Friday, April 29, 2016

Leica X-U Review

Amy Davies
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The Leica X-U (Typ 113) is a new waterproof, shockproof, and dustproof compact camera, offering a 16 megapixel APS-C sensor, 1080p HD video recording, fast f/1.7 35mm lens, 5fps burst shooting and a 3-inch screen. Read our in-depth Leica X-U (Typ 113) review now...

London’s Air Ambulance Launches Photo Contest

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Competitions
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London’s Air Ambulance has launched a photography competition calling on the public to submit photos of its iconic helicopters and rapid-response car fleet to fill its 2017 Charity Calendar. “We receive so many fantastic photos from members of the public who kindly donate them for the charity’s use,” says Mark Davies, Director of Development at London’s Air Ambulance. “This competition is now a great opportunity for people to showcase their work more widely, while at the same time raising money.” Photographers have until Friday, 22nd July to enter their work, and the best photos will be picked by a judging panel made up of London’s Air Ambulance staff. To be eligible, all photos must have been taken in 2016 and must be submitted via e-mail. Money raised from the sale of the calendar will help the charity, which delivers an advanced trauma team to critically injured people in London.

Pictar Plus for iPhone 6 Plus

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Accessories
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As their Kickstarter campaign for the Pictar Camera Grip has reached its stretch goal of $150,000; Miggo have decided to offer an additional, dedicated Pictar model for the iPhone 6 Plus and 6s Plus smartphones. Billed as "probably the best iPhone camera-grip ever built," Pictar brings SLR-style controls - such as a physical shutter release and an exposure compensation wheel - as well as a tripod socket, a "smart wheel" and a zoom ring, to Apple's flagship smartphones.The new accessory is designed to communicate with the iPhone via a dedicated camera app which unlocks key features inaccessible on the native app to iPhone users. Each of the physical controls found on Pictar drive a specific function or setting and does so using high-frequency dual tone sounds. Each physical control is assigned a specific tone, and with each turn of a dial, press of a button or turn of a wheel, Pictar emits a sound that – when detected by the app – generates a corresponding action. The high-frequency dual tone (18,500 – 20,000 khz) is inaudible to the human ear and significantly increases battery life when compared to Bluetooth connectivity. Interested readers are encouraged to pay a visit to Pictar's Kickstarter project page.

Manfrotto TwistGrip

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Accessories
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Manfrotto has launched a new universal smartphone clamp. Devised for everyone who has embraced smartphone photography as a way of life, the Manfrotto TwistGrip is a high-quality aluminium accessory featuring a ¼” thread adapter to connect to any photographic support and cold-shoe lighting connection to allow integration with an LED light.The clamp’s twist movement and locking knob secure the smartphone in the right position in a just a few easy steps, so it stays safe, regardless of the shooting perspective.TwistGrip is priced at £39.95 and will be available from Apple UK and Manfrotto UK.

Thursday, April 28, 2016

Pentax K-1 Sample Images

Mark Goldstein
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Ahead of our full review, here are 83 JPEG and 83 Raw sample images and a Full 1080p HD movie taken with the new Pentax K-1 full-frame DSLR camera.

The long-awaited K-1 is the first 35mm full-frame digital SLR camera from Pentax, featuring a 36.4 megapixel CMOS sensor.

Leica M-D (Typ 262)

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Digital
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Leica has officially announced the Leica M-D digital rangefinder camera - the first serial production model of the digital M family to be made without an LCD screen. The standard location of the display on the back of the camera is taken by a very retro looking ISO sensitivity setting dial. "Concentrating entirely on the key parameters required for photography: shutter speed, aperture, distance and ISO sensitivity, the Leica M-D focuses the user on the most essential aspect – the picture they are taking – and brings back the anticipation of discovering the results later in the process, as when shooting with film," the company said in a statement. The Leica M-D features a 24-megapixel CMOS full-frame sensor, and supports neither video recording nor Live View. Exposures are captured exclusively as raw data in DNG format, enabling photographers to apply the required adjustments in post-processing. The barely audible shutter of the Leica M-D ensures the camera is inconspicuous when shooting: an invaluable advantage in scenarios where the photographer wishes to remain unobtrusive. As an aid to this, the camera features a shutter cocking system that is particularly quiet in single-exposure mode. The Leica M-D (Typ 262) is scheduled to be available from Leica stores and authorised Leica dealers in the UK in May 2016, at a suggested retail price of £4,650 including VAT.

