Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Acratech Video Ballhead No. 7100

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Accessories
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Acratech’s new Video Ballhead is a sturdy, lightweight tripod head that is a ballhead for still photography and a fluid dampened pan and tilt head for video. Weighing in at 1.5lb, the Acratech Video Ballhead Model #7100 features an oil- and grease-free ball which will not attract dirt and debris, and will not shift once tightened. Compatible with Arca-Swiss type quick release plates, Acratech's Video Ballhead Model #7100 also works as a long lens head as well as a panoramic head. Manufactured in the US, the new ballhead retails for $599.95.

DxO Optics Pro 9.1.2

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Software
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DxO Labs have released version 9.1.2 of DxO Optics Pro. This update bring support for the Panasonic Lumix GM-1, the Nikon 1 AW1, and the Apple iPhone 5S, and benefits from the addition of 160 new DxO Optics Modules. The Standard and Elite editions of DxO Optics Pro v9.1.2 for Mac and Windows are now available in the DxO Labs online store (shop.dxo.com) and at photo resellers at a special discount price until the end of this month.

Adobe Photoshop Photography Programme Extended

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Software
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Via its Photoshop.com blog, Adobe has announced that its Photoshop Photography Programme has been extended until 28 February 2014, and is open to those who own Photoshop CS3-CS6. The company initially launched this programme in September as a limited-time offer, with photographers required to sign up before the end of 2013. The offer gives Adobe customers who own a perpetual Photoshop CS3-CS6 licence the opportunity to use both Photoshop CC and Lightroom 5 for $9.99 per month, and includes 20 gigabytes of online storage, access to Creative Cloud Learn's training resources, Behance ProSite, and ongoing upgrades and updates.

Website: Adobe Photoshop Photography Programme for CS3+ Customers

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Canon EF 24-70mm f/2.8 L II USM Sample Images

Mark Goldstein
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Ahead of our full review, here are 32 sample JPEG photos taken with the Canon EF 24-70mm f/2.8 L II USM lens, mounted on a Canon EOS 5D Mk III.

The Canon EF 24-70mm f/2.8 L II USM is a premium constant-aperture standard zoom lens for full-frame DSLR cameras, retailing for £2299.99 / $2299.99.

Printer of the Year 2013

Mark Goldstein | PhotographyBLOG, Printers
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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 Printer of the Year 2013 award goes to the Canon PIXMA PRO-100.

“If you do most of your printing on photo papers, particularly luster and gloss, and you shoot a lot of landscape/flower type photos, the Pro-100 is a clear winner.”

Read the Full Review

Congratulations to Canon and the PIXMA PRO-100!

Sigma 24-105mm F4 DG OS HSM Review

Mark Goldstein
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The Sigma 24-105mm F4 DG OS HSM is a brand new premium standard zoom lens for full-frame DSLR cameras. Retailing for £849.99 / $899.99, can the Sigma 24-105mm take on and beat the equivalent lenses from Canon and Nikon? Read our Sigma 24-105mm F4 DG OS HSM review to find out...

Epson Moverio BT-200

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Digital
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Epson has announced its second-generation Moverio “smart glasses” featuring a true binocular display and a built-in camera. Set to compete with Google Glass, the Epson Moverio BT-200 projects a stereoscopic virtual display with a 16:9 aspect ratio and a 23-degree field of view. A 360-degree panoramic experience is possible through third-party software that takes advantage of the glasses’ head-tracking features. A front-facing camera enables image and video capture, while a hand-held controller unit powered by Android 4.0 gives users access to a growing selection of augmented reality apps. The Moverio BT-200 smart glasses will be shipping from March 2014 with a MSRP of $699.99. For more information, visit the website below.

Tagaboom for iOS

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Software
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The free Tagaboom app is now available for iOS. Photos and animated GIFs can now be combined with sound effects, drawings and text. "Tagaboom captures the entire moment and makes it easy to share the ideas, sounds, and style that accompany each photo," the developers say. Tagaboom for iOS is now available on iTunes.

LightRocket Boosts Connections between Photographers & Buyers

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Websites
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Recently launched online photo service LightRocket is leveraging its extensive industry connections to promote relationships between its members and thousands of professional picture buyers around the world. LightRocket takes no commission or service fees on sales generated via its platform, ensuring 100% of picture licensing fees go directly to the photographer. The company says it plans to deepen this aspect of its service in 2014 with the addition of new functionality designed to further facilitate and promote connections between photographers and picture buyers. The platform's premium annual subscription package is currently available for $49. New users may try out the system free for 30 days.

Mountainsmith Announces 5 New Camera Bags

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Accessories
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Mountainsmith has launched an assortment of redesigned camera bags for the photographer seeking to capture the experiences in the great outdoors. Designed with the consultation of National Geographic photographer Andy Mann, the new bags offer a better fit through correct load dispersion and serious protection for your photographic equipment. There are five bags in the range including Parallax, Borealis, Spectrum, Descent and Tour FX (pictured). For more information, visit the website below.

Terry O’Neill 2013 Award Winners Announced

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Competitions
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The winners of the Terry O'Neill Award have just been announced. The list of awardees includes Laura Boushnak, Javier Arcenillas and Claudia Moroni. The winner of the mobile device category is Richard Gray. The 2014 Award will launch at the Photography Show at Birmingham NEC: 1 – 5 March 2014.

