Thursday, October 24, 2013

Leica D-Lux Silver Edition

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Digital Compact Cameras
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Leica has announced a design variation of the Leica D-Lux 6 digital compact camera featuring a high-gloss, two-colour finish. The most striking feature of this newly designed finish is the combination of a silver lens and a high-gloss black camera body. Leica has also introduced a new addition to the range of accessories for the Leica D-Lux 6 - the Leica Soft Pouch in lambskin nappa leather. The suggested retail price for Leica D-Lux 6 is £600 and that of the new soft pouch is is £60. Both products will be available from December.

X-Rite Photo Europe at Salon de la Photo

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Events
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X-Rite Photo Europe has announced that it will be exhibiting at Salon de la Photo in Paris, scheduled for 7-11 November at the Paris Expo in Versailles. The company will be located on Stand D15 at the show. “We are excited to be exhibiting at Salon de la Photo again this year,” said Hervé Petit, X-Rite Photo Europe. “Attendees will have an opportunity for in-depth hands-on experience with the latest colour measurement and management tools from X-Rite at our stand and in the many educational sessions we will be presenting during the event. X-Rite experts will also be on hand to answer questions, explore new ideas and add value to the show for photographers at all skill levels.”

PhoozL Announces Photo Contest Benefiting Charity

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Competitions
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Photography education and entertainment site PhoozL has announced a special photo contest (‘Beauty’) that will benefit the Josephine Herrick Project. This is a paid-entry ($25), judged contest open to all photographers, amateur to pro, 18+, worldwide. Contest prizes include: a 1:1 personal communication with judge Robert Farber about the winner’s entries or photographic work, a $500 Gift Card from photo retailer Unique Photo, a one-year subscription to Aperture Magazine, a free book selection from the digital photography catalogue of Cengage Learning PTR, custom award icons, inclusion in PhoozL’s Winners Showcase, and bonus PhoozL Points. To see more details and to submit by 19 November 2013, head to the website below.

Unified Color Unveils Panoramic Feature for HDR Expose 3

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Software
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Unified Color Technologies is demonstrating the beta release of the new Pano Prep Batch Processing feature, which is being added to HDR Expose 3, at this year’s PhotoPlus Expo, held at the Javits Center in New York. In the past, constructing an HDR panorama required each bracketed set of exposures to be merged individually, which could result in varying tone mapping results across the scene. The new Pano Prep Batch Processing feature analyses all the exposure brackets of the individual frames to be stitched and applies uniform tone mapping parameters across each frame to produce smooth tonal transitions for natural HDR panorama results. Also included in this new feature is a 360 degree blend capability which ensures smooth, seamless blending of 360-degree panoramas where the left and right sides of the panoramic image meet.

DxO ViewPoint 2.1

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Software
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DxO Labs have released version 2.1 of DxO ViewPoint, a program dedicated to fixing problems with keystoning and volume anamorphosis. This update automatically corrects lens distortion when used as a plugin for Apple Aperture, and now extends its compatibility to include Adobe Photoshop Elements 12. The software also now supports the Canon EOS 70D and the Sony DSC-RX1R. This upgrade is free to all owners of DxO ViewPoint who purchased a license on or after 1 August 2013.

DxO Optics Pro 9

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Software
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DxO Labs have launched DxO Optics Pro 9, a major update to its image-processing software. DxO Optics Pro 9 introduces PRIME (Probabilistic Raw IMage Enhancement) denoising technology, which analyses the structure of raw images in depth in order to differentiate between noise and fine details, offering a claimed gain in image quality of up to one full stop over the best noise reduction algorithms currently on the market. In addition, the exclusive DxO Smart Lighting feature - which optimises the overall contrast of an image - now offers even more powerful highlight management: details that once were thought lost are revealed, even when the information is missing in the original raw data, the company says. The Standard and Elite editions of DxO Optics Pro 9 for Mac and Windows are now available in the DxO Labs online store.

