Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Ricoh Lowers Prices of Key Products

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Ricoh UK has announced the repositioning of a number of its key products. The compact, lightweight and fully weather-resistant PentaxK-3 is now available at £949.99, the K-50 can now be had for £499.99, the weather-resistant DFA 100/2,8 MACRO WR lens has a new RRP of £549.99, the Pentax Q7 (pictured) has a new price tag of £339.99 - and the list goes on. Click through / read on for the details.

Nissin i40 Flash Receives TIPA Award

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Accessories
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Kenro, the official distributor of Nissin flash guns in the UK, has announced that TIPA has awarded the Nissin i40 flash gun top honours in the 'Best Portable Lighting System' category at the 2014 Awards. The newly launched Nissin i40 flash gun is available in models dedicated (TTL) to Canon, Nikon, Sony, Four thirds and Fujifilm models, and can cover a lens angle of view from 24-105mm, with additional coverage to 16mm with the supplied diffuser. The Guide Number is 40 at the 105mm setting (meters/ISO 100) and 27 at 35mm. An innovative LED illuminator sits where smaller fill flash modules were in the past, and the light can be used for both still and video recording with 9 steps of output. The i40 offers rear, front curtain and high-speed sync, wireless slave and can be swiveled up to 180 degrees right and left and 90 degrees vertical. Says Paul Kench, managing director of Kenro: "I'm delighted TIPA has endorsed our own thoughts on the Nissin i40. We've always had high hopes for this flash gun; it seemed to tick all the right boxes from the start. Our dealers have experienced great interest in it and it's selling extremely well."

Canon EF-S 10-18mm f/4.5-5.6 IS STM

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Lenses
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The Canon EF-S 10-18mm f/4.5-5.6 IS STM is a new ultrawide-to-wide zoom for dSLRs with APS-C sized sensors. Offering a 35mm equivalent focal range of 16-29mm, the Canon EF-S 10-18mm f/4.5-5.6 IS STM features both a UD lens element and a range of optimised lens coatings, as well as a quiet STM focus motor, 4-stop image stabiliser and a circular iris diaphragm. The EF-S 10-18mm IS STM will be available from May 2014 with an SRP of £299.99 / €349.99 / $299.99.

Canon EF 16-35mm f/4L IS USM

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Lenses
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The Canon EF 16-35mm f/4L IS USM is Canon’s first ultra-wide L-series lens to feature image stabilisation. The lens’s optical structure includes two Ultra-low Dispersion (UD) elements to minimise chromatic aberration. Super Spectra Coatings reduce ghosting and flare, while fluorine coatings on the front and rear elements prevent dust and water drops sticking to each element. The newly-designed IS system features a number of additional improvements, including gyro sensors for greater accuracy in traditional shooting or when capturing panning motion. The EF 16-35mm f4L IS USM will be available from June 2014 with an SRP of £1,199.99 / €1,399.99 / $1,199.00.

Canon EOS Rebel SL1 White Kit

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Digital SLR Cameras, Lenses
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The white-grey edition of the Canon EOS SL1 camera (originally launched in Japan as the EOS Kiss X7 White) will be available in the USA from the end of June. The white EOS Rebel SL1 camera is complemented by a matching white EF-S 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 IS STM lens. "[N]ew to the U.S. market, the white EOS Rebel SL1 Digital SLR camera with its companion white lens, provides users with high-quality images in a small, compact body that is easy to bring along on all their summer adventures," says Yuichi Ishizuka, president and COO, Canon U.S.A. The Canon EOS Rebel SL1 and EF-S 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 IS STM lens kit in white will retail for an estimated retail price of $749.99.

Monday, May 12, 2014

Leica T Review

Mark Goldstein
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The Leica T is a new mirrorless camera quite unlike anything else on the market, with a unique Apple-like unibody design and large touchscreen interface. Being a Leica, it also comes with a big price-tag, so can the new Leica T justify its price and challenge its main compact system camera rivals? Read our in-depth Leica T review to find out...

