Monday, June 10, 2013

Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 5 Now Available

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Software
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Adobe today released Lightroom 5 for MacOS and Windows. The program is available as an individual licence or as part of Adobe Creative Cloud. Key new features include an Advanced Healing Brush, new Upright tool and Radial Gradients, which enable users to apply off-centre and multiple vignettes in a single image. Smart Previews allow photographers to make edits to their images offline, without bringing their entire library of original files with them. Edits and metadata changes to Smart Preview files are automatically applied to the original images when they are reconnected. Other novelties include new video slideshows and updates to the Book module. Photoshop Lightroom 5 is available now for immediate download for Adobe Creative Cloud members. Standalone software is available at Adobe.com and participating retailers for $149 or $79 for upgrades.

Friday, June 7, 2013

Sony Cyber-shot DSC-H200 Photos

Mark Goldstein
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Ahead of our full review, here are 55 sample JPEG photos and a 720p movie taken with the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-H200 compact camera, including the complete ISO range from 80-3200.

The Sony Cyber-shot DSC-H200 is an affordable super-zoom camera with a 20.1 megapixel Super HAD CCD sensor, 26x optical zoom lens, 3-inch LCD screen, 720p HD video, and is compatible with AA batteries.

Panasonic Lumix DMC-LF1 Photos

Mark Goldstein
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Ahead of our full review, here are 59 sample JPEG photos and a Full HD movie taken with the brand new Panasonic Lumix DMC-LF1 compact camera.

The Panasonic Lumix LF1 is a premium 12 megapixel compact camera with a built-in viewfinder, 28-200mm f/2.0-5.9 lens, multi-functional Control Ring, Wi-Fi and NFC connectivity, 10fps burst shooting, RAW format support and ISO range of 80-12,800.

Phottix Umbrella Swivel US-A3

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Accessories
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OmegaBrandess has launched the Phottix Umbrella Swivel US-A3 to the U.S. market. The redesigned Phottix US-A3 is an affordable umbrella swivel for off-camera flash units. The ball head design is easy to adjust for fast on-scene lighting changes. With an 8mm locking umbrella mounting hole, the US-A3 will accept most standard sized umbrellas. Included are a locking ring and a metal cold shoe for mounting flashes. The manufacturer’s suggested retail price for the Umbrella Swivel US-A3 is $24.99

Damian McGillicuddy to Present Full-Day Seminar at The Societies’ 2014 Convention

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Events
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The Societies have confirmed that Damian McGillicuddy will be presenting a full-day seminar at The Societies’ 2014 Convention in London. Damian and his team will be training attendees by creating four uniquely themed shoots utilising speedlight, studio, continuous and UV lights, splitting the auditorium into four - with a set in each corner. Damian says ‘‘The intention of this full-day seminar is to show you that professional photography is about creativity, control and technique, inspiring the audience to seek the correct education to propel their photography forward and to push themselves through the qualification process, not only for their own personal development but as a marketing exercise and, if necessary, as a business development tool.’’ The seminar, which is priced at £80 for members of The Societies and £120 for non-members, will be taking place on Thursday 16 January 2014 at the Hilton London Metropole Hotel.

Leica Opens ‘Mini M Box’ Further

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Digital
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Once again, Leica has revealed a little more about the upcoming Leica Mini M via its Facebook fan page. If the teaser graphic is anything to go by, the Leica Mini M will not have an integrated eye-level viewfinder, but it may have some traditional controls. (Of course there is still a possibility that the actual product will look entirely different - as you can see in the picture above, there is a speech balloon with the text, "Heard the rumours? Get the truth: Leica Stores - June 11th.")

WILD Print Sale in support of PhotoVoice

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Events
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Charity PhotoVoice has launched its fundraising WILD print sale of winning photographs from the WILD photography competition. Until Monday 10 June 2013, photography collectors and nature enthusiasts alike can help raise money for PhotoVoice by buying a print from a of 50 imaginative and remarkable images of the natural world from the competition shortlist. Each photograph in the WILD print sale is available to purchase as a professional 16”x 12” Lambda C Type print in a limited edition print run for £50.00. To view the WILD collection and to purchase a print visit the website below.

Olloclip Quick-Flip Case

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Accessories
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Olloclip has just introduced the sleek and lightweight Quick-Flip case and Pro-Photo Adapter. “The olloclip Quick-Flip case is designed for anyone who wants to keep the iPhone protected in a hard case while using the olloclip 3-in-1 quick-connect lens for shooting photos and videos,” said Patrick O’Neill, CEO and founder of olloclip. “By eliminating the need to remove the case, shooting photos and videos is easier and more spontaneous." The included Pro-Photo Adapter has two standard tripod mounts and a cold shoe for attaching photographic accessories such as tripods, video lights or microphones. The Quick-Flip case for the iPhone 4/4S and 5 comes in white or "translucent black" and retails for £39.99.

Canon PowerShot SX280 HS Firmware Update 1.0.2.0

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Digital Compact Cameras
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Canon has posted a firmware update for its PowerShot SX280 HS digital compact camera. Version 1.0.2.0 incorporates the following fixes and improvements:

1. Increases the duration of movie shooting by 20% in cases where the optical zoom is used compared to cameras running Firmware Version 1.0.0.0 or Firmware Version 1.0.1.0 through a reduction in the power consumption of the optical zoom.

2. Fixes a phenomenon with cameras running firmware version 1.0.0.0, in which the low-battery-level warning is prematurely displayed while shooting in movie mode.

