News / Other Product News
Heliopan has started shipping variants of its Vario ND variable neutral density filters in sizes from 55 to 82mm, according to its US distributor, HP Marketing. The filters provide 1–6.6EV filtration and include numerical markings to allow you to precisely dial-in the desired density. The filters feature brass construction and are shallow enough to be used with lenses as wide as 16mm equivalent.
Samsung, Sony, Panasonic and 3D technology company X6D have announced they will devise a standard for 3D glasses. The 'Full HD 3D Glasses Initiative' will develop and license Bluetooth radio frequency (RF) communication protocols as well as standardizing the various infrared (IR) systems that have been individually developed. Glasses incorporating the standards will be available in 2012 and should be compatible with 2011 TVs. Although the move is primarily movie-related, the standardization is likely to offer some confidence for shooters of 3D material worrying which viewing system to invest in.
App developer Chainfire has created a program for tethered shooting of Canon DSLRs using Android 3.0-powered tablets. Its 'DSLR Controller' app uses a USB connection to provide a high level of control over Canon DSLRs. In addition to Android 3.0 (also known as Honeycomb) tablets, DSLR Controller can also be used on Samsung's Galaxy S2 smartphone. Beta version 0.5 of the app is currently available for around $8.50 from the Android Market and offers a wide range of control options, including touch focus, histogram, bulb capture and the ability to change many of the camera's shooting settings. Additional functions, including time lapse, video recording and image playback are still being worked-on. Chainfire says it plans to provide Nikon support once the Canon features are complete. (via PetaPixel)
Kenko-Tokina has announced a variable neutral density (ND) filter that can be adjusted fro ND2.5 to ND1000. The Kenko NDX filter can darken the scene by anywhere from 1.3 to 10 EV. The filter allows the use of wide apertures while keeping the correct exposure within the shutter speed range of your camera, or of very long shutter times to emphasise motion. The company suggests its use for shooting video with shallow depth-of-field, for instance. Its variable nature allows the amount of filtration to be reduced for focusing, then increased to the desired amount, without having to remove the filter. The filters can vignette when used with lenses wider than 28mm equivalent and are available in 77mm and 82mm filter thread sizes.
Chinese accessory maker Match Technical has introduced a version of its 'Thumbs Up' accessory grip for the Fujifilm X100. The Thumbs Up EP-5S is an updated version of the grip we featured in our Leica M9 preview, and slots into the camera's hot shoe. It features a revised, 'ergonomic profile' thumb rest, includes a silicone insert to cushion the join between the grip and the camera, and is available in either black or silver. (via DCWatch)
Microsoft has released an updated version of its Camera Codec Pack for Windows Vista and Windows 7 allowing users to view RAW files from more than 120 DSLRs. Using Microsoft's Windows Live Gallery 2011 software, RAW files from compatible cameras can be edited, with adjusted images stored as either JPEG or JPEG-XR files.
Samsung UK has announced a series of fast memory cards in the SDHC and micro SDHC formats. The company is the world's largest producer of the NAND memory on which such cards are based and is one of the few manufacturers to use the miniscule micro SD format in its cameras, so the move would appear to make sense. The company will offer two ranges of cards - the Class 4 and 6 'Essential' range and the faster, Class 10, 'Plus' range, both with rugged construction from what the company describes as: 'Epoxy Moulding Compound.' The Essential range will be available in sizes from 2GB to 16GB sizes, while the Plus cards will range from 8GB to 16GB.
Leica has developed three mount adapters for its S2 medium format DSLR. The S-V, S-P67 and S-M645 allow users to utilize Hasselblad V, Pentax 67 and Mamiya M645 lenses, respectively. The adapters, built from anodized aluminium and chrome-plated brass will retail for around €580 each and will be available from August. (From Photoscala)
Apple has announced Final Cut Pro X, the latest version of its popular high-end video editing software. Final Cut Pro X features a trackless canvas, that Apple is calling a 'Magnetic Timeline' for flexible arranging and editing of clips. It's also possible to 'audition' different combinations of clips to make it easier to choose between multiple takes. The software also features improved tagging (including auto-analysis of clips) to make it easier to manage and locate the clips you want to use. Final Cut Pro X is available from the Mac App Store for $299/£179.
DxO Labs has launched FilmPack 3, the latest version of its silver halide film simulation software. The software now includes the ability to mimic up to 60 famous black and white, and color films, based on calibration from professional prints, giving what the company claims is the most precise film simulation on the market. Version 3 adds new film looks and color filters. It also brings a greater degree of control, including HSL sliders, a channel mixer for optimizing Black and White conversions and, at customer request, the ability to add vignetting. Custom film styles can also be created by mixing the color response of one film with the grain pattern of another. The software is available as standalone software or plugins for DxO Optics Pros, Photoshop, Lightroom or Aperture.
