Monday, August 19, 2013

Akvis SmartMask 4.5

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Software
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Akvis has released Version 4.5 of SmartMask, an image selection and masking application for Windows and Mac OS X. Available as a standalone program and as a plug-in to a photo editor, the software is especially useful when you need to create photo collages with numerous objects from different images that don’t have clearly defined edges and fade into a background. This latest update fixes bugs, adds separate installation files for 32- and 64-bit versions of Windows, and offers compatibility with Adobe Photoshop CC (plug-in edition only). Akvis SmartMask can be downloaded for $90 from the website below.

TurnStyle Sling Bags from Think Tank Photo

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Accessories
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Think Tank Photo have released a new sling camera bag collection, the TurnStyle. The range comprises three models, including the TurnStyle 5, the TurnStyle 10 and the TurnStyle 20. The Think Tank Photo TurnStzle 5 sling bag ($74.75) fits a compact system camera with two to four lenses plus a small tablet, the TurnStyle 10 ($84.75) accommodates a standard SLR body with one to three lenses and a small tablet, while the TurnStyle 20 ($99.75) holds a standard-sized SLR camera with one to four lenses plus a large tablet.

Friday, August 16, 2013

Marumi Exus Filters

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Accessories
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A new flagship range of high-quality filters from Marumi, the Exus series, are now available from Kenro. Comprising a line of Lens Protect and Circular Polarising filters, the Exus series are available in 13 different diameter sizes ranging from 37mm to 82mm and feature new antistatic and anti-reflective qualities. The antistatic coating found in both new lines provides added reassurance that images won't be compromised by any clinging static, while the anti-reflective qulalities mean that the Exus Lens Protect filters are able to achieve ultra-low reflection of less than 0.3% (and less than 0.6% using the Circular Polariser). The filters have a suggested retail price which ranges from £52.92 to £120.90 and the Marumi Exus Circular Polariser filters have SRPs between £119.04 to £288.60, depending on size.

Fotopro Brings New Product Line to America

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Accessories
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Fotopro and Custom SLR have partnered to bring a new line of professional and travel ready tripods to the USA. Custom SLR will feature a full line of Fotopro tripods and monopod support systems including the C5i series and TT-1 travel tripod kits on CustomSLR.com. The C5i tripod series ($189.95) comes in a lightweight, 3.6lb. package with reversible legs for compact stowing. The kit is equipped with an Arca-Swiss 3D ball head with single-action locking and can be converted into a monopod. The TT-1 tripod kit ($199.95) comprises a lightweight X4i reversed-leg, five-section aluninium tripod, Arca-Swiss 3D ball head and a versatile travel sling bag for an SLR camera with lens and flash.

Lowepro Format Camera Bag Series

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Accessories
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Lowepro has announced a new range of shoulder bags. The Lowepro Format camera bags are available in five sizes, and offer streamlined dessigns with a variety of options for both photo and video gear, multiple pockets, interior padding, weather-resistant fabric and YKK zippers. The Lowepro Format 160  fits an SLR camera with attached kit lens and 2 extra lenses, as well as a selection of other accessories and personal devices, all for £29.99. The Format 140, 120, 110 and 100 are progressively smaller designs priced between £17.99 and £24.99. “Our new Format series addresses the protection and carrying needs of today’s new photographers and enthusiasts who like variety in their imaging gear,” said Mark Regan, Country Manager for Lowepro UK.  “These bags are designed to accommodate multiple devices – from DSLRs to CSCs to camcorders – and make it easy to adjust the fit to suit a particular shooting style or photo adventure.”

The Art of iPhone Photography

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Books
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The Art of iPhone Photography by Bob Weil and Nicki Fitz-Gerald is a new title from Rocky Nook. The book explores how 45 of today's most creative iPhonegraphers from around the world conceived, composed, and edited some of their finest and best-known pieces—all in their own words. In addition, it includes explanations for the practical use of nearly a hundred photography apps that you can use to take, edit and share photos with your iPhone. The 352-page volume is available for $44.95.

