Friday, September 28, 2012
Olympus and Sony today announced that the two companies have entered into a business alliance agreement and a capital alliance agreement through a third-party allotment of Olympus’s common shares to Sony. Under the terms of the capital alliance agreement, Olympus will issue 34,387,900 common shares at a price of 1,454 yen per share. The agreements affect both the medical and the camera divisions. With respect to the latter, the two companies’ stated aim is “to enhance their competitiveness, primarily in the area of compact digital cameras, by exploring opportunities for mutually beneficial transactions and collaboration between their respective camera businesses, including the supply of Olympus technologies such as camera lenses and mirror cells to Sony, and the provision of Sony image sensors to Olympus.” As opposed to the medical field, in which Olympus and Sony have agreed to establish a business venture company with a capital ratio of 49%-51%, the two companies’ camera businesses will continue to function as separate entities.
(Pictured above is the Olympus OM-D E-M5 compact system camera, which features a 16-megapixel Sony sensor.)
The Metz mecablitz 52 AF-1 digital is billed as the world’s first hotshoe-mounted flash with a touchscreen-based user interface. Available for Canon, Nikon, Olympus/Panasonic/Leica, Pentax and Sony, the Metz mecablitz 52 AF-1 digital has a tilt-swivel head with a motorised zoom to cover the angle-of-view range of a 24-105mm lens, offering a guide number of 52 (in metres at ISO 100/21°) at the 105mm position. The illuminated touchscreen display rotates by 90° to remain easily readable with the camera in portrait orientation. Other highlights include TTL and manual operation (the latter with no less than 22 partial lighting levels), servo flash mode, high-speed flash syncronisation, 1st and 2nd curtain sync, a maximum recycle time of 3.5 seconds, an integrated flip-out bounce card and wide-angle diffuser for 12mm coverage, a modelling light and a USB port for the easy installation of firmware updates. Availability and pricing have yet to be communicated.
Thursday, September 27, 2012
Following the news that Hasselblad’s VICTOR magazine is to revert to print format following a period as an online only publication, the first issue is now available for purchase. Issue one of the new look VICTOR includes contributions from a wide range of top photographers, including Anton Corbijn, Marco Grob, Mark Zibert, Edward Burtynsky and Rodney Smith. “I am delighted that VICTOR is now back in print format, as this is the ultimate format to enjoy images,” says Chris Russell-Fish, Hasselblad’s Global Marketing Director. “We hope the long time fans of VICTOR magazine will enjoy this new publication and that it will also attract many new fans and lovers of photography.” The magazine is available from exclusive magazine shops in London, Paris, Milan, Berlin, Madrid, New York, Tokyo and Hong Kong, priced at £15, €20 and $25, while photographers anywhere in the world can obtain the magazine from http://www.newsstand.co.uk at the cover price plus shipping costs.
Lytro, creator of the world’s first consumer light field camera, has announced that it will expand distribution to both US and international customers. The Lytro camera captures all the light traveling in every direction in a scene. The camera gives creative photographers unique capabilities like refocusing a picture after it’s taken and creating living pictures. Lytro has also recently announced availability for Windows, added accessories and is now generally available for customers. The Lytro camera will be available online at Target, Future Shop, BestBuy and Amazon starting October 9; in-store through retail in Australia, starting October 10; in-store through retail in Hong Kong and Singapore, starting mid-October; and in-store at CityTarget, starting November.
JP Distribution has added two Phocus Accent iPhone bundles to its portfolio of photographic products. The Phocus body is ergonomically designed, features brass tripod and conversion lens mounting points, and can be held with one or two hands. It also comes with a cold shoe for accessories such as external lighting gear. There are two Phocus bundles available - the £89.99 Phocus Accent 2 Lens iPhone Bundle including the Phocus body plus a macro and a wide-angle converter; and the £124.9 Phocus Accent 3 Lens iPhone Bundle, which includes all of the above plus a telephoto conversion lens.
FlickinAmazing is a full-screen Flickr client for the Apple iPad. Optimised for the multiple cores and Retina displays of modern tablets, this app helps you discover, save and share the most beautiful images hosted by Flickr. “I love Flickr,” says Todd Ransom, founder and lead developer at FlickinAmazing, “It is still the most amazing photography site on the Internet, and it breaks my heart to see them losing ground to services that feature phone photography. The recent Internet campaign to save Flickr shows how passionate the user base is, and we all know what’s wrong. Flickr doesn’t have great mobile support. FlickinAmazing is our way of showing the world what an amazing experience Flickr can be on the iPad.” FlickinAmazing is available on iTunes for $2.99.
Wednesday, September 26, 2012
The Sigma DP2 Merrill is a new serious compact camera featuring an intriguing 46 megapixel APS-C sensor from Foveon and a fixed 45mm equivalent lens with a fast aperture of f/2.8. Read our in-depth Sigma DP2 Merrill review to find out what this unique camera is capable of...
Samsung are looking for as many people in the UK called David Bailey as possible to take part in a photography project. They’re giving lots of David Baileys the new Samsung NX1000 Smart Camera to test the theory that it’s so good that it lets everyone take photos like the world’s best photographer. Samsung are also aiming to try and break a world record on Saturday. With just over a day to go for David Baileys to get in touch, visit this site to register your interest: http://wearedavidbailey.com/
ACD Systems have rekeased Version 15 of ACDSee and Version 6 of ACDSee Pro. New features in both programs include a new Smart Blur filter, new Clarity tool, an option to create unlimited keyword hierarchies, the ability to burn images to a Blu-Ray disk, native 64-bit support, improved colour management and sharpening, a dedicated black-and-white mode, and more. In addition to the enhancements that benefit both programs, ACDSee 15 also offers improved red-eye removal. ACDSee Pro 6 is available at a suggested retail price of $99.99. ACDSee 15 retails for $49.99.
