Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Phoenix Art Museum Exhibit: Debating Modern Photography

Debating Modern Photography: Triumph of Group f.64
Norton Photography Gallery
September 15, 2007 – December 30, 2007

In 1934, a heated debate between photographic factions considered the future of the medium. A small group of California photographers were challenging the painterly, soft-focus photography style of the pictorialists. They argued that the appropriate direction for the photographic arts exploited characteristics inherent to the camera’s mechanical nature: sharp focus and great depth of field. Their subjects – arranged still lives, industrial and architectural views, close-ups from nature, and portraits – were selected for their photographic potential, with rich textures and strong forms.

This small association of innovators – named Group f.64 after the camera’s smallest aperture, which produces the greatest depth of field – included Ansel Adams, Edward Weston, Imogen Cunningham, Willard Van Dyke, Alma Lavenson and others. This exhibition endeavors to revive the controversy, not only to acknowledge the pictorialists’ arguments, but to illustrate how avant-garde the work of Group f.64 once was. It includes images by members of Group f.64 and such pictorialists as Anne Brigman, William Dassonville, Johan Hagemeyer, William Mortensen and Karl Struss.
Image - Shell, Edward Weston, 1927. Gelatin silver print. Collection of Center for Creative Photography. © 1981 Center for Creative Photography, Arizona Board of Regents

A Conversation with Photographer Stephen Shore

Taken from a recent online popphoto.com article about Photographer Stephen Shore.

...Stephen Shore is considered one of the most important figures in early color photography. His 1982 book, Uncommon Places, elevates seemingly ordinary scenes of everyday life – a highway billboard, a drive-in church chapel – and imbues them with meaning. That seminal work has inspired countless photographers and has had a profound impact on contemporary fine art photography. Today, Shore continues to pursue his vision both as an artist and a teacher. Since 1982 he has served as director of photography at Bard College. American Photo contributor Jörg Colberg recently asked Shore about how the "digital revolution" is changing the art of photography...

Read the entire article and view the Stephen Shore gallery.
image © Stephen Shore

Scott Kelby Nikon D3 DSLR Q&A

Scott Kelby, President of the National Association of Photoshop Professionals has posted a Q&A on his blog regarding his recent hands-on experience with the new Nikon D3 professional DLSR. View these interesting insights and opinions on Photoshop Insider.

News Photographers Face Trial In Toledo For Covering Nazi Rally

According to an article from the National Press Photographers Association today, photojournalists Jeffrey Sauger and Jim West are scheduled to go on trial tomorrow on charges of criminal trespass and failure to disperse following their arrests in December 2005 while covering a Nazi rally in Toledo. The two journalists contend they were standing in a designated "media" area on a public street at the time of their arrest, and Sauger says the City of Toledo has refused to drop the charges unless they sign a waiver absolving the city of any wrongdoing.

"This is about more than the inconveniences Jim West and I have had," Sauger said. "This is about the fact that we are professional photojournalists whose constitutionally guaranteed rights have been trampled on by agencies that exist 'to protect and to serve' the public citizen on the backs of the public citizens' tax dollars. This is about eroding civil rights in a post-9/11 America. This is about not taking the easy way out because this type of case affects the ability of all journalists to do their jobs."

NPPA president Tony Overman says that NPPA has sent a letter to the judge asking that all charges be dismissed, and encourages photojournalists to show up at the courthouse on Wednesday to show their support for Sauger and West.

"The trial will be held before Judge Lynn H. Schaefer. Jury selection will begin Wednesday morning, September 26, in Courtroom 7 of Toledo Municipal Court, 555 North Erie Street in Toledo," Sauger said. "The trial is expected to last two to three days. We're hoping to have fellow photojournalists attend the trial in a show of support."

Sauger, a freelance photojournalist from Royal Oak, MI, and an NPPA member since 1990, told News Photographer magazine shortly after the incident that he was arrested while he was in the “media pit” (an area set aside for journalists) that was within the boundaries of a cordoned off area that police had specifically set up for the rally and counter-protesters.

The photojournalists, including Toledo Journal photographer Jeff Willis, were arrested at the rally “for crossing police lines” according to a story the next day in The Toledo Blade. The day after the rally, the Blade reported that Willis was the first to be arrested, before the rally even started, and then West and Sauger were arrested later.

