Monday, 28 February 2011

The World's Most Complex Architecture In Cardboard

This is incredible, Michael Hansmeyer uses algorithms invented by Pixar and painstaking handicraft to generate colums with dizzying detail. The columns in these images are made from cardboard stand nine feet tall, weigh about 2000 pounds, and are made out of 2700 1mm-thin slices of cardboard stacked on top of wooden cores. Containing somewhere between 8 and 16 million polygonal faces -- too complex for even a 3D printer to handle, according to coDesign.com.

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"Every 3D printing facility we spoke to turned us down,"Hansmeyer tells Co.Design. "Typically those machines can't process more than 500,000 faces -- the computer memory required to process the data grows nonlinearly, and it also gets tripped up on the self-intersecting faces of the column."

  Subdivided Columns - A New Order (2010)

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An abstracted doric column is used as an input form to the subdivision processes. Unlike the minimal input of the Platonic Solids project, the abstracted column conveys a significant topographical and topological information about the form to be generated. The input form contains data about the proportions of the the column's shaft, capital, and supplemental base. It also contains information about its fluting and entasis.

The input form is tagged to allow the subdivision process to distinguish between individual components. This allows a heterogeneous application of the process, with distinct local parameters settings. In addition to distinguishing among tagged components, the process parameters can be set to vary according to the input form's topography as well as its topology. Finally, an environmental specification of parameters is possible to allow regional phenomena to occur.

The result is a series of columns that exhibit both highly specific local conditions as well as an overall coherency and continuity. The ornament is in a continuous flow, yet it consists of very distinct local formations. The complexity of column contrasts with the simplicity of its generative process.

 

Subdivided Columns - Fabrication

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 A full-scale, 2.7-meter high variant of the columns is fabricated as a layered model using 1mm sheet. Each sheet is individually cut using a mill or laser. Sheets are stacked and held together by poles that run through a common core.
The calculation of the cutting path for each sheet takes place in several steps. First, the six million faces of the 3D model are intersected with a plane representing the sheet. This step generates a series of individual line segments that are tested for self-intersection and subsequently combined to form polygons. Next, a polygon-in-polygon test deletes interior polygons. A series of filters then ensures that convex polygons with peninsulas maintain a mininimum isthmus width. In a final step, an interior offset is calculated with the aim of hollowing out the slice to reduce weight.
While the mean diameter of the column is 50cm, the circumference as measured by the cutting path can reach up to 8 meters due to jaggedness and frequent reversals of curvature. The initial prototype uses 1mm grey board. Tests using ABS, wood, as well as metal are under way.

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Michael Hansmeyer is an architect and programmer who explores the use of algorithms and computation to generate architectural form. He is currently based in the CAAD group at ETH's architecture department in Zurich. He holds an MBA degree from Insead Fontainebleau as well as a Master of Architecture degree from Columbia University. He previously worked with McKinsey & Company, J.P. Morgan, and at Herzog & de Meuron architects.

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To see more of these incredible images go to Michael-Hansmeyer.com

Top 10 Photography iPad Apps Of February 2011

There have been some sensational photography apps approved this month in the App Store. We have selected the top 10 most popular most downloaded, most useful and innovative apps to help you select the best apps for your magical device. Take a look at these...

HelloPhoto

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HelloPhoto is here to resurrect photos taken on slides and negatives, reviving an art form that's slowly being overlooked in this digital era.

Using the various functions of HelloPhoto, you can simply do the following:
• Use the light table function to view, sort, and photograph your slides and negatives.
• Use the light table's adjustments to enhance your slides and negatives before photographing them.
• Use the camera to take photos of your slides and negatives, thus freeing them from obscurity and allowing you to share and post them.

$0.99/Download

PhotoSync - wirelessly transfers your photos and videos

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PhotoSync will transform your photo handling forever.

Simple transfer
Just select, choose target and you’re done. No need to be in front of your computer or entering IP-Addresses! Sending will continue in the background – even if you receive phone calls or are playing your favorite games.

No limitations
One or thousands of photos/videos from your last trip – you can transfer them all at once.

Smart
PhotoSync keeps track of your actions and notes which photos/videos have already been transferred from your camera roll. Transfer new photos/videos with just one touch!

$1.99/Download

Artify

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Artify turns your photos into works of art - instantly.
- Take or import photos and transform them with a single touch of the "Artify!" button into impressionistic artwork
- Reveal faces or other detail with a stroke of your finger, for a gorgeous mix of soft and sharp that will delight your friends and family
- Customize and create your own unique version of a favorite pic by turning your fingertip into a small, medium or large brush.
- Hit "Clear" to start again from a clean copy of the original photo
- Nothing to "learn" - Artify is instant and intuitive. One touch and your favorite photo is a masterpiece
- Share your artified pics in email, or post to Facebook or Twitter right from the app
- New photos and artified works are autosaved to camera roll for you to keep
- Create unlimited Artified versions of your pics. Each time you "Artify!" you create a unique interpretation of the image

$0.99/Download

George Lange Studio

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This app was developed for the ipad from the ground up to show the way the images all relate to each other - from personal work to commercial images and everything in between. This app offers a unique opportunity to explore photography based on concepts rather than events. The experience of viewing these on an ipad brings the images straight to your fingertips, making a connection between you and the images with the tablet’s visual clarity.

