Showing posts from April, 2010

Lo-fi Friday: Aperture 3, Olympus E-PL1

Olympus E-PL1 using Diorama Art-Filter, with cross-processing in Aperture 3

Olympus E-PL1 using Diorama (Tilt-Shift) Art-Filter, original (no additional processing)

I thought I would start a new category for the weekend, Lo-fi Friday, celebrating the ease with which digital imaging allows some interesting techniques.
The first picture (top) is an out-camera Jpeg with some cross-processing applied in Aperture 3. The second below is the original Jpeg before processing in Aperture. It was shot with the delightful mFT Olympus E-PL1 and Olympus 17mm (34mm-effective) f/2.8 pancake lens, using the camera's built-in Diorama Art-Filter.
As you can just about make out the filter applies blurring with quite a sharp cut-off (based on the AF point, as far as I can tell). Saturation is bumped up quite too, but it's all automatic. You don't have to do a thing, except compose and push the button.

Nikon UK adds D90 cashback, lowers price on D5000

After the earlier announcement about the D700, Nikon UK also announced a £60/€70 cashback on the popular D90 bought between the same period (1st May 2010 to 30th June inclusive), and a price reduction on the D5000 body and 18-55mm VR kit option. The new RRP of the D5000 body is now £569.99 /€675.00, and with the kit combination is £639.99/ €758.00, although quite how that changes the street price, remains to be seen.
For more details including terms and conditions, see here.

Nikon announces promo on D700

Hot on the heels of Canon's recent rebate scheme comes the announcement of a free MB-D10 grip when you buy a Nikon D700, from participating UK dealers, between the 1st May 2010 and 30th June 2010.

For more details on the D700 grip, please see here.

Nikon announce new AF-S 200-400mm f/4 VRII

Nikon has announced the upgrade to the AF-S 200-400mm f/4 ED VR, originally launched alongside the Nikon D2H in 2003. The enhancements include four-stop VR II, Nano Crystal Coat to reduce ghosting and a new A/M mode to improve handling during AF operation.

I reviewed this lens for Digital Photographer magazine in the UK and it's outstanding, indeed it's so popular Canon is introducing a similar version to stop people switching systems to buy it. Please follow the links to buy from Adoroma ($6,999.00) in the US, or Jessops (£4,987.95 inv VAT) in the UK.

Read the full press release:

RRP: £6249.99 / €7400.00 /$6,999
Sales start date: 28th May 2010

April 27th 2010: Nikon UK today announces a new super telephoto zoom lens – the AF-S NIKKOR 200-400mm f/4G ED VR II. This lens replaces the highly acclaimed AF-S Zoom NIKKOR 200-400mm f/4G IF-ED VR and features the new generation of Vibration Reduction technology…

Leica intro new V-Lux 20

Leica has introduced a new digital compact camera. The 12.1 megapixel V-Lux 20 boasts a 12x optical zoom, the equivalent of a 25-300mm f/3.3-4.9, 3-inch 460k dot LCD and built-in GPS geo-tagging. The suggested retail price in the UK is £495 and it's expected to be available from next month (May).
More information can be found here.

As a side-note, it's always interesting to see the EXIF data from press shots. Most leave it in unintentionally. We've seen Olympus use the (Nikon) D3x recently with their E-PL1, Nikon using a Phase One P20, and now Leica using their sadly discontinued R8 with DMR digital back. At least they're using their own products...*
Canon's agency carefully strip their EXIF data, so we've no-idea what they use (Phase One, most likely), still if there's a manufacturer who'd like to know how to remove this revealing info before publication, please contact me.

* I had a spokesperson from Leica contact me today about this, and they intend to u…

Leica announce firmware update for S2

Leica has announced a firmware update for their ultra-high end S2 and S2P. The headline news here really is the addition of exposure correction in the viewfinder, which was an oversight, but all the other tweaks will be welcomed too.
Press release from Leica UK:

Firmware update for LEICA S2

22 April 2010: Leica Camera AG has announced a firmware update (v. for the LEICA S2 and S2-P, which will be downloadable from today under the Leica Owners’ Area on the Leica web site at:

Below is the full list of improvements provided by this firmware update:

Extended camera functionality

· Additional HMI white balance preset added (Hydrargyrum Medium-arc Iodide lamps)
· Additional viewfinder information: exposure correction
· Custom setting for depth of field preview button
· Selectable OLED screen standby time
· Control element lock (shutter speed and aperture dials can now be locked to prevent inadvertent shifts)
· …

Adobe release Lightroom 2.7

Adobe has released the final versions of Lightroom 2.7 , Photoshop Camera Raw 5.7, and DNG converter 5.7. Adding raw support for nine new cameras including the Canon EOS 550D / Rebel T2i / Kiss x4 Digital, Sony A450, Panasonic G2 and G10, and the Olympus E-PL1, the updates are available for immediate download here. The updates are free to Lightroom 2 customers.
More information on Lightroom can be found here.

Canon add further models to rebate scheme

After the news earlier in the day about the rebates on the popular PowerShot G11 and S90, Canon UK has announced the cash-back scheme will be applicable to more models in the range. Starting from today through to 22 June 2010, purchasing the PowerShot SX210IS, SX120 IS, SX20 IS and the SX1 IS (shown above) will attract rebates of £30/€35, £20/€25, £40/€45 and £50/€55 respectively.
See here (UK) or here (Ireland) for more details.

Canon offers rebates on S90 and G11

Starting from the 21 April, through to 22 June 2010, Canon UK has announced £30 / €35 rebates on their popular PowerShot G11 and S90 models .
Claims must be received by 26th July 2010.
For further details please visit here (UK), or here (Ireland).

Carl Zeiss announce primes for Canon video DSLRs

Not your usual common-or-garden SLR lenses, the newly announced Compact Primes from Carl Zeiss offer full-frame (35mm) coverage on video-DSLRs, notably Canon EF mount with Nikon F to follow. See here, for more details (look for Compact Primes).

Pentax 645 available for pre-order

Specialising in Japanese products for export, Japan Trend Shop, has announced the availability of the new Pentax 645D (in Japan only, at this time). It's expected to be in stock from Thursday 20th May, and is available for pre-order now at $10,450, body only. Shipping is just $25 extra.

If you want the newly announced, weather-resistant, DFA 55mm f/2.8 lens to go with it , be sure to select the box below (on their site). It will add another $1,254, but seems like good value to me when compared with the Leica S2.

Link to Japan Trend Shop.

Tiffen sponsor new Filter Forum

Press release:


Given the important role that filters play in photography, it is perhaps surprising that the average snapper doesn't appear to know their grads from their fogs. As an example, many DSLR users who may have 'switched codes' from film, are happy to continue employing skylight or UV filters as lens protectors. These filters have an adverse affect on a DSLR's auto white balancing systems and the only way to ensure an accurate reading is to go through the process of employing a gray scale card, which may be time consuming and inconvenient.

This is just one of the filter confusions from photographers and enthusiasts that Tiffen dedicated filter subsidiary The London Filter Company find themselves dealing with on a daily basis.

The answer to the lens protection issue, is to employ an optically pure filter from a leading brand, such as the Tiffen's ranges of Digital Ultra Clear filters, which…

Sigma 50-500mm f/5-6.3 arrives

Sigma's new 50-500mm f5-6.3 DG OS HSM has now arrived in the UK, with a suggested retail price of £1399.99. The tele-zoom is available in Sigma, Canon and Nikon fittings. Pentax and Sony will follow shortly.
Information on stockists can be found here.