Monday, November 25, 2013

Sigma SD1 / SD1 Merrill Firmware Update

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Digital SLR Cameras
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Sigma has issued a firmware update for the Sigma SD1 and SD1 Merrill digital SLR cameras. Version 1.12 for the SD1 (and version 1.07 for the Merrill) fixes an issue with random noise appearing around blown-out highlights.

Nokia Announces UK Availability of Lumia 1520

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Camera Phones
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Nokia UK today announced the availability of the Lumia 1520, its first 'phablet' with a 6” high-definition display. The Nokia Lumia 1520's 20-megapixel camera carries the 'PureView' branding, although its 1/2.5-type sensor is considerably smaller than the 1/1.2-type imager of the PureView 808 or the 1/1.5-type sensor of the Lumia 1020. Other highlights include a Zeiss-branded 26mm (eq.) f/2.4 lens, dual LED flash with three selectable modes of operation, a 3400mAh battery with integrated wireless charging and a Full HD display with a resolution of 368ppi. The Nokia Lumia 1520 will be on sale from O2 retail, Vodafone on-line, Carphone Warehouse, Phones4u and widely available from independent retailers via Micro-P from 6th December priced from approx. £38 per month on contract.

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Holiday Gift Guide 2013 - Accessories and Software

Mark Goldstein | Accessories, Software
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In the seventh and final part of our 2013 Holiday Gift Guide, we've selected our favourite accessories and softwares, with something for every budget.

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Holiday Gift Guide 2013 - Smartphones

Mark Goldstein | Camera Phones
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In the sixth part of our 2013 Holiday Gift Guide, we've selected our favourite smartphones, with something for every budget.

Friday, November 22, 2013

Holiday Gift Guide 2013 - Compact Cameras

Mark Goldstein | Digital Compact Cameras
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In the fifth part of our 2013 Holiday Gift Guide, we've selected our favourite Compact Cameras, with something for every budget.

Panasonic Lumix DMC-GX7 Firmware Update 1.2

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Compact System Camera
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Panasonic has posted a firmware update for its Lumix GX7 compact system camera. Version 1.2 improves manual focus operation with the Lumix G Vario 12-32mm/F3.5-5.6 ASPH./MEGA O.I.S. lens, and allows the adjustment of flash output to be assigned to the Fn button. You can download the firmware upgrade from the website below.

Website: Panasonic Japan ! Support

Akvis Magnifier 7

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Software
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Akvis has released version 7 of Akvis Magnifier. Available as a plug-in or a standalone application, the software is claimed to “deliver good results” when ‘uprezzing’ a photo to create poster-sized enlargements. “Resizing pictures with Akvis Magnifier yields a much higher quality image than simple bicubic interpolation,” the company says. Version 7 offers native 64-bit support, compatibility improvements, a new Crop tool and a Share option that lets you post images from the program to Facebook, Twitter, Flickr, Tumblr and Google+. Registered users of Magnifier can upgrade to version 7 free of charge.

MeCam HD Wearable Video Camera

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Digital Video Cameras
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MeCam HD is a diminutive wearable video camera that shoots 1080p high-definition video. The miniature camera weighs 2.5 ounces and measures 2x2 inches. A proprietary app connects the device via Wi-Fi to any smartphone/tablet. This allows the user to view in real-time what they are recording, playback, and share content without having to connect to a computer. To change the way users share their content, MeCam has also partnered with HighlightCam to provide a proprietary video editing solution. MeCam is working to incorporate this technology into the MeCam app so their users can easily submit their footage and receive back an edited video, all through their phone. The MeCam HD is now live at crowd funding website Dragon Innovation. Those contributing at least $170.00 to the project will receive a MeCam HD ahead of its official launch. The MSRP of the device will be $259.99.

Lytro Raises $40 Million in Funding

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Digital, Digital Compact Cameras
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Lytro has raised a $40 million round of financing to fund the expansion of Light Field photography with new products. “We are excited to partner with Lytro in building the next wave of interactive image capture and sharing,” said Jonathan Heiliger, general partner at Lytro's new investor North Bridge Venture Partners. “The fun you experience when using a Lytro camera comes from the ability to engage with your photos in ways you never could before. But powering that interactivity is some great software and hardware technology that can be used for everything with a lens and sensor.”

Sigma Issues D5300 Compatibility Fix for Five Lenses

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Lenses
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Sigma has issued an update to Sigma Optimisation Pro, the dedicated software for the Sigma USB Dock (pictured), providing a fix for a couple of compatibility issues with five of its lenses and the new Nikon D5300. Owners of the Nikon-mount versions of the Sigma 35mm F1.4 DG HSM, 17-70mm F2.8-4 DC Macro OS HSM, 30mm F1.4 DC HSM, 18-35mm F1.8 DC HSM and 120-300mm F2.8 DG OS HSM optics are advised to update their lens firmware via Sigma Optimisation Pro if they plan on using their lenses on a Nikon D5300 body.

“Driven Creativity” Competition Winners Announced

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Competitions
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G-Technology has announced the grand prize winner and individual category winners of its 4th annual Driven Creativity competition. The overall winner is Stephen Murphy, who won the grand prize for his role as director of photography on the film “Coward”.  Entered in the Professional Short Film category, “Coward” tells a touching story of two Irish soldiers who leave their homes to fight in World War I.  It balances the truth and the hardships they endure, while delivering a compelling cinematic approach to storytelling. In the Photography category, the amateur and professional winners are Christian Meermann for his image Thinker (above) and Clair Anderson, respectively. You can view Stephen Murphy's winning video after the jump.