Free/Download

DSLR Camera Remote HD

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DSLR Camera Remote HD is the next-generation cable release for your Canon or Nikon DSLR camera. Just connect your camera to a WiFi enabled computer and you can instantly adjust its settings, fire the shutter, review images, get a live viewfinder preview, even start video recording using your iPad. DSLR Camera Remote HD is a must-have for remote shooting applications like high or low angles, self-portraits and studio photography. With its advanced bracketing and intervalometers, makes shooting for animation and HDR incredibly simple. All you need is your Canon EOS or Nikon DSLR and a WiFi enabled computer to start shooting now.

$49.99/Download

Wall Pics for Facebook - Millions of Fun Photos, Emoticons and Videos to Share

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Update your Facebook status, as well as post to you and your friend's Facebook walls, using MILLIONS of fun:

★ Animations*
★ Emoticons
★ Clip Art
★ Photos
★ Wallpapers
★ Videos
★ Symbols
★ Your own photos and images

$0.99/Download

PhotoRocket

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PhotoRocket's not just a mobile solution but part of a family of photo sharing apps for many devices: PhotoRocket for Windows is available now and PhotoRocket for Mac is coming soon.

Features for photo sharing fanatics

• Share multiple photos at the same time
• Share to sites and people simultaneously
• Eliminates typical email sharing problems
• Full res copies backed up automatically
• Great stand-alone app
• Also available as an app for PC or Mac

Free/Download

Geo Album

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Browse your photos on standard map or satellite map without drift issue!

★ Browser photos on maps. (support standard map and satellite map).
★ Photos taken in China can be displayed correctly on China map.
★ View GPS EXIF information.
★ Locate photo in the map.
★ Common current location drift issue in China region also can be fixed using Geo Album.

$0.99/Download

Grungetastic HD

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Grungetastic for the Photographer that loves everything grungy. Simple, fast, and the output is something very much less than elegant.

Grungetastic is the very best at creating grunge, distorted, and distressed images. If you are looking for a clean elegant photo then you are in the wrong place!

With a few taps of your finger Grungetastic will transform your photo into a grungy work of art.

You control everything from colors, to multiple overlays, to borders. The possibilities are truly endless. Don't settle for a simple app that gives you a few chosen styles when you can choose from infinite combinations.

$1.99/Download

Best Album for iPad

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Best Album is one the best photo organizer apps on the app store.
1. Best Album access iPad photo database and create links for photos/videos, instead of duplicate copies. With those links, you are able to reorganize photos/videos into album and sub-album.
2. Good looking user interface, even you can change theme to make it better for you.
3. Drag and drop to sort Albums and photos
4. You're able to view the detail information of photos: exif/tiff tags and geo tag.

$3.99/Download

We have free codes of this app to giveaway, if you would like one just reply to this post telling us what you love most about TheAppWhisperer.com.

MacBook Pro 480GB SSD Upgrade

MyService has announced a new 512GB (480GB usable) Solid State Drive upgrade for the MacBook and MacBook Pro. These new drives by OWC are the largest laptop SSD drives available. MyService has these drives and the complete line of OWC Mercury Pro SSD drives ranging from 120GB to 480GB in stock.

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Made from flash memory chips similar to those in digital cameras, iPods and the iPhone, Solid State Drives (also known as SSDs) have a number of advantages. With no moving parts, they are extremely reliable. Compared to mechanical hard drives they are quieter, lighter, use less power and generate less heat, all positives for any laptop.

All significant, but the real advantage is performance. Solid State Drives can read data at speeds many times faster than traditional hard drives because there are no spinning parts. Any data, stored anywhere on the drive, can be accessed at any time. Programs start up faster, videos and images load faster, and overall, the Mac will feel remarkably faster.

MyService makes the upgrade process fast and easy. No phone trees, no appointments, just awesome service. MyService takes care of all the shipping and delivers a custom laptop shipping container straight to your door. Once your Mac arrives at MyService, an Apple Certified technician will install the new drive and transfer the data over from your old drive. If your old hard drive is failing, a new operating system is installed. All drives feature a 3 year warranty.

Since MyService is an Apple Authorized Service Provider, the 480GB SSD upgrade will not void your Apple warranty. After the service is completed, your laptop is cleaned, tested and sent back to you, along with your old drive. All services are completed within 24 hours of arrival.

