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Showing posts from February, 2009

TFC Make Christopher Smile at Focus!

On the Flash Centre’s demonstration stand at Focus, Lighting Guide DVD’s were being given away in exchange for a donation to Charity.

The Charity selected was Christopher’s Smile which funds research into childhood cancer treatments through the Institute of Cancer Research.

Chris Burfoot, TFC’s National Sales Manager said, “I am absolutely delighted and would like to personally thank all the visitors and staff that contributed to the fund helping us to raise over £1100! This was on top of the £300 raised at the recent SWPP convention.”

If you would like more information about the Charity, or make a donation, please go to: www.christopherssmile.org.uk

Olympus E-3 DSLR onboard NASA space shuttle

HAMBURG (Olympus PR) , 26th February 2009 - To celebrate ninety years of operation, Olympus is giving itself a gift: the Olympus Space Project. For this occasion, Dr Koichi Wakata, a Japanese Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA*) astronaut, will use the ultra reliable Olympus E-3 D-SLR and ZUIKO DIGITAL lenses to snap the Earth from outer space.
Pictures taken from the Kibo, the Japanese experimental module within the International Space Station (ISS), will then be posted on Olympus’ web sites and shown at photo exhibitions. Such amazing pictures of our blue planet are a testament to the value that Olympus places on the environment. The next launch of Space Shuttle Discovery will carry Dr Wakata and his E-3 to the ISS.







Epson to resurrect R-D1 rangefinder with new R-D1x?

Epson Japan has announced the R-D1x, but while there are some improvements including a 2.5-inch LCD screen and compatibility with SD-HC, the maker has stayed with the 6.1MP resolution CCD of the original R-D1 and R-D1s. 

As you can see from the photo above, there's an optional handgrip but what you can't see is that the fold-out and twisting screen of the orginal is now fixed in position. 
According to the Epson Japan site, the new model will be available from the 09 April. No word as yet whether it will be available in Europe or the US.

CorelDRAW Balloon Racer

Corel sent me a link to this rather cool game, click on the graphic above, or click here to play. I hope they don't mind me sharing it with you.
Kevin

Canon UK & Ireland appoints new Country Director to head up Consumer Imaging division

REIGATE (Canon PR), February 2009 – Canon UK and Ireland, world-leader in digital imaging solutions, has announced the appointment of Lee Bonniface to the position of Canon Consumer Imaging (CCI) Country Director for the UK & Ireland.

Lee joined Canon UK & Ireland in 2006 as Special Retail Channel Director, heading up key retail accounts such as Jessops, Dixons and Comet. Prior to joining Canon, he built up over 10 years’ channel, sales and category management experience in the telecommunications and consumer goods sectors at companies including Orange and Mars.

In his new position, Lee will look to maintain Canon’s market leading position in the Digital Still Compact (DSC) and Digital Single-Lens Reflex (DSLR) camera markets (Source: Gfk – latest figures for December show Canon has a 47.9% share in the DSLR market and a 14.6% share in the DSC market for the full year in 2008 (both by value) as well as driving growth in other key CCI sectors including home printing and video. H…

Canon EOS 5D Mk II in stock at B&H

If you're reading this over the over side of the pond, the highly-regarded New York retailer, B&H, has emailed me to say the Canon EOS 5D Mk II is back in stock here, at least for the time being.

Kevin


Olympus E-620 at Focus on Imaging show

Olympus'  new 12.3-megapixel E-620, the update to the E-520, was on show at the maker's stand at Focus on Imaging in the UK, this week. 
We'll have more opportunity to try it out next week at the official UK press launch, but for now our first impression is that it looks like the best of several models (E-420, E-510 and E-30) melded into one.  And that's certainly no bad thing. 
Best of all is that Olympus has kept the grip small and unobtrusive, but how that affects handling over a period of time we'll just have to wait and see.

Nikon set to announce new D5000 DSLR?

There are plenty of rumors circulating the web about Nikon introducing a new entry-level DSLR in time for PMA 09 next week, tentatively called the D5000. 
We've just had the Focus on Imaging show here in the UK, and while the D60 and D300 are likely to be replaced this year, there were no signs of an impending release. 
All the same, Nikon usually introduce DSLRs at the beginning of the month, so there's still time.

Adobe add Photoshop CS4 update

Adobe has released an update to its Photoshop software, available immediately for existing Photoshop CS4 users. The Photoshop 11.0.1 update addresses key issues reported by customers that may impact performance. The update also includes the following enhancements: the ability to correctly recognise 3D textures edited by plug-ins; improved quality of Auto-Blend Layers (Stack Images); and fixes for issues that can be caused by corrupt fonts or when pasting formatted text.



