Monday, October 7, 2013

Zeiss Otus 1.4/55

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Lenses
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Zeiss has officially announced the upcoming launch of its new 55mm f/1.4 lens, the Zeiss Otus 1.4/55. Otus is the Latin name for a type of owl known for its excellent vision in darkness, so the product name hints at the remarkable low-light capabilities of the new lens. Indeed, Zeiss claims that the Otus 1.4/55 "creates the highest-possible image quality, even with an open aperture." Other unique features of the Otus 1.4/55 are its high image contrast all the way to the edges (even for low f-numbers) and the consistent high-resolution performance across the entire image field. The optical formula incorporates a floating elements design with 12 elements in 10 groups, including a double-sided aspheric lens element and six elements made of special glass with anomalous partial dispersion. The Zeiss Otus 1.4/55 will be available for Nikon (ZF.2) and Canon (ZE) mounts, starting at the end of October in all global markets. The recommended retail price will be €2,940 or US$3,999.

Friday, October 4, 2013

Pentax Q7 Review

Gavin Stoker
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The new Pentax Q7 is the smallest compact system camera on the market. Offering a new 1/1.7"-type back-illuminated CMOS sensor, improved low-light auto focus and an upgraded Shake Reduction mechanism, can the Q7 compete with its bigger rivals? Read our Pentax Q7 review to find out...

‘Instagram-Pa’ Campaigns to Get the Elderly to Create Digital Photo Legacies

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Photographers
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The oldest known Instagrammer in the UK has started a movement to get the elderly to create digital photo legacies on the social photo community. Rex Redstone, 85, the self-confessed ‘Instagram-pa’ wanted to be able to share photos of his life online with family and friends.  After seeking help and advice, he teamed up with Barclays Digital Eagles to start posting on Instagram.  He is now encouraging other elderly people including his friends to share and showcase their own rich histories in Instagram timelines. To see Rex’s colourful history online, follow him at Instagram.com/Rexpeterborough

Fotodiox GoTough WonderPanaGo Filter System

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Accessories
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Fotodiox has revealed the GoTough WonderPanaGo, a smaller version of its professional WonderPana filter system designed to fit the GoPro HERO3 camera. Composed of premium grade anodised aluminium and optical grade glass, Fotodiox’s WonderPanaGo includes a sturdy all-metal mount for the GoTough custom filter system. The filter mount attaches easily onto the original HERO3's waterproof case, keeping the camera safe from water and protecting it against the elements. The GoTough WonderPanaGo filter system and the accessories within the GoTough product line are available for order on GoToughGear.com, Fotodioxpro.com as well as Amazon.com. Prices range from $9.95 to $149.95.

Memoto Renamed as Narrative

Zoltan Arva-Toth
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The Swedish company that introduced the wearable Memoto camera has announced the closing of $3 million of funding, led by San Francisco-based VC, True Ventures, and a new name for the company brand, now “Narrative” and its debut product, “Narrative Clip." The name change comes after Memoto was notified that its former name could not be used on a global scale, specifically because it conflicts with a similar name in the market. “Our company has come a long way under the name Memoto and we are all sad to give it up,” said Oskar Kalmaru, VP of Marketing “however, we’ve quickly grown to love the new name, Narrative, and it is one that describes what we’ve been trying to do all along – help users tell the stories of their lives. We called the camera 'Narrative Clip' to reflect its attributes of being wearable, quick and tiny.” The Narrative Clip will be available from 1 November 2013.

Phottix Strato TTL Radio Flash Trigger for Canon

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Accessories
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The Phottix Strato TTL Flash Trigger for Canon provides an easy-to-use and affordable TTL radio flash triggering solution to photographers. The 4-channel, 2.4 GHz transmitter and receiver set supports high-speed and second-curtain sync, boasts a 100m working range and features a backlit display and quick-change buttons for adjustments. An USB port enables users to upgrade the device's firmware. Importantly, the Strato TTL transmitters and receivers use AA batteries, just like hot shoe flashes - carrying different sized batteries is no longer a concern. Pricing to be confirmed.

