Friday, September 27, 2013

Samsung Launches ISOCELL Sensor Technology

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Accessories
News image

Samsung Electronics announced its new advanced pixel technology for CMOS image sensors. The ISOCELL technology is claimed to "substantially increase" light sensitivity and to effectively control the absorption of electrons, resulting in higher colour fidelity even in poor light. The company argues that while back-side illumination - introduced a few years ago - did improve the light absorption of each pixel, "BSI technology also faced limitations in improving image quality as pixel sizes continued to decrease." Samsung's patent-pending ISOCELL technology forms a physical barrier between neighboring pixels – isolating the pixel. This isolation enables more photons to be collected from the micro-lens and absorbed into the correct pixel’s photodiode minimising undesired electrical crosstalk between pixels – by as much as 30% compared to BSI sensors - and allowing expanded full well capacity, leading to greater dynamic range. The first Samsung image sensor to adopt this new technology, the S5K4H5YB 8-megapixel imager, is currently sampling to mobile device manufacturers with mass production scheduled for Q4 2013.

NEC Updates Entire SpectraView Series

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Accessories
News image

NEC has added five updated display models to its SpectraView and SpectraView Reference Series. One of five new models to the updated range - the 24" SpectraView Reference 242 display - leads the way with the best high-performance 10-bit AH-IPS with GB-R LED backlight for wide gamut colour, deep blacks and minimal colour shift. Best brightness uniformity together with features such as backlight ageing correction, ensure perfect colour control for consistent image quality. Thanks to its picture-by-picture function, users can view two images from different data sources simultaneously, to enhance productivity and save space compared with dual-screen alternatives. The other updated models include the 24" NEC SpectraView Reference 242, the 27" SpectraView 272 and SpectraView Reference 272, and the 30" SpectraView Reference 302. The NEC SpectraView 242 and SpectraView Reference 242 are both available across Europe from the end of September. The SpectraView 272 and SpectraView Reference 272 will be available from mid-November, with the SpectraView Reference 302 coming from mid-December.

Manfrotto Wins EISA Award

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Accessories
News image

The Manfrotto 500 Video Head has been awarded “European Photo-Video Accessory 2013-2014” by the European Imaging and Sound Association (EISA). The jury of EISA recognised the Manfrotto 500 Video Head under the video category, thanks to its innovative functionality and advancement in video technology. This is the second award this year for the winning product, which also won the Videomaker's Best Support at the NAB Show in Las Vegas.

Photoshop Elements 12: The Missing Manual

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Books
News image

Photoshop Elements 12: The Missing Manual by Barbara Brundage is a new title from O'Reilly Media. “With candid, jargon-free advice and step-by-step guidance, you’ll get the most out of Elements for everything from sharing and touching-up photos to fun print and online projects,” the publisher says. The 648-page volume is available for $44.99 in printed format or $35.99 as an ebook. You can buy both versions in a bundle for $49.49.

Art Gemini Prize - Last Call for Entry

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Competitions
News image

There are only a few days left for photographers and artists to enter the inaugural Art Gemini Prize. Open to all photographers and painters form anywhere in the world, the Art Gemini Prize is described as "a celebration to promote international contemporary art for emerging and established artists." A cash fund of £5000 will be awarded to the winners in three categories, Photography, Painting and Public Choice. The shortlisted applicants will be exhibited in London at the Rebecca Hossack Gallery. The deadline for entries is 30 September 2013. Do note that entry fees apply.

Fujifilm Instax Mini 90 Neo Classic

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Film
News image

The new Fujifilm Instax Mini 90 Neo Classic is a high-end instant film camera. "The mini 90 stands apart from the previous 'cute' image that instax had built up in the past and features a variety of shooting modes for various scenes and applications for users to enjoy," Fujifilm says. These shooting modes include a double-exposure mode, a bulb setting and a macro mode which allows short-distance photography at the press of a button without attaching a closeup lens like previous instax models. Encased in a stylish and premium body, the Fujifilm Instax Mini 90 Neo Classic also has a "kids" mode, a "party" mode and a "landscape" mode. The Fuji Instax Mini 90 Neo Classic is available for £129.99 for the camera only and £139.99 for the camera + 20 sheets of film. In the United States, the camera will go on sale early next year, priced at $199.99.