Hahnemühle Canvas Metallic 350 gsm

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Accessories
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Hahnemühle has expanded its Digital FineArt canvas collection with the 350gsm Hahnemühle Canvas Metallic poly-cotton inkjet canvas. This bright white, metallic fine-art canvas has a one-of-a-kind surface with an elegant pearlescent silver gloss, extremely high density for dark colours and a wide colour gamut. Hahnemühle Canvas Metallic 350 gsm will be on display at Imaging USA (booth#239) in Phoenix, 12-14 January.

Monday, January 13, 2014

Software of the Year 2013

Mark Goldstein | PhotographyBLOG, Software
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Over the next 8 days we’ll be revealing our favourite products from last year in our annual awards, looking back at the essential photography kit that helped to define 2013.

Kicking things off is the Software of the Year 2013 award, which goes to Zoner Photo Studio 16.

“Zoner Photo Studio 16 is a large program that will cover most of the problems and overcome most objections that a photographer from new starter to keen enthusiast will be able to throw at it.”

Read the Full Review

Congratulations to Zoner and Photo Studio 16!

Sigma 24-105mm F4 DG OS HSM Sample Images

Mark Goldstein
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Ahead of our full review, here are 37 sample JPEG photos taken with the Sigma 24-105mm F4 DG OS HSM lens, mounted on a Canon EOS 5D Mk III.

The Sigma 24-105mm F4 DG OS HSM is a constant-aperture standard zoom lens for full-frame DSLR cameras, retailing for £849.99 / $899.99.

Panasonic Lumix DMC-XS3 Review

Matt Grayson
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The Panasonic Lumix DMC-XS3 is an ultra-slim, super-stylish digital camera that easily fits into a shirt pocket. Read our Panasonic Lumix DMC-XS3 review to find out if it's a successful marriage of style and substance...

Sony Global Imaging Ambassadors Programme

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Global, Photographers
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The Sony Global Imaging Ambassadors programme is a new initiative celebrating the beauty of photography. Through this programme, Sony will work closely with a range of photographers with diverse styles from across the globe. Inaugural participants include William Klein and photographers from the leading international photo agency, Panos Pictures. Yoshiyuki Nogami, Senior General Manager, Marketing Division, DI Business Group, Sony commented: “The Global Ambassadors Programme is an extremely exciting project that allows Sony to lend its technical expertise to some of the world’s leading photographers to enable them to bring their creative visions to life. From Sony’s perspective, we are able to gather valuable feedback about what photographers want from their equipment which will shape our new product development and help us move towards our goal of providing the best digital imaging products available in the market.”

Manfrotto Spectra Pro LED Series

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Accessories
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Manfrotto has introduced a full range of compact LED panels for videography and photography: Spectra. Designed for professional videographers, Spectra is also claimed to be perfect for photographers who use LED lights as a secondary light source for portraits or product images. The dimmable lights have a colour temperature of 5500K and are free from flickering and colour casts. Additionally, some models have a Tuneable white option, which allows you to dynamically change the light temperature of the LED, from cold white to warm white, providing a superior level of light quality with precise colour control. Spectra is available in different sizes with different beam angles to accommodate different needs.

New Range of Colours for Manfrotto Pixi Mini Tripod

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Accessories
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Manfrotto has launched a new range of colours for PIXI, an innovative support designed specifically to work with compact system cameras (CSCs). Engineered according to the latest premium Italian style, PIXI is lightweight, intuitive to use and easy to carry in any situation. "The proposal of a new range of colours comes from Manfrotto’s objective to serve, support and satisfy the demands of every character and preference, giving an answer to the ever increasing demand of more stylish products in the world of photography," the company says. The new colours include white (pictured) and a pink/anthracite combination.

LightTrac for Windows

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Software
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The critically acclaimed LightTrac app is now available for all Windows 8 PCs and tablets. The app, which has been available for Android and iOS for quite some time now, helps photographers and filmmakers plan their photo-shoot at the comfort of their home even before visiting an outdoor location. By allowing the user to visually track the elevation and angle of Sun at any time for any place, the user is able to get a sense of the direction and mood of the light at a certain time. This information is presented on top of a satellite map so users can visually explore the nature of light at various times. This saves the photographer from making a round trip to the photo location at the wrong time of day. LightTrac for Windows 8 is available for a 7-day free trial from the Windows store. The full version costs $4.99.

From Tokyo to New York in 90 Photographs

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Books
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From Tokyo to New York in 90 Photographs is a new photography ebook by Corrado Formentini. The book brings together 90 photographs which allow the reader to embark on a journey that starts from Tokyo, leads through some of the most typical and characteristic parts of Japan to finally reach the heart of New York in Manhattan. "The pictures made ​​in Japan show us the union between tradition and modernity," the author says. "In Tokyo these two aspects coexist in harmony and symbiosis." The photographs shot in NYC aim to show the human face of a city that may seem intimidating at first sight. The Kindle edition of the bilingual (Italian/English) publication can be purchased from Amazon for $7.61.