Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Datacolor SpyderCHECKR 24

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Accessories
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Datacolor today announced SpyderCHECKR 24, a precise and versatile camera colour calibration and white balance target for photo and video colour control for on-the-go professional photographers and videographers. Spectrally engineered with 24 pigment patches, SpyderCHECKR 24 offers the accuracy of a full size, large patch photo target in a thin, compact design. “The biggest advantage of the system is that camera calibration is not limited to raw files but can also be applied to JPEGs and video too,” said Lee Varis, professional photographer and digital imaging artist. “For imaging professionals who shoot a combination of still and motion, especially site photography and videography, SpyderCHECKR is a game changer.” The SpyderCHECKR 24 is available immediately for €42 / $49 at photo and video retailers or online at the website below.

Port of Tyne Reflect Awards

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Competitions
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The Port of Tyne Reflect Awards is calling for the people of Northumberland to submit their photos and films in the North East’s biggest photo and film competition. The competition is open to amateurs and professionals alike, with categories including North East Life, North East Nature, North East People and North East Film, plus a special category of Reflect Photo and Film Youth to encourage young people aged 16 and under to enter. Entries close on 19 September 2014. For more details, visit the website below.

Official Pentax Q-S1 Sample Images

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Compact System Camera
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Ricoh has posted six high-resolution sample photos captured with the new Pentax Q-S1 compact system camera. Taken using a variety of Q-mount lenses, these Pentax Q-S1 samples were all shot at low sensitivity settings (ISO 100/21°and ISO 125/22°), and feature a range of subjects and genres including still lifes, flowers, fruits, animals and cityscapes.

Website: Official Pentax Q-S1 Samples

Monday, August 4, 2014

HD Pentax-DA645 28-45mm F4.5ED AW SR

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Lenses
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The HD Pentax-DA645 28-45mm F4.5ED AW SR is an ultra-wide-angle zoom lens for medium-format Pentax cameras. Providing focal lengths from 22mm to 35.5mm in 35mm format, this is the first medium-format Pentax lens designed specifically for digital imaging. Thanks to its dustproof, weather-resistant construction, this newest member of the AW (All Weather) series offers outstanding reliability and durability in demanding shooting conditions, allowing photographers to capture images outdoors without worry. Incormporating the Pentax-original built-in SR (Shake Reduction mechanism), the HD Pentax-DA645 28-45mm F4.5ED AW SR will be available from early September for £3,399.99/$4999.95.

Pentax Q-S1

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The Pentax Q-S1 is a new compact system camera with a 1/1.7-inch, back-illuminated CMOS image sensor. Key highlights include a maximum sensitivity setting of ISO 12,800, a dust removal system,  Full HD movie recording, compatibility with Eye-Fi wireless LAN SD memory cards and a range of creative tools to create uniquely personalised images and add filter effects with just a turn of a dial. The Pentax Q-S1 will be available in early September for £299.99 (body-only) in a choice of 40 colour combinations. A single-zoom kit including the Q-S1 camera and 5-15mm lens will be available for £379.99/$499.95, and a double-zoom kit comprising the camera, 5-15mm and 15-45mm lenses will also be on offer, priced at £549.99.

Sony Cyber-shot DSC-QX10 Winner

Mark Goldstein
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We've teamed up with Sony to give away a fantastic Sony Cyber-shot DSC-QX10 camera!

The lucky winner is Enis Uzunov. Congratulations!

The Sony Cyber-shot DSC-QX10 is a completely new type of device that adds a 10x zoom lens and 18 megapixel sensor to your smartphone.

The  Cyber-shot DSC-QX10 unites the creative power of a premium camera with the convenience of your smartphone. The lens-style cameras dramatically improve the quality of digital photographs captured on smartphones.

It’s a dream come true for anyone who loves their smartphone, but wants the photo quality that only a dedicated camera can deliver. And whilst they look like lenses, the DSC-QX10 is a complete camera in its own right.

To enter, simply login via Facebook or by entering your email address, then like the Photography Blog Facebook page and additionally refer your friends to stand the best chance of winning.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Ikelite Underwater Housing for Sony RX100 III

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Accessories
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Ikelite has launched an underwater case for the Sony RX100 III digital compact camera. This housing provides controls for all important camera functions including the rear dial and front control ring. A sensitive shutter lever makes it easy to half-depress the trigger for focusing and metering. An included flash diffuser improves lighting quality when the camera's built-in flash is used. The housing port is designed to accept 3.0-inch diameter colour filters, and wide angle or macro options with 67mm threads. The Ikelite Housing for the Sony Cyber-shot RX100 III is available for order through any Authorised Ikelite Dealer, priced at £424.99/$550.00.

