Friday, January 11, 2013
Internationally renowned photographer Steve Bloom is set to visit seven regional venues across England and Wales between January and March as part of the Royal Geographical Society (with The Institute of British Geographers)’s regional theatres programme. In his talk, ‘Living Africa’, Steve will set out the challenges faced by Africa’s people and environment in the 21st century and in the bi-centenary year of explorer David Livingstone’s birth. The tour will call at theatres and art venues in Brecon, Darlington, Keswick, King’s Lynn, Southampton, Stamford and Taunton. Click through / scroll down for the detailed programme schedule.
BrainDistrict has released version 1.5 of its photo editor, PaintSupreme. The program features the seamless integration of filters and effects created in BrainDistrict’s IFX-Supreme product. With v1.5, users can load new filters and effects created in IFX-Supreme directly into PaintSupreme and immediately drag-and-drop them onto their photos. Additionally, the editor has become significantly faster. Much of the increased speed comes from improvements in the way transformations such as rotation and scaling are done. Users will see faster performance when operating on an entire layer or on a selected area. PaintSupreme v1.5 is available from the Mac App Store at the special introductory price of $9.99 (regular price $19.99). Current registered users of PaintSupreme can download the new version for free at BrainDistrict.com.
The Rollei Powerflex 240 HD is a compact superzoom camera with a 16-megapixel sensor and 24x optical zoom. Featuring a 25-600mm equivalent f/3.0-6.9 lens with optical image stabilisation, the Rolle Powerflex 240 HD comes equipped with a 1/2.3” CCD made by Sony. In addition to capturing high-resolution stills, the camera can also record high-definition video clips at a resolution of 1280x720 pixels and 30fps. The Rollei Powerflex 240 HD will go on sale in mid-January at a recommended retail price of $149.95.
Giotto’s has launched a brand new range of tripods featuring a totally unique, patented design. The Giotto’s Silk Road YTL Series replaces the entire range of Giotto’s MTL tripods and comes with a new Y-shaped centre column (see cross-section above) allowing legs to be stowed in a much more compact fashion. The new Y-Tube column allows a 30% space saving versus the MTL range – while maintaining full strength, stability and weight capacity, the company claims. The Silk Road Series includes a range of tripods, which support up to 5kg, 8kg and 10kg of camera equipment. The new range also features graduated leg markings and new, patented Quick Easy Leg Lock adjustments for fast, accurate adjustment without taking your eye off the subject. On the models with 2 way centre column, there’s also a bubble spirit level built in and all models feature a swappable tripod thread. The aluminium models start at £100, while the carbon fibre versions are available from £220.
Thursday, January 10, 2013
Reallusion has released CrazyTalk7, a new application that allows users to create animated talking characters from any digital photograph. Featuring voice-driven animation tools, CrazyTalk7 offers advanced auto animation and key editing functions that enable users to generate more natural, elaborate and life-like animations. “In the past 10 years, we have devoted efforts to providing the most user-friendly and time-saving animation software available, with an affordable price for users ranging from beginners to pro level. CrazyTalk7 has been carefully refined by automating animation principles that aim to boost production for media professionals and working artists, while at the same time reducing the learning curve for beginners, students and educators. With the new auto motion technology, we create unlimited possibilities in CrazyTalk7”, said Charles Chen, CEO of Reallusion. “This is an important step in generating facial animations in a minimum amount of time.” CrazyTalk7 is available for Windows PC and Mac, in Standard version at £29.99 and PRO version at. £109.99.
Positive View Foundation has unveiled details of its next major exhibition to be held at London’s Somerset House, entitled “Landmark: the Fields of Photography.” A sweeping overview of the rich genre of 21st century landscape photography, the novel exhibition is the first of its kind anywhere to show both the harsh, even brutal realities of the changing environment, as well as its enduring and stunning beauty. Focusing on our rapidly changing planet, ‘Landmark: the Fields of Photography’ features more than 170 original works of art taken by enterprising photographers employing technology ranging from 19th Century plate-camera techniques to the use of planes, drones, robots and even satellites to capture vivid images of earth’s varied terrain – and even distant planets. Sponsored by Barclays, the “Landmark” exhibition will take place from 14 March - 28 April 2013.
