Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Sony NEX-6 Review

Zoltan Arva-Toth
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The NEX-6 is the latest compact system camera from Sony, slotting in between the mid-level NEX-5R and the top-of-the range NEX-7. With a 16 megapixel APS HD CMOS sensor, 1080p HD movies, high-res 3 inch OLED screen and built-in flash, the Sony NEX-6 also features 10fps burst shooting, wi-fi connectivity and downloadable PlayMemories Camera Apps. Read our full Sony NEX-6 review, complete with sample JPEGs, RAW files, and movies, to find out if it's the best Sony NEX camera yet...

DxOMark Introduces “Perceptual Megapixel” Score

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Websites
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DxO Labs have launched a new measure of lens sharpness, dubbed “Perceptual Megapixel,” on their DxOMark website. Designed by DxOMark experts, Perceptual Megapixel attempts to quantify the sharpness “perceived” by the photographer while taking into account all the characteristics and defects of the lens and the camera. “This new unit of measure replaces the MTF scores that we have been publishing up until now. Perceptual Mpix weights MTF measurements with the sensitivity to detail of the human visual system, thus providing a score for the sharpness perceived by our eyes. We think this new measurement will be more understandable and practical for photographers who use our website,” explained Frédéric Guichard, Chief Scientific Officer for DxO Labs. The company also points out that the perceived resolution for a camera can be significantly different from the native resolution depending on the lenses with which it is coupled.

Kodak Announces Sale of Patents

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Global
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Kodak has sold its digital imaging patent portfolio for approximately 525 million dollars. The price will be paid partly by 12 intellectual property licensees organised by Intellectual Ventures and RPX Corporation, with each licensee receiving rights with respect to the digital imaging patent portfolio and certain other Kodak patents; partly by Intellectual Ventures, which is acquiring the digital imaging patent portfolio subject to these new licenses. “This monetization of patents is another major milestone toward successful emergence,” Antonio M. Perez, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, said. “Our progress has accelerated over the past several weeks as we prepare to emerge as a strong, sustainable company. This proposed transaction enables Kodak to repay a substantial amount of our initial DIP loan, satisfy a key condition for our new financing facility, and position our Commercial Imaging business for further growth and success.”

Pocket Wizard Firmware Update 6.200 for Canon

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Accessories
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LPA Design today released a new update to its ControlTL firmware for Canon versions of the MiniTT1 and FlexTT5 PocketWizard radios.  Available now, firmware version 6.200 for Canon adds compatibility with the Canon 5D Mark III digital SLR camera.  Any current owner of the ControlTL system can install this version via USB connection and update for free using the PocketWizard Utility (version 1.54 or later). For more information on how to update PocketWizard products via USB connection, visit the website below.

Olympus Stylus XZ-2 Fimware Update 1.1

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Digital Compact Cameras
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Olympus has issued a firmware update for the Olympus Stylus XZ-2 premium compact camera. Version 1.1 improves image processing while shooting with the ISO bracketing function enabled. To install the firmware update connect your camera to your computer via USB and launch the Digital Camera Updater software.

Nikon Coolpix S800c Firmware Update 1.2

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Digital Compact Cameras
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Nikon has posted a firmware update for the Nikon Coolpix S800c digital compact camera. According to the company, Version 1,2 incorporates the following improvements:

The position information the GPS function attached to images was sometimes incorrect. This issue has been resolved.

If images were captured before the playback mode icon is displayed, the date and time recorded was incorrect. This issue has been resolved.

Website: Nikon Coolpix S800c Firmware Update 1.2

Aquafadas PulpMotion 3.5 for Mac

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Software
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Aquafadas has released PulpMotion 3.5, with support for Mountain Lion. Pulp Motion is a template-based multimedia slideshow creator offering hundreds of themes, which now include a brand new collection specially designed for the holidays. The application’s user-friendly tools can be used to customize slideshows with transitions and animations such as the Ken Burns effect. Finished slideshows can be published directly to YouTube, iDVD and more. PulpMotion 3.5 is available now as a download on the Aquafadas website for $49.

Olympus BioScapes Imaging Competition Winners Announced

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Competitions
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An Australian video of freshwater rotifers has won the first prize in the 2012 Olympus BioScapes Digital Imaging Competition. Now in its ninth year, the Olympus BioScapes Competition is a premier platform for honoring images and movies of human, plant and animal subjects as captured through light microscopes. Images of any life science subject are eligible. Entries are judged based on the science they depict, their aesthetics (beauty or impact of the image), and their technical expertise. The 2012 winning images and movies reflect the latest advances in neuroscience and cell biology as documented by researchers, along with amazing glimpses of life on a microscopic scale captured by hobbyists, students and other photographers.

Instagram Backtracks on Terms of Use Update

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Global, Software, Websites
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In the wake of a far-reaching outcry against proposed changes to its Terms of Use - including a notice issued by National Geographic saying that it’s “suspending new posts” and “may close” its account -, Instagram has announced an upcoming revision to the most controversial section of the text. “Legal documents are easy to misinterpret,” said Instagram’s co-founder Kevin Systrom in a post published on the company’s official blog. “We need to be clear about changes we make — this is our responsibility to you. One of the main reasons these documents don’t take effect immediately, but instead 30 days from now, is that we wanted to make sure you had an opportunity to raise any concerns. You’ve done that and are doing that, and that will help us provide the clarity you deserve. “

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.