Monday, September 23, 2013

Panasonic Partners with the National Trust

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Digital Compact Cameras
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To support the UK launch of the new DMC-FZ72 and the existing DMC-FZ200 Lumix cameras, Panasonic will be rewarding every customer who purchases one of these two models with a complimentary membership to the National Trust. The new Lumix FZ72 (read review) boasts 60x optical zoom with focal length ranging from 20mm ultra-wide angle to 1200mm ultra-telephoto. The Lumix FZ200 features a maximum aperture of f/2.8 throughout its zoom range. During this promotion, which runs until 31 December  customers will be able to choose between a single, joint or family National Trust membership. To find out more, visit the website below.

Lowepro StreamLine Series

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Accessories
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Lowepro has just announced the Streamline 150 & 250 shoulder bags (pictured) and the Streamline Sling bag. "With their lean and modern design, the new Streamline shoulder bags are perfect for carrying today’s array of delicate gadgets," the company says. The StreamLine 150 (£33) & 250 (£37) feature two easy access, padded, soft-lined zip pockets on the front of the bag – ideal for CSC camera and extra lens, or a CSC camera with kit lens attached, or a smartpone –, and also include an expandable main compartment for personal essentials plus a separate padded compartment designed specifically to hold a tablet. The Lowepro Streamline Sling (£41) – as the name suggests – takes the super slim design and combines it with a cross-body sling strap for comfort on the go and easy access to your camera gear without having to take the bag off. Ideal for CSCs the slightly larger sling bag can also accommodate smaller entry level DSLR cameras – with a small kit lens attached.

Nikon Voted One of UK’s Coolest Brands

Zoltan Arva-Toth | General
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Nikon has officially been named a CoolBrand, in an influential annual initiative to identify the UK’s coolest brands. Now in its twelfth year, the CoolBrands list follows a vote by a combination of 3,000 consumers and a panel of 37 designers, style experts, media personalities and prominent figures from the worlds of TV, fashion and music. The results are published every September and a selection of the country’s coolest brands are featured in a luxurious, hardback format book, available from all good bookshops (RRP £55), or which can be ordered by contacting 020 7079 3310 or at the website below.

Reflecta Visilux StudioKit 180

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Accessories
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Kenro, the UK and Ireland distributor of Reflecta photo products, has announced the immediate availability of a new studio flash kit for semi-professional photographers. Complete with sturdy carry-bag, the Reflecta Visilux StudioKit 180 comprises three compact 180Ws flash lights, together with three light stands which extend up to 220cm. There's a 70x50cm softbox with intermediate diffuser, giving the ability to diffuse the light even further. Also included is an 84cm white translucent umbrella so you can either shoot through or reflect from it, plus there's a silver umbrella of the same size to give a brighter reflective surface. The package even comes with a handy radio trigger, meaning the photographer doesn't need to use a flash synch cable to fire the lights. The Reflecta Visilux StudioKit 180 is available now with an SRP of £477.60.

Friday, September 20, 2013

Linquet for Smartphones

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Accessories
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Linquet is an innovative product for iPhones, iPads and Android devices that promises to not just find missing objects, but actually prevent them from getting lost or misplaced in the first place. Simply attach Linquets to your valuables - including photography accessories - and link them to your phone through Bluetooth. When a piece of gear goes out of range, an alarm will go off both on your phone and your "linqued" possession, preventing you from forgetting / losing it. From a photographer's point of view, this invention seems most useful for those who do not like to leave home without their camera - but in a more general sense, it can prevent you from misplacing or forgetting about your valuables such as your purse, tablet, keys and the like. The commercialisation of Linquet is backed by a crowdfunding campaign, which reached its goal on the very first day. The Linquet device and associated smartphone app will be free, with the company charging a monthly fee of $2.99 for the use of the service.

Flickring 2.0 for iOS 7

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Software
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Pixite has released Flickring 2.0 for iPhone and Flickring HD 2.0 for iPad. These Flickr photo viewing apps take full advantage of the new look of the iOS 7 update, and can sync your Camera Roll to your account, completely in the background. Flickring for iPhone is $2.99 and Flickring HD for iPad is $3.99. Both are available now through the iTunes Apps Store.

