Monday, June 17, 2013

Lastolite Ezybox II Fabric Grids

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Accessories
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Manfrotto Lighting has launched the new Lastolite Ezybox II Fabric Grids. The Lastolite Ezybox II Fabric Grids allow photographer to control light spill from a softbox, providig a controlled directional pool of light which can be positioned directly onto the subject without having to worry about light spilling on the background. The Fabric Grids are available in various sizes for the Ezybox II Square, Ezybox II Octa and Ezyboz II Switch. Pricing ranges from £44.10 to £130.00.

Film Stocks 1.5

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Software
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Digital Film Tools have released version 1.5 of Film Stocks, a film simulation plugin for Adobe Photoshop, Lightroom, After Effects, Premiere Pro, Apple Aperture and Final Cut Pro. "We have been working hard over the last several months to produce a GPU accelerated version of Film Stocks and are finally ready to release it," the company says. "In most cases, you should see dramatic speed increases while rendering." Film Stocks offers users simulations of 288 different colour and black-and-white photographic film stocks, motion picture film stocks, and historical photographic processes. The Film Stocks photo plugin is available now for $95. The Film Stocks video/film plugin sells for $195.

Friday, June 14, 2013

Alien Skin Software Ships Exposure 5

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Software
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Exposure 5 is now available to purchase. Developed by Alien Skin Software, Exposure 5 enables digital photographers to achieve accurate film simulation, using a wide range of creative effects. “With Exposure 5, a photographer’s vision is the only element separating an ordinary image from an extraordinary one. Creative control and increased productivity were essential design objectives,” said Terence Tay, designer of the new Exposure 5 software. “It’s now much easier and faster for photographers of all levels to find the right look for their photographs.” Exposure 5 is now available for $199.

Firmware Updates for Nikon 1 System Cameras

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Accessories, Compact System Camera
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Nikon has posted firmware updates for all Nikon 1 system cameras plus the GP-N100 GPS unit and the FT1 lens adapter. The camera firmware updates add full support for the Nikon 1 Nikkor 32mm f/1.2 lens, new features for the Playback mode, support for continuous auto focus when an AF-S lens is attached to the camera via the FT1 adapter (when the adapter's firmware is updated to version 1.10). Also, the precision of time synchronization when the GPS Unit GP-N100 is attached to the camera and the Use GPS to set clock option is set to Yes has been increased. Note that the GP-N100's own firmware also needs to be updated to version 1.02. Click through / read on for the details.

Sigma Issues Firmware Updates

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Digital Compact Cameras
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Sigma has released firmware updates for the Sigma DP1 Merrill,DP2 Merrill and DP3 Merrill large-sensor digital compact cameras. In addition to fixing bugs, these updates incorporate a number of enhancements and improvements. Click through / scroll down for the complete list.

New Epson Videos Celebrate the B&W Print

Zoltan Arva-Toth | General
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Epson today launched a series of videos celebrating the black-and-white print. Looking back to the traditional Black-and-White darkroom for inspiration, the new tutorials offer unique insight into the latest digital black-and-white printing workflows for both novice and more experienced photographers. These movie clips are now available on Epson's website.

Olympus Firmware Updates Add VF-4 Support

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Accessories, Compact System Camera
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Olympus has issued firmware updates fora range of cameras that adds support for the new, high-resolution VF-4 electronic viewfinder. Affected models include the Olympus XZ-2, OM-D E-M5, E-P2, E-P3, E-PL1, E-PL2, E-PL3, E-PL5, E-PM1 and E-PM2. If you own one of these cameras, you can update its firmware using the free Digital Camera Updater utility.

Sigma Announces Pricing for 18-35mm f/1.8 Lens

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Lenses
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Sigma has announced pricing and availability details for its 18-35mm f/1.8 DC HSM Art lens. Billed as the first zoom lens ever to achieve a maximum aperture of f1.8 throughout the zoom range, the Sigma 18-35mm f/1.8 DC HSM is designed for digital SLR cameras with APS-C size sensors, and offers a focal range equivalent to 27-52.5mm in the 35mm format. The lens will arrive in the United States early July for the street price of $799. The UK RRP will be £799.99 including VAT. This new lens will be available in Canon and Sigma mount in early July with Nikon mount following towards the end of July. Availability for Sony and Pentax mount is to be announced at a later date.

Modern Photo Editor 1.6

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Software
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Independent iOS developer Jeffrey Sun has released version 1.6 of his Modern Photo Editor app. "The key differentiating feature of Modern is that it allows users to save their edited photo at three resolution options: 1 Mpx, 3 Mpx, or 8 Mpx (full)," Jeff says. "In addition, every edit is recorded in a history log, and selecting a previous edit will revert the image to that point in time. Undo/Redo buttons facilitate this as well. As a safety measure, the history log is saved to the device's hard drive so that the app can recover in case of a crash." Modern Photo Editor 1.6 is 

Total Production of Nikkor Lenses Reaches 80 Million

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Lenses

Nikon today announced that total production of Nikkor and 1 Nikkor lenses for interchangeable-lens cameras has surpassed the eighty-million mark. As the 75 millionth Nikkor was manufactured in November, this means that Nikon produced no less than 5 million interchangeable lenses in about half a year. In January, Nikon announced two new additions to the Nikkor line-up, including the AF-S Nikkor 800mm f/5.6E FL ED VR, which offers the longest focal length in the history of AF Nikkors; and .the compact and lightweight AF-S NIKKOR 18-35mm f/3.5-4.5G ED. In March, the 5x telephoto-zoom AF-S NIKKOR 80-400mm f/4.5-5.6G ED VR was announced, offering one of the fastest AF speeds in its class.