The Photoshop 11.0.1 update is available as a free download for existing Photoshop CS4 customers at http://www.adobe.com/downloads/updates/ or through the Adobe updater via the application itself.

Profoto intros D1 monolights

Stockholm, 5 February 2009 – Ask any professional photographer why they use Profoto strobes and the answers are identical: consistency, consistency and more consistency. And, oh yes, Profoto´s are the most durable and trouble free units on the market. So it’s not surprising that the company’s new D1 line of digital compact electronic flashes are the same. What makes them so consistent is the microprocessor controlled, dual mode SMPS capacitor charging system. Consistency is important for two reasons: precise exposure from flash to flash and precise colour temperature. These are important qualities for portrait and studio photographers who want an easy-to-pack, rugged, monolight design. The new Profoto D1 monolight system, available in 250, 500 or 1000 Ws versions, can be adjusted from full to 1/64th power in 1/10th stop intervals. This gives you a range of seven f/stops in precise, repeatable and consistent output.
The D1’s have other important qualities: quick recycling time (0.2–0.95…

Olympus reveal 12.3-megapixel E-620 DSLR with free-angle LCD

European press release:
Hamburg, 24 February 2009 – The world’s smallest and lightest creative D-SLR with built-in image stabilisation has finally arrived! The new Olympus E-620 combines the technical sophistication required by pros with easy-to-use functions desired by hobbyists. As a result, ambitious photographers everywhere can now take creativity to a whole new level. Outfitted with a custom 7-point Twin autofocus system, the E-620 provides consistent focus, as well as a generous 12.3 Megapixel High-Speed Live MOS. Additionally, the Live View technology as well as the 6.9cm/2.7” free-angle HyperCrystal III LCD make framing every shot a cinch. In-camera Art Filters entice users to be artistic by allowing them to apply stylish effects at the touch of a button. Indeed, the E-620 is everything that makes Olympus Four Thirds Standard D-SLR cameras great. The latest addition to the E-System range offers creative and technological power – all rolled into one. The new model will be availa…

Samsung surprise with world's first AMOLED screen on WB100 and high-end WB550

13:00 (GMT) 23rd February 2009 – Samsung Digital Imaging, leaders in innovation and digital technology, is breaking new ground by including world-first technology in the advanced WB550 and WB100 compact cameras.



The WB100 model, with a 5x optical zoom and 24mm ultra wide lens, breaks ground in the compact camera category by featuring the world's first 3.0” VGA AMOLED screen. The organic LED screen out performs conventional TFT LCD screens with better contrast and a brighter screen that really helps when shooting in both bright sunlight and dark conditions. The 960k pixel packed screen also shows fantastic detail when framing the shot and in playback.




The new WB550 also includes a world first 10x optical zoom and 24mm ultra wide angle Schneider lens (previously found only in the camera’s predecessor, the WB500*) and cements Samsung’s position as an innovator in the new and important High-zoom category - compact cameras equipped with the sort of advanced zoom lens technology traditi…

Cosina unwrap new Voigtlander 20mm f/3.5 Color Skopar SL II Aspherical for Nikon and Pentax DSLRs

Cosina have lifted the wraps on the Voigtlander Color Skopar 20mm f/3.5 SL-II Aspherical for Nikon FX (full-frame) and DX (APS-C) format DSLRs. A version with the KA mount for Pentax DSLRs has also been announced. Like others in the range, it's a manual focus lens but has a built-in CPU for metering control with the latest DSLRs.
We have the following lens specification, but no word as yet on price or availability:

Lens Construction :6 groups 9 elements
Smallest Aperture : F22
Picture Angle :94°
Aperture Blades : 9
Nearest Distance : 0.2m
Diameter x Length :φ63mm x 28.8mm
Weight :205 g
Mount : Ai-S / KA
All this looks promising, and reminds me of the the long-discontinued Nikkor 20mm f/3.5 Ai lens from the late 70's and early 80's. Can't help but think this would be an excellent choice on the D700, but as the equivalent to a 35mm f/3.5 on the Pentax K20D it doesn't feel quite as compelling, in my view. Lets hope Pentax (Hoya) comes up with a full-frame model before too long …

Nikon D3x review coming shortly

Be sure to check back here in the next few days to read our review on Nikon's remarkable new  24.5-megapixel full-frame DSLR.





New polarizer filters from Canon

Along with the new TS-E lenses announced this week, Canon also revealed in the body of the press release, that they have updated their range of circular (hence "C") polarizer filters.

