Friday, October 12, 2012
Steidl has announced new editions of two of Joel Sternfeld’s classic photobooks. The reprint of his seminal American Prospects (€88 / £75) features new photographs, and a revised format and cover. The subjects of the now classic American Prospects include a fireman shopping for a pumpkin while a house burns behind him; motorcyclists at the side of the road taking in a stunning, placid view of Bear Lake, Utah; the hi-tech world headquarters of the Manville Corporation in picturesque Colorado, obscured by a defiant boulder; and a lone basketball net in the desert near Lake Powell in Arizona. The other book, Stranger Passing, (€65 / £50 / $88) contains portrait photographs that form in Douglas R. Nickel’s words, an “intelligent, unscientific, interpretive sampling of what Americans looked like at the century’s end.”
In 2011 the Hasselblad HTS1.5/ Tilt/Shift adapter was removed from the US market pending litigation involving a patent infringement claim. The legal process has been concluded in favour of Hasselblad. As a result the HTS1.5 Tilt/Shift adapter is immediately available for purchase in the US. Hasselblad Bron President and CEO Michael Hejtmanek commented “Today was a good day for Hasselblad and for photographers across the United States. The courts have decided that the patent infringement lawsuit preventing the sale of the Hasselblad Tilt Shift Adapter is without merit.” Designed for the HCD28mm, HC35mm, HC50mm, HC80mm and the HC100mm lenses the HTS 1.5 adds, in effect, five different “tilt and shift lenses” to the Hasselblad HC/HCD lens range.
GoPro’s new mobile app is now available for free download from Apple’s App Store and coming soon to Google Play. Compatible with GoPro’s HD HERO2 camera, the GoPro App enables full camera control and live scene preview for easy framing on smartphones or tablets. Subsequent releases of the GoPro App will enable streaming playback of videos and photos from the camera to a smart device, sharing of photo and video content from the camera to social networks, controlling of multiple cameras, and streaming live video from the camera to the web.
The Plugin Site has released FilterHub, a panel extension for Photoshop CS4, CS5, CS5.5 and CS6. Described as “a powerful replacement” for the program’s Filter menu, FilterHub supports both built-in Photoshop filters, filter plugins and third-party automation plug-ins. The FilterHub panel stays open as long as you wish and displays a configurable list of filters and plug-ins. Before running a filter it can automatically create a duplicated layer, a merged copy of all layers (stamped layer), a smart object or flatten the image. FilterHub costs $39.95 (Academic/educational licence: $24.95).
Thursday, October 11, 2012
The Lumix DMC-FZ200 is Panasonic's premium super-zoom compact camera. Stand-out features of the FZ200 include a 24x zoom lens with a constant aperture of f/2.8 throughout the 25-600mm range, 1080p HD movies, a high-resolution LCD and EVF, fast auto-focusing, 12fps burst shooting and a 12 megapixel MOS image sensor. Read our expert Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ200 review now...
Boinx Software has released FotoMagico 4, an update to its slideshow software. Highlights include an ability to work with up to six layers per slide, a new Timeline mode for making precise adjustments to each individual slide’s duration as well as the transition length between slides, easier syncing of photos and music, and more. FotoMagico 4 is now available both from the Mac App Store and the Boinx website for $99.99.
TeoreX has released Inpaint 4.7, a functional tool for effortless retouching of photos and images. The product features a range of instruments for one-click intelligent removal of unwanted objects from a picture, such as: accidental strangers, camera time stamps, watermarks, and more. Version 4.7 offers improved performance and a Magic Wand tool for quicker selection of objects. The price for a single licence of Inpaint is available for $19.99 (Mac/Windows).
Photography education and entertainment site PhoozL has announced the launch of a new photo contest series: “Weekly Wednesdays.” Each week, participants submit their best images that display the essence of that week’s theme. Entry is free and open to all logged-in members of PhoozL. Winners are selected by the week’s judge and added to the Winners Showcase and the PhoozL Points scoreboard, which puts them into the running for the PhoozL Photographer of the Year. “Photographers have been asking us for a more-frequent contest cycle,” explains Harald Johnson, PhoozL’s founder, “and we’ve come up with a great option to motivate and inspire them.”
The latest in a series of NAND Flash Deprivation Experiment videos from Toshiba, the company that invented the technology 25 years ago, takes a humorous look at how photography has changed since the invention of flash technology. Although the short clip/advert has evidently been produced with tongue firmly in cheek, we wouldn’t be surprised if some film aficionados took exception to it… Click through / scroll down to watch the video.
The Lens: A Practical Guide for the Creative Photographer is a new title from Rocky Nook. Decoding the arcane terminology used by lens manufacturers, the book provides practical tips for both amateur and professional photographers to help them make smart purchasing decisions, and also covers the foundations of lens design, including the optical, mechanical and electronic properties of photographic lenses. The 320-page volume is available for $44.95.
