Thursday, November 20, 2014

ACDSee Pro 8 Review

Matt Grayson | Software Reviews
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ACDSee Pro 8 is a new photo editing and management software program that's billed as "the most complete solution for the enhancement and control of image production for professional photographers". Read our in-depth ACDSee Pro 8 review to find out if that claim is true...

Olympus TG-850 Review

Matt Grayson
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The Olympus TG-850 is a water, freeze, shock and dust proof compact camera with a 180-degree tilting LCD screen for easier selfies. The 16 megapixel TG-850 also offers 1080/60p HD movies, a 5x zoom lens starting at 21mm, and time-lapse interval shooting. Read our Olympus TG-850 review to find out what this all-action camera is capable of...

Diana F+ Explorer Nocturne Edition

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Film
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Lomography has just announced the  Diana F+ Explorer Nocturne medium-format film camera. Limited to only 1000 units worldwide, the Diana F+ Explorer Nocturne Edition features a copper color scheme and a starry night sky design, and comes complete with a matching flash unit. The camera is available in the Lomography Online Shop for £89.

Akvis Sketch 16

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Software
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Akvis has released version 16 of its Sketch application, which turns photos into pencil drawings. The new version adds numerous new features and lets a user make a snapshot during processing, add a watermark, erase pencil lines, and more. The standalone edition now comes with a smart non-destructive Crop tool, whereas the plugin offers improved compatibility with Adobe Photoshop CC 2014 and Adobe Photoshop Elements 13. All owners of Sketch v.9-15 can upgrade to version 16 for free by downloading and installing the updated software.

AOC U3477PQU Launches in the US

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Accessories
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The AOC U3477PQU is a 34" ultra-wide monitor with a 3440x1440-pixel IPS panel and an aspect ratio of 21:9. Thanks to the Real 8-bit +FRC arrangement, more than 1 billion colours can be reproduced on the screen. Equally noteworthy are the picture-in-picture and picture-by-picture features, which allow watching images simultaneously from different sources. Connectivity options include USB 2.0 and 3.0, DisplayPort and an integrated HDMI port with MHL functionality. The AOC U3477PQU monitor will be available on 8th December at BestBuy.com and Amazon.com for $899.

Sony Alpha 7 II

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Compact System Camera
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The Sony Alpha 7 II (ILCE-7M2) is the world's first 35mm full-frame compact system camera with 5-axis image stabilisation. Moreover, Sony claims that this sensor-shift IS system can work in synergy with the company's optically stabilised OSS lenses for an even stronger effect. Other major improvements over the original Sony A7 include a new front dial, a bigger right-hand grip, a repositioned shutter release and a reinforced lens mount. In addition, the Sony A7 II boasts faster auto focus and better subject tracking capabilities, and benefits from XAVC S and S-Log2 support. The sensor's core specifications (35.8x23.9mm, 24.3 [effective] megapixels, ISO100-25,600) are the same as those of the previous model.The Sony Alpha A7 II will go on sale on 5th December, priced at 190,000 yen (£1025) in Japan. European availability is slated for January 2015.

Source: Sony Japan

Sony G 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6 SSM II

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Lenses
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Sony has announced a new version of its A-mount 70-300mm F4.5-5.6 G SSM lens. The new Sony G 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6 SSM II (SAL70300G2) promises approximately four times faster dynamic subject tracking performance, and boasts Nano Anti Reflex coating to eliminate flare and ghosts. The lens also features a dust & drip-proof construction and a close-focus point of 1.2m with a maximum reproduction ratio of 1:4. The optical formula comprises 16 elements in 11 groups, and a 9-bladed aperture diaphragm. The Sony G 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6 SSM II lens will be available in February 2015, priced at 142,000 yen (£765) in Japan.

