Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Sony Xperia Z1

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Camera Phones
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The Sony Xperia Z1 is an Android phone with a 1/2.3-type 20.7-megapixel sensor, a 27mm (eq.) f/2 lens and 1080p HDR video. Other highlights include a 5" Full HD display with a resolution of 441 dots. a range of photo-related apps, a dust- and water-resistant construction and a 3000mAh battery. The Sony Xperia Z1 is currently available to pre-order for £599 including taxes. Deliveries are expected to start at the end of September.

Terry O’Neill Photography Awards Go Global and Mobile

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Competitions
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Now in its eighth year, the Terry O’Neill Photography Award has launched with a fresh website and a mobile device category sponsored by The Royal Photographic Society. Other categories include Reportage, Fashion, Documentary, Landscape, Wildlife, Portraiture and  Fine Art. The winners will have their work showcased in Terry O’Neill exhibitions in London and overseas and will be featured in the Sunday Times Magazine. £6500 of cash prizes can be won. The winner will receive £3000 and two runners-up £2000 and £1000 respectively. The winner of the mobile device category wins £500. The deadline for entries is 30th November. Do note that there is a £25 entry fee (£10 for students). As always we recommend that you read the rules before entering your work.

North West Bird Watching Festival

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Events
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WWT Martin Mere Wetland Centre is hosting the annual North West Bird Watching Festival on Saturday 23 and Sunday 24 November offering photographers a great day out. At the event, London Camera Exchange will be offering guidance on photography, and Outdoor Photography Gear will also have a stand. In addition, Martin Birchall and Ron Thomas will conduct a number of free photography workshops. The reserve is opening at 8am offering early morning photography opportunities. For further event information and a detailed list of exhibitors, visit the website below.

Snapheal Pro

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Software
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MacPhun has released a Pro version of its Snapheal application for the Macintosh platform. “Snapheal Pro is a dedicated solution to a problem that 100% of photographers face: how to remove unwanted objects from photos,” said Paul Muzok, co-founder and CEO of MacPhun. “The popularity of our original Snapheal product showed us there was a real need for an elegant and professional caliber healing tool that is also quick and easy to use." To celebrate the launch of Snapheal Pro, MacPhun and several industry partners are giving away a Canon 5D Mark III camera, and offering substantial special offers on photography-related products and services. Partners include Bongo Bytes, Datacolor, Delkin Devices, Eye-Fi, Simply Color, Spacerframe, Wacom, and Zenfolio. Free entry to the camera giveaway and information on special offers can be found at the website below.

PNY High Performance 3.0 Flash Card Reader

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Accessories
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PNY has just revealed its new High Performance 3.0 Flash Card Reader. Commenting on this latest product release, Adrien Thebault, Storage Media Product Manager for PNY Europe, said: “With the launch of the High Performance 3.0 flash card reader we are pleased to be able to deliver an exceptional solution that delivers outstanding speeds and matches the fastest cards in PNY’s High Performance and Elite Performance range. We are confident that this latest offering will be an excellent addition to PNY’s extensive product line for imaging professionals.” The PNY High Performance 3.0 Flash Card Reader is compatible with SD(HC/XC), CF and xD cards as well as Memory Sticks. The recommended retail price is £19.99.

Olympus M.ZUIKO Digital 40-150mm f/2.8 Hands-on Photos

Mark Goldstein | Compact System Camera, Lenses
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Want to see exactly what the new Olympus M.ZUIKO Digital 40-150mm f/2.8 lens looks like in the flesh?

Check out our hands-on gallery of photos of the Olympus M.ZUIKO Digital 40-150mm f/2.8 lens, a professional telephoto zoom lens for Micro Four Thirds compact system cameras.

Note that this is a prototype version of the Olympus 40-150mm, apparently one of only two in the world.

Olympus OM-D E-M1 Hands-on Photos

Mark Goldstein | Compact System Camera
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Want to see exactly what the new Olympus OM-D E-M1 compact system camera looks like in the flesh?

Check out our extensive hands-on gallery of 50 photos of the Olympus OM-D E-M1 compact system camera, which "delivers the best image quality of any consumer model Olympus has ever made".

