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Thursday, June 25, 2015

Samsung NX500 Firmware Update 1.10

Samsung have posted a major firmware update for their NX500 compact system camera. Version 1.10 brings an array of auto focus improvements for still photography (including better AF performance in low-light and backlit conditions, enhanced Face Detection, a new Zone AF mode, and much more), adds a Pro video recording mode, increases the maximum video bitrate to 70Mb/s, gives users more precise frame capture from 4K movies, adds a new MF responsiveness mode, and increases the maximum movie recording time to 25 minutes. Click through / scroll down for a complete list of improvements.

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Charity Brings Sea View to Surrey

The Shipwrecked Mariners' Society has announced an exhibition of unique maritime photographs and the launch of its third annual maritime photography competition. The exhibition, which brings a sea view to the landlocked Royal Alfred Seafarers Society care home in Surrey, features images of seven of last year’s competition entries, ranging from trawler races in Brixham to lighthouses in Porthcawl, displayed around the grounds of the home. The Society is encouraging budding photographers to get involved in this year’s competition, open to professional and amateur photographers across the UK, and to send in their pictures of the coast, seafarers and the sea. The deadline for entries to the competition is the 7 August 2015. As always, we suggest that you read the terms and conditions before entering your work.

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Hahnemühle FineArt Baryta Satin

Hahnemühle have rolled out a new baryta paper that is claimed to provide "exceptional results" with a wide gamut and intensely deep blacks. The FineArt Baryta Satin is a 300gsm, alpha-cellulose paper with a barium-sulfate coated warm-tone white satin surface, available in 8.5"x11", 11"x17", 13" x 19" and 17"x22" sheets, and 17", 24", 36" & 44" wide rolls.

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Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Verbatim Pro+ Memory Cards

Expanding its range of SD and micro SD memory cards, Verbatim has just launched the new Pro+ line. A read speed up to 90MB/s provides ultra fast access to 4K full HD video recordings while a write speed of up to 80MB/s ensures the data is captured and stored swiftly. "This is particularly beneficial to DSLR camera owners selecting continuous frame shooting (burst mode) when using the larger raw image format," the company says. Verbatim’s Pro+ is currently available in 32GB and 64GB capacities.

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TPOTY Exhibition Jouneys Back to London

Award-winning travel images go on show in an outstanding, free to view, exhibition at Britain's Royal Geographical Society (with IBG) this summer, as Travel Photographer of the Year returns to London. This year’s event features the entries that took top honours in the 2014 awards, in which amateur and professional photographers from over 100 countries competed. Stretching from the Society’s glass-sided Pavilion (1 Kensington Gore, London, SW7 2AR, out into the terrace and down into the garden, it runs from Friday July 24th to Saturday, September 5th. The exhibition is open from 10am to 5pm Sunday to Thursday and 10am to 7pm Friday and Saturday. Travel Photographer of the Year will be staging a number of ‘Enchanted Evenings’ at the gallery. Unlike the exhibition itself, these are ticketed events, costing £8 to include a glass of wine, or £15 to also include a copy of Journey Seven, the latest book from Travel Photographer of the Year. Enchanted Evening dates can be found – and tickets booked - through the website below.

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Tokina USA Announce Pricing for AT-X 24-70mm F/2.8 PRO FX Lens

Kenko Tokina USA have unveiled the suggested retail price and availability of the new Tokina AT-X 24-70mm F/2.8 PRO FX lens. Officially announced in February this year, this is a constant-aperture standard zoom for 35mm full-frame SLR cameras; featuring 15 lens elements in 11 groups and a nine-bladed iris diaphragm. The lens has a maximum reproduction ratio of 1:4.73, a minimum focus distance of 0.38m and a 82mm filter thread. Tokina’s exclusive One-touch Focus Clutch Mechanism allows the photographer to switch between AF and MF simply by snapping the focus ring forward for AF and back toward the lens mount for manual focusing. The AT-X 24-70mm F/2.8 PRO FX lens also incorporates a fast SDM (Silent Drive-Module) motor to greatly reduce AF noise making it one of Tokina’s quickest and quietest auto-focusing lenses to date. Availble in August, the lens will cost $999. High-resolution sample images, taken with the lens mounted to a Nikon D610, can be downloaded from the website below.

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Manfrotto Xpro Ballhead

Manfrotto have just launched their new Xpro ballhead, designed for advanced hobbyist photographers and experienced professionals. Completing the Xpro Heads range that is dedicated to the new 190 and 055 tripods; the new Manfrotto Xpro ballhead features the manufacturer's Triple Locking System, which consists of 3 wedges that apply pressure to the sphere to lock it in position, as the ball lock lever is rotated. The head weighs a mere 0.5 kg, but can support up to 10kg of payload. The Xpro ballhead is available in two versions that are distinguishable by the coloured finish on their magnesium body: the black version (£114.95/$149.88) comes with the Manfrotto 200PL plate, while the grey version (£159.95/$199.88) comes with the safe and rapid Top Lock System featuring the Manfrotto MSQ6PL Arca-Swiss compatible plate.

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UK Optics Distribution to Sell Venus/Laowa Lenses

UK Optics Distribution have been nominated as the exclusive UK distributors of lenses manufactured by Venus Optics. These include Venus's new Laowa branded lenses such as the recently announced Laowa 60mm f/2.8 Macro 2:1 (pictured) and the brand new Laowa 15mm f/4 Macro lens.

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Laowa 15mm f/4 Macro

Venus Optics have launched the Laowa 15mm f/4 full-frame UWA prime, which is billed as the World’s widest 1:1 macro lens. Offering an angle of view of 110°, the lens construction features 12 elements in 9 groups with 3 High Refractive elements and one Extra-Low-Dispersion element plus a nearly circular, 14-bladed aperture diaphragm. A shift mechanism is added to the rear end of the lens with a maximum adjustment of +/- 6mm, which is extremely useful for landscape/architecture photography (only when used on a camera with an APS-C sensor - see an example here). The manual-focus lens is available for £419/$479 in Canon EF, Nikon F, Sony Alpha, Sony FE and Pentax K mounts.

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Tuesday, June 23, 2015

CloudSlice for iOS

CloudSlice is a new app that aims to protect each photo stored on an iPhone or iPad by not only encrypting the photos but “slicing” them among multiple cloud storage accounts. "Stories abound of instances in which photos are stolen and used without permission, with the most threatening being cases of 'digital kidnapping' in which photos of children are republished for either marketing purposes or by those who publish them on their own blogs or social media as pictures of their own children," the developers say. "Potentially more common is the farming of photos and their metadata for marketing purpose – enabling marketers to target consumers based on information gleaned from their photos." CloudSlice uses the security of multiple cloud storage services and slices each photo so that it can be divided into as many as five different cloud storage accounts in order to protect it from hackers. The app is easy to use: to slice and upload photos, users simply tap the + button on the main screen and select which images they wish to protect. To retrieve a stored photo, they just tap on its thumbnail. The photo slices will be instantly fetched and displayed in CloudSlice. The app is available for $4.99 on the App Store.

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