Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Canon EOS 7D 2.0.5

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Digital SLR Cameras
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Canon has issued a firmware update for the Canon EOS 7D digital SLR camera. Version 2.0.5 fixes 
a phenomenon in which the image files cannot be transferred using the FTP protocol via USB cable after the EOS 7D camera has established a wireless connection to the Wireless File Transmitter WFT-E5 A, B, C or D. You can download the firmware upgrade from the website below.

Website: Canon EOS 7D Support and Downloads

PicturesToExe 8

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Software
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WnSoft has released version 8 of PicturesToExe, featuring countless enhancements, optimizations and expanded functionality. PicturesToExe produces compact and highly portable slideshows that can be played back on any PC or Mac systems, uploaded to YouTube or other video hosting sites, and shared in social networks. The key benefits of the program include a powerful audio editor, smooth playback of panning and zooming effects, pro-level animation tools for photos and support for images of any size. WnSoft offers two editions of PicturesToExe – Essentials, intended for home users, and Deluxe, targeted at professional photographers and AV enthusiasts, – for $69 and $129, respectively.

Wacom Lowers Price for Cintiq 24HD touch

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Accessories
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Wacom has reduced the price of its Cintiq 24HD touch creative pen display. The flagship and largest member of the Cintiq product family is now available via the Wacom e-store and retail partners for £2,499.99 istead of  £2,999.99.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Samsung Galaxy S4 Review

Mark Goldstein
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The Samsung Galaxy S4 is one of the most popular flagship smartphones of 2013, but can it replace your compact camera? Read our Samsung Galaxy S4 review to find out...

Phottix Strato TTL Flash Trigger for Nikon

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Accessories
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Phottix has released the Nikon version of its Strato TTL flash trigger. This 4-channel, 2.4 GHz transmitter and receiver set supports high-speed and second-curtain synchronisation, and features a backlit LCD panel as well as quick-change buttons for easy and fast adjustments. The Phottix Strato TTL trigger for Nikon is available in the Phottix Online Store for $145.

Akvis OilPaint

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Software
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Akvis has launched an entirely new program called OilPaint. Available as a standalone application and as a Photoshop plug-in, the software is claimed to offer "an incredible algorithm" for turning photos into oil paintings. The software offers a number of ready to use presets, and allows users to share their favourites with other fans of the oil painting technique. The batch processing feature enables the program to automatically process a series of images in order to create a number of illustrations at the same style or to process all frames in a video. Retailing at $49 for the Home version, $69 for Home Deluxe and $89 for the Business edition, the software runs on Windows XP/Vista/Win7/Win 8 and on Mac OS X 10.4-10.9, both 32 bit and 64 bit. A fully functional ten-day trial version is available at the website below..

Sakar Pulls Nikon 1 Lookalike from Market

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Compact System Camera
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The United States District Court for the Southern District of New York has issued a Preliminary Injunction Order to stop the sales and advertising of the Polaroid iM1836 digital camera. Nikon had filed a lawsuit against Sakar - the worldwide licensee of the Polaroid brand for digital cameras - for design patent infringement and trade dress infringement on 11 October 2013, arguing that the Polaroid iM1836 looked conspicuously similar to the Nikon 1 J1 compact system camera. As part of the injunction, Sakar will no longer manufacture, import, advertise, promote, offer for sale, sell, or ship the Polaroid iM1836 digital camera in its present configuration.

Monday, December 9, 2013

Carl Zeiss Sonnar T* FE 35mm F2.8 ZA Review

Mark Goldstein
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The Carl Zeiss Sonnar T* FE 35mm F2.8 ZA is a wide-angle prime lens for Sony's new 35mm full-frame E-mount camera system. The light, compact FE 35mm offers a bright F2.8 maximum aperture, 7-blade aperture, dust and moisture resistance, and a unique T* surface coating. Is the Carl Zeiss FE 35mm the best FE lens for your A7/A7R camera? Read our Carl Zeiss Sonnar T* FE 35mm F2.8 ZA review to find out...

Living Planet Competition Winners Announced

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Competitions
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The Society of International Nature and Wildlife Photographers (SINWP) have announced the winners of the ‘Living Planet’ competition. The overall winner is David Bladon from Newtownabbey, Northern Ireland, for his image, "Ladybird" (above). The runners-up  are Debashis Mukherjee from Kolkata, India, and Violetta Nowak from Lubuskie, Poland.

Canon EOS Cinema Camera Captures Comet ISON

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Digital Video Cameras
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Canon has announced that an ultra-high-sensitivity 4K camera was used to successfully capture video of the comet ISON from the International Space Station. The footage of the comet ISON was shot from the vantage point of outer space, which is not subject to atmospheric fluctuation, enabling the capture of clear footage that would not have been possible if shot from Earth. The Canon video production equipment taken on the mission comprised the EOS C500 PL professional cinema camera (launched in October 2012) and two EF Cinema Lenses: the CN-E15.5-47mm T2.8 L SP and the CN-E30-105mm T2.8 L SP. The actual EOS C500 PL used on board the International Space Station underwent special modifications to further boost sensitivity and to enable the camera to withstand the rigors of shooting in space.

VideoStory 2.2

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Software
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Bits&Coffee have released VideoStory 2.2, a new version of their free slideshow app for iOS. New features in version 2.2 include an updated user interface and the ability to add customisable titles to the user's video stories. This is a universal iOS app that runs on iPhone, iPad, and iPod Touch with support for iOS version 6 and 7.

