Thursday, April 3, 2014

Eizo ColorEdge CG247 and CX241

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Accessories
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Eizo today unveiled the ColorEdge CG247 and the ColorEdge CX241 24.1" monitors. Both models feature a new wide-gamut IPS panel that reproduces 99% of the Adobe RGB colour space and displays more than a billion colours simultaneously. The ColorEdge CG247 comes with a built-in calibration sensor for self-calibration and is targeted at professionals in photography, prepress, and post production. The ColorEdge CX241 houses an internal correction sensor that maintains the calibration results after the monitor has been calibrated with an external colorimeter. For video editing and post production, the ColorEdge CG247 has a 3D LUT that adjusts colour individually on an RGB cubic table. The ColorEdge CG247 and CX241 will be available in the UK from June 2014.

‘Weather” Photography Competition Winners Announced

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Software
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The Society of International Nature and Wildlife Photographers have announced the winners of the ‘Weather” Photography Competition. The photo above - shot by Andrzej Bochenski, Poland - has been chosen as the winner for it’s well timed and excellently captured, "shocking realism" of the power of.nature. The runners-up are Craig Bill from Texas, and Ana Filipa from Lisbon.

Nokia Lumia 630, Lumia 635 and Lumia 930

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Camera Phones
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Nokia today announced three Windows Phone 8.1 powered Lumia smartphones. The Nokia Lumia 930 (pictured) is a flagship smartphone with a 20-megapixel PureView camera module with a 1/2.5-type sensor, dual LED flash, an optically stabilised 26mm eq. f/2.4 Zeiss lens, 1080p videos and a 5-inch Full HD AMOLED display offering a resolution of 441ppi. The Lumia 630 and 635 each features a 5-megapixel rear-facing camera with a 1/4-type imager, 28mm eq. f/2.4 lens, 720p movies and a 4.5-inch, 218-ppi, 854x480-pixel screen. The Nokia Lumia 930 is expected to roll out globally in June starting with Europe, Asia, Middle East and India, available from $599. The Nokia Lumia 630 will be launched in May, beginning with Asia,South America and Europe, at $159 for the single-sim variant, and $169 for the dual-sim version. The Nokia Lumia 635 is expected to be broadly available, including in the US starting in this summer, from $189.

LockCircle to Launch New Prime Circle XM Cinema Lenses

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Lenses
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At NAB Las Vegas 2014, LockCircle will premiere a new line of Prime Circle XM cinema lenses with manual aperture control. Available in EF- and F-mount versions, the lenses are built around high-quality Zeiss optics for extra-sharp colour-consistent images and pleasing bokeh. The PrimeCircle XM series covers nine focal lengths; 15mm, 21mm, 25mm, 28mm, 35mm, 50mm, 85mm, 100mm and 135mm. Each lens features a cinema standard 95mm front mount and 90mm filter thread, full-frame 24x36mm coverage and "velvet-black" or "silver magic" finish.

Panasonic UK Launches Lumix G Promotions

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Panasonic UK has launched a number of Lumix G promotions to offer consumers some considerable savings and free products. The company is offering a free battery and battery grip worth £300 when you purchase a DMC-GH4. Those who opt for the GH3 instead can redeem a free battery grip, battery and Leica DG Summilux 25mm f/1.4 ASPH lens. If you are interested in the rangefinder-styled GX7 (pictured), you can either buy it with the 20mm "pancake" lens and pick up a 12-32mm zoom, or purchase the camera in a kit with the 14-42mm zoom and redeem a 20mm lens. Finally, for those looking to purchase the tiny GM1, Panasonic is offering consumers £80/€100 cashback. The free products and cashback are all claimed via consumer redemption to Panasonic UK until 2nd June.

Phottix Mitros for Sony

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Accessories
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OmegaBrandess has just launched a Sony version of the Phottix Mitros flash in the United States. Functions include built-in IR triggering with Master and Slave modes, AF assist light, 180 degree turn in both directions, auto/manual zooming flash head, 3.5mm sync, and compatibility with Phottix Odin TTL Flash Triggers for Sony. The manufacturer’s suggested retail price for the Mitros for Sony is $349.99.

