Friday, January 8, 2016

MindShift Gear Releases 3 UltraLight Photo Daypacks

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Accessories
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MindShift Gear today launched three UltraLight series photo daypacks. The UltraLight Sprint 16L ($116.99), UltraLight Dual 25L ($169.99), and UltraLight Dual 36L ($199.99) side-panel designs allow quick access to cameras, lenses, and accessories without first having to take off the bag. The backpacks also offer generous space for personal belongings, tablets/laptops and hydration reservoirs. Additional features include an integrated tripod mounting system and highly breathable shoulder straps. Click through / scroll down for the details.

Thursday, January 7, 2016

Seagate Backup Plus Ultra Slim

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Accessories
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Seagate has launched the Seagate Backup Plus Ultra Slim, the World's thinnest 2TB mobile hard drive. At just 9.6mm, the Backup Plus Ultra Slim external drive employs Seagate’s latest 2.5-inch HDD technology, making it more than 50 percent thinner than other 2TB drives on the market. The new drive comes with 200GB of free Microsoft OneDrive cloud storage for two years, which lets users share and access their favorite files anywhere. The Seagate Backup Plus Ultra Slim gold and platinum finishes will be available this quarter.

Lexar Professional 1800x microSD UHS-II Memory Cards

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Accessories
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Lexar have announced the Lexar Professional 1800x microSDHC and microSDXC UHS-II cards. Offering read transfer speeds up to 270MB per second, the new cards are designed for sports camcorders, aerial cameras, tablets and camera phones. Available in 32GB, 64GB, and 128GB capacities, Professional 1800x microSD cards leverage Ultra High Speed II (U3 technology) to provide faster capture, playback, and transfer of high-quality videos and photos. The cards are currently available with an MSRP of £65.99 (32GB), £109.99 (64GB), and £219.99 (128GB).

Software of the Year 2015

Mark Goldstein | PhotographyBLOG, Software
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Over the next 6 days we’ll be revealing our favourite products from last year in our annual awards, looking back at the essential photography kit that helped to define 2015.

Kicking things off is the Software of the Year 2015 award, which goes to Adobe Photoshop Elements 14.

“...for anyone new to image editing or the keen photographer who just wants to achieve a quick result, then Photoshop Elements 14 will not disappoint.”

Read the Full Review

Congratulations to Adobe and Photoshop Elements 14!

Lexar Portable SSD

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Accessories
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Lexar has revealed the Lexar Portable SSD, which is designed to deliver read transfer speeds up to 450MB per second. This compact and durable portable solid state drive features an LED capacity meter to easily gauge available storage space. The Lexar Portable SSD will be available in Q1 2016 with MSRPs of £120.99 (256GB) and £200.99 (512GB).

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

Mark Goldstein
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The Nikon AF-S Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8E ED VR is a fast standard zoom lens for Nikon FX full-frame DSLR shooters. Crucially offering built-in image stabilisation, the new Nikon AF-S Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8E ED VR is also weather-sealed. Read our Nikon AF-S Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8E ED VR review to find out if it's the best standard zoom for full-frame users...

Sony Launch New Memory Cards and Card Readers

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Accessories
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Sony is expanding its lineup of memory card options to include newer and faster XQD and SD media, as well as card readers for the XQD and SD formats, and an XQD USB adapter, all designed to support the latest high-performance DSLR cameras like Nikon D5 or D500. Sony’s XQD-M series provides users data transfer speeds of up to 440MB/s (read) and 150MB/s (write) for stable burst shooting, and the ability to backup 64GB of data in approximately 3 minutes when using Sony’s newest card reader. In addition, Sony’s newest SD cards, the SF-M series, are UHS-II supported media promising read/write speeds of 260MB/s and and 100MB/s, respectively. In conjunction with the new card options, Sony is introducing the World’s first XQD/SD card reader, the MRW-E90 (pictured), which supports, ultra-high speed data transfer to a PC from all XQD series and UHS-II SD cards, eliminating the need for multiple adapters and readers. The new card reader also supports SuperSpeed USB (USB3.1 Gen. 1).

Zeiss Teams Up with ExoLens

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Accessories, Camera Phones, Lenses

Felleowes' ExoLens brand and Zeiss have announced their collaboration in the design and development of accessory lenses for camera phones. The companies presented the first jointly developed accessory lenses at the Fellowes booth (no. 31016) at CES 2016. The first three lenses – wide-angle, telephoto and macro (pictured) – are scheduled to be launched later this year. The new lenses can be used on the iPhone 6, 6 Plus, 6S and 6S Plus with customised mounting brackets (the companies plan on releasing brackets for more devices in future). The ExoLens bracket features a standard tripod mount (1/4”-20) as well as a cold shoe for mounting accessories. All lenses incorporate the T* anti-reflective coating from Zeiss, which minimises reflections at the glass-to-air surfaces and improves the transmission of light.