Extracted from the press release on Wednesday:

Canon today has also introduced a new range (52mm to 72mm) of versatile, multi-functional PL-C B polarizing filters to help reduce reflections from glass or water or darken blue skies. The PL-C B’s, which are now available in 52mm, 58mm, 67mm, 72mm, 77mm and 82mm filter thread sizes, also allows the lens cap to be attached to the lens to prevent damage to the filter if left attached when not in use.

Quite how they differ from the previous range, which we use here, other than being able to retain a lens cap isn't mentioned. Perhaps that's the only difference. I will ask them for clarification tomorrow at the Focus on Imaging trade show. 
There also appears to be a typo in the press release, but we assume they mean the new range covers filter thr…

onOne unwraps PhotoTools 2 plug-in

From the onOne press release;
onOne Software, Inc., a leading developer of time-saving software solutions for professional and advanced amateur photographers, today announced the immediate availability of PhotoTools 2 Standard and Professional Edition. PhotoTools 2 is a flexible yet powerful plug-in for Adobe® Photoshop® CS2, CS3 and CS4 that utilizes the power of Photoshop Actions to provide a range of imaging tools including effects, corrections and production automation in a full-featured interface. The new features in PhotoTools 2 include:

• An expanded range of photographic effects
• A significantly improved effects library
• New masking capabilities directly within PhotoTools 2
• The ability to apply the hundreds of PhotoTools 2 effects to video files within Photoshop CS3 Extended and Photoshop CS4 Extended
• A new Export plug-in for Lightroom 2 and Aperture 2.1 within PhotoTools 2 Professional Edition
• Quick access to the onOne Exchange community site for downloading new effect prese…

Nikon announces second price increase this year

From the Nikon UK Press Office this morning;


NIKON ANNOUNCES SECOND PRICE INCREASE

Nikon UK will be introducing a second price increase on the 1st March 2009 which will affect Nikon’s Imaging and Optics products.

The price increase is due to the relative weakness of Sterling and the continued strength of the Yen. A range of product groups will be affected however the COOLPIX series and selected digital SLRs will not see an increase.

An updated Recommended Retail Price (RRP) list will be available to view at www.nikon.co.uk from 1st March 2009. Nikon will continue to review its pricing structures.

Leica announces Super-Elmar 18mm f/3.8 ASPH for M system Rangefinders

From the UK Press release:

NEW LENS AND VIEWFINDER INTRODUCED FOR M SYSTEM
LEICA SUPER-ELMAR-M 18 mm f/ 3.8 ASPH.
AND LEICA BRIGHT LINE FINDER M for 18 mm lenses

Leica, the lens specialist, is pleased to introduce new accessories for the M system; the LEICA SUPER-ELMAR-M 18 mm f/ 3.8 ASPH. lens and the LEICA BRIGHT LINE FINDER compatible for both M digital and films models. The LEICA SUPER-ELMAR-M 18 mm f/ 3.8 ASPH. is a compact wide-angle lens, expanding the range of short focal-length lenses for the Leica M System and offering outstanding image quality. The new finder, the LEICA BRIGHT LINE FINDER M 18 mm, matches the new lens and is the latest addition to the Leica rangefinder system accessories range. LEICA SUPER-ELMAR-M 18 mm f/ 3.8 ASPH.

The latest lens from Leica is ideal for a wide range of applications – from expansive reportage images to landscapes and architectural photography. When used with Leica’s digital M models, the LEICA M8 and M8.2, the smaller sensor format increases th…

New firmware update for Canon PowerShot SX1 IS allows Raw capture

United Kingdom / Republic of Ireland, 19 February 2009: Canon announces an exciting add-on for its celebrated PowerShot SX1 IS digital compact camera: firmware that allows users to capture images in RAW format.

Owners of the PowerShot SX1 IS will be able to download a firmware update which gives them the option of shooting images in high-detail, unprocessed RAW format. This is ideal for photographers seeking control over key image parameters after they shoot – rather than before.

Plus, for powerful, intuitive post-production, users of the PowerShot SX1 IS can also download a free copy of Canon’s Digital Photo Professional software. This high-speed RAW editor lets users adjust key settings, such as white balance, exposure compensation and sharpness before conversion to JPEG.