MyService

Thursday, 24 February 2011

DPOTY Awards 2010 winners announced

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The winners of Digital Photographer magazine's DPOTY Awards 2010 have been announced today with the overall Digital Photographer of the Year award going to Emma Goulder. Six further category winners and the runners up feature in a special supplement, free with the current issue (106) of the magazine. For more information please see the press release below.
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Digital Photographer of the Year Awards 2010 winners announced
Leading prosumer photography magazine celebrates the culmination of its popular annual photographic competition
The winners of the Digital Photographer of the Year Awards 2010 have been announced in Issue 106 of Digital Photographer, on sale today. All the winners and runners up feature in a beautiful glossy supplement, free with this issue of the magazine.
The DPOTY Awards 2010, launched in July last year and has received an unprecedented response, with more than triple the amount of entries than the previous year’s competition.
The category winners for 2010 are:
Overall Digital Photographer of the Year – Emma Goulder
Landscape Digital Photographer of the Year – Glyn Fletcher
Portrait Digital Photographer of the Year – Mo Ayyad
Wildlife Digital Photographer of the Year – Peter Denness
Travel Digital Photographer of the Year –  David Burden
Action Digital Photographer of the Year – Adrian Gunawan
Creative Digital Photographer of the Year – Branko Stojanovic
Editor Rosie Tanner said, “It’s been a fantastic contest, with thousands and thousands of quality entries submitted. The portrait category was of a particularly high standard, making it very difficult to judge.”
The competition judges also included Editor in Chief, Debbi Allen, The Guardian Newspaper picture editor, Eamonn McCabe, Photography expert, Will Cheung and General Manager of Marketing
Digital Imaging Division at Samsung, Steve Mitchell.
Steve Mitchell, said, “Judging the DP Awards was challenging due to the high standard of the entries in all categories. It was inspiring to see both the creative choice of subjects and compositions, as well as the strong technical abilities of the readers. Well done to everybody who entered, not just the winners, and I hope I have the opportunity again to be involved in judging future awards.”
Advertising Manager, Jennifer Farrell said, “The Digital Photographer of the Year Awards 2010 has been a resounding success. The Samsung sponsorship has provided fantastic prizes and support, which has made the 2010 awards our best yet. Every year our awards have grown in popularity and we are looking forward to seeing DPOTY 2011 build on this great success.”
Each category winner wins a Samsung EX1 camera and Samsung 4GB SDHC Plus card and the overall winner scoops a fantastic Samsung NX10 camera with three lenses, a flash gun and memory card.
Digital Photographer Issue 106 is now on sale. Get your copy and your free awards supplement with the magazine or online at www.imagineshop.co.uk
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Focus accuracy with AF-S Nikkor 35mm f/1.4 G

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We've had a Nikon AF-S Nikkor 35mm f/1.4G in from Nikon for a while and Datacolor recently sent a SpyderLENSCAL for review, so with the controversy over the AF performance of some copies, we thought we would post some sample shots taken at f/1.4 using the camera's phase-detection (viewfinder) AF mode.

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The SpyderLENSCAL is a test target for calibrating lens/camera focus accuracy. You simply photograph the target and read-off the point of actual focus from the fixed ruler to the left.

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This is a close up of the image above, which was a crop at 1:1 taken from a distance of about 3 or 4 feet. You can see some longitudinal chromatic aberration, but the AF accuracy is spot on. The lens was manually set to the minimum focus distance, and then the shutter button was pressed to initiate AF and capture the picture, as you would take a shot hand-held (the D700 was actually on a tripod).

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The same procedure was repeated with the lens set to to infinity this time (and repeated several times over - I might add).

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This is the close up of the crop above - with a similar result to the first. I would say this combination was working well, I can see no reason to adjust it. Note the slight axial (longitudinal) chromatic aberration, though.

 

Nik software starts shipping Silver Efex Pro 2

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Nik Software Releases Silver Efex Pro™ 2

Powerful new features build on Silver Efex Pro’s legacy of offering the best tool for creating stunning black and white images

 

Hamburg – February 24th, 2011 – Nik Software today begins shipping Silver Efex Pro 2, a major upgrade to its award-winning Silver Efex Pro software. Many photographers regard Silver Efex Pro as the leading solution for creating black-and-white images, delivering new features, better performance, and an improved workflow. Silver Efex Pro 2 offers a unique darkroom-inspired workflow and the ability to fine-tune images with precise selective adjustments powered by U Point technology. To learn why Silver Efex Pro is the leading black-and-white imaging software, users can watch training videos, download a free trial, download visual preset styles, and join live online training sessions here.

“Nearly every pro I know already uses Silver Efex Pro to create their B&W conversions, but I can tell you this: they'll all be upgrading to version 2 the minute it comes out. It's that good!” said Scott Kelby, President, National Association of Photoshop Professionals (NAPP). “Nik Software really gets the whole user experience for photographers, and you can see that attention to detail throughout Silver Efex Pro 2. When it comes to creating fine art black and white conversions, this changes everything,” Kelby concluded.

Silver Efex Pro 2 introduces new features that offer even more control over image detail, contrast, and tonality, making it easier to go beyond the limits of the traditional darkroom. The software’s new features include the History Browser for endless experimentation, revolutionary algorithms such as Dynamic Brightness, Amplify Blacks and Whites, Soft Contrast, and Fine Structure, plus finishing touches like Image Borders and selective colorization.

Nik Software’s proprietary U Point® technology provides revolutionary selective editing by enabling photographers to make the precise detail, contrast, and tonality enhancements necessary for amazing black-and-white images, without the need for complicated selections or layer masks. The selective enhancements applied through U Point technology are automatically blended throughout an image for natural results.

