Wednesday, February 29, 2012
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.
PSKiss today announced Photogram, the Adobe Photoshop “app” that brings the 70’s into Photoshop workflow. Offering fifteen Instagram style vintage effects, carefully optimised by the company’s Adobe Certified Photoshop Experts to produce stunning looking images from the great days of Polaroid, Diana, Holga and Lomo; PSKiss Photogram is billed as “the coolest thing you have ever used in Adobe Photoshop”. PSKiss Photogram is offered at a special introductory price of $9.90.
Nik Software has released Snapseed Desktop for Windows. Snapseed is an image editing and sharing application originally designed for the Apple iPad. “Bringing the Snapseed experience to customers on their computer was an overwhelming top request from our mobile app users,” said Michael J. Slater, President and CEO of Nik Software. “With an estimated one trillion-plus photos stored on computers, mobile devices, and in the cloud, people everywhere are tapping the power of photo editing and enhancement software to tweak, tune, and share their photos.” Compatible with Windows XP and later, the newest edition of Snapseed is available for $19.99 or the equivalent in other currencies both from Nik Software directly or through the Intel AppUp store.
Redrock Micro has announced a new line of Limited Edition Nikon Gold DSLR rigs. Designed in response to the new generation of Nikon HD video DSLRs, including the D4 and D800, the Nikon Gold rigs have the same configuration and quality as their standard Redrock counterparts, but with Nikon Gold and Midnight Black accent colors replacing the classic Redrock blue. The three rigs offered in Nikon Gold include Captain Stubling, a compact, action-style hand-held rig including support and focus control with the microFollowFocus; the ultra-compact runningMan; and the Field Cinema Deluxe V2 Bundle. Pricing for these rigs depends on configuration, and starts at $514.
Nikon UK has announced that it will be exhibiting its full professional line-up at Focus on Imaging, from 4th – 7th March. The products that will be on display at the show include the new Nikon D4 and D800 cameras and a range of lenses. Along with the chance to check out the new products, an exciting seminar schedule has been lined up to include well-known names such as wildlife photographer Andy Rouse, national sports photographer Mark Pain and fashion photographer John Wright, who will give some insight into his experience of shooting stills and movie with a new D800 camera. Plus, Nikon has scheduled 3 seminars every day covering the details of the new products.
Monday, February 27, 2012
By way of its official blog, Nokia has released three full-resolution, 38-megapixel sample photos taken with the new Nokia 808 PureView camera phone. All three Nokia 808 PureView samples were taken at low, non-standard ISO sensitivity settings (ISO 55 and ISO 58), with the lens wide open. Do they compare favourably with the official sample images from the 36-megapixel Nikon D800? Perhaps not (remember that those samples were captured with some of the best Nikkors out there, using a camera with a full FX sized sensor), but they surely do contain a lot of detail - try resizing them to 14-16 megapixels and you’ll probably agree that this smartphone is likely to give a lot of compact camera manufacturers a run for their money.
Website: Nokia conversations: the official Nokia blog (scroll down to UPDATE #2 for the samples)
The Nokia 808 PureView smartphone features a 41-megapixel sensor, high-performance Carl Zeiss optics, plus new PureView Imaging and pixel oversampling technologies. “At standard resolutions (2/3, 5 and 8 megapixels) this means the ability to zoom without loss of clarity and capture seven pixels of information, condensing into one pixel for the sharpest images imaginable,” the company says. At high-resolution (38 megapixel maximum) it means the ability to capture an image, then zoom, reframe, crop and resize afterwards. In addition to superior still imaging technology, the Nokia 808 PureView, also includes full HD 1080p video recording and playback with 4X lossless zoom and the world’s first use of Nokia Rich Recording, which enables audio recording at “CD-like” levels of quality. Other highlights of the Nokia 808 PureView include a 1/1.2” sensor - which is only slightly smaller than the ones found in the Nikon 1 System cameras -, a 8.02mm (~28mm equivalent) f/2.4 lens and a 4” screen. Click through / scroll down for a hands-on video of the Nokia 808 PureView (released by the manufacturer), and a dozen hands-on photos.
Nokia has published a white paper on the PureView imaging technology that powers its brand new, 41-megapixel camera phone. “The Nokia PureView Pro imaging technology is the combination of a large, super high resolution 41M[ega]pixel [imager] with high performance Carl Zeiss optics,” the authors say. “The large sensor enables pixel oversampling, which… means the combination of many pixels into one perfect pixel. PureView imaging technology is the result of many years of research and development and the tangible fruits of this work are amazing image quality, lossless zoom, and superior low light performance.”
Adobe today announced that Adobe Photoshop Touch, previously available for Android tablets only, has now been released for the Apple iPad 2. The app is a central component of Adobe Touch Apps, a family of six touch screen applications, inspired by the Adobe Creative Suite. “Adobe Photoshop Touch lets users transform images with core Photoshop features in an app custom-built for tablets,” the company says. “With simple finger gestures, users can combine multiple photos into layered images, make popular edits and apply professional effects… With Refine Edge technology from Adobe Photoshop, even hard-to-select areas with soft edges, such as hair, are easily captured when making selections.” The app is available on iTunes for $9.99.
Samsung today unveiled its new high-speed, 1/3.2-inch, 8-megapixel CMOS imager, the S5K3H7, utilising advanced 1.4-micron back-side illuminated (BSI) pixel technology. The Samsung S5K3H7 supports a frame rate of 30fps at full resolution and 1080p Full HD video recording. The new sensor also provides 720p HD video recording at 120fps and VGA movies at 240fps for slow-motion playback, and allows still photography with practically no shutter lag. Mass production is expected to start next month.
Canon UK has announced the official launch date and recommended retail prices of its new super-telephoto lenses, the Canon EF 500mm f/4L IS II USM and EF 600mm f/4L IS II USM. Each lens includes the highest-quality components, and features high-specification image stabiliser technology alongside the use of optical materials such as fluorite, to correct aberrations ensuring high-resolution images rich in detail and contrast. The redesigned, comparatively lightweight construction will provide added mobility alongside enhanced protection against dust and water, the company says. Both lenses will be available from May 2012, with RRPs of £8,999/€10,799 for the 500mm and £11,299/ €13,549 for the 600mm. All of these prices include VAT.
Canon UK has announced the official launch date and recommended retail price of its new flagship full-frame digital SLR camera, the 18-megapixel Canon EOS 1D X. Featuring a newly designed 100,000-pixel RGB metering sensor, redesigned 61-point wide-area AF system, dual DIGIC 5+ processors and Full HD video recording with manual exposure and adjustable audio levels; the Canon EOS-1D X will be available from the end of April 2012, priced at £5,299/€6,299 including VAT.
Friday, February 24, 2012
PaintShop Pro X4 is the latest edition of Corel's affordable photo-editing suite. With over 75 new and enhanced features designed explicitly to meet the needs of today’s photographers, is X4 the best version of PaintShop Pro yet? Matt Grayson finds out in our Corel PaintShop Pro X4 review.