Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Sony DSC-QX10 and DSC-QX100

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Accessories, Camera Phones, Digital, Lenses
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The Sony DSC-QX10 and DSC-QX100 lens-sensor modules attach to your smartphone to provide "image quality and creative options to rival a premium standalone [compact] camera." The 20-megapixel DSC-QX100 combines a fairly big 1"-type (13.2x8.8mm) sensor with a 28-100mm (eq.) f/1.8-4.9 lens, while the lighter, 18-megapixel DSC-QX10 offers a combination of a smaller 1/2.3"-type imager and a 25-250mm (eq.) f/3.3-5.9 zoom. Both the DSC-QX10 and DSC-QX100 boast a Bionz processor, Optical Steady Shot and Wi-Fi with NFC (Near-Field Communications). Both are capable of shooting 1440x1080-pixel videos at 30fps, and each comes with a proprietary lithium-ion battery. The Sony DSC-QX10 and DSC-QX100 attach to your smartphone with the supplied adapter that fits several popular models. Going on sale at the end of September, both modules (or "lens-style cameras" as Sony calls them) are available to pre-order now via the website below. The suggested retail prices for the Sony QX100 and QX10 are £399 and £179 respectively

Sony Handycam FDR-AX1E

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Digital Video Cameras
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Sony has revealed its first-ever 4K capable Handycam camcorder. The Sony Handycam FDR-AX1E records 4K and HD movies in the XAVC S format, using MPEG-4 AVC/H.264 Long GOP for video and Linear PCM for audio compression, while saving files in an MP4 wrapper. The XAVC-S format allows longer recording times, storing almost two hours of 4K video on a 64GB XQD memory card. Switching to Full HD recording enables you to store almost 3 hours of 1920x1080 50p footage on a single card. The Sony Handycam FDR-AX1E camcorder features a 1/2.3-type Exmor R CMOS sensor with a resolution of 3840x2160 pixels and a 31.5-630mm equivalent Sony G zoom lens with Optical SteadyShot. Other highlights include three ND filters, five paint functions, two external pro-style XLR connectors, two strategically placed start/stop buttons and dual XQD memory card slots. Dedicated controls are also provided for auto/manual focus, and seven custom buttons can be reassigned to user’s preferred function. Assigned functions for on-the-fly adjustments include Marker, Zebra, Peaking, Focus Magnifier, Auto Exposure Level, SteadyShot, Colour Bars and Rec Lamp.

Sony Action Cam HDR-AS30V

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Digital Video Cameras
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The Action Cam HDR-AS30V is a new, wearable Full HD camcorder from Sony. The newest Action Cam features an 11.9-megapixel back-illuminated CMOS sensor, a Carl Zeiss Tessar lens with a diagonal angle of view of 170 degrees, Wi-Fi connectivity with NFC (Near Field Communications) and GPS. The in-built Wi-Fi enables the Sony Action Cam HDR-AS30V to connect the optional RM-LVR1 Live-View Remote. This waterproof wristwatch-style controller communicates wirelessly to Action Cam, allowing ‘hands-off’ operation when the camera is mounted in hard-to-reach places like your helmet, kayak or surfboard. The new Action Cam HDR-AS30V from Sony is available in UK from the end of September, priced at £260.

Sony to Release API for Using Smartphones as Remotes for Cameras

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Software
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Sony is releasing the Application Program Interface (API) for remote operation of select Sony cameras with Wi-Fi-equipped smartphones and tablets.Using the app developed with this API, users will be able to shoot still images and movies, see real-time views of camera displays on the screens of compatible mobile devices , as well as operate the camera self-timer and zoom functions via Wi-Fi. Compatible Sony cameras and camcorders include the Sony NEX-6, NEX-5R, NEX-5T (pictured), Cyber-shot DSC-QX10 and QX100, The Action Cam HDR-AS30 and HDR-AS15, and the HDR-MV1 video recorder.

Inspire Me: David Noton

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

Chasing the Light eZine Issue 20

Zoltan Arva-Toth | General
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Issue 20 of David Noton’s Chasing the Light eZine is now available. In this month’s edition, David pays homage to side light and presents Part 2 of his exploration into the creative potential of using super wide-angle lenses. In Stepping Back, we are taken on a photo trip to the fascinating ‘blue’ town of Chefchaouen in the Rif Mountains of northern Morocco. And in this month’s edition of The Bizz, David begins his two-part series entitled Head in the Cloud by considering the various technological pressures with which he has successfully wrangled at Noton HQ this summer. Do note that the full contents of Chasing the Light eZine is available to f11 subscribers only.

