Tuesday, November 4, 2014

HDR Express 3

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Software
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Unified Color Technologies today announced HDR Express 3 – a significant upgrade to their photo enthusiast product, HDR Express. This edition offers significant improvements in both performance and image quality, including at in merge speeds and new alignment and de-ghosting algorithms. Additional improvements include new automatic and manual keyframe selection tools for de-ghosting with the option to preview the merge settings, and the ability to shoot bracketed exposure series of moving objects without the assistance of a tripod. HDR Express 3 is also the first application developed by Unified Color that is designed to fully take advantage of OpenCL processing on computer graphics cards. Existing customers who purchased HDR Express 2 more than 90 days before HDR Express 3’s launch can upgrade to HDR Express 3 for $49. New licenses for HDR Express 3 can be purchased for $79.

Calumet UK Autumn Open Days

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Events
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Calumet Photographic is hosting a series of open days across the United Kingdom. The seven open days take place at Calumet stores nationwide, with each offering visitors the chance to win a new Canon G7X Camera as well as free sensor cleaning for all Nikon and Canon DSLRs, product demonstrations, expert advice from the top brands, as well as a variety of offers and promotions throughout the store. Click through / scroll down for a list of dates and locations.

Monday, November 3, 2014

Pentax XG-1 Review

Jack Baker
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The Pentax XG-1 is a new super-zoom compact camera featuring a 52x image-stabilized zoom lens with a massive focal range of 24-1248mm. The XG-1 also offers a 16 megapixel sensor, 1080p HD movies and an electronic viewfinder. Retailing for £279 / $350, read our Pentax XG-1 review to find out if it can take on its superzoom rivals...

Antonio Olmos Captures Day of the Dead

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Photographer Antonio Olmos has returned to his homeland, Mexico, for the first project of the ‘Sony RX Celebrate the Streets’ series. He has captured the vibrancy and spectacular colour of the country's traditional Day of the Dead celebrations using the Sony Cyber-shot RX100 III. In the Mexican town of Mixquic the festivities take to the streets as thousands throng the local cathedral’s graveyard, the only remaining church graveyard in the city, lighting it with candles to create a unique scene. "In countries across the world, the streets are a social environment where, during these events and festivals, so many conventions are broken for the day," Antonio Olmos said. "The Mexican Day of the Dead sees people of all classes and backgrounds come together to honour the deceased and everyone shares that celebration – it’s a moment when everyone shares in both joy and sorrow at those who have died." Future potential projects for the ‘Celebrate the Streets’ series include New Orleans Mardi Gras, India’s Holi Festival and Pamplona’s Running of the Bulls.

Calumet Rentals Re-Launch Online

Zoltan Arva-Toth
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C&A Marketing, the company that bought Calumet Photo in the USA, has relaunched the photo and video equipment rental programme Calumet Rentals, which is now available online. Customers will be able to consult Calumet's staff of technical experts on all their projects to ensure they find the rental equipment that best suits their task. Once customers select their rental equipment, it will be shipped directly to their front door, with one to ninety-day rental periods, and shipping labels will be provided for easy returns. "We knew when we acquired Calumet in May that it was vital to get the rental business back up and running since so many professionals rely on the high-end equipment and expert staff for their photography and videography needs," explained Chaim Pikarski, C&A Marketing's Executive Vice President. "By moving the program online, we not only are serving the loyal Calumet customer base, but we've now opened this unique service and expert guidance to the photography community across the country." The rental service is available on the website below.

Sekonic SpectroMaster C-700 & C-700R

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Accessories
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JP Distribution has announced the UK launch of the Sekonic SpectroMaster C-700 and Sekonic SpectroMaster C-700R spectrometers. Billed as the first spectrometers that measure every light source (LED, HMI, Fluorescent and the natural light spectrum), the SpectroMaster C-700 (£1299.99) is capable of measuring a wide range of colour temperature readings from 1,600 to 40,000 Kelvin. With its intuitive large (4.3” colour dot matrix LCD) colour touch screen, the SpectroMaster C-700 series offers easy navigation through spectral distribution screens, lighting comparisons, Colour Rendering Index (CRI) colour data and much more. Additionally, the SpectroMaster C.700R (£1399.99) can also measure wireless flash, providing colour and light output data. Flash units can be triggered up to 30 meters (100 feet) or more using the PocketWizard wireless triggering system. Any flash can be triggered and measured with a touch of the meter's measuring button.