Delkin CF 1050X UDMA 7 Cinema Card

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Accessories
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The Delkin CF 1050X UDMA 7 Cinema is a specialised memory card that's designed to excel in high-end recording equipment, such as 4K cameras and medium-format digital backs. Capable of recording data at speeds up to 120 MB/s, the 1050X is the company's fastest card to date. This write speed is necessary to record 4K footage with cameras such as the Canon 1D C, which requires memory cards that are UDMA 7 and have a minimum write speed of 100 MB/s to avoid dropped frames. Additionally, with a read speed of 160 MB/s, the Delin CF 1050X allows for fast image transfers from card to computer, saving valuable time. The CF 1050X Cinema card is now available and comes in 32GB, 64GB and 128GB capacities for $149.95, $349.95 and $699.95, respectively

AppCam Acquires Virtual Grid

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Digital
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AppCam today announced that it had acquired the rights for Virtual Grid, a new technology which makes it possible to replace the mechanical dials of digital cameras with sensory optimised, virtual dials directly on the touchscreen. The term "sensory optimised" means that a 3D line pattern is pressed into the glass screen above the touchscreen field which gives the fingertips a sensory feedback. This feedback, in conjunction with acoustic clicks, allows the user to handle the camera as accurately and reliably as with a mechanical dial. With the Virtual Grid technology it is now possible to replace these dials more than adequately with a touchscreen solution, clearing one of the major obstacles from the introduction of the AppCam Control System for digital cameras.

AOP Photographers Awards Turn 30

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Events
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2013 is the 30th year of The AOP Photographers Awards. To coincide with this special anniversary, a free exhibition will be open to the public for one weekend this October. Images from this year’s finalists of The AOP Photographers Awards - open to AOP photographer members - and The AOP Open Awards - open to everyone - will be on display at The Truman Brewery, off Brick Lane and opposite the legendary Rough Trade East record store, right in the creative heart of London’s East End. Do note that the exhibition is open for one weekend only - Saturday 19 and Sunday 20 October 2013.

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Sony Cyber-shot DSC-QX10 Review

Mark Goldstein
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The Sony Cyber-shot DSC-QX10 is a completely new type of device that adds a 10x zoom lens and 18 megapixel sensor to your smartphone. Priced at around £179 / $250, read our Sony Cyber-shot DSC-QX10 review to find out if it's what every smartphone user has been waiting for...

Triggertrap Mobile 2.0

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Software
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Triggertrap has released version 2.0 of Triggertrap Mobile. "With this new version, Triggertrap Mobile gets a fresh, modern look that makes it easier for each photographer to realise their unique vision," the company says. "The new interface has been dressed down and simplified, making it easier and faster to switch between triggering modes - this means no more missing awesome photographic opportunities because you’re futzing around with dials." Triggertrap Mobile 2.0 is available to download from iTunes now, and will be available from Google Play soon.

Inspire Me: Jamie Harrison

Mark Goldstein | Photography Techniques
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In the third of a new series of interviews with professional photographers, Jamie Harrison reveals what has inspired him during his career.

“Project Imaginat10n” Winners Announced

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Competitions
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Canon U.S.A. has announced the five winning consumer directors of the “Project Imaginat10n” film contest. The challenge was to create a short film inspired by ten crowdsourced photos in ten storytelling themes: Character, Mood, Goal, Backstory, Setting, Obstacle, Relationship, The Unknown, Time and Discovery. From hundreds of film submissions, twenty finalists were selected by a panel of judges. From there, Ron Howard and Bryce Dallas Howard selected five winners to be part of “A Ron Howard Presentation.” The five Grand Prize winners include Kálmán Apple, Ronnie Allman, Julian Higgins, Arrius Sorbonne and Jared Nelson. The winning consumer-directed films can be viewed at the website below.

Nikon 1 AW1 Hands-on Photos

Mark Goldstein | Compact System Camera, Lenses
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Want to see exactly what the new Nikon 1 AW1 compact system camera looks like in the flesh?

Check out our extensive hands-on gallery of photos of the Nikon 1 AW1, the world’s first waterproof and shockproof interchangeable lens camera, and including the new water/shock/freeze-proof 11-27.5mm f/3.5–5.6 and 10mm f/2.8 lenses.

