Thursday, July 17, 2014

Topaz ReMask 4

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Software
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Topaz Labs have released a major upgrade to their Photoshop image masking plug-in ReMask. Version 4 includes a new Edge Shift feature, a redesigned user interface focused on ease and speed, faster foreground recovery processing, and many usability improvements. It is a free upgrade for existing ReMask customers.

Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera Summer Special Offer

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Digital Video Cameras
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As a limited time offer, the Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera is now available for £325/$495. With a normal recommended retail price of  £635/$995, this Summer Special represents a saving of  £310/$500 and is available until 31st August only. The Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera includes powerful features such as a Super 16mm sized 1080HD sensor, super wide 13 stops of dynamic range, built in SD card recorder for Apple ProRes, lossless compressed CinemaDNG RAW capture and active Micro Four Thirds lens mount. Note that the current Summer Special price is subject to limited availability, after which the price will return to the usual RRP.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

BatchPhoto 4

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Software
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Rumanian software firm Bits&Coffee SRL have released version 4.0 of their image editor, BatchPhoto. New features include a completely rewritten user interface with a new Dark-theme, one universal version for both Windows and Mac, a Mac version which is fully Retina-ready, drag&drop functionality for the graphical filters, and a new Auto Crop filter. Pricing starts at $29.95.

Xara Photo & Graphic Designer 10

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Software
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Xara have released the latest new version of their creative design software for Windows, Xara Photo and Graphic Designer. Version 10 features new shadow and highlight tools, improved automatic panorama stitching, a new online content catalogue, support for the automatic rotation of images from iPhones and other cameras with orientation sensors, a new insert menu, improved import/export support for .doc and .docx files, RTF files, and significantly improved PDF import. Bundled with this release is a new Photoshop plug-in called PhotoLooks from Red Giant (previously sold by Red Giant for $199) for users wishing to intensify the mood of their photo via various colour and lighting effects or adding a popular film look. Xara Photo & Graphic Designer 10 sells for £69.99 (inc VAT). Upgrades from v9 to Xara Photo & Graphic Designer 10 cost £25 (inc VAT).

Digital Camera End-user Survey Analysis: United States

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Digital
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Market research and consultancy firm InfoTrends has published a new report entitled Digital Camera End-user Survey Analysis: United States. The report argues that new advances in the digital camera market - such as adding various wireless connectivity options to cameras and accessories - will better enable digital cameras to compete with the popular smartphone; whether users want to share their photos using email, multimedia message or social networking platforms. InfoTrends also highlights in this study that over half of the consumers surveyed reported areas where their current camera was falling short of their needs. Common areas of concern included battery life, low-light capture capabilities, and lack of Wi-Fi connectivity. "Digital camera vendors should focus marketing messages on issues such as these, and how they have improved with newer models," the company says. "Viral forms of marketing including blogs, social networks, and video sharing are effective tools to complement traditional advertising methods." The report can be purchased from the website below.

Photo Commander 12

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Software
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Ashampoo has released Photo Commander 12, the latest version of its photo storage and editing software. New features and enhancements include support for a variety of raw file formats, increased scalability, enhanced social sharing, more creative options for sharing and transforming photos, enhanced editing and more after-effects. Photo Commander costs $49.99 and can be downloaded from the website below.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Nikon Capture NX-D Now Available

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Software
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Nikon's new Capture NX-D software is now available free of charge. Capture NX-D enables high-quality photofinishing of images captured in raw format by Nikon digital SLR cameras(including the latest D810 model), Nikon 1 compact system cameras, and Coolpix compact cameras that support this capability. The application is compatible with 32- and 64-bit versions of Windows Vista/7/8; and OS X 10.7.5, 10.8.5 and 10.9.2-

Official Pentax XG-1 Sample Images

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Digital Compact Cameras
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Ricoh has published eight high-resolution sample photos captured with the new Pentax XG-1 superzoom bridge camera. Taken by photographer Yoshiaki Kobayashi, these Pentax XG-1 samples were shot at a variety of focal lengths ranging from 4.3mm (24mm eq.) to 188.8mm (1053mm eq.). All of the official Pentax XG-1 sample images were captured at ISO 100/21°.

