Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Vanguard Introduces New Products at CES

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Accessories, CES 2013
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Vanguard has unveiled a number of new products at CES, including the GH-300T pistol grip ball head with built-in shutter release trigger, the Abeo Pro tripod, Abeo Plus 323AV tripod with PH-123V fluid video pan head and new Vojo photo-video bags. Featuring a unique, remote shutter release built into the grip handle, the GH-300T pistol grip ball head enables users to trip their camera’s shutter without pulling their hand from the grip. The GH-300T also features two panning axes: a 72-click-point panning base just below the camera mounting plate for precise panoramic images, and a second 360-degree panning base at the tripod mounting base for following subjects in motion. The Abeo Pro tripod’s Multi-Angle Central Column system allows users to move the central column from 0 to 180-degree angles in variable vertical and horizontal positions; its Instant Swivel Stop-n-Lock (ISSL) System securely repositions the central column in one simple movement, in just a few seconds, while maintaining the tripod’s stability. The 3-in-1 All-Terrain feet provide the perfect solution for any surface: angled rubber, spikes, and a set of snow/sand shoes. The new Vanguard Vojo Series shoulder bags (models 22, 25 and 28) offer space for a camera, personal items, and a padded compartment for a tablet or compact laptop.

Sigma DP3 Merrill

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The Sigma DP3 Merrill compact camera features a 50mm F2.8 lens and a 46 megapixel Foveon X3 sensor. The Sigma DP3 Merrill’s high-performance 50mm F2.8 lens has the equivalent angle of view as 75mm on a 35mm lens. The 23.5×15.7mm full-colour Foveon X3 direct image sensor (Generation name “Merrill”), featured in the Sigma DP3 Merrill incorporates 46 effective megapixels (4,800×3,200×3 layers). The availability and price of the Sigma DP3 Merrill have yet to be announced.

SIGMA Photo Pro 5.5

Mark Goldstein | CES 2013, Software
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SIGMA Photo Pro 5.5 now offers a specialized mode to process the RAW data of the SIGMA Merrill cameras for the creation of monochrome photography. Sigma and Foveon have added a new monochrome mode to Sigma Photo Pro, allowing photographers to create monochrome photographs with RAW data and full RGB data for each pixel. The SIGMA Photo Pro 5.5 for both Windows and Macintosh OS will be available in February.

HEINEKEN Launches the 60+ Challenge

Mark Goldstein | Competitions
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Heineken has just launched a photo contest aimed at 60+ year olds. Heineken is asking creative people from around the globe to share their observations and insights on the lives and preferences of this golden generation. Prizes are a share of $10.000 and to have their entries included in a 60+ documentary movie. To enter the challenge, please visit www.ideasbrewery.com. The winners will be announced at the end of March 2013.

Accessory of the Year 2012

Mark Goldstein | Accessories, PhotographyBLOG
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Our second award is for Accessory of the Year 2012, which goes to Spyder4Elite.

“For those that want more control, the Spyder4Elite is an excellent option that will give you everything you need to the best possible color fidelity. It’s hard to find fault with the Spyder4Elite. The advanced features take a bit of exploring to fully understand, but if you’re willing to read through the online help, which is excellent, you can learn enough to impress any of your photography friends.”

Read the Full Review

Congratulations to Datacolor and Spyder4Elite!

Nikon 1 Nikkor VR 10–100mm f/4.0–5.6

Zoltan Arva-Toth | CES 2013, Lenses
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The Nikon 1 Nikkor VR 10–100mm f/4.0–5.6 is a small and convenient superzoom lens for Nikon’s compact system cameras. Billed as the world’s smallest carry-anywhere 10x zoom lens, thee Nikon 1 Nikkor VR 10–100mm f/4.0–5.6 has a 35mm equivalent focal range of 27-270mm. Nikon’s integrated Vibration Reduction (VR) mechanism helsp users cature crisp stills and stready video footage.

Nikon 1 Nikkor VR 6.7–13mm f/3.5–5.6

Zoltan Arva-Toth | CES 2013, Lenses
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The Nikon 1 Nikkor VR 6.7–13mm f/3.5–5.6 is a new wide zoom for the Nikon 1 System. With a 35mm equivalent focal range of 18-35mm, the Nikon 1 Nikkor VR 6.7–13mm f/3.5–5.6 is currently the widest lens available for Nikon compact system cameras. The lens comes equipped with the manufacturer’s proven Vibration Reduction (VR) technology that enables users to take hand-held shots at slower shutter speeds than would otherwise be possible with a lens of this type.