 

Key Features
    •    NEW History Browser facilitates intuitive comparison of previous edits and different looks
    •    NEW Dynamic Brightness enables adaptive brightening adjustments for different areas in the image
    •    NEW Amplify Blacks and Amplify Whites increases the presence of highlights and shadows adaptively throughout the image, creating a unique contrast effect
    •    NEW Visual Presets categorized by photographic style provide great, single-click starting points, which can be customized and shared with others. Photographers who wish to download and contribute their own presets can view submit them here.
    •    NEW Soft Contrast applies contrast intelligently based on image details, creating a less harsh contrast and bringing a stylized mood and depth to images
    •    NEW Fine Structure brings out even the smallest details and textures resulting in more visible image detail without creating an over-sharpened look
    •    NEW Image Borders use organic image elements to create unique and completely random borders, giving classic darkroom-style edges a modern look with infinite possibilities
    •    NEW Selective colorization easily adds color elements back into images utilizing U Point technology to precisely select objects
    •    NEW GPU Processing takes full advantage of the processors found on advanced display adapters providing even faster performance

Pricing and Availability

Silver Efex Pro 2 is available directly from Nik Software and through specialty resellers. A list of Nik Software resellers may be found here.

The suggested retail price of Silver Efex Pro 2 is 199.95 €. Upgrades from the first version are 99.95 € (all prices incl. VAT). Customers who purchased Silver Efex Pro or a Nik Software Complete Collection after January 17th, 2011 are eligible for a free upgrade.

Silver Efex Pro 2 installs as a 32-bit and 64-bit plug-in for Adobe® Photoshop® CS4 or later, Adobe Photoshop Lightroom® 2.6 or later (Windows® and Macintosh®) or Apple® Aperture™ 2.1.4 or later (Macintosh). For more information about Silver Efex Pro 2, including video tutorials, live online training, and a free 15-day fully functional trial version, please visit here.

Apple shows preview of Mac OS X Lion

Apple Releases Developer Preview of Mac OS X Lion

CUPERTINO, California—February 24, 2011—Apple today released a developer preview of Mac OS X Lion, which takes some of the best ideas from iPad and brings them back to the Mac for the eighth major release of the world’s most advanced operating system. Lion features Mission Control, an innovative new view of everything running on your Mac; Launchpad, a new home for all your Mac apps; full screen apps that use the entire Mac display; and new Multi-Touch gestures. Lion also includes the Mac App Store, the best place to discover, install and automatically update Mac apps. The Lion preview is available to Mac Developer Program members through the Mac App Store today, and the final version of Lion will ship to customers this summer.

“The iPad has inspired a new generation of innovative features in Lion,” said Philip Schiller, Apple’s senior vice president of Worldwide Product Marketing. “Developers are going to love Mission Control and Launchpad, and can now start adding great new Lion features like full screen, gestures, Versions and Auto Save to their own apps.”

Mission Control is a powerful, entirely new feature that unifies Exposé, Dashboard, Spaces, and full screen apps to give you a bird’s eye view of every app and window running on your Mac. With a simple swipe, your desktop zooms out to display your open windows grouped by app, thumbnails of your full screen apps as well as your Dashboard, and allows you to instantly navigate anywhere with a click.

Launchpad makes it easier than ever to find and launch any app. With a single click, Launchpad displays all your Mac apps in a stunning full screen layout where you can launch, re-order or organise apps into folders. You can also arrange apps into multiple pages and swipe between them.

Lion brings the full screen experience that iPad users love to the Mac. With one click, your application window goes full screen, taking advantage of your Mac’s brilliant display. You can swipe from one full screen window to another and even back to your Desktop or Dashboard.

New Multi-Touch gestures and fluid animations give you a natural and intuitive way to interact with your Mac. New gestures include pinching your fingers to zoom in on a web page or image, swiping left or right to turn a page or switch between full screen apps and swiping up to enter Mission Control.

Lion also includes the Mac App Store, where you can find great new apps, buy them with your iTunes account, and download and install them in just one step. Apps purchased from the Mac App Store are installed directly into Launchpad. 

Additional features in Lion include:

· a new version of Mail, with an elegant, widescreen layout inspired by the iPad; Conversations, which automatically groups related messages into one easy to read timeline; more powerful search; and support for Microsoft Exchange 2010;
· AirDrop, a remarkably simple way to copy files wirelessly from one Mac to another with no setup;
· Versions, which automatically saves successive versions of your document as you create it, and gives you an easy way to browse, edit and even revert to previous versions; 
· Resume, which conveniently brings your apps back exactly how you left them when you restart your Mac or quit and relaunch an app; 
· Auto Save, which automatically saves your documents as you work;
· the all new FileVault, that provides high performance full disk encryption for local and external drives, and the ability to wipe data from your Mac instantaneously; and 
· Mac OS X Lion Server, which makes setting up a server easier than ever and adds support for managing Mac OS X Lion, iPhone, iPad and iPod touch devices. 

Apple updates MacBook Pro

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Apple Updates MacBook Pro with Next Generation Processors, Graphics & Thunderbolt I/O Technology

CUPERTINO, California—February 24, 2011—Apple today updated the industry-leading MacBook Pro family with next generation processors and graphics, high-speed Thunderbolt I/O technology and a new FaceTime HD camera. Featuring the very latest dual-core and quad-core Intel Core processors, the entire MacBook Pro line is up to twice as fast as the previous generation.* 

“The new MacBook Pro brings next generation dual and quad Core processors, high performance graphics, Thunderbolt technology and FaceTime HD to the great design loved by our pro customers,” said Philip Schiller, Apple’s senior vice president of Worldwide Product Marketing. “Thunderbolt is a revolutionary new I/O technology that delivers an amazing 10 gigabits per second and can support every important I/O standard which is ideal for the new MacBook Pro.”