Hackers Crack Adobe’s Servers, Steal Users’ Data

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Software
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In what Adobe calls "sopisticated attacks" on their network, hackers have "removed" certain data pertaining to 2.9 million customers, including names, encrypted credit or debit card numbers, expiration dates, and other information relating to customer orders. "At this time, we do not believe the attackers removed decrypted credit or debit card numbers from our systems," says Brad Arkin, the company's Chief Security Officer. As a precaution, Adobe has reset relevant customer passwords to help prevent unauthorised access to their accounts. The company is also investigating the illegal access to the source code of numerous Adobe products including Adobe Acrobat, ColdFusion and ColdFusion Builder.

Profoto RFi Speedring for Speedlights Launched

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Accessories
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Profoto's new RFi Speedlight Speedring is now available to purchase. Allowing photographers to use an RFi softbox with speedlights, the Profoto RFi Speedring enables users to mount not one but two flashes on the bracket, and each speedlight can slide and be tilted inside the softbox, allowing you to create a remarkably even light with no hotspot. The Profoto RFi Speedlight Speedrings come with an attachment for Profoto Air Remotes or radio sync units from other manufacturers.

X-Rite Announces October Webinar Schedule

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Events
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X-Rite has announced its schedule of free October 2013 webinars. On 16th October Lee Varis will present Fantastic Photo-Illustration: Retouching, Masking & Compositing, which will examine photo-retouching and illustration techniques in this webinar and emphasize the necessity of working on a calibrated and profiled monitor. On the 21st Jim DiVitale will be hosting The Complete Digital Photography Process, a webinar demonstrating problem-solving techniques using digital capture and Photoshop to streamline both the creative side and production of the digital imaging workflow to improve quality. Click through / read on for more information.

Panotour Pro 2.0 Beta

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Software
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Kolor has announces version 2.0 of its virtual tour software, Panotour & Panotour Pro. Currently in public Beta, Panotour Pro 2.0 enables users to add a photo gallery, video content  from YouTube, Dailymotion or Vimeo, a PDF document and links to their virtual tour. For more information visit the website below.

Love Captured

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Competitions
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eHarmony has just launched its Love Captured photography competition. Celebrating eHarmony’s five year anniversary, the competition offers a grand prize of £5,000 to the photo which best captures the concept of love, whether it’s a touching photo of a couple or friends sharing a special moment, or an abstract image that symbolises love. Visitors to lovecaptured.eharmony.co.uk will be able to view the gallery of entries and vote on their favourite images. The entry that receives the most votes in each region will automatically go through to the final 25, from which the overall winner will be chosen. The competition will run until 17 January 2014.

Nest Photo Bags

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Accessories
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UK Digital have launched a new brand of photo bags, called Nest. There are two collections available, Athena and Explorer. These premium bags are available in a variety of colours, sizes and styles through the website below.

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Fujifilm X-A1 Review

Mark Goldstein
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The Fujifilm X-A1 is a new entry-level compact system camera. The retro-styled X-A1 offers a 16 megapixel APS-C sensor, built-in flash and hotshoe, wi-fi connectivity, 5.6fps burst shooting, tilting LCD screen and Full HD video recording. Read our in-depth Fujifilm X-A1 review now...

piRAWnha 5.2

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Software
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Cypress Innovations has launched a major update to piRAWnha, the first app to enable raw processing on the Apple iPad. Version 5.2 adds iOS 7 support and numerous new features, including Live Unsharp Masking, Levels and Curves adjustments for intensity, red, green, or blue channels, and access to all of your raw images in Dropbox. piRAWnha 5.2 is available on iTunes for $9.99.

