Showing posts from June, 2009

Hasselblad owner Shriro announce Photomania 2009

Shriro, the photo-imaging company, East Asia distributor and shareholder of medium format camera maker, Hasselblad, has announced dates for Photomania 2009:
Beijing 30/06/09 Shanghai 02/07/09 Hong Kong 04/07/09
See here for further details, including registration.

Leaf Imaging enter new phase

Phase One, makers of medium-format digital backs, announced today the intention to purchase specific assets of rival back maker, Leaf , while forming a new company: Leaf Imaging Ltd.
Leaf Systems Inc of Massachusetts USA, was formed in 1984, but was subsequently acquired by Scitex in 1997 while operations moved to Tel Aviv. Shortly after, in 2000, Leaf changed ownership again when Creo Inc acquired Scitex. However that wasn't to last when Eastman Kodak acquired Creo Inc during 2005.
In the same week that Kodak announced the end of Kodachrome, the latest announcement sees the imaging giant shedding certain assets of Leaf, while entering into a intellectual property license with Phase One.
However as Kodak are the main, if not sole, manufacturer of image sensors for Phase One as well as Leaf, this acquisition was not entirely unexpected. As the number of rival digital camera back makers contract, Phase One are emerging as the dominant player in the medium format market.

Press relea…

Pentax out Optio W80

Pentax today announce the Optio W80 the latest iteration of a long line of waterproof digital compact cameras. Indeed Pentax were one of the first makers to market a compact for challenging environmental conditions, so it comes as little surprise to see features that would you normally associate with unprotected cameras such as a x5 optical zoom and 12-megapixel CCD. Note the wording of HD-proportioned video clips, suggesting a lower resolution. We will post an update when we have the video spec confirmed.

UK Press release:

PENTAX UK is pleased to announce the launch of the PENTAX Optio W80 digital compact camera. The W80 boasts outstanding dustproof (IPX 6 or JIS Class 6) and waterproof (IPX 8 or JIS Class 8) capabilities - for up to two hours underwater at a depth of five metres and can operate in temperatures as cold as -10°C. The new W80 is also shockproof and can withstand a fall from a height of one metre, making it the ideal choice for any outdoor pursuit including holidays and e…

Adobe updates Photoshop Lightroom, Camera Raw and DNG specification

This update replaces the final release candidate announced earlier in the month.

Adobe today released the final Photoshop Lightroom 2.4 and Camera Raw 5.4 updates, available for immediate download at Both updates bring additional raw file support to 31camera and camera back models including the Canon EOS 500D, Nikon D5000 and 18 Hasselblad models. A full list of the newly supported camera and camera back models is below.

In addition, Adobe released an update to its Digital Negative specification (DNG), the public archival format for digital camera raw data. DNG addresses the lack of an open standard for raw files created by individual camera models, helping to ensure that photographers will be able to access their files in the future.

DNG 1.3 now includes opcodes, a defined list of operations and their parameters for performing complex activities in the raw file conversion process. These activities include corrections and enhancements that are beneficial…

Canon announces PowerShot SX200 IS cashback offer

From Thursday 25th June, Canon is launching a cashback offer on the PowerShot SX 200 IS.
Cashback is only available to UK and European readers.

PowerShot SX200 IS Cashback £40 / €45
RRP £359.00 / €429.00 RRP inc. VAT
Colours Black / Blue / Red

Valid from Thursday 25th June 2009 until Monday 31st August 2009.

Readers enquiries:
For further details and full terms and conditions please visit
Update 24/06/09 Canon has confirmed the above link will go live tonight at 12.00am
Amazon UK link: Canon PowerShot SX200 Digital Camera - Black (12.1 MP, 12x Optical Zoom) 3.0" LCD

Vote for Hasselblad Masters

Partnered by Hahnemuelle, Broncolor, and HP, the top 100 finalists for this years Hasselblad Masters Awards competition is online now. And this year, for the first time, the competition is open to voting from members of the public. Click here to register and vote for the 10 finalists.