Sony FE 85mm f/1.4 GM Review

Mark Goldstein
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The Sony FE 85mm f/1.4 GM is a new flagship lens designed to be the ultimate optic for shooting portraits. Read our in-depth Sony FE 85mm f/1.4 GM review to find out if it's worth the $1799 / £1500 asking price...

Tamron Lenses Selected As Winners Of Two Design Awards

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Lenses
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Tamron has announced that its SP 35mm F/1.8 Di VC USD (Model F012) have now won the "iF Design Award 2016" and the "Red Dot Award: Product Design 2016." Established in 1953 and conferred by Industry Forum Design (iF), the iF Design Award covers the 7 categories of "Product", "Packaging", "Communication", "Interior Architecture", "The disciplines of Architecture", "Service design", and "Professional Concept." The "Red Dot Design Award" is an international award established in 1955 and conferred by the Design Zentrum Nordrhein Westfalen in Essen, Germany. The award comprises 3 categories including "Product Design", "Communication Design", and "Design Concept."

Sigma MC-11 Lens Mount Converter Now Available in the US

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Accessories
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Sigma Corporation of America has announced the immediate availability of its new Global Vision MC-11 Lens Mount Converter. Retailing for an MSRP of $249, the new MC-11 gives Sony E-mount camera users access to 15 high-performance Sigma Canon Mount (EF) and Sigma Mount (SA) Global Vision lenses. The converter features an internal control data system that automatically optimizes performance of AF drive, aperture control and other critical lens functions such as brightness and correct transverse chromatic aberration, distortion and more. The integrated flocking helps prevent internal reflections and reduction in lens performance, whilst the built-in MC-11 LED display lets users know if the attached Sigma lens is compatible and if it needs to be updated. The Sigma lens can be updated from a workstation or laptop using the Sigma Optimization Pro software and Sigma USB Dock.

New Leica M-D (Typ 262) Appears at UK Retailer

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Digital
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London-based Leica specialists Red Dot Camera are listing the as-yet-unannounced Leica M-D (Typ 262) for £4,650 (including VAT)  on their website. The 24-megapixel Leica M-D, billed as "the purest form of the manual digital rangefinder," forgoes the - otherwise ubiquitous - LCD screen and other "extras" we have come to take granted in a modern digital camera, such as video recording and WiFi. The camera's spartan rear plate features only the viewfinder eyepiece, a thumb-operated control wheel and a very retro-looking ISO speed dial with markings from ISO 200 to ISO 6,400, in 1/3-stop increments. The lack of an LCD screen means users will have to make do without live view, image playback and a menu system - just like in the film era. Meanwhile, a German Leica specialist has shared the camera's retail price in euros (€5,995 including VAT and shipping - within Germany, we presume) and a few additional specifications. Accroding to Leica Boutique Dresden, the camera has a 23.9x35.8mm sensor with 5976x3992 pixels and records images in losslessly compressed raw DNG format. The camera supports 6-bit encoding for M-mount lenses from 16mm to 135mm.

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

CameraBag Cinema

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Software
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Nevercenter today released CameraBag Cinema, a new tool for 4K+ video filtering, colour correction, and film emulation for Mac. Key features include advanced curve-based colour and light adjustments, more than 200 fully adjustable presets, dozens of motion and still film stock emulations, tile-based adjustments, batch processing capabilities, and much more. CameraBag Cinema is priced at $99, with a significant launch sale of 40% off, so early adopters can get it for just $59.

Polaroid LED Lights

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Accessories
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The Polaroid LED camera/camcorder video lighting line is now available for purchase. The range includes the Polaroid 350 ultra-high-powered, dual-colour LED video light wih barndoors ($159.99, pictured), the Polaroid 312 ($139.95) and Polaroid 144 ($99.95) camcorder LED lights and the flashgun-mountable Polaroid 102 LED dimmable video light ($39.95). All four products are available from Amazon.