Diana F+ Instant Camera Package

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Film
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Lomography has released a Diana F+ instant camera package that includes an instant film back as well as a medium-format roll film back. Other items in the kit include a close-up attachment lens and a Diana+ Flash. The camera body is the same as the classic Diana F+, with standard lens, "daytime" and "bulb" shutter modes, multiple exposure and pinhole functions. The Diana F+ Instant Camera Package is available for £119/€129.

Gary Fong Colour Reference Kit

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Accessories
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Gary Fong has added a new Colour Reference Kit to its Lightsphere Diffuser accessory line-up. Created for photographers looking to gain spot-on accuracy, the Colour Reference Kit includes the WhiteDome, the GrayDome, an intuitive pocket field guide and a convenient lanyard to keep everything together. The Colour Reference Kit is available for $24.95 MAP.

Gary Fong Puffer Plus

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Accessories
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Gary Fong has launched an addition to its line-up of Puffer Pop-Up Flash Diffusers with the introduction of the Puffer Plus. Expanding on the fundamental features of the first-generation models, the Puffer Plus ($24.95) provides photographers with beautifully diffused lighting versus the problematic, harsh lighting that pop-up flashes often create. Redesigned from the ground up, the new Puffer Plus utilises a new shield that is nearly double the size of the original Puffer shield and has an advanced, light-filtering, textured finish. Its convenient sliding rail system allows for quick centering of the shield over the camera’s pop-up flash. Also new to the line-up is the Puffer Plus Warming Shield (sold separately for $9.95 MAP), which when used in place of the shield that comes with the Puffer Plus, creates a gentle warming effect that is ideal for shooting in open shade or enriching the colours of a sunset shoot.

WD My Cloud

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Accessories
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WD has just unveiled its new My Cloud family of personal cloud solutions. WD's My Cloud is a complete solution for users to organise, centralise and secure the digital content from all of their computers and mobile devices and access those files from any device, from anywhere in the world. My Cloud users can store and organize their families' photos and videos in one secure place on the home network. My Cloud is available in 2 TB, 3 TB, and 4 TB capacities with no monthly payment required. Customers can also attach a compatible USB 3.0 hard drive directly to the USB expansion port on the My Cloud drive and instantly expand their storage capacity. MSRP is $149.99 USD for 2 TB, $179.99 USD for 3 TB and $249.99 USD for 4 TB. A two-drive and four-drive My Cloud configuration will be available in the future.

DxO Optics Pro 8.3.2

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Software
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DxO Labs have just released DxO Optics Pro 8.3.2 for Mac and Windows. This upgrade allows DxO Optics Pro 8 to provide support for the Canon EOS 70D (pictured), as well as for the Sony DSC-RX1R full-frame compact camera. DxO Optics Pro 8.3.2 also benefits from the addition of new DxO Optics Modules. 445 new camera/lens combinations round out the library, which today counts more than 14,000 available DxO Optics Modules. This update is free to all owners of DxO Optics Pro 8, as well as to all photographers who bought a DxO Optics Pro 7 license on or after 1 September 2012.

New Leica Accessories

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Accessories
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Leica has expanded its product portfolio with a range of 'Made in Germany' premium-quality accessories. These include a carbon-fibre travel tripod, two ball-heads and a carrying case. The Leica Ball Heads 24 and 38 are distinguished by their compact form, premium engineering and ease-of-use. Despite its weighing only 140 grams, the version featuring a 24 mm ball diameter (£200) offers enough locking power and stability that it can securely hold a rangefinder camera, such as the Leica M, with a light lens. The same applies to the head with the 38 mm ball diameter (£330), which also features a range of additional functions including a tilt feature (tilt button). The 360° panorama feature (15° STOP button) allows the capture of multiple precisely aligned landscape, architecture and object shots from different positions that can be merged in post-processing to create impressive panoramic images. An ideal complement to the two ball heads, the new Leica carbon-fibre tripod (£430) weighs in at 1.2kg. An outdoor carrying case made of Cordura with a strap and shoulder pad is available as an optional extra for £60. These new Leica accessories will be available in the UK from authorised Leica dealers, starting October 2013.