Monday, July 22, 2013

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

Polaroid Socialmatic Camera

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Digital Compact Cameras
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The Polaroid Socialmatic is an Android-powered 14-megapixel compact camera with a built-in ZINK instant printer, 4.3" touchscreen, GPS and Wi-Fi. Other highlights include a 2-megapixel secondary camera, a front-mounted monochromatic LCD with a uniqe "Mood Assistant" feature, Bluetooth and Socialmatic Network connectivity, remote printing capabilities and SDHC memory card support. The Polaroid Socialmatic will hit the shops in the first quarter of 2014 at a price of $299.

Friday, July 19, 2013

The Fourth Image

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Competitions, Events
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The call for entries has been announced for The Fourth Image Awards. In 2013, The Fourth Image exhibition will be held from 31st of October to 5th of November. Photographers are invited to submit their images until 10th September. The first prize is €3,000 and a booth at the exhibition. For more information, visit the website below.

Website: The Fourth Image

Diddipix Inspires Children to Take Photos and Win Prizes

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Websites
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Diddipix, a children-focussed website recently launched by photographer Kirsten Harvey, has announced a range of new competitions. Children can upload their photos onto their own gallery pages with the possibility of winning awards and prizes including Nikon cameras and the opportunity to have their photos published in a Diddipix yearbook. "Children are very receptive to new ideas, particularly if it is about being creative," Kirsten says. "They don’t have the same inhibitions as adults and tend to explore their world organically, with no pre-conceived views and opinions."

Perfect Photo Show for Windows

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Software
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WnSoft has released Perfect Photo Show, a free slideshow application made by acclaimed photo professionals for beginners. "Perfect Photo Show will help you create amazing slideshows with music in just a few minutes," the company says. "Share your impressions about a journey or another important event with your friends and family." The free program is available for Windows 7, 8, Vista and XP.

Hahnemühle Teams up with Canon

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Accessories, Printers
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Hahnemühle has partnered with Canon for a new programme called "Try My Photo." A limited-time offer exclusive to US residents, Canon's Try My Photo programme allows participants to see one of their favorite images printed on Hahnemühle Photo Rag or Hahnemühle William Turner fine art papers, among others, using select Canon Pixma Pro series printers. To take advantage of this opportunity, photographers can upload a JPEG file via the website below. The promotion featuring select Hahnemühle inkjet fine art paper on Canon's Try My Photo website will run through 30th September.

Spirit of Bomber Command Photography Competition

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Competitions
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In Memory of the 125,000 aircrew who served in Bomber Command, Lincolnshire Bomber Command Memorial has launched The Spirit of Bomber Command  photography competition. "We know from the contacts we have had that the passion for Bomber Command and all it stood for is extraordinary; and this competition offers the perfect opportunity to spread the word, engage new audiences and present the tenets of the Command in a modern and creative way," says Tony Worth, Lord Lieutenant of Lincolnshire and Chair of the Trustees for Lincolnshire Bomber Command Memorial. Those who wish to take part in the competition need to submit their photographs that catprue the Spirit of Bomber Command through the website below.

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Fujifilm XC 16-50mm F3.5-5.6 OIS Review

Mark Goldstein
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The Fujifilm XC 16-50mm F3.5-5.6 OIS is an affordable standard zoom lens for Fujifilm X-series compact system cameras. Offering a focal range of 24-76mm in 35mm terms, built-in image stabilisation, a compact and lightweight design, and fast and quiet auto-focusing, is the Fujifilm XC 16-50mm F3.5-5.6 OIS a worthy addition to the Fujifilm X-system? Read our Fujifilm XC 16-50mm F3.5-5.6 OIS review to find out...

Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ72

Mark Goldstein | Digital Compact Cameras
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The Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ72 has a 60x optical zoom, the highest of any compact camera. Offering a focal length of 20-1200mm, the 60x optical zoom of the FZ72 can be increased to an incredible 102x optical zoom using the 1.7x Tele Conversion Lens DMW-LT55, enough to capture the cratered surface of the moon. The Panasonic FZ72 also has a 16.1-megapixel High Sensitivity MOS sensor, full-HD 1,920 x 1,080 60i/50i videos, 9fps burst shooting, P/A/S/M modes, and a hotshoe. The Panasonic DMC-FZ72 will be available from August, price to be announced.

Panasonic Lumix DMC-XS3

Mark Goldstein | Digital Compact Cameras
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The Panasonic Lumix DMC-XS3 is an ultra-slim and super-stylish compact camera. Just 14mm thick, the DMC-XS3 has a 14.1-megapixel High Sensitivity MOS sensor, a fast F2.8 24mm wide-angle lens, and offers 920 x 1080 full HD video recording. The Panasonic DMC-XS3 will be available from September in a choice of two colours, price to be announced.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

New Distortion Control Data Available for Nikon DSLRs

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Digital SLR Cameras, Lenses
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Nikon has released updated lens distortion control data for a number of its DSLR cameras including the Nikon D4, D90, D600, D800, D800E, D3100, D3200, D5000, D5100, D5200, D7000 and D7100 (pictured). Version 1.009 is now available from the websites below.

Website: Nikon Lens Distortion Control Data for Mac
Website: Nikon Lens Distortion Control Data for Windows

Wacom Celebrates its 30th Anniversary

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Events
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Wacom held its 30th anniversary celebration party on July 12, 2013 at the Grand Hyatt Tokyo in Roppongi, Tokyo. “Wacom continues to work with the world’s most creative people, both professional and enthusiast. We... believe that creativity exists in each and every one of us and that every idea is precious, whether it is small or potentially life-changing, personal or shared for the world," said Masahiko Yamada, Wacom’s President & CEO. "Creating, sharing, developing and finally bringing ideas to life brings joy and puts a smile on the face of the world. We want to contribute to the world by supporting a lifecycle of ideas.”

Nokia Lumia 925 Captures UK Nightlife at 9:25pm

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Camera Phones
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A new campaign, shot exclusively on the new Nokia Lumia 925 camera phone, aims to open the UK’s eyes to some of its hidden nightlife. The company travelled the length and breadth of the UK with photojournalist Nick Ray, to photograph the hidden lives of people at night. The images reveal a homeless community sleeping rough on the urban streets of Liverpool city centre, nurses tending unwanted pets looked after around the clock at an RSPCA animal shelter in Stoke Newington, burlesque performers in Soho getting ready to bring Soho to life, and more. The Nokia Lumia 925 has an 8.7-megapixel  camera with Optical Image Stabilisation and Carl Zeiss optics.

A Darker Sun

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Books
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TNM Digital Media has just released the fine art photography eBook A Darker Sun from photographer/editor Dean Brierly. Carol McCusker, Curator of Photography, Harn Museum of Art at the University of Florida, offers this description of Brierly’s photographs in A Darker Sun: “Balanced between abstraction and representation, the subconscious and the urban zeitgeist, they reflect a photographer and historian of 20th century art, cinema, literature and music, who manifests, in richly textured visual shorthand, a carnivorous curiosity and intelligence.” The interactive eBook is available today in the Apple iBookstore.

Photospector for iPad

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Software
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The 11ers, a team of ex-DreamWorks employees with extensive expertise in film animation software, today released Photospector, a real-time photo-editing app for iPad that processes images at full camera resolution. While existing apps require several seconds to load a single adjustment to brightness, exposure, or color, Photospector makes all of these changes instantly in full screen as the user drags a finger across the controls, the company claims. "It's a truly 'wow' moment when you slide your finger across the screen and you see you're in complete control of every aspect of your photo," says the app's lead developer Daniel Wexler. "You can take a 1,000 MP image and zoom in down to the pixel." Photospector is currently free and available through the App Store in the Photo & Video category.