Monday, August 11, 2014

Metz Mecablitz 64 AF-1 digital

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Accessories
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The mecablitz 64 AF-1 digital is the new, top-of-the-range flash unit from Metz, featuring a zoomable tilt-swivel head and a secondary flash tube for on-axis fill. The guide number is 64 in metres at ISO 100 at the 200mm flash head position (translating into a GN of 43 @ 50mm). Key highlights include a new large, auto-rotating, full-colour touchscreen; HSS, servo, automatic and TTL flash modes; 1st and 2nd-curtain synchronisation; a modelling light and a newly-developed motorised zoom mechanism that makes the mecablitz 64 AF-1 digital capable of properly illuminating focal lengths ranging from 24 to 200mm. The flash also incorporates a new RAPID function, enabling photographers to shorten recycle times in fast paced situations. The Canon and Nikon versions are already available for £375, with versions for Olympus/Panasonic/Leica, Pentax and Sony expected to hit the shelves after Photokina 2014.

swivelCard

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Accessories
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The swivelCard is a new type of "smart" business card, which was developed with professional photographers in mind. Made of regular paper, this revolutionary card doubles as a USB drive when folded in a certain way, and provides a link to your online portfolio when inserted into a USB port on your computer. What's more, a nifty analytics system allows you to access helpful information about your cards and how they are being used through a back-end software interface. Plus, remote access to your swivelCard gives you many opportunities to continue interacting with the card's recipient. "With the back-end interface you'll be able to log in to your account and remotely make changes to the destination," the inventors say. "This can be done individually for each specific card." For more information, visit the project's Kickstarter page.

PPA International Photographic Competition Results Announced

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Competitions
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Professional Photographers of America (PPA) has announced the results of its international photographic competition. A panel of 45 eminent jurors from across the United States selected the top photographs from nearly 5,000 total entries from August 4-7 at Gwinnett Technical College in Lawrenceville, Georgia. Over 1,800 images were selected for the General Collection and 918 (roughly 18 percent) were selected for the esteemed Loan Collection — the best of the best. The Loan Collection images will all be published in the “Loan Collection” book and over 200 selected General Collection images will be published in the “Showcase” book by Marathon Press. To view full results of the contest, head to the website below.

Friday, August 8, 2014

Fujifilm FinePix XP70 Review

Jack Baker
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The Fujifilm FinePix XP70 is a tough water, freeze, shock and dust proof 16 megapixel compact camera. The XP70 also offers built-in wi-fi, 10fps burst shooting, 1080i HD movies, a 5x zoom lens and a 2.7 inch LCD screen. Read our expert Fujifilm FinePix XP70 review now...

New PicStop Competition: Cities

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Competitions
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PicStop has launched a new photographycompetition. The theme of the contest is “Cities” and each entrant may submit up to three photos, complete with titles and descriptions. Images must be in JPEG format and must not exceed 300 kilobytes in size. The deadline for entries is 3 October 2014. The first prize is a Thomas Cook City Break Travel Voucher worth £399. As always we suggest that you read the terms and conditions before entering your work.

Website: PicStop

Leica Summicron-S 2/100mm ASPH.

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Lenses
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The Leica Summicron-S 2/100 mm ASPH. is a fast short telephoto lens for the Leica S system. Designed for portrait, glamour and available-light photography, the Leica Summicron-S 2/100 mm ASPH. features 7 elements in 5 groups and a maximum aperture of f/2. The dust- and splashproof lens has a close-focus point of 70cm and weighs in at 910g. Available from mid-September, the Leica Summicron-S 2/100 mm ASPH. has an RRP of €6,500.

Via Photoscala

David Levene: Eyewitness

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Events, Photographers
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From Wednesday, 2 September until Sunday, 26 October 2014, the new flagship Foyles bookshop on Charing Cross Road will host a free exhibition of images by Guardian photographer David Levene. The Guardian’s pioneering Eyewitness series was revolutionary when it was introduced in full colour across the centre spread of the newspaper in 2005. Now the only daily print photo feature of this size in the British press, the hugely popular Eyewitness series continues showcase some of the world’s best news photography. Levene has had over 120 photographs featured in the daily slot, and has now chosen ten of his favourites for this exhibition. Each photograph has been blown up to over 1.5m across, allowing viewers to experience these images on a scale at which they have never been seen before. This will be the second exhibition in The Gallery at Foyles, located on the fifth floor of the new Foyles bookshop at 107 Charing Cross Road, and curated by Futurecity to celebrate ‘the word’ in all its forms.