Edgertronic High-Speed Camera

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Digital Video Cameras
News image

A team of hardware and software architects and designers led by two MIT-educated engineers has developed a special camera which can shoot high-resolution 1280x1024-pixel movies at 494fps, 720p at 701fps, VGA at 1,849fps and tiny 192x96-pixel videos at an incredible 17,791fps. These ultra-high frame rates enable super-slow-motion playback at 30fps, allowing users to record and observe high-speed movements such as the smashing of a light bulb, the popping of a water-filled balloon or a hummingbird's wings in motion. The camera has been named "Edgertronic" in honour of MIT professor Harold Eugene Edgerton, a pioneer of ultra-high-speed photography. Equipped with a standard Nikon F mount and bundled with a Nikkor 50mm f/1.8 lens, the Edgertronic will be available for around $5,000. Those who back the Kickstarter campaign launched in order to help raise funds for the project can get a special "Kickstarter edition" complete with accessories by contributing $4,895 or more. Availability is slated for December. Scroll down / click through for a selection of sample videos shot with a working prototype.

Thursday, September 26, 2013

CLARITY Magazine Launches

Mark Goldstein | Photographers, Technique
News image

Available today - CLARITY is a brand new experience that explores photography from a lifestyle perspective. CLARITY goes far beyond tutorials that could be easily searched on the web to provide readers with the necessary information to enjoy a photographic lifestyle to its fullest.

In addition to rock-solid photographic education, CLARITY provides readers with articles “beyond the camera”, covering a range of important topics such as creative development, psychology of great imagery, post-processing, data backup and security, how to improve the lives of others through your photography, and much more.

Editor-in-chief, Dave Seeram, had these comments: "The challenge nowadays is that it’s so easy and convenient for anybody to seek out information, photography tutorials, and/or anything you know you’d like to learn. So, we’ve decided to take a different route. CLARITY is here to provide you with the equally important information that you didn’t know you needed. Our singular goal is to make a measurable, positive difference in your lives, and we are accomplishing that starting with our first issue."

Volume One of CLARITY includes 72 gorgeous page spreads, 9 videos, a 30-minute podcast, and articles from the most inspirational photography professionals including: Kevin Kubota, Piet Van den Eynde, Lindsay Ostrom, Sean McCormack, Howard Pinsky, Dave Delnea, Bill McCarroll, Michael Frye, Jay Livens, Lee Sacrey, Barry J. Brady, and Jon McCormack.

CLARITY is available for only USD $6.99 each, or a subscription savings bundle of one-year (6 issues, published bi-monthly) for only $29.99 USD.

Inspire Me: Damian McGillicuddy

Mark Goldstein | Photography Techniques
Inspire Me: Damian McGillicuddy thumbnail

In the fourth of a new series of interviews with professional photographers, Damian McGillicuddy reveals what has inspired him during his career.

Corel PaintShop Pro X6 Review

Matt Grayson | Software Reviews
Corel PaintShop Pro X6 Review thumbnail

Corel PaintShop Pro X6 is a new affordable photo-editing suite. Now offering 64-bit support, a refined user interface, new quick-selection tools and improved workflows, is Paint Shop Pro X6 a worthy alternative to Photoshop? Matt Grayson finds out in our Corel PaintShop Pro X6 review.

Samsung ST150F Review

Gavin Stoker
Samsung ST150F Review thumbnail

The Samsung ST150F compact camera offers a wide-angle 5x zoom lens, 16.2 megapixel sensor, 720p video recording, 3 inch LCD screen and built-in wi-fi, all for less than £100 / $150. Read our in-depth Samsung ST150F review to find out if it's worth the modest asking price....

PhotoZoom Pro 5 Review

Matt Grayson | Software Reviews
PhotoZoom Pro 5 Review thumbnail

PhotoZoom Pro 5 is a software program that specialises in enlarging and downsizing digital photos using the latest S-Spline interpolation technology.. Version 5 of PhotoZoom Pro offers a redesigned user interface, combines cropping and resizing into one process, and now uses both multi-core processors and GPU acceleration. Read our PhotoZoom Pro 5 review now...

Joby UltraFit Hand Strap & UltraPlate

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Accessories
News image

Joby has launched a new UltraFit hand strap and UltraPlate. "The UltraFit Hand Strap with UltraPlate is a useful combination of a streamlined hand strap and universal quick-release plate," the company says. "Photographers can keep the hand strap attached to their camera while at the same time mounting it to a tripod or even using an additional camera strap – for example a Joby UltraFit Sling shoulder strap." The UltraPlate features a universal tripod quick-release plate with built-in Arca-Swiss compatibility. Photographers can attach all types of accessories to the UltraPlate without removing the hand strap, including neck strap, flash brackets, and other tripod quick-release plates. The UltraPlate’s practical design also provides easy access to a camera’s battery door without the need for removing the strap. The new JOBY UltraFit Hand Strap & UltraPlate will be available to purchase from 1st November, priced at £41.

