Friday, February 13, 2015

Leica X-E (Typ 102) Review

Mark Goldstein
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The Leica X-E (Typ 102) is a compact camera for professionals, offering a 16 megapixel APS-C sensor, fast f/2.8 36mm lens, 3fps burst shooting and a 2.7-inch screen. Is that enough to justify the Leica X-E (Typ 102)'s £1250 / $1795 price tag? Read our in-depth Leica X-E (Typ 102) review to find out...

Get ACDSee iPhone App for Free

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Software

ACD Systems are hosting a Valentine’s Day Giveaway offering the ACDSee iPhone App to be downloaded from the App Store for free until 11:59 p.m. PT on February 15. The ACDSee iPhone app is designed to help users capture and perfect photos all from their iPhone. The app provides a professional-grade camera, a powerful photo editor and a creative collage maker all in one app with unique features such as the advanced Selfie Mode. ACDSee’s Selfie Mode includes a front-facing camera with a front flash and Skin Tune, which smoothes and brightens skin tone enabling users to take the best selfie. The app also includes light, colour and tone equalizers based on ACD Systems’ patented Light EQ technology. The ACDSee iPhone app is optimised for iOS 8.1 and the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus to take advantage of the latest technology.  It also works with iPhone 4S, 5 or 5S with iOS 8.1.

Tamron Tripod Collar for SP 150-600mm VC USD

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Accessories
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Tamron is displaying samples of a tripod mount ring for its SP 150-600mm Di VC USD at CP+ 2015. Compared to the supplied tripod mount, the new long-type design provides an extended base surface. This extra space not only makes it possible to add a second screw hole for secure mounting, thereby enhancing stability and versatility, but also makes it easier for users to hold the base surface and carry it around. Price and availability are to be communicated.

Jessops Academy Live in Glasgow

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Events
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Jessops invite you to join them at Glasgow Caledonian University on Saturday 16th May for advice and coaching from Michael Wayne Plant and Damian McGillycuddy. Plant will be demonstrating the abilities of the Sony Compact interchangeable lens cameras, specifically exploring street photography and some of the advantages this system can present. Olympus UK’s Principle Photographer and Educator Damian McGillycuddy, winner of 5 UK Master Photographer of the Year awards (pictured), will show how well the Olympus cameras work in portrait scenarios, shooting using simple lighting for great results. The session will run from 13.00-16.00. Tickets are £8.00 in advance. You can book your place online at the website below.

Restrap Launch Their ‘Shoot’ Range

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Accessories
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Restrap have embarked on a Kickstarter campaign to help fund the commercialisation of their newest product range, the 'Shoot' camera strap. Promising "unbeatable strength and flexibility through the power of magnets," the Shoot’s magnetic connection system (“SNAPS”) is capable of bearing 100kg and allows any camera to be carried with unfailing security. The SNAPS are a pair: one side attaches to the camera, the other to the strap. The result is a seamless connection. Cameras are fastened, removed, swapped and fine tuned with unbeatable ease. The strap comes in two versions. The Shoot (£35) secures the camera around the photographer’s neck or in a sling style, whilst the Shoot Mini (£20) attaches around the wrist – either right or left – to keep the camera closer to hand. Interested readers are encouraged to pay a visit to the project's Kickstarter page for more information.

Ricoh Updates Pentax Lens Roadmaps

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Lenses
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Ricoh has unveiled updated versions of its lens roadmaps for Pentax K, Q and 645 medium-format optics. For K-mount cameras, the company is planning to release a DA wide zoom, a D-FA large-diameter standard zoom, another D-FA standard zoom and a D-FA large-diameter wide zoom this year (or later). For the Pentax Q series, Ricoh will introduce a telemacro lens, and the line-up of Pentax 645 lenses will be expanded with a standard zoom and a telezoom. The actual focal ranges of these zooms have not been specified, but from the charts it looks like the DA wide zoom might be a 14-35mm, the D-FA arge-diameter zoom is likely to be a 24-70mm, the D-FA standard zoom could be a 28-100mm, and the D-FA large-diameter wide zoom may be a 18-36mm. The Q-mount telemacro lens could be anywhere between 85mm and 105mm, whereas the Pentax 645 series standard zoom and telezoom lenses appear to be 45-85mm and 95-180mm, respectively.

