Friday, January 25, 2013
ArcSoft has released its Whip Social Photo Album app for mobile devices running Android 2.3 and newer. The free app allows users to quickly create and share photo albums, using customised templates. Whip allows users to choose up to 24 photos for each album. Once the photos are selected, the album is automatically generated with just one tap. After that, users can select one of nine available templates that include background music from “indie” bands, and offer the opportunity to caption and edit each photo. Downloadable from the Google Play Store, Whip allows users to share their albums via Facebook, Twitter and e-mail.
Thursday, January 24, 2013
Ahead of our full review, here are 56 sample JPEG photos and a 1080p movie taken with the Olympus SP-820UZ super-zoom camera.
The Olympus SP-820UZ is an AA battery powered digital ultra-zoom camera with a 14-megapixel CMOS sensor and a 40x optical zoom starting at 22.5mm.
The Pentax VS20 is an innovative travel-zoom compact camera featuring a 20x image-stabilized zoom lens, 16 megapixel sensor, 3-inch LCD screen, 720p HD movies and not one but two shutter release buttons. Retailing for around £200 / $250, read our Pentax VS20 review to find out if it can take on its many travelzoom rivals...
PhotoShelter has released a new free guide entitled The 2013 Photo Business Plan Workbook. This PDF e-book offers practical tips, to-do lists, and online resources to help you make smart decisions for your photo business in 2013. You’ll also learn from seasoned photographers like Ben Lowy and Jim Goldstein who offer tips on how to market your photo business with Facebook, attract readers to your blog, improve website traffic through search engine optimisation, get more work from old clients, manage your finances and create a lasting photo brand. You can claim your free e-book by supplying your e-mail address through the website below.
Transcend has announced that it now offers a comprehensive line-up of memory cards featuring the next-generation Ultra-High Speed Class 1 specification (UHS-I, U1). The company’s ‘Premium’ series microSDHC UHS-I memory cards are mainly aimed at smartphone and tablet users, while Transcend’s ‘Ultimate’ series SDHC/SDXC UHS-I cards are designed for professional photographers, reporters and enthusiasts. When paired with UHS-I enabled devices, these cards offer transfer speeds of up to 90MB/s (600X) and feature storage capacities ranging from 8GB to 64GB. Each Transcend UHS-I memory card includes a free download of Transcend’s own RecoveRx software. For more information, visit the website below.
Madison Square Park Conservancy’s Mad. Sq. Art programme has announced a new installation to inaugurate the spring 2013 season: Topsy-Turvy: A Camera Obscura Installation by New York-based artists Sandra Gibson and Luis Recoder. “On view daily from March 1 – April 5, 2013, 10am-5pm, Topsy-Turvy will reimagine one of the world’s oldest moving image devices into a life-sized 10-foot by 10-foot structure,” the organisers say. “Park visitors will be able to enter the interactive, large-scale installation, which will utilize the physical properties of light to capture images of the surrounding Flatiron District in real time. This centuries-old artistic medium will alter how visitors experience the park and engage with the various elements of New York City’s urban landscape through a new and exciting lens.”
The winners of the 5th Annual International Loupe Awards have just been unveiled. The 2012 International Loupe Awards Open Image of the Year is by Andreas Smetana of New South Wales, Australia, who has won a cash prize of $15,000 and a place on the upcoming Creative Asia Vietnam & China Photography Tour. The 2012 International Loupe Awards Amateur Image of the Year is by Suellen Cook (see picture above).
Plustek UK has announced the immediate availability of the Plustek OpticFilm 120 scanner, which is capable of scanning both 35mm and 120 format negatives and slides. Boasting a high-quality metal case, the Plustek OpticFilm 120 uses a custom-designed 8-element glass lens and a high-resolution CCD sensor. Capable of achieving a dynamic range of 4.01 - in tandem with SilverFast’s Multi-Exposure technology -, the OpticFilm 120 from Plustek comes with adjustable-pitch film holders that feature unique sliding inter-frame dividers to ensure film flatness. The sliding dividers also enable users to scan various frame sizes from 6x4.5cm to 6x12cm, while the 35mm film holders allow for the scanning of twelve 35mm film frames or five mounted slides in a batch. The scanner’s hardware resolution - based on the specification of its stepper motor and the number of pixels on its CCD - is 10600dpi, with the optical resolution (which also takes into account the resolving power of the optical system) specified at 5300dpi. Other highlights include automated IT8 calibration and a motorised film transport for batch scanning. Bundled with SilverFast Ai Studio 8, the Plustek OpticFilm 120 is available for £1950-£1999.
The Book of GIMP: A Complete Guide to Nearly Everything is a new title from No Starch Press. Written by Olivier Lecarme and Karine Delvare, this 676-page, full-colour guidebook begins with step-by-step tutorials that cover the most useful features of GIMP 2.8, like retouching photographs, creating illustrations, and website design. The second part of the book offers a comprehensive reference to nearly every aspect of the software, so that users can find what they need without hours of trial and error. This two-pronged approach makes the book suitable for readers of any skill level—the tutorials will help new users get started with GIMP, and the extensive reference portion will answer the questions that pop up for even the most seasoned GIMP users. Distributed worldwide by O’Reilly Media, The Book of GIMP: A Complete Guide to Nearly Everything is available for $49.95.
Wednesday, January 23, 2013
The new Fujifilm FinePix S4200 super-zoom camera boasts a 24x zoom lens, 14 megapixel sensor, 3 inch LCD screen and 720p movies, all for under under $150 / £150. Does the S4200 cut too many corners though? Find out by reading our in-depth Fujifilm FinePix S4200 review...