Website: Ricoh Imaging Japan

Pentax XG-1

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Digital Compact Cameras
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Ricoh has announced the Pentax XG-1, a 16-megapixel bridge camera with 52x optical zoom, 9fps continuous shooting and Full HD movies. Able to cover ultra-wide-angle (24mm equivalent) to super-telephoto (1.248mm eq.) ranges, the Pentax XG-1 has a 1cm Macro mode and an Auto Tracking AF function to keep your moving subject in focus. The camera also offers ten shooting modes including the hands-off Auto Picture, Scene (11 options), Program, Face Beautifier and Movie. There’s even a pet detection mode for automatic recognition of up 10 pet faces. The XG-1 is compatible with Eye-Fi wireless LAN SD memory cards so you can share your images and videos straight to your phone or tablet. Available from the middle of August, the Pentax XG-1 carries a suggested retail price of £279.99.

Dreamstime Companion

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Software
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Dreamstime today released Dreamstime Companion, a new free iPhone and Android mobile app that enables photographers to upload their own images directly from their smartphones. “The arrival of the Dreamstime Companion mobile app is not so much a new direction for our company, but one that we hope will continue to inspire the ever-growing smartphone photography community, as well as the changing needs of today’s consumers,” said Serban Enache, the company’s CEO and co-founder. “The size of our community is unparalleled in the industry, and provides mobile photographers with a unique and potentially lucrative opportunity." Users can sell their images as editorial content (with logos and faces visible) or as commercial content, which means no logos or people in the image unless they have signed a model release. The app provides users with real-time stats, sales reports, and up-to-date revenue details.

LensDistortions Legacy Collection for Photoshop

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Software
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LensDistortions.com has released a new collection of presets for Photoshop. The website launched in early 2013 with products for filmmakers, editors, and VFX artists. Word quickly spread as people in the video community fell in love with the organic flares and unique looks. The new Legacy Collection contains 30 Photoshop Actions, each with their own unique presets and organic light leaks. To check out the newly released collection, head to the website below.

Shipwrecked Mariners’ Society Announce Photo Contest

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Competitions
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A sea view photography competition, run by the Shipwrecked Mariners’ Society, is still on the hunt for the UK’s ultimate sea view. Having already seen a wave of entries, the competition, which is in its second year, will be judged by a panel of experts:  Matt Havercroft, editor of Discover Britain Magazine, Kate Westaway, a marine photographer and TV producer and Commodore Malcolm Williams, the Charity’s chief executive. The prize, donated by P&O Ferries, will be a five-day return crossing on their Dover to Calais route for a car or caravan and up to nine passengers. The trip can be booked any time between now and June 2015 and it comes in a celebration envelope. The deadline for entry is 5pm on 8th August.

Timelapse: Valley of Fire

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Events
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TimelapseWorkshops.com have announced  that only a handful of spots remain for Timelapse: Valley of Fire, an intensive 3 and 4-day night-sky time-lapse workshop that focuses on the skills needed to capture day and night timelapses. Located just 60 miles from Las Vegas, Valley of Fire State Park is home to some of the most spectacular landscapes on the planet. Workshop instructor Ron Risman chose this location due to the incredible red-rock landscape, dry desert weather, and dark skies. Timelapse: Valley of Fire is being offered both as a 3-day workshop for photographers looking to learn how to create professional quality timelapse sequences, and as a 4-day workshop for intermediate and advance timelapse photographers looking to take their timelapses to the next level using 1-axis, 2-axis, and 3-axis motion-control dollies from Dynamic Perception and Pan & Tilt heads from eMotimo. For more information, visit the website below.