Olympus M.ZUIKO Digital 12-40mm f/2.8 Hands-on Photos

Mark Goldstein | Compact System Camera, Lenses
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Want to see exactly what the new Olympus M.ZUIKO Digital 12-40mm f/2.8 lens looks like in the flesh?

Check out our hands-on gallery of photos of the Olympus M.ZUIKO Digital 12-40mm f/2.8 lens, a professional standard zoom lens for Micro Four Thirds compact system cameras.

Olympus OM-D E-M1

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Compact System Camera
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The range-topping Olympus OM-D E-M1 is a 16-megapixel compact system camera with hybrid contrast- and phase-detect auto focus, 5-axis image stabilisation and a high-magnification EVF with a resolution of 2,360,000 dots. Other highlights include a splash-, dust- and freezeproof construction, a tiltable touchscreen, a PC sync terminal, Full HD video recording capability, built-in Wi-Fi, re-assignable controls, 10fps sequential shooting, new HDR Preview Mode, focus peaking, and a newly developed "Colour Creator" that lets you intuitively play with colour by tweaking dials on top of the camera. Prices start at £1299.99 / $1399.99 for the body only, £1499.99 for the M.ZUIKO DIGITAL 12-50mm 1:3.5-6.3 lens kit and £1949.99 for a kit that includes the new M.ZUIKO DIGITAL 12-40mm 1:2.8 lens.

Olympus M.Zuiko Digital 12-40mm f/2.8 Pro

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Lenses
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The Olympus M.Zuiko Digital 12-40mm f/2.8 Pro is a new splash-, freeze- and dustproof standard zoom lens for Micro Four Thirds cameras. Covering a 35mm equivalent focal range of 24-80mm, the Olympus M.Zuiko Digital 12-40mm f/2.8 Pro lens offers a constant  maximum aperture of f/2.8 throughout its zoom range. The optical formula comprises 14 elements arranged in 9 groups, including 1 aspherical element, 1 dual-sided aspherical element, 2 ED glass elements, 2 HR glass elements, 1 EDA glass element and 1 HD glass element. Other highlights include a manual focus clutch mechanism, a 62mm filter thread and a customisable L-Fn button which, by default, allows users to temporarily suspend continuous auto focus when something suddenly comes between the lens and your intended subject. Initially, the Olympus M.Zuiko Digital 12-40mm f/2.8 will be available in a bundle with the new Olympus OM-D E-M1 compact system camera for £1949.99. In the US, the lens will be sold separately for around $1,100.

Olympus Develops 40-150mm f/2.8 Lens

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Lenses
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Olympus is developing a professional-grade telephoto zoom lens for the Micro Four Thirds system. The M.Zuiko Digital ED 40-150mm f:2.8 Pro will cover a 35mm equivalent focal range of 80-300mm, while offering a constant maximum aperture of f/2.8 throughout its entire zoom range. Currently, no further information is available on the lens, other than that it "will be ideal for capturing pro-standard shots of moving subjects," but we fully expect it to be weather sealed just like the newly introduced M.Zuiko Digital 12-40mm f/2.8 Pro.

Getty Images Grants for Editorial Photography

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Photographers
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Getty Images have announced the recipients of its annual Grants for Editorial Photography programme. This year Getty Images received almost 500 grant applications, a record number, from over 60 countries. The projects selected examine a range of thought-provoking and moving issues from drone strikes to consequences of the war in Iraq. The winning photojournalists include Eugene Richards from the USA for War is Personal – Part Two, Samuel James from the USA for The Water of My Land, Tomas van Houtryve from France for In Drones We Trust, Marco Gualazzini from Italy for M23 – Kivu: A Region Under Siege and Matt Eich from the USA for Sin & Salvation in Baptist Town. 

Hasselblad to Launch its First Retail Outlet

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Global
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Hasselblad's firat-ever retail outlet will open for business in Tokyo's fashionable Harajuku area on 14th September. The new store - a one-stop-shop of all things Hasselblad - is located adjacent to the Hasselblad Japan offices and close to a number of well-known retailers and trendy fashion boutiques. ""This is the first time in our history that we will be providing direct sales in store as opposed to the standard commercial protocol with partners, distributors and dealers," says William Penrice, president, Hasselblad Japan. "This store launch is a brand new challenge for the company and we are all very excited and enthusiastic about its future. We want people to just drop by whenever they can and browse, not just our latest cameras, but also enjoy a snapshot of our heritage and history."

