Thursday, March 1, 2012
Kodak has announced the discontinuance of three colour reversal (transparency) films. Blaming “a steady decrease in sales and customer usage, combined with highly complex product formulation and manufacturing processes,” the company is retiring its Kodak Professional Ektrachrome E100G and E100VS, as well as Elite Chrome Extra Color 100 emulsions. In essence, this means that Kodak is practically handing the slide film market over to Fujifilm (although Kodak’s E-6 chemicals will continue to be available). Film aficionados should, however, take note that Kodak Professional colour negative films - including the Ektar 100, Portra 400 and Portra 160 emulsions introduced over the past three years - and Kodak Professional black-and-white films will continue to be manufactured and sold worldwide.
Canon UK has announced the upcoming launch of a pair of new premium All-in-One printers, the Canon Pixma MX715 and Pixma MX895. Replacing the Pixma MX885 and Pixma MX870, the new Pixma models produce ISO speeds of 12.5ipm for black and white documents and 9.3ipm for colour prints. A 1pl ink droplet size and 9600dpi print resolution produces documents and images with smooth gradations and fine detail. Additionally, both models feature a flatbed scanner, boasting 2400dpi high-resolution scanning. Built-in Wi-Fi capability allows for scanning and copying from virtually anywhere in the office, and with Canon’s Easy Photo-Print App, PC-free printing and scanning from mobile iOS or Android devices is also possible. The MX895 features a 7.5cm display whilst the MX715 has a 6.2cm display. Both new Canon Pixma printers will be available from April 2012.
Sony has released a firmware update for the Sony NEX-5N compact system camera. Version 1.01 improves the AF response in certain situations, enhances stability when operating the camera using the [Lens Compensation: Distortion] “Auto” and [Picture Effect] “Miniature” settings at the same time, and improves camera operations when using the [Exposure Compensation] and [Intelligent AF] settings.
The winners of the fifth International Garden Photographer of the Year (IGPOTY) competition have been announced. The title winner of the £5,000 prize for the best single image is Polish photographer, Magdalena Wasiczek for Upside Down (above). The Best Portfolio Prize is awarded to Joanna Stoga, also from Poland, for Qi - a collection of six incredible images created using x-ray imagery. The Young Garden Photographer of the Year title goes to 15-year-old Patrick Corning for his enchanting photograph of a male Grey-Tailed Mountaingem Hummingbird feeding from garden flowers in the Cordillera de Talamanca mountain range in Costa Rica.
Sony has just announced a new waterproof digital camcorder - the Sony Handycam GW55VE -, which features an Exmor R CMOS sensor and captures Full HD video at 50 frames per second. Dust resistant, waterproof to depths of 5m and shockproof to 1.5m, the Sony Handycam GW55VE comes with 10x optical zoom, 29.8mm equivalent wide angle and Optical SteadyShot image stabilisation technology. The new Handycam GW55VE waterproof camcorder from Sony is available in the UK from mid-May 2012.
The new Lensbaby Macro Converters, which were announced less than a month ago, are now available in the UK. These accessories are sold in a single kit containing one 8mm converter and one 16mm converter, which can also be stacked together to make a 24mm converter. The existing Lensbaby Macro Kit (which features a +4 and +10 macro filter) can also be used in conjunction with the Macro Converters with the Double Glass, Single Glass, Plastic and Soft Focus Optic for an even closer capture. Distributed by Intro2020 in the UK, the Lensbaby Macro Converters carry a suggested retail price of £47.99.
Hasselblad and Adobe have signed an agreement to the effect that, beginning on the 12th March 2012, all newly purchased medium-format Hasselblad H4D cameras will include a fully functional copy of Lightroom at no extra charge. Chris Russell-Fish, Hasselblad Global Sales and Marketing Director said: “Integrating the Adobe platform with Hasselblad is a ground-breaking step. Changing platforms is always a challenge for time-starved photographers and digital operators but now all users can have the excellence of a Hasselblad image file married to the functionality and ease of use of Adobe Lightroom.”
Hasselblad was nevertheless quick to point out that it’ll remain committed to its proprietary Phocus software: “This new agreement is about providing choice for our customers,” Russel-Fish added.
Aimed at professional photographers, designers and artists, the Wacom Intuos 5 graphics tablet offers multi-touch gesture support, an Express View display and (optionally) wireless connectivity. The addition of multi-touch to the Intuos5 provides a complementary input method to the pen that is natural to use in the creative process. Not only is the Intuos5 able to recognize standard Windows and Mac gestures, but customisable gestures can be created in supporting applications to make navigational input easier and stress-free. Other highlights include a number of customisable ExpressKeys and one Touch Ring, with four-function toggle. Additionally, all sizes of Intuos5 can be converted to a wireless tablet by installing the Wireless Accessory kit, sold separately on Wacom’s e-store. The kit includes a rechargeable battery that charges through USB, a RF module that plugs into the tablet and a receiver that plugs into a USB port on the computer. The Wacom Intuos 5 comes in three models: Small ($229.95), Medium ($349.95) and Large ($469.95).
The Incase Camera Collection has been expanded and redesigned to include a full range of camera bags for professionals and hobbyists alike. For equipment-intensive photography, the DSLR Pro Pack offers photographers protection, storage and comfortable carrying for heavy loads. Its large main storage compartment features fully customisable modular dividers for camera bodies, lenses, flashes and other equipment. An additional storage area features a dedicated notebook compartment that fits up to a 15” laptop and a slip pocket for a tablet for easy on-location editing. The DSLR Pro Sling Pack boasts a quick-release harness system, adjustable padded dividers and multiple organiser pockets as well as a padded notebook compartment. Other options include a DSLR Sling Pack and DSLR Carrying Case. The collection is available from the website below, with prices ranging from $19.95 to $169.95.
