Tuesday, December 18, 2012

The Hasselblad Masters Awards 2014

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Competitions
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The Hasselblad Masters Awards 2014 competition is now open to photographers shooting with cameras of sixteen megapixels and above, regardless of the camera’s brand or format. The internal Hasselblad jury has already begun the process of shortlisting 120 finalists - ten photographers in each category (including the new categories of Project/21 and Underwater). The finalists will be announced in January 2013 and the public has the chance to vote for their favourite image. Winners of the 2014 awards will have use of Hasselblad equipment for a period of approximately four months to create a new set of images for the fourth special Masters Commemorative Book and will receive a trophy at photokina 2014.

DxO Optics Pro 8.1.1

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Software
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DxO Labs have released DxO Optics Pro 8.1.1. Providing support for four new cameras including the Canon EOS M, the Pentax K-5 II and K-5 IIs as well as the Sony Alpha SLT-A99 (pictured), DxO Optics Pro 8.1.1 also adds 298 new DxO Optics Modules to its ever-growing library. This upgrade is free for all owners of DxO Optics Pro 8, as well as for photographers who purchased a license for DxO Optics Pro 7 after 1 September 2012.

Instagram to Sell Users’ Photos to Advertisers?

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Global, Websites
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Eight months after buying Instagram, Facebook has issued a modification to the service’s Terms of Use, allowing it to sell users’ photos to advertisers. According to the updated terms, you “agree that a business or other entity may pay [Instagram] to display your username, likeness, photos (along with any associated metadata), and/or actions you take, in connection with paid or sponsored content or promotions, without any compensation to you.” Commenting on the news, The Guardian’s Charles Arthur speculates that the move “may give a boost” to Flickr, adding that “[a]lthough Flickr has resale deals in place with a number of companies, it shares revenue from those with users and only uses photos with users’ explicit permission.” Instagram users who do not agree with the new terms may opt out until 16 January 2013 by deleting their uploaded photos and terminating their accounts.

Website: Instagram / Updated Terms

Update: Instagram Backtracks on Terms of Use Update

Adobe Releases Lightroom 4.3 and ACR 7.3

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Software
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Adobe has released final versions of Lightroom 4.3 and ACR 7.3. Previously available as release candidates, these updates add full support for the Nikon D600, Canon EOS 6D, Canon PowerShot S110, Canon PowerShot G15, Canon PowerShot SX50 HS, Casio Exilim EX-ZR1000, Casio Exilim EX-FC300S, Leica M-E (pictured), Nikon 1 V2, Nikon D5200, Olympus PEN E-PL5, Olympus PEN E-PM2, Olympus Sylus XZ-2 iHS, Panasonic DMC-GH3, Pentax K-5 II, Pentax K-5 IIs, Pentax Q10, Sony RX1, VG30 and VG900. The updates also incorporate various bug fixes and new profiles for a variety of Canon, Leica, Pentax, Sigma, Sony and Tamron. lenses.

Source: Adobe Lightroom Journal

Lastolite 10m Off Camera Cord

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Accessories
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Manfrotto Lighting has announced the release of the new Lastolite 10m Off Camera Cord.. Available in Canon or Nikon versions, the 10m Off camera Cord has a single shoe mount and retains all TTL metering. Allowing the photographer to extend to distance between camera position and his light source, the Lastolite 10m Off Camera Cord is available now at a suggested retail price of £63.

Monday, December 17, 2012

Canon EOS M Review

Gavin Stoker
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The Canon EOS M is a new compact system camera that boasts 18 megapixels, full 1080p high-definition videos with continuous auto-focusing, and a touch-screen interface. Other key features of the EOS M include a 3-inch LCD screen with 1,040k dot resolution, ISO range of 100-25,600, and a flash hotshoe. Is Canon's new mirrorless model a real contender? Read our Canon EOS M review to find out...

