Wednesday, April 2, 2014

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...

Organ Vida Contest Now Open for Entries

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Competitions, Events
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The organisers of the Organ Vida International Photography Festival have issued a call for entries for their sixth annual photography contest. Photographers have until 25th May to submit their work to the competition, whose central theme is Reflections. The jury will include leading Dutch educator Corinne Noordenbos, award-winning Swedish photographer Kent Klich, Financial Times Weekend Magazine photo editor Emma Bowkett, prominent British photographer George Georgiou, professor Irina Rozovsky and award winning local photographer and filmmaker Ana Opalić, The finalists will see their work displayed at the final exhibition during the festival week. As always, we recommend that you read the terms and conditions before entering your work.

Kodak Moments Apps

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Software
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Kodak Alaris has released a new suite of apps that makes it easier to create and pick up personalised photo products from participating stores and Kodak Picture kiosks. The apps allow users to select photos from any iOS or Android smartphone, and to create a personalised photo product anywhere anytime. All they need to do is choose the image layout and select the nearest participating retailer for collection. Additionally, the Kodak Moments App for smartphones can also connect directly to a Kodak Picture Kiosk via Wi-Fi to allow individual images to be loaded directly from the handset to the kiosk to create a variety of products.For Facebook enthusiasts, the Kodak Moments app offers a solution to print Facebook albums or favourite Facebook photos.

Photo Candy Pro for iOS

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Software
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DNA Imagery has released the first paid version of its popular iOS app Photo Candy, and updated the free version. Photo Candy Pro gives access to over 250 patterns and shapes (with more to come) from various designers as well as seasonal packs on the pro version, 4 additional unlocked packs, 16 additional presets and photo editing features (including contract, exposure, brightness and more). Photo Candy Pro is available for purchase on the iTunes store for only $1.99.

Samsung Trade-up Promotion

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Samsung UK has today announced a major trade-up promotion across selected models of its Smart camera and NX lens range. Running until 31 at participating retailers both in-store and online, the promotion enables anyone that purchases a new Samsung camera or lens included within the offer and trades in their old digital camera (in working condition) to claim up to £200/€240. To claim the reward, all people need to do is buy a qualifying Samsung camera or lens from an eligible retailer, either in-store or online, and fill out an online claim form on Samsung.com within 14 days of making the purchase. They will then receive a pre-paid postage label within two days via email. Customers in the Republic of Ireland will be emailed the freepost address to send back their camera. Once this has arrived, they must simply pack and return their old digital camera within 30 days of purchase. Qualifying claims will then be fulfilled via direct bank transfer.

LockPort Pocket

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Accessories
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The LockPort Pocket is a new product developed to help avoid damaging your Blackmagic Pocket micro HDMI camera port. Easily fitting every tripod head, baseplate, sliding plate and support, the LockPort Pockett safely secures a 90° REAR micro to full-size HDMI adapter, protecting the expensive-to-repair micro HDMI port on your camera. The HDMI adapter has gold plated contacts and the full-size female output allows you to use stronger standard HDMI cables. Available from the end of this month, the LockPort Pocket sells for €99.00. 

New Products from Westcott

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Accessories
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JP Distribution has launched a number of new Westcott products in the United Kingdom. These include the uLite continuous lights, which provide up to 500 W of power and come with a 26-inch octagonal softbox that softens the light and produces magnificent catchlights. The basic kit - one uLite constant light with one Octabox - is available for £150. Also new is the Westcott Ice Pack, which is marketed as the "essential kit for any Ice Light owner." The kit (£249.99) includes uniquely moulded and custom designed components to provide photographers more ways to be creative with their Ice Lights. Finally, the Westcott Zeppelin Deep Parabolic Softbox Series is available in 3 sizes, 35”, 47” and 59”. Commercial, fashion and portrait photographers can utilise the Zeppelin Deep Para Softbox (pictured) to create stunning, even wrap-around light. For control over your lighting, the Zeppelin comes with both inner and outer diffusion panels, which let you easily determine the quality of your lighting. It also includes a travel case for portability. Prices start at £480.

