Friday, May 24, 2013

Topaz Clarity

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Software
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Topaz Labs have released Topaz Clarity, an image processing plug-in billed as the first software to give photographers the ability to easily adjust various levels of contrast in their photograph without degrading the image quality with halos or artifacts. “Since the inception of Topaz Labs, our philosophy has centered around creating cutting-edge technology that allows photographers to create better images in just a few steps”, said Dr. Albert Yang, president of Topaz Labs. “Topaz Clarity continues that philosophy, allowing photographers to intelligently boost local contrast and clarity, while incorporating a break-through algorithm that eliminates the common problem of halos and artifacts.” Available as a plug-in that works in conjunction with several different host programs such as Photoshop, Photoshop Elements, Lightroom, Aperture, and iPhoto, Topaz Clarity retails for $49.99, but is available at a special reduced price of $29.99 until May 31st.

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Leica Mini M on June 11th

Mark Goldstein | Digital
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The Leica Mini M camera is set to be unveiled on June 11th 2013. In an announcement on its Facebook page, Leica have released a teaser graphic positioning the new Mini M in-between the Leica M and the X2 "Micro M" and Leica D-LUX 6 "Nano M" compact cameras, strongly hinting at a new model that's aimed firmly at professional users, and one that's presumably more affordable than the flagship M digital rangefinder. There's no picture of the Leica Mini M just yet, only a Leica branded box in its place, and details are scarce too, but you can sign-up for the Leica newsletter using the link below to be among the frst to hear all about the intriguing new Leica Mini M.

Meet the new Leica family member on the 11th of June. Be the first to know more: http://bit.ly/MeetMiniM 

Olympus M.ZUIKO DIGITAL 75mm f/1.8 Photos

Zoltan Arva-Toth
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Ahead of our full review, here are 24 sample JPEG photos taken with the Olympus M.ZUIKO DIGITAL 75mm f/1.8 lens, mounted on an E-PL5 body.

The Olympus M.ZUIKO DIGITAL 75mm f/1.8 is a fast telephoto portrait lens for the Micro Four thirds system, retailing for £799.

Olympus M.ZUIKO DIGITAL 17mm f/1.8 Photos

Zoltan Arva-Toth
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Ahead of our full review, here are 21 sample JPEG photos taken with the Olympus M.ZUIKO DIGITAL 17mm f/1.8 lens, mounted on an E-PL5 body.

The Olympus M.ZUIKO DIGITAL 17mm f/1.8 is a fast 35mm equivalent lens for the Micro Four thirds system, retailing for £449.

Photodex Sports & Action Effects Pack for ProShow

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Software
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Photodex have released their new Sports & Action Effects Pack for ProShow. The pack includes a dynamic array of "sporty" transitions, edgy photo layouts and titles, and digital 'player stats' cards, ideal for photographers covering an end of season wrap-up, a game victory, or team portrait showcase. "From sports photographers to proud parents on the sidelines, more and more digital photos and videos are being captured at sporting events", said Paul Schmidt president and founder of Photodex. "ProShow makes it easy to turn those digital files into shareable memories. Our new Sports & Action effects pack offers up some fun and energetic animations that can really amp-up sports slideshows." The Photodex Sports & Action Effects Pack is available now for $19.95.

Canon Launches Pixma Comix Application

Zoltan Arva-Toth
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Canon Pixma Comix is an interactive new application found on the Canon U.S.A. Facebook page, which enables fans to create fun, personalised photo comic strips to print and share with friends. The images can be uploaded from photo albums or as stills pulled from an uploaded video stored on your computer or Facebook page. “The Canon PIXMA Comix application enables photo and video enthusiasts to easily apply comic book styling to their images, and share their story,” said Yuichi Ishizuka, executive vice president and general manager, Imaging Technologies and Communications Group, Canon U.S.A. “We always strive to enhance the Canon consumer experience, and with this application, it’s easy to get creative with a home printer by printing personalized comic strips to enjoy for years to come.”

Heifer & Rankin Collaborate on Photo Competition

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Competitions
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Heifer International and Rankin have teamed up to spotlight world hunger and poverty with the launch of a worldwide photography competition. Photography enthusiasts, both amateur and professional, are asked to submit images conveying what the word ‘Hunger’ means to them through the lens of a camera. Rankin will select the winning photograph, which will be showcased at a high-profile gallery in Los Angeles and also published in his biannual fashion and culture publication, The Hunger. Creative platform Talenthouse will accept entries of hunger-themed images from its more than 2 million members from May 21 to July 2, 2013. A public vote from July 3-17 will determine finalists, and the winning photograph will be announced July 23.

Zoner Photo Studio Rolls Out Touch Control Functionality

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Software
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Zoner has added touch control functionality to Zoner Photo Studio 15. The company has incorporated the most common and intuitive motion controls to streamline interaction and operation, including finger swiping for smooth scrolling; pinch-based zooming; tap motion to access options, functions and files; and finger swiping for brpwsing photos in the Viewer. The touch control update applies to Version 15 when installed on any of the newer Windows touchscreen systems. Users who currently have Version 15 and migrate to a touch screen system will be automatically updated.

AKVIS Retoucher 6.0

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Software
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AKVIS has released version 6.0 of AKVIS Retoucher, an imaging that restores damaged photos by removing defects and imperfections, and by reconstructing the missing parts. This update adds a Batch Processing feature that lets you automatically process a series of images, and fixes bugs. Registered users of Retoucher can upgrade to version 6.0 for free, except for users of the old Business version (Business v.1.0-3.5; they need to pay $19 for an upgrade to the new version).