Tokina update AT-X 12-24mm Pro DX

Release Date: 22 June 2009

New version of leading Tokina lens hits the shops

Kenro (the official distributor in the UK) has announced the Tokina AT-X 12-24 PRO DX II, the new version of the acclaimed AT-X 12-24 PRO DX .
The Nikon mount AT-X 12-24 PRO DX II features a built-in AF motor drive that operates smoothly and quietly due to a DC motor that uses a new AF control gear assembly. With the built-in motor, the lens can be used in AF mode with the Nikon D60 and D40 and other silent wave bodies. The Canon version of the lens already has a built-in AF motor.
The optical system of the original lens won awards for its sharpness and the new version has been improved further by the introduction of a new multi-coating system. This new coating helps reduce reflections that can cause flare and ghosting.

Like its predecessor , the AT-X 12-24 PRO DX II features the one-touch focus clutch mechanism. To use this feature the user simply moves the focus ring forward, towards the front of the lens, for A…

Kodak pulls plug on Kodachrome

This isn't going to lie down, I suspect. And it's a sad day for me (and I suspect a lot of others too), for sure. I have to say, I feel like I've just been given the news of the death of a relative or close friend.


Kodak Retires KODACHROME Film; Celebrates Life of Oldest Film Icon in its Portfolio
Newer KODAK Films and Digital Cameras are Preferred Choice for Today’s Photographers

LONDON UK, June 22, 2009 – Eastman Kodak Company announced today that it will retire KODACHROME colour film this year, concluding its 74-year run as a photography icon.

Sales of KODACHROME Film, which became the world’s first commercially successful colour film in 1935, have declined dramatically in recent years as photographers turned to other, newer KODAK films or to the digital imaging technologies that Kodak pioneered. Today, KODACHROME Film represents just a fraction of one percent of Kodak’s total sales of still-picture films.

“KODACHROME Film is an iconic product and a testament to Kodak’s …

Panasonic updates firmware for DMC-GH1,G1 and Vario 14-140mm

Release Date: June 2009

Panasonic updates firmware for DMC-GH1,G1 and LUMIX G VARIO HD 14-140mm / F4.0-5.8 ASPH. / MEGA O.I.S. (H-VS014140)
A new firmware is released for Panasonic LUMIX G Micro System cameras and a lens. The firmware Version 1.1 for DMC-GH1 allows faster burst shooting and improves control of shutter speed and stability of AF in movie recording. It also enhances performance and compatibility of the camera in other points. The firmware Version 1.3 for DMC-G1 improves the compatibility of Micro Four Thirds lens. The firmware Version 1.1 for LUMIX G VARIO HD 14-140mm / F4.0-5.8 ASPH. / MEGA O.I.S. (H-VS014140) improves O.I.S. in movie recording mode and compatibility of Micro Four Thirds camera.

Panasonic invites all users of DMC-GH1, G1 and LUMIX G VARIO HD 14-140mm / F4.0-5.8 ASPH. / MEGA O.I.S.(H-VS014140) to apply the updated firmware. The new firmware and detailed information will be available worldwide at, at GMT 6:00 on 22nd…

Think Tank Photo Multimedia Wired Up collection

Thought I would post the video snippet I was sent by ThinkTank Photo of their forthcoming Multimedia Wired Up collection; a new range of bags expressly designed for the multimedia journalist carrying either a Canon EOS 5D MkII or Nikon D90.
Of course it's not just designed to carry a DSLR and lenses, or camcorder even, but all the associated paraphernalia (field recorder, headphones, shotgun mic and the rest). The range isn't available till July.