Thursday, February 12, 2015

New Fujifilm XF Lenses at CP+

Mark Goldstein | Compact System Camera, Lenses
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The FUJIFILM Xseries Japan Facebook page has published a photo of all the new XF lenses. Shown in the image are the XF 16mm f/1.4, 35mm f/2, 90mm f/2, 120mm f/2.8 Macro, 100-400m (apertures tbc), and the 1.4x tele-convertor. The photo confirms that the 16mm, 35mm and 120mm lenses will all be weather-resistant (but not the 90mm).

Fujifilm XF 16mm f/1.4 R WR

Mark Goldstein | Compact System Camera, Lenses
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The upcoming Fujifilm XF 16mm f/1.4 R lens will be weather-resistant. The Fujifilm X World Facebook page has published an image of the Fujifilm XF 16mm f/1.4 R WR lens with "WR" included, which denotes "weather resistant" on other Fujifilm lenses.

They also comment "And in 2015 there will a be a new addition, XF16mmF1.4 R. It is wide angle large diameter lens, and yet compact in size. It takes the full advantage of X-mount being a mirrorless system, and it will certainly be optimized for the X-Trans CMOS sensor. The lens will be a favorite for many."

The Transcend 256GB SDXC Memory Card: How Times Change…

Mark Goldstein | Accessories
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We take a look at the latest 256GB SDXC UHS-I U3 memory card from Transcend...

Nikon Coolpix P610, L840, L340, S9900, S7000, AW130, S33 Preview

Matt Grayson | Digital Compact Cameras
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We take a look at the brand new Nikon Coolpix P610, L840, L340, S9900, S7000, AW130, S33 cameras in our detailed hands-on preview...

Turn Your Cellphone Snaps into Cash with Foap

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Software, Websites
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Foap is a mobile app (iOS and Android) and website that connects brands with a vast library of authentic, high-quality, user-generated images. The Foap process is simple: users upload their photos via the mobile app, tag them with relevant keywords and submit them for approval. Once rated by five other users, the photo appears in the Foap marketplace where brands and agencies can purchase it for their editorial or advertising purposes. Users make $5 on every photo they sell. Brands seeking photos for a specific campaign or purpose can even host Foap Missions, a call for entries for users to submit photos that fit the brand’s requirements.Mission winners receive a cash prize if their photo is selected, and all other photos remain in the brand’s library for future purchase. For more information, visit the website below.

Website: Foap

OnTheGo2 GoPro Case

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Accessories
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The OnTheGo2 GoPro case is now available on Amazon. The precision-cut case is constructed in a way that it’s easy to throw into a suitcase or a rucksack without adding too much bulk or weight. The padded interior keeps the camera and all accessories protected from external wear and tear. “We’ve put a lot of effort into creating a GoPro case that fulfils everything a user could want – it’s hardwearing and sturdy, yet also very lightweight and compact,” a spokesperson says. “We’ve provided extra compartments and slots for accessories, and even a carry strap to make it easy to carry and travel with. Now with the launch on Amazon, we’re offering a limited time only discount price for users who want to get their hands on this innovative, robust and secure piece of kit for their GoPro.” The OnTheGo2 GoPro case is currently available for $19.97.

ACDSee Complete Pack

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Software
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ACD Systems today introduced the ACDSee “Complete Pack,” which bundles five of the photography software company’s products including the new ACDSee Ultimate 8. This pack will absorb the previously offered “Family Pack,” which included ACDSee Pro 8, ACDSee 18, ACDSee Mac Pro 3 and ACDSee Video Converter Pro 4. The ACDSee Complete Pack is available for a limited time, introductory price of $119.99.

The Photography Show Teams Up with Aspire Photography Training

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Competitions
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The Photography Show has teamed up with Aspire Photography Training to bring photographers a new competition offering a keen amateur the chance to pursue a career in photography. The judges are looking for three pictures demonstrating what love means to the photographer. The first prize is a place on the Aspire Bespoke programme, which counts pro-photographers Brett Harkness, Damien Lovegrove and Tamara Peel amongst its graduates. This 12 month course will show photographers how to build a successful photography business in the area of their choice. The second prize is access to a full online course of Advanced Webinars designed to help existing photographers take their business to the next level. The winner will be announced on Tuesday 12th May. Click through / read on for the details.

