Wednesday, May 15, 2013

DxO Optics Pro 8.1.6

Zoltan Arva-Toth
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DxO Labs have released version 8.1.6 of DxO Optics Pro. This update adds support for the Leica M (in the Elite edition only), the Canon EOS 700D / Rebel T5i (pictured), the Nikon Coolpix A, the Nikon Coolpix P330, the Pentax MX-1, and the Sony NEX-3N. This upgrade is free for all owners of DxO Optics Pro 8, as well as for photographers who purchased a DxO Optics Pro 7 license on or after 1 September 2012.

Plustek USA Resumes Shipping of OpticFilm 120

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Film, Scanners
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Yesterday, less than a month after halting shipments of its OpticFilm 120 multi-format film scanner, Plustek USA issued a statement saying it has resumed shipping of the device. "Recently we discovered a component used in the manufacture of the OpticFilm 120 does not meet our quality standards," the company said in a statement issued back in April. Now Plustek are saying that they "will control scanner production to maintain a high level of product quality and customer satisfaction. Each scanner is assembled and tested by skilled technician[s] to ensure the image quality exceeds that of any non-drum film scanner in production or use today." 

Polaroid XS80

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Digital Video Cameras
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Polaroid is expanding its line of mountable hi-definition action video cameras with an affordable Full HD model called the Polaroid XS80. Capable of recording 1080p movies at 30fps, the Polaroid XS80 is waterproof to a depth of 30 feet and boasts a lens with an ultrawide 120-degree angle of view. Available now, the Polaroid XS80 carries an SRP of $129.99.

Street Football: An Insider’s Perspective

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Camera Phones, Events
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HTC has launched ‘Inside Street Football,’ a new exhibition designed to capture the passion and spirit of street football. Captured by an esteemed roster of Getty Images photographers, all of the photos on display were taken with the new HTC One camera phone. The exhibition will be hosted at Top Office Machines, 133-135 Bethnal Green Road, London - a gallery located in a former computer repair shop - from Friday, 24th of May to Tuesday, 28th of May. The images can also be viewed at an online gallery at the website below (also from 24th May).

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Nikon Coolpix S6400 Review

Mark Goldstein
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The Nikon Coolpix S6400 is a point-and-shoot travel-zoom camera, featuring a 12x, 25-300mm lens and a 16 megapixel backlit CMOS sensor. The S6400 also offers a 3 inch screen, 1080p Full HD movies, lens-shift vibration reduction and 7fps burst shooting. Read our in-depth Nikon Coolpix S6400 review now...

Digital Negative HD for iPad

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Software
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Digital Negative, an iOS app which captures uncompressed images that retain all of the information recorded by the camera sensor and saves them in DNG format, is now available in a dedicated iPad version. In addition to DNG, the Digital Negative HD app can also record high-quality JPG images or uncompressed TIFF files. Other interesting features include a real-time histogram, exposure compensation and shutter speed adjustments as well as flash, focus, and zoom controls. Digital Negative HD is available on iTunes for $2.99.

Panasonic Lumix G X Vario 12-35mm f/2.8 Firmware 1.2

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Lenses
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Panasonic has posted a firmware update for its Lumix G X Vario 12-35mm f/2,8 ASPH. lens. Version 1.2 improves the performance of the optical image stabiliser during video capture. For more information, visit the website below.

Website: Panasonic Japan

Rollei Fotopro DIGI MP1 and Rollei Fotopro DIGI 9300

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Accessories
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Rollei has launched a new monopod and a multi-functional tripod. The Rollei Fotopro DIGI MP1 monopod weighs just 220 grams and offers a maximum load capacity of 1.5kg. The height of the monopod is easy to adjust between 47cm and 139.5cm. Available in green, grey, blue, orange, red and black; the DIGI MP1 carries an RRP of €39.95. The Rollei Fotopro DIGI 9300 is a fully-fledged tripod weighing in at 1,290 grams, and has a working height adjustable between 48cm and 150cm. The tripod holds system cameras and camcorders up to a weight of 3 kg. The Rollei Fotopro DIGI 9300 tripod is available in grey, black, red, green, orange and blue at a price of €59.95.