Zeiss Touit 2.8/12 Garners EISA Award

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Lenses
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The Zeiss Touit 2.8/12 lens has been honoured by the European Imaging and Sound Association (EISA). At this year's ceremony for the coveted EISA Awards, the international jury selected the Touit 2.8/12 lens as the “European Compact System Lens of the Year 2013 – 2014”. Since its launch, the Touit 2.8/12 has already received the iF product design and red dot product design awards in addition to the EISA Award.

Steadicam Curve for GoPro Contest Now Open

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Accessories
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The Tiffen Company has launched its Steadicam Curve for GoPro competition. A “Best in Show” at CE Week 2013 (Dealerscope), Steadicam Curve for GoPro is a stealth camera stabilising system designed for action-packed, one-handed GoPro camera shoots. Compact enough to fit in your back pocket, the Steadicam Curve weighs in at a mere 1/2lb. The new contest is asking participants to submit their favourite Curve colour – black, silver, red, purple or blue – and share for a chance to win a Curve in their favorite hue. To take part, visit the website below.

The Creative Spark

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Photographers
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Lynda.com has released a new, 33-minute video entitled The Creative Spark: Nick Onken, Travel and Lifestyle Photographer, which is available to the public for free until 30th August. Viewers will be able to watch Nick photograph a fashion model in New York, tour Guatemala with him through his work with Pencils of Promise, and listen to him telling his story about becoming a photographer. You can watch the video over at Lynda.com's Facebook fan page.

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Sony Cyber-shot RX100 II Sample Images

Mark Goldstein
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Ahead of our full review, here are 79 sample JPEG photos taken with the new Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX100 II compact camera.

The Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX100 II is a 20.2 megapixel compact with a fast 3.6x zoom lens, large “1.0-type” image sensor, tiltable LCD screen, wi-fi connectivity and Full HD 24p/25p movie recording.

Lowepro Photo Sport Shoulder Bag

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Accessories
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Lowepro has introduced two new camera bags. The new Photo Sport Shoulder bags offer photography enthusiasts a lightweight carrying solution for any DSLR or CSC kit with an adjustable and removable camera insert that transforms the bag into a fully functional day bag. “Our new Photo Sport Shoulder takes its inspiration from our award-winning Photo Sport designs,” said Mark Regan, Country Manager for Lowepro UK. “To make this travel-friendly shoulder bag a ‘sport’, we added durable ripstop nylon for lightweight resiliency, thick webbing straps for a comfortable and secure fit on the body, plus a storm-flap closure for extra moisture protection around the camera box." Available in two sizes, the Photo Sport Shoulder bag is priced at £57 (12L) and £65 (18L).

New SDXC UHS-I Memory Cards from Transcend

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Accessories
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Transcend today announced the introduction of 128GB 600x and 64GB 300x SDXC UHS-I cards. Offering transfer speeds of up to 90MB/s and 45MB/s respectively, these memory cards provide both the storage capacity and the operational speed required to save, store and transfer large numbers of high-resolution photos and HD videos with ease. "Combining high capacity with full support of the Ultra-High Speed Class 1 specification, the new SDXC UHS-I memory cards effectively ensure ample storage space for capturing professional-quality images and high-definition videos, while offering enhanced camera response and significantly faster data transfers," the company says. The new 128GB 600x SDXC UHS-I card is currently available for a suggested price of $279, and the 64GB 300x SDXC UHS-I card is available for $109.

Samsung NX300 & Galaxy NX Honoured with EISA Awards

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Compact System Camera
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The European Imaging and Sound Association (EISA) has recognised the Samsung NX300 and Galaxy NX compact system cameras with two prestigious awards. The 20.3-megapixel NX300 has been named the 'European Compact System Camera of the Year 2013-2014,' while the Android-powered Samsung Galaxy NX (pictured) has been awarded the 'European Photo Innovation 2013-2014' title.

