Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Olympus OM-D E-M10 Hands-on Review

Mark Goldstein
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See exactly what the new Olympus OM-D E-M10 compact system camera looks like in the flesh, and read our first hands-on impressions of this exciting new camera.

Check out our extensive hands-on gallery of 78 photos of the Olympus OM-D E-M10 compact system camera, including the new 14-42mm pancake lens, 25mm f/1.8 lens, 9mm fisheye lens, optional handgrip accessory and new macro convertor lens.

We've also compared the E-M10 side-by-side against its big brother, the OM-D E-M1, the similarly-sized Stylus 1 compact camera, and one of its rivals, the Panasonic GX7.

Olympus SP-100EE Hands-on Review

Mark Goldstein | Digital Compact Cameras
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See exactly what the new Olympus SP-100EE compact camera looks like in the flesh, and read our first hands-on impressions.

Check out our extensive hands-on gallery of photos of the Olympus SP-100EE compact camera, which intriguingly features the world's first dot aiming point on a camera.

Olympus OM-D E-M10

Mark Goldstein | Compact System Camera
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The Olympus OM-D E-M10 compact system camera combines the image quality, classic styling and focusing speed of the E-M5 with the sheer power of the flagship E-M1 in an extremely compact all-metal casing. The Olympus EM10 features a large, high-speed electronic viewfinder, 1.440.000-dot, 3-inch tiltable LCD, 3-axis image stabilisation, ultrafast autofocus FAST AF, and a pop-up flash.

The E-M10 is available with two lens kits from early February, 2014. The E-M10 body without a lens will cost £529.99, and with the new, super-slim M.ZUIKO DIGITAL ED 14-42mm 1:3.5-5.6 EZ electronic zoom lens for £699.99. The ECG-1 matching ergonomic grip for keeping a stable hold on the camera will retail for £54.99. The new BCL-0980 9mm Fish-Eye Body Cap lens will cost £89.99.

Olympus SP-100EE

Mark Goldstein | Digital Compact Cameras
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The Olympus SP-100EE is the world's first camera with an integrated dot-sight to aid long zoom framing and subject tracking. The sight works in tandem with the SP-100EE's 24-1200mm 50x optical zoom lens to enable easy high-power zooming and subject capture. Other key features of the SP-100EE include a 16 megapixel BSI CMOS sensor, an electronic viewfinder, DSLR-oriented looks, and 60p Full HD movies.

Available in black from March 2014, the Olympus SP-100EE will cost £349.99.

Olympus TG-850

Mark Goldstein | Digital Compact Cameras
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The Olympus TG-850 is a new tough compact camera featuring an integrated 180° tiltable LCD screen. The TG850 also offers a 5x zoom lens, 16 megapixel BSI CMOS sensor, 60p Full HD movies, and 7.1 fps sequential shooting.

The Olympus TG-850 will be available from March 2014. It costs £269.99, and comes in a choice of silver, black or white.

Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 14-42mm f/3.5-5.6 EZ

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Lenses
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The Olympus M.Zuiko ED 14-42mm f/3.5-5.6 EZ is billed as the world's most compact pancake zoom lens. Scheduled for release in late February, the M.Zuiko Digital ED 14-42mm f/3.5-5.6 is only 22.5mm thick when retracted. The optical formula incorporates 8 elements in 7 groups, including 1 Super HR, 1 ED and 3 aspherical elements. Weighing in at only 93 grams, the lens is compatible with the separately sold LC-37C automatically closing lens cap, which is an industry first for an interchangeable lens. The M.Zuiko ED 14-42mm f/3.5-5.6 EZ will be available for £299.99.The automatically closing lens cap is priced at £39.99.