Adventure Travel Show 2015

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Events
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The Adventure Travel Show, which features a number of travel photography seminars, takes place at London’s Olympia on 17- 18 January 2015. In addition to the photography seminars, an Adventure Travel Film Festival will be taking place on 17th January, showing a selection of excellent independent adventure travel films brought to you by Austin Vince and the Adventure Travel Film Festival. General show tickets cost £8 in advance or £10 on the door, under 16s are free. Weekend tickets are also available for £12 in advance or £15 on the door. For full details, talk timetables and to book tickets, visit the website below.

Sigma Photo Pro 6.0.5

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Software
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Sigma has released an update to its Sigma Photo Pro software package. Version 6.0.5 incorporates the following improvement and fixes:

  • It has improved the image quality of long exposure photography, taken by the SIGMA dp2 Quattro.
  • It has corrected the phenomenon that JPEG images developed from X3F files are neither properly displayed in the photo editing software nor successfully uploaded to SNS/websites.
  • It has corrected the phenomenon that it resets the displayed position of thumbnails when the main window is updated after saving and deleting images.
  • It has corrected the phenomenon that the print size in the print window occasionally goes back to the default settings.
  • It has corrected the phenomenon that X3F files are not properly processed when the images are taken with the SD1 or Merrill series cameras and the color space is set at Adobe RGB.

Website: Sigma Global Vision

10 Branding Secrets for Photographers

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Books
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PhotoShelter has released a new, free guide titled "10 Branding Secrets for Photographers." Available as a PDF e-book, this publication will help photographers define and build a strong brand that will set them apart from the competition and attract the clients they want. Additionally, it offers ideas on communicating their photographic style and personality, determining what aspects of their business are unique and more. You can claim the e-book at the website below.

Website: PhotoShelter

Poison Paradise Special Edition Color for Polaroid 600

Zoltan Arva-Toth
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Impossible has launched three new instant films. "Continuing its approach of ‘innovating’ the classic square white frame associated with Polaroid instant photography, Impossible has created these films especially for Summer adding their own darker twist; deadly snakes can be seen twisted around stems and moving through the tropical fauna," the company says. The Poison Paradise Special Edition Color for Polaroid 600 cameras includes Hibiscus – the darkest frame, using a black background to set off the oranges and reds of the flowers, Fuchsia – the warmest frame, using the purples and creams of the blooms to uplift the orange background, and finally Frangipani, the brightest frame, using a sky blue base to bring the South American flowers to life. These are the first Impossible instant films to have am ‘expiry date’ use by date printed on them, enabling users to know exactly how long they have with the film. Impossible Poison Paradise can be used in any Polaroid 600 type camera and the Impossible Instant Lab.

Apple Digital Camera RAW Compatibility Update 5.06

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Software
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Apple has posted a Digital Camera RAW Compatibility Update, which adds system-level support for raw image files generated by the Nikon Coolpix P340, Nikon 1 V3, Olympus OM-D E-M10, Olympu STYLUS 1, Panasonic LUMIX DMC-GH4, Sony A7S (pictured), Sony Alpha ILCE-5000, Sony Alpha ILCE-6000, Sony Alpha SLT-A77 II and Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX100 III cameras. You can download the update from the website below.

Website: Apple

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Photo Productions Launch New Website

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Websites
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Photo Productions, a UK company that produces premium photobooks for the public and professional photographers, have just re-launched their website. Rebuilt from the ground up it's now much faster and easier to use, the company claims. There are more options, international delivery is built in, sample albums can be bought through the site, and there are now eight sizes of albums to choose from. The main albums start at £144 including professional design, printing and UK delivery. To celebrate the website re-launch, Photo Productions are offering free Premium Pocket Books with every 12x15" and 12x18" album.

Sigma dp2 Quattro Firmware Version 1.01

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Digital Compact Cameras
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Sigma has issued a firmware update for its dp2 Quattro large-sensor digital compact camera. According to the company, Version 1.01 incorporates the following fixes:

  • It has corrected the phenomenon that details of subjects that have both similar color tones and contrast difference will be lost when images are recorded in JPEG format.
  • It has reduced the longitudinal noise that appears occasionally when changing each adjustment value in the image correction process substantially during the development of RAW files in SIGMA Photo Pro Ver.6.

*Note: If your firmware has been updated to Ver.1.01 or later, it is not possible to develop RAW files in SIGMA Photo Pro released before Ver.6.0.5.. Please be sure to update it to SIGMA Photo Pro 6.0.5.

