Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Monkey Selfies Cause Copyright Controversy

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Photographers
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Back in 2011, British wildlife photographer David Slater was out and about photographing black macaques in the jungles of Indonesia when he noticed that one of the animals had snatched his camera and started snapping away with it. Most of the photos ended up being (predictably) blurry but a few of them, including a couple of self-portraits, turned out to be exceptionally good and earned Mr Slater international recognition. A few years later a Wikimedia editor added the shots to the Wikimedia Commons collection, making them freely available to anyone; which in turn prompted the photographer to file a request for removal on copyright grounds. The foundation has turned down the request claiming that "there was no one on whom to bestow copyright" as the picture had been taken by the monkey itself rather than the photographer. Ready to fight for his rights, Mr Slater is now taking the case to court. Even though it is not exactly common for animals to take photos of themselves, the ruling - whatever it may be - is likely to have far-reaching consequences as many wildlife shots are routinely taken without the photographer actually tripping the shutter (remote cameras, intervalometers and focus traps come to mind). If the court were to rule that these images are "lacking human authorship" and cannot be registered for copyright protection, the authors of such images might need to start worrying. (The illustration above shows one of the disputed Wikimedia entries as it appeared at the time of publication.)

Via The Telegraph

Slingshot for Lightroom

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Software
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Brushed Pixel Software has released the Slingshot plugin for Adobe Lightroom on Mac OS X, which allows users to conveniently send items from their library to other applications. When the user activates the plugin, it displays a customisable list of applications; the user can choose an application to open their library item, without having to manually find and open the file in the OS X Finder, and launch the desired application. Slingshot is available for CAD $9.00. For more information, visit the website below.

Fujifilm Summer Sizzlers

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Compact System Camera, Lenses
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Fujifilm UK have launched some very special cashback offers: Buy a Fujifilm X-T1 body or X-T1 kit (X-T1 with 18-55mm lens) and any Fujinon XF lens to claim £100 cashback. Or, buy a Fujifilm X-E2 body or X-E2 kit any XF lens and claim £200. Those who already own a Fujifilm compact system camera can also claim £200 cashback when purchasing two XF lenses at the same time. These offers apply to all Fujinon XF lenses except for the XF18-135mm f/3.5-5.6 R LM OIS WR, and  are available through 30 September 2014.

Lytro & Chromat at New York Fashion Week

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Events
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Lytro has announced it will bring an "unprecedented visual experience" to New York Fashion Week 2014 through collaborations with MADE, a global media company anchored at the intersection of fashion, music, art and youth culture. As the professional camera partner of MADE Fashion Week New York 2014, Lytro will develop an exclusive look book package for a renowned designer-photographer team from Chromat, an American fashion label based in New York City, who will use the new Lytro Illum camera (pictured) to shoot their collection. The production of the look book will be chronicled by online magazine and trend forecaster Trendland to provide insight into the creative process.

Sony #XperiaSpots

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Camera Phones
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Sony’s smartphone division has launched the #XperiaSpots project to inspire tourists to take better photos with their phones. The project has been initiated in partnership with Mimi Chan and Utsavi Jhaveri, who made global news earlier this year when they pinpointed the best location for tourists to capture New York and San Francisco. Sony has now brought the pair to the UK where they have applied the same painstaking process to three cities here. Chan and Jahven have placed distinctive ‘footstep’ marks near the most photographed places in London, Manchester, and Birmingham including the London Eye, Tower Bridge, Big Ben, The Birmingham Library, and The Beetham Tower. For more information on how to become part of #XperiaSpots for a chance to win the latest Sony smartphone photography tech, visit the website below.

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

PocketWizard Adds TTL Compatibility with New Canon and Nikon Cameras

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Accessories
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PocketWizard today released a new update to its ControlTL firmware for both Nikon and Canon versions of its MiniTT1 and FlexTT5 radios. Firmware version 3.700 for Nikon includes compatibility with the recently released D810 (pictured), D610, D4S and other Nikon cameras. Additionally, firmware version 6.700 for Canon now provides TTL compatibility with the Canon 1D X, 6D and T4i as well as other recently released Canon cameras.. Any current owner of the ControlTL system can easily install this version via USB and update for free using PocketWizard Utility version 1.54 or later.