Manfrotto Befree Tripod

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Accessories
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Manfrotto has rolled out its new Befree tripod, which was designed for photographers who love to travel. Thanks to the tripod's unique folding mechanism, the legs fold perfectly around the head and quick-release plate attachment into a closed position, where it is only 40cm in length. The tripod’s lightweight aluminium construction makes it especially easy to carry, weighing 1.4kg, less than the average laptop. The Manfrotto Befree also comes with a dedicated shoulder bag, protecting it from any accidental damage, while also making it more portable for traveling and convenient to store in luggage. Offering a maximum load capacity of 4kg and a maximum height of 144cm, the Befree tripod comes with an aluminium ball head and 200PL-14 quick-release plate, and sells for £174.95.

Nokia Lumia 925

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Camera Phones
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Nokia has announced yet another Windows Phone 8 powered smartphone called the Nokia Lumia 925, which features a new Smart Camera mode. Outfitted with a six-element 26mm (eq.) f/2.0 Carl Zeiss Tessar lens, 1/3"-type 8.7-megapixel BSI sensor, dedicated camera button, optical image stabiliser, dual LED flash, 4.5" WXGA display with Touch Focus functionality and a resolution of 334ppi; the Nokia Lumia 925 offers auto- and manual exposure, auto and manual white balance, Full HD video recording, and photo sharing over Bluetooth and Wi-Fi with NFC (Near-Field Communication) technology. The preloaded Nokia Smart Camera app allows you to shoot a sequence of ten photos at a slightly reduced resolution of 5 megapixels, making it "easier to capture great moments," the company claims. You can choose your best shot or combine the photos into one picture, make a strobe effect to emphasise motion, remove unwanted objects or choose the "best faces" for group shots. The Nokia Lumia 925 will be priced around €469. In addition to Europe, the Nokia Lumia 925 will be introduced into the US by T-Mobile and into China by China Mobile and China Unicom.

Nikon 1 Nikkor 32mm f/1.2

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Lenses
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The Nikon 1 Nikkor 32mm f/1.2 is an ultra-fast short telephoto lens for Nikon 1 System cameras. The 85mm equivalent lens, whose development was announced last October, is ideal for portraiture and boasts a compact, contemporary design as well as a silent-wave auto focus motor. A seven-blade rounded diaphragm promises a pleasing bokeh, and this is the first 1 Nikkor lens to feature Nikon’s Nano Crystal Coat, which is claimed to "greatly reduce" ghosting and flare even in backlit situations. Available in June, the 1 Nikkor 32mm f/1.2 lens can be yours for $899.95.

Canon EF 200-400mm f/4L IS USM Extender 1.4x

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Lenses
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Canon today officially announced its EF 200-400mm f/4L IS USM Extender 1.4x lens. For a new product, the Canon EF 200-400mm f/4L IS USM Extender 1.4x already has quite a bit of history. Canon first issued a development notice in February 2011. A "hand-built" (prototype) version was used at the 2012 Summer Olympics by sports photographer Jeff Cable, and we firrst delivered a set of hands-on photos in March 2013, during the Focus on Imaging show held in Birmingham, UK. Key features include a built-in 1.4x teleconverter to extend the reach to 560mm with very little loss of quality (easily activated by a switch on the lens barrel), a built-in filter holder, 2 customisable function buttons, and an innovative stepped focusing ring designed especially for video. The Canon EF 200-400mm f/4 L IS USM Extender 1.4x lens will go on sale in June, priced at £11,999.99 / €13,999.99.

Canon Develops New Picture Style for its DSLRs

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Digital SLR Cameras
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Canon has released a new in-camera Picture Style, called Video Camera X-Series Look, for its range of digital SLR cameras. Similar to that available in Canon’s range of X-series camcorders, the new Picture Style works by lowering colour saturation levels and contrast during filming. This makes it ideal for videographers during post production grading processes, especially if complementing with pre-existing footage shot with Canon’s X-series models. The new Picture Style can be downloaded now from the website below.

Monday, May 13, 2013

Samsung NX300 Review

Mark Goldstein
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The Samsung NX300 is a new mid-range compact system camera featuring a 20.3 megapixel APS-C sensor, hybrid AF system, 3.3-inch tilting AMOLED touchscreen, 8.6fps continuous shooting, Wi-fi and NFC connectivity, full 1080p video, and an ISO range 100-25,600. Read our in-depth Samsung NX300 review now...

