Friday, March 8, 2013

Rollei Racy Full HD

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Digital Video Cameras
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The new Rollei Racy Full HD is a new action camera capable of shooting five-megapixel stills as well as 1080p movies. Weighing in at 72 grams and measuring just 74x52x33mm, the Rolley Racy is supplied with an underwater housing that’s waterproof down to 10 metres, and features a 135° ultra-wide lens and a 6cm touchscreen. The camera comes complete with a remote control, a helmet fixture, 3M attachment stickers, the underwater housing and a USB cable. The Rollei Racy Full HD will be available from the end of April in silver and black for a recommended retail price of €139,95.

RawTherapee 4.0.10

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Software
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The RawTherapee development team have announced that they’d completed Version 4.0.10 of the program, which shall be available to download “within a day or two.” This update adds an array of new and improved features, and includes DCP profiles for a number of new (and older) digital cameras and backs including the Leaf Aptus 75, Canon EOS 5D Mark III, the Nikon D800, the Olympus E-510, E-520, OM-D E-M5 and XZ-1, and the Panasonic DMC-G5. The new builds will be available in a few days from the website below.

Canon Showcases its Imaging Line-up at WPPI

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Events
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Canon U.S.A. will showcase its breadth of input to output imaging devices at the 2013 Wedding & Portrait Photographer International (WPPI) Convention. On display at the Canon booth (#401) is a diverse selection of EOS camera models, including the EOS-1D X, 5D Mark III, 6D and 7D; a broad range of Canon EF lenses; some of the imagePROGRAF and Pixma Pro series of printers as well as the Canon DreamLabo 5000 production inkjet printer. For wedding and event videographers, the XF305 and the compact, highly portable XF105 professional camcorders are on display as well. Both deliver Full HD video utilising Canon-designed and developed native 1920 x 1080 CMOS image sensors, professional XLR microphone inputs, and Canon’s proprietary MPEG-2 4:2:2 50Mbps XF codec. The WPPI 2013 trade show is being held in the MGM Grand Conference Center in Las Vegas.

GIMP Magazine Issue 3

Zoltan Arva-Toth | General, Software
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Issue 3 of GIMP Magazine, a free publication featuring works created by the worldwide community of GIMP users, is now available to download. This edition includes an article on photographing motion, a test and tutorial on G’MIC, a feature-by-feature comparison of GIMP 2.8 and Photoshop CS5.5 Extended, an extensive image gallery and interviews with photographers Andrea Zanovello and Cyril Bosselut - and much more. You can read the magazine online or download the latest issue as a PDF. A print version is also available for $23.

Facebook to Launch Dedicated Photo Feeds

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Websites
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Facebook has announced a major redesign that sees the launch of several new features including a separate ‘Photos’ feed. In this new feed, you will be able to see photos shared by your friends - and the pages you’ve “liked” - displayed more prominently than in the current all-encompassing News Feed. Facebook says it will be rolling out the new design slowly over the coming weeks, but if you want to be among the first to experience it, you can add yourself to the waiting list at the website below.

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Pentax Optio WG-2 Review

Gavin Stoker
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The Pentax Optio WG-2 is a shock, freeze, dust and water proof compact camera. The Pentax WG2 offers 16 megapixels, a 3-inch LCD, a 5x zoom lens, Full HD movie recording and built-in GPS tracking. Available for £279.99 / $349.95, read our in-depth Pentax Optio WG-2 review now.

Special Edition X-Rite-Sekonic ColorChecker Passport and Sekonic Grey Balance Card

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Accessories
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Sekonic and X-Rite have launched the Litemaster Pro L-478D and L-478DR light meters bundled with the new special edition X-Rite-Sekonic ColorChecker Passport with Sekonic Grey balance Card. Using free software from Sekonic and X-Rite, this new bundle enables photographers and cinematographers to quickly and easily create an exposure profile of their cameras, calibrate their meters and create colour profiles. Incident-only calibration of Sekonic’s Data Transfer System enables creating exposure profiles for precise metering without the need for additional accessories. Incident and Reflected-light calibration requires the L-478 series View Finder 5°, available as a separate purchase, to read the Passport’s Sekonic grey card for calibrated reflected-light readings. Retail pricing is $512 for the Sekonic L-478DR and $438 for the Sekonic L-478D. Current Sekonic L-478D/DR owners can purchase this special edition of the X-Rite ColorChecker Passport with Sekonic Gray Balance Card at the special introductory price of $49.

