Thursday, June 25, 2015

I Love Travel 2015

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Competitions
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CyberLink have launched their fourth annual “I Love Travel” competition that challenges the creative and editing skills of video enthusiasts from all around the world. The contest invites everyone from novices to experienced editors to create a short film using CyberLink’s PowerDirector video editing software. The film can be about the contestant’s most memorable travel experience, a story deserving to be told, or even a vacation that holds personal significance to the creator. Contestants can download the free trial version of PowerDirector to create their submission. Prizes for the winners include a GoPro Hero 4 Silver camera, an Apple Watch, and an HTC RE camera. The deadline for submissions is 7th September. As with any competition, we recommend that you read the rules before entering your work.

Samsung NX500 Firmware Update 1.10

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Compact System Camera
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Samsung have posted a major firmware update for their NX500 compact system camera. Version 1.10 brings an array of auto focus improvements for still photography (including better AF performance in low-light and backlit conditions, enhanced Face Detection, a new Zone AF mode, and much more), adds a Pro video recording mode, increases the maximum video bitrate to 70Mb/s, gives users more precise frame capture from 4K movies, adds a new MF responsiveness mode, and increases the maximum movie recording time to 25 minutes. Click through / scroll down for a complete list of improvements.

Canon EOS 750D Review

Jack Baker
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The Canon EOS 750D (called the Canon EOS Rebel T6i in North America) is a new DSLR camera that boasts 24 megapixels, 19-point autofocus system, Wi-Fi connectivity with NFC pairing and a touch-screen interface. Other key features of the 750D / T6i include burst shooting at 5fps, a vari-angle 3-inch LCD screen with 1,040k dot resolution, ISO range of 100-25,600, 14-bit image processing and Canon's latest Digic 6 processor. Is the Canon EOS 750D / T6i the best mid-range digital SLR camera on the market? Read our expert review to find out...

Charity Brings Sea View to Surrey

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Competitions, Events
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The Shipwrecked Mariners' Society has announced an exhibition of unique maritime photographs and the launch of its third annual maritime photography competition. The exhibition, which brings a sea view to the landlocked Royal Alfred Seafarers Society care home in Surrey, features images of seven of last year’s competition entries, ranging from trawler races in Brixham to lighthouses in Porthcawl, displayed around the grounds of the home. The Society is encouraging budding photographers to get involved in this year’s competition, open to professional and amateur photographers across the UK, and to send in their pictures of the coast, seafarers and the sea. The deadline for entries to the competition is the 7 August 2015. As always, we suggest that you read the terms and conditions before entering your work.

Hahnemühle FineArt Baryta Satin

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Accessories
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Hahnemühle have rolled out a new baryta paper that is claimed to provide "exceptional results" with a wide gamut and intensely deep blacks. The FineArt Baryta Satin is a 300gsm, alpha-cellulose paper with a barium-sulfate coated warm-tone white satin surface, available in 8.5"x11", 11"x17", 13" x 19" and 17"x22" sheets, and 17", 24", 36" & 44" wide rolls.

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Verbatim Pro+ Memory Cards

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Accessories
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Expanding its range of SD and micro SD memory cards, Verbatim has just launched the new Pro+ line. A read speed up to 90MB/s provides ultra fast access to 4K full HD video recordings while a write speed of up to 80MB/s ensures the data is captured and stored swiftly. "This is particularly beneficial to DSLR camera owners selecting continuous frame shooting (burst mode) when using the larger raw image format," the company says. Verbatim’s Pro+ is currently available in 32GB and 64GB capacities.

TPOTY Exhibition Jouneys Back to London

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Events
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Award-winning travel images go on show in an outstanding, free to view, exhibition at Britain's Royal Geographical Society (with IBG) this summer, as Travel Photographer of the Year returns to London. This year’s event features the entries that took top honours in the 2014 awards, in which amateur and professional photographers from over 100 countries competed. Stretching from the Society’s glass-sided Pavilion (1 Kensington Gore, London, SW7 2AR, out into the terrace and down into the garden, it runs from Friday July 24th to Saturday, September 5th. The exhibition is open from 10am to 5pm Sunday to Thursday and 10am to 7pm Friday and Saturday. Travel Photographer of the Year will be staging a number of ‘Enchanted Evenings’ at the gallery. Unlike the exhibition itself, these are ticketed events, costing £8 to include a glass of wine, or £15 to also include a copy of Journey Seven, the latest book from Travel Photographer of the Year. Enchanted Evening dates can be found – and tickets booked - through the website below.

Tokina USA Announce Pricing for AT-X 24-70mm F/2.8 PRO FX Lens

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Lenses
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Kenko Tokina USA have unveiled the suggested retail price and availability of the new Tokina AT-X 24-70mm F/2.8 PRO FX lens. Officially announced in February this year, this is a constant-aperture standard zoom for 35mm full-frame SLR cameras; featuring 15 lens elements in 11 groups and a nine-bladed iris diaphragm. The lens has a maximum reproduction ratio of 1:4.73, a minimum focus distance of 0.38m and a 82mm filter thread. Tokina’s exclusive One-touch Focus Clutch Mechanism allows the photographer to switch between AF and MF simply by snapping the focus ring forward for AF and back toward the lens mount for manual focusing. The AT-X 24-70mm F/2.8 PRO FX lens also incorporates a fast SDM (Silent Drive-Module) motor to greatly reduce AF noise making it one of Tokina’s quickest and quietest auto-focusing lenses to date. Availble in August, the lens will cost $999. High-resolution sample images, taken with the lens mounted to a Nikon D610, can be downloaded from the website below.

Manfrotto Xpro Ballhead

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Accessories
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Manfrotto have just launched their new Xpro ballhead, designed for advanced hobbyist photographers and experienced professionals. Completing the Xpro Heads range that is dedicated to the new 190 and 055 tripods; the new Manfrotto Xpro ballhead features the manufacturer's Triple Locking System, which consists of 3 wedges that apply pressure to the sphere to lock it in position, as the ball lock lever is rotated. The head weighs a mere 0.5 kg, but can support up to 10kg of payload. The Xpro ballhead is available in two versions that are distinguishable by the coloured finish on their magnesium body: the black version (£114.95/$149.88) comes with the Manfrotto 200PL plate, while the grey version (£159.95/$199.88) comes with the safe and rapid Top Lock System featuring the Manfrotto MSQ6PL Arca-Swiss compatible plate.

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.