Starting at £999.00 inc VAT (£832.50 ex VAT) the new 13-inch MacBook Pro offers amazing value and performance in a compact design. The highly portable 13-inch MacBook Pro features Intel Core i5 and Core i7 dual-core processors up to 2.7 GHz and Intel HD Graphics 3000. The powerful 15-inch and 17-inch MacBook Pro models feature quad-core Core i7 processors up to 2.3 GHz and AMD Radeon HD graphics processors with up to 1GB of video memory for high performance gaming, pro video editing and graphics intensive applications.

MacBook Pro is the first computer on the market to include the groundbreaking Thunderbolt I/O technology. Developed by Intel with collaboration from Apple, Thunderbolt enables expandability never before possible on a notebook computer. Featuring two bi-directional channels with transfer speeds up to an amazing 10Gbps each, Thunderbolt delivers PCI Express directly to external high performance peripherals such as RAID arrays, and can support FireWire and USB consumer devices and Gigabit Ethernet networks via adapters. Thunderbolt also supports DisplayPort for high resolution displays and works with existing adapters for HDMI, DVI and VGA displays. Freely available for implementation on systems, cables and devices, Thunderbolt technology is expected to be widely adopted as a new standard for high performance I/O.

The MacBook Pro now includes a built-in FaceTime HD camera with triple the resolution of the previous generation for crisp, widescreen video calls. With Apple’s innovative FaceTime video calling software, the new camera allows high definition video calls between all new MacBook Pro models and supports standard resolution calls with other Intel-based Macs, iPhone 4 and the current generation iPod touch. FaceTime is included with all new MacBook Pro models and is available for other Intel-based Macs from the Mac App Store for £0.59. The MacBook Pro lineup continues to feature its gorgeous aluminium unibody enclosure, glass Multi-Touch™ trackpad, LED-backlit widescreen display, illuminated full-size keyboard and 7-hour battery.**

As the industry’s greenest notebook lineup, every Mac notebook achieves EPEAT Gold status and meets Energy Star 5.0 requirements, setting the standard for environmentally friendly notebook design.*** Each unibody enclosure is made of highly recyclable aluminium and comes standard with energy efficient LED-backlit displays that are mercury-free and made with arsenic-free glass. Mac notebooks contain no brominated flame retardants, are PVC-free and are constructed with recyclable materials.

Every Mac comes with Mac OS X Snow Leopard, the world’s most advanced operating system, and iLife, Apple’s innovative suite of applications for creating and sharing great photos, movies and music. Snow Leopard builds on more than a decade of innovation and includes multiple features for portable computing such as Multi-Touch navigation, advanced wireless networking, easy file sharing, automated data backup and intelligent power management. The new iLife ’11 features iPhoto with stunning full screen views for browsing, editing and sharing photos; iMovie with powerful easy-to-use tools to transform home videos into fun theatrical trailers; and GarageBand with new ways to improve your playing and create great sounding songs.

Pricing & Availability 
The new 13-inch MacBook Pro, 15-inch MacBook Pro and 17-inch MacBook Pro are available through the Apple Store (www.apple.com/uk), Apple’s retail stores and Apple Authorised Resellers. The 13-inch MacBook Pro is available in two configurations: one with a 2.3 GHz Dual-Core Intel Core i5 and 320GB hard drive starting at £999.00 inc VAT (£832.50 ex VAT); and one with a 2.7 GHz Dual-Core Intel Core i5 and 500GB hard drive starting at £1299.00 inc VAT (£1082.50 ex VAT). The new 15-inch MacBook Pro is available in two models: one with a 2.0 GHz Quad-Core Intel Core i7, AMD Radeon HD 6490M and 500GB hard drive starting at £1549.00 inc VAT (£1290.83 ex VAT) and one with a 2.2 GHz Quad-Core Intel Core i7, AMD Radeon HD 6750M and 750GB hard drive starting at £1849.00 inc VAT (£1540.83 ex VAT). The new 17-inch MacBook Pro features a 2.2 GHz Quad-Core Intel Core i7, AMD Radeon HD 6750M and 750GB hard drive and is priced at £2099.00 inc VAT (£1749.17 ex VAT). 

Configure-to-order options include faster quad-core processors up to 2.3 GHz, additional hard drive capacity up to 750GB, solid state storage up to 512GB, more memory up to 8GB DDR3, antiglare and high-resolution display options and AppleCare Protection Plan. Additional technical specifications and configure-to-order options and accessories are available online at www.apple.com/uk/macbookpro.

I'm told B&H in New York sells more Macs than Apple, you can see the prices here.

Monday, 21 February 2011

Canon pulls out of Focus on Imaging show

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UK magazines AP and BJP have both reported today that Canon has pulled out of this year's Focus on Imaging show, the largest UK photography show and the second most important show in Europe after Photokina. This is not the first time Canon has pulled out from Focus, which takes place over the 6-9th March at the NEC Birmingham, the camera giant missed the show in 2008.

Source AP, BJP

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OnOne Software Update DSLR Camera Remote Professional iPhone Edition

OnOne Software now have three iOS DSL Camera Remote Professional apps in the app store, these include one full iPhone version, one lite iPhone version and an iPad HD edition too. OnOne have just updated the iPhone versions and we have detailed what's included below.