Mobot has published a very interesting write-up by Martin James on the much-talked-about 41-megapixel sensor found in the Nokia 808 PureView smartphone. Accompanied by a helpful sensor size comparison chart - reproduced above with kind permission from Mobot.net -, the piece takes a look at the relationship between sensor size, pixel pitch and image quality. Written in a clear, easy-to-follow style, the article is well worth a read.
Fuzel is a new iOS app released by Ho Chi Minh City based software development company, Not A Basement Studio. “Whatever it is that you love, Fuzel helps you take their photos, put them together in your own layouts, retouch them individually with gorgeous photo filters, complete them with beautiful frames and captions, then share them with your loved ones on Facebook, Twitter, Flickr, or just email,” the company says. Each individual frame within a collage can be adjusted separately. Fuzel 1.0 is available now on iTunes, currently priced at $0.99 - but do note that this is a special introductory offer.
Wednesday, February 29, 2012
Want to see exactly what the new Sony Cyber-shot models look like in the flesh? Then check out our extensive hands-on gallery of photos of Sony’s latest digital compact cameras.
The Hama i-FlashDrive allows users to transfer music and image files from a computer to their iPhone, iPad or iPod touch. Additionally, the stick can be used to provide useful memory expansion. 16 gigabytes are available for storing your music, videos, documents and images. The i-FlashDrive is available at a recommended retail price of €99.99.
SmugMug has released a free app for the Apple iPhone, called Camera Awesome. This app enables users to capture images faster, and offers features like a built-in electronic level and the ability to focus on one spot and set exposure on another. Additionally, it allows for a wide range of one-tap adjustments including filters, borders and special effects. Photos can then be shared via email, or uploaded to Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, SmugMug, Flickr, Picasa and Photobucket. Camera Awesome is free and available on the iTunes App Store.
Eye-Fi has completed a $20 million Series D round of funding, led by NTT DOCOMO, the largest Japanese mobile operator and a recognised leader in mobile data and content services. NTT DOCOMO joins Eye-Fi as an investor and strategic partner, expanding the company’s distribution and further establishing its mobile partnerships. In April, NTT DOCOMO will become the first partner to launch Eye-Fi card activation via mobile phones. This new technology means NTT DOCOMO’s 59 million mobile subscribers can quickly and easily share high-quality images between their digital cameras, mobile devices, online photo sites and digital photo frames. The funding round also supports the expansion of Eye-Fi’s executive team, adding former Skype and eBay executive Michele Don Durbin as Vice President of Marketing.
Nikon and the Warner Music Group have unveiled details of their cooperation at the upcoming South by Southwest Music & Media Conference (SXSW) in Austin, Texas. “The Warner Sound Captured by Nikon” will make its home at Austin’s famed La Zona Rosa, with two days and three nights of performances slated for 13-15 March. Nikon’s activities at SXSW include an HD-SLR Workshop with The Bui Brothers on the 13th, Nikon Shooting Opportunities with Robert Knight and the Your 1 Shot contest, which gives up-and-coming bands an opportunity to play in front of WMG executives and win Nikon gear. Additionally, the whole event will be broadcast online with the help of Nikon’s latest video-enabled digital SLR cameras. Click through / scroll down for the detailed evening and daytime schedules.
PhotoShelter has announced the availability of the updated, free SEO for Photographers guidebook and the launch of a 4-week online course, the SEO for Photographers Bootcamp. The 39-page ebook, available in Portable Document Format (PDF), offers key insights on how to attract more website traffic by improving the way search engines find your content and rank you in search results. The SEO for Photographers Workbook helps you choose the search terms you want to be found for, optimise how you use keywords throughout your website, understand how Google works, check up on the competition, and measure your SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) progress. When you sign up for the guide, you will also get the SEO for Photographers Bootcamp. This four-week email course includes everything from interpreting SEO metrics and understanding how Google ranks websites to proven SEO tactics and ways to track your progress.
SunPhos from Symbyo Mobile Studios is a new Android app that graphically predicts sun path from dusk to dawn, on any given day, in any given place. Developed for professional photographers who are interested in enhancing their photographs’ quality through predicting the location of the sun before the photo shoot, SunPhos works on almost any Android smartphone running Android 2.1 or higher. The app is available for $1.99 through the Android Market.
Tuesday, February 28, 2012
Sony has introduced seven new digital compact cameras, including the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-HX20V, HX10V, WX100, HX200V, TX20, W690 and H90. The first four models boast Sony’s new 18.2-megapixel Exmor R CMOS sensor, while the other three come equipped with 16-megapixel imagers. The flagship of the new Cyber-shot range is the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-HX20V, which sports a newly designed, compact Advanced Aspherical (AA) lens with 20x optical zoom and fast auto focus, as well as a built-in GPS module. Other cameras with “AA” lenses include the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-WX100, which is billed as the world’s smallest camera with 10x optical zoom, and the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-W690, another 10x zoom model. The longest (30x) zoom is found on the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-HX200V (pictured), which additionally features high-speed AF, 3D shooting and Full HD 50p video. The TX series is joined by the 4x zoom Sony Cyber-shot DSC-TX20, an ultra-slim and stylish yet tough little shooter that is dust- and freezeproof, as well as waterproof down to a depth of 5m and shockproof to 1.5m. Finally, the HX10V and H90 both sport 16x zoom lenses, with the main differences being the slightly different pixel count and a higher-resolution screen and GPS module in the HX10V.
The Panasonic Lumix DMC-GH2: The Unofficial Quintessential Guide by Carol Roullard and Brian Matsumoto, released last month in the US, is now available in the United Kingdom. This guide explores the GH2 camera in detail, including basic camera functions, the menu system, the various settings, the extended video capabilities and more. The 272-page volume is available for £22.99/€24.00.