Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Wave and 500px Launch Photo Contest

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Competitions
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500px and Wave have launched a new photo contest. Wave is a smart online application for invoicing, accounting and payroll that helps small businesses (such as photography studios). The winner of this week’s photo contest will receive a $500 gift card and exposure on Wave’s social media channels. The theme is “Storefronts” and photographers have until Sunday 17th March to submit their work. Note that you need to have a 500px profile in order to enter the competition.

HDR Projects Platin

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Software
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Franzis Verlag, a German publishing house, introduced its HDR Projects Platin software for the first time to an international audience at the Focus on Imaging 2013. HDR Projects Plating features an extensive array of functions and flexible editing methods for high-quality results, the company says. Highlights include seven HDR imaging algorithms, selective HDR for precise results, “exceptionally natural” and realistic rendering of high-contrast scenes, adjustable smoothing for the removal of unwanted halos and more. HDR Projects Platin is a stand-alone software optimised for MacOS 64-bit and Windows 32-bit and 64-bit operating systems and sells for £99 including VAT.

TabStrap

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Accessories
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BlackRapid has teamed up with Tether Tools to create the new TabStrap for tablet users. Comprisign a BlackRapid Metro strap, connector and bracket that integrates with a Wallee tablet case, the TabStrap enables users to comfortably wear a tablet and free up their hands during events such as wireless tethering photo shoots, trade-shows, meetings, educational platforms and more. The system currently supports all iPad models and Galaxy Tab 10.1 tablets. The complete TabStrap kit retails for $89.90.

Hink Teases ‘New Kind of Flashgun’

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Accessories
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A company called Hink is promising to release an entirely new kind of flash for photographers, which will supposedly “change the way we use flash in our images.” To say details are sparse is an understatement - all we know is that the product is “going to be out before Christmas and in the public eye by June.” The company has set up a teaser page on Facebook to raise awareness of the new brand but hasn’t revealed much about the project except that it’s code-named “Spacefish.” Reacting to reader feedback about the scarcity of tangible information, Hink commented that “[t]here’s not a lot we can reveal just yet without potentially jeopardising our product.”

Dreamstime Launches New Camera Section

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Websites

Stock photography agency Dreamstime has launched a “Camera” section that collects together and enables detailed searching of all of the company’s images where the camera/equipment details were available in the exchangeable image file format (EXIF) metadata. More than eighty percent of Dreamstime’s collected images retain EXIF information, with more than 2,000 different camera models catalogued. This new camera section offers value to photographers who can now see the different camera models that are most frequently used in stock photography and spot trends between certain cameras and types of subject matter. They can also review and compare the images produced by cameras that are at certain price point levels or possess particular technological features, aiding them with purchasing decisions, the company says.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Samsung NX1100

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Compact System Camera
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The Samsung NX1100 is a new 20-megapixel NX system camera with built-in wireless connectivity. In an unusual move, the NX1100 was not announced by Samsung themselves but by B&H Photo Video, which is currently accepting pre-orders for a kit comprising the camera body - in either black or white -, a 20-50mm f/3.5-5.6 ED II lens, an external flash and a DVD-ROM version of Adobe Photoshop Lightroom. Headline specifications are similar to those of the NX1000; including a 20.3 megapixel APS-C sized CMOS sensor, 8fps continuous shooting, a 3-inch/921k-dot rear display, Full HD video recording at 30fps, and integrated Wi-Fi. With the free Samsung Smart Camera app, you can instantly back up the images, share them directly to social media sites and use a smartphone as a remote viewfinder and shutter release. The Samsung NX1100 bundle is available to pre-order for $699.

Sigma DP3 Merrill Photos

Mark Goldstein
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Ahead of our full review, here are 43 sample JPEG photos taken with the new Sigma DP3 Merrill compact camera, including the full ISO range.

The Sigma DP3 Merrill is a high-end compact with a 46 megapixel (4800×3300×3 layers) FOVEON X3 direct image sensor and a 50mm f/2.8 fixed lens.

