Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Panasonic Leica DG Nocticron 42.5mm F1.2 ASPH Review

Mark Goldstein
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The Panasonic Leica DG Nocticron 42.5mm F1.2 ASPH is a new portrait lens for the Micro Four Thirds system. Offering an 85mm focal length, an ultra-bright maximum aperture of f/1.2, fast and near-silent focusing, and built in optical image stabilisation, this short tele-photo lens is perfect for head and shoulder portraits. Read our Panasonic Leica DG Nocticron 42.5mm F1.2 ASPH review to find out if it's a must-have lens for Micro Four Thirds users.

RHS Photographer of the Year

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Competitions
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The Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) has announced the results of its annual photographic competition. Heather Buckley's photograph of foxgloves in the gardens at Great Dixter House, East Sussex (above) was chosen from thousands of entries to win the grand prize of £1,000. Speaking about her victory, Heather said: "It's a great honour to be named RHS Photographer of the Year, as it's hard to get recognised as a photographer and I am thrilled to have the opportunity to show my work to a larger audience." The RHS Young Photographer of the Year award went to 17-year-old Mateusz Piesiak from Poland for his image of a starling, entitled ‘In pastels'.

Hasselblad H5D-50C

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Digital SLR Cameras
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Hasselblad is set to launch the world's first 50-megapixel medium-format camera using CMOS sensor technology. Ove Bengtson, Hasselblad Product Manager said: "This pioneering 50 megapixel CMOS sensor camera is based on our H5D-50 model but will offer a faster capture rate; longer shutter speed capability and much greater ISO performance. It will provide greatly improved Live Video in Phocus and will also be available with Multi-Shot functionality." Further information and prices for the new H5D-50c models will be announced in March.

Case Logic Reflexion

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Accessories
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Case Logic has launched a new collection of bags and cases for SLR camera users. The Reflexion range comprises two messenger-style cross-bags, available in small or medium, and a full backpack. All bags in the collection feature a rugged, anti-slip bottom to stabilize them in cars and on ledges, whilst also offering protection from dirt and wet surfaces. Available in a number of colours, the cross-bags also incorporate a  protective stash pocket that can store a 10.1-inch tablet or, in the case of the medium bag, a 13-inch laptop.

Eyewitness: Pulitzer Prize Winning Photographs

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Events
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The Daniel Blau Gallery in London has just announced its upcoming exhibition, "Eyewitness: Pulitzer Prize Winning Photographs." Opening on 14 February 2014, the exhibition features original vintage prints of famous photographs, many of which have documented and shaped our history. The show includes Robert H. Jackson’s photograph of the assassination of Lee Harvey Oswald (above) and Paul Vathis’ “Two Men with a Problem”, amongst many others. The prints will be on display until 29th March.

Akvis Restoration Bundle

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Software
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Akvis has announced free updates to Akvis Retoucher, Multibrush and Coloriage. The latest versions offer a new sharing feature, support for more raw file formats, and other improvements. The programs run on Windows XP/Vista/Win7/Win 8 and on Mac OS X 10.4-10.9.

Instagramers Gallery Launches

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Competitions, Websites
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The Instagramers Gallery - billed as the world's largest online photo gallery that also has two physical locations in Miami and Madrid - has announced the Instagramers Photo Prize featuring a grand prize of $100,000. Open to all Instagram users worldwide registered with InstagramersGallery.com, the Instagramers Photo Prize also offers daily prizes worth $1000 every day until 30 April 2014. The overall winner will be chosen from the daily Photo of the Day finalists.

Monday, January 20, 2014

Sony Focuses on Speed for 2014

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Sony are set to unveil more new compact, bridge and mirrorless cameras at next month's CP+ show.

In a briefing held by Sony UK today, company representatives stated that a new ultra-zoom bridge camera will be announced in February with a faster processor than previous generations. The mystery product was demoed live with no annoying "Processing..." messages while images were saved, and burst shooting continuing indefinitely until the memory card is filled, albeit at a reduced frame-rate. The new super-zoom bridge model is just a small part of Sony's emphasis on faster speed for their 2014 cameras, which will also encompass faster auto-focusing speeds.

In addition to the bridge camera, new compact cameras will be announced in February, along with new compact system camera models at both the CP+ show and Photokina later in the year.

Meanwhile, the Sony Cyber-shot QX10 smartphone module apparently sold out in the UK during the Christmad period. Aided by strong sales of the more expensive QX100 model, the Sony QX series will definitely continue into the second generation.

Sony A5000 Hands-on Photos

Mark Goldstein | Compact System Camera
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Want to see exactly what the new Sony A5000 compact system camera looks like in the flesh?

Check out our extensive hands-on gallery of 30 photos of the Sony A5000 compact system camera.

Sony Cyber-shot W830 / W810 Hands-on Photos

Mark Goldstein | Digital Compact Cameras
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Want to see exactly what the new Sony Cyber-shot W830 / W810 compact cameras look like in the flesh?

Check out our extensive hands-on gallery of 22 photos of the 20.1 megapixel Sony Cyber-shot W830 / W810 compact cameras.

Camera of the Year 2013

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This week we’re revealing our favourite products from last year in our annual awards, looking back at the essential photography kit that helped to define 2013.