Profoto B1 Location Kit

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Accessories
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Profoto today released the first B1 off-camera flash kit. Containing 2 B1 off-camera flashes, two batteries, a Fast Charger that recharges the battery in one hour, and a Car Charger that plugs into any standard car cigarette connector and recharges the battery in two hours; the Profoto B1 Location Kit sells at £2,550 (+VAT). This represents a ~

AKVIS OilPaint 3.0

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Software
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AKVIS has updated its OilPaint software to Version 3.0. Available as a standalone application and as a Photoshop plug-in, AKVIS OilPaint is claimed to offer "an incredible algorithm" for turning photos into oil paintings. The software offers a number of ready to use presets, and allows users to share their favourites with other fans of the oil painting technique. The batch processing feature enables the program to automatically process a series of images in order to create a number of illustrations at the same style or to process all frames in a video. The updated version adds Extra Strokes, a Flat Brush option for the Oil Brush for changing the shape of the edges of the brush strokes and a brand new 3D Brush that lets you bring volume and relief to your painting. Version 3.0 is a free update for all OilPaint customers.

Regenerating Capital

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Events
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Roca London Gallery will host a photographic exhibition during the London Festival of Architecture (2nd June – 23rd August), exploring some of the capital’s key regeneration projects and their impact on the city’s inhabitants. Entitled Regenerating Capital: Healthy growth, healthy city?, the exhibition will explore the impact regeneration has on green spaces, small businesses, local communities and valued buildings while supporting an increasing population. The exhibition, which is free to visit and open to all, will provide a fascinating insight into how London is coping with the impacts of dramatic shifts within its demography, economy, inhabitants and ecology.

Warner Estate Social History Photography Project

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Books, Events, Photographers
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Photographers Lucy Harrison and Katherine Green have collaborated on a new project that surveys the former Warner Estate in the suburbs of East London. The project explores the changing uses of domestic architecture and communities, and compares two points in history of rapid change in East London. A mixture of contemporary photography and oral history will be presented alongside early 20th century photographs as well as other historical material related to the Warner Estate. The exhibition opens on Friday 30th May and runs through Sunday 15th June. To accompany the exhibition, a new limited edition book is also being published and there will be free walks, talks and events throughout.

Friday, May 9, 2014

Manfrotto Nanopole & Snap Tilt Head

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Accessories
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Manfrotto has announced two innovative tools designed for 'strobists.' The Manfrotto Nanopole is a new lightweight stand that can be easily carried everywhere. The closed size is only 49cm (13.3in), and the stand guarantees a payload of 1,5Kg and outstanding stability. Its main characteristic is being a two-in-one product: pressing the button with Manfrotto’s logo, the central column can be pulled out and easily turns into a hand held boom. The Snap Tilt Head  is an innovative and versatile tilthead with pioneering features that make it unique in the market. The hot shoe attachment is compatible with all branded flashguns and the provided hole for umbrella, makes it the perfect choice for a great variety of situations.

Profoto B1 Wins TIPA Award

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Accessories
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The Profoto B1 off-camera flash has won a TIPA award. The Technical Image Press Association (TIPA) is an international, non-profit association supporting the interests of the photography and imaging magazine publishing industry. This year the association has named the Profoto B1 off-camera flash the Best Professional Lighting System. The jury said: "Battery-powered and cordless, the Profoto B1 has become an instant hit with pros that understand the benefits of the freedom and facility off-camera flash shooting affords. The system’s Air Remote TTL controller attaches to the camera’s hot shoe and becomes a command center for light output and balance, even for manual settings. Each monobloc styled flash can be assigned a channel and controlled from up to 1000 feet away, with results quickly previewed, checked and modified by the photographer without leaving camera position. The 500 w/s units have a 9-stop range, very fast recycling time and LED modeling light, and are powered by a lithium-ion battery with 220 full-power flash capacity."

ArtGemini Prize 2014

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Competitions
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Following the success of the inaugural ArtGemini Prize 2013 which attracted 744 entries from 33 countries, 15th May sees the launch of the ArtGemini Prize 2014. Open to all photographers and painters form anywhere in the world, the ArtGemini Prize is described as "a celebration to promote international contemporary art for emerging and established artists." A cash fund of £5500 will be awarded to the winners in 4 categories, Photography, Painting & Sculpture, Young Artist and Public Choice. The shortlisted entries will be exhibited in London and Singapore. Do note that entry fees apply. The deadline for entries is 7th September.