Nikon 1 AW1

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Compact System Camera
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The Nikon 1 AW1 is a water-, freeze-, dust- and shockproof compact system camera with a 14.2-megapixel CX-format CMOS sensor. Waterproof to 15 metres, freezeproof to -10°C and shockproof from heights of up to 2m, the Nikon 1 AW1 features rubber seals at all critical points on the camera as well as an O-ring for the lens mount. The advanced hybrid AF system boasts fast phase-detection AF for high-speed movement, and contrast-detect AF for precision focusing. The Nikon 1 AW1 also offers continuous shooting speeds of up to 15fps with AF and 60fps with fixed focus, while the sensitivity range goes up to ISO 6400/39°. A dual altimeter/depth gauge tracks altitude or depth underwater with data recorded in 1 m increments and an electronic compass confirms orientation and can record the direction the camera is pointing when you take the shot. In addition to capturing high-resolution stills, the Nikon 1 AW1 is also capable of recording Full HD movies with manual exposure settings. The Nikon 1 AW1 will be available in a single-lens kit with the new all-weather 1 Nikkor AW 11-27.5mm f/3.5–5.6 lens for £749.99 / €899.00 / $799.95 and a double-lens kit that includes the camera body plus new 1 Nikkor AW 10mm f/2.8 and 11-27.5mm f/3.5–5.6 lenses for £949.99 / €1149.00 / $999.95.

Nikon 1 Nikkor AW 10mm f/2.8 & 1 Nikkor AW 11-27.5mm f/3.5–5.6

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Canon EOS 10D, Lenses
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Nikon today announced the world’s first water/shockproof interchangeable lenses for use with the Nikon 1 AW1 compact system camera. The Nikon 1 Nikkor AW 11–27.5mm f/3.5-5.6 lens is a standard zoom equivalent to a 30–74mm lens in a 35mm system, and the 1 Nikkor AW 10mm f/2.8 is a 27mm equivalent wide-angle prime lens with a tough build and a metallic exterior. Both lenses are waterproof (to 15 m and 20 m respectively), shockproof from heights of up to 2m and freezeproof for temperatures down to -10°C. The Nikon 1 Nikkor AW 11–27.5mm f/3.5-5.6 will only be available in a kit with the Nikon 1 AW1 camera, while the 1 Nikkor AW 10mm f/2.8 can also be bought separately, for £299.99 / €359.

Epson Perfection V550 Photo Hits US Market

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Scanners
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The Epson Perfection V550 Photo scanner is now available in the USA. Announced a month ago, the Epson Perfection V550 Photo is a new scanner that can automatically remove dust and scratches from damaged film. The V550 can also upload scanned images directly to selected social media and photo sharing sites such as Facebook or Picasa. With a hardware resolution of 6.400ppi, a dMax of 3.4 and built-in transparency unit, the V550 photo scanner can easily scan a wide range of media – from standard photographs, newspapers and A2-sized posters to mounted slides and loose strips of 35mm and medium-format film. The Epson Perfection V550 Photo is now available for $199.

Tiffen Launches Special Mail-In Rebate Programme

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Accessories
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The Tiffen Company has launced a special $100 mail-in rebate programme for customers who purchase the Lowel GL-1 Power LED Light before 1st November. The special mail-in rebate program is valid in the US and Puerto Rico. Customers who purchase the Lowel GL-1 Power LED through Tiffen or the Tiffen national network and mail in the rebate form by 12/12/13 will receive a 100 cheque via the US postal service. Qualifying customers can download the rebate form at the website below.

TeoreX Inpaint 5.5

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Software
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TeoreX has released version 5.5 of Inpaint, an easy-to-use program for effortless retouching of photos and images. This latest update adds a number of powerful tools to make retouching even easier. The improved mask option allows users to quickly select unwanted objects within the image and save the mask for later use with other pictures. Enhancements to the selection process, a number of interface improvements and 64-bit support round off the list of new features. Inpaint 5.5 is available for $19.99.

Sinar rePro RC

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Accessories, Digital
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The Sinar rePro RC is a unique camera designed specifically for high-end digital reprography. Conveniently remote controlled (hence the RC designation), the Sinar rePro RC has a high-quality stepper motor with two speed levels which correspond to a coarse and a fine focus adjustment. The camera allows for a lateral shift of the image plane, which eliminates reflections. An auxiliary device called the Sinar Parallel enables the camera to be aligned perfectly with the subject, which is a prerequisite for correctly photographing flat art. "The battery powered Sinar Parallel is placed on the capturing table and its laser beam reflects from a mirror on the camera," the company says. "Precise alignment of the camera is achieved when the laser beam exactly hits the middle of the crosshairs of Sinar Parallel." Pricing and availability to be confirmed.