website so that anyone with a suitable 3D printer can make his or her own copy of the device. For more information, visit the website below.

Website: OpenReflex on Instructables.com

Pentax Launches Blue/White K-01

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Compact System Camera
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Pentax Japan has unveiled a blue-and-white edition of the Pentax K-01 compact system camera. Bundled with an smc Pentax-DA 40mmF2.8XS lens, the special blue-and-white edition of the Pentax K-01 will be available in Japan starting 25th July. Pricing and international availability have yet to be communicated.

Source: Pentax Japan

Pentax Q Firmware Version 1.13

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Compact System Camera
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Pentax has issued a firmware update for the Pentax Q small-sensor compact system camera. Version 1.13 adds support for the Pentax-07 "mount shield lens" and improves overall stability. You can download the firmware update from the website below.

Website: Pentax Japan Support