Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Arthur Edwards Shares his Top Tips for Baby Photography

Zoltan Arva-Toth | General
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With over three decades’ experience of capturing the Royal family on camera, professional photographer and Nikon user Arthur Edwards has decided to share his top tips for photography around the time of a new arrival to the family. He recommends that you first think about the light you've got, given that babies don't like flash. Then you ought to think about the time of day you take your pictures - catching the baby after a feed and a sleep increases the chances they are content, happy and giggly in the photos, rather than grumpy. His other advices include using different backgrounds, including the baby's favourite toy in some of the photos and having the camera charged before the session. "A top tip for new mums for getting a photo you’ll treasure is to make sure you’re happy with your eye make-up and keep your hair off the face," Mr Edwards says. "Also, a tight composition with just faces in the frame will make sure there’s no distracting detail in the background of the shot such as a hospital bed."

Gigapan Partners with Promote Systems

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Accessories
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Gigapan and Promote Systems have united to help photographers simplify their workflow process when creating HDR and focus stacked gigapixel imagery. The Promote Control, an all-in-one, advanced remote control for digital SLR cameras, enhances the Gigapan EPIC Pro robotic camera mount (pictured) by increasing the flexibility in exposure bracketing needed to create high-quality images. “Combining the Promote Control with the EPIC Pro takes shooting HDR and focus stacked imagery to a higher level,” said Josh Friedman, CEO of Gigapan. “It makes it immensely easier for photographers to capture stunning and highly technical shots with more control and options when shooting high-resolution panoramic images.”

Flower Power Photo Contest

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Competitions
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Bee Raw, an American honey company, is hosting a Flower Power Photo Contest in order to bring awareness to the many ways you can help save the bees. Focusing on the importance of planting bee-friendly gardens, this social-media-driven contest challenges photographers to take a picture of flowers that bees will flock to. Share your snapshot on Bee Raw’s Facebook page, and get friends and family to “like” the post. The entry with the most likes on July 30 will win a Manhattan Rooftop Honey Flight. The next five photos with the most likes will be awarded Bee Raw’s Good Bug Blooms seeds to start their own bee-friendly garden.

Bitcasa Launches Infinite Drive in Europe

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Software
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Bitcasa has launched its Infinite Drive in the UK and the rest of Europe with new support for 10 languages and local UK and Euro currencies. For £7/€8 per month, consumers can safely store and instantly access infinite amounts of photos, videos, music or share files without having to worry about capacity constraints. To celebrate the launch in Europe, Bitcasa will be offering a special 20-percent discount of £55/€60 for a year of Infinite Storage. This special introductory price will be available through 31 August 2013 when users enter the promotional code: UKEU20. Bitcasa infinite storage is available on iOS, Android, Mac desktop, Windows Desktop, Windows RT and the Web.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Sony Cyber-shot DSC-H200 Review

Mark Goldstein
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The Sony Cyber-shot DSC-H200 is a new superzoom compact camera that won't break the bank. The Sony H200 features a 26x 24-633mm lens, 20 megapixel CCD sensor, 720p HD video with stereo sound, 3-inch screen, and even a manual shooting mode. Read our expert Sony Cyber-shot DSC-H200 review to find out if it's the right super-zoom bridge camera for you...

Corel Painter X3

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Software
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Corel today released the English version of Corel Painter X3. New features and highlights include crosshair cloning, 25 new jitter brushes, a brush search engine, new perspective guides, smart brush controls, a new reference image panel, flow maps, and the ability to apply a transformation to a selection across multiple layers. The full version of Painter X3 is available for £311 (including VAT) and the upgrade, for registered Painter 11 and 12 users, is available for £156 (including VAT).

Steve McCurry Joins SanDisk Extreme Team Legends

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Photographers
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Steve McCurry has been inducted into the SanDisk Extreme Team Legends programme. This programme honours photographers who have made major contributions to the art of photography during their careers. McCurry was inducted into the programme during National Geographic’s 125th anniversary event in Øksnehallen, Copenhagen. At the event, more than 110 photographs taken by some of National Geographic’s most prestigious photographers were featured. Most notably, McCurry’s “Afghan Girl” image, which appeared on the magazine’s cover in 1985, and has since become one of the most recognised magazine covers of all time.

