Wednesday, June 24, 2015

UK Optics Distribution to Sell Venus/Laowa Lenses

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Lenses
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UK Optics Distribution have been nominated as the exclusive UK distributors of lenses manufactured by Venus Optics. These include Venus's new Laowa branded lenses such as the recently announced Laowa 60mm f/2.8 Macro 2:1 (pictured) and the brand new Laowa 15mm f/4 Macro lens.

Laowa 15mm f/4 Macro

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Lenses
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Venus Optics have launched the Laowa 15mm f/4 full-frame UWA prime, which is billed as the World’s widest 1:1 macro lens. Offering an angle of view of 110°, the lens construction features 12 elements in 9 groups with 3 High Refractive elements and one Extra-Low-Dispersion element plus a nearly circular, 14-bladed aperture diaphragm. A shift mechanism is added to the rear end of the lens with a maximum adjustment of +/- 6mm, which is extremely useful for landscape/architecture photography (only when used on a camera with an APS-C sensor - see an example here). The manual-focus lens is available for £419/$479 in Canon EF, Nikon F, Sony Alpha, Sony FE and Pentax K mounts.

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Leica Q (Typ 116) Review

Mark Goldstein
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The Leica Q (Typ 116) is a new serious compact camera, offering a 24 megapixel full-frame sensor, 1080 60/30p HD video recording, fast f/1.7 28mm lens, 10fps burst shooting, EVF and a 3-inch touchscreen. Read our in-depth Leica Q (Typ 116) review now...

CloudSlice for iOS

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Software
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CloudSlice is a new app that aims to protect each photo stored on an iPhone or iPad by not only encrypting the photos but “slicing” them among multiple cloud storage accounts. "Stories abound of instances in which photos are stolen and used without permission, with the most threatening being cases of 'digital kidnapping' in which photos of children are republished for either marketing purposes or by those who publish them on their own blogs or social media as pictures of their own children," the developers say. "Potentially more common is the farming of photos and their metadata for marketing purpose – enabling marketers to target consumers based on information gleaned from their photos." CloudSlice uses the security of multiple cloud storage services and slices each photo so that it can be divided into as many as five different cloud storage accounts in order to protect it from hackers. The app is easy to use: to slice and upload photos, users simply tap the + button on the main screen and select which images they wish to protect. To retrieve a stored photo, they just tap on its thumbnail. The photo slices will be instantly fetched and displayed in CloudSlice. The app is available for $4.99 on the App Store.

Canon EOS 750D Sample Images

Jack Baker
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Ahead of our full review, here are 69 JPEG and 24 Raw sample images taken with the Canon EOS 750D DSLR camera, including the full ISO range.

The Canon EOS 750D is a digital SLR camera with an APS-C sized 24.2-megapixel Hybrid CMOS sensor, DIGIC 6 processor and a 5fps continuous shooting mode.

Monday, June 22, 2015

Pentax K-3 II Review

Mark Goldstein
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The new Pentax K-3 II DSLR camera builds on the success of the excellent K-3 model with a number of key improvements. Is this the best ever Pentax DSLR? Read our in-depth Pentax K-3 II review to find out...

X-Rite ColorMunki Display Now Available with Free Macphun Intensify Pro

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Accessories, Software
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X-Rite is giving away a free copy of Macphun Intensify Pro, worth £45/€55, with special bundles of ColorMunki Display. “Making sure you’ve got a colour accurate screen to be working on in the first place is absolutely essential,” commented Geoffrey Clements, Managing Director, X-Rite Photo Europe. “The ColorMunki Display gives you the control; Macphun Intensify Pro gives you creative freedom. It’s the perfect combination.” Available across Europe, the offer is available until stocks last.

