Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Sony Cyber-shot DSC-HX90V Review

Jack Baker
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The Sony Cyber-shot DSC-HX90V is a new premium travel-zoom camera with a 30x Zeiss Vario-Sonnar T-star zoom lens. The HX90V also features an 18 megapixel CMOS sensor, pop-up electronic viewfinder, lens barrel control ring, flip-up LCD screen, built-in wi-fi, NFC and GPS, full 1080p high-definition video with stereo sound, manual shooting modes, 10fps continuous shooting, ISO range of 80-12800 and fast auto-focusing. Read our Sony Cyber-shot DSC-HX90V review to find out if it's the best travel-zoom camera on the market...

Nikon AF-S Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8E ED VR

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Lenses
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The AF-S Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8E ED VR is Nikon's first full-frame professional standard zoom with vibration reduction and electromagnetic aperture control. Offering up to four stops of image stabilisation, the Nikon AF-S Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8E ED VR is constructed of 20 elements arranged in 16 groups - including a number of aspherical and ED glass elements as well as a new ASP/ED element - and features an iris diaphragm with 9 rounded aperture blades. Nikon's exclusive nano crystal coating is also employed to reduce flare and ghosting. The lens has a minimum focus distance of 38cm and a maximum reproduction ratio of 1:3.6, and is equipped with a Silent Wave Motor for fast and quiet auto focus. Just like its predecessor, the new lens is gasketed and sealed to provide a degree of protection against the elements. The AF-S Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8E ED VR lens will become available later this month, at an MSRP of £1,849.99 / €2,499.00 /$2,399.95.

Nikon AF-S Nikkor 200-500mm f/5.6E ED VR

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Lenses
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The AF-S Nikkor 200-500mm f/5.6E ED VR is a new super telephoto zoom lens for Nikon's FX-format digital SLR cameras. The optical construction featurs 19 elements in 12 groups (including three ED glass elements) and a 9-bladed iris diaphragm with electromagnetic aperture control for maintaining consistent exposures during high-speed continuous shooting. The lens has a close-focus point of 2.2m (measured from the sensor plane), and a maximum reproduction ratio of 1:4.5. The Vibration Reduction (VR) feature offers up to 4.5 stops of image stabilisation, and features the latest Sport VR mode for shooting subjects that move quickly and unpredictably. Weighing in at approximately 2300g including the supplied tripod collar, the Nikon AF-S Nikkor 200-500mm f/5.6E ED VR will become available next month, at a manufacturer's suggested retail price of £1,179.99 / €1,599 / $1,399.95.

Nikon AF-S Nikkor 24mm f/1.8G ED

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Lenses
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The AF-S Nikkor 24mm f/1.8G ED is a new ultra-wide-angle lens for Nikon's 35mm film and digital SLR cameras. Featuring 12 elements in 9 groups (including two ED glass and two aspherical elements, and lens elements with Nano Crystal Coat) plus an iris diaphragm with 7 rounded blades, the Nikon AF-S Nikkor 24mm f/1.8G ED has a minimum focus distance of 23cm and a maximum  reproduction ratio of 1:5. Compatible with standard 72mm screw-on filters, the lens measures 83.0x77.5mm and weighs in at 355 grams. Supplied with an HB-75 bayonet hood and a CL-1015 lens case, the AF-S Nikkor 24mm f/1.8G ED will go on sale next month, priced at £629.99 / €849 / $749.95.

Monday, August 3, 2015

Corel AfterShot Pro 2.2.1

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Software
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Corel have released Version 2.2.1 of AfterShot and AfterShot Pro. This update adds raw image file support for 10 new cameras, including the Fujifilm X-T10, X-Q1, X-Q2 and X-A2, the Samsung NX30 and NX300, the Olympus OM-D E-M5 II (pictured) and XZ-10, plus the Nikon D5500 and D7200. In addition to the new cameras, AfterShot Pro 2.2.1 also includes a variety of usability improvements based on our users’ feedback.