Samsung Partners with Time Out for Photo Competition

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Competitions
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Samsung and Time Out have announced the ‘Share your Now’ contest, which encourages Londoners and New Yorkers to take pictures of their respective hometowns and challenge locals to prove they love their city the most. Created to celebrate the recent launch of Samsung’s Galaxy Camera (pictured), the competition enables entrants to upload images they have captured of New York or London to a dedicated portal on the Time Out website. Each week five participants from each city will win their own Galaxy Camera. Once the competition closes, three winners from each city, drawn from the total pool of winners from the nine week competition will be commissioned to work with Time Out magazine to share their take on their own city with their Samsung Galaxy Camera. These final images will be featured on the front cover of Time Out in their respective cities. To participate in the ‘Share your Now’ competition visit the website below.

Photo Collage Maker 1.2

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Software
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Artensoft has released Photo Collage Maker 1.2, a software application that automatically creates mosaic collages and photo mosaics in which the constituent elements can be of different sizes depending on the selected level of detail. Photo Collage Maker 1.2 is available immediately from Artensoft’s online shop, and through its network of authorised resellers. The program sells for $79.95.

Defishr for Windows

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Software
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proDAD has unveiled Defishr, an automatic video fisheye correcting application for Windows. According to the company, Defishr is highly effective at removing distortions caused by very wide angle camera lenses on GoPro-type action cameras, DSLR cameras fitted with wide angle lenses, and even mobile phones with wide angle lenses. To remove fisheye from a video clip, a user simply drags a video clip into the Defishr app, selects the camera model that recorded the video from a drop-down list and the software corrects for the distortion automatically. “Finally action camera users, professional wide-angle lens users and simply ‘all videographers and photographers’ have a simple solution for removing unwanted distortion from otherwise good video” said Andreas Huber, proDAD’s Managing Director. “Defishr is by far the easiest and most effective video and photo de-warp solution currently available and it’s quite affordable too.” proDAD Defishr is currently available as an electronic download from the proDAD online shop at an introductory price of £58.

Delkin Announces Plans for CFast Video Cards

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Accessories
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Delkin has announced its plans to build a consumer CFast card optimised for professional video applications. “CFast combines the mechanical robustness and portability of the industry standard CompactFlash card with the performance benefits of the SATA interface,” explains VP of Sales and Business Development, James Grassman. “In the Industrial space the transition from PATA to SATA ports in single board computer designs created the demand for CFast over a year ago. With the transition from 1080p capable DSLRs, camcorders, projectors and televisions to emerging 4k video capabilities, we’re excited to take our experience and knowledge of CFast and apply it to build a version optimised for these new devices.” Specifics about the new card haven’t been released yet.

Canon KJ20x8.2B KRSD 2/3” HD Lens

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Lenses
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Canon has launched a new 2/3” HD zoom lens called the KJ20x8.2B KRSD. The company first introduced its HDgc series of HD portable lenses five years ago to provide high optical performance at competitive prices for the then-emerging generation of lower-cost portable HD video cameras. Designed to offer high-quality performance in a compact and lightweight package, the KJ20x8.2B KRSD boasts a 1.0 second maximum speed over its entire 20x zoom range. Focal lengths range from an extra-wide angle 8.2mm (60.7 degrees angular field of view horizontal in 16:9 aspect ratio) to 164mm, combining with a f/1.9 maximum relative aperture – all in a package weighing just 1.25 kg. The KJ20x8.2B will go on sale at the end of February with a SRP of £4,090 + VAT.

Leica S2 Firmware Version 1.0.4.2

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Digital SLR Cameras
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Leica has released a firmware update for the Leica S2 digital SLR camera. Version 1.0.4.2 adds support for the new Leica Super-Elmar-S 24 mm f/3.5 ASPH. and Leica Vario-Elmar-S 30-90 mm f/3.5-5.6 ASPH lenses and optimises the shutter priority exposure mode (T) based on user feedback. Furthermore, the installation of the new camera firmware is a precondition for the use of Leica S-Lenses with central (leaf) shutters. Registered S customers can now download the files containing the firmware upgrade and an installation guide from the owners’ area at the website below.

Website: Leica

Canon EOS 6D Firmware Version 1.1.2

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Digital SLR Cameras
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Canon has issued a firmware update for the Canon EOS 6D digital SLR camera. Version 1.1.2 fixes a phenomenon which prevents movie files shot using the EOS 6D from being played back on YouTube. You can download the firmware upgrade from the website below.