Apple has announced details of the forthcoming versions of its iOS operating system for iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch. With these devices ranking among the most used on popular photo-sharing sites, it comes as no surprise that several new features in iOS5 are specifically aimed at photographers. These including additional camera features for the iPhone/iPod Touch and iPad2, such as the ability to overlay thirds gridlines, and wireless syncing of photographs between iOS devices using Apple's new iCloud service.
Pentax has launched an add-on GPS module for its recent DSLRs that allows simple geotagging of images. The O-GPS1 unit attaches to the camera's hotshoe, allowing the camera to add latitude, longitude, altitude, UTC capture time and direction as image metadata. This data can be used to place images in mapping software such as Google Earth or as a means of file organization and retrieval. K-5 and K-r users also gain access to the 'Astrotracer' feature that predicts the movement of celestial objects and uses the sensor shift mechanism to track this movement to give astrophotographs with single points, rather than star-trails. The O-GPS1 unit will be available from mid June at a recommended price of $249.95/£229.99.
Datacolor has introduced an app for the Apple iPad that allows you to use its Spider3 color calibration system to calibrate the tablet's screen. The free SpyderGallery app can be used with both the iPad and iPad2 and allows all the images on the device to be viewed within a single color-corrected gallery. The app requires you to own the Spyder3 calibration tool (Express, Pro or Elite) and have access to a WiFi network. It is available for download now from the Apple's App Store.
ACD Systems has released the final version of its ACDSee Pro 4 image editing, browsing and organization software. ACDSee Pro 4 increases the level of control offered in terms of image editing - including lighting and contrast enhancement (LCE) tools to improve highlight and shadow characteristics in raw conversions, maximizing the use of the camera's captured dynamic range. This builds on the range of non-destructive edits that can be easily applied, without affecting the original file or the need to import the images into a database. There are also tools for correcting vignetting and chromatic aberrations, as well as the batch processing options and engagement with external editing tools that were already a part of ACDSee.
Lexar has launched a high-speed CF and SD card reader, capable of transferring data at up to 500MB/sec. The USB 3.0 device allows compatible computers to take advantage of the increased speeds of the latest UDMA Compact Flash cards as well as the emerging ultra high speed interface (UHS-I) SDXC cards. The device also allows full-speed copying from one card to another, even if your computer communicate with the device at its full speed. The reader features a pop-up design that protects the card slots if you throw it in your bag. It will sell for around $49.99 in the US and £39.99 in the UK.
Flash accessory specialist Gary Fong has launched a version of its 'Puffer' flash diffuser for Micro Four Thirds cameras. The Micro Four Thirds Puffer clips into the hotshoe of the Panasonic GF and PEN E-PL series cameras and hangs a diffuser in front of the pop-up flash. The intent is to mitigate the harsh, direct lighting that can spoil portrait images with on-board flash, though it is likely to further limit the already low-powered internal flash output.
Phase One has launched Media Pro, a digital asset management program. The package has evolved from software originally created by iView Multimedia and later sold as Microsoft Expression Media. Now called Media Pro, the Phase One version provides a flexible way of cataloging, organizing and accessing stored media. Media Pro includes the raw image rendering engine from the company's Capture One software, allowing Raw files to be previewed (including any adjustments made in Capture One). Media Pro is designed to be independent of platform or software, to allowing use with the best contemporary processing tools, minimising the the likelihood of you having to re-catalog your media in the future.
ABSoft has announced an upgraded version of its Neat Image Pro noise reduction plug-in for Adobe Photoshop and Apple Aperture. There are also standalone versions of the software for Mac OS and Linux systems. Version 7 includes a redesigned user interface, support for 32-bit images and and a 'Smart Profile' system to improve noise profiling. Priced at $69.90 it is available for immediate download as a plug-in or a stand-alone application for Windows, Mac and Linux. A simpler version, 'Neat Image 7 Home' with limited features is also available for $39.90.
Olympus has announced the LS-20M pocket camcorder with built-in 24 bit/96 hHz Linear PCM stereo sound recording (or perhaps one of its sound recorders with built-in video). Capable of recording full 1080p HD videos, it features a 2" color LCD, an additional 1.46" data LCD, two microphones and HD output. It also includes the company's 'Magic filter' processing effects. The camcorder will be available from June 2011 at a suggested retail price of $299.99.
Samsung has announced the W200 rugged pocket camcorder, capable of recording full 1080p30 HD videos. Built around a 5MP back-illuminated CMOS sensor, a 2.3" LCD and a F2.2 lens with anti-fog coating, the camcorder is shockproof to 2m/6.5 ft and waterproof to 3m/10 ft. It will be available from May 2011 at a suggested retail price of $159.