Following controversial claims made by Nikon Australia regarding the suitability of the Nikon D4 and D800 to professional television programme-making, The PhoBlographer contacted the European Broadcasting Union and Andy Quested, the Head of Technology for BBC HD and 3D. Originally, the Australian My Nikon Life website had claimed that “both models have become the first DSLR cameras to pass the very elaborate European Broadcasting Union (EBU) test, commonly referred to as the BBC Test.” After the Wolfcrow blog pointed out that the D800 had basically failed the test, Nikon Australia changed the text of its article to focus solely on the D4. However, in his reply to The PhoBlographer, Andy Quested starkly concluded that “neither camera is acceptable for HD programmes for any of the UK broadcasters,” citing “sparse” sound facilities, “coloured spatial aliasing”, “very limited controls… in video mode” and sub-par [video] resolution as the main reasons. On a more positive note, Mr Quested praised the D4’s low noise levels and wide dynamic range as potential assets to videographers, but these apparently weren’t enough to change his overall verdict.
Gary Fong’s recently announced Lightsphere Collapsible Snoot and Coloured Dome Kit are now shipping. The Lightsphere Collapsible Snoot ($49.95 on its own or $59.95 with a PowerGrid) gives photographers maximum efficiency and directional control over strobe lighting when mounted off-camera, allowing one to create cutting edge, “fashion style” special effects, while the Coloured Dome Kit (pictured)includes a Red, Blue and Green Dome for creating special effects as well as a Gray Dome for white balancing. Compatible with the renowned Lightsphere Universal and Lightsphere Collapsible, the Coloured Dome Kit is available for $24.95.
Wednesday, October 10, 2012
Ahead of our full review, here are 58 sample photos and a Full 1080p HD movie taken with the new Panasonic FZ200 super-zoom camera, including the entire ISO range from 100-6400.
The Panasonic FZ200 is an exciting new superzoom with a constant f/2.8 maximum aperture throughout its 25-600mm zoom range.
The Canon PowerShot SX50 HS super-zoom camera has an astonishing 50x lens with a massive focal range of 24-1200mm. The Canon SX50 HS also offers a 12 megapixel back-illuminated CMOS sensor, 2.8 inch vari-angle LCD screen, electronic viewfinder, full manual controls, RAW format support, 10fps burst shooting and full 1080p HD movies. Read our detailed Canon PowerShot SX50 HS review complete with full-size JPEG, RAW and video samples to discover if it's the only camera you'll ever need...
Smugmug has added native iPad support to its Camera Awesome app. Billed as “the only free iPad app that combines professional-grade camera capture and editing functions along with simple sharing,” Camera Awesome for iPad supports the newly-released iOS 6 and takes full advantage of the device’s high-resolution display and features. Camera Awesome is available now on the iTunes App Store.
DxO Labs have released an update to DxO Optics Pro, adding support for raw files generated by the Canon EOS-1D X and the new Nikon D600 (pictured), as well as for the Panasonic Lumix DMC-G5 and DMC-LX7. Furthermore, almost 400 new camera/lens combinations have been added to the library of DxO optics modules, thereby providing support for additional Canon, Nikon, Olympus, Panasonic, Sigma, Tamron, Tokina, and Zeiss lenses for Canon, Nikon, Olympus, Panasonic, Pentax, and Sony cameras. Do note that the 1D X and D600 support is available in the Elite edition only.
DxOMark has launched new measurements dedicated to camera performance data for cellphones, smartphones and tablets. The new service, DxOMark Mobile, aims to help consumers analyse and compare the still and video performance of mobile devices, the company says. “Mobile phone image quality has also made considerable progress - for example, the image quality of the Nokia 808 PureView, in first place in the DxOMark Mobile rankings for still photos, is superior to that of a 5-year-old compact camera,” Frédéric Guichard, Chief Scientific Officer for DxO Labs said in a statement. “And as for video, the best mobile tested in this category, the Samsung Galaxy SIII, outperforms the Canon Powershot 100.” DxOMark Mobile measures many attributes of mobile camera image quality such as color, exposure, texture, noise, and autofocus, in both still photo and video modes. In all, DxOMark Mobile analyzes 14 attributes, assigning each one a score between 1 and 100. An overall DxOMark score lets users rank and make comparisons between camera-equipped mobile devices, as well as between mobile cameras and compact cameras.
Custom SLR has announced the upcoming availability of the M-Plate Mini, a universal quick-release tripod plate offering compatibility with most Arca-Swiss and ManfrottoTM RC2-style tripod and head systems. Designed and developed in the USA from aerospace-grade aluminium, the M-Plate Mini comes in a black anodised finish for a sleek profile when attached to the camera’s tripod socket. The M-Plate Mini can serve as a cost-effective alternative to the mono-tasking tripod plates on the market, and its modular design will allow it to function along with planned Custom SLR attachments currently in development such as video rigs and flash brackets. The M-Plate Mini carries an MSRP of $49.95, and photographers can preorder the plate directly from Custom SLR at the website below.
The Long Exposure is a new e-book written by Belfast-based landscape photographer David Cleland. “The aim of this e-book is to offer an introduction to the process of capturing long exposure photographs,” the author says. “It documents the simple steps I employ each time I embark on a long exposure photo shoot.” Priced at $5, the book comes in PDF format that can be read on computers, smartphones and most tablets.
Tuesday, October 9, 2012
Here are seven Full 1080 HD movies taken with the new Panasonic GH3 compact system camera using the MOV, AVCHD and MP4 formats, including 72Mbps in ALL-I.
They’ve all been uploaded onto Photography Blog’s Vimeo HD channel where you can watch them at their native size. Note that these are fully representative of the Panasonic GH3’s final video quality when it ships next month.