Friday, December 14, 2012

Nikon Coolpix S2600 Review

Matt Grayson
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The Nikon Coolpix S2600 is a simple point-and-shoot compact camera featuring a 5x, 26-130mm lens, 14 megapixel CCD sensor, 720p HD movies and a range of special effects. Can £65 really buy you a decent camera? Read our in-depth Nikon Coolpix S2600 review now to find out...

2012 Travel Photographer of the Year Winners Announced

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Competitions
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British photographer Craig Easton has been announced as the overall winner of the Travel Photographer of the Year (TPOTY) 2012 competition. Craig beat entrants from over 90 countries to win the world’s leading travel photography competition with four evocative, moody images of the ‘dreich’ - an old Scottish word to describe wet, miserable, dank weather - and an elegant series of four striking silhouettes of people in Paris. The New Talent award went to Alessandra Meniconzi (Switzerland), while 15-year-old Samuel Fisch (USA) has been named Young Travel Photographer of the Year.

Samsung Unveils New Range of Accessories for SMART Cameras

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Accessories
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Samsung has revealed a new range of accessories for its Galaxy Camera and many other models in the SMART range of connected cameras. The sleek Galaxy Pouch (£32.99) comes in black, white, orange and red so photography enthusiasts can match their camera case to suit their personal tastes. The leather Premium EX Case (£54.99, pictured) for the Samsung EX2F comes in black and tan, while the also-new Premium Case (£16.99) is designed to protect some of the SMART range’s high-end models including the Samsung WB150F and Samsung WB850F. For more information visit the manufacturer’s website via the link below.

Tiffen Reveals New Lineup for CES

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Accessories
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Tiffen today gave a sneak peek at its new product lineup for the upcoming 2013 International CES exhibition. Innovative products going on display at the show include the Steadicam Smoothee for iPhone 5, Next Generation Domke camera bags, and the Lowel GL-1 Power LED Light. The company is inviting attendees to stop by at the Tiffen booth (31133) for a look at Tiffen technology gear and products. Tiffen ImageMakers are scheduled to appear, along with other professional photographers, giving hands-on product demonstrations and presentations.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Panasonic Lumix DMC-SZ7 Review

Matt Grayson
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The Panasonic Lumix DMC-SZ7 is a new mid-range travel-zoom compact camera. The stylish Panasonic SZ7 offers 14 megapixels, a 10x zoom lens, 3 inch LCD screen, 10fps burst shooting and 1080p HD movies. Read our expert Panasonic DMC-SZ7 review now...

Christmas Deals from Manfrotto

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Accessories
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Manfrotto has just announced a number of offers across its range of Italian photographic accessories. The Pocket, a versatile, compact tripod with legs that fold down neatly for easy storage, is available for £29.95. The Mini-24 Continuous LED light, a smartphone/compact-camera accessory for shooting stills and video (pictured), can be had for £69.95, while the Agile VII Sling Camera Bag is currently priced at £89.95. The 294 Carbon-Fibre Kit, comprising a tripod and a three-way head, is now available for £249.95. Additional holiday offers include free shipping on everything above £20 from the Manfrotto website using the promo code FREESHIP at checkout, a £30 discount on the Manfrotto MK293A4-A3RC1 290 Series Aluminium Kit, and a free ML120 LED Light on all Manfrotto UK orders £100 and above, starting tomorrow.

Panasonic GH3 Delayed

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Compact System Camera
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Panasonic has announced a delay in the launch of its new Lumix DMC-GH3 Micro Four Thirds camera (body-only version). Originally scheduled for a December 13th release, the Panasonic GH3 camera body’s launch has been pushed back to December 29th. Do note that this decision only affects the body-only configuration; two kits - one with the 12-35mm f/2.8 lens and one with the 14-140mm superzoom - are going on sale today in Japan, according to schedule.

Source: Panasonic Japan
Review: Read our in-depth review of the Panasonic Lumix DMC-GH3 compact system camera