Olympus M.Zuiko Digital 25mm f/1.8

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Lenses
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The M.Zuiko Digital 25mm f/1.8 is a new normal prime for the Micro Four Thirds system. Equivalent to a 50mm lens in 35mm terms, the Olympus M.Zuiko Digital 25mm f/1.8 features a diagonal angle of view of 47 degrees, a silent auto focus motor and an optical formula that comprises 9 elements in 7 groups, including 2 aspherical lens elements. Other highlights include an iris diaphragm with seven rounded aperture blades, a close-focus point of 0.25m, a 46mm filter thread and Olympus-original ZERO (Zuiko Extra-low Reflection Optical) coating to reduce flare and ghosts. The Olympus 25mm f/1.8 lens will be available from March, priced at £369.99/$399.00.

Booq Python Mirrorless

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Accessories
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Booq has added a new camera bag to its Python Collection. Designed to keep either a mirrorless camera with a large lens or a compact DSLR with a small lens safe from impact and the elements, the Python mirrorless is crafted with durable water-repellent 1680 denier ballistic nylon. A densely padded all-around interior compartment stores your tablet, while a removable padded divider not only shields your gear, but allows you to organize a lens, charger, or any other equipment at the bottom of the bag. The Python mirrorless is available today for $80 at booqbags.com.

New Internet Domains for Photographers

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Websites
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Next Wednesday, Donuts - the largest registry for new ICANN generic top-level domains (gTLDs) - will kick off the general availability period for several new Internet domain names including .CAMERA, .EQUIPMENT, .ESTATE, .GALLERY, .GRAPHICS, .LIGHTING and .PHOTOGRAPHY. These gTLDs will be open for registration by anyone interested in an online identity connected to these terms.

VueScan Reaches 400,000 Customers

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Software
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Ed Hamrick's Vuescan software has recently reached a milestone – 400,000 customers. Aiming to reach half a million customers in 2014, VueScan is available in two editions, Standard Edition ($39.95 USD) and Professional Edition ($79.95), and supports more than 2400 scanners. The Professional Edition adds unlimited free upgrades, advanced IT8 colour calibration and support for "raw" scans. Vuescan is available for Linux, MacOS and Windows.

PocketShot

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Accessories
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Charles Waugh, inventor of the SlingShot camera phone mount, has launched another Kickstarter campaign to launch his latest product, the PocketShot folding universal smartphone mount. The PocketShot has a cradle that holds the phone and a handle that provides advanced capabilities. Sporting a ¼-20 threaded insert in its base, the Cradle will mount onto any tripod, monopod, suction cup etc. Moreover, it also has pop-out legs that transform it into an instant table-top tripod. Interested readers are encouraged to visit the product's Kickstarter page.

Olympus OM-D E-M5 Firmware Update 2.0

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Compact System Camera
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Olympus has issued a firmware update for the OM-D E-M5 compact system camera. Version 2.0 introduces an ISO 100/21° equivalent "Low" sensitivity option and adds a small AF target to the AF target settings. You can update the firmware of your camera using the Digital Camera Updater utility from Olympus.

ElementsXXL 2

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Software
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The Plugin Site has just announced Version 2 of ElementsXXL, which adds up to 230 features to Photoshop Elements for Windows that were previously only available in Photoshop. It lets you process 16-bit images with the help of smart filters and layers, use up to 29 additional tools with 16-bit images, supports 260 third party smart filters, offers five new tools (Pen, Puppet Warp, Mixer Brush, Ruler, Slice & Slice Select), includes a new Paths panel for creating and editing paths, allows slicing and saving an image as a web page, provides a improved Shadows/Highlights filter with seven new options, a new Colour Range feature for creating selections based on colours and tones, a Chromatic Aberration Removal filter, a Colour Match filter and a Save Recovery Information feature for restoring documents after a crash - among many other new features. ElementsXXL 2 requires Adobe Photoshop Elements for Windows and retails for $49.95. A version for MacOS X is under development.

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Nikon AF-S Nikkor 58mm f/1.4G Review

Mark Goldstein
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The AF-S Nikkor 58mm f/1.4G from Nikon is a standard prime lens in the full-frame FX format, or a short telephoto when mounted on a DX body. The 58mm f/1.4 features 9 optical elements in 6 groups with two aspherical lens elements and a Silent Wave Motor which provides smooth and fast autofocus with full-time manual focus override. Retailing for £1,599.99 / $1,699.95, read our Nikon AF-S Nikkor 35mm f/1.4G review to find out if it's worth the substantial investment.