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Kodak Super 8 Filmmaking Revival Initiative

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Film
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At CES 2016, Kodak announced the launch of an initiative aimed at putting Super 8 cameras into the hands of a new generation of filmmakers. Showing off an early prototype of a new Kodak Super 8 camera that combines the classic features of a Super 8 with digital functionality, the company is providing an opportunity for visitors to shoot their own Super 8 footage and watch home movies on the Kodak CES booth (South Hall #20618). Kodak has engaged with Yves Béhar, design entrepreneur and founder of Fuseproject, to ensure that the new Kodak Super 8 camera design echoes the look and feel of the original Kodak Super 8 camera, while offering modern functionality such as a swivelling 3.5" colour display. However, the Kodak Super 8 Revival Initiative reaches far beyond the introduction of a new camera. The company has built a roadmap that includes a range of cameras, film development services, post production tools and more. “It is an ecosystem for film” said Jeff Clarke, Eastman Kodak Chief Executive Officer. “Following the 50th anniversary of Super 8, Kodak is providing new opportunities to enjoy and appreciate film as a medium.”

Sony HDR-AS50 Action Cam

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Digital Video Cameras
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Sony today introduced their newest action camera, the HDR-AS50. The new model has an 11.1 megapixel back-illuminated CMOS sensor paired with a Zeiss Tessar lens, and features advanced SteadyShot image stabilisation which is especially effective against the kind of low-amplitude vibration that can occur when used with radio-controlled helicopters or drones. The new camera has implemented some changes based on customer feedback from athletes and other previous users and now comes with several new and improved user features. Adjustable and enhanced beep sounds as well as three tally lights on the top, front and back have been added to allow greater notice of camera conditions even when wearing a helmet and when mounted on handlebars or monopods. Divers and swimmers can now benefit from a supplied underwater housing, which allows footage to be captured down to 60m under water. Sony’s own in-built movie creator, Highlight Movie Maker now incorporates face detection and automatically assembles a highlight package which can be viewed and shared immediately. Sony’s new HDR-AS50 Action Cam will be available in February 2016.

Sony Handycam FDR-AX53

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Digital Video Cameras
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The Sony Handycam FDR-AX53 is a new digital camcorder featuring a 4K Exmor R sensor and a newly developed, 26.8-536mm equivalent Zeiss lens. Thanks to its Advanced Aspherical (AA) and Extra-low Dispersion(ED) glass elements, the lens is very well controlled for chromatic aberrations, and the multi-layer film ZEISS T* coating reduces ghosting and flare. The FDR-AX53 is the first Handycam with an enhanced version of Sony’s own Balance Optical SteadyShot; a 5-axis image stabilisation system that brings you blur-free footage when shooting handheld and thanks to its new Intelligent Active mode, also ensures crisp footage whilst running. The FDR-AX53 records at a bit-rate of 4K 100Mbps, using the high-performing XAVC S recording format, and comes with the same Fast Intelligent AF algorithm as the A7S II compact system camera, which optimises communication between the lens and processor to achieve speeds up to approximately 40% faster than previous models.

Canon Selphy CP1200

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Printers
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The new Canon Selphy CP1200 wireless compact photo printer features an optional direct-attachable battery, Wi-Fi button, and the ability to print 54 photos per charge. With card-size printing options, users can create pass cases, messages, decorated albums, and more with the option of adding white or black borders to the layout. Users also have the ability to print postage stamp size sheets, featuring eight thumbnails or a combination of images. Features such as borderless printing and image optimisation can be used through adjustment on the printer itself or via a compatible mobile device. The estimated selling price of the AirPrint compatible Canon Selphy CP1200 printer is £129.99/€149.99/$105.99.

Canon IXUS 285 HS, IXUS 180 and IXUS 175

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Digital Compact Cameras
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Canon are expanding their IXUS range of compact digital cameras with three new models. The Canon IXUS 175 (£99.99/€149.99) has a 20-megapixel CCD imager, a 28-224mm equivalent lens and a 2.7" rear screen, and is capable of capturing 720p HD videos. The IXUS 180 (£129.99/€179.99) has a similar sensor and display but comes with a 24-240mm equivalent lens, optical image stabilisation and Wi-Fi connectivity. The IXUS 285 (£169.99/€239.99, pictured) has a 20.2-megapixel back-illuminated CMOS sensor, an optically stabilised 25-300mm equivalent zoom lens, a 3" screen, Full HD movie recording capabilities, and Wi-Fi with Dynamic NFC technology.

Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 300mm 1:4.0 IS PRO

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Lenses
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Olympus have revealed the suggested retail price and availability of their pro-grade 600mm equivalent Micro Four Thirds prime. The M.Zuiko Digital ED 300mm 1:4.0 IS PRO lens, whose development was first announced at photokina 2014, is claimed to have the World's most powerful 6-step image stabilisation system (in combination with the matching Olympus camera models), and boasts the shortest focusing distance for telemacro photography in its class (1.4m). When mounted to an OM-D E-M1 or E-M5 Mark II, it achieves autofocus speeds of less than 300 milliseconds, while the dust-, freeze- and splashproof build makes this an ideal choice for nature and outdoor sports photographers. The Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 300mm 1:4.0 IS PRO will be available in black from early March 2016 for £2199.99/€2799.00/$2499.99.

