Thursday, March 14, 2013
The Vanguard Abeo Pro 283CGH has won a Red Dot Design Award. Prof. Dr. Peter Zec, CEO of the Red Dot Design association, has pointed out that strong design competence and economic success nowadays go hand in hand: “The winners of the ‘red dot award: product design 2013’ are the protagonists of a highly developed design culture and design industry. These days it is becoming more and more difficult to distinguish between well-designed products. It is often only in the details that the special qualities become apparent. However, those product creations that pass the test before the critical eyes of the international red dot jury will not disappear into the crowd and will be able to fend off global competition.”The Abeo PRO 283 CGH tripod kit is the 5th award in a row Vanguard received from the association. The awards ceremony takes place on 1 July 2013 as part of the traditional Red Dot Gala.
The Association of Photographers (AOP) has just announced this year’s Awards programme. “The Photographers Awards will be a more focused format, with a range of categories in single and series but with no distinction between commissioned and non-commissioned,” Awards Manager Charlie Thomas said. “One exciting addition for this year is a special 30th Anniversary Lifetime Achievement Award, voted for by the AOP membership.” The submission period will open at 10am, Monday 2 April and closes on 6pm, Friday 10 May (Photographers’ Awards) and 6pm, Friday 31 May (Open Awards). During the first two weeks, there will be an Early Bird discount on entry prices. After 6pm Friday 12 April, the regular prices will apply for non-members, however there will be a continual discount for AOP members.
Nikon UK today launched its spring cashback promotion. Eligible products include the Nikon D3100 (pictured), D3200, D5100, D5200, D7000 and D600; with the promotion running from 14th March – 31st May. The amount of cashback ranges from £30/€35 on the D3100 to £150/€180 on the D600. Note that all claims must be received by 30 June in order to qualify.
Wednesday, March 13, 2013
Ahead of our full review, here are 54 sample JPEG photos and a Full HD movie taken with the brand new Panasonic Lumix DMC-TZ40 compact camera.
The Panasonic Lumix DMC-TZ40 is a full-featured travel zoom compact camera with an 18-megapixel sensor, a 20x, 24-480mm equivalent zoom lens, and built-in wifi and GPS connectivity.
Ahead of our full review, here are 51 sample JPEG photos and a Full HD movie taken with the brand new Nikon Coolpix S9400 compact camera.
The Nikon Coolpix S9400 is a travel zoom compact camera with an 18-megapixel sensor, 3-inch OLED display and an 18x, 25-450mm equivalent zoom lens.
Nero has released a new version of its Nero 12 and Nero 12 Platinum multimedia suites. The most significant enhancements in the new version concern the Nero Recode video converting application, which now includes pre-configured device profiles for the latest generation of tablets and smartphones, including the iPad Mini, all iPad models, iPhone 5, iPod Touch 5G, iPod Nano 7G, Windows 8 and Windows 8 Pro tablets, Windows 8 Phone and Kindle Fire HD. Nero Recode also now automatically detects a computer’s GPGPU (general-purpose graphics processing unit), and uses it by default to finish video converting jobs four to eight times faster. The overall performance of Nero Video was also improved to make editing and exporting faster. It now uses memory more efficiently to allow for longer and more involved projects. It also boosts the viewing and editing experience for HD formats such as AVCHD 2.0. Nero 12.5 is available now as a free online update for anyone who has purchased Nero 12 or Nero 12 Platinum.
Addonics today announced an internal and external reader/writer that allows you to use mSATA SSDs or CFast cards as removable media on any computer. The Addonics External Reader/Writer comes bundled with mSATA and CFast adapters. The adapters convert the mSATA or the CFast media into a 1.8” micro SATA storage device that can be inserted into the open slot of the Reader/Writer. The Addonics Internal Reader/Writer mounts directly in the 3.5” drive bay of any system and connects via the SATA port or SuperSpeed USB 3.0 port. Like the external version, the Internal Reader/Writer comes bundled with two adapters for the mSATA SSD and CFast card and converts the mSATA or the CFast media into a 1.8” micro SATA SSD that can be inserted into the open slot of the reader/writer. A model with two slots is also available to accommodate two media. MSRP starts at $55 for the single-slot internal model with SATA interface.
58 North has announced that the free iPad digital photo book app, Pholium, now offers the highest-quality hardbound photo book printing capabilities. By including QR codes in Pholium photo quality printed books, viewers can experience the same interactive sound and video contained in the eBooks. When a user hovers over a QR code with any smartphone or tablet, they are instantly directed to the multimedia content. “Printed photo books are great, but they are limited to whatever is on the page,” said Robert Sinclair, co-founder of 58 North. “With this update, we’re giving life to printed photo books and allowing our users to tell and share a richer story through multimedia assets.” The lay-flat printed Pholium books are available with glossy or matte finished image wrap covers and can contain up to 158 photos, audio captions and video links. The up to 80-page printed books start at $42 (8-inch) and $47 (10-inch). Shipping is included.
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.
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.
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.
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.”
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
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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 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.