Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Signup for our Exclusive Datacolor Webinar!

Mark Goldstein | PhotographyBLOG, Technique
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When: April 4th 2013, 7:00pm (GMT)

What: This is an exclusive webinar for Photography Blog readers with Oliver Mews, Global Service Manager and Trainer at Datacolor. The webinar’s topics are: general color management, Photoshop settings and some tips and tricks on how to make sure to work with correct colors for different purposes. Get the chance to ask live questions at the end of the webinar!

Where: http://spyder.datacolor.com/webinars/photographyblog-uk

Canon XA25, XA20 and Legria HF G30

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Digital Video Cameras
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Canon is expanding its handheld video camera range with three compact models for professionals and video enthusiasts. Two new professional X-series models, the Canon XA25 (£2099/€2799, pictured) and XA20 (£1699/€2199), combine a powerful, all-new imaging system with professional audio and Wi-Fi connectivity in a “versatile, compact package that fits neatly in the palm of a hand,” the company says. Highlights include a 1/2.84” HD CMOS PRO sensor, 20x zoom with dynamic optical image stabilisation, 3.5” OLED touchscreen, a tilting 1.56-million-dot electronic viewfinder, dual-format recording, built-in Wi-Fi and IR lamp, 2x XLR inputs as well as fast- and slow-motion movie recording capabilities. The Canon XA25 additionally features HD-SDI output offering the high capacity, uncompressed connectivity useful for many broadcast applications. The enthusiast-focussed Canon Legria HF G30 (£1299/€1699) comes with the same lens (with “optical intelligent IS”), OLED touchscreen and HD CMOS PRO sensor, Wi-Fi connectivity and full manual controls but lacks the XLR inputs and built-in infrared lamp of the XA models. All three models will be available from June 2013.

Firmware Updates for Canon EOS Cinema Cameras

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Digital Video Cameras, Software
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Canon is developing firmware updates for three of its interchangeable-lens Cinema EOS System cameras. Following the release of these upgrades, the Canon EOS C500 (pictured), EOS C300 and EOS C100 will offer support for a new Magnify function that will allow users to check focus in different parts of an image, on the camera LCD, as well as the centre. The EOS C300 will also be upgraded to support an additional range of features designed to assist independent videographers. Push Auto Iris and One Shot AF will provide further versatility on small-crew shoots, offering a quick, easy way to check and adjust exposure and focus prior to recording. The EOS C300 will also gain additional support with 1440x1080 HD video recording at 35Mbps. A further upgrade for the EOS C100 will add support for Continuous AF when used with Canon’s EF-S 18-135mm f/3.5-5.6 IS STM lens. In addition to these updates, Canon will also add new features to the Cinema Raw Development (CRD) software. The firmware updates for the EOS C500, EOS C300, EOS C100 and CRD software will be available later in 2013.

Canon Develops 35mm Cinema Prime Lens

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Lenses

Canon is developing a new 35mm cinema prime lens for large-sensor digital cameras. Compatible with a wide range of sensor sizes including super 35mm, full-frame 35mm and APS-C, the new EF-mount 35mm lens in development would become the sixth prime lens in Canon’s EF Cinema lens line-up, fulfilling the requirement for an option between the existing 24mm and 50mm lenses. A development sample of the 35mm cinema lens will be on display in the Canon booth during the 2013 NAB Show in Las Vegas, April 8-11, 2013, with the aim of an official launch during 2013.

Thule Perspektiv Camera Bags Launch in UK

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Accessories
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The new Thule Perspektiv camera bags are now available in the UK. The Thule Perspektiv series has six camera bags in various sizes for different needs; including the Perspektiv Backpack, Perspektiv Daypack, Perspektiv Messenger Bag, Perspektiv Top Loaders (medium and large) and Perspektiv Action Sport Camera Case. “The bags are steeped in Scandinavian design and Thule quality where each piece combines function, attention to detail and contemporary styling,” the company says. The Thule Perspektiv range, which has recently won an iF Design Award, is available at prices ranging from £30.99 to £210.99.

