Thursday, October 17, 2013

Benro S6 Video Monopod

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Accessories
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Benro has launched its new S6 Video Monopod, a 3-leg folding base monopod combined with Benro's S6 Video Head for increased weight capacity. This heavy duty S6 Video Monopod provides a 13.2 lb payload capacity as well as a 4-step counterbalance that is necessary when working with heavier cameras and longer lenses. The S6 head includes an independent pan lock, which allows the user to pan smoothly without having to turn the entire monopod. Equipped with a 65mm flat base with a 3/8" thread, the S6 video head can be removed from the monopod allowing users to mount the head separately on sliders, jibs or half ball adapters. The new Benro S6 Video Monopod is available now in both flip leg lock (A48FBS6) and twist leg lock (A48TBS6). Suggested retail price is $249.

New Professional Camera Bags from Manfrotto

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Accessories
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Manfrotto has announced its latest professional bags collection for photographers. Comprising 16 camera bags in five styles, the new collection features a Camera Protection System (CPS), which provides protection where it is most needed – at the centre of the bag. This is usually where the camera body and the most valuable lens are stored but, in many traditional bag designs, is also the area most likely to be damaged if the bag is dropped or mishandled, because of all the surrounding gear (lenses, flashes, clamps, spare bodies) crushing the centre. The CPS consists of specially structured 3D foam encasing dividers at the centre of Professional bags which dampen shock and absorb and dissipate the force of impact, thus providing the superior protection a photographer would expect. For more information about the Professional bags series, visit the website below.

Manfrotto Launches Advanced Camera Bags Collection

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Accessories
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Manfrotto has unveiled its brand-new Advanced collection of 21 camera bags in six styles, designed for passionate photographers. The bags in the Advanced collection - which comprises six bag types including shoulder bags, holsters, slings and three different kinds of backpack - feature hard-wearing fabrics, superior construction quality, and an elegant design. Tripod holders, dividers, pockets and rain covers are all designed with great attention to the photographer’s needs, both in terms of practicality and portability. For more information on the Advanced bags series, visit the website below.

Three New LED Lights from Fotodiox

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Accessories
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Fotodiox has released its next-generation LED light panels; the Fotodiox LED-312D, LED-312DS, and LED-1024AL. The three new LED panels feature all-metal barn doors to shape and control the light, while a locking system keeps the barn doors in place, no matter how the light is mounted. The lights feature a backlit LCD panel that displays the percentage of light intensity and remaining battery life. The numbers in the product names indicate the number of light emitting diodes the lights are equipped with - this means that the first two products have 312 LEDs each, whilst the LED-1024AL comes with over a thousand 5600K daylight LEDs in a compact (12” x 12”) form. All three of the new Fotodiox LED upgrades are available for immediate sale, and each light kit comes with a 24 month manufacturer warranty.

AKVIS Updates Photo Correction Bundle

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Software
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AKVIS has updated three of its programs: Enhancer 14.0, Noise Buster v.9.0, Refocus v.4.0. New features and enhancements include the ability to quickly post pictures from the programs to Facebook, Twitter, Flickr, Tumblr and Google+; improved raw image file processing; full compatibility with Adobe Photoshop CC, Adobe Photoshop Elements 12 and Corel PaintShop Pro X6; separate set-up files for 32-bit and for 64-bit versions of Windows; and a few bug fixes.

Olloclip Unveils 4-in-1 Lens for iPhone and iPod touch

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Accessories, Lenses
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The olloclip 4-in-1 quick-connect lens offers fisheye, wide-angle, and two macrolenses in a single package. With the fisheye and wide-angle lenses on opposite sides, selecting a lens is as simple as flipping the lens over. The macro lenses are cleverly revealed by unscrewing either the fisheye or wide-angle lens. The olloclip 4-IN-1 lens retails for £59.99 and can be purchased at the website below.

Manfrotto Announces Seven New Ambassadors

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Events, Photographers

The Manfrotto School of Xcellence  has announcedthat seven new Manfrotto Ambassadors have joined Manfrotto’s dedicated educational platform. The new Ambassador line-up includes Adam Duckworth, Adam Plowden, Eddie MacDonald, James Cannon, John McMurtrie, Karen Thomas and Bjorn Thomassen. The School of Xcellence will also be hosting well-known landscape photographer Ross Hoddinott at an upcoming webinar on 24th October at the website below.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Sony A7R Hands-on Photos

Mark Goldstein | Compact System Camera, Lenses
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Want to see exactly what the new Sony A7R compact system camera looks like in the flesh?

