Wednesday, December 5, 2012

DxO Optics Pro v8.1

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Software
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DxO Labs have released DxO Optics Pro v8.1. This update offers color management and sharpness enhancement when printing, an output option for reducing EXIF data, as well as numerous improvements to its interface. It also adds support for five new cameras including the Sony NEX-6 (pictured), the Canon PowerShot S110 and G15, and the Olympus Pen E-PM2 and E-PL5. Plus, the software now provides support for additional Canon, Olympus, and Sigma lenses for Canon, Olympus, and Sony cameras in the form of nearly 150 new DxO Optics Modules. This upgrade is free for all owners of DxO Optics Pro 8, as well as for all photographers who purchased a license for DxO Optics Pro 7 after 1 September 2012.

Adore Noir Magazine Issue 11

Zoltan Arva-Toth | General
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The eleventh issue of Adore Noir Magazine is now available for purchase. Adore Noir is a fine art photography magazine available exclusively in digital format. Featuring surreal abstract photography by Gillian Lindsay, city- and landscapes by Jeff Alu, an essay by Sandra Djak Kovacs, subjective images of Manhattan by Peter Liepke, photographs from The Night Journey series by Susan Kae Grant, portraits by David Lykes Keenan, seascapes by David Fokos; this issue reinforces the magazine’s commitment to high-quality black-and-white imagery.. The latest issue of Adore Noir is available for $2.95 from the website below.

Website: Adore Noir

Bataflae 18L Backpack

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Accessories
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Gura Gear has introduced its new Bataflae 18L photo backpack. “The Bataflae 18L is unique in its ability to easily tote multiple full-size professional and medium format camera bodies, a 300mm lens, or up to a 70-200mm attached to a body while maintaining the small compact style is what makes this bag the ultimate camera backpack for any level of photographer,” the company says. “Its full 6.5” interior depth allows for larger lenses, bodies, and other equipment that does not fit in traditional small backpacks.” Featuring a padded compartment for laptops up to 13” in size, the Btaflae 18L backpack is claimed to “fit worldwide carry-on requirements.” The bag is available for pre-order in black, grey, and limited production of tan.

Canon Pixma MG6320, MG5420, iP7220 / CanoScan 9000F Mark II

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Printers, Scanners
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Canon has launched a range of new Pixma printers and an updated version of the CanoScan 9000F photo scanner. The Pixma MG6320 ($199.99) and MG5420 ($149.99) Wireless Photo All-In-One and Pixma iP7220 Wireless Photo printers feature a stylish and compact design, built-in wireless connectivity and smartphone/tablet support. The Pixma MG6320 and MG5420 incorporate individual dye-based colour and pigment black ink tanks which are part of the ChromaLife100+ ink system. Building on the success of the Pixma iP4920, the new Pixma iP7220 single-function printer ($99.99) has faster output speeds and is capable of producing a 4x6-inch borderless photo in approximately 21 seconds. The CanoScan 9000F Mark II Photo Scanner ($199.99, pictured) comes with a Film Adapter Unit making it capable of scanning 35mm film strips in addition to prints.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Nikon AF-S Nikkor 24-85mm f/3.5-4.5G ED VR Review

Mark Goldstein
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The Nikon AF-S Nikkor 24-85mm f/3.5-4.5G ED VR is a new standard zoom lens that can be used with both full-frame FX and cropped DX Nikon DSLR cameras. Featuring a constant maximum aperture of f/3.5, the Nikon 24-85mm is an affordable partner for new DSLRs like the D800 and D600. Read our full Nikon AF-S Nikkor 24-85mm f/4G ED VR review to find out if it's a bargain or not...

Below the Knees

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Competitions
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PhotographyBLOG has teamed up with ViewBug to launch a new photography contest entitled, “Below the Knees.” Judged by London based music, fashion and portrait photographer Tom Barnes, this competition challenges you to submit your best photos (up to two) taken below knee height. The deadline for entries is 24 April 2013. The winner will receive a chic Epiphanie Plum Stella camera bag that accommodates a camera body with attached lens, a flash, battery charger and more. Five exterior pockets give you easy access to small items like memory cards, your cell phone, keys and business cards. Plus, the top People’s Choice will win a one-year PRO Membership on ViewBug.

