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January 7th, 2013

Fujifilm Unveils New X100S and X20 High-End Retro Compact Cameras at CES (UPDATED)

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(UPDATE: As expected, Fujifilm officially unveiled the X100S and X20 retro-style, compact cameras at a press conference at CES yesterday. Both cameras will go on sale in March, with the the X100S retailing for $1,299; and the X20 for $599. More details on these two new cameras in our preview below.)

Fujifilm’s U.K. office seemed to jump the gun on its own CES press conference over the weekend by unveiling the new X100S and X20 high-end, compact cameras ahead of schedule. The company is expected to officially unveil the new cameras at a CES press conference in the next hour.

The X100S is the apparent successor to the X100 from 2010. The retro-style X100S uses a APS-C,16.3-megapixel APS-C X-Trans CMOS II image sensor that’s similar in size to chips in entry-level digital SLRs.

The X100S will reportedly have a faster autofocus time of 0.08 seconds — which Fujifilm is calling “the world’s fastest AF” (we’ve heard that before) — along with several other key upgrades. (Though the new X100S looks a lot like the previous model.) Like its predecessor, the X100S employs a Fujinon 23mm f/2 fixed prime lens.

The X100S also features Fuji’s now familiar hybrid viewfinder, which combines both optical and electronic viewfinders. As an added twist, the X100S boasts a new Dual Split Image display, which presents dual images on the left and right side that can be lined up for manual focusing.

According to Fuji, this gives the photographer more accurate focusing when working with an open aperture or during macro shooting. The X100S also features a Focus Peak Highlight function, which electronically shows you which area of an image is in focus for better accuracy and sharpness.

Fujifilm’s U.K. branch also posted a press release on the 12MP X20, which is a follow-up to the X10. The compact X20 uses a 2/3-inch X-Trans CMOS sensor and a 4x manual barrel zoom lens with a f/2.0-2.8 aperture rating.

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Price and ship dates for the new cameras have not been announced yet. We’ll add more details to this story when they’re revealed at CES.

(Via Engadget and Photo Rumors)

January 7th, 2013

Pentax Launches 12MP MX-1 Compact Camera with Retro Design

pentax-mx1Pentax joined the parade of imaging manufacturers releasing camera models with “retro” designs by announcing the compact Pentax MX-1 at CES this morning. The 12-megapixel camera features a fixed 4x optical zoom lens with an f/1.8 to 2.5 aperture, and a throwback style camera body with a textured rubber grip and brass top and bottom covers.

The Pentax MX-1 will go on sale in February 2013 for $499.95.

More details in the press release below.

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January 7th, 2013

Canon Unveils Four New Compact Cameras Including Square-Shaped, Virtually Buttonless PowerShot N

Canon-_N_WHITE_3QLCDOPEN_CLCanon unveiled four new PowerShot compact cameras as part of the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) this morning, including the uniquely designed 12.1-megapixel PowerShot N.

The Canon PowerShot N features a sleek, squared shaped design with two rings on top of the lens to snap pictures and zoom. There are no buttons on the rear of the PowerShot N, with most of the camera’s functionality accessed via a 2.8-inch capacitive, tilt-touch panel LCD on back. The only button on the PowerShot N is an on/off switch on the side.

By putting the shutter and zoom ring on the top and bottom of the lens, the PowerShot N is designed to let you snap images from a variety of angles and positions. The camera has an 8x optical zoom lens that can go as wide as 28mm equivalent and can shoot full 1080p HD video. It also features wireless connectivity.

The PowerShot N, which will come in white or black, is slated to in April 2013 for an estimated retail price of $299.99.

Canon also unveiled the consumer-focused PowerShot ELPH 130 IS ($199.99), A2600 ($149.99), and the A1400 ($109.99) digital cameras this morning.

More details on Canon’s new PowerShot compact cameras in the two press releases after the jump.

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November 12th, 2012

Marketing Jordan Matter’s “Dancers Among Us” Photos

Photographer Jordan Matter helps out as a PDN product tester from time to time so we were pleased as punch to see his new book of photographs, Dancers Among Us: A Celebration of Joy in the Everyday, debut on The New York Times‘ best seller list recently.