Website: Sony Japan

Fujifilm X-T1 Firmware Version 3.00

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Compact System Camera
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Fujifilm will be releasing a major firmware update for its X-T1 and X-T1 Graphite Silver Edition (pictured) to enhance operability and functions. This upgrade brings no less than 21 functional enhancements including a fully silenceable electronic shutter, instant manual override in auto focus mode, Natural Live View, a new Classic Chrome Film Simulation mode, unlocked AE-L & AF-L buttons, direct AF area selection (bypassing the Fn key), direct selection of Macro mode, variable MF area, and much more. The firmware update will be available on 18th December.

Fujifilm X-Pro1, X-E1 & X-E2 Firmware Updates

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Compact System Camera
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Fujifilm will shortly be releasing firmware upgrades for its X-E2, X-Pro1 and X-E1 compact system cameras. New features and enhancements will include a Classic Chrome film simulation mode, interval timer shooting, enhanced wireless function for shooting from your smartphone or tablet, and full-time manual focus override during auto focus operation. The first three features are new to the X-E2 model only, while the fourth enhancement will be applicable to all three cameras. The firmware updates will be available on 18 December 2014.

Fujifilm MCEX-11 and MCEX-16

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Accessories
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Fujifilm has revealed  that two new dedicated X-Mount system Macro Extension Tubes; the MCEX-11 and MCEX-16, will be available from the middle of December 2014. Inserted between the lens and the camera body, these 11mm and 16mm extension tubes increase the distance between the lens elements and the sensor enabling users to focus on subjects much closer to the camera. Electronic connections automatically pass information from the Fujinon X-Mount lens to the Fujifilm X-series camera body so you can still use autofocus and control the aperture.

Fujifilm HS-V5 for Windows

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Software

Fuji has launched its "HS-V5 for Windows Ver. 1.0" software which enables PC tethered shooting for the Fujifilm X-T1 and Fujifilm X-T1 Graphite Silver Edition. In Camera Mode, users hold the camera by hand or set it up on a tripod and adjust the settings on the camera itself, and the images shot are simultaneously transferred to the computer for display on the screen or saving on the PC. Adjusting exposure and other shooting settings or activating the shutter release are all carried out on the camera. In PC Mode, users can check the viewfinder image of a remotely-setup camera, operate the camera and adjust its settings on the PC screen, with all images taken simultaneously transferred to the PC for display on the screen or saving onto PC. All adjustments to exposure and other shooting settings or activation of the shutter release are carried out remotely on the computer. The application features an "image analysis" function with histogram, highlight clipping warning and EXIF data display, plus an "image assessment" function that displays two images side-by-side for comparison, and a "categorisation / organisation" function.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

LG G3 Review

Amy Davies
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The LG G3 is a 13 megapixel smartphone with a revolutionary Laser Auto Focus that can take photos in a fraction of the time required by other phone cameras. Read our LG G3 review, complete with full-size sample photos, test shots, videos and more...

Panasonic Lumix GH4 Firmware Update 2.1

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Compact System Camera
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Today Panasonic announced the new firmware update program for its Lumix GH4 compact system camera. Firmware version 2.1 will enable users to embed the time code and recording control signal in the HDMI output signal. Additionally both FHD at 30p/25p native or at 60p/50p will be selectable to output via HDMI while recording video in FHD at 30p/25p. The Interface Unit DMW-YAGH will also be updated to firmware version 1.1 to support these functional enhancements. The new firmware updates are scheduled to be released with more information in detail at the Panasonic Support Sites in December, 2014.

Tiffen Dfx 4

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Software
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Tiffen has released version 4 of the multiple award-winning Tiffen Dfx digital filter suite. This update adds OFX plug-in support, making it compatible with the digital intermediate programs Davinci Resolve and Assimilate Scratch, as well as the high-end Nuke visual effects program from The Foundry. The program now also includes support for Sony Vegas NLEs as well as 12 new visual effects filters, 93 new historical photographic processes, 30 new motion picture film stocks, a "dramatic" speed increase in GPU acceleration, state-of-the-art floating point precision for a non-destructive workflow, and Retina display support for Mac. The Tiffen Dfx 4 film/video plug-in is available  for $499.95. The photo-ony version of the plug-in can be purchased for $149.95. The standalone version of Tiffen Dfx 4 is available today for $129.99.