Nikon Coolpix S2800 Review

Matt Grayson
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The Nikon Coolpix S2800 is a cheap and cheerful point-and-shoot compact camera featuring a 5x zoom lens, 20 megapixels, 720p HD movies, 2.7 inch screen and a range of special effects. Can £70 really buy you a decent camera? Read our expert Nikon Coolpix S2800 review to find out...

Land and Sea Photography Competition – Winners Announced

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Competitions
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The Society of International Nature and Wildlife Photographers has announced the winners of its Land and Sea Photography Competition. Alessandro Tear’s photo “Vignette Pier” (reprinted above) was chosen as the winner from over 560 entries. Alessandro remarked on winning the competition "It was taken with a Canon eos 550d with a 24-70mm 2.8 aperture lens with a 195s shutter length. It was taken in Brighton of the West Pier at sunset with a neutral density filter." Alessandro has won 12 months membership to The Society.

Lomo LC-A+ Instant Camera Kit

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Film
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Lomography have just launched the LC-A+ Instant Kit. Featuring an exposure area of 42mm x 64mm, the Lomo LC-A+ Instant Camera takes Fuji Mini Instax instant film and comes with a 35mm back attachment, allowing you to switch back to 35mm film whenever you choose. The Lomo LC-A+ Instant Kit is available from the website below, priced at £279 / €299 / $299.

EIZO ColorEdge CG247

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Accessories
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The EIZO ColorEdge CG247 monitor is now available in the United Kingdom. The ColorEdge CG247 is targeted at professionals in photography, prepress and post-production. It features a new 10-bit wide-gamut IPS panel that reproduces 99% of the Adobe RGB colour space and comes with a built-in calibration sensor for self-calibration. Additionally it has a 3D LUT (look-up table) that adjusts colour individually on an RGB cubic table. Connectivity options include HDMI, DVI and DisplayPort, as well as two upstream and two downstream USB ports. The EIZO ColorEdge CG247 is available in the UK from Colour Confidence for £1257.60.

Datacolor SpyderCHECKR 24

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Accessories
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Datacolor today announced SpyderCHECKR 24, a precise and versatile camera colour calibration and white balance target for photo and video colour control for on-the-go professional photographers and videographers. Spectrally engineered with 24 pigment patches, SpyderCHECKR 24 offers the accuracy of a full size, large patch photo target in a thin, compact design. “The biggest advantage of the system is that camera calibration is not limited to raw files but can also be applied to JPEGs and video too,” said Lee Varis, professional photographer and digital imaging artist. “For imaging professionals who shoot a combination of still and motion, especially site photography and videography, SpyderCHECKR is a game changer.” The SpyderCHECKR 24 is available immediately for €42 / $49 at photo and video retailers or online at the website below.

Port of Tyne Reflect Awards

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Competitions
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The Port of Tyne Reflect Awards is calling for the people of Northumberland to submit their photos and films in the North East’s biggest photo and film competition. The competition is open to amateurs and professionals alike, with categories including North East Life, North East Nature, North East People and North East Film, plus a special category of Reflect Photo and Film Youth to encourage young people aged 16 and under to enter. Entries close on 19 September 2014. For more details, visit the website below.

Official Pentax Q-S1 Sample Images

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Compact System Camera
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Ricoh has posted six high-resolution sample photos captured with the new Pentax Q-S1 compact system camera. Taken using a variety of Q-mount lenses, these Pentax Q-S1 samples were all shot at low sensitivity settings (ISO 100/21°and ISO 125/22°), and feature a range of subjects and genres including still lifes, flowers, fruits, animals and cityscapes.

Website: Official Pentax Q-S1 Samples

Monday, August 4, 2014

HD Pentax-DA645 28-45mm F4.5ED AW SR

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Lenses
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The HD Pentax-DA645 28-45mm F4.5ED AW SR is an ultra-wide-angle zoom lens for medium-format Pentax cameras. Providing focal lengths from 22mm to 35.5mm in 35mm format, this is the first medium-format Pentax lens designed specifically for digital imaging. Thanks to its dustproof, weather-resistant construction, this newest member of the AW (All Weather) series offers outstanding reliability and durability in demanding shooting conditions, allowing photographers to capture images outdoors without worry. Incormporating the Pentax-original built-in SR (Shake Reduction mechanism), the HD Pentax-DA645 28-45mm F4.5ED AW SR will be available from early September for £3,399.99/$4999.95.