Monday, September 9, 2013

Leica C

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Digital Compact Cameras
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Leica has unveiled the first model of a new line of Leica digital compact cameras, the Leica C. The easily pocketable Leica C has a 1/1.7" MOS sensor with a resolution of 12 megapixels, and comes equipped with a fixed-mount, 28-200mm (eq.) f/2.0-5.9 lens and an integrated electronic viewfinder (EVF). Other highlights include Wi-Fi connectivity with Near Field Communications (NFC) and a programmable ring around the lens that makes it easy to manually control aperture, shutter speed and zoom. The Leica C will be available in the UK from authorised Leica dealers, starting mid-September 2013. The suggested retail price is £550 including VAT. Registered Leica C owners will be able to download a fully functional copy of Adobe Photoshop Lightroom free of charge.

New Camera Reviews Index

Mark Goldstein | PhotographyBLOG
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We've been hard at work behind-the scenes making our Camera Reviews index easier to use. You can now search for a camera by date, the manufacturer and the camera's final rating, or a combination of all three. So if you want to see the 5-star cameras from Canon, all the Sony cameras, or the 4-star lenses from Nikon, simply use the various "filter by" buttons.

And don't forget that we also have our Best Digital Cameras guide which makes a great starting point to choosing the best camera for you.

Let us know what you think of the new look in the Comments section...

Nikon Coolpix AW110 Review

Matt Grayson
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The Coolpix AW110 is Nikon's second all-action compact camera. The 16 megapixel Nikon AW110 has a 5x zoom lens, 3 inch OLED screen, built-in GPS and wi-fi, and can record full 1080p video. Read our Nikon Coolpix AW110 review to find out if this is the tough camera for you...

World Photographic Cup

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Competitions
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The Federation of European Professional Photographers (FEP) has announced the "World Photographic Cup" competition. Photographic associations are invited to send a team entry from their nation to represent their highest standard of photographic excellence and style for the inaugural World Photographic Cup. The deadline for submissions is 31 October 2013.

Cities at Dawn on Kickstarter

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Books
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Diana Bird and Anthony Epes have launched a Kickstarter campaign to help fund the publication of two new photography books, London at Dawn (revised edition) and Paris at Dawn. "We have paid for half the printing costs and are now looking to raise the other half," the authors say. "If the campaign is successful we will then be exhibiting the project and launching the books at St Pancras Station in October." If you are interested in making a contribution, visit the website below.

Serif PhotoStack

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Software
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Serif has just launched PhotoStack, an all-in-one photo organiser, editor and library. Designed with speed and simplicity in mind, PhotoStack will help budding photographers quickly and easily enhance, sort and share their entire photo collection, the company promises. Users can import thousands of photos from their camera, smartphone or tablet straight into PhotoStack and organise them in seconds. Once uploaded, photos can be tagged, rated or grouped into photo stacks – a feature which makes it easier for users to find their favourite version of any photo. With just a few simple clicks, users can take care of imperfections, such as red-eye, spots and blemishes, and even erase unwanted background objects. There are also dedicated tools to recolour and sharpen images, plus features for cropping, cloning and straightening pictures. Once editing is complete, users can see their entire collection in the library and use simple drag and drop tools to quickly create bespoke photo albums. PhotoStack is compatible with Windows 8/7/Vista/XP and is optimised for 64-bit operating systems. It retails at £49.99 and is available directly from Serif.

MindShift Gear Lens Switch Case

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Accessories
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MindShift Gear have released a new Lens Switch Case, a lightweight and versatile unpadded modular lens/accessory pouch that can be carried on the belt of MindShift Gear’s rotation180° Professional backpack. “The Lens Switch Case solves one of the biggest problems nature and outdoor photographers face,” said MindShift Gear’s Product Manager Jerry Dodrill.  “By mounting it on the rotation180° pro backpack’s belt, photographers can quickly access their telephoto lenses, filters, and other equipment on the fly.” The Lens Switch Case is available for $42.50.