Monday, November 10, 2014

New SpectraView Bundles from NEC

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Accessories
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NEC Display Solutions of America announced today several affordable product bundles with SpectraViewII calebration software. The SpectraViewII EA Kit, which includes SpectraView software and a Spyder colour calibration sensor, is now available as a separate option or bundled with the the 24-inch MultiSync EA244UHD (3840 x 2160 resolution, pictured), 27-inch EA274WMi (2560 x 1440 WQHD resolution), and 30-inch EA304WMi (2560 x 1600 WQXGA resolution) displays. “These latest bundles offer affordable colour management and colour accuracy, and also leverage the NEC hallmarks of great ergonomics and eco-friendly features,” said Art Marshall, Product Manager of Professional and Medical Displays at NEC Display Solutions. “NEC has built its MultiSync PA Series as the standard for colour-critical professions. Now, it’s bringing that same expertise for colour accuracy to the wide gamut EA244UHD and EA304WMi models, and standard gamut EA274WMi display.”

Ricoh UK Winter Cashback Offers

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Digital SLR Cameras
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Ricoh UK has today launched its Winter Cashback promotion. Running until 10 January 2015, the promotion enables customers to claim up to £70 cashback on selected Pentax DSLR bodies and kits. Eligible products include the Pentax K-3, K-S1 (pictured) and K-50 digital SLR cameras. Note that with every K-S1 purchase you will also receive a free Flucard worth £99.99. For further information on the cashback offer, visit the website below.

Lume Cube

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Accessories
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The Lume Cube is a powerful and ultra-portable LED lighting tool that's controlled by a smartphone app. Promising toopen new creative possibilities for photographers of any skill level, the Lume Cubeis a compact and versatile LED light for capturing both stills and videos, and is compatible with camera phones, action cams as well as more traditional digital cameras. Measuring only one-and-a-half inches, the water resistant Lume Cube produces 1,500 lumens of light in either video mode, for a continuous light source, or in strobe mode. Encased in a colourful rubber shell, the Lume Cube can magnetically attach or suction to just about any surface. The commercial launch of the Lume Cube will be funded through a Kickstarter campaign. To find out more about the device, visit the website below.

Chasing the Light Online Magazine Issue 34

Zoltan Arva-Toth | General
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Issue 34 of David Noton’s Chasing the Light Online Magazine is now available. In this month's Behind the Lens feature and Video Blog, we join David and Wendy on the first part of their recent trip to California’s Sequoia National Park in September, sharing the pain of roadblocks that prevent photographers reaching their location in time. In Stepping Back, David considers the best locations for shooting autumn colours, while for his Fundamentals of Post Production section he presents one Video Tutorial, along with an article on the Ten Commandments of Editing a Photo Shoot. The magazine's New York-based contributor James Maher explores the story behind his iconic shot of Bow Bridge in Central Park in How It’s Done. In The Storyteller, Chris Weston considers the convergence of stills photography and video in the world of modern media, and how he has taken advantage of this to indulge his passion for storytelling.Do note that the full contents of the magazine is available to full f11 subscribers only. Non-members can purchase individual issues of the magazine at a price of £4.20.

Breakthrough Photography Unveils New ND and UV Filters

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Accessories
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Breakthrough Photography has announced a new line of 3.2mm ultra-slim ‘Traction’ filters featuring glass from Germany and Japan, advanced coatings and weather-sealed construction. The brand new X-Series filter line-up consists of three different models; the X1 Flat Black Filter (UV only), the X2 Traction Filter (available in 3-stop and 6-stop Neutral Density and UV variants), and the X3 Traction Filter (also available in 3-stop & 6-stop Neutral Density and UV versions). The X1 Flat Black Filter features an ultra-slim 3.5mm standard flat black frame, the X2 Traction Filter features a 3.5mm ‘Traction’ frame CNC machined from aluminium, AGC glass from Japan, MRC8 and dual nano coating layers, and the X3 Traction Filter features the company's signature 3.2mm ‘Traction’ frame CNC machined from brass, SCHOTT B270 glass from Germany, MRC16 and dual nano coating layers. The X-Series filters can now be pre ordered on Kickstarter.

Friday, November 7, 2014

Kodak PixPro SP360 Review

Gavin Stoker
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The new Kodak PixPro SP360 is an actioncam with a difference - it can capture a complete 360-degree view of the world. Is the Kodak PixPro SP360 worth considering alongside, or even instead of, the mighty GoPro? Read our in-depth Kodak PixPro SP360 review to find out...