Panasonic Lumix DMC-TZ60 Sample Images

Mark Goldstein
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Ahead of our full review, here are 44 sample JPEG photos and a 1080p movie taken with the brand new Panasonic Lumix DMC-TZ60 compact camera.

The Panasonic Lumix DMC-TZ60 is a full-featured travel zoom compact camera with an 18-megapixel sensor, a 30x, 24-720mm equivalent zoom lens, an electronic viewfinder, raw image capture and built-in wifi and GPS connectivity.

Official Fujifilm X-T1 Sample Photos

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Compact System Camera
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Fujifilm has published 15 sample images captured with the new Fujifilm X-T1 compact system camera. Shot using an array of Fujinon XF lenses including the XF14mmF2.8 R, XF35mmF1.4 R, XF55-200mmF3.5-4.8 R LM OIS, XF18-55mmF2.8-4 R LM OIS and XF60mmF2.4 R Macro; these Fujifilm X-T1 samples were taken at a variety of sensitivity settings ranging from ISO 200/24°to ISO 6,400/39°.

Website: Official Fujifilm X-T1 Sample Images

Fujifilm X-T1 Hands-on Review

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See exactly what the new Fujifilm X-T1 compact system camera looks like in the flesh, and read our first hands-on impressions of this exciting new camera.

Check out our extensive hands-on gallery of photos of the Fujifilm X-T1 compact system camera with the XF 18-55mm and 56mm f/1.2 lenses, and including the new battery grip and flash accessories.

Fujifilm X-T1

Mark Goldstein | Compact System Camera
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The Fujifilm X-T1 is a new interchangeable lens camera with SLR-style handling. The X-T1 features a 2.36m dot resolution OLED electronic viewfinder with the world’s highest magnification and a lag-time of just 0.005 sec, phase detection AF with a world-beating response of just 0.08sec, five mechanical dials, dust and water resistance, and the world’s first compatibility with Ultra High Speed UHS-II SDXC memory cards.

The X-T1 and dedicated accessories will be available from mid-end February 2014. In the UK, the Fujifilm X-T1 will cost £1099.99 body-only, or £1449.99 with the XF18-55mm lens. The optional Vertical Battery Grip costs £199.99, the all-Leather Half Case £99.99, and the Metal Hand Grip £129.99.

Fujifilm is also launching three weather-resistant zoom lenses to complement the X-T1 camera, all available during 2014, with the XF 18-135mm launching in June. The three lenses are the XF 18-135mmF3.5-5.6 R OIS WR, XF 16-55mmF2.8 R OIS WR and the XF 50-140mmF2.8 R OIS WR.

UK Pricing Announced for Sigma 18-200mm f3.5-6.3 DC Macro OS HSM

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Lenses
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Sigma UK has announced the recommended retail price (RRP) of its new 18-200mm f3.5-6.3 DC Macro OS HSM lens. The Canon version of the lens will be available in February at an RRP of £349.99 including VAT. The Nikon variant will follow in March with the Sony and Pentax editions (both without an optical stabiliser) being available in May.

Faith SpeedLight Stand

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Accessories
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Inspired Photo Gear has unveiled a new product called the Faith SpeedLight Stand. "Let’s face it, light stands are a bit basic and strobists the world over are forced to purchase accessories to even mount their speedlight or umbrella," the company says. "The new Faith SpeedLight Stand raises the standards of the humble light stand with its quick-erect system, integrated umbrella holder, cold shoe, concealed spike for soft ground & all new water based stabilisation system and carry bag, all as standard." Weighing in at 540g, the Faith SpeedLight Stand has a maximum load capacity of 2,500g and a full height of 180cm, while folding down to 41.5cm. The Faith SpeedLight Stand retails for £49.99 and is available from Inspired Photo Gear.