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

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.

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Cascable for iOS

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Software
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Cascable is an iOS-based remote control app that works with a number of Wi-FI capable Canon digital SLR cameras. "Whether you’re on iPad, iPhone, or iPod touch, your primary exposure adjustments and focus/shutter release are front and centre," Cascable says. "Advanced autofocus, timer and drive controls are just a tap away. " Unlike other apps, Cascable supports downloading and exporting full resolutions photos — including raw files — from your camera, and with second screen support via AirPlay or HDMI you can view your photos on the big screen. Other innovations include an Apple Watch app that puts your camera’s shutter right on your wrist and a set of calculators to help with the tricky exposure calculations needed for astrophotography and neutral density filters. Cascade is currently available on the iTunes App Store for the promotional launch price of $19.99.

Women Can Build

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Events
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Women Can Build, an impactful photography exhibition of WWII-era and modern-day strong factory-working women, also known as ‘Rosie the Riveters’, has been extended by popular demand through 30th June at Los Angeles Union Station. The “modern Rosies” featured in the Women Can Build exhibition work for global transit equipment manufacturing companies with U.S. factories, including Siemens, New Flyer Industries, Nippon Sharyo, and Kinkisharyo. In addition to the manufacturing “Rosies”, included in the exhibition are Los Angeles County Supervisor Hilda Solis, California Assembly Speaker Toni G. Atkins, former Los Angeles County Federation of Labor Executive Secretary-Treasurer Maria Elena Durazo, and former Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority General Manager Dr. Beverly Scott. The exhibition is part of the greater Women Can Build project launched by Jobs to Move America.

HDRsoft Photomatix Essentials Plugin Edition

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Software
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HDRsoft have released the plugin edition of Photomatix Essentials. Providing all the power and simplicity of the standalone edition, the new plugin is tightly integrated with Adobe Photoshop Elements. Adding the ability to process photos that have already been opened in Photoshop Elements, the Photomatix Essentials Plugin is designed for photographers who want an easy-to-use introduction to HDR imaging. The plugin is available for Photoshop Elements version 10 and above on both Windows ( XP / Vista / 7 / 8) and Mac OS X (Mac OS 10.7 or later).

Macphun Tonality Gets Major Update

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Software
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Macphun today announced a major update to their black and white photo editing software, Tonality. The application, which uses a proprietary 16-bit raw processing engine, advanced imaging algorithms and a comprehensive set of unique digital darkroom features, now sports a new Luminosity Mask control for creating even more dramatic photos, and brings support for Photos for Mac, the latest version of Lightroom CC and a number of new raw image file formats. As with the original version, Tonality is offered in a standard version sold exclusively from the Mac App Store (SRP: £13.49; introductory price: £9.99) and a “Pro” version (SRP: £49.99; introductory price: £39.99) sold on the company’s website. The Pro version offers advanced features and the ability to run as either a standalone or as a plug-in to host applications such as Adobe Lightroom or Adobe Photoshop. Photographers who originally purchased the standard version of Tonality should launch the Mac App Store and choose “Updates” to automatically get the new software. Users of the Pro version should launch the standalone Pro app and choose the menu item Tonality Pro > Check for Updates to automatically get the new software.

DxO ONE

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Digital Compact Cameras
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DxO today introduced the DxO ONE, a smartphone-controlled, raw-capable camera module featuring a 1"-type sensor and a 32mm (eq.) f/1.8 lens with a 6-bladed aperture diaphragm. The 20.2-megapixel DxO ONE is a premium camera that attaches to your iPhone or iPad via the Lightning connector, turning the smartphone/tablet display into the camera’s viewfinder. A free iOS app enables control of the individual settings on the DxO ONE camera, including aperture, shutter speed (from 15s to 1/8000s), and ISO (from 100 to 51200). In addition to an Auto mode, the DxO ONE app offers various capture modes, including multiple Scene modes, Speed, Aperture Priority, or full Manual mode – and the user interface automatically adapts to the selected mode for a unique user experience. For the ultimate in noise-free image quality – even in very low light – users can choose to capture images in DxO’s new SuperRAW format. A SuperRAW file is the result of 4 raw frames captured in quick succession. When the DxO ONE camera is connected to a Mac or PC, the DxO Connect companion software automatically merges the four images together using the very latest in spatial and temporal noise reduction. The DxO ONE also records videos at 1080p/30fps or 720p/120fps, and swivels ±60° enabling creative perspectives. The DxO ONE is available for pre-order at £499, with delivery planned for Q4 2015.