Website: Canon U.S.A. Support

“Europe, I’ve got something to tell you”

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Competitions
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The PES Group has announced a photo competition with the tagline "Europe, I've got something to tell you." Now in its sixth year, the contest challenges amateur photographers to capture in a photo their expectations about Europe. The competition runs until 30 June 2013 and is open to European residents aged 18 and older. The winner will receive €2,000 worth of photographic equipment, plus a three-day trip for two to Brussels.

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Sony NEX-3N Photos

Mark Goldstein
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Ahead of our full review, here are 55 sample JPEG photos and a HD movie taken with the new Sony NEX-3N camera, including the full ISO range.

The Sony NEX-3N is the world’s smallest, lightest interchangeable-lens camera with an APS-C sized sensor. It has a 16.1 megapixel APS-C sensor, ISO 16000 sensitivity, Full HD movies, built-in flash, and a 180° tiltable 3-inch LCD screen.

How To Use a Graphics Tablet for Photography - Introduction

Mark Goldstein | Photography Techniques
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Wacom have just sent us their latest Intuos 5 tablet, and we're going to take a closer look at the features that can make your workflow better in future articles, including making selections and using the healing brush and clone stamp tools. For now, here's a short video which provides an introduction to the Intuous 5 and how it can help you as a photographer.

Interview with Wildlife Photographer Wim Vorster

Mark Goldstein | Photography Techniques
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Get to know Wim Vorster, a South African wildlife photographer who is passionate about conserving wildlife and sharing this message with the rest of the world through his photography. Discover how he was attracted to photography and learn about some of the challenges that he has had to face.

Carl Zeiss Touit Distagon 2.8/12mm T* Review

Mark Goldstein
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The Carl Zeiss Touit Distagon 2.8/12mm T* is a new ultra-wide-angle prime lens for Fujifilm X-series and Sony NEX compact system cameras. Offering a focal range of 18mm in 35mm terms, is the Carl Zeiss Touit 12mm a worthy addition to the XF and NEX lens ranges? Read our Carl Zeiss Touit Distagon 2.8/12mm T* review to find out...

Canon EOS 101 Tutorial Video Series

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Digital
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Canon U.S.A. has launched a new tutorial video series that will show photographers how to improve their photographic skills. The Canon EOS 101 tutorial video series, available 24/7 on the Canon Digital Learning Center and Canon’s YouTube channel, provides entry-level Canon EOS users, photography students and anyone new to using a digital SLR camera the guidance needed to help enhance their imaging skills. You can access the Canon Digital Learning Center via the link below.

smartSD Memory Cards with SWP for NFC

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Accessories
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By introducing the Single Wire Protocol (SWP) to support Near Field Communications (NFC) features, the SD Association has opened the way for its members to manufacture smartSD memory cards that can provide authentication services. "Completing the enhancement to smartSD marks the achievement of a strategy announced in 2011 to find new markets that would benefit from SD standards," said Brian Kumagai, president of the SD Association. "Adding smart-chip technology to microSD memory cards gives SD equipped smart phones and phablets new consumer conveniences whether they're connected to the Internet or not."

Xara Offers Discount on Designer Pro

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Software
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Xara is offering a special discount on their flagship creative design software Xara Designer Pro to "disgruntled Adobe users who want to find a suitable alternative." Xara Designer Pro is billed as a "professional level graphic design tool that offers integrated tools for illustration, DTP, photo editing and web design in a single package." Xara Designer Pro is a one-off purchase - no subscription and no obligation to purchase future versions - normally retailing for $299, but now available to registered users of Adobe software for just $199. In addition to a 30 day money back guarantee, Xara is offering a free upgrade to the forthcoming Xara Designer Pro X9 due out shortly. Xara Designer Pro is available for Windows operating systems.

Leica M Monochrom Firmware Update 1.002

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Digital
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Leica Camera has issued a firmware update for the Leica M Monochrom digital rangefinder camera. Version 1.002 improves operational stability when the camera is connected to a computer via USB, corrects mistakes in the French and Italian menus, and fixes a bug related to the 'discreet' mode. Users wishing to take advantage of the new, improved features can now download firmware update 1.002 from the ‘DOWNLOADS’ section of the Service page on the Leica Camera website.

Smart Cameras to Reach 4.7 million Units by 2016

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Digital Compact Cameras
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Futuresource Consulting forecasts that the so-called 'smart camera' market will reach 4.7 million units globally by 2016. "Smart cameras are still a niche market, with few players in this segment," says Arun Gill, Market Analyst with Futuresource Consulting. "However, looking forward, sales of smart cameras are expected to grow; with our forecasts indicating that shipments will reach one million units in 2013, and grow a further 68% CAGR by 2016 to reach 4.7 million units worldwide." The average smart camera's trade price is forecast to be $202 by 2017, versus $87 for fixed-lens cameras without Wi-Fi and $107 with Wi-Fi. (Futuresource defines smart cameras as "a hybrid of Smartphones and Digital cameras, capable of capturing good quality photos in low light conditions and with good optical zooms, combined with the usability, connectivity and apps consumers associate with their Smartphone camera.") You can buy the report, Prospects for the Smart Camera Market, through the website below.

GIMP 2.8 for Photographers

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Books
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GIMP 2.8 for Photographers by Klaus Goelker is a beginner’s guide to the world's most advanced open-source image editing application. A powerful, multi-platform solution running on Linux, Mac OS X and Windows, GIMP 2.8 is a fairly complex proposition. This book guides users through the new user interface and tools, the basics of image editing and simple adjustments, advanced techniques using layers and masks, developing raw images, working with the improved text tool, and preparing high-quality black-and-white images. The most important editing functions are presented in individual, easy-to-follow "workshops." Published by Rocky Nook, the 400-page volume is available for $39.95.