Nikon 1 J3 & Nikon 1 S1

Zoltan Arva-Toth | CES 2013, Compact System Camera
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Nikon has announced two new compact system cameras, the14.2-megapixel Nikon 1 J3 and the 10.1-megapixel Nikon 1 S1. Billed as the world’s smallest body among digital cameras with interchangeable lenses employing an image sensor larger than CX format, the Nikon 1 J3 (pictured) also boasts the world’s shortest release time lag and fastest continuous shooting speed of 15fps with auto focus and up to 60 fps with fixed-point AF. The Nikon 1 S1 launches the new S-series of fast and stylish camera bodies designed for speed and simplicity. Claimed to be “as convenient and easy to use as a compact camera, but much faster and significantly more powerful, with better image quality,” the Nikon 1 S1 has a clean, minimalist design with simplified controls. Both models can record Full HD movies at 60 and 30 fps and 60i, 60p, and 30p frame rates, and even capture full-resolution photos while filming.

Nikon Coolpix S6500 & Coolpix S2700

Zoltan Arva-Toth | CES 2013, Digital Compact Cameras
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Nikon has added two new models to its Coolpix range of compact cameras in the form of the Wi-Fi enabled Coolpix S6500 and the stylish S2700. The Nikon Coolpix S6500 (pictured) comes with a 16-megapixel CMOS sensor and a wide-angle Nikkor 12x optical zoom lens covering a 35mm equivalent focal range of 25-300mm. The built-in Wi-Fi means you can transfer them directly to your smart device ready for uploading to your favourite social media venues. Additionally, you can use your smart device as a remote control for the camera.The Nikkon Coolpix S2700 comes without Wi-fi but has a slender 20.7 mm body with 6x optical zoom, and offers features like motion blur reduction, in-camera retouching and subject tracking auto focus. The S6500 has Full HD 1080p movie recording capabilities, while the S2700 offers 720p video only.

Sony Cyber-shot WX200, WX80, WX60, TF1, H200, W730 & W710

Zoltan Arva-Toth | CES 2013, Digital Compact Cameras
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Sony has added seven new models to its Cyber-shot range of digital compact cameras. The Full HD enabled Sony Cyber-shot WX200 has an 18.2-megapixel CMOS sensor and 10x optical zoom with Optical SteadyShot (OSS), high-speed AF and Wi-Fi. The Cyber-shot WX80 offers a 16.2-megapixel imager, 8x optical zoom with OSS, Wi-fi and Full HD video. The Sony WX60 has similar specifications sans Wi-Fi. The Cyber-shot W730 also has a 16-megapixel imager and 8x optical zoom with OSS but shoots 720p movies instead of Full HD video. The Sony W710 has the same CCD as the W730 but comes with a 5x zoom lens without SteadyShot. The Sony Cyber-shot TF1 is a water-, dust-, shock- and freezeproof offering with 16 megapixels, 4x optical zoom, OSS and 720p video, while the AA battery powered Sony H200 (pictured) has a 20.1-megapixel CCD and 26x optical zoom.

Olympus TG-830 and TG-630

Zoltan Arva-Toth | CES 2013, Digital Compact Cameras
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The 12-megapixel Olympus TG-630 and 16-megapixel TG-830 are the latest additions to the manufacturer’s line-up of ruggedised Tough cameras. Waterproof to 5m, freezeproof to -10 °C and shockproof to 1.5m, the family-oriented Olympus TG-630 (£169.99) comes with a 28-140mm equivalent zoom lens. The more serious Olympus TG-830 (£249.99, pictured) is waterproof to 10m, crushproof to 100kg, freezeproof to -10 °C and shockproof to 2m;.and comes with built-in GPS and e-Compass. Both cameras offer 5x optical zoom, 60fps sequential shooting, Full HD video capture and advanced underwater white balance. The Olympus TG-630 is availabele from early February, while the Olympus TG-830 is expected to hit the shelves in mid-March.