Prime Circle XE System

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Lenses
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Developed by LockCircle, the Prime Circle XE System is a complete range of innovative prime lenses with electronic aperture and wireless control up to 300 feet. Prime Circle XE lenses blend world-class optics (Carl Zeiss) with cine-style ergonomics complete with dedicated XE and XE-Z wireless controllers and an FZ intelligent mount. Available in 10 different focal lengths from 15mm to 135mm, PrimeCircle XE lenses feature large focus scales on both sides of lens barrel for precise focus-puller work and a 95mm front mount across the range. The lenses will be on display at the NAB 2013 show, in Booth # C 9921.

Chasing the Light eZine Issue 15

Zoltan Arva-Toth | General
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Issue 15 of David Noton’s Chasing the Light eZine is now available. In this month’s edition, David continues his brand new series Seeing the Light with an exploration of daylight, and also provides his regular essential Compositional Tutorial: this time exploring the importance of the Decisive Moment. For Stepping Back, David revisits the momentous switch to digital whilst shooting the stunning vistas of the Northumbrian coastline. Issue 15 also includes two video tutorials, a guest feature on animal portraits by Ben Hall, and the final part of David’s account of his trip to Myanmar (Burma). Please note that the full contents of Chasing the Light eZine is available to f11 subscribers only.

Nikon D800 Firmware Update A1.01 / B1.02

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Digital SLR Cameras
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Nikon has released a firmware update for the Nikon D800 DSLR camera. According to the company, Version A1.01 / B1.02 incorporates a number of improvements and fixes, some of which appear to be quite significant. Click through / read on for the details.

Nikon D600 Firmware Update C1.01

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Digital SLR Cameras
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Nikon has issued a firmware update for the Nikon D600 full-frame DSLR camera. Version C1.01 incorporates an array of enhancements and fixes, the most significant ones being an improvement in AF-C performance and the ability to output a live view feed with 100% frame coverage in movie mode via HDMI. Click through / read on for the details.

Nikon D4 Firmware Update A1.05 / B1.03

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Digital SLR Cameras
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Nikon has posted a firmware update for the its Nikon D4 professional DSLR camera. Version A1.05 / B1.03 adds support for the new AF-S Nikkor 800mm f/5.6E FL ED VR lens, improves auto white balance performance, and fixes bugs. In the release notes (see below) Nikon also claims, somewhat mysteriously, that “images are sharper and appear more three dimensional.”

Nikon D3200 Firmware Update C1.01

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Digital SLR Cameras
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Nikon has released a firmware update for the Nikon D3200 entry-level DSLR camera. Version C1.01 changes a couple of aspects of the camera’s behaviour when using the Wireless Mobile Utility, and fixes bugs. Click through / read on for the detailed list of changes.

Nikon D7000, D3, D3S, D3X Firmware Updates

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Digital SLR Cameras
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Nikon has posted firmware updates for the DX-format Nikon D7000 as well as the FX-format Nikon D3, D3S (pictured) and D3X DSLR cameras. Unlike the more comprehensive firmware updates issued for the Nikon D3200, D600, D800 and D4, this upgrade simply adds support for the new AF-S Nikkor 800mm f/5.6E FL ED VR lens.

Website: Nikon D7000 Firmware Update A1.03 / B1.04
Website: Nikon D3 Firmware Update A2.03 / B2.03
Website: Nikon D3S Firmware Update A1.02 / B1.02
Website: Nikon D3X Firmware Update A1.01 / B1.02

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Leica X2 Review

Gavin Stoker
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The Leica X2 is a pocket camera for professionals, offering a 16 megapixel APS-C sensor, fast f/2.8, 36mm lens, improved autofocusing and the usual superlative Leica handling and build quality. Is that enough to justify the Leica X2's £1575 / $1995 price tag? Read our in-depth Leica X2 review to find out...