Rokinon 12mm T3.1 ED AS IF NCS UMC Cine DS Fish-eye Lens

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Lenses
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Rokinon (Samyang) have announced a Cine version of their new 12mm Fish-eye lens. Boasting a maximum aperture of T3.1, the Rokinon 12mm T3.1 ED AS IF NCS UMC Cine DS Fish-eye features geared focus and aperture rings, a stepless diaphragm and an optical construction comprising 12 lens elements in 8 groups. As befits a cinematography lens, the focus, aperture and depth-of-field markings are engraved on the side of the lens barrel to aid focus pullers who typically operate on the side of the camera. The Rokinon/Samyang 12mm T3.1 ED AS IF NCS UMC Cine DS Fish-eye lens is now available to pre-order for $549 in Canon, Nikon, Pentax and Sony (A and E) mounts.

Exposure for iOS

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Software
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Bitpoem has released Exposure for  iOS, which allows the user to apply different effects to different parts of a picture. Using a patent-pending algorithm, the new app analyses the photo to identify individual objects in the scene. The user then taps or draws over an area of the image and Exposure selectively applies the effect on the area selected. Exposure also easily shares pictures with all the major social networks (Instagram, Twitter, Facebook and others) and features an iOS 8 Photo Extension to help users edit their pictures in the most comfortable way possible. Exposure is available on iTunes for $1.99 / £1.49 / €1.49.

First Hasselblad Used in Space to Go Under Hammer

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Film
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The first Hasselblad camera body and Zeiss lens carried into orbit by Wally Schirra on Mercury-Atlas 8 will be auctioned by Boston, MA based RR Auction later this month. Schirra reportedly purchased the Hasselblad 500c camera at a Houston photo supply shop in 1962, and brought it back to NASA for mission use preparation. The modifications included the installation of a 100-exposure film container, an aiming device mounted on the side, and modification of the camera surface, plus the original metal facing was repainted black to minimise reflections. The auction is scheduled to take place on 13th November at 3:00 pm ET, at RR Auction’s Boston Gallery.

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Nikon Coolpix S6900 Review

Gavin Stoker
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The Nikon Coolpix S6900 is a stylish point-and-shoot compact camera that makes taking selfies easy. Featuring a 12x, 25-300mm lens and a 16 megapixel CMOS sensor, the S6900 also offers a 3 inch screen, 1080p Full HD movies, built-in wi-fi and NFC and 8fps burst shooting. Read our in-depth Nikon Coolpix S6900 review now...

Epson Expression Photo XP-55

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Printers
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The Epson Expression Photo XP-55 is a new photo printer which uses the manufacturer's six-colour Claria Photo HD inkset. The addition of Wi-Fi and mobile printing with Epson Connect make sharing your creations quick and easy. The XP-55 is also Wireless PictBridge-ready, so you can print straight from compatible cameras. You also benefit from dual paper trays - one for A4 and one for photo paper, and a speciality media feed for thicker card - and CD/DVD printing capability. The recommended retail price is £139.99.

EIZO ColorEdge CS240 Now Available

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Accessories
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The new Eizo ColorEdge CS240, a 24.1-inch monitor for photographers and graphic design professionals, is now available for purchase. The ColorEdge CS240 features a wide-gamut IPS panel with a resolution of 1920x1200 pixels and 99% Adobe RGB coverage. With this extended gamut, images shot in raw can be converted to Adobe RGB and images shot in Adobe RGB will be displayed in vibrant and lush colours, the company says. The Eizo ColorEdge CS240 comes equipped with DisplayPort, HDMI, and DVI input terminals. With the DisplayPort input, the monitor offers 10-bit display (more than one billion colours simultaneously) from a 16-bit look-up table, which also makes hardware calibration possible. For users that require a wide variety of calibration functionality, Eizo bundles its proprietary ColorNavigator 6 software. Preset target values for photography, printing, and web design are included for users looking for a simple way to calibrate the monitor. Experienced users can set their own target values for brightness, gamma, and white point, and generate an ICC profile. ColorNavigator 6 offers several advanced functions such as measuring the white of the paper to be used for printing for better screen-to-print matching and profile validation for verifying calibration results. An ergonomic stand with 35° tilt, 344° swivel, portrait mode, and 130 mm height adjustment lets users place the screen in the optimal position. Distributed by Colour Confidence, the Eizo ColorEdge CS240 is available in the United Kingdom for £564.

Lytro Platform

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Global
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Lytro have announced the Lytro Platform to "empower innovative organisations to harness the full potential of the light field" in their industries. The first product to be released as part of the Lytro Platform is the Lytro Development Kit (LDK). The LDK provides imaging researchers with the highest degree of control of Lytro’s advanced light field capture devices and software processing engine. “We always believed that light field technology could benefit areas outside of photography,” said Jason Rosenthal, CEO of Lytro. “Since Lytro’s inception, we’ve continually been approached by a number of organisations wanting to collaborate with us on a wide variety of new applications." A number of companies and government agencies have embraced the Lytro Platform, including NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, which is leveraging Lytro’s LDK technology to develop new light field cameras for use on future space missions to other planets. The LDK is available from Lytro, starting at $20,000.