Op/Tech USA Super Classic c/w pro-loop & quick disconnects

Camera straps are a notoriously difficult thing to get right. Those bundled with the camera aren't usually comfortable and they stand-out a mile; making you and your camera an easy target for even the most clueless of villains.
ThinkTank Photo make a decent webbing strap, and they even bundle one with the Rotation 360 backpack but while strong and secure, it's not as comfortable over a day.
The most comfortable I've come across and use for all the camera reviews, as well as our own cameras, is the Op/Tech USA Super Classic with pro-loops (for effortless changing between cameras) and quick disconnects.
The latter feature, a pair of Fastex quick-release buckles, takes some getting used to, especially when you have a Canon 1Ds MkIII and suitably expensive L-series lens dangling from it. But for all that, we've never had an accidental spill and they come in handy when you want to remove the neoprene pad, for example, when setting the camera up on a tripod.
I would probably …

Induro C414; first impressions

I have some Induro carbon fibre tripods in for review, and my first impressions are very favourable. The top-of-the-range model, the C414, is a bit of monster, but every bit as impressive as the Gitzo equivalent.
Unlike Gitzo though, the naming convention makes a lot of sense; you can tell it's a carbon fibre model with series 4 tubing (the largest and greatest load bearing), has a centre column and 4-leg sections for a smaller pack-down size. Quoted load is 12kg, somewhat conservative in my view but I would imagine easily bearing that load when fully extended.
Body castings are magnesium alloy, though you wouldn't really know it from looking. Maybe the marketing guys need to do more there with the guys at the factory. If that wasn't enough, the Induro retail for a good deal less than the price of the Gitzo equivalents, come complete with a decent (padded) bag, tool kit and steel spikes.
I can see how they could be improved (a subject for another post, or maybe a proposal…

Olympus E-P1; two more

With all the interest in the E-P1, I thought I would add a couple more images from the firm's press centre. Note the chrome finish zoom, previously only shown in black. I rather like it, but I suspect the black finish zoom will be paired with future, as yet unannounced, camera models.

Maybe those will be furnished with EVFs (electronic viewfinders), but you're unlikely to see one with an OVF (optical viewfinder). To do well, they add a lot in terms of size and weight, not to mention the additional cost, but they're also restrictive in scope. Olympus, no doubt, have other lenses to add to the range.

So while it's a shame the E-P1 doesn't have a built-in viewfinder, it really wasn't ever going to have one. If it was to undercut the Panasonic Lumix G1 and GH1 on price, there's simply no point in offering another 'me too' product. Instead what we have now is a neat compact with a large sensor and interchangeable lenses; something akin to the Sigma DP2, …

Olympus E-P1; more images

I was trawling the Olympus press centre for a few more images of the new mFT E-P1 and I've found a couple that haven't been shown elsewhere on the net, least not that I've seen. I may post a couple more later too. That's if you're interested?

Price confirmed for Sigma 18-250mm f/3.5-6.3 DC OS HSM

Press release:

Sigma Imaging (UK) Ltd is pleased to announce that the new SIGMA 18-250mm F3.5-6.3 DC OS HSM is now available in Sony and Pentax mounts.

This lens incorporates a Hybrid Optical Stabilisation system which allows photographers to us the lens’ OS function even if the camera has a built in anti-shake system. If the photographer chooses to use the lens’ OS function, they must ensure that the camera’s built in stabiliser is switched off.

This lens has only been available in Sigma, Canon and Nikon fit for two months and has already won two international awards including the 2009 TIPA Best Entry Level Lens award.

Four Special Low Dispersion glass elements and three aspherical lens elements provide excellent image quality throughout the entire zoom range. This lens has a minimum focusing distance of 45cm (17.7 inches) at all focal lengths and a maximum magnification ratio of 1: 3.4, making it ideal for close-up photography. The lens incorporates super multi-layer coating to reduce g…

Sigma confirms price of new 10-20mm f/3.5 zoom

UK press release:

Sigma Imaging (UK) Ltd is pleased to announce that the suggested retail price of the new SIGMA 10-20mm F3.5 EX DC HSM will be £649.99. This new lens will run alongside the current Sigma 10-20mm f/4-5.6 EX DC HSM and is expected to be available in the UK in July for Sigma, Canon and Nikon fit, with Sony and Pentax fit arriving in August.