Canon EF CN-E35mm T1.5 L F

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Lenses
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Canon has unveiled a new EF Cinema prime lens. Featuring an eleven-bladed iris diaphragm, 300° focus rotation and a close-focus point of 30cm, the 4K-ready Canon EF CN-E35mm T1.5 L F is the sixth member of Canon’s line of compact, precision-matched EF-mount Cinema prime lenses, which also includes 14mm, 24mm, 50mm, 85mm and 135mm focal lengths. Ensuring consistency when shooting across a number of different Cinema prime lenses, the new 35mm lens provides colour reproduction that matches others in the range, as well as featuring the same form factor and uniform markings, making it easy to switch between lenses when on a shoot. The Canon CN-E35mm T1.5 L F Cinema prime lens is expected to be available in December 2013 for an estimated retail price of $5,200.

Serious Fraud Office to Prosecute Olympus

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Global
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The United Kingdom's Serious Fraud Office (SFO) has initiated proceedings against Olympus and its UK subsidiary Gyrus Group. Former president Michael Woodford had discovered a lot of "strange goings-on at the company" as early as 2008, including some aspects of the Gyrus acquisition, and after being promoted to CEO, he started to seek answers to questions related to a number of other "questionable" transactions, leading to his dismissal on 14 October 2011. After his ouster, Woodford offered to speak to authorities in the UK and Japan, which prompted an investigation that revealed a cover-up of huge losses dating back twenty years, causing three high-ranking Japanese officials of the company to be sentenced to suspended jail terms. Having completed its own investigation, the SFO has now decided to bring a prosecution against Olympus and Gyrus. The charges allege that certain representations made to the auditors of Gyrus in the documents related to the company's financial accounts for the fiscal years 2009 and 2010 were misleading, false or deceptive in a material particular, contrary to Section 501 of the UK Companies Act of 2006. Commenting on the news Olympus noted that "the potential financial impact of this prosecution on Olympus Group’s business is unclear."

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Panasonic Lumix DMC-GX7 Review

Mark Goldstein
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The Panasonic Lumix DMC-GX7 is an exciting new compact system camera aimed firmly at keen photographers. With a built-in tilting electronic viewfinder, 16 megapixel sensor, 3 inch tilting LCD touchscreen, pop-up flash, 60/50p high-definition video, integrated wi-fi and NFC connectivity, both lens and in-body image stabilization, and a stylish design, is the GX7 the ultimate interchangeable lens camera? Read our expert Panasonic Lumix DMC-GX7 review to find out....

Gyromatic Go2X Gimbal Stabiliser

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Accessories
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Australian company Gyromatic has launched an IndieGoGo project to help fund the commercialisation of its Go2X Gimbal Stabiliser in the United States. The Go2X device is made up of a plastic and rubber grip housing with legs and a sliding on/off switch, a mobile screen or device support stand, a adjustable CNC aluminium gimbal assembly with 2 x custom made rewound brushless motors. The assembly also houses an IMU (inertial measurement unit) on the camera carriage frame and a controller on the back of the mobile device mount. "The technology we use is a disruption to the Gyro stabilised platform industry which has long held a strangle hold on stabilisation," the company says. "We use the Simple Brushless Gimble Controller with its main advantages being no backlash in the gear, instantaneous response and low weight... Whether you are filming an action sequence, filming from a boat, helicopter or camel, interviewing a punter or jumping off a cliff, the result you get from filming with the Go2X is second to none." Interested readers are encouraged to visit the project's IndieGoGo page and make a contribution.

When the Night Comes

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Photographers
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The Photographic Museum of Humanity (PMH) has launched its newest online exhibition When the Night Comes. Arranged in 5 galleries the exhibition features the works of award-winning photographers like Alejandro Chaskielberg, Valentina Quintano and Szymon Roginski. When the Night Comes is on show until 8 October 2013 at the website below.

55% of Brits Share Holiday Snaps on Social Media

Zoltan Arva-Toth | General
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PhotoBox has just released the results of a new survey on the holiday photography habits of Europeans. The study has revealed that 55% of Brits share their holiday picture on Facebook, followed by the Swedes with 40%.  France is the least social media savvy, as only 4% of French said they share on Facebook. Instagram and Twitter were hardly chosen, apart from Sweden where 24.1% of respondents declared sharing their holiday pics on Instagram. Along with the Swedes, Brits are the most "selfie-obsessed" as 27% of them admit to taking self-portraits on holiday. The Spanish aren’t far behind with 22%. Photographing holiday meals is popular with 35% of Swedes, 30% of Germans and 27% of Britons. In addition, 30% of the British respondents said they used props in their holiday photos to make them look better just like celebs such as Rihanna, Kelly Brook, Cara Delavigne and Justin Bieber.

