Friday, February 28, 2014

Technology Alliance Announced Between Bowens, PocketWizard and Sekonic

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Accessories, Global
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In a joint announcement, Bowens, PocketWizard and Sekonic have teamed up to create a complete wireless triggering solution for electronic flashes that will be first introduced in the US market. Most Bowens Gemini monolights will accept an optional PocketWizard module, which enables photographers to wirelessly trigger their flash with PocketWizard radios and Sekonic light meters. Compatible components within the system include Bowens Gemini 500R, 500Pro, 750Pro, 1000Pro & 1500Pro series of monolights with PocketWizard module, all existing PocketWizard radios and the Sekonic L-478DR and L-758DR exposure meters. In addition, other (earlier) Sekonic meters can be used with an optional PocketWizard transmitter. To commemorate the alliance, PocketWizard is introducing a new Plus III Transceiver in the "Bowens' signature yellow" colour.

Raw.Pics.io Launches

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Websites
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Raw.Pics.io is a new online service capable of extracting the embedded JPEGs from certain raw image files. Supporting CR2, DNG and NEF formats, the service does not require users to upload their raw files to a server, as it uses an HTML5-based in-browser application to extract the embedded JPEGs, which can then be saved on their hard disk or shared on Facebook. "One click conversion to JPEG is a first step, expect more in the nearest future," developer Konstantin Shtondenko says. "If you have an idea of what we should implement next — don't hesitate to request features."

Fotospeed Photo Smooth Pearl 290gsm

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Accessories
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The Fotospeed Photo Smooth Pearl 290gsm is a natural white, heavyweight and instant-dry, resin coated, inkjet paper. " The beautiful pearl finish matches that of the widely acclaimed, and now discontinued, Ilford Galerie Smooth Pearl paper; a crisp finish with a superb color gamut," Fotospeed says. "It has a unique ink receiving layer giving an instant dry result straight from the printer." The Fotospeed Photo Smooth Pearl 290gsm will be on display at The Photography Show, along with two other new offerings, the Fotospeed Metallic Pearl 295gsm and the Fotospeed Platinum Etching 285gsm.

Nokia Technology Brings Light Painting to Smartphones

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Camera Phones, General
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The latest work from leading light artists Ian Hobson of Newcastle, UK and Jeremy Jackson from Virginia, USA demonstrate how people can make spectacular light art using a Nokia Lumia smartphone. Armed with a Nokia Lumia 1020, the artists have created a series of images and guide which are intended to inspire a new generation of smartphone light painters. All made possible by the 4-second maximum exposure time and remarkable low light photography capabilities of the Nokia Lumia smartphone cameras with PureView technology. Ian Hobson comments: ‘The Nokia Lumia 1020 is the first smartphone I’ve ever seen that has the capability to capture quality light paintings due to its 4 second shutter speed and its 41mp camera. With the advances of cameras in mobiles, it allows anyone on the go, to try out light painting.’ Click through / scroll down for a helpful video giving hints about how to light paint with a Nokia Lumia 1020.

Akvis OilPaint 2.0

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Software
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Akvis has updated its OilPaint software to Version 2.0. Available as a standalone application and as a Photoshop plug-in, Akvis OilPaint is claimed to offer "an incredible algorithm" for turning photos into oil paintings. The software offers a number of ready to use presets, and allows users to share their favourites with other fans of the oil painting technique. The batch processing feature enables the program to automatically process a series of images in order to create a number of illustrations at the same style or to process all frames in a video. The updated version brings faster image processing, new brushes and other important improvements, and fixes bugs. Registered users of Akvis OilPaint can upgrade to version 2.0 for free.

Nikon Releases Quick-Draw Strap & Quick-Draw Strap S

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Accessories
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Nikon has launched  two new products developed in cooperation with BlackRapid. The Quick-Draw Strap and Quick-Draw Strap S offer great mobility by allowing the camera to slide diagonally up and down the shoulder strap; and a great sense of security with a safety strap that prevents the camera from falling in the unlikely event the fastener comes loose, and a cover that prevents the carabiner that connects the strap to the camera from scratching the camera body. The Quick-Draw Strap, with a wider shoulder pad, is suited to use with digital SLR cameras. The Quick-Draw Strap S, with a narrower shoulder pad, is suited to use with Nikon 1 System cameras and Nikon Coolpix series compacts.

