Monday, September 30, 2013

Autodesk Launches Snap, Style and Share Competition

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Competitions
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Autodesk has announced the Snap, Style and Share design competition that encourages students across the world to show off their photography skills using Autodesk’s Pixlr Express app. To participate, students (ages 13-24) must take a picture of something they think demonstrates exceptional design, edit the picture with at least three Pixlr Express editing tools and share the before/after images by 25th October. A panel of judges will select the winning photo to be showcased at the Autodesk Gallery in San Francisco. An assortment of prizes such as new tablets are also up for grabs. As always we suggest that you read the rules before entering your work.

Website: Snap, Style & Share

Epson Pano Awards 2013 Winners Announced

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Competitions
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The winners of the Epson International Pano Awards 2013 competition have been announced. The overall winner of the Open Competition was Timo Lieber from the UK with a compelling black-and-white photograph of Dumont Dunes in the Mojave Desert, USA (above). The winner of the Amateur competition was Gary Schlatter of Australia, with a monochromatic image of a famous cluster of Cypress trees near San Quirico d'Orcia, Tuscany. The VR/360° competition winner was Dmitry Moiseenko with a spectacular aerial image of Christ the Redeemer in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

Friday, September 27, 2013

Samsung Galaxy NX Sample Images

Mark Goldstein
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Ahead of our full review, here are 39 sample JPEG photos and a 1080p movie taken with the new Samsung Galaxy NX compact system camera, including the full ISO range.

Running on the Android 4.2 Jelly Bean operating system, the Samsung Galaxy NX is the World’s first interchangeable-lens camera with 3G/4G LTE and Wi-Fi connectivity.

Samsung Galaxy S4 Zoom Sample Images

Mark Goldstein
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Ahead of our full review, here are 43 JPEG images and a movie taken with the new Samsung Galaxy S4 Zoom cameraphone.

The Samsung Galaxy S4 Zoom is the first smartphone to feature a 10x zoom lens, plus it has a 16 megapixel BSI CMOS sensor, optical image stabilisation and a Xenon Flash.

Nikon Coolpix S31 Review

Matt Grayson
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The Nikon Coolpix S31 is one of the cheapest action compact cameras currently available. For around £90 / $100, you get a simple point and shoot with a 3x zoom lens, 10 megapixels, 2.7 inch screen and 720p HD movies. Read our in-depth Nikon Coolpix S31 review to find out makes an ideal camera for all the family.

CutOut 3 Review

Matt Grayson | Software Reviews
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CutOut 3 is a software program for easy and flawless cutting out and retouching of your digital photos. Anything from people to objects to scenery can be cut-out from any other object in the background and placed elsewhere, or discarded completely. Read our CutOut 3 review to find out if it can deliver on its promise...

Casio Releases Firmware Updates for its Compact Cameras

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Digital Compact Cameras
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Casio has issued firmware updates for a whole slew of its compact cameras. The Casio EX-ZR1000, EX-ZR800, EX-ZR750, EX-ZR710, EX-ZR700, EX-ZR410, EX-ZR400, EX-ZR310, EX-ZR300, EX-ZR200, EX-ZR20, EX-ZR15, EX-FC200S and EX-TR200 gain compatibility with FlashAir W-02 Class10 memory cards. The Casio EX-TR350, EX-TR300, EX-TR15 (pictured) and EX-TR10 benefit from improved microSD card reading. Registered owners of these cameras can download the firmware upgrades from the website below.

Website: Casio Digital Cameras Firmware Update

Samsung Launches ISOCELL Sensor Technology

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Accessories
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Samsung Electronics announced its new advanced pixel technology for CMOS image sensors. The ISOCELL technology is claimed to "substantially increase" light sensitivity and to effectively control the absorption of electrons, resulting in higher colour fidelity even in poor light. The company argues that while back-side illumination - introduced a few years ago - did improve the light absorption of each pixel, "BSI technology also faced limitations in improving image quality as pixel sizes continued to decrease." Samsung's patent-pending ISOCELL technology forms a physical barrier between neighboring pixels – isolating the pixel. This isolation enables more photons to be collected from the micro-lens and absorbed into the correct pixel’s photodiode minimising undesired electrical crosstalk between pixels – by as much as 30% compared to BSI sensors - and allowing expanded full well capacity, leading to greater dynamic range. The first Samsung image sensor to adopt this new technology, the S5K4H5YB 8-megapixel imager, is currently sampling to mobile device manufacturers with mass production scheduled for Q4 2013.