This super wide-angle lens has a maximum aperture of F3.5 throughout the entire zoon range. Its wide angle of view from 102.4 degrees produces striking images with exaggerated perspective. The maximum aperture of F3.5 is ideal for indoor shooting and it enables photographers to emphasise the subject.

Two ELD (Extraordinary Low Dispersion) glass elements and one SLD (Special Low Dispersion) glass element provide excellent correction of colour aberrations. Four aspherical lenses provide correction for distortion and allow its compact and lightweight construction. The Super Multi-Layer coating reduces flare and ghosting ensuring high image …

Olympus rewrite history with digital PEN

Olympus has officially released the mFT Digital Pen, we'll have more details later. However, in the meantime head over to the Olympus USA site for sample videos and stills.
UK press release :

The Olympus Pen: a legend returns

London, 16 June 2009

In 1959, Olympus changed the face of photography by pursuing one simple idea: create a camera as easy to use and carry as a pen. Designed by renowned style guru Yoshihisa Maitani, the Olympus Pen triggered a camera boom that would last through the end of the 1970s. Today the legend comes alive again in digital form with the release of the E-P1. This first groundbreaking Olympus Micro Four Thirds model comes at a time when mirrors are no longer a necessary component for digital cameras with interchangeable lenses. Incredibly small size, retro style, and ease of use are a nod to the Pen’s past. However, D-SLR quality and a host of new features place the E-P1 at the leading edge as Olympus innovative technologies reimagine the future. Now everyo…

Hahnemühle Anniversary Photo Award: Reminder for entries

3 Weeks to go: Deadline 30th June

Hahnemühle celebrates its 425th Anniversary this year: join in by entering the Anniversary Photo Award competition - an exciting opportunity to feature in a worldwide travelling exhibition, receive the Hahnemühle Anniversary Photo Award and win valuable prizes (total prize giveaway worth €36,000 for winners and universities/colleges of entrants in the student category). The winners will be showcased in the photo capitals of Europe, America and Asia.

Info at or email ukmarketing(at)

Light and Land opens doors...

Press release:

9 June 2009

Light & Land - the UK’s leading photographic tour company - has opened the doors for its 2009 Discovery Day. The event is to be held on 6th December, at Wokefield Park Executive Centre near Reading.
Tickets for Light & Land’s inspirational celebration of landscape photography normally sell fast - with the unique opportunity to meet some of the finest outdoor photographers in the UK.
This year, there’s an exciting line-up of speakers already confirmed, including Charlie Waite, David Ward, Joe Cornish, Niall Benvie, Ben Osborne and a brand new guest speaker – William Cheung – ex editor of Photography Monthly magazine.
Will has many years of experience as a photographer himself, as well as having been editor of some of the biggest photography mags in the industry and will be giving invaluable insight on how to get your work published.

There’s also a brand new event for the afternoon; Charlie Waite, Joe Cornish and David Ward have set themselves a compact …

Sigma DP2 samples

Sigma DP2, 1/15 sec at f/2.8. ISO200. Converted from X3F file in Photo Pro v3.3

According to several review sites and price comparison websites the Sigma DP2 has been out in the USA for a while, but that's not the case here in Blighty. In fact it's not on retailers shelves as yet. Still, we've had a DP2 for a few days, courtesy of Sigma UK and thought we would post the first of a few sample shots.
Although we have some mighty impressive samples to share, the DP2 is not without its faults. We've chosen this particular shot for its striking green cast in the corners of the frame, and it is, by all accounts, a pretty common event when taking high-key scenes wide-open.

Olympus Micro FourThirds camera leaked?

Is this the Olympus mFT camera we're all expecting later this month? This site seems to think so, and while I don't read Chinese, they could well be right. Looks like it's called the E-P1.
That lens is a 17mm f/2.8, the equivalent to a 35mm f/2.8. Finally looks like the Sigma DP1 and DP2 has some competition. Time will tell. Expect the official announcement in ten days time or so.