Pentax Q7 Limited-Edition Premium Kit

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Compact System Camera
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Ricoh Imaging has revealed a new Pentax Q7 premium kit. Limited to 1000 units worldwide, the boxed kit includes a Pentax Q7 camera body, a standard prime, a wide zoom, standard zoom and telephoto zoom lenses with hoods, a camera bag and a polarising filter. The standard prime and standard zoom lenses (as well as the metal lens hood designed for the former) have been treated with a black coating identical to that used on the camera body, to enhance visual harmony. The limited-edition Pentax Q7 premium kit will be available later this month for a suggested retail price of $1,199.95.

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

HTC One (M8) Review

Mark Goldstein
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The HTC One (M8) is a new flagship smartphone with not one, but two cameras, using the second one as a depth sensor that allows you to change the point of focus after taking a photo and achieve DSLR-like shallow depth-of field effects. Does this make the HTC One (M8) the best smartphone for avid photographers? Read our HTC One (M8) review to find out..

International Landscape Photographer of the Year

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Competitions
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International Landscape Photographer of the Year is a new global competition purely for the showcase of landscape photography. Open to all photographers. the contest is aimed at finding the best 101 landscape images from the past 12 months and publishing them in a beautiful coffee table book which will be available in a variety of formats. The judges will also be on a search for the International Landscape Photographer of the Year (based on a folio submission of at least 4 images) and the International Landscape Photograph of the Year. Prizes on offer include $10,000 cash, trophies, limited-edition copies of the awards book and large framed prints of winning images. The contest closes on 30 May 2014.

Democratic Desert

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Books
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Democratic Desert: The War in Syria by Robert King is a new title from Schilt Publishing. Since February 2012, King has documented a number of human rights violations and war crimes in Syria. “As a photographer it is not my job to aspire towards aesthetically pleasing images of war that are palatable to the public or the photographic community," he says. “I have found, many viewers find it easier to condemn the image maker rather than the perpetrators of war crimes against humanity.” The book contains an essay by British war correspondent Anthony Loyd, and comes with a 25-minute DVD with a documentary made by King during his stay in Syria. The 256-page volume is available for £35 / €40 / $50.

Braun Master Action Camera

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Digital Video Cameras
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Kenro have announced the Braun Master Action Camera. Featuring a 16-megapixel sensor, Wi-Fi connectivity, ultra-wide lens and multiple shooting modes; the Braun Master Action Camera records 1080p videos and connects to the included external TFT screen for movie playback. Other accessories that come with the camera as standard include a waterproof housing (with own case), 2 flat stickers, 2 convex stickers, cloth bag, USB cable, waterproof plug and lithium-ion battery. Optional accessories include an external special-purpose microphone, head strap mount and self-timer accessories, various 3m adhesives, strap and surf accessories. SRP for the Braun Master Action Camera is £249.95.

Lensbaby LM-10 Sweet Spot Lens for iPhone

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Camera Phones, Lenses
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Lensbaby has launched a Kickstarter campaign to raise funds for its LM-10 Sweet Spot Lens for the Apple iPhone. As Lensbaby's first add-on lens designed specifically for mobile devices, the Lensbaby LM-10 Sweet Spot Lens will be compatible with the iPhone 4s, 5, 5s, and 5c models. The new optic lets iPhoneographers pick a single spot of sharp focus within the frame, and allow the rest of the image to be dominated by gradually increasing blur. “Our customers have long been requesting a Lensbaby for their mobile devices,” said Craig Strong, Lensbaby Co-founder & Chief Creative Officer. “A lens in the mobile phone market is a bit of a departure for us, hence a Kickstarter campaign. This is the first of many mobile products we have in development, and we wanted confirmation from our customers that they really do want an optical way to create a sweet spot of focus in their iPhoneography.”

Canon Cine-Servo 17-120mm T2.95

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Lenses
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Canon's new Cine-Servo 17-120mm T2.95 zoom lens has been optimised for 4K resolution, and featres a removable Digital Drive Unit for shoulder mounted operation. Available in EF- and PL-mount versions, the Canon Cine-Servo 17-120mm T2.95 zoom lens sportsa three-group inner focus system to help minimize focus breathing and provide a stable angle of view, an 11-blade iris diaphragm, support for matte boxes, follow focus and other accessories.Compliance with industry-standard camera-to-lens communication protocols helps ensure its compatibility with multiple brands and models of video cameras. When used with a Canon EOS digital SLR, lens data - including aperture setting - are displayed in the camera's viewfinder, as well as recorded in the video file as metadata along with the model name of the lens and focal length setting. The Canon Cine-Servo 17-120mm T2.95 zoom lens is expected to be available in August 2014 for a suggested list price of $33,000.