Matter’s images, which feature professional dancers performing in everyday situations across the United States, premiered on PDN’s Photo of the Day blog back in 2010 and then returned in March of this year. (See a few of his images below.)

Since then, the Dancers Among Us project has really taken off. Along with the book, the Internet has fallen in love with Matter’s joyful images. He was featured on Reddit in a Q&A with readers last week and several photography-related websites and blogs have run his images (often without his permission, it’s worth noting), turning the shots into the latest viral photo sensation.

Along with crediting PDN for helping him get his first early exposure of the project, Matter says the below marketing video created to promote Dancers Among Us has been successful at getting him and his work featured on the Today show and in The Washington Post.

Bravo Jordan!

© Jordan Matter

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

© Jordan Matter

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

© Jordan Matter

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

© Jordan Matter

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

© Jordan Matter

November 5th, 2012

Canon Announces New 24-70mm f/4L IS and 35mm f/2 Lenses (UPDATED)

Canon has unveiled two new lenses tonight: the Canon EF 24-70mm f/4L IS USM lens and the Canon EF 35mm f/2 IS USM lens. Official announcements of the two lenses — which PDN was not given NDA (non-disclosure agreement) information on ahead of the official launch — occurred at 11pm EST. (Editor’s note: Canon just officially announced these two lenses. Official press release is after the jump.)

The 24-70mm f/4 lens will sell for approximately $1,500 and goes on sale in mid-December of this year.

The weatherproof lens features Canon’s new Hybrid IS Image Stabilizer to counteract handshake; and has a nine-blade circular aperture designed to produce natural-looking background blur (aka bokeh) when shot wide-open at f/4. The new 24-70mm f/4 lens will offer full-time manual autofocus and has a macro mode that can be accessed via the lens’ telephoto end.

The Canon EF 35mm f/2 IS USM lens will start shipping in early December 2012 for approximately $850. The lens is also expected to sell as part of a kit with the 20.2-megapixel, full-frame Canon EOS 6D digital SLR, which was announced at photokina.

An official press release on the two lens was just released. See it after the jump.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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October 26th, 2012

PhotoPlus Expo 2012: Canon EOS Remote App Wirelessly Connects 6D DSLR to Smartphones

The full-frame 20.2-megapixel Canon EOS 6D digital SLR won’t go on sale until November but we got a look at a very handy new free app that will let you connect the camera wirelessly to smartphones.

Canon’s Chuck Westfall demoed the app for us, which is called Canon EOS Remote, at PhotoPlus Expo this week. At the time of this writing, Canon EOS Remote was only available for Android smartphones but an iOS version for iPhones was on its way. (There was no word on whether an iPad or Android tablet version of the app was in the pipeline too but it seems likely.)

With the Canon 6D’s built-in WiFi turned on, the app lets you review images wirelessly from the DSLR’s SD memory card on your smartphone, rate them and even delete them right from your phone. You can also zap images from the 6D and save them on your Android or iOS smartphone at a reduced size.

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October 26th, 2012

PhotoPlus Expo 2012: CineMoco Motorized Camera Dolly Gives You Hands-Free Movement Shots for Video and Time-Lapse Photography

Fresh off the success of his popular CineSkates HD-DSLR dolly system from last year, inventor Justin Jensen of Cinetics was at PhotoPlus Expo this week showing off his latest product: CineMoco, which is a compact, motorized dolly and slider for shooting video and time-lapse photography.

Think of it as CineSkates with a brain.

Like CineSkates, CineMoco started as a Kickstarter project and easily blew past its pledge goal. The Kickstarter goal for CineMoco was $50,000 but, at the time of this writing (with just eight hours left in the Kickstarter campaign), the product had received nearly $103,000 in pledges.

While the appeal of CineSkates was it simplicity (three skate-like wheels that attach to a tripod to turn it into a dolly), the modular CineMoco system is a much more sophisticated product.