Website: ViewBug | PhotographyBLOG Presents Below the Knees Photo Contest

MindShift Gear Launches “rotation180° professional” Kickstarter Campaign

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Accessories
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MindShift Gear, the new outdoor backpack company co-founded by Think Tank Photo and conservation photographer Daniel Beltrá, has launched a Kickstarter campaign to help fund its rotation180° professional backpack. “The rotation180° professional backpack brings camera access to a new level,” the company says.  “Its rotating waist pack allows nature and adventure photographers to maintain creative momentum by offering immediate access to primary photo equipment in even the most precarious situations without having to take off the pack, sling it over one shoulder, or even stop hiking.” Featuring two customizable gear carrying compartments, a lower rotating belt pack and upper pack which is accessed from either the top or back panels; the rotation 180° professional backpack has a volume of 37.5 litres and weighs in at 2.5kg. For more information, visit the product’s Kickstarter page via the link below.

Sony World Photography Awards 2013 - Last Call for Entries

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Competitions
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The World Photography Organisation (WPO) has announced the countdown to the close of the 2013 Sony World Photography Awards. There is just one month remaining for professional and amateur photographers from around the world to select and enter their best images of the year.  Professional photographers will compete for the coveted title of L’Iris d’Or/Sony World Photography Awards Professional Photographer of the Year 2013, plus a $25,000 cash prize.  Amateur photographers will contend the Open Photographer of the Year 2013 title, plus $5,000.

LeicaImages Annual Photography Contest 2012

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Competitions
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LeicaImages have just announced their annual photography contest for 2012. The theme is “A story with available light” so the challenge is to create “a dramatic image which is enhanced by the use of available natural or artificial light,” as the organisers put it. There are no fees or exchange of services required to participate but do note that the competition is open to members of the LeicaImages community only. Thanks to Tony Rose, the owner of PopFlash.com , a USA Authorised Leica dealer, the winner will receive a new Leica X2 camera (pic.

Perfect Effects 4

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Software
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onOne Software has released Perfect Effects 4 Premium Edition and Perfect Effects 4 Free Edition. Both programs offer a library of photographic effects and tools for image enhancement and creative stylisation. Each may be used as a standalone application, as an external editor for Apple Aperture, Adobe Lightroom, or as a Photoshop plug-in. The main difference between the two editions is that Perfect Effects 4 Premium Edition provides photographers with more than 400 photographic effects sorted into more than 40 categories, whereas the free version includes 70 photographic effects while maintaining core functionality and usage without the restrictions of a traditional 30-day timed trial or the addition of watermarks to images. Both Perfect Effects 4 Premium and Free Editions are now available from onOne Software. New users may purchase Perfect Effects 4 Premium Edition for $99.95. Owners of Perfect Effects 3 or PhotoTools 2.6 and earlier may upgrade for $69.95.

Free UV Filter with Sigma’s 18-250mm DC Macro OS HSM Lens

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Accessories, Lenses
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Sigma UK has introduced a short-term special offer that enables anyone who purchases Sigma’s 18-250mm f/3.5-6.3 DC Macro OS HSM lens to claim a free Sigma 62mm UV DG filter worth over £40. Benefiting from a special multi-layer lens coating, developed to counteract the highly reflective characteristic of image sensors, the Sigma 62mm UV DG filter protects your lens’ vulnerable front element from damage and eliminates the harmful effect of ultraviolet light. For more information on this offer, contact your local photographic retailer.

Monday, December 3, 2012

Tamrac Evolution Speed Roller Backpack Winner

Mark Goldstein | Competitions, PhotographyBLOG
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We’re giving away a Tamrac Evolution Speed Roller Backpack worth $499.95!

The lucky winner is Malcolm Veale. Congratulations!

For over 35 years, Tamrac has been manufacturing innovative products based on photographers’ needs and requests, maintaining the strictest quality standards. Tamrac’s extensive line of protective carrying systems includes backpacks, shoulder bags, point & shoot bags, rolling cases, and laptop compatible bags.  Tamrac’s numerous design inventions and innovations make them the best on the market.

With a unique combination of wheels and a backpack harness, Tamrac’s versatile Evolution Speed Roller Backpack (Model 5797) is ideal for getting around town or traveling around the world.  This rolling backpack has two compartments to hold camera gear and a foam-padded pocket for a laptop.  Whenever possible, you can roll your heavy photo gear on smooth ball-bearing wheels. The telescoping handle opens and closes with the push of a button. The bottom compartment holds a DSLR with a 70-200mm f/2.8 lens attached (up to 8”), several extra lenses and a flash. A Windowpane-Mesh™ pocket inside the front panel keeps accessories like memory cards and batteries organized and visible.