The firmware will be available for download from mid-March. PowerShot SX1 IS owners should check http://web.canon.jp/imaging/BeBit-e.html for information and availability. Digital Photo Professional will be also avail…

Ricoh announce CX1 with CMOS sensor

Ricoh are proud to announce the launch of the CX1
The CX1 features the highly evolved image processing engine Smooth Imaging Engine IV together with a CMOS sensor that enables high-speed image processing. The CX1's expanded dynamic range of 12 EV equivalent makes it possible to capture high-contrast scenes in a way not possible with earlier models.

New Features:

Enhanced high-speed continuous shooting functions. Smooth continuous shooting*. High-speed continuous shooting at approx. 4 frames/sec . Continuous shooting at overwhelming speed. 120 frame/sec. Ultra-high-speed continuous shooting. The M-continuous plus shooting function does continuous shooting that saves the 30 images (30 frames/sec.) taken during the one second or so before the finger is removed from the shutter release button or the 30 images (15 frames/sec.) taken during the two seconds before.
Dynamic Range Double Shot Mode - Decisive reduction of overexposure/underexposure.
Multi-Pattern Auto White Balance - A dramatic …

JP Distribution announce PocketWizard MiniTT1 and FlexTT5

JP Distribution is pleased to announce the 2 new additions to the PocketWizard range – the MiniTT1 and FlexTT5. Professional photographers worldwide have depended on PocketWizard wireless triggering systems for reliable performance, advanced features and the greatest operating range. For over two decades they have triggered their flash units and cameras wirelessly, capturing images that would have been impossible to make without PocketWizard. Since the first introduction of PocketWizard, professional photographers have demanded a TTL (Through-The-Lens) flash control PocketWizard system. Now, with the rapid development of digital technology, PocketWizard responds with a simple solution for off-camera TTL flash without limitations or complexity. PocketWizard has made it possible with “Slide-n-Shoot” simplicity by utilizing their new ControlTL™ system featuring the MiniTT1™ Transmitter and FlexTT5™ Transceiver (dedicated for Canon or Nikon camera/flash systems). These new E-TTLII and…

Canon announce 12.1 Megapixel Digital IXUS 100 IS and 10 Megapixel Digital IXUS 95 IS

United Kingdom / Republic of Ireland, 18 February 2009: Canon today strengthens its reputation for excellence in digital compact camera design with two new models: United Kingdom / Republic of Ireland, 18 February 2009: Canon today strengthens its reputation for excellence in digital compact camera design with two new models: the slimmest ever Digital IXUS model, the 12.1 Megapixel Digital IXUS 100 IS, and the 10 Megapixel Digital IXUS 95 IS. Both models feature a new Smart Auto mode, which uses Canon’s Scene Detection Technology to help users take great shots with ease. The Digital IXUS 100 IS also includes the option to shoot HD movies (1280 x 720, 30fps) and HDMI connectivity.

Replacing the Digital IXUS 85 IS, the Digital IXUS 100 IS features a striking, 18.4mm wide stainless steel body, finished in a choice of silver, black, gold or red – making it ideal for the most prestigious of occasions. The Digital IXUS 95 IS, successor to the Digital IXUS 80 IS, offers an ultra-stylish, take…

Canon launch their first new waterproof camera the PowerShot D10

United Kingdom / Republic of Ireland, 18 February 2009: Canon today launches its first waterproof digital compact camera: the 12.1 Megapixel
PowerShot D10. Engineered for those with an adventurous, active lifestyle, the PowerShot D10 combines take-anywhere levels of toughness with exceptional image quality. Canon’s DIGIC 4 processor delivers ultra-responsive performance and outstanding, richly detailed images, while a new Smart Auto mode uses
Scene Detection technology to deliver effortlessly great shots.

For the ultimate in hands-free, take-anywhere operability, the PowerShot D10 also offers compatibility with an extensive accessories system.

Goes where others can’t
From surfing to snorkelling, skiing to mountaineering, the PowerShot D10 is designed to accompany users on every adventure – it’s waterproof to 10m IEC/JIS IP Protection Rating IPX8 equivalent, can withstand the shock of a drop onto a hard surface from 1.22m, is dustproof IEC/JIS IP Protection Rating IPX6 equivalent and will f…

Canon announce Digital IXUS 110 IS and Digital IXUS 990 IS.

United Kingdom / Republic of Ireland, 18 February 2009: Canon today updates its Digital IXUS range with two exciting new models: the Digital IXUS 110 IS and the Digital IXUS 990 IS. The Digital IXUS 110 IS offers the ultimate in wide shooting via a wide-angle zoom lens, wide-aspect LCD and widescreen HD movie shooting, while the Digital IXUS 990 IS delivers superior telephoto reach via a 5.0x optical zoom, and detailed image review with a 3.0” PureColor LCD II. Both feature a new Smart Auto mode, which uses Canon’s innovative Scene Detection Technology to deliver incredible shots with simple point-and-shoot operation.