NEC Updates Entire SpectraView Series

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Accessories
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NEC has added five updated display models to its SpectraView and SpectraView Reference Series. One of five new models to the updated range - the 24" SpectraView Reference 242 display - leads the way with the best high-performance 10-bit AH-IPS with GB-R LED backlight for wide gamut colour, deep blacks and minimal colour shift. Best brightness uniformity together with features such as backlight ageing correction, ensure perfect colour control for consistent image quality. Thanks to its picture-by-picture function, users can view two images from different data sources simultaneously, to enhance productivity and save space compared with dual-screen alternatives. The other updated models include the 24" NEC SpectraView Reference 242, the 27" SpectraView 272 and SpectraView Reference 272, and the 30" SpectraView Reference 302. The NEC SpectraView 242 and SpectraView Reference 242 are both available across Europe from the end of September. The SpectraView 272 and SpectraView Reference 272 will be available from mid-November, with the SpectraView Reference 302 coming from mid-December.

Manfrotto Wins EISA Award

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Accessories
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The Manfrotto 500 Video Head has been awarded “European Photo-Video Accessory 2013-2014” by the European Imaging and Sound Association (EISA). The jury of EISA recognised the Manfrotto 500 Video Head under the video category, thanks to its innovative functionality and advancement in video technology. This is the second award this year for the winning product, which also won the Videomaker's Best Support at the NAB Show in Las Vegas.

Photoshop Elements 12: The Missing Manual

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Books
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Photoshop Elements 12: The Missing Manual by Barbara Brundage is a new title from O'Reilly Media. “With candid, jargon-free advice and step-by-step guidance, you’ll get the most out of Elements for everything from sharing and touching-up photos to fun print and online projects,” the publisher says. The 648-page volume is available for $44.99 in printed format or $35.99 as an ebook. You can buy both versions in a bundle for $49.49.

Art Gemini Prize - Last Call for Entry

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Competitions
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There are only a few days left for photographers and artists to enter the inaugural Art Gemini Prize. Open to all photographers and painters form anywhere in the world, the Art Gemini Prize is described as "a celebration to promote international contemporary art for emerging and established artists." A cash fund of £5000 will be awarded to the winners in three categories, Photography, Painting and Public Choice. The shortlisted applicants will be exhibited in London at the Rebecca Hossack Gallery. The deadline for entries is 30 September 2013. Do note that entry fees apply.

Fujifilm Instax Mini 90 Neo Classic

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Film
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The new Fujifilm Instax Mini 90 Neo Classic is a high-end instant film camera. "The mini 90 stands apart from the previous 'cute' image that instax had built up in the past and features a variety of shooting modes for various scenes and applications for users to enjoy," Fujifilm says. These shooting modes include a double-exposure mode, a bulb setting and a macro mode which allows short-distance photography at the press of a button without attaching a closeup lens like previous instax models. Encased in a stylish and premium body, the Fujifilm Instax Mini 90 Neo Classic also has a "kids" mode, a "party" mode and a "landscape" mode. The Fuji Instax Mini 90 Neo Classic is available for £129.99 for the camera only and £139.99 for the camera + 20 sheets of film. In the United States, the camera will go on sale early next year, priced at $199.99.

Edgertronic High-Speed Camera

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Digital Video Cameras
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A team of hardware and software architects and designers led by two MIT-educated engineers has developed a special camera which can shoot high-resolution 1280x1024-pixel movies at 494fps, 720p at 701fps, VGA at 1,849fps and tiny 192x96-pixel videos at an incredible 17,791fps. These ultra-high frame rates enable super-slow-motion playback at 30fps, allowing users to record and observe high-speed movements such as the smashing of a light bulb, the popping of a water-filled balloon or a hummingbird's wings in motion. The camera has been named "Edgertronic" in honour of MIT professor Harold Eugene Edgerton, a pioneer of ultra-high-speed photography. Equipped with a standard Nikon F mount and bundled with a Nikkor 50mm f/1.8 lens, the Edgertronic will be available for around $5,000. Those who back the Kickstarter campaign launched in order to help raise funds for the project can get a special "Kickstarter edition" complete with accessories by contributing $4,895 or more. Availability is slated for December. Scroll down / click through for a selection of sample videos shot with a working prototype.