X-Rite Announces March 2013 Webinars

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Events
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X-Rite has announced its schedule of March 2013 webinars. The first online seminar, “Simply Amazing Colour: Take Control of your Monitor, Printer and Camera,” will take place from 12pm EDT on 18th March. This webinar will review the company’s ColorMunki solutions including software demonstrations and discussions of how each solution is used. The second webinar, “Professional Monitor Calibration for Still & Video,” will be held from 12pm EDT on 25th March, and will review how to access and utilise the video presets in i1Profiler software and briefly look at use of ColorCheckers in the video footage as a visual reference. Finally the third webinar, “Fine Art Travel Photography with Andy Katz” will take place from 11am and 1pm EDT on 27th March. Andy will talk about how he communicates with people, listens to their stories, and creates the relationships that allow him to capture beautiful and revealing portraits.

Canon UK Launches Spring Cashback Promotion

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Starting today photographers living in the UK and Ireland can claim cashback on a range of Canon products including DSLRs, lenses and accessories, compacts, camcorders and printers. The amount of cashback ranges from £20/€25 on the PowerShot S110 camera (pictured) to £235/€300 on the Canon EF 24-70mm f/2.8L II USM and EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II USM lenses. To take part in the offer and check the terms and conditions, visit the website below.

Corel VideoStudio Pro X6

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Software
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Corel has launched VideoStudio Pro X6, the latest version of the company’s easy-to-use video editing software. This release adds support for Ultra HD and AVCHD 2.0 as well as motion tracking, a new Subtitle Editor, swappable tracks and much more. Also announced today is Corel VideoStudio Ultimate X6, a premium version which offers a multitude of high-end plug-ins from proDAD, Boris Graffiti and NewBlue. Suggested retail pricing for VideoStudio Pro X6 is £59.99 including VAT. Users of VideoStudio Pro X4 or higher are eligible for upgrade pricing of £44.99. VideoStudio Ultimate X6 is £79.99, or £59.99 for an upgrade.

Phase One Releases Capture One 6.4.5

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Software
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Phase One today updated its Capture One software with the release of version 6.4.5. This edition includes support for Canon tethering on Mac OSX 10.8 and better support for Samsung EX2F files. The update is free to existing owners of all versions of Capture One 6.

McAfee Social Protection

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Software
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McAfee Social Protection safeguards your Facebook photos by letting you control exactly who can view them. Available in desktop and Android editions, McAfee Social Protection enables you to authorise who can see your Facebook photos without allowing them to save, print, download, or screen capture the images. “In short, your photos stay your photos,” the company says. You can get the free app via the website below.

Firmware Updates for Panasonic GH3, 14-42mm, 45-150mm & 45-175mm Lenses

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Compact System Camera, Lenses
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Panasonic has announced the upcoming release of firmware updates for the Lumix GH3 compact system camera and three Micro Four Thirds lenses. Scheduled to be available later this month, the Panasonic GH3 firmware upgrade will enable users to connect their camera to a PC over Wi-Fi by inputting the computer’s name, and add a 60p, 28Mbps Full HD video recording mode for MP4 movies. The firmware updates will also enhance AF speed and continuous shooting performance when using the camera in AF-C mode in conjunction with the 14-42mm, 40-150mm and 45-175mm lenses.