Canon Pixma MG 2420 and Pixma MG3520

Zoltan Arva-Toth
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Canon today introduced the Pixma MG3520 Wireless Photo and the Pixma MG2420 All-In-One printers. Available in black, red or a mirror-finished white, the wireless-enabled Canon Pixma MG3520 photo printer ($79.99) features Full HD Movie Print software to help users produce clear images of frames from videos captured on compatible Canon HD EOS and PowerShot digital cameras along with HD VIXIA camcorders. It also offers Apple AirPrint compatibility. The Canon Pixma MG2420 ($69.99), which does not offer wireless connectivity, is available in white only.

Nokia Lumia 625

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Camera Phones
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The Nokia Lumia 625 is an accessibly priced 4G smartphone with a 4.7" WVGA display and a range of integrated camera applications. These include Nokia Smart Camera, Cinemagraph lens, Panorama lens, Bing vision and Nokia Glam Me. The main camera has a 1/4"-type sensor with a sensible resolution of 5 megapixels and a 28mm (eq.) f/2.4 lens. Other highlights include Full HD video recording at 30 frames per second, Touch Focus, a LED flash and manual control over exposure and white balance. The Nokia Lumia 625 will be availabe in the third quarter of 2013 for around €220

Canon Adds AirPrint Compatibility to Newest Pixma Wireless Printer

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Printers
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Canon today announced that its newest Pixma Wireless All-in-One Printer, the MG3520, is equipped with AirPrint wireless printing. This built-in feature allows users to print wirelessly from their iPhone, iPad and iPod touch devices. The Canon Pixma MG3520 joins a growing range of AirPrint compliant printers (see full list). Note that AirPrint functionality requires an iPad, iPad Mini, iPad 2, the new iPad, iPhone 3GS or later, or iPod touch 3rd generation or later device running iOS 4.2 or later, and an AirPrint-enabled printer connected to the same network as your iOS device. A printer connected to the USB port of your Mac, PC, AirPort Base Station, or Time Capsule is not supported.

SanDisk Connect

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Accessories
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SanDisk Connect is a new line of wireless flash memory storage devices including the SanDisk Connect Wireless Flash Drive and SanDisk Connect Wireless Media Drive. Billed as the smallest wireless USB storage device available to date, the SanDisk Connect Wireless Flash Drive provides users with up to 32GB of extra storage for their devices without the need for an Internet connection or cables. It is available in 16GB or 32GB capacities at an MSRP of £41.90 and £49.90 respectively. The SanDisk Connect Wireless Media Drive allows users to take content such as HD movies, videos, music and photos with them wherever they go. Available in the fourth quarter of 2013 in capacities of up to 64GB (pricing to be confirmed), the pocket-sized device offers up to eight continuous streaming hours on a single charge.

Hasselblad Stellar

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Digital Compact Cameras
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The Hasselblad Stellar is a 20-megapixel compact camera with a 28-100mm (eq.) f/1.8-4.9 Carl Zeiss Vario-Sonnar T* lens and a 1"-type sensor. Modelled on the Sony RX100, the Hasselblad Stellar retains all the headline specifications and adds a wooden grip. The company has set up a dedicated microsite for the Hasselblad Stellar, but has not officially announced its suggested retail price yet. The camera will go on sale later this month.

Fujifilm Updates X-Mount Lens Roadmap

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Lenses
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Fujifilm has released an updated lens roadmap for its X-mount compact system cameras, showing current and upcoming lenses (including the Touit range from Zeiss). Compared to the previous version, the updated roadmap includes two XC branded lenses, the already announced Fujinon XC16-50mm f/3.5-5.6 OIS and the brand new Fujinon XC50-230mm f/4.5-6.7 OIS, which will be available by the end of this year. Fujinon XC optics are “compact and casual” lenses that are more affordable and accessible to amateur photographers.