Tabletop Photography is a new title from Rocky Nook. Teaching readers all the steps for creating their own tabletop photography studio, author Cyrill Harnischmacher covers a variety of exposure and lighting techniques, and shows how to achieve excellent results using compact flash units. The 144-page volume is available for $24.95/£18.99/€20.00 in printed format, or $11.95 as an ebook. You can buy both the print version and the ebook in a bundle that sells for $27.45.
Transcend has announced that its high-speed USB flash drives – the USB 3.0 JetFlash 760 and Ultra Speed JetFlash 600 – are now available in new 128GB capacities. Besides offering a huge amount of storage, the JetFlash 760 and JetFlash 600 provide super-fast data transfers and compact mobile convenience. The JetFlash 760 utilises next-generation USB 3.0 technology to provide transfer speeds of up to 80MB/s, and features a handy, retractable USB connector. The JetFlash 600 provides USB 2.0 transfer speeds of up to 32MB/s and features a lightweight, streamlined design. The new 64GB and 128GB JetFlash 760 are available for a suggested price of US$89 and US$199 respectively, while the 128GB JetFlash 600 is available for US$179.
Tuesday, September 25, 2012
Ahead of our full review, here are 39 sample JPEG photos, 9 Raw images and a 1080p movie taken with a full production version of the new Nikon D600 DSLR camera.
UPDATE: We've added 14 more JPEG images taken with the Nikkor AF-S 14-24mm f/2.8G ED lens.
The Nikon D600 is a 24.3 megapixel full-frame DSLR with an ISO range of 50-25600, full HD (1080p) movies, a 3.2-inch 921k-dot LCD monitor and 5.5fps continuous shooting.
The GE X600 is a new super-zoom bridge compact camera. The X600 has a 26x zoom with a focal range of 26-676mm, a 14.4 megapixel CMOS sensor, 1080p Full HD video recording, 5fps burst shooting, an electronic viewfinder and a 2.7 inch LCD screen. The GE X600 is scheduled for delivery mid-October and will be priced around £149.99.
Photobox, Europe’s Number 1 supplier of photo prints and gifts, has launched its Motographer of The Year competition. According to the company a “Motographer” is a mobile photographer, someone who uses their mobile phone to produce snapshots of the world around them. Using the dedicated Motographer of The Year Facebook app on the Photobox Facebook page, entrants can submit the best shot they’ve taken with their smartphone for a chance to win £500 of Photobox credit, free enrolment on an exclusive iPhoneography course, a brand new smartphone, and exclusive entry to prestigious photography events throughout 2013. By using the dedicated hashtag #MOTY2012, photographers can also submit entries via Instagram and Twitter.
Adobe has released Photoshop Elements 11. The software features a completely refreshed, user-friendly interface, new guided edits, new filters, intelligent object removal and new options to organise your photos. Furthermore, the company has also launched Adobe Premiere Elements 11, which “offers easy creation of engaging home movies with professional flair.” Both programs are available now, priced at $99.99 each, or $149.99 for a bundle that includes both.
Monday, September 24, 2012
The Panasonic LUMIX G X VARIO 35-100mm F2.8 is a new premium telephoto zoom lens for the Micro Four Thirds system of interchangeable lens cameras. Offering an effective focal range of 70-200mm in 35mm terms, the Panasonic 35-100mm lens boasts a fast constant aperture of f/2.8, fast and quiet auto-focusing, quality construction and weather sealing.
Read the World's first Panasonic LUMIX G X VARIO 35-100mm F2.8 review, complete with full-size sample images, to find out if it deserves a place in every Micro Four Thirds photographer's camera-bag.
Consumers who purchase selected Canon camcorders in the UK or Ireland before the end of October 2012 can claim a free bundle of accessories and software to enhance their filming experience. The bundles, worth up to £159.95, consist of a soft case and battery, as well as Pinnacle software (with certain models). All claims must be received by 30th November.
ImaginAIR is a new competition created by the European Environment Agency (EEA), inviting participants to tell a story about Europe’s air in three pictures. Participants must submit three pictures and a short text which tell a story about air, choosing one of four themes: air and health; air and technology; air and nature; and air and cities. The competition is open to all citizens of EU Member States and several other countries which cooperate with the EEA. The submission deadline is 4th October.
CyberLink has launched AudioDirector – a sound design solution for creating effective audio for video projects. “AudioDirector occupies a unique middle ground to suit professionals and budding creators alike: software that isn’t a down-scaled version of an incredibly complex tool, yet isn’t too simplistic for power users,” the company says. CyberLink AudioDirector is available today for £99.99.
Nero has announced the latest addition to its flagship media suite range, Nero 12. The new product gives beginners a simple platform to manage, edit, create and share their own multimedia content on any device. Furthermore, more advanced video editing and creation with Blu-ray and playback options will also appeal to more advanced users, the company says. “It is now possible to enjoy HD content on all kinds of devices, including PCs, Blu-ray Players, HDTVs, streaming-enabled set-top boxes, tablets and game consoles. What has been missing is an easy way for Windows users to convert, customise and connect your content for all these different devices,” commented Martin Stein, chief product officer at Nero. “Nero 12 fills that void. In one seamless and focused package, it has everything you need to import, enhance, convert and play just about any type of video, photo or audio content.” The new software is now on sale in the UK for an MSRP of £59.99. Nero 12 Platinum, which has greater support for the Blu-ray Disc format and hundreds more effects and themes for video projects, is also sold at selected retail and e-tail establishments for an MSRP of £79.99.