Olympus Image Space @ Icetank

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Events
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Olympus Image Space @ Icetank is the second in a series of pop-up events organised by Olympus UK. Open from 2 – 9 November 2013 at 5-7 Grape Street, London, WC2H 8DW; Olympus Image Space @ Icetank will include workshops with Olympus professional photographers, and a series of talks, debates and interviews to stimulate discussion around the new landscape of photography. Throughout the duration of the event members of the Olympus team will be on hand to talk participants through the company's latest products, and allow them to try them out. Tickets for all the workshops, events and talks are free, but to attend visitors must register at the website below.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Sony A3000 Review

Mark Goldstein
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The Sony A3000 is an intriguing mix of mirrorless technology and DSLR styling. With a 20 megapixel APS HD CMOS sensor, 1080p HD movies, 3 inch LCD screen and an electronic viewfinder, could the Sony A3000 be the perfect step-up model for compact camera upgraders? Read our full Sony A3000 review, complete with sample JPEGs, RAW files and movies, to find out...

Mitsubishi CP-K60DW-S Photo Printer

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Printers
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Mitsubishi Electric Visual Solutions America has announced its new, economical dye sublimation photo printer, the CP-K60DW-S. The Mitsubishi Electric CP-K60DW-S features a ribbon rewind function that is unparalleled in the industry, maximizing the number of prints per roll when switching between print sizes and/or print counts. This unique rewind function allows the CP-K60DW-S to print on an unused portion of the media, which helps users save money. “Unlike other printers in its price category, this new CP-K60DW-S rewind feature lets photographers use every inch of the ink ribbon media and still produce the best quality print for its price,” said Ed Najera, product manager, Mitsubishi Electric Visual Solutions America. “It can add up to real savings.” The CP-K60DW-S will be available in November 2013 and will be shown for the first time in Booth #1211 at PhotoPlus, the largest photography and imaging show in North America, October 24-26, 2013, Javits Convention Center in New York City.

Leica X Vario City Challenge

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Leica has launched a creative challenge for 120 participants in 4 cities. The Leica X Vario City Challenge is a coast to coast Leica Camera photo competition with a twist: Leica fans in New York, Washington DC, Los Angeles and Miami can compete for the chance to win a Leica X Vario (pictured) among many other valuable prizes. Interested readers living in one of these cities are encouraged to sign up, select their favourite image, and submit it to #XVarioChallenge. Click through / read on for the details.

New Mac Pro: Geared toward Videographers

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Accessories
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Apple has unveiled its newest - cylindrical-shaped - Mac Pro, which features the latest Intel Xeon processors with up to 12 cores, dual workstation-class GPUs with up to 12GB of video memory, four USB 3.0 and six Thunderbolt 2.0 ports, and the ability to connect up to three 4K Ultra HD displays. The new Mac Pro is thus geared toward professional photographers and videographers, and optimised for the company's high-end imaging apps including Final Cut Pro X and Aperture. Configurations start at $2,999, with availability slated for December.

Apple iPad Air

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Accessories
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Weighing in at just one pound, the 9.8-inch Apple iPad Air is the lightest full-size iPad to date. It's also 20% thinner than the fourth-generation iPad, and comes with the same Apple A7 chip as the iPhone 5S and iOS 7 as standard. Otherwise it's very much the same as the previous model, with a 264ppi screen and a 5-megapixel camera on board. Pricing for the Wi-Fi only model starts at $499 for the 16GB variant. The Wi-Fi + cellular model has SRPs starting at $629 (again for the 16GB version). Both the Wi-Fi only and Wi-Fi + cellular configurations will be available in 32GB, 64GB and 128GB capacities as well, starting 1 November 2013.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Nikon Coolpix S6600 Review

Matt Grayson
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The Nikon Coolpix S6600 is a new compact camera with a swivelling vari-angle screen, perfect for self-portraits. The Nikon S6500 also features a 12x, 25-300mm lens, 16 megapixel backlit CMOS sensor, 1080p Full HD movies, built-in wi-fi, 10fps burst shooting and a range of special effects. Read our in-depth Nikon Coolpix S6600 review now...

Apple iPad Mini with Retina Display

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Accessories
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Apple today announced the iPad mini with Retina display, which offers a 7.9" backlit IPS panel with 2048x1536 pixels for a resolution of 326ppi. The built-in "iSight" camera module has a 5-megapixel sensor and a five-element lens with an aperture of f/2.4. In addition to capturing 5-megapixel stills, the iPad mini with Retina display can also record Full HD videos. Unsurprisingly, the device comes with iOS 7 on board. Pricing for the Wi-Fi only model starts at $399 for the 16GB variant, with the 128GB version costing $699. The Wi-Fi+cellular models will cost from $529 to $829, depending on capacity.