Rollei Car DVR-100

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Digital Video Cameras
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Rollei has launched its second Full HD car camera, the Car DVR-100. Featuring a 5-megapixel CMOS sensor and 3mm wide-angle lens, the Rollei Car DVR-100 comes with a built-in 3-axis accelerometer, an integrated LED light, a 2.4" LCD screen and an internal lithium-ion battery. The Rollei Car DVR-100 will go on sale from the end of June for a recommended retail price of €109.95.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Nikon Coolpix L820 Review

Matt Grayson
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The Nikon Coolpix L820 is an affordable super-zoom compact camera with a 30x zoom lens. The 16 megapixel bridge-style Nikon L820 has a 3-inch LCD screen, 1080p movies and uses AA batteries. Read our Nikon Coolpix L820 review to find out if this is the right super zoom camera for you...

Canon Launches “Power to your Next Step” Campaign

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Global
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Canon has launched a new advertising campaign using the creative theme ‘Power to your next step.’ "‘Power to your next step’ is a campaign that brings to life Canon’s commitment to empower consumers to take their ‘next step’ in imaging” said Nigel Taylor, Consumer Imaging Marketing Communications Director, Canon Europe. “We want to inspire and support everyone in taking their ‘next step’, whether it be in photography, shooting video or printing special moments. Canon has a product suitable for every step, whether you’re a beginner or a professional.” For more information, visit the website below.

Environmental Photographer of the Year 2013 Exhibition

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Events
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Having received wide acclaim at the Royal Geographical Society in London, the Environmental Photographer of the Year 2013 exhibition comes to Grizedale Forest in the heart of Cumbria’s Lake District. Compiled from the very best of 3000+ entries, the exhibition features over one hundred images by international photographers who narrate a poignant story about the fragility of our planet. Italian photographer Michele Palazzi was awarded the Environmental Photographer of the Year Award 2013 for his image entitled ‘Gone with the Dust #02.’ The Young Environmental Photographer of the Year (under 18) Award went to Eleanor Bennett who has two works selected for exhibition, ‘Travelling Through’ and ‘Car Damage.’

Corel Launches Special Pricing Programme for Creative Suite Users

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Software
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Corel today announced a special pricing programme specifically for Creative Suite users looking for an alternative to Creative Cloud. CS users residing in North America can purchase CorelDRAW Graphics Suite, Painter, PaintShop Pro, VideoStudio Pro and AfterShot Pro at a special price (ranging up to 60% off the suggested retail price) until 30 August 2013. To experiment with the tools, features and workflow of Corel products, free 30-day fully functional trials can be downloaded from the website below.

Getty Images Launch Portrait Prize for Emerging Photographers

Zoltan Arva-Toth | General
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Getty Images have launched its inaugural Contour by Getty Images Portrait Prize, which aims to recognise excellence in portrait photography by an emerging photographer with fewer than five years industry experience. Entries will be accepted from June 13 through to August 5, 2013 (at 11:59 p.m. GMT/6:59 p.m. EST.) and can be submitted through Getty Images’ grants website. The winning photographer will receive a $10,000 grant and have their work exhibited at the prestigious Polka Galerie in Paris throughout the month of October. 

ArcSoft Photo+ for Mac

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Software
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ArcSoft has just released Photo+, a new photo viewer that promises "an unparalleled viewing and manipulating experience." Unlike other programs that require users to import photos directly into the software, Photo+ pulls directly from any folder or drive. By just dragging or selecting a single image, Photo+ automatically displays every image from the same folder without the constant closing and clicking that accompanies so many standard photo-viewing programs. ArcSoft Photo+ for Mac is compatible with 35 image file formats including a number of raw formats. The program will sell for $9.99 but is currently available from the Mac App Store for just $1.99.

Xara Photo & Graphic Designer 9

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Software
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Xara has released version 9 of its Windows-based creative design software, Xara Photo and Graphics Designer. New features include an advanced healing brush, 11 new photo effects, Google font support, new masking and selection tools, advanced background erasing options and more. Xara Photo & Graphic Designer 9 costs £69.99.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Nokia Lumia 920 Review

Mark Goldstein
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The Nokia Lumia 920 is the first ever smartphone to feature built-in optical image stabilisation. The Lumia 920 also has an 8.7 megapixel sensor, 26mm fixed lens with fast f/2.0 aperture and 1080p video. Read our Nokia Lumia 920 review to find out if it can replace a compact camera, even in low-light...

Adorama Flashpoint 180 Monolight and Battery Kit

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Accessories
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Adorama has begun selling the new Flashpoint 180 Monolight Kit. Compact and ideal for on-location shooting, the Flashpoint 180 Monolight includes a Flashpoint 180 Monolight with reflector, Bowens-compatible mount and handle, two NP-F960 batteries with a charger, a small umbrella, sync cords and a carrying bag. The Flashpoint 180 Monolight Kit is available now for $199.95 (regularly $249.95).

VIEW Magazine Issue 6

Zoltan Arva-Toth | General
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The sixth issue of VIEW Magazine is now available for free on Apple's Newsstand for iPad/iPhone. VIEW is an art photography magazine developed exclusively for the visual possibilities of the iPad. In the latest issue, Nate Larson and Marni Shindelman use publicly available embedded GPS information in Twitter updates to track the locations of user posts and take photographs to mark the location in the real world. Another interactive project in this issue is Chris Dorley Brown's project "Spot the Difference". Chris took a photo at the same location (and sometime of the same people) over the span of nine to thirteen years.