Transcend CFast 2.0 CFX650

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Accessories
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Transcend has rolled out a new range of CFast 2.0 memory cards targeted at professional videographers. Featuring the fastest transfer speeds available on the current market, Transcend's CFX650 memory cards support high-end cameras and recorders such as Blackmagic URSA and Atomos Ninja Star, and are best suited to shooting high-resolution 4K and Full HD videos. Supporting the next generation CFast 2.0 specification with a SATA III interface, CFX650 memory cards boast read and write speeds of up to 510MB/s and 370MB/s, respectively. Transcend's CFast 2.0 CFX650 memory cards are available in 128GB and 256GB capacities and include a free download of Transcend's exclusive RecoveRx file recovery software.

Canon EOS 5Ds Sample Image Galleries

Mark Goldstein | Digital SLR Cameras
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We've spent the last couple of weeks shooting 1000's of photos with the new 50-megapixel Canon EOS 5Ds DSLR camera and a variety of different lenses.

Here's a handy roundup of all the sample image galleries that we've published, just in case you've missed anything...

Canon EOS 5Ds with the Zeiss Otus 85mm f/1.4 Sample Images

Canon EOS 5Ds with the Canon EF 24-70mm f/2.8L II USM Sample Images

Canon EOS 5Ds with the Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II USM (Fashion) Sample Images

Canon EOS 5Ds with the Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II USM Sample Images

Canon EOS 5Ds with the Canon EF 17-40mm f/4L USM Sample Images

Canon EOS 5Ds with the Canon EF 70-200mm f/4 Sample Images

Canon EOS 5Ds with the Canon EF 100mm Macro Sample Images

Canon EOS 5Ds with the Sigma 24mm, 35mm and 50mm Art Sample Images

Canon EOS 5Ds Sample Images

Canon EOS 5Ds (Fashion) Sample Images

Mark Goldstein
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Last week we tested the new 50-megapixel Canon EOS 5Ds in the studio and on location at a fashion shoot.

Here are a selection of edited and unedited photos that we particularly liked, all taken with a final production version of the Canon EOS 5Ds DSLR camera.

BitTorrent Shoot

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Software
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BitTorrent have released a new app, which allows users to move a big batch of photos or a large video directly from one mobile device to another, without going through the cloud. As the BitTorrent Shoot app is available for different operating systems including Android, iOS and Windows Phone; it enables cross-platform image transfers. "If you’ve ever experienced a situation where you’re on iOS and a friend next to you has an Android phone, sending something like a big batch of photos or a long video is a challenge," says Erik Pounds is Vice President of Product Management for BitTorrent Sync. "The Shoot app was developed to make this easy." With Shoot, your first three sends are free, and a $1.99 in-app purchase enables unlimited sending. Using BitTorrent Shoot is entirely free for the receiver.

Piccure+ 2.5

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Software
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Intelligent Imaging Solutions have released an update to their piccure+ software, billed as "a revolution in computational photography." Version 2.5 brings a 30–70% decrease in processing time thanks to the new imaging kernel “Kestrel.” Furthermore it is now possible to use the software as a plug-in to DxO Optics Pro and Capture One (Adobe Photoshop, Photoshop Elements and Photoshop Lightroom were already supported the previous version). “It is our goal to seamlessly integrate piccure+ into the workflow of any professional photographer,” says Prof. Dr. Hanns Ruder, CEO. “It was thus extremely important to speed up piccure+ and to make it directly accessible through a wide variety of image editing programs. The update is free of charge for all users and re-emphasises the team’s commitment to its customer base and the technology.”

Saturday, June 20, 2015

Canon EOS 5Ds with the Canon EF 24-70mm f/2.8L II USM Sample Images

Mark Goldstein
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We've just tested the new 50-megapixel Canon EOS 5Ds with Canon's best standard zoom lens, the EF 24-70mm f/2.8L II USM lens.

Here are 56 JPEG and 56 Raw images taken with a final production version of the Canon EOS 5Ds DSLR camera with the Canon EF 24-70mm f/2.8L II USM lens.

Canon EOS 5Ds with the Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II USM (Fashion) Sample Images

Mark Goldstein
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We've just tested the new 50-megapixel Canon EOS 5Ds with the Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II USM lens in the studio and on location.

Here are 58 JPEG and 58 Raw images taken with a final production version of the Canon EOS 5Ds DSLR camera with the Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II USM lens.