DxO Labs have released DxO Film Pack 3.2.3, which now integrates automatically with Adobe Photoshop Elements 11. The software now also officially supports Windows 8. This update is free for all owners of DxO FilmPack 3.
Epson has begun volume production of its latest, XGA-resolution Ultimicron panel designed for use in electronic viewfinders. Measuring just 0.48 of an inch diagonally, the latest in the Ultimicron series boasts increased surface luminance of 520cd/m2. Previous generations of Epson Ultimicron panels have been used in the viewfinders of top-of-the-line digital cameras including the critically acclaimed Olympus OM-D E-M5, which has recently won the coveted PhotographyBLOG Camera of the Year 2012 award. The new panel will be exhibited at Epson’s booth at CP+ 2013 in Yokohama, Japan, from 31 January to 3 February 2013.
Reallusion has released FaceFilter3, the latest version of its acclaimed photo retouching and beautification toolkit. The template-based system allows users to quickly and easily apply “extremely detailed and natural-looking” makeup styles for each specific facial feature, then customise and save them for future use. The ability to selectively morph and adjust individual facial features allows for precise facial enhancement and subtle changes in expression. FaceFilter3 PRO version is available at the Reallusion Store for £69.99. The add-on bundle package with FaceFilter3 PRO, Makeup PRO, and bonus content is available for £99.99.
The 2013 Fotoura International Street Photography Awards competition is now open for entries. Open to photographers all over the world, the awardsl include Open and Student categories and are centred around the theme, “Hometown.” Entrants may upload between 5 and 8 images to the competition’s website, and the deadline for entries is 12 February 2013. The entry fee is £30 (£15 for students), with all entrants receiving a £30 voucher to print their own Blurb book. The winners and a selection of the best entries to this competition will be shown in an exhibition in central London in Spring 2013. The first prize winner will receive £2000 cash, an exhibition of their work in London, a camera and £100 book publishing voucher. As always, we suggest that you read the rules before entering your work.
On 31st January the Manfrotto School of Xcellence will host a free webinar presented by award-winning photographer Steve Gosling. Beginning at 4pm GMT, the online seminar entitled Floral Art – Creative Flower & Plant Photography will centre on the theme of how to move beyond a botanical record shot of plants and flowers to produce an image that concentrates primarily on shape, form, colour, texture and pattern. In this webinar, Steve will cover the aesthetics of photography (composition and design) as well as describe a variety of creative techniques. He will also provide some practical hints and tips on the technical challenges faced by the flower & plant photographer. The event is free to attend but advance registration is required.
Sony has expanded its E-mount lens range with a pancake lens, the 30mm equivalent Sony E 20mm f/2.8. Featuring an optical formula comprising six elements in six groups and a seven-bladed iris diaphragm that stops down to f/16, the lens weighs in at a mere 69 grams. Claimed to produce “excellent contrast, resolution and clarity across the frame for both still image and full HD video shooting,” the Sony E 20mm f/2.8 SEL20F28 wide-angle prime lens will be available this April for about $350.
Furthermore, Sony has announced that the 18-200mm OSS power zoom, originally offered only as a kit lens for the NEX-VG30 camcorder, will now be available for purchase as a stand-alone product, starting this March for about $1200.
Tuesday, January 22, 2013
The Olympus SZ-14 is a budget travel-zoom compact camera, featuring a 24x lens, 14 megapixel sensor, 720p HD video recording, and 3 inch LCD screen. With a current street price of less than £150, read our detailed Olympus SZ-14 review to find out if it's all the camera you need...
Competition: Win a Sony NEX-7KB and Accessories
Buy John Lewis Travel Insurance from £37 for your chance to win a Sony NEX-7KB and accessories with a combined value of £1,000.
Travel insurance ensures that you won’t lose out if you have to cancel or cut short your trip and gives you confidence in knowing that your personal belongings are protected – including replacement or if they’re lost, stolen or damaged. And wherever you’re heading on holiday, it’s easy to find the right protection for your trip.
The prize is the well-received Sony NEX-7KB Compact System Camera with 18-55mm Lens, a Sony LCSBBFB Camera Case for NEX Compact System Cameras, and an Integral Ultima SDHC Class 10 Memory Card, 16GB + 8GB, with a combined value of approximately £1,000.
Annual cover starts from £37 so head over to John Lewis Travel Insurance for your chance to win.
This promotion closes on 31st January 2013.
Lomography has launched a new transparency film in 110 format. The the first “pocket” format colour reversal film to hit the market in years, the Lomography Peacock 110 X-Pro can be used in vintage 110 format cameras as well as Lomography’s new Fisheye Baby and Diana Baby 110 models. Suitable for both standard E-6 processing as well as cross-processing, the Lomography Peacock 110 X-Pro film is available in the Lomography Online Shop for €7.90.
Nikon has relaunched its image sharing/storage service under the name Nikon Image Space. Previously known as myPicturetown, this free service has gone through a complete overhaul. Available online from 28 January 2013, Nikon Image Space is open to everyone, regardless of what camera they own. Users of Nikon digital cameras have the additional option of upgrading to a Special account, however, which gives them access to 20GB of online storage (versus the 2GB offered by a Basic account) free of charge. “Greater collaboration with social networking sites such as Facebook and Twitter expands the possibilities for sharing photos of your own special moments, and posting images from Nikon Image Space is easier than ever,” the company claims. Further information on the service will be available at the Nikon Imaging Japan booth at the CP+ 2013 camera and photo imaging show.