Wednesday, August 7, 2013

BigShot DIY Camera Now Available

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Digital Compact Cameras
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Nearly four years after producing the first prototype, Professor Shree Nayar's BigShot DIY digital camera is now available to the general public. The main parts of the camera include a gearbox, a lens wheel, a printed circuit board with a 3-megapixel sensor and a 1.4-inch LCD panel, a LED flash, a rechargeable battery, a dynamo and a hand crank providing an option to use the camera when the battery is fully depleted. The final product is an improvement over the prototype, which made do with a 2-megapixel imager and no LCD screen at all. The lens wheel has three optical modules that allow you to take three types of photos -  a "regular" lens with a horizontal angle of view of 40°, a wide-angle lens and a stereo lens for 3D photography. The BigShot camera is primarily intended to be an educational aid targeted at schoolchildren, with the kit being available for $89+shipping.

Website: BigShot

Phase One Announces Three Free Webinars for August

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Events
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Phase One  has announced a series of three free webinars for August. Inspired by stories of professionals working in Landscape (August 15), Architecture (August 21) and Portrait (August 28) photography using Capture One Pro 7, this series of webinars focuses on raw conversion and asset management techniques. Participants are encouraged to send questions throughout the presentation part and each session concludes with an extended Q&A period. For more details, and to register, visit the website below.

Olympus PEN E-P5 Firmware Update 1.2

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Compact System Camera
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Olympus has released a firmware update for the Olympus E-P5 compact system camera. Version 1.2 incorporates certain modifications to the transfer mode settings for Eye-Fi cards. The firmware can be updated by connecting your camera to a computer with a working Internet connection and using the free Digital Camera Updater utility.

Nikon Coolpix P7100 Firmware Update 1.1

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Digital Compact Cameras
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Nikon has issued a firmware update for the its Coolpix P7100 premium compact camera. Version 1.1 fixes a few bugs related to image playback, auto rotation, and self-timer shooting. You can download the firmware upgrade from the website below.

Website: Nikon Europe Customer Support & Downloads

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Canon EOS 1D X Sample Images

Matt Grayson
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We spend a day shooting aeroplanes with Andy Rouse to test the flagship Canon EOS 1D X DSLR camera.

Canon EF 200-400mm f/4L IS USM Extender 1.4x Sample Images

Matt Grayson
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We spend a day shooting aeroplanes with Andy Rouse to test the new Canon EF 200-400mm f/4L IS USM Extender 1.4x lens.

RED Epic Dragon

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Digital Video Cameras
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Cinematographer and director Mark Toia has released a short film captured with a RED cinema camera equipped with a 6K "Epic Dragon" sensor. The five-and-a-half-minute sample movie, which was posted on the RED User forum along with a lengthy user report, demonstrates an excellent dynamic range and a very film-like, gentle highlight roll-off that's not at all similar to the harsh highlight clipping produced by most other digital cameras. "RED Dragon now has the best highlight fall off I have ever seen from any digital camera," Toia says. "Beating film! Big call I know, but after shooting film and pushing it around in telecine chains for more than a decade, I can categorically say that this new sensor has a better range than film ever had... The images out of the Dragon are so smooth now… so so smooth, like low ASA large-format film."

Nikon AF-S DX Nikkor 18-140mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Lenses
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The Nikon AF-S DX Nikkor 18-140mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR is a new "travelzoom" lens for Nikon digital SLR cameras with DX sized sensors. The optical formula comprises 17 elements in 12 groups, including one extra-low dispersion glass element and one aspherical lens element. Other highlights include Vibration Reduction (VR), a Silent Wave Motor (SWM) for quiet auto focus, and an iris diaphragm with 7 rounded blades. The Nikon AF-S DX Nikkor 18-140mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR is available for $599.95/£579.99.

Nikon SB-300

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Accessories
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The Nikon SB-300 is a compact and simple flash unit with a tilting head. Offering a guide number of 18 (in metres at ISO 100/21°), the Nikon SB-300 is compatible with the manufacturer's i-TTL flash exposure control system, and boasts an FV lock function with which flash volume is determined based on monitor flashes and saved so that composition may be changed while maintaining the flash value (this function works with certain cameras only). It also has a thermal cutout function, which prevents damage to the flash due to overheating during high-intensity firing. The Speedlight SB-300 will be available later this month for $149.95/£139.99 / €169.00.

Nikon Coolpix L620

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Digital Compact Cameras
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The Nikon Coolpix L620 is a new, AA battery powered camera with a 18.1-megapixel BSI CMOS sensor and 14x optical zoom. The lens covers a 35mm equivalent focal range of 25-350mm and comes with Vibration Reduction (VR) on board. In addition, the lens is able to focus on subjects as close as approximately 1 cm for macro photography. Other features include Target Finding AF, 6 Special Effects, 8 Filter Effects, 1920x1080/60i videos with stereo sound and an HS Movie function that can be applied to record movies that play back in slow motion at 1/2 normal speed for more dramatic movies, or high speed at twice the speed of normal playback. Movies recorded with the camera can also be played back on a TV by connecting the camera to the TV's HDMI port. The Nikon Coolpix L620 will be available next month for approximately $250/£200.