This app allows you to connect your camera to a WiFi enabled computer so that you can instantly adjust its settings, fire the shutter, review images, get a live viewfinder preview, even start video recording (in-app purchase required) using your Apple iOS device. With its advanced bracketing and intervalometers, makes shooting for animation and HDR incredibly simple.

What's New

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Added support for new cameras
• Canon 60D
• Nikon D7000

Improved preview zoom and pan
Save a low res version of an image to your device
Start, monitor and stop video recording on supported cameras (in-app purchase required)

 

Important Note

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DSLR Camera Remote requires the free server software on a Mac OSX or Windows host computer. You can download the server software from www.ononesoftware.com/iPhone.

 

Key Features

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• Remotely fire your DSLR Camera over any WiFi network
• Remotely adjust your DSLR Camera settings like White Balance, Shutter Speed, Aperture and Exposure Compensation
• Image Review lets you see the image you just photographed from your DSLR Camera on your iOS device
• LiveView mode lets you see through the camera's viewfinder right on your iPhone or iPod touch (requires the use of a supported camera)
• Start, monitor and stop video recording on supported cameras (in-app purchase required)
• Intervalometer – This lets you create a custom self-timer or take up to 999 shots from as little as 1 second apart to up to 1 day apart.
• Auto Bracketing mode for expanded exposure brackets, perfect for HDR.
• Burst Mode for continuous shooting.
• Great for difficult camera angles where it is difficult to see through the viewfinder
• Use it for self-portraits, you can compose and review your shot without having to move to the camera
• Use it for remote firing at weddings and sporting events

Supported Cameras

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Canon EOS
- EOS Rebel XT/350D/Kiss Digital N
- EOS Rebel XTi/400D/Kiss Digital X
- EOS Rebel Xsi/450D/Kiss X2
- EOS Rebel XS/1000D/KISS F
- EOS Rebel T1i/500D/Kiss X3
- EOS Rebel T2i/550D/Kiss X4
- EOS 20D
- EOS 30D
- EOS 40D
- EOS 50D
- EOS 60D
- EOS 5D
- EOS 5D Mark II
- EOS 7D
- EOS-1D Mark II
- EOS-1Ds Mark II
- EOS-1D Mark II N
- EOS-1D Mark III
- EOS-1Ds Mark III
- EOS-1D Mark IV

Nikon
- D40/D40x
- D60
- D80
- D90
- D5000
- D7000
- D200
- D300
- D300s
- D700
- D3
- D3x
- D3s

Note: Feature availability varies from camera to camera. Check the onOne website for details on your camera.

 

Download/iPhone Full $19.99
Download/iPhone Lite
Download/iPad HD $49.99

Kodak Launch New Film - Professional Portra 160

Today Kodak introduced the new Kodak professional Portra 160 film, featuring a significantly finer grain structure in a 160-speed colour negative film.  The new Kodak professional Portra 160 film incorporates Kodak's advanced cubic emulsions to achieve this finer grain. Like the new Kodak professional Portra 400 film, Kodak professional Portra 160 film also employs Kodak vision film technology and antenna dye sensitisation in the magenta emulsion layers. photographers can trust the new Kodak professional Portra 160 film to deliver exceptional skin tones, the hallmark of the Kodak professional Portra film family.  Kodak showcased the new film today at the annual WPPI trade show in Las Vegas.

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“as film making technology evolves, we continue to seek ways to improve our films to better serve the professional film shooter,” said Dennis Olbrich, general manager, film, paper and output systems, and vice president, film, photofinishing and entertainment group, Kodak. “Kodak is leading the way, delivering innovative product improvements designed to optimise scanning and enlargement in today’s workflow.” 
 

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With the new Kodak professional Portra 160 film, photographers looking for ultimate quality now have an unmatched portfolio from which to select, including the recently announced Kodak professional Portra 400 film and the award winning Kodak professional Ektar 100 film. together, this new family of Kodak colour negative films offers an extraordinary palette of colour, speed, latitude and unmatched fine grain for superior performance in every shooting situation.
 
“I found the versatility of the new Portra 160 film simply astounding. so many elements of it make my job easier. the latitude has freed me up to approach each shoot uniquely,” Ryan Muirhead, a professional photographer based in the United States.  “the new Portra 160 is also a dream to scan. Everything I love about photography takes place behind a camera; everything I hate about photography takes place behind a computer. With this new film, using the proper exposure, I often find myself cutting Photoshop out of my workflow. As a result, I spend more time shooting and less time editing - priceless.”
 
The new Kodak professional Portra 160 film will be available in 35 mm, 120/220, 4x5 and 8x10 sheet format, beginning march 2011. it replaces the existing Kodak professional Portra 160nc and 160vc film offerings on a stock turnover basis.

PhotoVoice add extra dates to 2011 workshop series

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PhotoVoice, the UK based charity, has announced three further dates for their workshop series on designing and running participatory photography projects. For more information please see the mail out below.

 

 

Designing and running participatory photography projects March 23-25th 2011

Due to overwhelming demand we have decided to add an extra set of dates to our workshop programme for 2011. 'Designing, running and facilitating a participatory photography project' is for photographers, social change practitioners and other professionals. We focus on the key things you need to consider to design and deliver a participatory photography project, and provide resources, games and activities that can be used in workshops.