Sony A99 and HX50 Win EISA Awards

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This year, Sony has won two photography-related EISA awards. The company's flagship camera, the Alpha SLT-A99, has been recognised with the 'European Advanced Camera of the year 2013-2014' title, while the Cyber-shot DSC-HX50 superzoom (pictured) has scooped up the 'European Compact Camera of the year 2013-2014' award. Beyond photography, the company has also received accolades in the television, HT receiver and tablet categories.

Canon Picks Up Three EISA Awards

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Digital SLR Cameras, Lenses
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Canon has been honoured with three product awards by the European Imaging and Sound Association (EISA). The Canon EOS 100D has been awarded the ‘European SLR Camera 2013-2014’, the EF 200-400mm f/4L IS USM Extender 1.4x lens (pictured) has been named ‘European Professional Lens 2013-2014’ and the Canon EOS 6D has won the ‘European Advanced SLR Camera 2013-2014’ award. “Offering first-class products that enable creative expression is what drives Canon, so we’re honoured to receive these awards,” said Steve Marshall, Product Marketing Director, Consumer Imaging Group, Canon Europe. “By offering truly innovative products and technologies, our vision is to help photographers at all levels take the next step in their imaging journey. These products are a great example of that vision, and this recognition from the EISA judging panel is a testament to their outstanding quality.”

Nikon D7100 Wins European Camera 2013-2014 Award

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Digital SLR Cameras
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The European Imaging Sound Association (EISA) has recognised the Nikon D7100 digital SLR camera with the ‘European Camera of the Year’ award. Marina Gurevich, Product Manager for Consumer DSLRs at Nikon Europe, said: “We are very proud to receive this important award from EISA for our enthusiast-level DX format D7100. Since launching the camera in February this year, it has earned rave reviews – which we believe is down to its impressive resolution, professional-level 51-point autofocus system and a combination of powerful features in a durable body.”

EISA Awards for Panasonic GH3 & New 14-140mm Lens

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Compact System Camera, Lenses
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Panasonic has received EISA awards for its Lumix DMC-GH3 compact system camera and the new version of its Lumix G Vario 14-140mm f/3.5-5.6 Asph. / Power O.I.S.lens. Established in 1982, the European Imaging Sound Association (EISA) is a multimedia association that tests consumer electronic products. The Lumix GH3 won the ‘European Photo-Video Camera 2013-2014’ award for its versatility as a high class still and video camera, while the updated Lumix G Vario 14-140mm lens was named the ‘European Compact System Zoom Lens 2013-2014.'

Olympus Bags Two EISA Awards

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The European Imaging & Sound Association (EISA) has honoured two Olympus cameras with leading awards. The Olympus PEN E-P5 has won the European Advanced Compact System Camera 2013-2014, and the Tough TG-2 (pictured) took the accolades in the European Travel Camera category. The EISA is an organisation representing 50 leading camera, imaging and audio magazines in 20 European countries. Each year it selects outstanding products and technologies from a wide spectrum of audio-visual product categories.

Tamron Wins Two EISA Awards

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Lenses
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Tamron has today announced that the European Imaging and Sound Association (EISA) has presented Tamron with two European Lens awards for 2013-2014. The Tamron SP 90mm F/2.8 Di MACRO 1:1 VC USD (read review) has won the “European Lens 2013-2014” and the Tamron SP 70-200mm F/2.8 Di VC USD (read review) has won the “European Zoom Lens 2013-2014.”

Tamron USA Announces Faster Service Turnaround

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Lenses
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Tamron USA now offers 3-business-day repair service turnaround for photographic lenses. Now, all lenses received in the company's system by noon EST are estimated the same day and moved onto the next stage. Lenses under warranty are repaired and shipped back to the customer within three business days. Out of warranty lenses are repaired and shipped back within three business days of the customer's approval of the repair estimate.