Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Zeiss Education Programme

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Lenses
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The new Zeiss Education Programme is targeted to US-based students, educators, plus accredited institutions and workshops teaching photography and film-making. Developed in response to numerous requests especially from students, the Zeiss Education Programme is a purchase incentive plan that enables pre-approved students, accredited schools and photo educators to purchase Zeiss camera lenses at a fixed, discounted price. Once your application has been approved, you will receive a certificate that entitles you for the student discount. The discount can be claimed with an authorised Zeiss dealer.

Panasonic Lumix DMC-TZ57 Review

Amy Davies
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The Panasonic Lumix DMC-TZ57 (also known as the ZS45) is a new travel-zoom compact camera with a 16-megapixel sensor, 180-degree tiltable monitor and a 20x zoom lens. Read our Panasonic DMC-TZ57 review to find out if this is the travel-zoom camera for you...

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

ArtGeminiPrize 2015

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Competitions
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The ArtGemini Prize has issued the Call for Entries for the Third Edition of the international Art and Photography Prize. Open to all photographers and painters form anywhere in the world, the ArtGemini Prize is described as "a celebration to promote international contemporary art for emerging and established artists." A cash fund of £6000 will be awarded to the winnersin 4 categories, Photography, Painting & Sculpture, Young Artist and Public Choice. In addition to the “open” theme, there is a special bursary prize sponsored by PhotoAid Global for the best “social or environmental documentary” image submitted. Do note that entry fees apply. The deadline for entries is 7th July.

Manfrotto Off-Road 30L Hiker Backpack

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Accessories
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Manfrotto has just added the Off Road 30L Hiker Backpack to the Off Road Collection. Designed to meet the needs of photographers who are looking for compact and lightweight accessories ideal for action and adventure photography, the Manfrotto Off-Road 30L Hiker Backpack features a fully removable internal camera case and an innovative solution for keeping the camera secure on the chest whilst walking. The camera case can carry a pro SLR, 70-200mm lens plus an additional lens, and features the Manfrotto Protection System which is specifically designed to ensure maximum protection. Available now through selected stockists, the Manfrotto Off-Road 30L Hiker Backpack is priced at £169.95.

YouTube Adds Support for 360° Spherical Videos

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Digital Video Cameras
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YouTube has added support for 360° spherical videos, including those created with the Ricoh Theta m15 camera (pictured). "With the announcement of YouTube’s 360 degree spherical video support, the world of content sharing is much more accessible worldwide," Ricoh says. Theta users simply create their 360 videos, upload MP4 video files generated with Windows and Mac software and share with family and friends

Epson Perfection V39 Scanner

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Scanners
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Epson today added the Epson Perfection V39 to its line of Perfection flatbed scanners. Featuring 4800 dpi hardware resolution, no warm-up time and buttons to scan directly to e-mail and PDFs, the compact Perfection V39 allows consumers to scan and share photos to Facebook, Google Drive and other cloud services. The USB powered scanner requires only one source for power and connection to the computer, with no AC adapter needed. The removable lid makes it possible to scan bulky photo albums. The Epson Perfection V39 ($99.99) is now available through major retailers across the USA.

UK National Award Winner Revealed for World Photography Awards

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Competitions
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Byron Dilkes has been named as the winner of the UK National Award, part of the 2015 Sony World Photography Awards. His image “Tantalizingly Tropical” was chosen as the single best photograph taken by a British photographer entered into any of the ten Open categories of the awards. Dilkes has won a Sony RX100 III camera and his image will be shown as part of the 2015 Sony World Photography Awards exhibition at Somerset House, London from 24 April – 10 May. Runner-up positions for the UK National Award were given to Simon Morris and Antony Crossfield.

Samsung NX500 Review

Mark Goldstein
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The Samsung NX500 is the World's most affordable compact system camera to feature 4K video recording. The Samsung NX500 also features a compact rangefinder-like design, 3-inch tilting AMOLED screen, built-in wi-fi, bluetooth and NFC connectivity, 9fps burst shooting, and an APS-C CMOS sensor with 28.2 megapixels. Read our in-depth Samsung NX500 review, complete with sample images and videos, to find out if it's a game-changer...

Monday, March 16, 2015

Lowepro Fastpack II

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Accessories
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Lowepro today unveiled the next generation of its travel-focused camera and laptop backpacks, the Fastpack II series. Improving protection levels while providing great internal carrying ‘zones,’ the Fastpack II series includes two new packs for the DSLR photographer: the Fastpack 150 AW II and the Fastpack 250 AW II. Each pack features a padded easy-access compartment for a DSLR camera with lens. New additions to this generation include an all-weather protective cover to keep gear safe, and the ability to secure the pack to rolling trolleys at airports. The Fastpack 150 AW II (£96) is designed to hold up to an 11-inch laptop in a built in padded sleeve, and one to two extra lenses or flashes in the camera section of the backpack. The larger Fastpack 250 AW II (£120, pictured) can hold a 15-inch laptop, plus up to three additional lenses or flashes. Both packs come complete with a padded, removable waistbelt for extra comfort – which can be stowed during travel.

Daminion 3.7

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Software
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Daminion's digital asset management software has been updated to version 3.7. This edition improves the user experience in both the Standalone and the Server versions, and integrates with the Active Directory to save time on server administration. A new Grouping feature and added functions in the Lightbox panel enable digital assets to be classified more accurately in version 3.7, and huge image files in Camera RAW, PSD, TIFF and BMP format can now be viewed much faster. Integration with the Windows Active Directory enables Daminion Server to sync with a company’s existing  user database without having to manually entering user names and passwords. There’s also added support for MXF videos and Samsung SRW images.

