Thursday, August 29, 2013
Last year's RX100 premium compact camera proved to be a runaway success for Sony - can the new Mark II version improve on the original? Read our expert Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX100 II review to find out...
At long last, Facebook has announced the addition of a shared photo albums feature, which enables multiple users to contribute images to the same album. This will come especially handy for vacation and event themed photo collections. The creator of the album can invite and remove contributors, and set the privacy level (Contributors Only, Friends of Contributors or Public). Contributors can add and tag photos, edit the album and add other contributors; but they may only edit or delete the photos they've uploaded. The owner of the album can delete any contributor's photos. When a contributor is removed, they'll be able to delete the photos they've added to the shared album from their activity log.
Website: Facebook | Shared Albums
NYC-based AC Gears have recently released the 3-megapixel Bonzart Lit Digital Camera for $39.99, with plans to introduce a waterproof case before the holiday season. Targeted at beginners, children and toy camera collectors, the funky Bonzart Lit has been a huge hit in Japan, selling out within the first few weeks of its debut. AC Gears are now bringing it to the US market. “The Bonzart Lit is a great gift idea for artsy kids or to add to your personal collection," said Kohn Liu, founder of AC Gears. "At $40, it’s really a break-through price point for the digital camera category."
The Rapid Box Octa XL/XXL from Westcott is an octagonal light-shaping tool with a characteristic wrap-around quality of light. The softbox features a sturdy aluminium alloy framework, removable interior and front diffusion panels as well as a built-in speed ring (Bowens / AlienBees / Profoto). The Rapid Box XL has a diameter of 36 inches and costs £300, while the Rapid Box XXL has a size of 48 inches and sells for £360. Also available is a deflector plate, priced at £35. All prices quoted include VAT.
iblazr, a tiny device that uses four powerful CREE LED lights to provide much more light than any smartphone’s built-in flash, was originally intended for smart devices only. The addition of a cold shoe mount has now opened doors to the world of DSLR and compact camera videography. With the cold shoe mount, the iblazr can be attached to any DSLR that has a video mode and to portable cameras with a hot shoe mount. "“With the cold shoe mount, the iblazr will be the smallest DSLR constant light system on the market,” founder Vlad Tislenko said. “In this case, smallest doesn’t mean least powerful. The iblazr can be compared with a 24 LED constant light system in terms of luminosity." For more information, check out iblazr's Kickstarter page, where backers can opt to add the cold shoe mount in new packages: $47 for the plastic iblazr, $67 for the aluminum and $100 for a set (one plastic and one aluminum iblazr) and two cold shoe mounts. Availability is slated for December 2013.
Calumet has launched two new portable flash systems. The Genesis GF200 with its 360 degree illumination and 200Ws power output will retail at £285 and its larger sibling, the GF400, with similar illumination but with 400Ws power output, will cost £385. Each unit boasts a large LCD display; simplified controls; a separate On/Off button; rotating head with vertical adjustments up to 90 degrees; MF-Assist Beam for low-light or low contrast conditions; audio-ready function and built-in overheating protection circuitry. Both units are capable of wireless-remote manual power control when used with the company’s Genesis 433MHZ 16-Channel Wireless Trigger kit. The GF200 and GF 400 are designed to be used with the PowerPort Duo 1000 - a rechargeable, interchangeable battery pack with a price tag of £127.
Samsung USA has announced availability and pricing for the intriguing Samsung Galaxy NX Camera. The Android-powered compact system camera, which takes interchangeable lenses and boasts 3G/4G LTE and Wi-Fi connectivity, will be available from October priced at $1,599.99 (body-only) or $1,699.99 (bundled with an 18-55mm lens).
Wednesday, August 28, 2013
Adorama is now shipping its brand new photography diffusion and accessories line, Glow by Flashpoint. The range offers softboxes in varying shapes and sizes, including the Grand Softbox in two different sizes, and unique HexaPop products, which combine the flattering diffusion of a softbox with the soft focused light from the reflective, curved surface of an umbrella, the company says. Also available in the Glow by Flashpoint collection are the Glow Speed Rings for Bowens and for Balcar/White Lightning. Glow by Flashpoint products are now available in the Adorama store, located at 42 West 18th Street in New York City, and online at the Adorama website.
The redesigned Nero Trigger is a multi-functional camera trigger which helps photographers take photos of high-speed events such as popping balloons, breaking glasses, exploding items and so on. The device is compatible with Canon, Nikon, Sony and Pentax cameras. Nero Trigger comes in Black, Red, Blue, Green, Orange and Purple, and retails for $199.
The Canon Digital Learning Centre Blog now features regularly updated educational information, tips for imaging enthusiasts and news on Canon products. Recent topics include field reports from Canon Live Learning events, protecting camera gear from summer elements, dissecting an EOS C500 Steadicam rig, and a little-known LP-E6 battery management trick.
Adorama and Canon have launched the “Summertime in NYC” photo contest. The competition features two categories: cityscapes and portraits highlighting New York City in the summer. Contestants can submit their digital images in store on either 9th September (11am – 7pm) or 15th (11am – 4pm) to receive a free 8 x10 Canon print on the spot; participants can also submit images via email or Facebook. All photo submissions for the “Summertime in NYC” contest must be taken with a Canon camera and submitted by midnight (EDT) on 15th September in order to be considered. The overall best in show winner will win a Canon EOS 5D Mark III , while two winners, one from each category, will receive a new Canon EOS 70D kit.