Macphun Release Filters for Photos

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Software
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Macphun have just released a new free app, Filters for Photos. The new software works as a Photos for Mac extension as well as standalone software; it gives users the ability to add sketch, analogue vintage, and many other filters to their photos in a single click. Available exclusively from the MacPhun Store, Filters for Photos introduces 30 creative filters from sketch to oil painting, vintage to rainbow palette. Users can adjust and tweak every filter, plus apply the filters to a certain part of the photo, quickly export their creations to other photo editors, or share via social media and e-mail.

ON1 Photo RAW

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Software
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ON1 has announced the development of a new raw imageconverter and non-destructive photo editor called ON1 Photo RAW. To be released this autumn, Photo RAW promises to be the world’s fastest, most flexible, and easiest-to-use raw converter and photo editor on the market. Several years in the making, Photo RAW, with its modern raw data processing engine, is tuned for today's sensors and graphics chips. According to ON1, the controls found throughout Photo RAW will respond in real time by leveraging modern video cards, using the latest versions of OpenGL and OpenCL. ON1 Photo RAW will include built-in layers, brushes, and advanced masking tools, and the program will also work seamlessly as a plug-in for Adobe Lightroom, Photoshop, and Corel PhotoPaint; a standalone host app for Google Nik Collection and other photo editors; or as an extension to Apple Photos.

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Pinnacle Studio 19.5

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Software
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Pinnacle has released a loyalty update to Pinnacle Studio 19, giving registered customers free access to all-new Stop Motion Animation capabilities along with a variety of performance and speed enhancements. Building on the strengths of its Multi-Cam editing and enhanced 64-bit playback and performance; Pinnacle Studio 19.5 allows users to create big screen-style animations and full-HD stop motion videos using anything from a webcam to a smartphone or supported VDSLR. The new Pinnacle Studio 19.5 update is now available free to registered Pinnacle Studio 19 users.

Where’s That ColorChecker?

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Competitions
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To celebrate the 40th Anniversary of the ColorChecker targets, X-Rite have launched a social competition, entitled ‘Where’s That ColorChecker?’ Every 3 days, XRite will post a famous landmark partially covered by a ColorChecker target. Entrants who correctly identify the landmark will have the chance to win one of 40 ColorChecker targets. A winner will be randomly selected after each round from the list of correct answers. The competition runs until 4 July 2016.

G-Rack 12

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Accessories
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G-Technology has launched its new G-Rack 12 network attached storage solution, which streamlines demanding media and entertainment video workflows, including 4K and above resolution, with a scalable 12-bay server offering capacities up to 120TB. An optional expansion chassis is available for expanding up to another 120TB of storage. "RED Studios Hollywood is constantly looking for the latest storage innovations, such as the G-Rack 12,” stated Jarred Land, president of RED Digital Cinema. “The 10-gigabit network speeds and ability to work within our Adobe, Final Cut Pro, and Avid ecosystems makes our G-RACK 12 an extremely valuable asset.”  Pricingvaries depending on capacity and configuration.

Fantasea FG9X Underwater Housing

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Accessories
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Fantasea has announced the new FG9X underwater housing for the Canon PowerShot G9 X camera. The housing provides full access to all camera buttons with clearly labeled controls and features a new touch-screen technology, providing access to essential contact points on the camera's touch-sensitive screen. Depth rated to 60 metres, the Fantasea FG9X offers a moisture detector, double O-ring protection and an M67 thread on its lens port. Now available for pre-order, the FG9X housing is priced at $400. The estimated release date is May 2016.

Tamron SP 85mm f/1.8 Di VC USD Review

Mark Goldstein
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The new Tamron SP 85mm f/1.8 Di VC USD is a short telephoto prime lens for DSLR cameras which boasts several class-leading features. Can it beat its main rivals from Canon, Nikon and Sigma? Find out in our Tamron SP 85mm f/1.8 Di VC USD review...

Magnum and LensCulture Photography Awards

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Competitions
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Magnum Photos and LensCulture are inviting submissions to the inaugural Magnum and LensCulture Photography Awards. The jury will select 12 winners and 20 finalists from Documentary, Street, Portrait, Fine Art, Photojournalism and Open categories. In addition, the jury will select 7 photographers as “Jurors’ Picks” and give out 5 “Student Spotlight” awards to young, up-and-coming talents. Winners, finalists and top-rated photographers will gain access to an unprecedented level of global exposure and recognition from two of the largest organisations in the photo industry, as well as cash funding and career support. The deadline for entries is 24 May 2016.