Lastolite Ezybox II Octa Quad Kit

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Accessories
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Manfrotto Lighting has released the new Lastolite Ezybox II Octa Quad Kit. The kit incorporates the Ezybox II Quad Bracket (previously known as the Ezybox Quad Bracket) and the new Ezybox II Octa softbox. Working in the same manner as its predecessor, it allows the photographer to attach up to four flashguns to the bracket along with one of the Lastolite Ezybox II Octa softboxes or umbrellas. The Ezybox II Octa Quad Kit includes 1x Ezybox II Quad Bracket, 1x Ezybox II Octa (Medium or Large), 1x Spigot Tilthead, 2x four to one sync cables (PC connection and 3.5 Jack connection. The medium sized version costs £240, the large size can be had for £265.

BatchPhoto 3.7

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Software
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Bits & Coffee have released version 3.7 of BatchPhoto, which lets photographers enhance photos quickly and efficiently. New features in version 3.7 for Mac include the Enterprise edition with the new Monitor component, greatly improved speed for the annotate filters, updated user interface, and some additional improvements and fixes. BatchPhoto 3.7 runs on Mac OS X Mountain Lion (10.8), Lion (10.7), Snow Leopard (10.6) as well as Windows 8, 7, Vista, and XP. It comes in three editions: Home, Pro, and Enterprise priced at $34.95, $59.95 and $149.95, respectively.

“Mirrorless Mover” Camera Bags

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Accessories
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Think Tank Photo has just  released a new camera bag collection scaled to fit today’s mirrorless cameras. The Mirrorless Mover 5 fits one small size compact system camera (CSC) body with a small lens attached. The Mirrorless Mover 10 accommodates one medium size CSC plus one to two lenses and additional accessories. The Mirrorless Mover 20 houses one medium size mirrorless body plus two to three lenses and additional accessories. The Mirrorless Mover 30i holds one medium to large size compact system body plus two to four lenses. Click through / read on for the details.

Nissin MG8000 Extreme Wins TIPA Award

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Accessories
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The Nissin MG8000 Extreme flash has been named 'Best Portable Lighting System' in the 2013 Technical Image Press Association (TIPA) Awards. Offered in both Canon and Nikon fit, the Nissin MG8000 Extreme sparked mass interest amongst the industry when shown for the first time at Focus-on-Imaging in March 2012 due to its unique quartz-based flash tube which ensures the unit remains cool, even in extreme-use conditions. When tested, the Nissin MG8000 can produce over 1000 full flashes without any fear of overheating, the company claims. The Nissin MG8000 Extreme boasts a recycle time of just 3 seconds for the first 200 shots, and then 5 to 7 seconds for subsequent frames, maintaining its guide number throughout the burst. Other highlights include an included external diffuser, tilt-swivel head, guide number of 60 (in metres at ISO 100/21° with the head zoomed to the 105mm position), full support for Canon’s and Nikon’s wireless TTL flash control systems, high-speed synchronisation and a stroboscopic flash mode. Weighing in at 400g, the Nissin MG8000 Extreme has a guide price of £545.40.

Sony Xperia XR

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Camera Phones
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Sony Mobile Communications have just revealed their latest smartphone, the Sony Xperia ZR, which is claimed to offer the "highest level of water-resistance" for capturing photos underwater. The Android-powered Xperia ZR, which is capable of shooting Full HD videos, comes with a 13-megapixel camera module and a 4.6-inch, 1280x720-pixel "HD Reality" display featuring an "OptiContrast" panel that reduces reflections and provides clearer viewing even in bright sunlight. The built-in camera's burst mode allows users to shoot an unlimited number of images at 10 frames per second at a somewhat reduced resolution of 9 megapixels. The Sony Xperia ZR will launch in various global markets from Q2 2013.

Friday, May 10, 2013

Nokia Lumia 928

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Camera Phones
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The Nokia Lumia 928 is a new Windows Phone 8 powered smartphone with wireless charging, an 8.7-megapixel main camera and a Carl Zeiss Tessar 26mm (eq.) f/2.0 lens. Other highlights include optical image stabilisation, a xenon flash for stills, a LED light for movies, and 1080p Full HD video capture at 30 frames per second. A second, front-facing camera module is also present, with a 1.2-megapixel sensor and 720p video. In the USA, the Nokia Lumia 928 is exclusive to Verizon Wireless, with sales starting on 16th May. The price is $99 after a $50 mail-in rebate, with a new two-year customer agreement.