Olympus Stylus TG-870

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Digital Compact Cameras
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The 16-megapixel Olympus Stylus Tough TG-870 is a premium rugged camera with a 21-105mm equivalent lens 180-degree tilting 920,000-dot LCD screen, customisable front button, built-in Wi-Fi, next-generation GPS, and 13 Art Filters. The camera is waterproof to depths of 50 feet (15 m), freezeproof to 14℉ (-10℃), shockproof from 7 feet (2.1 m), crushproof to 220 pounds of force (100 kgf) and dustproof. The customisable button on the front of the camera can be programmed for several functions, including shutter release, video recording, monitor boost, LED assist and Super Macro Mode. The Olympus Stylus Tough TG-870 will be available in April 2016 in Gunmetal Metallic, Metallic Green, and Pure White for $279.99.

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Nikon D5 Specifications Announced

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Digital SLR Cameras
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Nikon today officially unveiled its latest flagship digital SLR camera. The Nikon D5 - whose development was announced back in November - has a 20.8-megapixel FX sensor, a 153-point AF module with 99 cross-hatched focus sensors, a maximum shooting speed of 14fps at full resolution (12fps with AF), as well as 4K movie recording capabilities. The extended buffer lets users shoot for up to 200 frames of 14-bit lossless RAW/NEF files + JPG fine when using approved XQD cards. Of the 153 focus points, 55 AF are directly selectable by the photographer. This all-new AF module is coupled with a new 180K pixel RGB metering sensor and Advanced Scene Recognition System, helping users achieve optimally balanced exposures and accurate white balance in even the most challenging light. The camera has a "native" sensitivity range of ISO 100-102,400 (expandable to an unprecedented ISO 3,280,000),a built-in 1000 Base-T 400MBps Ethernet connection port and a 3.2”, 2359K-dot touch-sensitive rear screen. The Nikon D5 DSLR will be available in March for a suggested retail price of £5,199.99/€6,989.00/$6,499.95 in two different versions, with either dual XQD card slots or dual CF card slots.

Nikon D500

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Digital SLR Cameras
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The 20.9-megapixel Nikon D500 is a new DX-format semi-professional DSLR camera with a 153-point AF module (including 99 cross-type sensors), 10fps continuous shooting for up to 200 raw images, and "always on" Bluetooth LE technology for seamless smartphone connectivity. Successor to the D300S, the new model uses the latest version of the SnapBridge app, and features a tiltable 3.2" touchscreen with a resolution of 2,359K dots. The sensor offers a native sensitivtity range of ISO 100-51,200; expandable to 1,640,000. Images can be saved on either a fast XQD card or an additional SD card for maximum workflow efficiency. Like the also-new Nikon D5, the Nikon D500 is capable of recording 4K video at a variety of frame rates including 24, 25 and 30fps. The camera is compatible with the separately sold MB-D17 Multi-Power Battery Pack, which can be used with various types of battery. The Nikon D500 APS-C digital SLR camera will be available in March 2016 for $1999.95 (body only) and $3069.95 (in a kit with the AF-S DX Nikkor 16-80mm f/3.5-5.6 G ED VR lens).

Nikon SB-5000

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Accessories
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Nikon today officially revealed its SB-5000 Speedlight, whose development was first announced back in November. The SB-5000 is the first Nikon flashgun to be equipped with a radio-controlled Advanced Wireless Lighting function (with a communication range of up to ~30m), and is also equipped with a cooling system that enables more than 100 continuous full-power flashes. Radio control makes wireless multiple flash photography easier in situations where conventional optical (infrared) control is difficult, such as when remote flash units are positioned behind objects or at greater distances, or when ambient lighting is very bright. The tilt-swivel flash head can be zoomed to match the angle-of-view rage of a 24-200mm lens. The guide number is 34.5 (in metres at ISO 100) in FX format and 41 in DX format, at the 35mm zoom head position. The Nikon SB-5000 AF Speedlight will be available in March for the SRP of £499.99/€659.00/$599.95.

Nikon KeyMission 360

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Digital Video Cameras
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Nikon today announced the development of a new range of action cameras. The first in the lineup will be the Nikon KeyMission 360 a rugged camera capable of recording true 360-degree video in 4K resolution. The Nikon KeyMission 360 features an image sensor and lens on opposite sides of the device, with images from each combining to create a single immersive, ultra-high-definition 360-degree video and still image. Waterproof to 100 ft/30m, and ready to stand up to dust, shock and low temperatures, the KeyMission 360 also features electronic Vibration Reduction. Nikon will exhibit reference models of the KeyMission 360 at the Nikon booth at the 2016 Consumer Electronics Show (CES) from Wednesday to Saturday in Las Vegas. The KeyMission 360, along with a variety of dedicated accessories, will officially be released in Spring 2016.

Panasonic Lumix DMC-TZ100 Hands-on Photos

Mark Goldstein | Digital Compact Cameras
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Want to see exactly what the new Panasonic Lumix DMC-TZ100 camera looks like in the flesh?

Check out our hands-on gallery of photos of the Panasonic Lumix DMC-TZ100 camera.