Kingston 25th Anniversary USB Stick Winner

Mark Goldstein
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We’re giving away an exclusive Kingston 25th year anniversary USB memory stick!

The lucky winner is TP Pang. Congratulations!

Kingston Technology, the independent world leader in memory products, are celebrating 25 years in the business as the largest third-party manufacturer of computer and device memory.

To mark the occasion they have released a limited edition USB drive. There are only 25 units in the UK and the USB drive is not available on the market and it will never be.

Apple Digital Camera Raw Compatibility Update 4.02

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Software
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Apple has posted a new Digital Camera Raw Compatibility Update to Apple Aperture 3 and iPhoto ‘11. Version 4.02 adds support for raw image files generated by the new Nikon Coolpix P7700, Olympus E-PL5, E-PM2 and XZ-2, Panasonic GH3, Sony NEX-5R, NEX-6 and A99. You can download the upgrade from the website below.

Website: Apple

Landscape Photography Magazine Issue 22

Zoltan Arva-Toth | General
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Issue 22 of Landscape Photography Magazine is now available to download. This edition includes a guide to light painting, a review of the book “The Landscape Photography Workshop” by David Hay, a test of the Canon EOS 5D Mark III, and much more. Do note that the full contents of Landscape Photography Magazine are available to subscribers only.

PhotoPlus X6

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Software
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Serif has launched PhotoPlus X6, the latest version of its award-winning photo editor for Windows. This update incorporates a range of new features, including the Smart Edge Refinement Tool, which quickly selects and adjusts intricate parts of photos such as hair and leaves; a new 64-bit engine; a completely overhauled Raw Studio; and full compatibility with Windows 8. PhotoPlus X6 retails at £71.48 and is available from Serif at the website below.

Friday, November 30, 2012

Nikon 1 V2 Review

Mark Goldstein
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The Nikon 1 V2 is a second-generation compact system camera that's clearly been redesigned to appeal to the serious enthusiast. In addition to a more direct control layout with shooting mode and control dials, a chunky hand-grip and built-in pop-up flash, the Nikon V2 also sports a new 14 megapixel sensor, faster 15fps burst shooting with continuous focusing, and improved Best Moment Capture and Motion Snapshot Modes. Read the World's first Nikon 1 V2 review to find out if this new mirrorless model can capture the attention of the more discerning photographer...

Samsung Galaxy Camera Photos

Mark Goldstein
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Ahead of our full review, here are 57 sample JPEG photos taken with the new Samsung Galaxy Camera, including the entire ISO range (100-3200).

The Samsung Galaxy Camera is a 16 megapixel superzoom camera with a 4.8-inch touchscreen, 21x optical zoom, optical image stabilisation, and Android 4.1 Jelly Bean operating system with Wi-Fi and 3G/4G connectivity.

Lensbaby: Bending Your Perspective, Second Edition

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Books
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The book “Lensbaby: Bending Your Perspective”, 2nd Edition, by Lensbaby expert Corey Hilz, is now available. Published by Focal Press, this edition is a follow-up to the one published in 2010, and covers new additions to the Lensbaby product family—the Composer Pro, Sweet 35 and Edge 80 Optics, Scout and Macro Converters. The book also includes an entire chapter devoted to video by guest author Clint Milby, who has over 15 years in the film and television industry. The book retails for $30.

Nikon Photo Contest 2012–2013 Opens Tomorrow

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Competitions
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Nikon is reminding interested photographers that the 2012-2013 Nikon Photo Contest will open for entries tomorrow, 1st December. Held since 1969, the Nikon Photo Contest (NPC), formally known as the Nikon Photo Contest International (NPCI), was created with the goal of “contributing to the development of photographic culture by providing a venue of communication among photographers from around the world, be they professionals or amateurs.” For this year’s contest, Nikon is seeking entries in four categories including single photo, composite photo, video and Motion Snapshot. The entry period begins on 1 December 2012 and runs until 28 February 2013. To submit your work, visit the Nikon Photo Contest 2012-2013 website and complete the entry form.

Website: Nikon Photo Contest 2012-2013