Weye Feye Launches in UK

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Accessories
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With the new Weye Feye equipment from Xsories, available in the UK from Ultrasport, Canon and Nikon DSLR owners can now control their camera settings from up to 80 metres away. Compatible with a number of camera models, the Weye Feye enables you to retrieve photos, even in raw format, from the camera and transfer them to your smartphone/tablet using bespoke Android and iOS apps. With live view available via the apps you take control of the camera settings - ISO, white balance, aperture, speed, for either photo or video - and then take your pictures. The unit has its own battery and server and operates with 802.11n Wi-Fi technology, ensuring a powerful signal with high speeds and a larger range. The Weye Feye is available through select retailers for less than £200.

Adobe Extends Photoshop Photography Programme

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Software
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Adobe is extending its Photoshop Photography Programme to all photographers as a limited-time offer. The company initially launched this programme in September to support the needs and workflow of photographers who use CS3 or later. Now, for a limited time, Adobe is extending this offer to all photographers for £8.78/month as an annual subscription. Those wishing to take advantage of this offer have until 2nd December (7:59 pm GMT) to register. The programme offers access to Photoshop CC and Lightroom 5 (plus respective feature updates and upgrades as they are available), 20GB of cloud storage and Behance ProSite, all via Adobe Creative Cloud.

Website: Adobe UK

Atkins CIWEM Environmental Photographer of the Year

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Competitions
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The Atkins CIWEM Environmental Photographer of the Year competition is now open for entries. Launched in 2007 by the Chartered Institution of Water and Environmental Management (CIWEM), the competition honours amateurs and professionals of all ages. Following a successful first-year partnership, Atkins, one of the world's leading design, engineering and project management consultancies, are once again sponsoring the competition, allowing for two significant improvements this year. 2014 sees the introduction of the Atkins Cityscape Prize of £1,000, and free entry for photographers. Selected from an open submission process, entries are judged on impact, composition, originality, creativity and technical ability. Photographers may submit up to ten works until 31 March 2014, by 5pm GMT.

Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX10 Review

Mark Goldstein
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The Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX10 is a new premium super-zoom camera. Featuring a 28-200mm lens with a constant aperture of f/2.8, a 20.2 megapixel 1.0-type CMOS sensor, Full HD 60p/50p/25p/24p video recording, wi-fi and NFC connectivity and support for the Raw format and full manual controls, the Sony RX10 certainly seems to have every box ticked. Is this the best ever superzoom camera? Read our expert Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX10 review to find out...

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Fujifilm XQ1 Sample Images

Mark Goldstein
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Ahead of our full review, here are 51 sample JPEG photos and a Full HD movie taken with the new Fujifilm XQ1 compact camera.

The Fujifilm XQ1 is a premium compact camera with a 4x zoom lens, large 2/3” CMOS sensor, 0.06 second auto-focusing speed, built-in wi-fi, Full HD movies at 60fps, and RAW file support.

Holiday Gift Guide 2013 - Superzoom Compact Cameras

Mark Goldstein | Digital Compact Cameras
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In the fourth part of our 2013 Holiday Gift Guide, we've selected our favourite Superzoom Compact Cameras, with something for every budget.

Nikon 1 AW1 Review

Gavin Stoker
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The Nikon 1 AW1 is the World's first ever water-, freeze-, dust- and shockproof compact system camera. The AW1 is waterproof to 15 metres, freezeproof to -10°C and shockproof from heights of up to 2m, and comes with a new all-weather 1 Nikkor AW 11-27.5mm f/3.5–5.6 lens. Is this the perfect action camera for all the family? Read our Nikon 1 AW1 review to find out...

Leica X2 Gagosian Edition

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Digital Compact Cameras
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Leica has announced its collaboration with Gagosian Gallery on the new-limited edition Leica X2 Gagosian Edition. Established in 1980 by Larry Gagosian in Los Angeles, Gagosian Gallery’s international exhibition and publishing programs parallel Leica’s own global legacy and values of artistic integrity and expressive freedom, the company says. Handmade at Leica’s headquarters in Germany, the compact camera features an APS-C-format professional CMOS image sensor with over 16.5 megapixels, and an Elmarit 24 mm f/2.8 ASPH lens. “The Leica X2 Gagosian Edition continues Leica’s rich heritage in all technical aspects and function, married with an artistic flair reflective of Gagosian’s presence in the world of art,” said Roland Wolff, Vice President of Marketing for Leica Camera USA. “Leica’s heritage of artistic collaborations, partnerships and projects allows us to move beyond the photographic image, and turn the tool itself into a piece of art.” The Leica X2 Gagosian Edition camera, produced in a limited run of one hundred units, is available for purchase exclusively at the Gagosian Shop and on the Shop’s website.

Rory’s Club

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Books
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Rory’s Club is a new, full colour hardback book documenting the life and times of Rory McIlroy MBE, one of Northern Ireland’s most popular sporting heroes. With a personal foreword by Rory and hitherto unpublished photographs supplied from private family collections, Rory’s Club explores the early developments of the game and the unfolding career of one of our most popular golfing icons, featuring over 180 photographs from Rory’s early years to the present day. The 128-page hardback can be purchased online for £20 (+£3.95 P&P) at the website below.