Lomo Filter Kreator Kit

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Accessories, Film
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Three design students at Royal College of Art, London, have teamed up for a fun project about creating photography filters out of... sugar. "The Lomo Filter Kreator Kit is reintroducing the art of using photographic filters and gives the user full creative control," says project manager Morten Grønning Nielsen. "Having three silicon trays, one for flat filters, one for gradients and one for vignettes, the user can create filters in unlimited colours and compositions. The process is outrageously simple, using a special sugar called Isomalt, and sugarcolours, the filters can be created in a household microwave or oven. If they scratch they can be remolded into a new filter or even consumed. Making one filter takes about 2 minutes to create and 10 minutes to cool down. Using our kit, you could make around 50 filters for $10 worth of isomalt." To learn more, visit the project's home page on Behance.

BBK Vivo Xshot

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Camera Phones
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The Vivo Xshot is an Android "phablet" with an f/1.8 lens. Manufactured by BBK, one of the biggest Chinese smartphone manufacturers, the Vivo Xshot has a 13-megapixel main camera with a head-turning f/1.8 lens, optical image stabilisation, dual LED flash, physical shutter release and 4K movie recording. It also has an impressive secondary camera with an 8-meegapixel sensor, 720p video and a LED flash, a 2,600mAh battery and a 5.2" Full HD touchscreen. The BKK Vivo Xshot will be available in two versions from the end of this month, priced at around CN¥3,500 and CN¥3,000. There is currently no word on international availability and pricing.

Via Engadget

Thursday, May 8, 2014

Carl Zeiss Touit 50mm f/2.8 Macro Sample Images

Mark Goldstein
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Ahead of our full review, here is a gallery of sample images taken with the Carl Zeiss Touit 50mm f/2.8 Macro lens, mounted on the Fujifilm X-T1 camera.

The new Zeiss Touit 2.8/50M is a macro lens with a maximum reproduction ratio of 1:1. Designed for compact system cameras with APS-C sized sensors, the Zeiss Touit 2.8/50M is equivalent to a 75mm lens in a 35mm system.

All of the samples are straight out of the camera JPEGs with no additional post-processing or sharpening.

Leica C Sample Images

Jack Baker
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Ahead of our full review, here are 60 sample images and a 1080p movie taken with the Leica C compact camera, including the full ISO range of 80-12,800.

The Leica C is a premium compact camera with a 12 megapixel sensor, built-in viewfinder, 28-200mm lens, Wi-Fi and NFC connectivity, 10fps burst shooting, and RAW format support.

Samsung NX3000

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Compact System Camera
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Samsung today announced the Samsung NX3000, the latest edition to Samsung’s award winning NX series of compact system cameras. Key features include an APS-C sized 20.3-megapixel CMOS imager, 3" flip-up display,  5fps continuous shooting, Wi-Fi and NFC connectivity and a top shutter speed of 1/4000s. The NX3000 will be available in White, Black and Brown, and will feature Samsung’s new compact 16-50mm f3.5-5.6 Power Zoom ED OIS lens. Availability is slated for June, with pricing to be communicated.

Sigma 50mm F1.4 DG HSM Review

Mark Goldstein
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The Sigma 50mm F1.4 DG HSM is a fast standard prime lens for full-frame DSLR cameras. The 50mm f/1.4 features 13 optical elements in 8 groups and a HSM focusing system which provides quiet, smooth and fast autofocus with full-time manual focus override. Retailing for £859 / $949, read our expert Sigma 50mm F1.4 DG HSM review to find out if it's the ultimate "fast fifty" lens...

Canon IXUS 265 HS Sample Images

Mark Goldstein
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Ahead of our full review, here are full-size sample images and a 1080p movie taken with the new Canon IXUS 265 HS compact camera, including the full ISO range.

The Canon IXUS 265 HS features a 12x zoom lens, 16-megapixel back-illuminated CMOS sensor, 1080p movies at 30fps with stereo sound, and integrated Wi-Fi and NFC connectivity.