Sony has unveiled its newest range of Handycam branded Full HD digital camcorders. This year’s models include the Handycam PJ780VE, PJ650VE (pictured), PJ420VE, PJ320E, CX410VE, CX280E and CX220E. Key features include Balanced Optical SteadyShot, enhanced wide-angle performance, new ‘Multi Terminal’ interface and upgraded audio with an expanded dynamic range. Three models - including the range-topping PJ780VE as well as the PJ650VE and PJ320E - incorporate built-in projectors with boosted light output and upgraded resolution. New camcorders above the HDR-PJ/CX400 series feature the ‘Multi Interface Shoe’, which accommodates accessories . including external microphones - that draw power from the camera. The new range of Sony Handycam HD camcorders will be available in the UK from February 2013.
Canon has added two new full-frame, 4K-ready prime lenses to its EF Cinema Lens line-up. Designed to work with Canon’s EF mount, the new CN-E 14mm T3.1 L F and the CN-E 135mm T2.2 L F lenses incorporate anomalous dispersion glass and large diameter aspherical lenses to deliver high-resolution images, as well as Canon’s latest broadcast lens coatings to reduce ghosting and flare. Both the CN-E 14mm T3.1 L F and the CN-E 135mm T2.2 L F feature markings on angled surfaces on either side of the lens barrel, making focus and aperture settings easy to read from behind or either side of the camera. A focus rotation angle of approximately 300 degrees facilitates precise focusing adjustments during shooting, while the focus markings can be switched from metric to imperial labelling as required. Each lens has an 11-bladed iris diaphragm for pleasing bokeh. The CN-E 14mm T3.1 L F will be available from May 2013 with a SRP of £ 3,966.00 + VAT. The CN-E 135mm T2.2 L F will go on sale in June 2013 with an SRP of £ 3,793.00 + VAT.
Our fourth award is for Lens of the Year 2012, which goes to the Panasonic LUMIX G X VARIO 12-35mm F2.8 ASPH.
“The LUMIX G VARIO 12-35mm F2.8 ASPH standard zoom offers a versatile focal range and a fast maximum aperture in a relatively small package, backed-up by excellent image quality throughout the focal range, the best build quality of any Panasonic Micro Four Thirds lens yet released, a tactile manual focusing system and impressively fast and quiet autofocusing.”
Congratulations to Panasonic and the LUMIX G X VARIO 12-35mm F2.8 ASPH!
IDimager Systems has released its latest evolution in digital photo management software: Photo Supreme. Offering a user-centric solution that provides an advanced and powerful feature set, Photo Supreme has a modern-looking, streamlined application interface that enables photographers to get the most out of the application without enduring a steep learning curve, the company says. Furthermore, Photo Supreme has been designed to take advantage of modern computer hardware such as multiple processor cores and large amounts of memory to speed-up typical photo management tasks and workflows. “Sometimes you need to start over completely to really make a change,” says Hert van Zwietering, Product Manager at IDimager Systems. “With Photo Supreme, we did just that, and our customers will greatly benefit from the modern concepts that we were able to wrap around our extensive experience with digital photo software.” Photo Supreme is available for $79.99.
Think Tank Photo announced that in February it will release a new range of premium-quality camera shoulder bags, called Sub Urban Disguise. The Sub Urban Disguise Series will be available in four sizes: the Sub Urban Disguise 5, Sub Urban Disguise 10, Sub Urban Disguise 20, and Sub Urban Disguise 30. Their features include a flip-top lid that folds away from the body to provide quick and unencumbered access to gear. Click through / read on for the detailed specifications.
In February, Think Tank Photo will release a completely updated version of its Change-Up multi-function camera bag. This bag, a chameleon of sorts, can change from belt pack to shoulder bag to chest pack via the harness system. In addition, many Think Tank Modular and Skin Components can attach to the waist belt straps. “While many camera bags convert from one thing to another, they generally are not great at any one thing,” said Doug Murdoch, Think Tank’s lead designer and president. “The Change-Up V2.0 camera bag is an exception to the rule; it converts from one great storage solution to another.” Version 2.0 has updated sizing and new features including increased height to fir a 70-200mm f/2.8 lens, increased depth of top of bag to fit standard-size bodies, added compression straps, increased padding of back panel for added comfort, and more.