Friday, June 19, 2015

Sony A7R II Preview

Jack Baker | Compact System Camera
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At a recent event held at Pinewood studios near London, we were able to sample Sony’s upcoming Alpha 7R II. The original α7R was a compelling camera that proved you didn’t need to cart around something size of a Nikon D810 to get super high resolution images. Its successor improves on the original in several key areas. It packs an even higher resolution sensor, but is also now capable of 4K video recording. Autofocus performance has been boosted as well, with Sony claiming the new camera to be up to 40% faster to focus than the original α7R. The α7R II also incorporates an advance in-body image stabilisation system, plus an improved OLED viewfinder.

Sony RX10 II and Sony RX100 IV Preview

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At a recent event held at Pinewood studios near London, we were able to sample Sony’s upcoming RX10 II and RX100 IV cameras. Both come equipped with new-generation 1-inch Exmor RS sensors for improved image processing speed and 4K video recording. Each camera boasts significantly quicker burst shooting speeds, as well as super-fast 1000fps recording for slow motion video clips. The RX10 II and RX100 IV also receive a faster maximum shutter speed and an improved OLED viewfinder.

Canon EOS 5Ds with the Zeiss Otus 85mm f/1.4 Sample Images

Mark Goldstein
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Want to see what the highest-resolution DSLR camera is capable of with the sharpest lens in the world?

You're in luck, as we've just tested the new 50-megapixel Canon EOS 5Ds with the Zeiss Otus 85mm f/1.4 lens in the studio and on location.

Here are 25 JPEG (Fine Detail picture style) and 25 Raw images taken with a final production version of the Canon EOS 5Ds DSLR camera with the Zeiss Otus 85mm f/1.4 lens. As always with our sample images, they're straight out of the camera with no post-processing...

Sigma 24-35mm f/2 DG HSM Art

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Lenses
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Sigma have announced a new wide zoom for full frame cameras, featuring a constant maximum aperture of f/2. The Sigma 24-35mm f/2 DG HSM Art lens has 18 elements in 13 groups and an iris diaphragm with 9 rounded blades. The lens incorporates large-diameter aspherical lens elements, which require advanced technologies to manufacture; one FLD (“F” Low Dispersion)* glass and seven SLD (Special Low Dispersion) glass elements, of which two are aspherical lenses. With a minimum focusing distance of 28cm and a maximum magnification ratio of 1:4.4, this lens is suitable for close-up shooting, environmental portraits with an attractive bokeh and deep-focus landscape photography. The Sigma 24-35mm f/2 DG HSM Art lens features a hypersonic AF motor for quiet and fast focusing, and promises to deliver the same outstanding optical performance as the fixed-focal-length lenses in the manufacturer's Art line. The lens will be available in Canon, Nikon and Sigma fit. The exact launch date and pricing have yet to be communicated.

Nikon Voted ‘Best Photography Brand 2015’ at Which? Awards

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Global
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Nikon have been formally recognised as the Best Photography Brand at the annual Which? Awards ceremony 2015. The Japanese company won the Award as during Which? testing over the last year, the brand’s digital compact and SLR cameras have been top-scoring. “To win the Which? Best Photography Brand award is a tremendous reflection on the performance and reliability of Nikon products and the service we provide to our customers,” says John Walshe, Managing Director at Nikon UK. “We are absolutely delighted to be recognised by Which? and to have achieved 9 Best Buys and to be in the top spot for appliance reliability ratings too.”

Tekniq Camera Bag

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Accessories
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The Tekniq camera bag is the first modular bag for photographers, allowing them adjust the size of their bag to match the equipment and gear they need. When you purchase a Tekniq, you are not just buying one camera bag but three for the price of one. With the ability to go from a large to small-sized camera bag, the Tekniq’s modularity and unique strap system allow the bag to be a backpack, sling bag, messenger bag, or shoulder bag. The Tekniq camera bag also offers additional features, including a lens cap clip, tripod holder, rain jacket, and tablet pocket. Now available on Kickstarter, the Tekniq bag can be yours for $179 with an early-bird discount.