Chasing the Light Online Magazine Issue 43

Zoltan Arva-Toth | General
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Issue 43 of David Noton’s Chasing the Light Online Magazine is now available. In this month's Behind the Lens feature anf Video Blog, David recounts his photographic adventures in the Lot Valley of France. Then in Part 9 of his Low Down series on Exposure, David deconstructs slow shutter speeds: when and why they are desirable, how they are achieved, and how slow we need to go. In the magazine's How It's Done feature, Dutch landscape photographer Bas Meelkere tells the tale of a rather dismal photo trip to Austria, which nevertheless turned out to be fruitful. In The Storyteller, seasoned wildlife photographer Chris Weston explores the tales of five iconic animal species that have been close to extinction – and where they are now. And in the second instalment of Jeremy Horner’s Sense of Space column he visits the island of Madagascar. Donote that the full contents of the magazine is available to full f11 subscribers only. Non-members can purchase individual issues of the magazine at a price of £4.20.

Sony A7R II with the Sony FE 55mm Sample Images

Mark Goldstein
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We've just tested the brand new Sony A7R II compact system camera with the Sony Sonnar T* FE 55mm f/1.8 ZA prime lens.

Here are 45 JPEG and 45 Raw images taken with a final production version of the Sony A7R II compact system camera with the Sony Sonnar T* FE 55mm f/1.8 ZA lens.

Think Tank Photo Roller Flair Kit

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Accessories
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Think Tank Photo have announced four new Roller Flair customisation kits that enable owners of Think Tank rollers to outfit their wheels, ties, and handle wraps in one of four colours: blue, green, orange and red. Each Roller Flair kit includes two wheels; 10 Easy Grip Zipper Pulls; one padded Handle Wrap; and an Installation Guide. Think Tank Photo's Roller Flair kits are available for $35 each.

Sony A7R II with the Sony FE 35mm Sample Images

Mark Goldstein
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We've just tested the brand new Sony A7R II compact system camera with the Sony Sonnar T* FE 35mm f/2.8 ZA prime lens.

Here are 34 JPEG and 34 Raw images taken with a final production version of the Sony A7R II compact system camera with the Sony Sonnar T* FE 35mm f/2.8 ZA lens.

Sony A7R II with the Sony FE 28mm Sample Images

Mark Goldstein
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We've just tested the brand new Sony A7R II compact system camera with the Sony FE 28mm f/2 prime lens.

Here are 58 JPEG and 58 Raw images taken with a final production version of the Sony A7R II compact system camera with the Sony FE 28mm f/2 lens.

Sony A7R II with the Sony FE 90mm Sample Images

Mark Goldstein
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We've just tested the Sony A7R II compact system camera with the brand new Sony FE 90mm f/2.8 Macro G OSS prime lens.

Here are 83 JPEG and 83 Raw images taken with a final production version of the Sony A7R II compact system camera with the Sony FE 90mm f/2.8 Macro G OSS lens.

Sony A7R II with the Zeiss Batis 25mm Sample Images

Mark Goldstein
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We've just tested the Sony A7R II compact system camera with the brand new Zeiss Batis 25mm f/2 prime lens.

Here are 66 JPEG and 66 Raw images taken with a final production version of the Sony A7R II compact system camera with the Zeiss Batis 25mm f/2 lens.

Fujifilm X-T1 IR

Mark Goldstein | Compact System Camera
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The Fujifilm X-T1 IR is the first X-series camera to feature advanced infrared technology. Able to to see light from the ultraviolet (UV), visible and infrared (IR) portions of the light spectrum (approximately 380nm – 1,000nm), the Fujifilm X-T1 IR is aimed at technical experts, law enforcement, medical research and scientific communities. The Fujifilm X-T1 IR (Infrared) will be available in October 2015 for USD $1,699.95 USD \ CAD $2,099.99.

Colour Confidence Launch Mystery Monitor Promotion

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Accessories
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To celebrate the launch of a new "mystery monitor," Colour Confidence is inviting professional photographers to register their interest for the chance to win the mystery monitor on launch day along with an X-Rite i1Display Pro. The company has not yet revealed the make and model of the monitor but say the 27” display features an "impressively wide-gamut" IPS panel and reproduces 99% of the Adobe RGB colour space. The winner of the mystery monitor competition will be announced on 1st September when the monitor officially launches.