Lowepro at The Photography Show

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Accessories, Events
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Lowepro will set up a 'Loweprofessionals' wall at The Photography Show to wow visitors with an array of beautiful shots from professional photographers. Additionally, there will be two Lowepro-sponsored events at the show, including a talk by photographer Colin Prior and a seminar by Rebecca Litchfield. Throughout the day there will be a chance to win spot prizes on Stand E10, simply by wearing your Lowepro bag to the show and/or picking up a badge from the stand. Opening tomorrow at Birmingham's NEC, The Photography Show is a major new UK event dedicated to the imaging industry.

Reviving the Camera Obscura

Zoltan Arva-Toth | General
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A Kickstarter project started by Les Cookson and Ken Higginson aims to resurrect the great-grandfather of all cameras - the camera obscura. Weighing in at less than 1kg this camera obscura is about 15cm x 15cm x15cm in size. Hand-built with your choice of maple or walnut hardwood, the product features an uncoated spherical glass lens about 38mm in diameter, encased in a brass tube, a ground-glass screen for viewing and a clear screen that's used with a piece of tracing paper to trace the image. If you'd like to make a donation or simply learn more about the project, visit the camera obscura's Kickstarter page.

Astronomy Photographer of the Year 2014

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Competitions
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The Royal Observatory Greenwich, in association with Sky at Night Magazine, have launched their 2014 Astronomy Photographer of the Year competition. Now in its sixth year, the competition attracted a record-breaking number of entries last year, with spectacular images submitted from around the world. Mark Gee won with his extraordinary image depicting a star-riddled Milky Way alongside the beam from a lighthouse on Cape Palliser in New Zealand (above). Entries to this year's competition must be submitted by 24 April 2014, and the winning images will be showcased in the annual free exhibition at the Royal Observatory Greenwich from 18 September 2014 to February 2015.

Transcend Releases M.2 and mSATA SSDs

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Accessories
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Transcend has released its SATA III 6 Gb/s N8S750 M.2 and MSA340 mSATA solid state drives (SSD). The N8S750 SSD's space-saving 80 mm M.2 form factor is designed to meet future market demands of ultra-thin and light mobile devices that require an SSD, including Ultrabooks, notebooks, tablets and smartphones. The company's MSA340 mSATA SSD is 78% smaller than a standard 2.5" SSD and measures a mere 50.8 mm x 29.85 mm x 4.0 mm. As a result, manufacturers can benefit from greater design flexibility when developing space-restricted mobile solutions. Transcend's SATA III 6 Gb/s N8S750 M.2 SSD is available in 32GB, 64GB and 128GB capacities while the SATA III 6 Gb/s MSA340 mSATA SSD is available in 32GB, 64GB, 128GB, and 256GB editions.

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Fujifilm FinePix S1 Review

Mark Goldstein
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The Fujifilm FinePix S1 is a new weather-proof bridge camera with a massive 50x, 24-1200mm zoom lens. The Fujifilm S1 also offers built-in wi-fi, full 1080p movies at 60fps with stereo sound, a 3 inch vari-angle LCD screen, 10ps burst shooting and a 16 megapixel back-illuminated EXR sensor with RAW support. Read our Fujifilm FinePix S1 review to find out if this is this the only camera you'll ever need...

Meet the Kenro Team at The Photography Show

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The Kenro team will be exhibiting a range of new products at the inaugural Photography Show in Birmingham. Visitors to the stand will have an exclusive preview of the Nissin i40 flash, the new Braun ActionMaster Camera (pictured), a collection of Benro Falcon Camouflage Rucksacks, a smartphone scanner and a Super 8 film scanner from Reflecta, and much more. You can meet the Kenro team at stand L65.

Eizo ColorEdge CG277 and CX271

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Accessories
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Eizo has launched two updated 27” monitors, the ColorEdge CG277 and CX271. The EizoColorEdge CG277 is targeted at professionals in digital photography, prepress, video editing and post production. It features a sensor that is housed inside the monitor and swings up onto the screen for self-calibration. The ColorEdge CX271 houses an internal correction sensor that maintains the calibration results after the monitor has been calibrated with an external sensor. The ColorEdge CG277 and CX271 include the advanced features of their predecessors while offering a new wide-gamut IPSpanel that reproduces 99% of the Adobe RGB colour space. Other common features include a10-bit display, 16-bit look-up table, DisplayPort, HDMI, and DVI-D input terminals, stable brightness chromaticity and tone characteristics within seven minutes after power on, and an ergonomic stand with 25° tilt, 344° swivel, portrait mode, and 151.5 mm height adjustment. The ColorEdge CG277 and CX271 will be shipping in the UK from 1st April 2014 Both monotors will be on display at The Photography Show.