Luminous Endowment for Photographers

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Photographers
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Professional photographer and writer Michael Reichmann has announced The Luminous Endowment for Photographers. The Endowment, a USA-based not-for-profit charitable organisation, will provide a variety of specific merit-based grants to support non-commercial photographic projects such as fine art landscape photography; documentary photography; publishing photographic work; travel related to a photographic project; and others. A panel of judges, including some of the world’s leading photographers and educators, will review all project proposals. “In creating the Luminous Endowment, I was inspired by a ‘Pay it Forward’ philosophy,” said Michael Reichmann. “While we may not be able to repay those who’ve helped us to achieve personal and professional success, we can find a way to share our good fortune with those who need help both now and in the future.” Donations to the Endowment are a way to “pay it forward.” Plans are now underway to raise one million dollars in the first year. Michael is donating to the Endowment all proceeds from his new limited edition book, Michael Reichmann – a 20-Year Photography Retrospective, a 400-page large-format book that is available only through donations to The Luminous Endowment.

GoRigIt Case

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Accessories
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GoRigIt have launched a Kickstarter campaign in an effort to raise funds for their first product release, a phone case with a built in GoPro attachment. "With the GoRigIt case, your iPhone and GoPro become one," the company says. "We’ve made a way for you to see what you’re shooting, ensuring you’re getting the shots you want without hindering any of the functions of your iPhone!" Allowing users to fully utilise the GoPro app by either attaching their phone directly to the GoPro or attaching their phone to any other GoPro mount, the GoRigIt case enables GoPro owners to see what the camera is recording, manage GoPro settings, review what they have captured and effortlessly share their movies on social media platforms. Additionally, the GoRigIt case protects your iPhone so that it can go almost anywhere you would want to take your GoPro. Interested readers are encouraged to visit the project's Kickstarter page for more details.

AKVIS Chameleon 8.5

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Software
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AKVIS has updated its Chameleon collage creation software to Version 8.5. New features include a Share option that lets you post pictures from the program to Facebook, Twitter, Flickr, Tumblr, Google+ and Dropbox; compatibility with Photoshop CC 2014, and support for 64-bit versions of Windows. Users who own versions 5.0-8.0 of AKVIS Chameleon can upgrade to Version 8.5 for free.

Chasing the Light Issue 31

Zoltan Arva-Toth | General
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Issue 31 of David Noton’s Chasing the Light Online Magazine is now available to purchase. This month David continues his French theme in his Behind the Lens article and accompanying Video Blog with his account of ar wonderful photo trip to France in May. The Low Down continues with Part Two of an article trio on the important topic of Do-It-Yourself Printing, whilst Ross Hoddinott carries on with his Hoddinott’s Hangout column with a personal exploration of the joys of shooting insects close up, including plenty of advice on equipment, technique and approach. Meanwhile Chris Weston provides the next installment of The Storyteller, this time providing a set of a dozen projects and challenges to give you inspiration to get out and about with your camera. Do note that the full contents of Chasing the Light Online Magazine is available to full f11 subscribers only. However non-members can purchase individual issues of the magazine at a price of £4.20.

Friday, August 1, 2014

Glass Light Theme for Final Cut Pro X

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Software
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Pixel Film Studios have released the Glass Light Theme, a new template for Final Cut Pro X. “Our goal is to offer our users a wide variety quality themes and the Glass Light theme adds a shiny template to our growing library,” says Christian Austin, Pixel Film Studios CEO. “Glass Light theme has a reflective glass look our users will love." The theme comes with 48 camera presets that include a variety of different shots. The shots include booms, dollies, sweeps and more. Available for $29.95, Glass Light is compatible with all types of media and comes with all the tools a user needs to create a professional video including a background key for green screen footage, a logo key for personal insignia, 4 transitions and 2 lowers thirds.

Spider Holster Medium Lens Pouch and Memory Card Organizer

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Accessories
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Spider Camera Holster has launched two new accessories: the SpiderPro Medium Lens Pouch and Memory Card Organizer.. Compatible with the SpiderPro single and dual-camera holster systems, the Medium Lens Pouch accommodates all small (or short) professional zoom lenses with hood attached. Its unique design allows the user to easily insert the lens with the lens hood still connected, thereby saving time and hassle during use. The pouch’s side opening gives clearance for users to gain a firm and comfortable grip of the lens while swapping. The Spider Holster Memory Card Organizer (pictured) allows for photographers to carry as much memory possible, hands free and with maximum convenience, without having to shuffle through gear bags or sifting through various pockets. Designed for easy access, its fold-out compartment holds 6 Compact Flash memory cards and 3 smaller Secure Digital memory cards – all instantly available, hands free, right at your hip.The base SpiderPro Medium Lens Pouch will carry an MSRP of $65.00. The SpiderPro Memory Card Organizer will carry an MSRP of $35.00. Both accessories will be available for direct purchase through the company website

Plustek USA Announces New Instant Rebate Programme

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Scanners
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Plustek USA has launched a new instant rebate programme for selected scanners. The eligible products include - alongside a number of document scanners and book scanning devices - the Plustek OpticFilm 8200i AI, a 35mm film scanner featuring a hardware resolution of 7200x7200ppi and an infrared channel for dust and scratch removal (pictured). Those purchasing the OpticFilm 8200i AI before 30th September are entitled to an instantrebate of $70.