Check out our extensive hands-on gallery of photos of the Sony A7R compact system camera, which has a 35mm full-frame sensor with 36.4 effective megapixels and no low-pass filter.

Sony A7 Hands-on Photos

Mark Goldstein | Compact System Camera, Lenses
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Want to see exactly what the new Sony A7 compact system camera looks like in the flesh?

Check out our extensive hands-on gallery of photos of the Sony A7 compact system camera, which has a 35mm full-frame sensor with 24.3 effective megapixels.

Sony FE Lenses and A7/A7R Battery Grip Hands-on Photos

Mark Goldstein | Compact System Camera, Lenses
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Want to see exactly what the new Sony FE compact system camera lenses and A7/A7R battery grip look like in the flesh?

Check out our extensive hands-on gallery of photos of four of the new lenses - the Carl Zeiss Sonnar T* FE 35mm f/2.8 ZA, the Carl Zeiss Sonnar T* FE 55mm f/1.8 ZA, the Carl Zeiss Vario-Tessar T* FE 24-70mm f/4 ZA OSS, and the Sony FE 28-70mm f/3.5-5.6 OSS - and the battery grip.

Sony A7 v Olympus OM-D E-M1 v Canon EOS 5D Mk III

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We've directly compared the new Sony A7 full-frame compact system camera with the Olympus OM-D E-M1 and the Canon EOS 5D Mark III.

As you'll see in the gallery, the Sony A7 is much smaller than Canon's full-frame DSLR, as you'd expect, but it's actually about the same size as Olympus' new mirrorless offering, which uses a comparatively tiny Micro Four Thirds sensor!

Obviously you then have to factor in the lenses, which are bigger on Sony's new FE full-frame system, but it's clear to see that Sony have put a lot of effort into making their new A7/A7R bodies as petitie as possible

Sony Cyber-shot RX10 Hands-on Photos

Mark Goldstein | Digital Compact Cameras
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Want to see exactly what the new Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX10 premium bridge compact camera looks like in the flesh?

Check out our extensive hands-on gallery of photos of the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX10 compact camera, which boasts a 24-200mm lens with a constant aperture of f/2.8.

Syncing a Flash with the Olympus E-M1 at 1/500s?

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Compact System Camera
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According to the user's manual, the maximum synchronisation speed of the new Olympus OM-D E-M1 is 1/320th of a second when using the clip-on flash, and 1/250 sec when using a separately sold external flash unit. As we now have a review unit in hand, we can confirm that the latter is indeed true with an Olympus FL-36 flash attached - in TTL, Auto and Manual modes alike. (Of course, in "FP TTL" and "FP Manual" modes, the flash can be synced at any speed right up to the camera's top shutter speed of 1/8000th of a second - with the usual loss of working range this "trick" mode entails.) We do not have the entire Olympus flash line-up at our disposal to test if the 1/250s top sync speed holds true for all of them - but we have found something really interesting about using the camera with a third-party flash attached to the camera via the PC sync terminal or the hot-shoe*. Apparently, the E-M1's X-sync speed is faster than advertised! Click through / read on to find out more.

Sony A-Mount Not Dead, but NEX Is…

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Sony have announced that a new mid to high-end Alpha mount camera body is currently under development. Due to be released in 2014, the new body confirms that Sony are still committed to the A-mount system. No further details about the new body have been released at today's London press briefing.

Meanwhile, it seems that the company's NEX branding is to be officially ended, as Sony focuses on promoting the Alpha naming convention for all of its mirrorless cameras. So expect to see future E-Mount cameras without that familiar NEX nomenclature...

Sony 35mm Full-frame E-Mount Lens Roadmap

Mark Goldstein | Compact System Camera, Lenses
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Sony have unveiled the roadmap for their new range of FE branded, 35mm full-frame E-Mount lenses. Having announced 5 new lenses today, Sony have promised to release 5 more in 2014, with 15 lenses in total due to be available by the end of 2015. These will include an f/4 ultra-wide-angle zoom, large aperture prime, and macro lens.