Thursday, September 26, 2013

CLARITY Magazine Launches

Mark Goldstein | Photographers, Technique
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Available today - CLARITY is a brand new experience that explores photography from a lifestyle perspective. CLARITY goes far beyond tutorials that could be easily searched on the web to provide readers with the necessary information to enjoy a photographic lifestyle to its fullest.

In addition to rock-solid photographic education, CLARITY provides readers with articles “beyond the camera”, covering a range of important topics such as creative development, psychology of great imagery, post-processing, data backup and security, how to improve the lives of others through your photography, and much more.

Editor-in-chief, Dave Seeram, had these comments: "The challenge nowadays is that it’s so easy and convenient for anybody to seek out information, photography tutorials, and/or anything you know you’d like to learn. So, we’ve decided to take a different route. CLARITY is here to provide you with the equally important information that you didn’t know you needed. Our singular goal is to make a measurable, positive difference in your lives, and we are accomplishing that starting with our first issue."

Volume One of CLARITY includes 72 gorgeous page spreads, 9 videos, a 30-minute podcast, and articles from the most inspirational photography professionals including: Kevin Kubota, Piet Van den Eynde, Lindsay Ostrom, Sean McCormack, Howard Pinsky, Dave Delnea, Bill McCarroll, Michael Frye, Jay Livens, Lee Sacrey, Barry J. Brady, and Jon McCormack.

CLARITY is available for only USD $6.99 each, or a subscription savings bundle of one-year (6 issues, published bi-monthly) for only $29.99 USD.

Inspire Me: Damian McGillicuddy

Mark Goldstein | Photography Techniques
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In the fourth of a new series of interviews with professional photographers, Damian McGillicuddy reveals what has inspired him during his career.

Corel PaintShop Pro X6 Review

Matt Grayson | Software Reviews
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Corel PaintShop Pro X6 is a new affordable photo-editing suite. Now offering 64-bit support, a refined user interface, new quick-selection tools and improved workflows, is Paint Shop Pro X6 a worthy alternative to Photoshop? Matt Grayson finds out in our Corel PaintShop Pro X6 review.

Samsung ST150F Review

Gavin Stoker
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The Samsung ST150F compact camera offers a wide-angle 5x zoom lens, 16.2 megapixel sensor, 720p video recording, 3 inch LCD screen and built-in wi-fi, all for less than £100 / $150. Read our in-depth Samsung ST150F review to find out if it's worth the modest asking price....

PhotoZoom Pro 5 Review

Matt Grayson | Software Reviews
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PhotoZoom Pro 5 is a software program that specialises in enlarging and downsizing digital photos using the latest S-Spline interpolation technology.. Version 5 of PhotoZoom Pro offers a redesigned user interface, combines cropping and resizing into one process, and now uses both multi-core processors and GPU acceleration. Read our PhotoZoom Pro 5 review now...

Joby UltraFit Hand Strap & UltraPlate

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Accessories
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Joby has launched a new UltraFit hand strap and UltraPlate. "The UltraFit Hand Strap with UltraPlate is a useful combination of a streamlined hand strap and universal quick-release plate," the company says. "Photographers can keep the hand strap attached to their camera while at the same time mounting it to a tripod or even using an additional camera strap – for example a Joby UltraFit Sling shoulder strap." The UltraPlate features a universal tripod quick-release plate with built-in Arca-Swiss compatibility. Photographers can attach all types of accessories to the UltraPlate without removing the hand strap, including neck strap, flash brackets, and other tripod quick-release plates. The UltraPlate’s practical design also provides easy access to a camera’s battery door without the need for removing the strap. The new JOBY UltraFit Hand Strap & UltraPlate will be available to purchase from 1st November, priced at £41.