AKVIS ArtWork 8

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Software
News image

AKVIS has released Version 8 of its ArtWork photo-to-painting software. This update adds a new Share feature that enables users to post pictures directly from the program to social networks. Additionally, the plug-in is now compatible with Photoshop CC and PaintShop Pro X6. AKVIS offers a free upgrade to version 8.0 for all registered customers of ArtWork.

Olloclip Mobile Photography Tools for iPhone 5S

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Accessories
News image

Olloclip has today announced immediate availability of its olloclip mobile photography tools for the new iPhone 5S smartphone. The company's add-on lenses enhance the new features of the iPhone 5s camera, which include an 8-megapixel camera, five-element lens, autofocus, matrix metering, dynamic local tone map to ensure more true-to-life colours, 10-frames-per-second continuous shooting and a 120-frames-per-second slow motion mode. The Olloclip range includes a three-in-one photo lens ($69.99), a teleconverter and a circular polariser ($99.99) and the Olloclip Quick-Flip case ($49.99). Olloclip products can be purchased through Apple, Best Buy and other major retailers as well as via the website below.

New Reality Show for Style Photography

Zoltan Arva-Toth | General
News image

Back to Front TV has just announced a  new reality show for style photography. The 9-episode series will take the form of a progressive elimination show that will "celebrate the essential relationship between style and photography," Back to Front TV said in a statement. Casting for the series will be conducted through a call for contestants, inviting anyone with a keen interest in photography to submit their best image and describe their motivation for participating in this exclusive first series. The show will break down the process with a mentor briefing and tasks being set for the contestants, who will need to prove their talent on real-life photo shoots. After the photo sessions, there will be a blind-judging process by which the contestant photographer's work is selected or rejected. For more information, contact the company via the address below.

Sony to Sponsor Freeze Festival

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Digital Video Cameras, Events
News image

The new Sony Action Cam HDR-AS30V is set to capture some of the action at this year’s Freeze Festival, coming on-board as the Official Action Camera Partner for the brand new rail jam competition. The new main event for Freeze 2013 - Hail the Rail - will be the biggest and most exciting ski and snowboarding competition held at the snow festival to date. “Extreme action is what the Sony Action Cam is all about and this year’s Freeze Festival is set to take it to a new level with the new ‘Hail the Rail’ competition," said Frederik Lange, Category Head - Digital Imaging, Sony UK. “Expect to be in awe of the unbelievable moves from the top skiers and snowboarders in the world, with the Sony Action Cam capturing the best tricks, spills and skills – and providing amazing playback so you can watch them time and time again." Freeze Festival 2013 will run from27th November – 1st December 2013. For more information, visit the website below.

Remote Camera Captures Eagle Preying on Deer

Zoltan Arva-Toth | General
News image

A remotely activated camera set up in a forest in the Russian Far East has photographed a rare instance of a golden eagle capturing a young sika deer. The deer's carcass was found two weeks later, just a few yards from the camera, initially puzzling researchers. "I saw the deer carcass first as I approached the trap on a routine check to switch out memory cards and change batteries, but something felt wrong about it. There were no large carnivore tracks in the snow, and it looked like the deer had been running and then just stopped and died," said Dr. Linda Kerley of the Zoological Society of London, who runs the camera trap project. "It was only after we got back to camp that I checked the images from the camera and pieced everything together. I couldn't believe what I was seeing.”

DxO ViewPoint 2

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Software
News image

DxO Labs have released DxO ViewPoint 2, a program dedicated to fixing problems with keystoning and volume anamorphosis. This version includes an exclusive new tool for fixing convergent lines in even the most complex images, and adds compatibility with Adobe Photoshop Elements and Apple Aperture. In addition, the software benefits from DxO Optics Modules to correct optical distortions such as barrelling. This upgrade is free to all owners of DxO ViewPoint who purchased a licence on or after 1 August 2013.

Reflecta RPL 306 LED Studio Lighting Kit

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Accessories
News image

Kenro has just launched the Reflecta RPL 306 LED studio lighting kit in the United Kingdom. Named after the number of LED lights in each unit, the 306 features dimmable LEDs with stepless light power control and an external power adapter. The LEDs have a colour temperature of 6.500 degrees Kelvin and provide an illumination of 320 lux at a distance of two metres without a filter attached. Each LED panel measures 30x31cm and weighs 1,200 grams, with the total weight of the set - including two RPL 306 lights, power adapters, stands, filters and carrying bag - being 7,950 grams. The Reflecta RPL 306 Studiokit is available now with an SRP of £432.