Both 12.1 Megapixel models shoot stunning HD movies (1280 x 720, 30fps) and have HDMI connections for playback on compatible HD televisions. Replacing the Digital IXUS 90 IS and Digital IXUS 970 IS respectively, the Digital IXUS 110 IS and Digital IXUS 990 IS continue the IXUS heritage combination of exquisite imaging and design. The Digital IXUS 110 IS comes in a choice …

Canon announces 12.1 Megapixel PowerShot A1100 IS and PowerShot A2100 IS

United Kingdom / Republic of Ireland, 18 February 2009: Canon today gives everyone the power to take great photos, with the launch of the 12.1 Megapixel
PowerShot A1100 IS and PowerShot A2100 IS. For the ultimate in easy picture-taking, both models incorporate Canon’s new Scene Detection Technology – available via an improved Easy mode and new Smart Auto mode - for excellent results without effort.

Featuring optical zoom lenses of 4x and 6x respectively, the PowerShot A1100 IS and PowerShot A2100 IS are powered by Canon’s latest DIGIC 4 image processor. This allows both models to deliver fast, responsive operation and outstanding, rich, detailed images. Replacing the A1000 and A2000 respectively, the PowerShot A1100 IS is available in blue, pink or silver, while the PowerShot A2100 IS features a classic black design.

High resolution, high quality lens
Both cameras are capable of capturing incredible levels of detail by combining a 12.1 Megapixel sensor with a high quality zoom lens - allo…

Canon launch new PowerShot SX200 IS

United Kingdom / Republic of Ireland, 18 February 2009: Canon today strengthens its PowerShot range of digital cameras with the launch of the
PowerShot SX200 IS – a new Super Zoom model in a strikingly compact body. With a wide-angle (28mm) 12x optical zoom lens and powered by Canon’s
DIGIC 4 processor for ultra-fast performance and outstanding image quality, this 12.1 Megapixel camera is the ideal travel companion. Richly detailed movies can be shot in High Definition (720p, 30fps), with a built-in HDMI connection for playback on HD televisions. The addition of a full Manual shooting mode gives users control when they want it.

Designed with travel in mind
With a classic aluminium design available in black, blue or red the PowerShot SX200 IS packs a lot into a compact body, making it the perfect camera for the keen traveller. A powerful 12x zoom lens, beginning at a wide 28mm, tackles landscape shots or distant subjects with equal effectiveness. Canon’s 4-stop optical Image Stabilizer tec…

Canon launch two new TS-E lenses

United Kingdom / Republic of Ireland, 18 February, 2009: Canon today announces the launch of two new tilt and shift lenses, the Ultra-Wide angle TS-E 17mm f/4L and the TS-E 24mm f/3.5L II, an upgrade to the popular TS-E 24mm f/3.5L.

At 17mm, the TS-E 17mm f/4L has the widest view angle of any tilt and shift lens currently available; coupled with outstanding image quality across the whole frame, it is an ideal choice for architectural or landscape photography. Building on the success of its predecessor, the TS-E 24mm f/3.5L II, like the TS-E 17mm f/4L, now includes Canon’s sub-wavelength structure coating (SWC). Canon’s patented lens coating is specifically designed to minimise ghosting and flare caused by internal reflections to help deliver crisp, clear images.

Canon was the first company to offer 35mm camera users a combined tilt and shift lens, With 36 years experience in this field, Canon has now added a new unique functionality to the TS-E 17mm f/4L and TS-E 24mm f/3.5L II, allowi…

Samsung launches the PL50 and PL65

13:00 (GMT) 17th February 2009 Samsung, leaders in innovation and digital imaging, today announced the release of the 10 megapixel PL50 and 12 megapixel PL65; two cameras perfect for photography enthusiasts and those looking for clever technology to help capture and enjoy all their memories and experiences.

Smart Auto (Scene Recognition)
Both cameras feature Samsung's new "Smart Auto” (Scene Recognition) technology which has 11 optimized picture pre-settings such as Portrait, Night portrait, Macro, Macro Colour etc - helping people take the perfect shot regardless of the conditions. You can also use these settings when sorting through your photos - making it quick and easy to find all the portraits, outdoor or macro shots you've taken.

Smart Album
The cameras also feature Samsung’s new unique ‘Smart Album’ Digital Contents Management system; a program within the camera that significantly reduces the time it takes to find your favourite photos – so it’s quicker and easier to …