Westcott Basics D5

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Accessories
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The latest addition to the Westcott Basics lineup, the D5, is billed as an ultra-powerful light solution that won’t break the bank. The D5 features 5 ceramic light sockets placed evenly across the unit, each of these high-quality sockets can support a daylight-balanced lamp up to 50 watts. These sockets are housed on an ultra-compact and durable nylon base. The light head has five separate power switchesm each of which controls a single lamp and is complete with a power indicator. The head sells for £120, with a 5-pack of 27W fluorescent lamps available for £50. To direct and control the output of the Basics D5, Westcott have designed a series of custom D5 modifiers, including 24” x 32” rectangular softbox, a 16” x 40” stripbank, and a 32” octabox. D5 modifiers can be purchased separately, or in cost-effective complete studio kits.

Sigma 24mm F1.4 DG HSM | Art Availability & Pricing Announced

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Lenses
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Sigma Corporation of America has announced pricing and availability of its 24mm F1.4 DG HSM Art lens. Promising the highest optical performance in its class, the Sigma 24mm F1.4 DG HSM | Art wide-angle lens is the ninth addition to the company’s iconic Global Vision Art line-up. It is designed for full-frame DSLRs, and when used on digital cameras with an APS-C size image sensor, it effectively becomes a 38mm. The lens will be available in Sigma and Canon mounts next month for the street price of $849. The Nikon version will follow in April, and in Sony variant will be available later in the year.

Sigma150-600mm F5-6.3 DG OS HSM | C Pricing and Availability Announced

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Lenses
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Sigma Corporation of America has announced pricing and availability of its 150-600mm F/5-6.3 DG OS HSM Contemporary lens.  The 150-600mm F/5-6.3 DG OS HSM Contemporary lens is the first hyper-telephoto zoom lens from the Global Vision Contemporary line, and features a light-weight and compact construction for higher usability. In order to allow for mobile, handheld shooting in the field, it has a new and improved image stabiliser and features a new water and oil-repellent coating on the front and rear lenses. Its dimensions will be 4.1 inches by 10.2 inches and will feature 20 elements in 14 groups – including one FLD (“F” Low Dispersion) and three SLD (Special Low Dispersion) glass elements – with a minimum aperture of f22 and minimum focusing distance of 110.2 inches. The lens will become available in Canon and Nikon mounts in March for the street price of $1089.

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Nikon Coolpix L840, S9900, S7000, S3700, S33, AW130 Hands-on Photos

Matt Grayson
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Want to see exactly what the new Nikon Coolpix L840, S9900, S7000, S3700, S33 and AW130 cameras look like in the flesh?

Check out our extensive hands-on gallery of photos of the new Nikon Coolpix compact cameras for 2015.

Nikon D5500 Review

Mark Goldstein
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The Nikon D5500 is a new 24 megapixel mid-range DSLR camera with a touchscreen interface. The smaller, lighter D5500 also offers 1080/60/50p video recording, ISO range of 100-25,600, 5fps continuous shooting, a range of creative effects, 3.2 inch tilting LCD screen, and a 39-point autofocus system. Read our in-depth Nikon D5500 review now...

PhotoCopy 2.0 & reFine Matte 2.0

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Software
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Digital Film Tools today launched PhotoCopy v2.0 and reFine Matte v2.0. PhotoCopy copies the brightness, colour, tone, detail, grain and texture from one image and applies them to another. New features in version 2.0 include internet image searching, Retina display support for Mac, layering and seven masking types for photo plug-in hosts, and the availability of the PhotoCopy user interface for all video/film plug-in hosts. It also adds OFX plug-in support, making it compatible with digital intermediate programs Assimilate Scratch and Blackmagic Design Davinci Resolve, the Foundry’s Nuke compositing software and the Sony Vegas non-linear editing system. reFine presents a unique technique for performing selective sharpening, detail enhancement, edge aware smoothing, cartoon, pencil and pastel effects. With the release of reFine 2.0, the plugin is now GPU-accelerated via OpenCL, and supports Retina displays. New features include three new masking types in photo plug-in hosts, and the availability of the reFine user interface for all video/film hosts.. reFine v2 also adds OFX plug-in support.