Fujifilm X100S Photos

Mark Goldstein
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Ahead of our full review, here are 74 JPEG photos and a 1080p movie taken with the new Fujifilm X100S compact camera. We've included the entire ISO range from 100 to 25600.

Successor to the X100, the Fujifilm X100S has a 16.3-megapixel APS-C X-Trans CMOS II sensor, ultra-fast hybrid AF system, "Digital Split Image" feature for precise manual focusing, and new EXR Processor II for quicker response times.

Sony Xperia Z Review

Mark Goldstein
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The Sony Xperia Z is a brand new smartphone that offers a lot of technologies from Sony's CyberShot camera range. The Xperia Z has a 13 megapixel sensor, 28mm fixed lens with fast f/2.2 aperture, 1080p video, sweep panoramas, a range of picture effects and 10fps burst shooting. Read our Sony Xperia Z review to find out if it really can replace a compact camera...

Spider Monkey Holster

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Accessories
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Spider Holster has just launched the Spider Monkey Holster for photographic accessories. This is a compact yet durable holster clip that easily attaches to any belt or camera bag loop allowing photographers to hang their most-used equipment for quick-draw accessibility. The scalable Spider Monkey accessory system eliminates the need for photographers to carry an added shoulder bag by hanging their most oft-used tools right on their belt. The durable Spider Monkey Base clip and tab are built for long-term use, with the ability to securely hold camera accessories weighing about one pound including flashes, light meters and battery packs. The Spider Monkey Tab attaches to the accessory with a robust adhesive tab (which removes cleanly after use) and an additional Velcro attachment band for ultimate security. Attendees of the WPPI Expo (March 11-13, 2013 MGM Grand, Las Vegas, NV) can visit Spider Holster in booth #330 for a hands-on demonstration. The base Spider Monkey system, with holster clip, adhesive tab and the Velcro attachment loop will carry an MSRP of $17.

Phottix Mitros for Canon

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Accessories
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As the exclusive distributor for Phottix products in the United States, OmegaBrandess has just launched the Phottix Mitros TTL flash for Canon. Functions include built-in IR triggering with Master and Slave modes, AF assist light, 180 degree turn in both directions, auto/manual zooming flash head, high-speed and rear-curtain sync, and “fast recharge times.” The Phottix Mitros TTL Flash includes a USB port for firmware upgrades and a 3.5mm sync port. The E-TTL capable Phottix Mitros has a guide number of 190 (in feet at ISO 100/21°) and runs on four AA batteries. The manufacturer’s suggested retail price for the Mitros TTL Flash for Canon is $349.99.

Akvis HDRFactory 3.5

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Software
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Akvis has released Version 3.5 of Akvis HDRFactory, an application that creates HDR images from a series of photographs taken at different exposures. This edition adds the new Crop tool which helps to remove unwanted areas and reduce image size, fixes bugs and incorporates support for raw images from the Canon EOS 6D, EOS 600D, EOS 1100D and PowerShot S100. Registered users of HDRFactory can upgrade to the newest version free of charge, by downloading and installing the new version.

Samsung NX300 to Include Lightroom 4

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Compact System Camera, Software
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Samsung UK today announced that the brand new Samsung NX300 camera will come bundled with Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 4. Recently launched at CES, the NX300 is the latest model in Samsung’s NX range. Key specifications include a twenty-megapixel imager with on-sensor phase detection AF sensors, an articulated OLED touchscreen and Wi-Fi connectivity. Other highlights include a sensitivity range of ISO100/21°—ISO25,600/45°, a maximum shutter speed of 1/6000 sec,  8.6fps continuous shooting, a 5-way manual key interface and i-Depth, an easy and simple way to adjust the depth-of-field of an image using the NX Series’ unique i-Function system. Shipping in March, the Samsung NX300 will come with a copy of Lightroom 4, which normally sells for more than £100.