Canon HJ18ex7.6B

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Lenses
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Canon today announced a portable HD zoom lens with a built-in 2x extender. Designed with broadcast news gathering in mind, the HJ18ex7.6B lens has a focal range of 7.6mm to 137mm and a minimum object distance of 0.56m. A new design for the Digital Drive Unit provides additional advantages including a more comfortable hand grip, simple display-based operations for improved operability, greater digital precision for integration with virtual studio systems, and reduced power consumption. The Canon HJ18ex7.6B portable HD zoom lens is expected to be available in July 2014 for a suggested retail price of $20,700.

Canon Cinema RAW Development 1.3

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Software
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Canon has announced a software upgrade for the EOS C500 digital cinema (pictured). The new Cinema RAW Development 1.3 software, currently under development, will deliver enhanced shooting workflows, including the on-set playback and confirmation of 4K raw video. Canon's software upgrade will support greater workflow efficiencies for 4K raw data by enabling real-time playback with playback speeds of up to 24 frames per second. The company will demonstrate a trial version of Cinema RAW Development 1.3 using an Intel Iris Pro graphics-powered PC at the NAB 2014 trade show, Central Hall Booth No. C-4325

Canon XF205 and XF200

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Digital Video Cameras
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Canon has expanded its professional video range with the launch of the XF205 and XF200 Full HD camcorders. Successors to the Canon XF105 and XF100, these compact video cameras have been enhanced to reflect feedback from professional videographers. Each features a 26.8-536mm Canon HD lens, a HD CMOS PRO imaging sensor and a powerful DIGIC DV 4 processor. Combined with 50Mbps MPEG2 recording and 4:2:2 colour sampling, the result is video quality suitable for broadcast, the company says. A range of recording options provides the flexibility to simultaneously record high definition MXF files to CF cards and MP4 files to an SD card, in HD or lower resolutions. An optimised viewfinder features a resolution of 1.23m-dots, whilst an upgraded 8.8cm OLED display offers higher contrast, more vivid colours and faster response times. Each camera also features WiFi and Ethernet LAN connectivity, with the XF205 (pictured) additionally including selectable 3G-SDi/HD-SDI, Timecode and Genlock terminals. The Canon XF205 and XF200 will be available in mid-July for $4,400.00 and $3,900.00, respectively.

Sony Cyber-shot DSC-H400 Sample Images

Mark Goldstein
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Ahead of our full review, here are 74 sample JPEG photos taken with the new Sony Cyber-shot H400 super-zoom bridge camera, including the full ISO range.

The Sony H400 has a massive 63x optical zoom lens, a 20.1 megapixel CCD sensor, DSLR-style body, electronic viewfinder, Intelligent Auto, dedicated movie button and high-capacity lithium-ion battery.

Handy Photo Free

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Software
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ADVA Soft has released Handy Photo Free, a no-cost version of its all-in-one photo editing app for Android and iOS. Handy Photo Free presents a modified selection of the app’s features, enabling users to both apply a wide range of edits to their photos and test the effects of the standard edition’s full capabilities. These features include global and local tonal adjustments, eight photo filters, retouching, Move Me technology for smart objects extraction and moving, 100% size image editing, support for image resolutions of up to 12 megapixels. Handy Photo Free is available on iTunes and Google Play.

Macphun Updates Educational Pricing Programme

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Software
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Macphun has announced an updated educational programme dubbed Pay It Forward. Rewarding students and faculty members by offering a 50% discount on qualifying products like Snapheal Pro (see screenshot above), Intensify Pro, Focus 2 Pro and the Creative Kit bundle; Pay It Forward recognizes the contribution students and faculty members have on the Mac and Photography industry, the company says. “Pay It Forward is an initiative that allows Macphun to give back by putting our software in the deserving hands of students and educational professionals at an affordable price,”    said Paul Muzok, co-founder and CEO of Macphun Software. “Students and teachers who are well versed in current digital imaging technology and efficient workflows can ultimately have an immense impact on the world.” For more information, visit the website below.

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Nikon D4s Review

Mark Goldstein
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The new D4s is Nikon's new flagship DSLR camera for professional photographers. Aimed at sports, press and nature photographers, the 16 megapixel D4s builds on the success of the previous D4 camera with a wealth of improvements. Can the Nikon D4s possibly justify its eye-watering £5,199.99.99 / €6,199.00 / $6,499.95 price-tag? Find out by reading our Nikon D4s review...