Nikon Coolpix S6600

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Digital Compact Cameras
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The Nikon Coolpix S6600 is a 16-megapixel compact camera with 12x optical zoom, built-in Wi-Fi and a side-hinged vari-angle monitor. In addition, Gesture Control recognizes the palm of the hand when the monitor is rotated to face the user, making it possible for users to perform a number of operations, including releasing the shutter and zooming in and out by simply moving their hand toward the appropriate icon displayed in the monitor. This function can also be used with movie recording. The 25-300mm equivalent lens offers a built-in lens-shift vibration reduction (VR) function and supports macro photography with shooting as close as 2cm to the lens. The Nikon Coolpix S6600 will be available next month, priced at £199.99/€239.00.

Nikon Photo Contest 2012-2013 Winners Announced

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Competitions
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Nikon has announced the winners of the Nikon Photo Contest 2012-2013. The Grand Prize winner is Dina Bova from Israel, whose entry, "Elegy of Autumn" (above) has been selected from 99,339 works submitted by 22,752 photographers from 153 countries and regions around the world. Final judging took place between June 11th and June 14th, 2013 with the global panel of 17 judges, from a range of photography backgrounds, gathering in Tokyo. Winners were selected based on their ability to tell a universal story, diversity, the strength of their message, creativity, and the techniques used.

Street Scene Photographic Competition Winners Announced

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Competitions
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The Society of International Travel and Tourism Photographers (SITTP) has announced the winners of the Street Scene Photographic Competition. Mithun Saha from Gangarampur, India with the image entitled ‘Sleep on Wheels’ (above) was chosen as the winner from over 350 pictures entered in to the competition. The image was captured on a Fujifilm Finepix HS10 HS11. Mithun Saha has won a 12-month SITTP membership.

Sporting Action Photographic Competition – Winners Announced

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Competitions
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The Society of International Sport and Leisure Photographers have announced the winners of the Sporting Action Photographic Competition. Duncan Groves from Surrey has been chosen as the overall winner, for his image of Serena Williams (above), which was shot at The Wimbledon Tennis Championships 2013 using a Nikon D4. Hungarian photographer Mihály Attila Kazsuba, who resides in Barcelona, Spain, came in second; and the third place was awarded to Alexandros Dalkos from Greece.

Our Colourful World Photography Competition – Winners Announced

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Competitions
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The Society of Nature and Wildlife Photographers has announced the winners of its "Our Colourful World" Photography Competition. The winning image (above) was captured by UK photographer Paul McElroy from Kent, and was taken at a local park on a Nikon D300 50 mm / 1.4 prime lens. Sahil M Beg from India came in second, and the third place was awarded to Christopher Algar from Hounslow, Middlesex.

Monday, August 5, 2013

Sony Cyber-shot DSC-WX200 Review

Matt Grayson
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The Sony Cyber-shot DSC-WX200 is a slim and stylish compact camera with built-in wi-fi. The WX200 also features a 10x zoom lens, 18 megapixel Exmor R CMOS sensor, 10fps continuous shooting and Full HD movie recording. Priced at around £199, read our Sony Cyber-shot DSC-WX200 review to find out if it's worth checking out...

Triggertrap Launches Primelapse

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Websites
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Triggertrap has launched a new website where users can view, upload and share timelapse videos shot all around the world. The new platform, called Primelapse, was born from the first annual Triggertrap Hackathon held in May 2013. “For our inaugural Triggertrap Hackathon, we envisioned a day where we put aside our day-to-day routines and concentrate on individual Triggertrap-themed projects that would stretch our imaginations and maybe germinate into the next generation of Triggertrap awesomeness,” said CEO Haje Jan Kamps. “We had lots of cool things happen, but the first one we’re ready to launch to the world is Primelapse.com."

Landscape Photography Magazine Issue 30

Zoltan Arva-Toth | General
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Issue 30 of Landscape Photography Magazine is now available to download. This edition includes a guide to using social networks, a free article on the top ten Lightroom shortcuts, a review of the Photopills app, a tutorial on using auto ISO, a review of the book "Burmes Light" by David Hay, the second part of the article "The art of macro and close-up photography," a test of graduated neutral density filters, and much more. Some of these articles are free but do note that the full contents of the magazine are available to subscribers only

Website: Landscape Photography Magazine

CEWE Photobook Named Number One on The Gadget Show

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Books
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Channel 5’s The Gadget Show has crowned CEWE Photobook number one in its 2013 photo book review. In the test, ten brands were compared like for like before the panel decided on the first, second and third place. Sarah Brockhusrt, marketing manager at CEWE, comments: “We are absolutely thrilled that CEWE Photobook has been recognised in such a prestigious manner on prime time show The Gadget Show. We pride ourselves on producing high quality hand-finished books which are simple to create and the judges were clearly impressed with this."

Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera Now Shipping

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Digital Video Cameras
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Via one of its online forums, Blackmagic Design has announced that its Pocket Cinema Camera is now shipping. "There are some new features in the software for the Pocket Cinema Camera," says Blackmagic's CEO Grant Petty. "You can now focus by pushing the focus button when using an active MFT lens. This makes it very easy to accurately focus. The focus peaking feature is still there and you enable it by double pressing the focus button. The focus zoom feature is enabled by double pressing the OK button." The Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera is available for $995. Meanwhile the suggested retail price of its bigger brother, the original Blackmagic Cinema Camera, has been reduced to $1,995.