EIZO ColorEdge CG318-4K

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Accessories
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The EIZO ColorEdge CG318-4K is a new 31-inch monitor with a DCI (Digital Cinema Initiatives) 4K (4096 x 2160) native resolution. Featuring a 10-bit Ultra HD LCD panel with a wide colour gamut that reproduces 98% of the DCI-P3 and 99% of the Adobe RGB colour space, the ColorEdge CG318-4K comes with a built-in sensor to enable self-calibration for hassle-free monitor maintenance. For video editing and post production, the ColorEdge CG318-4K has a 3D look-up table that adjusts colour individually on an RGB cubic table. With ColorNavigator NX’s film emulation function, the 3D LUT applies a film look to the image so creators can preview how the image will be seen by their audience. Viewing angles are 178° and the maximum brightness is 350 cd/m2. Dark tones retain their depth with a 1500:1 contrast ratio even when viewing the screen from an angle. The ColorEdge CG318-4K will begin shipping in April 2015.

Capture One 8.0.2

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Software
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Phase One today released Capture One 8.0.2. This update adds support for Mac OS X 10.10 Yosemite; lenses including the Zeiss Otus 55mm f1.4, the Zeiss Otus 85mm f1.4, the Nikon AF-S Nikkot 20mm f/1.8G ED and the Olympus M.ZUIKO DIGITAL ED 40-150mm f/2.8 Pro; and cameras including the Nikon D750, D3300 and P340, the Canon EOS 7D Mark II, the Leica T (Typ 701) and C (Typ 112), the Panasonic GM1, and the Samsung NX30.

Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 5.7

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Software
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Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 5.7 is now available as a final release. The update adds support for raw image files generated by the Canon EOS 7D Mark II (pictured), Canon PowerShot G7 X, Canon PowerShot SX60 HS, Casio EX-100PRO, Fujifilm X30, Fujifilm X100T, Fujifilm X-T1 Graphite Silver, Leaf Credo 50, Leica D-Lux (Typ 109), Leica M-P, Leica V-Lux (Typ 114), Leica X (Typ 113), Nikon D750, Olympus PEN E-PL7, Olympus STYLUS 1S, Panasonic DMC-CM1, Panasonic GM1S, Panasonic GM5, Panasonic LX100, Pentax K-S1, Pentax QS-1, Samsung NX1, Sony Alpha A5100 and Sony QX1 models. Additionally, it brings updates to synced collections, supports tethered shooting with the Nikon D810 and D4S, adds a host of lens profiles, and fixes bugs. You can download the update - for both Mac OS and Windows - from the website below.

Website: Adobe Lightroom Journal

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Sony Xperia Z3 Review

Amy Davies
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The Sony Xperia Z3 is a new flagship waterproof smartphone that features a lot of cutting-edge camera technologies. The Xperia Z3 has a 20 megapixel sensor, 25mm fixed lens with fast f/2 aperture, 4K and 1080p video, sweep panoramas, a range of picture effects and Timeshift burst shooting. Read our in-depth Sony Xperia Z3 review now...

Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 40-150mm f/2.8 Pro Preview

Jack Baker
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At a recent press event held at Cheltenham race course, we got our hands on Olympus’ new M.Zuiko 40-150mm f/2.8 Pro telephoto lens. Click through to read our first impressions and see full-size sample images...

The 2015 Photographer’s Guide to Photo Contests

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Books
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PhotoShelter has recently published The 2015 Photographer’s Guide to Photo Contests. Readers can get a fresh look at over 25 photo competitions worldwide, including new insights on which photo contests are worth their time, and which they should skip. The competitions covered include the Sony World Photography Awards, the World Press Photo Contest, PDN Photo Annual, Wildlife Photographer of the Year, the Smithsonian Photo Contest, the Communication Arts Photography Competition, Pictures of the Year International, and many more. To claim your electronic copy of the guide, visit the website below.

Website: Photoshelter