Website: Sigma Global Vision

7 SNAPS

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Software
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7 SNAPS is a new, interactive iPhone app that combines social media, imagination and photography. The unique app challenges photographers, both amateur and professional, to use their imagination and interpret a presented word through the art of photography. Increasing their vocabulary and stretching their imagination, users are given a word a day, seven words a week. Photos can be uploaded and viewed by others, encouraging interaction between friends, old and new. All participants are allowed to vote on the best photo for each word, with just two weeks of voting time. The author of the app is currently seeking funds through Indiegogo to fully develop the idea and let individuals start SNAPPING. With a goal of $80,000 AUD and a campaign end date of 25 September 2014, the creator hopes to make the app available worldwide.

The Portrait Collective

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Books
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PhotoWhoa has released a free e-book featuring 10 interviews with 10 of the best portrait photographers in the world, "It’s a collection of images and conversation engaged with the art of portraiture, featuring photographers willing to examine what’s unknowable," says Freddy Martinez, Director of Business Development at PhotoWhoa. "From their honesty, you’ll learn that even the most accomplished photographers, those who have worked with the biggest names, still have doubts about their work and still struggle to improve. In their answers, you’ll discover steps to improving your own." Interested readers are encouraged to visit the website below and download the e-book, which is available for a limited time only.

Website: PhotoWhoa

Summer of the Century Photo Contest

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Competitions
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Photo-on-canvas.co.uk has announced a Europe-wide photo contest called “Summer of the Century.” In cooperation with FF-Fotoschule.de, Heise Media, GFW Publishing and Photo-collage.net, thousands of participants in the UK, Ireland, Germany, Austria, Switzerland, France and the Netherlands have been asked to participate in the competition, which runs until 31 August 2014. Recipients of the call for entry include over 100.000 B2C-customers of the company's webshops at Photo-on-canvas.co.uk, Acrylic-glass-photo.co.uk and their equivalents in the other language regions. Participants can decide to compete in either the “Professional photographer” or “Amateur photographer” category. For more information, visit the website below.

LockPort A7 and LockPort GH4

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Accessories
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LockCircle has announced the LockPort A7 and LockPort GH4 accessories for the Sony A7S and Panasonic Lumix GH4 compact system cameras. Developed to help avoid damaging the cameras' miniHDMI connection ports, the LockPort A7 and LockPort GH4 allow you to use stronger standard HDMI cables and feature a solid ultra-low base clamp which fits every plate, head, sliding plate and support out there. Both products will be available in "survival kits" (with spare parts) at the website below.

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Panasonic to Attend PhotoLive

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Events
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Panasonic has announced its attendance at PhotoLive, the UK’s biggest training event for photography enthusiasts. The company will be showcasing a range of Lumix compact cameras and Micro Four Thirds models including the DMC-GH4 (pictured) and the classically designed DMC-GX7. After a successful inaugural event last year, PhotoLive will be at Leeds Metropolitan University on the 23rd August, Edinburgh Napier University on the 30th August and 200 Aldersgate, St Paul's, London on the 6th September. Panasonic looks forward to welcoming attendees at PhotoLive in Leeds (stand 15), Edinburgh (stand 1) and London (stand 21). PhotoLive is open from 8am-6pm.

Monkey Selfies Cause Copyright Controversy

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Photographers
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Back in 2011, British wildlife photographer David Slater was out and about photographing black macaques in the jungles of Indonesia when he noticed that one of the animals had snatched his camera and started snapping away with it. Most of the photos ended up being (predictably) blurry but a few of them, including a couple of self-portraits, turned out to be exceptionally good and earned Mr Slater international recognition. A few years later a Wikimedia editor added the shots to the Wikimedia Commons collection, making them freely available to anyone; which in turn prompted the photographer to file a request for removal on copyright grounds. The foundation has turned down the request claiming that "there was no one on whom to bestow copyright" as the picture had been taken by the monkey itself rather than the photographer. Ready to fight for his rights, Mr Slater is now taking the case to court. Even though it is not exactly common for animals to take photos of themselves, the ruling - whatever it may be - is likely to have far-reaching consequences as many wildlife shots are routinely taken without the photographer actually tripping the shutter (remote cameras, intervalometers and focus traps come to mind). If the court were to rule that these images are "lacking human authorship" and cannot be registered for copyright protection, the authors of such images might need to start worrying. (The illustration above shows one of the disputed Wikimedia entries as it appeared at the time of publication.)

Via The Telegraph