Astronomy Photographer of the Year, Collection 2

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Books
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Collins, in partnership with the Royal Observatory Greenwich, has published Astronomy Photographer of the Year, Collection 2. As the official publication for the Astronomy Photographer of the Year competition 2013, this hardback photography book features all the winning and shortlisted images from the 2013 Astronomy Photographer of the Year, a guide to the competition, as well as the winning photographs from the first four years. The book is available for £25.

Giotto’s Christmas Kits

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Accessories
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Giotto’s has unveiled four new special-edition Christmas kits including aluminium and carbon-fibre models. The four kits include the Giotto’s GT9223-5011N Aluminium Kit (£89), the Giotto’s GT8223-5011N Carbon Fibre Kit (£119), the Giotto’s YTL9254-5011N Aluminium Kit (£129) and the Giotto’s YTL8254-5011N Carbon Fibre Kit (£199). The GT kits will be available from independent retailers nationwide, while the YTL Kits will be sold through Jessops, Wex & Park Cameras. All kits will be available from 1st November.

New Service Upgrade for Canon EOS-1D C

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Digital SLR Cameras
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Canon has announced plans to issue a major service upgrade for the Canon EOS-1D C 4K cinema camera. This update will enable Canon EF-mount Cinema lenses to store lens metadata in the video recorded by the camera. Furthermore, Canon EF-mount Cinema lenses will be supported by Peripheral Illumination and Chromatic Aberration Correction functions. Additionally - in response to user requests -, audio on the EOS-1D C camera will also be enhanced. Currently audio recording is limited to a MIC input, but the forthcoming service update will permit selection of LINE or MIC input, allowing use of a wider variety of external audio sources. The update for the Canon EOS-1D C digital SLR cinema camera is scheduled to be available November 2013. Do note that this service upgrade that requires the camera to be sent to an authorised Canon Factory Service Center.

Canon to Provide Firmware Update to EOS-1D X Owners

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Digital SLR Cameras
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Canon is planning to release a firmware update for its EOS-1D X digital SLR camera. The upgrade promises to deliver enhanced low-light performance through improved AF tracking. In addition the minimum shutter speed limit for ISO Auto will increase to reach 1/8000, and there will be a possibility to keep the exposure constant when zooming or changing lenses by altering the ISO or shutter speed manually. The firmware update, which is scheduled for a January release, will also bring flexibility for controls, including switching between one-shot AF and Al Servo AF.

Nokia to Add DNG Support to Lumia 1020 & Lumia 1520

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Camera Phones
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According to a tweet by Nokia's Juha Alakarhu, the company is adding raw DNG support to the Nokia Lumia 1020 (read review) and Lumia 1520 camera phones. The Nokia Lumia 1020 (pictured) is a 41-megapixel smartphone with a fairly big, 1/1.5-type sensor and a 26mm (eq.) f/2.2 lens, while the new Lumia 1520 has a 20-megapixel camera module with a considerably smaller - although in camera phone terms, still sizeable - 1/2.5-type imager and a 26mm (eq.) f/2.4 lens.

Nokia Lumia 1520 and Lumia 1320

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Camera Phones
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In addition to the Lumia 2520 tablet, Nokia has launched two new 6" 'phablets' called the 1520 and Lumia 1320. The Nokia Lumia 1520's 20-megapixel camera carries the 'PureView' branding, although its 1/2.5-type sensor is considerably smaller than the 1/1.2-type imager of the PureView 808 or the 1/1.5-type sensor of the Lumia 1020. Other highlights include a Zeiss-branded 26mm (eq.) f/2.4 lens, dual LED flash with three selectable modes of operation, and a Full HD display with a resolution of 368ppi. The Nokia Lumia 1320 also comes with a 6" panel but features a lower resolution (1280x720 pixels, 245ppi), and a 5-megapixel camera with a tiny 1/4-type imaging chip. The Nokia Lumia 1520 will be available  for $745, whereas the Lumia 1320 can be had for $339 before taxes and subsidies.