“World of Circus” Photography Contest

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Competitions
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The North American Circus Competition has announced its "World of Circus" photo contest. "We are searching for the best images from any era that unequivocallyconvey the deepest meaning of circus," the organisers say. This contest will have one grand prize winner and several other finalists who will receive prizes including $1000 in cash, an Emotiv Insight EEG headband controller (one of only 8000 being produced this year), a Wacom Intuos Pro, and several Wacom Bamboo Stylus pens. The "World of Circus" photo contest opens on 3rd March. Other categories in the North American Circus Competition include "Life is a Cabaret," Circus on Fire" and "Surreal Places".

Epson SureLab D7 Studio

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Printers
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The Epson SureLab D7 Studio is a scalable and flexible commercial photo production microlab / self-service order terminal. Available from June 2014, the SureLab D7 Studio can produce premium quality prints, panoramics, folded displays and cards, on a wide range of media, including  paper-based matte, glossy and lustre media, and in a range of sizes. The SureLab D7 Studio includes a self-service, touch screen order terminal and up to two printers. A further three extensions can be added, increasing the number of printers linked to the terminal, up to a total of eight. Featuring Micro Piezo printhead technology and UltraChrome D6-S ink, the Epson SureLab D7 Studio will make its UK debut at The Photography Show (Stand L50).

A Fresh Take On Wall Murals

Zoltan Arva-Toth | General
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Wall mural company Photowall and picture agency Noll Images have teamed up to create a joint wall mural collection. “We have a great many skilled photographers working for us. Thanks to the collaboration with Photowall our images are scaling new heights – so much more happens when they’re expanded into large format,” says Dennis Blomberg, founder of Noll Images. The collection comprises 36 carefully selected, unexpected and surprising motifs representing everything from coloured circus tents to laughing plastic whales. You can check out the collection at the website below.

Epson SureLab D700

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Printers
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Epson has announced the SureLab D700, its first compact six-colour photo production printer, which offers a wide range of media and format options. The SureLab D700 uses Epson’s highly flexible inkjet technology to print multiple sizes (from 4inches up to A4 wide and from 3.5- 39 inches long) on a wide range of media including glossy, lustre and paper-based matte media.  Martin Johns, market development manager, Epson UK, says: “After the successful introduction of the SureLab D3000 for high-volume photo production, the compact SureLab D700 for small to medium production runs or kiosk printing is a logical next step for Epson. It combines high quality, lots of flexibility, speed and impressive reliability with overall low cost of ownership in a very flexible mobile lab solution that can be used to print on-site at all sorts of events and for school photography with no compromise on print quality and media.” The SureLab D700 printer will be shown for the first time in the UK at The Photography Show (Stand L50).

Olympus Sensor Cleaning Booth at The Photography Show

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In addition to their main stand, Olympus UK will have a separate booth at The Photography Show offering free sensor cleaning to Olympus users. "We all know that the [SSWF] anti-dust system is so good you do not really need it, but time has its effect with our polluted world, and this is a lovely free service we are happy to offer," says Mark Thackara, National Marketing Manager, Consumer Products, Olympus UK. Interested photographers should go to the main Olympus stand to book their kit in. The Photography Show will be held from 1-4 March 2014 at the NEC in Birmingham - PhotographyBLOG readers have until tomorrow to buy their tickets online at a discounted price using our special promotion code.

DxO Optics Pro 9.1.3

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Software
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DxO Labs have released DxO Optics Pro 9.1.3 for Mac and Windows. This latest version adds support for the Nikon D3300, the Canon EOS M2, the Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ70 the Samsung NX1000 and NX1100. Additionally, DxO Optics Pro has been enriched with 264 new Optics Modules including camera/lens combinations for Nikon, Samsung and other brands. Photographers who acquired a DxO Optics Pro 8 license on or after 1 September 2013, are entitled to a free upgrade to version 9.

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

DxO Licenses its EIS Technology to Alcatel

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Camera Phones

DxO has licensed its Electronic Image Stabilisation (DxO EIS) technology to Alcatel Onetouch. Developed for mobile phones, digital cameras and professional video cameras; DxO EIS performs full rigid motion plus electronic running shutter estimation and compensation. "The embedded imaging technology DxO will now deliver into our handsets sets a new benchmark in putting high image quality and professional-looking video results into the hands of our consumers, delivering an incredible camera experience," says Dan Dery, CMO, Alcatel Onetouch. "This is integral to our vision of creating smartphones that combine simplicity of use with best in class functionality."