GoPro Rolls Out New Mounts, Accessories and Software

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Accessories, Software
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GoPro has announced a collection of accessories and software. GoPro HERO3+ and HERO3 users will benefit from a number of new housing and mount options including a matte-finish housing, compact frame and versatile flex mount. The stealth Blackout Housing ($49.99) features a non-reflective black matte finish and LCD concealment stickers. Two additional accessories,Gooseneck and The Frame, are designed for greater versatility in shooting. Gooseneck ($19.99) boasts a seven-link flex neck and quick-release base plate for capturing hard to reach shots around corners or underneath objects, while the reengineered Frame ($39.99) is the smallest, lightest way to mount the HERO3+ and HERO3 camera. The free GoPro App, which allows users to control all camera functions remotely, view photos, playback videos and share content via email, text and social platforms, has been updated to a new version to deliver wireless camera software updates to the HERO3+. Improvements to camera software unlock a number of new modes to give HERO3+ Black users greater control of capture settings, including new SuperView modes at 1080/60 and 1080/50, as well as new Auto Low Light modes that support higher frame rates.

Samsung U28D590D

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Accessories
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The Samsung U28D590D is an affordable 28-inch Ultra HD display with a resolution of 3840x2160 pixels. Launching on 21st April, the Samsung U28D590D has a  GTG response time of 1ms, static contrast ratio of 1000:1 and maximum brightness of 370cd/m2. The spec sheet reveals that it has a TN panel (hence the relatively affordable price tag), which "supports" 1 billion colours - although it's not clear whether this means that it's a true 10-bit panel or that the monitor has a 10-bit internal LUT. The Samsung U28D590D has a DisplayPort and two HDMI 1.4 connectors but no DVI interface. Samsung's Picture-by-Picture feature enables you to connect two different PCs to the display and see the desktops of both simultaneously on one screen that's divided into two. The monitor also includes UHD up-scaling technology that converts low-resolution content to Ultra HD. Amazon is currently taking pre-orders for the Samsung U28D590D at $845.69.

Monday, March 31, 2014

Fujifilm XF 10-24mm F4 R OIS Review

Mark Goldstein
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The Fujifilm XF 10-24mm F4 R OIS is a brand new ultra-wide-angle zoom lens for Fujifilm X-series compact system cameras. Offering a versatile focal range of 15-36mm in 35mm terms with built-in optical image stabilisation, is the Fujifilm XF 10-24mm F4 R OIS a worthy addition to the XF lens range? Read our Fujifilm XF 10-24mm F4 R OIS review to find out...

Olympus Stylus SH-1

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Digital Compact Cameras
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The Olympus Stylus SH-1 is a 16-megapixel compact camera with a 25-600mm (eq.) f/3-6.9 lens and 5-axis optical image stabilisation. Other key features include a PEN-like design with aluminium alloy body, 1080p movies, high-speed video recording for slow-motion playback, a time-lapse movie mode, a 460kdot/3in touchscreen, and Wi-Fi connectivity. The SH-1 will be available in a choice of silver, black or white for £349.99/$399.99 from the end of April.

Olympus Stylus TG-3

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Digital Compact Cameras
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Shockproof to a height of 2.1 metres, crushproof to a weight of 100kg, freezeproof down to -10°C, dustproof and waterproof to a depth of 15m, the Olympus Stylus TG-3 is an ultra-rugged digital compact camera featuring a 25-100mm (eq.) f/2-4.9 lens, GPS and Wi-Fi connectivity. Additionally, the TG-3 has the first-ever macro mode to feature four settings in one. Microscope Mode lets you magnify a subject more than 40x from as close as 1cm. So if it measures just 1mm in reality it can impressively appear as large as 44.4mm on the LCD. Focus Stacking Mode automatically shoots multiple shots of a macro subject with different parts in focus and then merges them to a crisply focused image of publishable quality. The Olympus Stylus TG-3 will be available in black or red from June 2014 for £349.99/$349.99 

Olympus Stylus 1 Wins Red Dot Design Award

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Digital Compact Cameras
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The Olympus Stylus 1 has won a Red Dot Design Award. "The elegance of this camera’s design is truly distinctive, and fully merits its red dot award", the judges said. "It is sufficiently compact to be a go-anywhere camera, but offers performance comparable to that of a professional camera."

Reflecta ProScan 10T

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Scanners
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The Reflecta ProScan 10T is a dedicated 35mm film scanner with a hardware resolution of 10,000ppi. Capable of scanning loose strips of negative and transparency film as well as mounted slides, the Reflecta ProScan 10T has a claimed dMax of 3.9, infrared and white LED light sources, hardware-based dust- and scratch-removal technology, manual film transport and (sadly) a fixed-focus lens. Scanning a frame at maximum resolution takes 7 minutes including dust- and scratch-removal. The suggested retail price is €469.