The workshop will cover:
What is participatory photography
The benefits and limitations of participatory photography
Facilitating participatory workshops 
Designing participatory photography projects and the project cycle
Exploring participation
Risk and safety
Ethics and informed consent
Images and Audience

 

Book your place here, or visit the PhotoVoice site.

Top 10 Price Drops In The iOS Photography App Store - 02/21/11

Price drops are always occuring in the App Store, we're here to help you know what they are so you don't miss out on a bargain, take a look at these photography apps for example...

Xtrafolio Photo Portfolio Professional

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This application provides you the possibility to personalise and the control to use your iPad as a professional photo Portfolio. With the Xtrafolio application your iPad will look as if it were designed especially for you.

Only you will be able to enter the hidden edit menu, with an optional passcode. You can change the way it looks, so it will fit your personal style. Change Background colours, change Folder colours even change Folder text colours. Add your Company Logo, use the optional Home Page where you can provide your client with information about you or your projects. Add a Watermark to the emailed images, add info to each image, change the sequence or delete images within Folders, the list is endless.

This is a must have app for any serious creative professional who want to use the iPad as a portfolio to show their work!

Half price $11.99/Download

Mega Camera

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➤ All-In-One Multifunction camera app with MEGA Features
➤ On Sale For a Limited time ONLY
➤ Now with Geo-Tagging & Print option

Mega Camera is a full function camera app with over 25 customizable filters and effects that enables you to see the results LIVE before you take a picture. It also has a super fast burst mode and many photo editing features that enable you to create unique and fun pictures quickly and easily.

Whether you want to take sports photos or picture of kids, Mega Camera enables you to take up to 50 burst mode photos at rates of up to 20 shots per second, so you won't miss those special moments. You can also apply any of our filters and effects to all those photos as you take them and keep only the shots that you want.

You can also have fun with the live effects mode of Mega Camera, where you can watch a funny, distorted, or just different, world in full screen on your iPhone or iPod.

30% off $1.99/Download

GPS MapCard 2

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GPS MapCard is FREE until 40,000 download for purpose of wide testing.

∙ Save your photo with map.
∙ Excellent quality with attention to detail.
∙ Automatically display the address where a photo was taken.
∙ Share MapCard on Twitter.

Now free/download

Photo.net Gallery

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The online community of photo.net maintains extensive galleries of portfolios. These portfolios are from members who range from successful professionals to beginning photography enthusiasts.
In any case, the quality of images provided on photo.net is amazingly high and this application allows to you to view the tens of thousands photos available and browse through them in a leisurely way.

A photo.net account is not needed at all to use this application although an internet connection is required.

$1.99/Download

Time Lapse Photo Journal Pro (Upload & Share Videos)

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Time Lapse Photo Journal makes it easy to create Photo Journals of your life by taking and adding photos of yourself, or your loved ones. Then you can play back the photos you take over the weeks, months and years, as Time Lapse video slideshows. And the video can be uploaded to Facebook and YouTube to share with your friends.

Now at $2.99/Download

MonoPhix HD

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**-50% for an undetermined amount of time, grab MonoPhix HD while you can**

MonoPhix lets you quickly and easily create beautiful high contrast black and white scenes from your existing pictures. After opening an image you can use two sliders to adjust the intensity of light and shadow tones. Additional features enable you to apply vignetting, color your monochrome photo, set the alpha of the black & white to blend it with the colors of your original picture to get a magnificent effect and much more. MonoPhix HD is optimized for your iPad, is fun to use and produces beautiful results.

$0.99/Download

PhotoRaw

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PhotoRaw for iOS is a viewer and developer for image files in raw format. Raw file formats from most camera manufacturers are supported, for example Nikon NEF files, Canon CR2 files, Leica DNG files, etc - see the product web site for a full list of supported cameras. PhotoRaw allows you to view these files at full 1:1 pixel resolution, even 16 mega-pixel plus images such as from a Nikon D3x or a Leica M9.

Most images viewers for the iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch are only able to display low resolution thumbnails of raw images, making it difficult to use the iPhone or iPad to evaluate and view raw files in the field. PhotoRaw changes all that. PhotoRaw incorporates a state-of-the-art AHD raw image demosaicing algorithm right into an iOS app. So now you can view every single pixel in a raw file, without needing a desktop machine or laptop.

50% Off

$9.99/download

GeoPhoto

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Browse photos from around the world: just select an area in the map, select the number of results you want and click the search button.

Free for a limited time.

Download

Rick Sammon's Light It!

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Rick Sammon’s Light It! is an iPad app that’s designed to help you make professional-quality digital SLR people pictures – without spending a small fortune on professional lighting accessories.

The app (packed with 1.5 GB of info) includes both video lessons and before/after photographs.

We suggest you download the app first to your computer and then transfer to your iPad.

Rick Sammon took the illustrative photographs with a range of digital SLR cameras – from entry-level to top-of-the-line models. While watching the video lessons, you’ll learn how pros photograph people indoors and outdoors, in bright light and in low light, at home and on location, and even in a studio. In looking at the photographs, you’ll see the effects of Rick’s recommended techniques.

50% Off

$4.99/Download

Photo Pool for iPad

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Designed with photography teachers and photography clubs in mind (not casual browsing of flickr), Photo Pool allows you to view photos from your flickr groups and view the EXIF data, giving you some insight into the photographer's methods.