Olympus SZ-15

Zoltan Arva-Toth | CES 2013, Digital Compact Cameras
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The Olympus SZ-15 is a 16-megapixel compact camera with 24x optical zoom and an interesting telemacro function that allows users to capture great close-ups of tiny creatures from a very reasonable working distance. The 25-600mm equivalent zoom lens covers everything from ultra-wide angle to super-telephoto, while the image stabilisation system ensures sharp images even when the camera is used in a hand-held fashion. Also capable of shooting 720p HD movies, the Olympus SZ-15 is expected to hit the shops in mid-March, at a recommended retail price of £179.99.

Olympus SH-50

Zoltan Arva-Toth | CES 2013, Digital Compact Cameras
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The 16-megapixel Olympus SH-50 is the new flagship of the manufacturer’s Stylus Traveller range, featuring 24x optical zoom and a hybrid 5-axis Movie image stabilisation system. First seen in the Olympus OM-D E-M5 compact system camera, the manufacturer’s 5-axis Movie IS allows users to record shake-free video footage even when hand-holding the camera - and also helps when taking still photographs. Other highlights include 1080/60i/30p Full HD movie recording with sound as well as 720p HD with 120fps or HVGA with 240fps high-speed movie recording for slow-motion playback of fast-action scenes; a telemacro mode for shooting close-ups from as far as 40cm from the subject (great for timid creatures or stinging insects), “M” mode for manual adjustment of aperture and exposure time, and FlashAir compatibility for transferring password-protected images to selected smartphones and social networks. The Olympus SH-50 will be available from mid-March for £249.99.

Olympus TG-2

Zoltan Arva-Toth | CES 2013, Digital Compact Cameras
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The Olympus TG-2 is a new rugged camera with a 12-megapixel back-illuminated CMOS sensor and a 25-100mm equivalent zoom lens with an f/2 maximum aperture at the wide end. New to the TG-2 is a telemacro mode which, when combined with a subject distance of 1cm, effectively turns the camera into a digital microscope. Waterproof to a depth of 15 metres, shockproof to a height of 2.1m, freeze proof to -10°C and crushproof to a force of 100kg, the Olympus TG-2 is FlashAir compatible fortransferring password-protected images to selected smartphones and social networks. Other highlights include GPS tracking, Full HD movie capture and video recording at up to 240 frames per second. The Olympus TG-2 will go on sale in early February, priced at £349.99.

Monday, January 7, 2013

Samsung WB250F/WB200F, WB800F, WB30F, DV150F and ST150F

Zoltan Arva-Toth | CES 2013, Digital Compact Cameras
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Samsung has unveiled a range of upgraded “smart” cameras and the first devices to run on the new technology: the WB250F/WB200F, the WB800F, WB30F, DV150F and ST150F. The Samsung WB250F (pictured) and WB200F boast 18x optical zoom, a 14.2 Megapixel BSI CMOS (WB250F) or CCD (WB200F) sensor and 24mm equivalent wide angle. With the addition of Wi-Fi capabilities, users can share high-quality photos quickly and easily. The WB250F is completed with pop-up flash and is available across four colours; white, cobalt black, gun metal and red. The WB800F is a classic long-zoom camera, with 21x optical zoom and a 16.3 Megapixel BSI CMOS sensor. Built around a hybrid user interface, the Samsung WB800F has both a touchscreen and a five-way manual key. The WB30F is the range’s new ‘mini model’ with 10x optical zoom and 24mm, wide angle lens, in an ultra-slim body that is only 17mm thick. Extra features built into the slim and stylish design include Magic Frame and Live Panorama. Housed in a stylish aluminium body, the Samsung DV150F combines Wi-Fi connectivity with a 2.7” Front LCD for easy and simple self-portraits. “The imaging technology of the DV150F, a 16.2 Megapixel CCD sensor, f/2.5 25mm bright lens and 5x optical zoom, deliver outstanding quality pictures that can then be shared instantly via Wi-Fi,” the company says. The Samsung ST150F also comes with a 25-125mm equivalent lens, f/2,5 maximum aperture 16.2-megapixel CCD sensor and integrated Wi-Fi, but lacks the DV150F’s front mounted LCD.

Fujifilm X20 Hands-on Photos

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Want to see exactly what the new Fujifilm X20 camera looks like in the flesh?

Check out our extensive hands-on gallery of 22 photos of the Fujifilm X20.