The new LA-EA4 A-mount Adapter has also been announced today, which will provide compatibility with 54 lenses in total from day one (including A/E Mount and the new lenses).

Carl Zeiss Touit 50mm f/2.8

Mark Goldstein | Compact System Camera, Lenses
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Carl Zeiss will release a new 50mm f/2.8 Touit lens at the beginning of 2014. The Carl Zeiss Touit 50mm f/2.8 will have a magnification ration of 1:1. Expect to see Sony E-Mount and Fujifilm versions, as with the previous two Touit lenses.

A spokesman for Carl Zeiss also revealed that one more Touit lens will be released in 2014, although no more details were forthcoming.

SIGMA 24-105mm F4 DG OS HSM

Mark Goldstein | Digital SLR Cameras, Lenses
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The SIGMA 24-105mm F4 DG OS HSM is a wide to mid-telephoto for 35mm full-frame DSLR cameras. The Sigma 24-105mm can pparently "bring out the potential of a high-resolution sensor" and boasts a constant aperture of F4, OS (Optical Stabilizer), HSM (Hyper Sonic Motor), and a 9 blade rounded diaphragm. The price and availability of the SIGMA 24-105mm F4 DG OS HSM will be announced shortly.

Sony A7R

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Compact System Camera
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The Sony A7R (α7R) is a compact system camera with a 35mm full-frame sensor offering 36.4 effective megapixels and no optical low-pass filter. The sensor emplys a new ‘gapless’ on-chip microlens design which eliminates gaps between adjacent pixels. These advances increase light collection efficiency, achieving outstanding resolution, sensitivity and low noise while circumventing the challenge of decreased pixel size due to the extremely high pixel count. Other highlights include a Sony E bayonet mount (designed to be used primarily with the company's new full-frame E-mount lenses), a dust/moisture-resistant magnesium alloy body, newly-developed fast intelligent auto focus, an improved XGA OLED electronic viewfinder, NFC and Wi-Fi capabilities, Full HD movie recording and 4K photo output for viewing on Ultra HD displays and TVs. Priced at £1600 / $2299 and available for pre-order, the Sony α7R will go on general sale in UK from mid-late November.

Sony A7

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Compact System Camera
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The new Sony A7 (α7) is a compact system camera with a 35mm full-frame sensor. Headline specifications include a 24x36mm CMOS imager with a resolution of 24.3 megapixels, a Sony E lens mount (to be used primarily with the company's new full-frame E-mount lenses), an improved XGA OLED "Tru-Finder," tiltable LCD screen, enhanced Fast Hybrid auto focus, a dust/moisture-resistant magnesium alloy body, Full HD video recording and 4K Ultra HD photo output. With both Wi-Fi with NFC, the Sony α7 offers effortless one-touch wireless connections with your NFC-compliant Android smartphone or tablet. PlayMemories Camera Apps further enhance your photo experience with a growing range of free and paid apps. In addition to E-mount lenses, the Sony A7 can also take A-mount optics via a new-generation mount adapter. Now available to pre-order for £1300 / $1699 - or £1500 / $1999 with a 28-70mm lens -, the Sony A7 will go on general sale in UK from mid-late November.

Five New Full-frame E-mount Lenses from Sony & Zeiss

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Lenses
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To complement the new A7 and A7R compact system cameras, Sony has introduced five new E-mount lenses that project an imaging circle large enough to cover a 35mm full frame sensor. These include the Carl Zeiss Sonnar T* FE 35mm f/2.8 ZA, the Carl Zeiss Sonnar T* FE 55mm f/1.8 ZA (pictured), the Carl Zeiss Vario-Tessar T* FE 24-70mm f/4 ZA OSS, the Sony FE 28-70mm f/3.5-5.6 OSS and the Sony FE 70-200mm f/4 G OSS. In addition, the company has also taken the wraps off a new A-mount lens, the ‘Mark 2’ version of the coveted 70-200mm f/2.8 G optic. The Sony 70-200mm F2.8 G SSM II features a super-quiet SSM focus motor that is approximately four times faster than the one in its predecessor, offering improved AF tracking of moving subjects. Most of these lenses go on general sale in UK from the end of November, except for the Zeiss 55mm f/1.8, FE 24-70mm f/4 ZA OSS, which will be available in January 2014, and the FE 70-200mm f/4 G OSS, which will be launched in Spring 2014.