Friday, October 31, 2014

Tamron 14-150mm f/3.5-5.8 Di III Review

Mark Goldstein
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The Tamron 14-150mm F/3.5-5.8 Di III is a new 10.7x wide-angle ultra-zoom lens for Nikon, Canon and Sony 35mm full-frame DSLRs. Offering built-in image stabilisation and splash-proof construction, the Tamron 14-150mm effectively replaces at least three lenses in your camera bag. Read our Tamron 14-150mm F/3.5-5.8 Di III review to find out if it's worth seriously considering as a do-it-all lens...

Think Tank Photo Releases Digital Holster 5

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Accessories
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Think Tank Photo have added a new size to their Digital Holster line-up. The Digital Holster 5 can be worn as a shoulder bag or attached to a belt, and accommodates an Olympus E-PL5 or OM-D E-M5, Fuji X-E2, Sony A6000, Nikon J3, Panasonic GX7, or any similarly sized compact system camera with one standard zoom lens. The new bag will retail for $39.75 including a seam-sealed rain cover.

Think Tank Releases 6 Perception Premier Daypacks

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Accessories
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Think Tank Photo has introduced its smallest, lightest backpacks, the Perception series. Designed specifically for mirrorless systems, the Perception series comes in two colours, black and taupe, and three sizes. The smallest size, The Perception Tablet,, accommodates a mirrorless system and an iPad Mini. The largest size, the Perception Pro, holds a 15" laptop and a 10" tablet, plus one mirrorless body or small DSLR with a small to medium zoom attached.  Plus, the largest size fits four to five more lenses. Prices range from $89.75 to $149.75, depending on size.

Fireside Launches

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Accessories, Software
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 Fireside is a smart system for your home that makes enjoying all your photos and videos as easy as taking them. The system consists of an intelligent curation and delivery service, and SmartFrame, a new generation digital picture frame that connects to users’ iOS/Android devices and the cloud to seamlessly integrate their curated content into everyday life. The Fireside app effortlessly brings all of a family’s photos and videos together to a private, secure place in the cloud, and makes them searchable. Then, Fireside’s cloud service uses contextual computing and machine learning to automatically curate and organise libraries of thousands of photos, showing families the content they actually want to see, the company says. Starting at $399 and available in both black and white, Fireside is launching on Kickstarter today.

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Olympus Stylus 1s

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Digital Compact Cameras
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Olympus Japan have unveiled the Olympus Stylus 1s, an evolutionary upgrade to their premium Stylus 1 compact camera. The Sylus 1s features a new step-zoom function, a smaller auto focus target, plus focus peaking and interval shooting functionality. It is powered by a BLS-50 battery that provides enough power to take 450 shots according to CIPA standards. Most of the other technical specifications - including the 1/1.7-type 12-megapixel CMOS sensor, the 28-300mm (eq.) f/2.8 lens, the 7fps continuous shooting mode, the ISO 100-12800 sensitivity range and the 1.04-million-dot, 3" touchscreen - are unchanged versus the Stylus 1. The Olympus Stylus 1s will go on sale nex month (in Japan), with pricing to be confirmed. A new wide-angle conversion lens (WCON-08X) and wide conversion lens adapter (CLA-14) will join the list of accessories available for the camera.

Impossible Color Film Black Frame Edition

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Film
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Impossible have released their long-promised Color 600, SX-70 and Spectra/Image Black Frame films. "Black frame color films are yet another dynamic alternative to the ‘standard’ square white frame made famous by Polaroid," the company says. "They are a stylish addition to a film line-up that includes the iconic white frame, along with gold, silver, a variety of colors, tropical florals and animal skins." Impossible Color Film Black Frames are suitable for use with any Polaroid SX-70, 600,or Image/Spectra camera as well as the Impossible Instant Lab.

Manfrotto KLYPAPP

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Software
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The Manfrotto KLYPAPP is the first hands free photo capture app developed by Manfrotto. The application allows iPhone and KLYP+ users to take photos by simply clapping their hands; and enables them to enhance the colours, adjust the saturation, contrast, exposure and sharpness, as well as crop and flip the pictures before sharing them with their friends. Other key features include a night photography mode and a virtual horizon function. The KLYPAPP is available from iTunes for free, whilst the KLYP+ iPhone cases start from £24.95.

Adorama and Canon Present: Capturing the Action

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Digital SLR Cameras, Events
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Adorama is teaming up with Canon to put on a free event featuring the brand new EOS 7D Mark II. Held on Wednesday 12th November at the Altman Building in Manhattan action-packed evening will feature an open bar and food; giveaways including a raffle for the 7D Mark II and two tickets to the XLIX “Big Game”; special guest appearances from the world of professional sports; presentations from the industry’s top action photographers; and many more surprises to come. The star of the show, the EOS 7D Mark II, will be on display, so all attendees can get their hands-on the highly anticipated DSLR from Canon’s APS-sensor lineup. Do note that space is limited and only registering will guarantee your spot. To RSVP, visit the website below.