Pentax Q, Q7 and Q10 Firmware Updates

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Compact System Camera
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Ricoh has issued firmware updates for the Pentax Q, Pentax Q7 and Pentax Q10 compact system cameras. This upgrade adds compatibility with the Pentax-08 Wide Zoom and improves overall stability. The Q7 (pictured) additionally benefits from a new feature that enables lens firmware to be displayed in the set-up menu, and enhanced green-button functionality in manual exposure mode.

Website: Pentax Q Firmware Update 1.14

Website: Pentax Q10 Firmware Update 1.03

Website: Pentax Q7 Firmware Update 1.01

Macphun Focus 2

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Software
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Macphun Software has released Focus 2, a program which enables photographers of all skill levels to easily add selective focus, creative blurring and miniature effects to photos. A Custom Focus setting provides even greater control when applying focus and blur to images. Users can set the centre focal point and amount of blur, while Vividness and Vignette features provide a professional finishing touch to images. “Focus and lens blurring effects are among the most popular techniques photographers use to draw attention in their images, but high quality results are often difficult to achieve without expensive  lenses,” said Paul Muzok, co-founder and CEO of Macphun Software. “Focus 2 allows anyone to achieve a perfect focus and blurring effect with a few clicks.” Focus 2 is available now from the Mac App Store for a special introductory price of $9.99.

Friday, December 6, 2013

Ilford Photo Announces New Photographic Papers

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Accessories, Film
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UK-based Ilford Photo has announced a new range of variable-contrast Baryta Fibre Base papers, a completely new and improved Multigrade FB and a new Cooltone FB paper to complement the existing Multigrade FB Warmtone offering. The new paper is available in Glossy and Matt surfaces and offers sharper images, improved maximum density and shorter exposure times. The new Multigrade FB Classic has also been developed to better respond to traditional toning techniques.

VSCO Cam for Android

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Software
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VSCO Cam is now available worldwide in the Google Play Store for most devices running Android 4.0 and higher. The app includes a default set of presets and tools with adjustable strengths, allowing for precise editing and customisation. Additional presets and tools can be purchased separately. Photographers can easily share their images via multiple outlets, including VSCO Grid, Google Plus, Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Weibo, Gallery and email.

Chasing the Light Issue 23

Zoltan Arva-Toth | General
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Issue 23 of David Noton’s Chasing the Light eZine is now available. In this month’s edition, David takes us to the Yukon, sharing with us the next installment of his fascinating photo trip to this location. In How it’s Done, David talks us through his approach to and method of selecting focal points for shooting the landscape, and in this month’s installment of Seeing the Light he considers the challenges and rewards of photographing the cityscape at night. For its Guest Feature the magazine rounds up the current Formula 1 season with an article from brilliant F1 photo specialist Peter J Fox, as he introduces readers to a ‘weekend in the life of’ an F1 photographer at the classic Monza racetrack. Do note that the full contents of Chasing the Light online magazine is available to f11 subscribers only.

Timeless Portraits

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Competitions
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The Society of Wedding and Portrait Photographers (SWPP) has announced its latest photography competition, 'Timeless Portraits." The judges are looking for great expressions, good lighting, pleasing poses and a clear narrative. The quality of post-production is also an important factor. The deadline for entries is 31 December 2013.

Booq Python Slimpack Camera Bag

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Accessories
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Booq has revealed its latest product, the Python slimpack. Intelligently designed to pack all the necessary essentials photographer’s need to get the job done, the Python slimpack stores two DSLRs and up to four mid-size lenses, as well as one large zoom lens, tripod and a up to a 10-inch tablet. “The days where a camera was the only tool a photographer carried are long gone,” says booq’s Lead Designer, S. Kema Subsomboon. “Nowadays they carry a tablet with them, chargers, multiple lenses, their phone, and even more than one camera on occasion... The Python slimpack was designed with this in mind, keeping things divided with a multitude of pockets and padded walls, as well as dividers.” The Python slimpack is available today for $149.95 at the website below.

Samyang 10mm f/2.8 ED AS NCS CS

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Lenses
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The Samyang 10mm f/2.8 ED AS NCS CS is a new manual-focus, rectilinear ultra-wide angle lens for cameras with APS-C and FourThirds sized sensors. With an optical formula comprising fourteen elements in ten groups, the Samyang 10mm f/2.8 ED AS NCS CS offers an angle of view of 109.5° on Fuji, Nikon, Pentax, Samsung and Sony bodies, 105.9° on Canon DSLRS and CSCs, and 93.4° on (Micro) Four Thirds models. Other key features include a nano-crystal anti-reflex coating, a manual aperture ring, an integrated hood, one extra-low dispersion and two aspeherical lens elements, a close-focus point of 25cm and a six-bladed iris diaphragm. The lens will be available from the end of January 2014. The suggested retail price for the Nikon version, which has a CPU to enable open-aperture metering and the use of various non-manual exposure modes, is £469.99. All other fittings carry a suggested retail price of £429.99.

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Carl Zeiss Sonnar T* FE 55mm F1.8 ZA Review

Mark Goldstein
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The Carl Zeiss Sonnar T* FE 55mm F1.8 ZA is a fast standard prime lens for Sony's new 35mm full-frame E-mount camera system. The FE 55mm offers an extra-bright F1.8 maximum aperture, 9-blade circular aperture, dust and moisture resistance, and a unique T* surface coating. Is the Carl Zeiss FE 55mm the perfect partner for the Sony A7/7R cameras? Read our Carl Zeiss Sonnar T* FE 55mm F1.8 ZA review to find out...