Wednesday, January 9, 2013
Lexar has announced the Lexar High-Performance microSDHC UHS-I card with transfer speeds up to 600x (90MB per second). Bundled with an ultra-compact USB 3.0 reader, the new Lexar microSDHC UHS-I memory card is available in 16GB and 32GB capacities. Available for purchase from leading e-tail outlets worldwide, the Lexar High-Performance microSDHC UHS-I cards have MSRPs of £29.99 (16GB) and £52.99 (32GB).
Chipworks has dismantled the new Nikon D5200 and found that it’s equipped with a totally different sensor than the D3200. Whereas the entry-level model incorporates a Sony imaging chip, the more enthusiast focused Nikon D5200 comes with a Toshiba sensor. “In our recent technology blog entry on full-frame format image sensors, we speculated on the possibility of new entrants in the FF CIS space,” the company says. “What we didn’t expect was a new entrant into the APS-C game with Toshiba winning the primary CIS socket in the Nikon D5200.” For an idea of how the Nikon D5200 stacks up in terms of image quality, have a look at our full-resolution sample images. To read more about the sensor itself, check out the Chipworks website.
Nikon has announced the US availability of the new Nikon D5200 digital SLR camera. The 24.1 megapixel Nikon D5200 succeeds the D5100, featuring a new EXPEED 3 image processor, ISO range of 100-6400 which is extendable to 25600, 3-inch vari-angle LCD monitor, Fulll 1080p HD movies, 5fps burst shooting, 39-point AF system, 2,016-pixel RGB metering sensor, the Scene Recognition System and a new generation GUI Design. Priced at $899.95 with the AF-S DX NIKKOR 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 VR lens, the Nikon D5200 will be available in late January in three colours (black, red and bronze).
Mastering the Fujifilm X-Pro 1 by Rico Pfirstinger is a new title from Rocky Nook. The book’s author explores the ins and outs of the X-Pro 1 as he covers topics such as the camera controls and menu system, the hybrid viewfinder and monitor, exposure, metering, focusing, flash photography, and more. Also included is information about third-party lenses, system flash units, and practical accessories. The 276-page volume sells for $29.95.
Sigma UK has announced the suggested retail price of the new 120-300mm F2.8 DG OS HSM lens. Featuring a focus limiter, newly developed USB dock, dust- and splashproof construction and a constant f/2.8 maximum aperture; the Sigma 120-300mm F2.8 DG OS HSM is part of the manufacturer’s “Sports” line of lenses. Incorporating 1 SLD and 2 FLD elements, the lens’ design also compensates for sagittal coma and minimises the blurring of a point light source in peripheral areas. This lens incorporates the OS system which, the company claims, offers the use of shutter speeds approximately 4 stops slower than would otherwise be possible. The new Sigma 120-300mm F2.8 DG OS HSM lens will ba available in Sigma and Canon fits from the end of February, with a Nikon version coming at the end of March. The SRP of the lens is £3,599.99.
Sigma UK has announced the SRP of the new 17-70mm F2.8-4 DC OS HSM lens. Mainly used for general-purpose photography, this everyday lens covers a range equivalent to 25.5-105mm on a 35mm camera. The Canon version will go on sale at the end of January and the Nikon variant will be available by the end of February. Sigma, Sony and Pentax fit will follow (the latter two without the Optical Stabiliser). The suggested retail price is £449.99.
The UK’s biggest high-street camera retailer, Jessops, has today gone into administration, putting around 2,000 jobs at risk. The Jessops.com website now states “Please note that the Jessops website will not currently process any new orders however you are able to read product descriptions and articles, customer reviews and watch videos.” According to a BBC report, administrators PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) have commented “Trading in the stores is hoped to continue today but is critically dependent on these ongoing discussions. However, in the current economic climate it is inevitable that there will be store closures.” The sad news follows hot on the heels of last years closure of Jacobs Digital, which was the UK’s largest independent camera retailer before it collapsed at the start of October.
Website: BBC News
Ahead of our full review, here are 53 sample JPEG photos and a 1080p movie taken with a final production version of the new Nikon D5200 DSLR camera, including the full ISO range.
The Nikon D5200 is a 24.1 megapixel APS-C DSLR camera featuring a new EXPEED 3 image processor, ISO range of 100-6400 which is extendable to 25600, 3-inch vari-angle LCD monitor, Fulll 1080p HD movies, 5fps burst shooting, 39-point AF system, 2,016-pixel RGB metering sensor, the Scene Recognition System and a new generation GUI Design.