Drobo Mini with SSDs

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Accessories
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Connected Data have launched their Drobo Mini with Solid State Disk drives delivering as much as 80% more performance compared to a Mini configured with traditional spinning hard drives. Featuring four 2.5” SSD bays with an mSATA accelerator option; the Drobo Mini connects via Thunderbolt or USB 3.0 and protects data without user intervention, even in the event of multiple SSD drive failures. If a drive does fail, Drobo Mini automatically repairs itself and returns to a protected state while providing full access to data without performance being affected. Additional security is provided with battery backup that protects against data loss in the event of a sudden power outage ensuring that all data in flight is protected until power is restored. The Drobo Mini with SSD is available today in three capacity bundles of 1TB, 2TB and 4TB starting at an MSRP of $1,199 through the website below.

Clarity Magazine Volume 4

Zoltan Arva-Toth | General
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PhotographyBB has released Volume 4 of Clarity Magazine. Covering a wide range of topics, this issue includes a helpful guide to understanding a camera’s histogram, an in-depth look at all-flash indoor lighting setups, the focal-distance compression effect of lenses, Lightroom and Photoshop video tutorials, and more. Additionally, Volume Four includes a new feature column on smartphone photography. Priced at $6.99, Clarity Volume 4 is available to download in PDF format from the website below.

Website: PhotographyBB

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Sony Cyber-shot WX220 and W810 Hit US Market

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Digital Compact Cameras
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Sony USA today expanded its product portfolio with two Cyber-shot models, both of which have been available in other markets for a while. The pocket-sized Sony Cyber-shot DSC-WX220 (read review) is extremely slim and compact, yet packs an 18.2 megapixel Exmor R CMOS sensor with 1080/60p movie recording capabilities, a 10x zoom lens bearing the prestigious 'G' designation, and an integrated Wi-Fi module. The entry-level Sony DSC-W810 features a 20.1MP CCD sensor and 6x optical zoom lens, and can shoot HD movies at 720p. For convenient movie shooting, there’s a dedicated movie button on the camera that instantly starts video recording without digging through menus. The new Sony Cyber-shot WX220 will be available in August in black and gold for about $200, and the new Cyber-shot W810 will be available in September in silver for about $100.

Aperture Exporter Released

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Software
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Aperture Exporter is a Mac application allowing users of Apple Aperture to transfer their images and libraries to another photo manager such as Adobe Lightroom. "With only a few options and a click of a button, Aperture Exporter re-generates your Aperture Library as a set of folders and subfolders containing your images," the developers say. The program enables users to "retain meticulously crafted project hierarchies," keep all their metadata including ratings and comments, export images contained in their albums and smart albums, and convert Aperture flags and colour labels to keywords. Aperture Exporter is now available on the Mac App Store, priced at $14.99.

Adobe Releases ACR 8.6 & Lightroom 5.6

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Software
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Adobe has released final versions of ACR 8.6 and Photoshop Lightroom 5.6, which were earlier posted as 'release candidates.' These updates add support for raw files generated by the Nikon D810, the Panasonic FZ1000 (pictured) and Lumix GH4, add profiles for twenty-two camera-lens combinations, and fix bugs.

Source: Adobe Lightroom Journal

Macphun Releases Tonality

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Software
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Tonality from Macphun is a new Mac app for creating superior black-and-white images. The software uses a proprietary 16-bit raw processing engine, advanced imaging algorithms and a comprehensive set of unique digital darkroom features permitting photographers "to do things they never before have been able to achieve," the company says. Starting with "professionally inspired" presets, Tonality includes features like layer-based image editing, adaptive exposure and smart contrast, overlay textures, advanced clarity and structure detail, grain and film emulation, adjustment brushes and a selection of finishing tools for photographers to craft their finest work. Each layer includes separate opacity controls, blending modes and preserves colour data of the original image. “For many photographers, crafting dramatic black-and-white images is their favouritee form of creative expression yet presents uniquely difficult and time-consuming challenges,” said Paul Muzok, CEO of Macphun. “We designed Tonality to overcome those challenges, and be not only the best app for those passionate about monochrome image making but also appeal to the casual photographer who is exploring the genre." Tonality is available today as an electronic download from the Macphun Web Store.