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Ricoh GR Photos

Mark Goldstein
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Ahead of our full review, here are 60 sample JPEG photos and a full HD movie taken with the new Ricoh GR premium compact camera.

We've included an ISO sequence from 100 to 25,600 so that you can see exactly what the 16.2 megapixel sensor and 28mm f/2.8 lens are capable of.

Panasonic Lumix DMC-LF1 Review

Mark Goldstein
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The Panasonic Lumix DMC-LF1 is a brand new premium compact camera with a unique twist - it has an electronic viewfinder. The Panasonic LF1 also offers a 12 megapixel sensor, 7x zoom lens with fast f/2 aperture, 10fps burst shooting and RAW support. Read our in-depth Panasonic Lumix DMC-LF1 review with sample JPEG, RAW and video files now...

Lomography Unveils Konstruktor

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Film
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The Konstruktor is a new, do-it-yourself film camera from Lomography. Priced at £29, the Lomography Konstruktor takes about 1-2 hours to build. "This innovative, self-crafted SLR camera will reward you with impressively sharp and typically Lomographic shots on regular 35mm film," the company claims. The Konstruktor takes interchangeable optics, and the kit includes a 50mm f/10 lens.

Wilkinson Cameras Open Flagship Store in Liverpool

Zoltan Arva-Toth | General
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Wilkinson Cameras are opening a brand new flagship store in Liverpool. Taking on the premises of the failed high street retailer, Jessops, the new shop is located at 51 Lord Street, in the heart of the city centre. "The new Wilkinson Cameras store in Liverpool is a great step for us – for a long time we’ve looked at having a presence in the city – and the demise of Jessops has only increased the importance of having an experienced photo retailer in town to support the photographic community," said Wilkinson's managing director David Parkinson (pictured). This latest store opening will mean Wilkinson Cameras takes its number of shops to 10 in the North West – making it the largest independent photo retailer in the region.

Akvis ArtSuite Fantasy Pack

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Software
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Akvis has released a new frame pack for its ArtSuite, with 55 hand-painted designs. "These admirable designs will take you into the world of magic," the company says. The so-called Akvis Fantasy Pack is available for $15. The program itself sells for $69.

Major ControlTL Firmware Update from PocketWizard

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Accessories
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LPA Design has announced a major update to its ControlTL formware for the PocketWizard MiniTT1, FlexTT5, PowerMC2 and PowerST4 devices and minor updates for the Plus III and MultiMAX radios. The new ControlTL firmware, available as a free download using the Pocket Wizard Utility, provides compatibility with several new Canon and Nikon cameras, greatly improves the performance of PocketWizard’s exclusive HyperSync feature and resolves bugs in previous versions. The new firmware for the Plus III resolves some minor bugs.  The MultiMAX firmware, which has been available for a while in beta, adds two new features. Do note that PocketWizard Utility version 1.54 or newer is required before installing these updates.

Samyang 300mm f/6.3 ED UMC CS Mirror Lens

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Lenses
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The Samyang 300mm f/6.3 ED UMC CS is a small-size, manual focus, reflex lens for compact system cameras. The optical structure features 9 elements arranged in 6 groups, including one ED-type lens ensuring high contrast and effectively preventing chromatic aberration. Available from July for Sony E, Fujifilm X, MFT and Canon M mounts, the Samyang 300mm f/6.3 ED UMC CS has a suggested retail price of £289.99. In addition, the company has re-announced the Samyang 16mm f/2 ED AS UMC CS lens, which will be offered for £419.99 (or £459.99 for the Nikon version).

Westcott Rapid Box

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Accessories
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The Westcott Rapid Box is a new range of portable Speedlite Softboxes with adjustable flash bracket and carry case. Constructed from solid aluminium to minimise weight, yet retain durability, each Rapid Box opens and closes like an umbrella, with no need for support rods or adapter rings. The line-up includes two octagonal softboxes, a stripbox and a deflector plate, with prices ranging from £23 to £180.

Epson Expression Home XP-410

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Printers
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Epson America has added a new "Small-in-One" device to its Expression line. This compact, sub-$100 Small-in-One allows mobile printing over Wi-Fi and uses instant-dry DURABrite Ultra pigment inks for smudge, fade and water resistant output. In addition to printing, the device also supports one-touch copying and scanning at up to 2400ppi. The Epson Expression Home XP-410 Small-in-One will be available later this month, priced at $99.99.

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Pentax K50 / K500 Hands-on Photos

Mark Goldstein | Digital SLR Cameras
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Want to see exactly what the new Pentax K50 / K500 DSLR camera looks like in the flesh?

Check out our extensive hands-on gallery of photos of the Pentax K50 / K500 DSLR camera.

The Pentax K50 is an entry-level, weather-proof DSLR with an ISO range of 100-51,200, viewfinder with 100% field of view, 6fps burst shooting, 1/6000th second shutter speed and AA battery compatibility. The Pentax K500 is exactly the same, but without the weather-sealing. The K50 is positioned above the existing K30 model, which will continue production, and the K500 slots below it in the expanded range of 5 Pentax DSLRs.