Monday, July 14, 2014

Nikon 1 S2 Review

Mark Goldstein
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The Nikon 1 S2 is the new entry-range model in Nikon's compact system camera line-up. The S2 offers 14 megapixels, 20fps burst shooting with continuous autofocusing, Full HD 60p video capture, built-in pop-up flash and RAW support. Read our in-depth Nikon 1 S2 review now...

Wilkinson Cameras Launch Point&Shoot Promotion

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Events
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Wilkinson cameras have launched their ‘Point & Shoot’ summer promotion, which has a total prize fund of £6400. Prizes include the latest cameras and accessories from Canon, Nikon, Fuji, Manfrotto, Lowepro, Joby Gorillapod and Panasonic, together with a range of electronic goods, including a Sony Bravia 3D TV, Sony Xperia 22 10” tablet, Canon Pixma printer. The promotion is open to Wilkinson customers who spend £50 or more in a single transaction, either online or in any of the 10 Wilkinson Cameras stores.

Jessops Academy Big Cats Photography Course

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Events
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Jessops is offering a practical one-day course on photographing big cats at the Cat Survival Trust’s dedicated 12 acre site in Hertfordshire. Amongst the cats you can photograph are the critically endangered Amur Leopard, the beautiful Snow Leopard and the mysterious Jaguar. Throughout the day you will be guided by a Jessops Academy Tutor, assisting you to get the best from your camera by advising you on both technical and creative aspects of photography. The cost of attendance is £125. For more information, visit the website below.

Reflecta x9-Scan

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Scanners
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The Reflecta x9-Scan is a new, battery-operated standalone device designed to quickly digitise your 35mm negatives and slides. Featuring a 5-megapixel area-array sensor, the Reflecta x9-Scan can save the resultant digital images to separately SD/SDHC memory cards. The photos can be viewed immediately on the x9-Scan's 2.4" LCD screen or your TV set. A bundled USB cable allows the device to be hooked up to a laptop or desktop computer. The scope of delivery also includes the ArcSoft Media Impression image editing software, which can be used both under Windows and Mac. The Reflecta x9-Scan is available for £95.76 including VAT.

Reflecta Visilux Studio Kit Accessories

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Accessories
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Kenro has announced a range of accessories for the Reflecta Visilux Studio Lighting kits. The Visilux Studio Lighting Kit 180 and the Visilux Studio Lighting Kit 300 were launched earlier this year and now a range of additional accessories is available including an 84cm silver umbrella, a snoot, a white shoot-through umbrella, a barndoor set with coloured filters, a 50x70cm softbox, wireless flash triggers, spare modelling lamps and flash tubes and a padded carry bag. Prices start from £10.74 including VAT.

Lightroom Catalogues to Remain Accessible after Expiration of CC Subscription

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Software
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Adobe's new Photography Plan enables anyone to use the most up-to-date desktop versions of both Lightroom and Photoshop CC for as little as £8.78/$9.99 per month, which is an excellent deal for most people, especially those just getting involved in serious photo editing. But Adobe's move to a subscription-based model raised the question of what would happen to users' Lightroom catalogues once their Creative Cloud (CC) membership expired. In a recent blog post, Adobe's Tom Hogarty responded to these concerns, stating that "at the end of a membership, the desktop application will continue to launch and provide access to the photographs managed within Lightroom as well as the Slideshow, Web, Book or Print creations that we know many photographers painstakingly create. The Develop and Map modules have been disabled in order to signal the end of the membership and the need to renew in order to receive Adobe’s continuous innovation in those areas. Access to Lightroom mobile workflows will also cease to function."

Friday, July 11, 2014

Nikon 1 J4 Review

Mark Goldstein
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The Nikon 1 J4 is the latest mid-range model in Nikon's compact system camera line-up. The J4 offers 18 megapixels, 20fps burst shooting with continuous autofocusing, Full HD 60p video capture and built-in Wi-Fi connectivity. Read our in-depth Nikon 1 J4 review now...