Monday, July 22, 2013

Fujifilm XF 27mm F2.8 Review

Mark Goldstein
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The Fujifilm XF 27mm f2.8 is a fast standard prime lens for Fujifilm X-series compact system cameras. Offering a focal range of 41mm in 35mm terms, is the Fujifilm XF 27mm f2.8 a worthy addition to the XF lens range? Read our Fujifilm XF 27mm f2.8 review to find out...

Akvis AirBrush 2.0

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Software
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Akvis has released AirBrush v.2.0, a program that turns photos into stylish airbrush paintings. Version 2.0 adds the possibility to create multicoloured drawings and offers new presets. The plugin version is compatible with Adobe Photoshop CC. The software sells for $49 for the Home version (all features except colour changing), $69 for the Home Deluxe edition (all features included), $89 for the Business version (all features included, for commercial use). The software runs on Windows XP/Vista/Win7/Win 8 and on Mac OS X 10.4-10.8, both 32 bit and 64 bit.

New Monopods from 3 Legged Thing

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Accessories
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3 Legged Thing has launched its One Legged Thing Monopod Range. The lineup includes a three-section carbon-fibre monopod called Pete (£145; pictured), a three-section magnesium-alloy monopod named Sid (£99) and a five-section carbon-fibre monopod dubbed Bob (£139). Each monopod has a load capacity of 18kg. Pete weighs in at 450g, Sid at 532g and Bob at 456g. The first two monopods fold down to 635mm and extend to 1660mm. Bob has a folded height of 455mm, and extends to 1690mm.

KaleidoCamera Turns Your DSLR into a Light Field Camera

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Accessories
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Researchers at Germany's Saarland University have devised a new accessory that enables a standard DSLR to function as a "Lytro-like" refocusable light field camera; and opens up new avenues for high-dynamic range imaging, multi-spectral photography as well as polarisation imaging. The scientists - including Alkhazur Manakov, Ramon Hegedűs, John F. Restrepo, Hans-Peter Seidel, Elmar Eisemann, Oliver Klehm and Ivo Ihrke - have announced that they would be demonstrating the prototype of the invention at this week's Siggraph conference and exhibition in Anaheim, California. Their device, called KaleidoCamera, is essentially an accessory that goes in between the camera body and lens, with a beam splitter that allows the camera to record several differently filtered images of the same subject for further processing. The picture above, taken from the researchers' demo video, suggests that the KaleidoCamera would look similar to an extension tube; but Mr Manakov says the actual device would have to be about "the size of an SLR tele[photo] lens." Click through / scroll down to watch the video created by the scientists.

Source: Max Planck Institut via MLZphoto

Canon Americas Open New Headquarters

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Global
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Canon have opened their new Canon Americas headquarters in Melville, N.Y. “The official opening of the Canon Americas Headquarters is an exciting time for our Company and we are grateful for all of the local support we have received along the way,” said Joe Adachi, president and CEO of Canon U.S.A. “Canon's dedication to the environment and the community is an integral part of our corporate culture. The headquarters, which is designed to meet LEED gold certification, will serve as a symbol of this commitment.” The 700,000-square-foot building is five stories tall and cost $500 million to complete.

The New X-Project Micro from XSories

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Accessories
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XSories have just introduced their latest product, the X Project Micro portable projector, which plays footage and photos wherever you are directly from any mobile device with no additional software required. The device, which provides a brightness of 35 lumens and a resolution of 640x480 pixels, is compatible with a range of Android-powered smartphones from Samsung and HTC. For Apple iOS devices, you will need the Apple Lightning Digital AV adapter or the 30-pin Apple Digital AV adapter and an HDMI cable. The X-Project Micro will be available for £239 at UK retailers nationwide.

Panasonic XS1/FH10/FS50 Firmware Version 1.1

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Digital Compact Cameras
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Panasonic has posted a firmware update for the Lumix FH10 (a.k.a FS50) and XS1 compact cameras. Version 1.1 improves the playback quality of panoramic images and pictures taken at the 3-megapixel and 5-megapixel settings. You can download the firmware update from the website below.

Website: Panasonic Japan Support