For those with an external display, such as a projector, Photo Pool will also display the photographs on that secondary display.

Free for a limited time/Download

No More MacBook Pros Until Thursday - Apple

So, you're desperate for an Apple MacBook Pro, well who could blame you. Apple are not accepting anymore orders until Thursday this week.

Don't despair it means you could get your hands on a brand new model. If you take a look, as we have on the Apple US Store, you will see that the current models are shipping within 3-5 business days, usually these laptops ship in 24 hours. That's because of course the new models are due out Thursday and Apple have just adjusted the time schedule right now on their site, but not the specs. That's something still to look forward to and if the rumor mill is anything to go by, it's going to be good. With SSD 'hard drives' and Sandy Bridge chipsets amongst others, we can't wait.

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Sunday, 20 February 2011

Leica X1 review

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Along with the 35mm M9 rangefinder and ┼▒ber-expensive medium format S2, the X1 reviewed here is the more affordable of the three digital cameras designed and made by Leica in Germany.

Adopting a 12-megapixel APS-C format CMOS sensor with a fixed focal length Leica 35mm equivalent f/2.8, that retracts into the camera body the X1 is by far the smallest of the trio too, boasting a design and similar dimensions reminiscent to that of the original pre-war Leitz rangefinder cameras.

It has the same rounded body that can be found on the modern day classic 18-megapixel full-frame M9, each harking back to the days of the 35mm cassette, but thereafter the similarities end. It lacks a rangefinder system for focusing, or indeed any built-in optical finder, relying instead on the large 2.7-inch LCD to the rear for composition and a contrast-detection system for AF.

If you’re feeling flush, though, the X1 boasts an excellent, bright and clear optional optical viewfinder, but it will set you back a further £204 ex VAT. Ouch. A small LED placed near the accessory shoe flashes when the AF system has found focus, but other than that there’s no further shooting data as you might expect with an EVF.

Despite the metal body, in the hands the X1 feels strangely delicate. On the top plate two machined dials provide the user with settings for the shutter-speeds and, interestingly, apertures. Both dials have an Auto setting, for shutter and aperture-priority exposure modes while aligning the two gives you the handy program mode. It’s neat, but with aperture dial close to edge and not particularly stiff to turn we found it occasionally nudged inadvertently.

At the rear the X1 has similar controls and layout to the M9. The Leica’s various menus are straightforward to navigate but there’s one particularly frustrating anomaly. As part of the direction-pad, a dedicated self-timer button will only function if the shutter release lever is set to the self-timer mode.

As well as an additional command dial, which can be used for scrolling through menus, playback images and for manual focusing. The latter is handy particularly when used with the enlarged view option, not just for confirming focus accuracy, but also for reducing shutter-lag.

It’s a likely deal-breaker for those who had wanted the X1 for street photography, as the various AF system options are all leisurely in operation. The flip-side is that focus accuracy is some of the best we’ve seen, and the 35mm f/2.8 equivalent lens is top-notch in terms of optical quality. Wide open the lens is sharp out to the corners and needs only closing down a stop or two to produce its best performance.

Light fall off, or vignetting, was low for this type of compact too, with the corners just 0.7 stops darker at maximum aperture. Unlike some rivals the X1’s image processing engine doesn’t remove chromatic fringing, distortion or the vignetting, as each are visible in JPEGs when scrutinized. But in each case they’re trifling.

Another highlight is the auto WB. Even under difficult mixed lighting at high ISO’s the X1 produced low noise with truly excellent colors. We’re not so enthused about the Vibrant color mode, greens were too garish for our liking but otherwise Leica’s processing engine produced brilliantly sharpened JPEGs that even professional retouchers would find difficult to replicate.

The X1 is something of a conundrum then. On the one hand there’s no faulting of the snaps it can produce, but the speed of operation is a burden at times and like every Leica, they really don’t come cheap.





Leica X1, taken with a Nikon D3s with 85mm f/1.4 AF-S at f/1.4 (notice the slight spherochromatism of the Nikkor at maximum aperture).





It would be nice if the lens was as compact as it is shown in the first image, but that's not the case. There are two extending barrels, adding another couple of centimeters to the overall length but it's well made and there's very little movement unlike some rivals offerings.





The optional Leica finder is a must for day-to-day operation. Note the two command-style dials to the rear - the upper most is used for manual focusing and scrolling through the menu / picture memory - the two shooting dials on the top-plate are used for shutter speed / aperture selection.





Poor light and shot at ISO3200. No additional noise reduction.





Abysmal lighting saw off a Sony NEX 3 and Sigma DP2 I was using at the same time, the Leica X1 had by far the better white-balance of the three. ISO3200.





The first of a sequence of five shots, taken in continuous mode. Believe it or not this was taken (mistakenly) at ISO1600.





Black and white conversions (in Lightroom) look good from the X1.





Out of camera JPEG. ISO100 f/5.6 but set to vibrant - makes for punchy if somewhat garish greens.





If you needed any convincing about the quality of Leica optics, then take a look at this MTF 50 chart produced in Imatest. Central sharpness is consistently good throughout the aperture range with the edges only behind slightly over the first couple of stops. That's what you're paying for.








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Related posts:




Read our review of the full-frame Leica M9 here, and the APS-H Leica M8.2 here. We've recently added a review of the new Fujiflm FinePix X100 here.







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