Friday, July 31, 2015

Metabones Speed Booster ULTRA 0.71x M43

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Accessories
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Metabones and Caldwell Photographic have launched a new Speed Booster ULTRA series of "focal lens reducing" adapters designed for Micro Four Thirds cameras. Like the original Metabones Speed Booster announced in January 2013, the Speed Booster ULTRA m43 has a magnification of 0.71x, and so it effectively reduces the crop factor of mirrorless Micro Four Thirds mount cameras from 2.0x to 1.4x, and is almost perfectly corrected for use with all 35mm full-frame SLR lenses. The Speed Booster ULTRA for Micro Four Thirds is available for $649 (Canon EF mount) and $479  (Nikon F mount) plus shipping and applicable taxes and duties).

Samsung S5K3P3 Mobile Image Sensor

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Accessories
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Samsung have announced the industry’s first 1μm-pixel-based 16 megapixel CMOS sensor designed for use in mobile devices. The S5K3P3 imager takes advantage of Samsung’s ISOCELL technology to deliver image quality that is on a par with sensors featuring slightly larger, 1.2μm photosites. The new sensor reduces the camera module’s overall height by 20 percent, offering designers the ability to develop thinner-than-ever smartphones and tablets. Samsung’s new S5K3P3 image sensor is available today to original equipment manufacturers.

Colour Clipping Issue Resolved in Latest Release of Google Chrome

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Websites
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Google Chrome version 43.02357, which came out in May, proved to be a nightmare for photography enthusiasts. Most - albeit not all - photos viewed in this version of the popular Web browser suffered from a serious colour burning/clipping issue with abrupt tonal transitions in the shadows. (The more technically inclined among you might like to check out this discussion thread on the Chromium Project website.) Needless to say, this was a potentially huge problem for any photographer displaying and selling their work online. Version 44.0.2403 - now available on all platforms - comes with a fix and appears to display all images properly, so if you happen to have stopped using Chrome for this particular reason, you may want to consider giving it another chance.

Comparison image sourced from the Chromium website. Original photograph taken by Mikael Järnåsen.

Thursday, July 30, 2015

What a Wonderful World

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Competitions
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The Act’Image Association has launched a major European photographic contest titled What a Wonderful World. The competition, whose central theme is urban transformation in Europe, allows people from all over the world to enter their work via Facebook, Instagram and Twitter using the hashtag #waww2015.  The jury will award prizes in two categories - single entries and photo essays consisting of 15 images each. The deadline for entries is 30 September 2015.

Outdoor Photographer of the Year 2015

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Competitions
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Outdoor Photography magazine has announced that its competition to find the next Outdoor Photographer of the Year is now open. Open to amateur and professional photographers from around the world, the competition covers all genres of outdoor photography – from landscape and adventure to wildlife and the underwater world – and this year the organisers have added a brand new category devoted to seeking out images that capture the spirit of travel. The fee to enter each of the eight adult categories is £8. There is also a free-to-enter category for photographers aged 18 or under. The magazine has once again teamed up with outdoor equipment experts Fjällräven to offer a unique prize: the overall winner will be off to the Arctic on the Fjällräven Polar dog sled expedition in spring 2016. All the winning images will be exhibited at the Telegraph Outdoor Adventure & Travel Show at ExCel, London (11-14 February 2016), and the overall winner will be announced live at the show on the Outdoor Photography PhotoBox stage on Saturday 13 February 2016. The closing date for entries is 2 November 2015.

Sony A7R II Sample Images

Mark Goldstein
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Ahead of our full review, here are 99 sample images, both JPEG and Raw, taken with the new Sony A7R II compact system camera.

We've included the full ISO range from 50-102,400 (indoor and outdoor test scenes), and 71 additional samples taken with five different lenses - the Zeiss Batis 25mm f/2, Sony FE 28mm f/2, Sony FE 35mm f/2.8, Sony FE 55mm f/1.8, and Sony FE 90mm f/2.8 Macro.

Many thanks to Hireacamera for providing the 25mm, 28mm and 90mm lenses - they're definitely worth checking out if you want to hire or rent camera kit in the UK.