Ritz Camera at WPPI

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Events
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Ritz Camera & Imaging have unveiled their Pro-Advantage programme at the 2013 Wedding & Portrait Photography Conference and Expo.The Pro-Advantage programme is a recognition programme designed around a photographer’s necessities. Members will be given special processing and printing benefits as well as back stage passes to many special events, experiences and opportunities. Additional benefits include exclusive discounts on hard goods, exclusive 50% off on any photo excursions, invitations to meet and greet professional photographers, camera and accessory rental packages and more. WPPI attendees have the opportunity to sign up for the Ritz Pro-Advantage programme and be entered into a raffle where they can win one of four different prizes including two airline tickets to any location in the US, an Olympus OM-D E-M5 and 12-50 lens, Pentax K-30 with 18-135 WR zoom, or a Mefoto trans-functional tripod.

Pentax K-5 II(s) Firmware Version 1.03

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Digital SLR Cameras
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Pentax Ricoh has issued a firmware update for the Pentax K-5 II and Pentax K-5 IIs digital SLR cameras. Version 1.03 improves overall stability and exposure accuracy when using AA batteries.

Website: Pentax Japan

ACDSee Pro 6.2 & ACDSee 15.2

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Software
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ACDSystems have released Version 15.2 of ACDSee and Version 6.2 of ACDSee Pro. These updates add support for the Canon Powershot S110, EOS M, EOS 6D, PowerShot G15 and PowerShot SX50 HS, the Nikon 1 V2, D5200 and D600, the Olympus XZ-2 iHS, E-PL5 and E-PM2, the Panasonic GH3, the Pentax K-5 II, K-5 IIs and Q10, the Samsung EX2F, the Sony SLT-A99V, NEX-6, NEX-5R and DSC-RX1. The new versions also incorporate bug fixes and performance improvements. For more information see the ACDSee Pro 6.2 and ACDSee 15.2 release notes.

Pentax Announces Rebates

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Digital SLR Cameras, Lenses
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Pentax Ricoh Imaging Americas has announced consumer mail-in rebates on its 645D medium-format system as well as select Limited series lenses when bundled with the K-5 IIs dSLR. The rebates, valid through 31 March 2013, range from $250 to $500. Photographers who buy a 645D camera body will receive a free D-FA 55mm lens and a $500 Pentax VISA prepaid card on the purchase of the D-FA 25mm and HD 90mm lens when bought at the same time as the body. Those purchasing the K-5IIs camera body will receive a $250 Pentax VISA prepaid card on the purchase of FA 31mm, 43mm and 77mm Limited series lenses when biught at the same time as the body. To print a mail-in rebate form, visit the website below.

Monday, March 11, 2013

Canon IXUS 140 Review

Mark Goldstein
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The Canon IXUS 140 (also known as the PowerShot ELPH 130 IS) is a stylish new point-and-shoot compact camera that won't break the bank. Stand-out features include a 16 megapixel sensor, built-in wi-fi connectivity, a 3 inch LCD screen, 8x wide-angle zoom lens and a metal body. Read our in-depth Canon IXUS 140 review to find out if it offers a winning combination of style and substance...

Lowepro Flipside Sport 20L AW

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Accessories
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Lowepro has just introduced the Flipside Sport 20L AW, a lightweight and breathable bag to use during their outdoor adventures. The Flipside Sport 20L AW fits 2 pro SLR cameras with integrated grips (one with attached 300mm f/2.8 lens, 2 extra lenses and a flash, a tablet or laptop, tripod or monopod,, a battery charger and other accessories plus trekking poles and other personal gear. The backpack is available now priced at around $180.

Website: Lowepro

Nissin Di700

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Accessories
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At the Focus on Imaging trade show, Kenro introduced the Nissin Di700 flash and the Nissin PS 8 power pack. The Nissin Di700 features a zooming flash head with an extended 24-200mm coverage and a guide number of 50 (in metres at ISO 100/21°) at the 200mm setting. The model supports 180° horizontal rotation to the right and left, tilts up to 90° and expands 7° downwards to facilitate close-up photography. Other highlights include a recycle time of 0.1-4.0 seconds, an AF assist light, PC sync, 3.5mm sync and an external power socket that makes the Di700 compatible with the Nissin PS 8 power pack. The new Nissin Di700 will be available for Canon, Nikon and Sony, and is scheduled to be launched April 2013. Pricing details will be available closer to its launch. The PS 8 power pack is available now, priced at £165.