Cities at Dawn Team up with Guardian Masterclasses

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Events
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Cities at Dawn have teamed up with Guardian Masterclasses to expand their programme into cities such as Rome and Istanbul. Offered as part of the unique learning programme run by The Guardian, these master classes give photographers of any level an opportunity to discover how dawn can transform their images – and their style. Through a series of dawn workshops with photographer Anthony Epes, participants will learn new skills whilst creating a personal portfolio. “Photography is an extraordinarily creative outlet – it has taught me how to truly see and experience the world; to not just pass through, busy and distracted, on my way to somewhere else," Anthony says. “That is why I love to teach photography, to support others in their creative journey.” Click through / scroll down for more information.

Nikon UK Launches New Battery Grip Promotion

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Accessories, Digital SLR Cameras
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Nikon UK today launched a new promotion offering customers a free battery grip with purchases of selected Nikon dSLR cameras. From 30th October to 4th February 2015 customers looking to purchase a Nikon D7100 are able to claim a free MB-D15 portrait grip, whilst customers considering the Nikon D610 are entitled to a free MB-D14 battery grip. A maximum of one claim can be made per person on each model included in the promotion, and all claims must be received by the 28th February 2015 (inclusive) in order to qualify.

Canon EOS 7D Mark II Launches in UK

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Digital SLR Cameras
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Canin UK has announced the imminent availability of the Canon EOS 7D Mark II dSLR camera. Announced at this year’s Photokina, the EOS 7D Mark II features a 20-megapixel imager with on-sensor PDAF, a 10fps continuous shooting mode, an all-new autofocus, expanded movie options and geotagging via an integrated GPS module. The camera, which has received the highest number of pre-orders for a DSLR in Canon UK’s history, will be available in the United Kingdom from Monday 3rd November 2014.

Fujifilm X100T Review

Mark Goldstein
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The new Fujifilm X100T is the third generation of Fujfilm's wildly popular 35mm f/2 fixed lens compact camera. Building on the success of last year's X100S, the new X100T focuses on making the handling and operation even better than before. Have Fujifilm succeeded in the tricky task of making an already brilliant camera even better? Read our in-depth Fujifilm X100T review to find out...

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

HD Pentax-DA 16-85mm F3.5-5.6ED DC WR

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Lenses
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Ricoh has announced the launch of the HD Pentax-DA 16-85mm f/3.5-5.6ED DC WR lens for Pentax K-mount digital SLR cameras. With a 35mm equivalent focal range of 24.5-130mm, the HD Pentax-DA 16-85mm f/F3.5-5.6ED DC WR features the PENTAX-exclusive HD coating to deliver sharp, clear images even in difficult  lighting conditions, an ED (Extra-low Dispersion) optical element to effectively compensate for chromatic aberrations; and aspherical optical elements to minimise colour bleeding. The lens is equipped with the Pentax-developed Quick-Shift Focus system, which allows the user to instantly switch to manual-focus operation after the subject is captured in focus by the camera’s AF system. The optical construction comprises 16 elements in 12 groups and a rounded diaphragm to produce a smooth bokeh. The lens features a weather-resistant construction with eight special seals to effectively prevent the intrusion of water into the lens interior. Available from the end of next month, the HD Pentax-DA 16-85mm f/3.5-5.6ED DC WR will sell for RRP of £599.99.

DxO OpticsPro 10

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Software
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DxO Labs have released DxO OpticsPro 10, the new version of its flagship software. DxO OpticsPro 10 adds DxO ClearView, a new feature that eliminates atmospheric haze in a spectacular fashion. This new version also enhances the PRIME (Probabilistic Raw IMage Enhancement) denoising technology that can improve image quality of up to one full stop over the best noise reduction algorithms currently on the market. In addition, DxO OpticsPro 10 can now integrate DxO ViewPoint’s geometrical corrections. After the DxO ViewPoint plugin is activated, a dedicated palette lets photographers directly correct perspective problems and volume deformation in raw and JPEG images. Finally, DxO OpticsPro 10 now supports DNG files converted using Lightroom or Adobe DNG Converter (so long as the original raw file is also supported), for an easier workflow with Adobe products). DxO OpticsPro 10 is now accessible via two new editions, ESSENTIAL ($129/£99/€129) and ELITE ($199/£159/$199), both of which support all of the equipment calibrated by DxO. The two editions differ in terms of the number of features available.