Panasonic Partners with Rankin Film Productions

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Compact System Camera
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Panasonic has signed a partnership agreement with the Rankin Film Productions (RFP) to produce three 3-minute films using three Lumix GH3 cameras.  Aptly named ‘GH3-Minute Movies’, this campaign will showcase the GH3’s videography capabilities. Panasonic Lumix G product manager Barnaby Sykes commented: “We are excited about the prospect of what our latest Lumix GH3 can offer to creative filmmakers and wanted to find the right partner to help explore those possibilities. As soon as we met RFP’s roster of young director talent we knew we’d found the right team to put it to the test.” The ‘GH3-Minute Films’ will be released at the end of March and will be showcased across Panasonic’s digital and social platforms.

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Sony Xperia Z Photos

Mark Goldstein
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Ahead of our full review, here are 41 sample JPEG photos and a full HD 1080p movie taken with the new Sony Xperia Z smartphone.

The Sony Xperia Z has a 13 megapixel Exmor RS sensor, fast f/2.4 lens, a 5-inch TFT screen, and offers Auto focus, Geotagging and a built-in flash.

Canon IXUS 140 Photos

Mark Goldstein
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Ahead of our full review, here are 46 sample JPEG photos and a 720p movie taken with the new Canon IXUS 140 compact camera.

The affordable Canon 140 has a 16 megapixel CCD sensor, an 8x zoom lens, built-in wi-fi connectivity and a 3-inch LCD screen.

Fotodiox Vizelex RhinoCam

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Accessories
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Fotodiox today introduced the RhinoCam, a camera/lens adapter system designed to put “the power of a full-size 645 medium format back into the hands of virtually any photographer.” Via an interchangeable lens mount, the RhinoCam couples either a Pentax 645, Mamiya 645, or Hasselblad V medium-format lens with a Sony NEX series camera. The lens remains firmly in place while the RhinoCam’s moving platform positions the NEX sensor for multiple precisely-positioned exposures. The built-in Composition Screen enables photographers to preview the composed shot. After the capture process, it takes seconds to merge the multiple exposures into one larger image using automated stitching functionality built into recent versions of Adobe Photoshop and other software offerings. RhinoCam also mounts directly onto a 4x5 board to open up additional possibilities with wider angle lenses, tilts, shifts, bellows systems and more. The RhinoCam precision system is priced at $499.95 (excluding camera and lens) and available for order today from the website below.

Updated iCorrect Color Plug-ins for Photoshop Elements

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Software
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PictoColor has released new versions of its iCorrect color correction and photo enhancement plug-ins for Photoshop Elements. The lowest priced and simplest of the new plug-ins is iCorrect OneClick PSE ($19.95), which features 1-click color correction that rivals or surpasses other smart fix or auto correction tools. iCorrect Portrait PSE ($29.95) also features a point-and-click interface with auto color correction tools plus PictoColor Software’s critically acclaimed skin tone technology which perfects every skin tone with a simple click. The company’s flagship and most versatile plug-in, iCorrect EditLab Pro PSE ($29.95), features HueSelect Control Point Technology for precise, global and selective color control.

You Gotta See This! Version 3

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Software
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Boinx Software has launched version 3 of its You Gotta See This! photo collage app. This edition utilises new algorithms to improve image capturing, with updated parameters for all supported devices’ cameras. You Gotta See This! is now available as a free download from the iTunes App Store.

Tamron State Park Photography Series

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Events
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Tamron USA will host an in-the-field photographic workshop series at eight state parks in 2013. “Tamron USA is uniquely positioned to help novice and enthusiast photographers harness the beauty of these natural resources to improve their own landscape and nature photography skills,” says Stacie Errera, Tamron USA’s Chief Marketing Officer. “Plus, because the state parks on this tour, as well as the other parks in the system, are so accessible and conveniently located, workshop attendees have a great venue to go back to season after season to continue honing those skills.” Photographers participating in Tamron’s state park photography workshops will be able to borrow Tamron lenses to take out in the field. Workshop leaders will conduct an instructional seminar during the included lunch; optional sunset sessions may be available at some locations. Click through / read on for the detailed workshop schedule.