Reykjavík, Iceland-based Kúla Inventions have announced a new product called Deeper, which combines modern 3D technology with the retro 3D methods known from the 1980s. "When Deeper is attached to a DSLR camera lens, the image becomes stereoscopic," says Kúla's founder, Íris Ólafsdóttir. "The left eye view is projected into the right half of the image and vice versa. The outcome can be viewed in 3D directly from the camera display with a stereoviewer." Deeper pictures and videos can also be enjoyed on a 3D TV as the proprietary software Kúlacode can convert them into MPO files. The commercialisation of the product is funded through KarolinaFund, a crowfunding website where you can contribute to the success of the project.
Calumet's Manchester and London stores now host three of the best Eizo monitors so photographers can put them through their paces. Each store has a ColorEdge CG276, CX240 and CS230 (pictured) for customers to try out. “The Calumet stores are perfect for photographers at any level to actually see for themselves the positive difference that an Eizo CG monitor will make to their pictures,” said Victor Aberdeen, Eizo ColorEdge Sales Manager. “Photographers often are put off by the technical stuff about monitors, but it is about the art, so being able to try them out for themselves brings the advantages into focus, showing photographers the detail ordinary monitors are hiding, which really benefits their images!”
Datacolor has announced two colour management webinars for September. The first session, entitled Professional Images for Web and Print from Datacolor and onOne Software, will show the participants how to get the most professional Web and print look for their images from Datacolor’s Spyder4ELITE and the onOne Software’s Perfect Effects 4. The second webinar, Solving Capture Problems at the Start of your Workflow, will cover the different concerns photographers face with calibration before a shoot or prior to editing their images. The first event will take place on 5th September from 7pm, while the second webinar will commence at 7pm on 26th September.
This fall, seasoned iPhoneographer Richard Gray will be hosting two webinars at the Manfrotto School of Xcellence. The first one, Great Portraits with Your Smart Phone, will take place on 20 September 2013 from 4pm GMT, exploring questions like what do you want to say about the person you are photographing? what lighting would work best? what angle should you use? and so on. In the second webinar, Great Sporting Images with Your Smart Phone, scheduled for 10 October 2013, 4pm GMT, attendees will learn key techniques, such as panning and burst, to capture moving subjects involved in fast-paced sport. Richard will explore a range of apps to help you achieve creative images. Both webinars are free to attend.
DxO has launched Version 4.1 of DxO FilmPack, its analogue film and creative rendering software. This update allows DxO FilmPack 4 to interact perfectly with Adobe Photoshop CC. Available in two editions, Essential and Expert, DxO FilmPack v4.1 can be installed as a plugin for Adobe Photoshop, Lightroom 4 and 5, Elements 10 and 11, Apple Aperture 3, and DxO Optics Pro v8.2, and as a standalone application for Mac and Windows — all with the same licence. Photographers who purchased a DxO FilmPack 3 licence on or after 1 March 2013 are entitled to a free upgrade to version 4.
Olympus Europe has launched a teaser campaign hinting at the imminent launch of a new flagship interchangeable-lens camera. "There’s something big on the horizon," the company says. "A new OLYMPUS flagship camera with interchangeable lenses. It’s set to herald a whole new world of photography." Tellingly, the teaser ad features both the FourThirds and the Micro FourThirds logos and all Zuiko Digital as well as M.Zuiko Digital lenses...
In addition to the A3-capable XP-950 all-in-one device, Epson has introduced three new compact home inkjet printers. The Epson Expression Premium XP-510, XP-610 and XP-615 offer dual paper trays, double-sided printing and individual inks. The XP-610 and XP-615 also boast a 6.3cm smart-navigation touch panel and CD/DVD printing. All Expression Premium series printers come with Epson Connect, which allows users to quickly and easily print documents and photos over Wi-Fi from smartphones and tablets. In addition these multifunction printers are equipped with Wi-Fi Direct, allowing users to print from wireless devices without having to connect to a wireless router. The Expression Premium XP-615 and XP-610 are available from September 2013 and the XP-510 is available from October 2013, priced at RRP £149.99 and £129.99 respectively.
Tuesday, August 27, 2013
Ricoh has announced two new, weather-resistant flash units designed for use with a range of Pentax cameras. The Pentax AF540FGZ II (£549.99) has a guide number of 54 in metres at ISO 100/21°, and features a zooming tilt-swivel head, a built-in wide-angle panel, a variety of flash discharge modes, and a newly designed high-intensity white LED light that comes in handy for close-distance movie recording and still-image shooting requiring extended exposures. The Pentax AF360FGZ II (£399.99) offers a similar set of features, except for its lower guide number of 36.
Ricoh has announced the upcoming launch of five HD PENTAX-DA Limited lenses designed for use with K-mou nt interchangeable-lens digital cameras. These new lenses - including the HD Pentax-DA15mm F4ED AL Limited (pictured), the HD Pentax-DA 21mm F3.2AL Limited, the HD Pentax-DA 35mm F2.8 Macro Limited, HD Pentax-DA 40mm F2.8 Limited and the HD Pentax-DA 70mm F2.4 Limited - inherit the distinctive looks and premium appearance of the earlier Pentax Limited products, while adding state-of-the-art HD coating and a round-shaped diaphragm for a pleasing bokeh. Pricing for the new lenses ranges from £439.99 to £639.99 depending on model. Availability is slated for late September.