Wednesday, January 29, 2014

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.

HDRinstant for Adobe Lightroom

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Software
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HDRlog today released the newest version of its Adobe Lightroom plug-in called HDRinstant. The innovative technology behind the plug-in allows the user to create an HDR image from video footage, and its anti-ghosting capability removes motion blur when creating HDR images from several frames. After importing your video clip into Adobe Lightroom, you can extract as many images as possible, then select your favorite frame. HDRinstant will stack the frames and apply a special morphing algorithm to build the final HDR photograph. Currently, the software is available at a special introductory price of $29.

Slinger BigBag Collection

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Accessories
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Adorama has recently enhanced its Slinger collection with nine new BigBag camera bags. The BigBag range comprises lighting bags, video bags and tripod bags of various sizes available from $29.95 for lightweight, modest options, to $179.95 for more heavy duty and versatile offerings. Click through / read on for more information on each individual BigBag.

Photo Shanghai

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Events
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The World Photography Organisation and Montgomery have announced the inaugural edition of Photo Shanghai, the first international art fair dedicated to photography in China. Created in response to the buoyant photography market across the Asia-Pacific region, Photo Shanghai will run from 5-7 September at the landmark Shanghai Exhibition Centre. Galleries from across the world now have a unique platform in China and the opportunity to establish and extend their network of buyers in the region. Sandy Angus, co-founder of ART HK and Chairman of Montgomery and the World Photography Organisation comments: “The vast Asian art market has seen considerable growth over the past decade and in that time photography has been an ever-increasing part within the contemporary art space. China has the advantage of a treasure trove of ancient photographs as well as an appreciation of the medium of photography and its place in the art world. Photo Shanghai has the opportunity to draw on this interest amongst both Chinese and Asia-Pacific collectors.”

Monday, January 27, 2014

Fujifilm FinePix S4800 Review

Matt Grayson
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The new Fujifilm FinePix S4800 is an affordable super-zoom camera that boasts a 30x zoom lens. Other standout features include a 16 megapixel sensor, a 3 inch LCD screen, manual controls and 720p movies, all for under £150 / $175. Read our in-depth Fujifilm FinePix S4800 review now...

Hassan Hajjaj: ‘Kesh Angels

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Events, Photographers
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'Kesh Angels is a solo exhibition of work by the Moroccan-born, UK-based artist, Hassan Hajjaj. Hosted by Taymour Grahne Gallery, ‘Kesh Angels presents a unique take on the vibrant street culture of Morocco and pays tribute to the biker culture of the young women of Marrakesh in a series of photographs, limited edition objects, an installation, and a video. The exhibition is also accompanied by a book on the last decade of Hajjaj’s work, published jointly by Taymour Grahne Gallery and Rose Issa Projects. Hajjaj's images will be on display from tomorrow until 2nd March.

Nikon Issues Service Advisory to L25 Owners

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Digital Compact Cameras
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Nikon has posted a service advisory to owners of its Coolpix L25 digital compact camera. "It has recently become clear that in some very rare cases, if the camera is subjected to a strong shock such as being dropped or struck, heat may be generated from inside the camera and the top cover of the Nikon Coolpix L25 may become deformed and a small gap may be visible near the shutter-release button," the company says. "There is no danger of fire." Nikon will be offering a free inspection and modification service to prevent the possibility of this problem from occurring. Click through / scroll down for the detailed, illustrated service advisory.

Nokia Introduces DNG Camera Colour Profiles

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Camera Phones
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Nokia has released DNG colour profiles for the Nokia 1520 (pictured) and the Nokia 1020 camera phones. These camera profiles allow Lightroom users to simplify their raw image conversion workflow when working with images shot under fluorescent or halogen lights, daylight, or with the phones' built-in flash. These camera color profiles are only available for Lumia 1520 and Lumia 1020 and will only work in Adobe Lightroom, the company warns.

Source: Conversations - Nokia

Samsung Partners with Getty Images

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Global
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Samsung and Getty Images have announced a new partnership. The partnership will bring together the unique capabilities and expertise of Samsung and Getty Images to drive forward connected photography. "Partnering with an iconic brand like Getty Images is an ideal endeavour for Samsung. Getty Images is the perfect partner to allow our customers to share their individual stories from across the world, faster and through better quality images than ever before," said Stephen Taylor, Vice President Brand and Retail, Samsung Electronics Europe. “Through this partnership, we hope to empower a generation of aspiring photographers to take their ambition to new heights.”  As part of this agenda, the agreement will see a commitment to the creation of bespoke content, starting with the launch of the “Samsung Collection” now available on gettyimages.com.