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October 26th, 2012

PhotoPlus Expo 2012: Kodak Professional Film App Connects Photographers to Pro Film Resources

Here’s an interesting new app for your iPhone launched at PhotoPlus Expo by none other than Kodak. Called the Kodak Professional Film app and available now for free from the iTunes store, the app helps photographers locate where they can buy their favorite (remaining) Kodak films and where they can get them developed.

The app also offers tips on how best to shoot certain types of Kodak films. Some of the film stocks supported by the Kodak app include BW400CN, Ektar 100, Portra 160, T-Max 400, Tri-X 400 and others.

Sadly for film (and film grain) lovers, one of the films not included in the app is Kodak T-Max P3200, which was discontinued by the company earlier this month.

News of the new app also comes on the heels of a Kodak announcement in August that the company plans to sell off its film and photo paper business in an effort to pull itself out of bankruptcy.

Despite the tough times for Kodak’s film business, the company attempted to put a positive spin on the app and on Kodak pro film at the PhotoPlus show.

“We wanted to give photographers of all levels a resource, literally right at their fingertips, that helps them find film and recommendations about how to maximize each film’s performance,” Dennis Olbrich, Eastman Kodak’s general manager of Film, Paper & Output Systems said in a statement.

“In addition, this app also provides information where customers can find film development services, so that no matter where photographers are, they can find a lab that uses Kodak Chemicals and Paper to bring their photography to life.”

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October 25th, 2012

PhotoPlus Expo 2012: Sound Blimps from AquaTech

This might look like an blimp-sized underwater housing for your digital SLR but it’s designed to be used strictly above water.

It is a type of “blimp” though.

Called a Sound Blimp and available from AquaTech, it’s designed to make your DSLR a quieter shooter. Custom-cut from sound-dampening foam, the Sound Blimp fits snuggly over your camera like a padded case to muffle shutter sounds and other DSLR chatter.

According to AquaTech, independent tests show that noise is tamped down by approximately 97 percent with a Sound Blimp fitted around a DSLR.

AquaTech’s blimp is made from polyurethane so it’s relatively lightweight but designed to be tough. Controls on the blimp are constructed from stainless steel, hard-anodized aluminum and durable plastic.

Each blimp has an electronic AF Shutter Release, hand straps, and controls for back focus, play back, and for the main dial, so you can adjust aperture and shutter speed.

There are six different models to fit a range of Canon and Nikon DSLRs. All have tripod mounts with both 3/8 and 1/4-20 threads, a quick release clip with a safety latch. You can also add compatible lenses with the blimp thanks to AquaTech’s interchangeable front lens port system.

Potential uses for this stealthy system include when shooting at quiet locations such as movie sets, sound stages and theaters or in courtrooms. But we could also see it come in handy when photographing shy subjects such as wildlife, children or camera-phobic celebrities.

The price of an AquaTech Sound Blimp is $995 and optional lens tubes range in price from $195-$395.

October 25th, 2012

PhotoPlus Expo 2012: Massive Pentax 560mm Lens Mounted on a Tiny Pentax Q10 Compact System Camera

Talk about head-turners! Check out this crazy rig we saw on display at the Pentax table at the PhotoPlus Expo Test Drive press preview event last night: it’s the massive HD PENTAX DA 560mm F5.6ED AW lens attached to the teeny tiny Pentax Q10 mirrorless compact system camera.

The K-mount-based HD PENTAX DA 560mm F5.6ED AW connects to the Q-mount-based Q10 via a special Pentax adapter ($249) released this month.

The adapter, called the Adapter Q for K-mount lenses, multiplies the focal length on the 12.4-megapixel Q10 by approximately 5.5x, turning the Pentax 560mm into an whopping 3080mm lens.

Of course this set-up will see little real world use. The Pentax 560mm lens, which retails for approximately, $7,000, is designed for wildlife and sports photography and matches more realistically with Pentax’ digital SLRs, including the recently announced 16.3MP Pentax K-5 II.

The 12.4-megapixel Q10, which uses a small 1/2.3″ (6.17 x 4.55 mm) CMOS image sensor, is aimed at consumers and is priced at $600.