Pentax Q-S1

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The Pentax Q-S1 is a new compact system camera with a 1/1.7-inch, back-illuminated CMOS image sensor. Key highlights include a maximum sensitivity setting of ISO 12,800, a dust removal system,  Full HD movie recording, compatibility with Eye-Fi wireless LAN SD memory cards and a range of creative tools to create uniquely personalised images and add filter effects with just a turn of a dial. The Pentax Q-S1 will be available in early September for £299.99 (body-only) in a choice of 40 colour combinations. A single-zoom kit including the Q-S1 camera and 5-15mm lens will be available for £379.99/$499.95, and a double-zoom kit comprising the camera, 5-15mm and 15-45mm lenses will also be on offer, priced at £549.99.

Sony Cyber-shot DSC-QX10 Winner

Mark Goldstein
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We've teamed up with Sony to give away a fantastic Sony Cyber-shot DSC-QX10 camera!

The lucky winner is Enis Uzunov. Congratulations!

The Sony Cyber-shot DSC-QX10 is a completely new type of device that adds a 10x zoom lens and 18 megapixel sensor to your smartphone.

The  Cyber-shot DSC-QX10 unites the creative power of a premium camera with the convenience of your smartphone. The lens-style cameras dramatically improve the quality of digital photographs captured on smartphones.

It’s a dream come true for anyone who loves their smartphone, but wants the photo quality that only a dedicated camera can deliver. And whilst they look like lenses, the DSC-QX10 is a complete camera in its own right.

To enter, simply login via Facebook or by entering your email address, then like the Photography Blog Facebook page and additionally refer your friends to stand the best chance of winning.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Ikelite Underwater Housing for Sony RX100 III

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Accessories
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Ikelite has launched an underwater case for the Sony RX100 III digital compact camera. This housing provides controls for all important camera functions including the rear dial and front control ring. A sensitive shutter lever makes it easy to half-depress the trigger for focusing and metering. An included flash diffuser improves lighting quality when the camera's built-in flash is used. The housing port is designed to accept 3.0-inch diameter colour filters, and wide angle or macro options with 67mm threads. The Ikelite Housing for the Sony Cyber-shot RX100 III is available for order through any Authorised Ikelite Dealer, priced at £424.99/$550.00.

Luminous Endowment for Photographers

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Photographers
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Professional photographer and writer Michael Reichmann has announced The Luminous Endowment for Photographers. The Endowment, a USA-based not-for-profit charitable organisation, will provide a variety of specific merit-based grants to support non-commercial photographic projects such as fine art landscape photography; documentary photography; publishing photographic work; travel related to a photographic project; and others. A panel of judges, including some of the world’s leading photographers and educators, will review all project proposals. “In creating the Luminous Endowment, I was inspired by a ‘Pay it Forward’ philosophy,” said Michael Reichmann. “While we may not be able to repay those who’ve helped us to achieve personal and professional success, we can find a way to share our good fortune with those who need help both now and in the future.” Donations to the Endowment are a way to “pay it forward.” Plans are now underway to raise one million dollars in the first year. Michael is donating to the Endowment all proceeds from his new limited edition book, Michael Reichmann – a 20-Year Photography Retrospective, a 400-page large-format book that is available only through donations to The Luminous Endowment.

GoRigIt Case

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Accessories
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GoRigIt have launched a Kickstarter campaign in an effort to raise funds for their first product release, a phone case with a built in GoPro attachment. "With the GoRigIt case, your iPhone and GoPro become one," the company says. "We’ve made a way for you to see what you’re shooting, ensuring you’re getting the shots you want without hindering any of the functions of your iPhone!" Allowing users to fully utilise the GoPro app by either attaching their phone directly to the GoPro or attaching their phone to any other GoPro mount, the GoRigIt case enables GoPro owners to see what the camera is recording, manage GoPro settings, review what they have captured and effortlessly share their movies on social media platforms. Additionally, the GoRigIt case protects your iPhone so that it can go almost anywhere you would want to take your GoPro. Interested readers are encouraged to visit the project's Kickstarter page for more details.

AKVIS Chameleon 8.5

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Software
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AKVIS has updated its Chameleon collage creation software to Version 8.5. New features include a Share option that lets you post pictures from the program to Facebook, Twitter, Flickr, Tumblr, Google+ and Dropbox; compatibility with Photoshop CC 2014, and support for 64-bit versions of Windows. Users who own versions 5.0-8.0 of AKVIS Chameleon can upgrade to Version 8.5 for free.