Microsoft Buys Nokia’s Mobile Phones & Smart Devices Businesses

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Camera Phones
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Microsoft and Nokia have announced that the former will purchase all of Nokia's Devices & Services business, license Nokia's patents, and license and use Nokia's mapping services. "Building on the partnership with Nokia announced in February 2011 and the increasing success of Nokia's Lumia smartphones, Microsoft aims to accelerate the growth of its share and profit in mobile devices through faster innovation, increased synergies, and unified branding and marketing," the companies said in a statement. "For Nokia, this transaction is expected to be significantly accretive to earnings, strengthen its financial position, and provide a solid basis for future investment in its continuing businesses." The €5.44bn transaction is expected to close in the first quarter of 2014, subject to approval by Nokia's shareholders, regulatory approvals and other closing conditions.

Monday, September 2, 2013

Sony A99 Firmware Version 1.02

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Digital SLR Cameras
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Sony has released a firmware update for its SLT-A99 digital "single lens translucent" camera. Version 1.02 adds an HDMI simultaneous output mode, provides support for thirteen "Dual AF" function compliant lenses and half a dozen automatic compensation compliant lenses. You can download the firmware upgrade fromt the websites below.

Website: Sony SLT-A99 Firmware Version 1.02 for Mac
Website: Sony SLT-A99 Firmware Version 1.02 for Windows

Sony NEX-7 Firmware Version 1.03

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Compact System Camera
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Sony has posted a firmware update for the Sony NEX-7 compact system camera. Version 1.03 adds an AF drive system for movies "in order to enhance scalability of future E-mount system." According to Sony, this feature ensures a higher degree of design flexibility for future E-mount lenses. You can download the firmware upgrade from the websites below.

Website: Sony NEX-7 Firmware Version 1.03 for Mac
Website: Sony NEX-7 Firmware Version 1.03 for Windows

Sony NEX-5R & NEX-6 Firmware Version 1.02

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Compact System Camera
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Sony has issued a firmware update for its NEX-5R and NEX-6 compact system cameras. Version 1.02 (for both models) provides support for the Sony E 20mm f/2.8 and Carl Zeiss Vario-Tessar T* E 16-70mm f/4 ZA OSS lenses, and adds an AF drive system for movies "in order to enhance the scalability of future E-mount systems." You can download the firmware upgrades from the websites below,

Website: Sony NEX-5R Firmware Version 1.02 for MacSony NEX-5R Firmware Version 1.02 for Windows
Website: Sony NEX-6 Firmware Version 1.02 for Mac | Sony NEX-6 Firmware Version 1.02 for Windows

Panasonic GF6 Firmware Update 1.1

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Compact System Camera
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Panasonic has posted a firmware update for its Lumix GF6 Micro Four Thirds camera. Version 1.1 fixes a Wi-Fi connection issue with Apple Macintosh computers. You can download the firmware update from the website below.

Website: Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF6 Firmware Update 1.1

Panasonic G6 Firmware Update 1.1

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Compact System Camera
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Panasonic has released a firmware update for the Panasonic Lumix G6 compact system camera. Version 1.1 fixes a Wi-Fi connection problem with Apple computers and improves the reliability of the automatic swiching betwwn the  EVF and the LCD screen when using the eye proximity sensor. To download the firmware update, follow the link below.

Website: Panasonic Lumix DMC-G6 Firmware Version 1.1

Manfrotto Launch Golden Hour Competition

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Competitions
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Manfrotto has launched a worldwide competition challenging photographers to share their best shots of the warm, soft light of the last hour of sunlight, also known as the golden hour. Competition entrants can submit up to five photos of this very special time of day to be judged by a professional jury. The best shots will win exciting prizes ranging from a trip for two to California available to one entrant from each territory, to a getaway to the Lake District for one special winner in the UK, or a selection of Manfrotto products. The Manfrotto Golden Hour competition runs until 31 December 2013. To enter, visit the website below.

Landscape Photography Magazine Issue 31

Zoltan Arva-Toth | General
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Issue 31 of Landscape Photography Magazine is now available to download. This edition includes a guide to infrared photography, a review of the book Scotland's Fifty Finest Mountains, an essay on image sharpness by David Hay, an interview with Hans Strand, a test report on the Pentax K5 IIs digital SLR camera, an article on photographing Yellowstone National Park, and much more. Do note that the full contents of Landscape Photography Magazine are available to subscribers only.