Nokia Lumia 920 Photos

Mark Goldstein
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Ahead of our full review, here are 46 sample JPEG photos and a 1080p movie taken with the new Nokia Lumia 920 smartphone.

The Nokia Lumia 920 has an 8.7 megapixel backside-illuminated sensor, fast f/2.0 Carl Zeiss lens with optical image stabilization, a 4.5-inch WXGA screen, and offers Auto focus, Geotagging and a built-in flash.

Landscape Photography Magazine Issue 26

Zoltan Arva-Toth | General
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Issue 26 of Landscape Photography Magazine is now available for purchase. This month’s edition includes advices on using circular polarisers, a guide to underwater landscapes, a review of the book Ireland’s Coast by David Hay, a test of the Canon EOS 6D camera, an article on whether pro gear is really worth the money it costs, and much more. and much more. Do note that the full contents of Landscape Photography Magazine are available to subscribers only.

Pentax PR-80 EDA Spotting Scope

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Accessories, Lenses
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Pentax has launched a new spotting scope kit that will enable users to attach any Pentax digital SLR camera for digiscoping purposes. The PR-80 EDA spotting scope (£1,249.99) features a double-ED objective lens and FBMC (Fully Balanced Multi Coating) on all lenses with enhanced light transmission and resolution values for superior colour, contrast and brightness. The PR-80 EDA lit is argon-purged, fully water- and dustproof, and unusually compact. The adapter that will allow for the attachment of a DSLR is currently under development. By means of this adapter, the spotting scope can be “converted” into a high-power telephoto lens. The estimated focal length will be around 1500mm, the company says.

Tamron ‘My Travel Exhibit’ Photo Contest

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Competitions
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Tamron USA has launched its third My Photo Exhibit annual photo contest. Offered exclusively to Tamron USA lens users, the My Photo Exhibit competition gives one lucky winner the opportunity to win one of seven Tamron lenses (among them the Tamron 18-270mm f/3.5-6.3 Di II VC PZD, pictured). Entrants will create a 3D virtual exhibit showcasing 8-14 of their best images in a travel theme on Tamron’s unique photo sharing exhibit site, MyPhotoExhibits.com. The deadline for submissions is 30 September 2013.

MSoX Announces Two Webinars for April

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Events, Photographers
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Manfrotto School of Xcellence (MSoX) has announced two exclusive, free webinars for April. This Thursday, Victoria Hillman will be hosting an online seminar exploring her work as a wildlife and landscape photographer. This webinar begins at 4 p.m. BST. The second event will take place on 30th April (also starting at 4 p.m.) will see commercial, editorial and advertising photographer Drew Gardner present a range of his work, exploring lighting and technical details including a breakdown of each set, how it was lit and the equipment that was used.

Fuji to Raise Film Prices in U.S.

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Film
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Fujfilm North America will increase prices for consumer and professional photographic film as well as one-time-use cameras by approximately 20%, effective 1 July 2013. “The price increases are a result of the continuing decline in demand for film products, the high costs of production, and the increased expenses associated with raw materials, including silver and petro-chemicals, and energy,” the company said in a statement. “Under such circumstances, and despite efforts to maintain production costs, Fujifilm is unable to absorb these costs entirely and must implement price increases at this time.”

Schneider Kreuznach Xenon Full-Frame Primes

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Lenses
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Schneider Kreuznach has launched a completely new series of full-frame lenses, the “Xenon full-frame primes.” Developed specifically for video enabled DSLRs (but also usable on professional cine cameras), the series initially comprises three fixed focal lengths: T2.1/35mm, T2.1/50mm and T2.1/75mm. The lenses support 4K Ultra HD video resolution and can also be used for stills photography. Cinematographers will be pleased to learn that they are all compatible with standard professional cine accessories like rigs, follow focus or matte boxes. Each Schneider-Kreuznach Xenon full-frame prime lens features a maximum aperture of T2.1, an iris diaphragm with 14 rounded blades, an M95 filter thread, robust cine-style lens mechanics and a focus ring with a 300° angle of rotation. For more information, visit the website below.