Novo Photographic Filters

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Accessories
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Novo is offering a completely new range of photographic filters including what they call the World’s first filter to use Sapphire Crystal glass. The Sapphire UV filter (pictured) boasts a 2.39mm thick brass frame with laser engraved text, and is made with Sapphire Crystal glass offering 99.9% transmittance and 99.95% UV blockage. The Endura line uses ACG and Gorilla glass and includes UV, variable neutral density and protective filters as well as circular polarisers. Novo filters will be available to view and purchase at the forthcoming Photography Show 2015, 21st-24th March, at stand F134.

Samsung NX500 Sample Images

Mark Goldstein
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Ahead of our full review, here are some sample images and movies taken with the new Samsung NX500 compact system camera.

The compact Samsung NX500 has a 28MP APS-C CMOS sensor, 4K video recording, 9fps continuous shooting, auto-focus system with 205 Phase Detection AF points, and built-in Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and NFC connectivity.

Friday, March 13, 2015

PNY at The Photography Show

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Accessories, Events
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PNY Technologies will showcase the latest in Flash technology and host conferences with its PNY Photo Ambassadors Luke Massey and Andy Kruczek at The Photography Show. Among the products to be presented at the trade show are a number of micro SD cards designed for use with up to 4K cameras and action cams, a new line-up of photo accessories and an all-new range of Turbo Performance SD cards with 80Mb/sec read speeds. The Photography Show will take place from21 – 24 March 2015 at the NEC in Birmingham.

Portraiture and Weddings – Kevin Wilson

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Events
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On 8 April 2015, X-Rite  is hosting a free webinar with X-Rite Coloratti Master and one of the most decorated photographers in the UK, Kevin Wilson. In this free, 60-minute online seminar, Kevin will guide participants through how he gets the most out of his portraiture and wedding photography weddings in natural light. Leading viewers through his use of reflectors, lighting, posing, space creation and image refinement to achieve the kind of image he is known for, he will also demonstrate how Capture One, Adobe Photoshop, Lastolite and X-Rite colour management products combine to make the final picture. You can register for the webinar here.

Think Tank Photo Reveals Urban Approach 15 Backpack

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Accessories
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In April, Think Tank Photo will release the Urban Approach 15, its first backpack designed specifically to hold a complete mirrorless kit as well as a 15” laptop, up to a 10” tablet, smartphone and more. “For quick and complete access to gear, we designed the zippers to open wide,” said Doug Murdoch, Think Tank’s president and lead designer. “This allows for unencumbered access to gear. Its low profile and yet high quality design and materials allow Mirrorless users to feel confident that their compact cameras and personal objects are cradled, safe and at the ready.” The Urban Approach 15 backpack accommodates up to two big compact system cameras with lens attached, 5–8 additional lenses, up to a 10” tablet and a 15” laptop. One example would be a Sony Alpha 7R with 24–70 f/4, 70–200mm f/4, 55mm f/1.8, 35mm f/2.8, plus a Sony A6000 with 16–50mm f/3.5-5.6, 55–210mm f/4.5-6.3, 2 HVL–F43M flashes, a tablet and a laptop. The Urban Approach 15 backpack will be available for $169.75.

Think Tank Photo Launches Urban Approach Shoulder Bags

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Accessories
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In April, Think Tank Photo will be releasing the Urban Approach shoulder bag series. Available in two models, the Urban Approach series is specfically designed for compact system camera kits. The Urban Approach 5 holds one medium to large camera body with lens attached, one to three additional lenses, and an 8” tablet. The Urban Approach 10 (pictured) accommodates one medium to large CSC body or compact DSLR with lens attached, two to four additional lenses, and up to a 10” tablet. The smaller model will retail for $119.75 and the larger one will cost $134.75.

Think Tank Photo CF/SD + Battery Wallet

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Accessories
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Think Tank Photo is set to release a new CF/SD + Battery Wallet, a lightweight, secure, and convenient wallet for carrying a spare memory card and battery. Accommodating a back-up camera battery and a CompactFlash or Secure Digital card, the Think Tank Photo CF/SD + Battery Wallet is crafted from premium, long lasting materials and features a durable water-repellent coating for superior water resistance. The wallet is priced at $9.99.

Enlight for iPhone

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Software
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Lightricks have launched a new photo editing app for Apple's iPhone and iPod touch devices. Billed as a "groundbreaking photo editing application that is poised to revolutionarise mobile photography," Enlight builds on state-of-the-art image processing technologies first implemented in Facetune by Lightricks' founding team, which includes four former computer science PhD students. Enlight is claimed to integrate the largest amount of features within a single mobile editing application, including features currently unavailable even on desktop. Enlight 1.0 is $3.99 and requires iOS 8.1 or later.

Joe Cornish Captures Beauty of Deception Island

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Photographers
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Sony Imaging Ambassador Joe Cornish went to capture the eerie beauty of Deception Island on the Sony α7 II and Sony α7R cameras. Completely abandoned in the late 1960s as a result of volcanic destruction, the remote island is part of the South Shetland Islands archipelago in Antarctica. Cornish's photos capture - largely black, white and orange colouring - perfectly capture the leftover remains of the structures and devastation.

Flashpoint Ring Li-on

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Accessories
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Adorama has added the Flashpoint Ring Li-on ring flash to its collection of battery-powered flash units. The Flashpoint Ring Li-on is a 400Ws lithium-powered, self-contained ring flash system that produces even illumination and shadow-free light. A compact, cordless flash system, the Ring Li-on can easily be used with any DSLR or medium-format camera equipped with lenses up to 3.5" in diameter. Thanks to its generous internal interchangeable 11.1-volt lithium ion battery, this model from Flashpoint can deliver approximately 450 full power flashes per charge with a recycle range of .05 to 2.8 seconds. The Ring Li-on Ring Flash is now available for $499.95 from Adorama.