Our eight and final award is for Camera of the Year 2013, which goes to the Sony A7R.

“The Sony A7R is the most revolutionary camera of 2013, bringing 35mm full-frame, interchangeable lens shooting to the masses both in terms of cost and size. Importantly the A7R is also well-built, a pleasure to use and delivers outstanding image quality.”

Read the Full Review

Congratulations to Sony and the A7R!

Lexar to Become Official Supplier of WRC

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Accessories, Global
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Lexar will become an official supplier for the FIA World Rally Championship in 2014. This agreement will see Lexar provide a range of memory solutions to the championship promoter and its audio-visual production team to enable broadcast of the rallies to a global audience of 600 million viewers.  High-speed Lexar CompactFlash and microSD cards will capture on-board video from each World Rally car, whilst Lexar USB drives will be used to transfer stored data and video between locations.

Cities at Dawn - New Workshop Dates

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Events
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Husband and wife team Anthony Epes and Diana Bird have announced a number of new workshops in their Cities at Dawn series. "The workshops focus on dawn and early morning photography - with our Paris and Venice workshops incorporating afternoon and evening photography walks also," the duo says. "Photographing cities at dawn is a photographers paradise. The light is incredible and the city is virtually empty." Click through / scroll down for the details.

Tickets Now Available for The Photography Show

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Events
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Taking place from 1-4 March 2014 at the Birmingham NEC, The Photography Show will feature master photographers Rankin, Joe McNally and Steve McCurry, among others. Cassandra Grant, Event Manager, for The Photography Show, says, “Rankin, McNally and McCurry are some of the most influential photographers in the world. Their work speaks for itself and we are delighted that they will be talking at the inaugural Photography Show. We will have some more fantastic announcements to be making soon.” You can book your ticket now at the website below.

Arthur for iOS

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Software
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Arthur is a new photo portfolio app designed exclusively for iOS 7. "By using Flickr and 500px as the source of the photos, it’s very easy to integrate in your existing photo workflow," the developers say. "You don’t need to import all your photo sets, you choose which ones you want and Arthur will do the rest." Arthur is available on the iTunes App Store for $0.99 / £0.69 / €0,89.

HitFilm 2 Express and PhotoKey 6 Lite Free in January

Zoltan Arva-Toth
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From today until 4th February, Fxhome's HitFilm 2 Express and PhotoKey 6 Lite programs are available to download at no cost. Usually priced at £119/$149, HitFilm 2 Express is billed as "the best way to discover the excitement of making your own movies." Features include 2D and 3D effects, layer compositing, video tracking, light flares, lightning simulation, colour grading and more. Worth £30/$49, PhotoKey 6 Lite is a great introduction for those who have not tried green screen photography before because they thought it was too difficult or complicated. Joshua Davies, Fxhome founder said: “PhotoKey 6 Lite is much more powerful than many similar offerings, even at this low level. We want users to see how easy green screen photography can be and how easy it is to shoot, click and create for free.”

Fujifilm Teases New X-Mount CSC

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Compact System Camera
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Fujifilm has launched an online teaser campaign for a new X-mount compact system camera (CSC), which bears a striking resemblance to the classically styled manual SLRs of yore. With a centrally positioned viewfinder hump, shutter speed, ISO and exposure compensation dials; the new Fujifilm X-mount camera certainly looks like an attractive and intriguing addition to the company's critically acclaimed line-up of interchangeable-lens cameras. As indicated by the image above, the camera will be announced on 28th January.

Website: Fujifilm

Harman Launches LocalDarkroom.com

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Websites
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Harman technology, trading as Ilford Photo, has launched a website dedicated to helping film photographers who do not own a darkroom find a facility near their place of residence. A 2013 survey conducted by Ilford Photo has revealed that there are many photographers using film that have no direct access to a darkroom but would like to find one locally. It also highlighted that there are hundreds of private home darkrooms worldwide which the owners may be willing to share with fellow photographers. "If you are looking for a darkroom and there is none listed in the area you want you can place a 'marker' to indicate your interest," the company says. "Doing so may prompt someone who had not registered to do so and get in touch or may bring groups of photographers together in a common quest."

Sunday, January 19, 2014

DSLR Camera of the Year 2013

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This week we’re revealing our favourite products from last year in our annual awards, looking back at the essential photography kit that helped to define 2013.

The DSLR Camera of the Year 2013 award goes to the Canon EOS 70D.

“The new Canon EOS 70D offers the best all-round combination yet of viewfinder, live view and movie shooting experience for a DSLR camera, backed up by excellent image quality from the 20 megapixel APS-C sensor, proven handling and fast performance, making it a very appealing do-it-all interchangeable lens camera that suits a lot of users.”

Read the Full Review

Congratulations to Canon and the EOS 70D!

Saturday, January 18, 2014

Compact System Camera of the Year 2013

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This week we’re revealing our favourite products from last year in our annual awards, looking back at the essential photography kit that helped to define 2013.

The Compact System Camera of the Year 2013 award goes to the Olympus OM-D E-M1.

“The combination of great image quality, an abundance of features, excellent auto focus, insane customisability and a robust dust-, drip- and freeze-proof body with a well-thought-out user interface do go a long way in justifying the cost...”

Read the Full Review

Congratulations to Olympus and the OM-D E-M1!