Tiffen XLE Filters

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Accessories
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Tiffen have announced a brand new range of long-exposure filters that allow stills photographers to capture extreme long exposure images without incurring the red colour cast that occurs when photographers use high-density ND filters to shoot long exposures during daylight hours. Many camera sensors are sensitive to infrared wavelengths when they are exposed for prolonged periods and record this light as a slight warm red tint on some sensors, to an extreme red tint on other sensors in very bright conditions. The Tiffen XLE series comprises 3 different 10-stop reduction filters with varying infrared-cut characteristics, ranging from nothing in the XLE aXent (£28.99 - £103.99), to moderate in the XLE advantiX (£49.99 - £129.99) to complete infrared suppression in the XLE apeX (£78.99 - £168.99). These new screw-in filters are available from December, in sizes ranging from 40.5mm to 82mm. 

Lumera Launches

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Accessories, Software
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Lumera is a new device which connects your camera to your smartphone via Wi-Fi and BLE allowing you to back up and share your photographs wirelessly, without taking the phone out of your pocket. This novel accessory communicates with the camera via USB and attaches to the tripod socket, so after the initial setup you can pretty much forget about it while shooting. Additionally, the accompanying Android/iOS app enables you to wirelessly capture photos & videos, remotely view and edit camera parameters like shutter speed, ISO, focus and zoom area, white balance, drive mode, aperture, image quality etc., wirelessly stream the camera's live iew feed to your iOS or Android device, geotag your photos and more. Lumera is available for pre-order through Kickstarter from $125.

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Sony Cyber-shot DSC-QX30 Review

Amy Davies
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The Sony Cyber-shot DSC-QX30 is a new “lens camera” device that adds a 30x zoom lens and 20 megapixel sensor to your smartphone. Priced at around £250 / $350, read our Sony Cyber-shot DSC-QX30 review to find out if it's the smartphone photographer needs in their life...

Corel AfterShot Pro 2 for Mac Now Available

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Software
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Corel's new AfterShot Pro 2 software is now available on the Mac App Store. BIlled as the "industry’s fastest raw photo software," Corel AfterShot Pro 2 features 64-bit processor support, updated camera profiles, new local contrast enhancements, proprietary Athentech noise removal algorithms, easier batch processing, various workspace enhacements and more. The software is available for $79.99.

ZY Optics Release Canon EF-Fuji X Lens Turbo Adapter Version II

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Accessories
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Shenyang Zhongyi Optics have released the Canon EF-Fuji X Lens turbo adapter. This adapter allows full-frame Canon EF lenses to be mounted on Fuji's X series interchangeable-lens cameras while altering their magnification by a factor of 0.762x and improving their aperture speed by a full stop. The reduced magnification enables users to partially regain the angle of view lost by mounting a full-frame lens on a camera with an APS-C sized sensor. In other words, the Zhongyi EF-Fuji X Lens Turbo Adapter effectively reduces the crop factor of Fujifilm X series compact system cameras from 1.5x to 1.14x. The optical construction comprises 4 lens elements in 4 groups, including 1 extra-low dispersion element. The adapter is available now for $149, via the website below.

Photomatix Essentials 4

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Software
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HDRsoft has launched Photomatix Essentials 4, a major upgrade to its high dynamic range imaging application aimed at enthusiast photographers. This edition introduces a new tone mapping method designed to give realistic looking results while preserving details in the highlights and shadows of the scene. It offers presets for one-click access to various styles, as well as manual control of the settings. Other new features include a Finishing Touch to increase contrast or sharpness of the final image before saving, the ability to undo and redo the HDR process with other settings, and an option to toggle between the original photo and a preview of the current one. Photomatix Essentials 4 is a free upgrade for licensed users of any version of Photomatix Essentials and is free for licensed users of Photomatix Pro.

NEC Partners with Light Illusiion for Advanced Colour Calibration

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Accessories
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NEC Display Solutions of America has announced a collaboration with United Kingdom-based Light Illusion, a colour management specialist, to enable native calibration for NEC MultiSync PA Series monitors through its LightSpace CMS display calibration system. “We are delighted to work with NEC Display to meet the calibration needs of artists in the world of moving images,” said Steve Shaw, CEO of Light Illusion. “The flexibility of the LightSpace CMS and the features of the MultiSync PA Series give users the tools necessary to realize their artistic and business goals.” NEC’s MultiSync PA Series displays feature custom calibration 3D LUT import capabilities that can directly upload calibration LUTs created via LightSpace CMS. That means users can accurately profile and calibrate NEC displays to a high level and conduct “look management” for situations such as on-set monitoring.