The Fujifilm X20 is a premium compact camera with a 12 megapixel X-Trans CMOS II sensor, EXR Processor II, 4x optical zoom lens, phase detection auto-focusing as fast as 0.06 seconds, and an Advanced Optical Viewfinder.

Fujifilm X100S

Zoltan Arva-Toth | CES 2013, Digital Compact Cameras
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Successor to the critically acclaimed X100, the Fujifilm X100S is an updated model with a 16.3-megapixel APS-C X-Trans CMOS II sensor, an ultra-fast hybrid AF system, the world’s first “Digital Split Image” feature for precise manual focussing, and new EXR Processor II for speedy response times including a start-up time of approximately 0.5 seconds, and a shooting interval of 0.5 seconds. The newly-developed X-Trans CMOS II sensor has built-in Phase Detection pixels which enable the Fuji X100S to achieve a focus lock in as little as 0.08 second which, coupled with a shutter lag of only 0.01 second allows you to react quickly and capture each moment you want to with no missed photo opportunities, the company claims. In addition to the new features, the Fujifilm X100S retains its predecessor’s famed Hybrid Viewfinder, sharp Fujinon 23mm f/2 lens and unique styling.

Fujifilm X20

Zoltan Arva-Toth | CES 2013, Digital Compact Cameras
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The new Fujifilm X20 is successor to the well-received X10, featuring a bright optical viewfinder with a newly developed Digital Trans Panel, brand new 12 megapixel 2/3-type X-Trans CMOS II sensor with built-in Phase Detection pixels and no low-pass filter. The hybrid auto focus system enables the Fuji X20 to achieve focus lock in as little as 0.06 second, while the new EXR Processor II offers fast responses with a start-up time of approximately 0.5 second, a shutter lag of 0.01 second and a shooting interval of 0.5 second, providing advanced flexibility. The X20 also delivers an impressive burst rate of 12 frames per second at the full 12 megapixel resolution. The Intelligent Hybrid AF automatically switches to Contrast AF when the subject or scene demands it to ensure that the camera always auto-focuses at the highest speed and precision levels possible. In addition, a Focus Peak Highlight feature is available to help photographers manually focus the lens by highlighting the area of the image currently in focus. Inherited from the Fujifilm X10, the high-precision f/2.0-2.8 4x manual barrel zoom lens is made up of 11 glass elements in 9 groups, including 3 aspherical lens elements and 2 extra-low dispersion lens elements. In Super Macro mode you can get as close as 1cm from your subject.

Fujifilm FinePix HS50EXR

Zoltan Arva-Toth | CES 2013, Digital Compact Cameras
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The Fujifilm Finepix HS50EXR is a new bridge camera with a 16-megapixel sensor, 24-1000mm equivalent superzoom lens and an ultra-fast hybrid AF system. The newly developed 42x Fujinon zoom lens offers the precision of a manual barrel zoom, and features optical image stabilisation as well as an optical formula that comprises 17 elements in total, 15 of which have Fujinon’s Super EBC coating on both sides for reducing ghosting and flare. The biggest difference over the previous HS30EXR is the inclusion of Phase Detection pixels on the sensor to achieve an incredibly short autofocus lag of just 0.05 second in ideal conditions, less than a third of the already remarkable 0.16-second focus lag of its predecessor.

Fujifilm Finepix SL1000

Zoltan Arva-Toth | CES 2013, Digital Compact Cameras
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The Fujifilm FinePix SL1000 is a raw-capable 16-megapixel superzoom camera with 50x optical zoom, Full HD video, 920K dot EVF, tilting 3” LCD screen, an extensive range of manual controls and a conventional mode dial with P, A, S and M exposure modes. The newly developed, 24-1200mm eq. f/2.9-6.5 Fujinon lens features Optical Image Stabilisation and an optical formula that comprises 17 elements in 12 groups including a number of aspherical and ED elements. Thanks to an eye proximity sensor, the Fuji SL1000 is able to switch automatically between the EVF and the articulated rear screen by sensing whenever your eye is near. The camera offers Panoramic shooting just by pressing the shutter and spinning on the spot. You can also create 3D shots by combining two separate shots, taken from slightly different angles. Other highlights include a 1cm Super Macro mode, Full HD video with stereo sound, a 3-level zoom switch, a flash hot-shoe, and a Function button which can be assigned to frequently used features.