Willis is not a defendant in tomorrow's trial; charges against him were dismissed. But a source in Toledo who is familiar with the charges said today that they've heard a rumor that the city may try to subpoena Willis to force him to testify in Sauger and West's trial this week.
Image © NPPA

Adobe Releases Photoshop Elements 6

Adobe Systems Inc. has launched Photoshop Elements 6, the updated version of the photo editing software program. The software includes new Photomerge technology, a Quick Selection Tool, and Guided Edit. It will integrate with Premiere Elements 4, Adobe’s video editing software also announced recently. Currently only available for Windows platforms, the Adobe Photoshop Elements 6 and Premiere Elements 4 bundle has a retail price of $149.99, and the stand-alone Elements 6 is priced at $99.99.

“The combination of Photoshop Elements & Adobe Premiere Elements offers a whole new user experience for consumers, which makes sharing impressive photo and video creations much easier and more fun,” said Adobe Senior Vice President of Creative Solutions John Loiacono in a company press release.

According to Adobe, the bundled software can edit both photos and videos. The integrated system uses a shared Organizer with a tabbed interface to sort through images and videos.

Photoshop Elements 6 offers new features like Photomerge technology, which allows users to select faces and body language from different pictures to make a single group photo composite. Other features include a Quick Selection Tool that reduces a task to a single click, and a new Guided Edit mode that aids users in step-by-step editing.

“With access to all photos and video clips from one convenient place and options to export to YouTube, mobile devices and interactive galleries created with Adobe Flash technology, we expect our new products to be high on holiday wish lists,” Loiacono said.

Photoshop Elements 6 is part of the Adobe photo software family, sitting in between the more advanced version of Photoshop CS3 and the anticipated entry-level Photoshop Express online version.

Photoshop Elements 6 for Windows is available for purchase through the Adobe website. Photoshop Elements 6 for Mac operating systems is expected to ship in early 2008.

Key Features:
Quick Selection Tool
Guided Edit
Tabbed Interface

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Stephen Johnson Podcast

Photographer Stephen Johnson shares his insight on digital photography with O’Reilly Digital Media. "That magic of seeing a momentary capture of something almost beyond belief that makes you grab your camera," said Stephen Johnson, "that's why we love photography. And that's why I wrote this book."

Stephen was referring to Stephen Johnson on Digital Photography, his latest published work that is a comprehensive examination of many facets of photography.

Hear more from Stephen Johnson regarding this topic in a Podcast hosted by O’Reilly Digital Media.
image provided by O'Reilly Digital Media

Two Approaches To Lanscape Photography

Photographers Jim Richardson and J. Henry Fair provide some insight into their individual approach to landscape photography on the Popular Photography and Imaging website.

National Geographic photographer Jim Richardson has shot the Celtic lands of Cornwall, the architecture of Venice, and the whisky country of Scotland. But when he returns home, it is to Lindsborg, Kansas, that most American of places.

J. Henry Fair's photographs are deceptive. Mostly aerial views shot from a small plane, their rich palette and texture give them the quality of abstract paintings. But in fact, the images illustrate some of the ugliest places on the planet.

Read about their techniques and view image galleries at popphoto.com.
Image © Jim Richardson

Nikon Sponsors America At Home Project

Nikon announced its sponsorship of America at Home -- one of the most ambitious projects ever undertaken to document and photograph the most important place in Americans' lives: Home. Starting this week, 100 of the world's preeminent photojournalists and millions of amateur photographers will fan out around the United States to capture pictures of their life at home. Nikon, in association with FotoNation.net, will provide 100 COOLPIX S51c Wi-Fi enabled digital cameras to photographers, allowing them to easily shoot and send their pictures wirelessly from wherever they may be.

"Nikon is excited to be a part of such a momentous project and provide professional photographers with an easy way to share their vision," says Bill Giordano, general manager for Marketing, COOLPIX, Nikon Inc. "The COOLPIX S51c is the ideal digital camera for this remarkable project because of its wireless sharing ability and high image quality. This camera will help ensure that we can share our concept of home with future generations."

America at Home is produced by former Time, Life and National Geographic photographer Rick Smolan in partnership with IKEA. In the past, Smolan and his team of renowned magazine and newspaper photo editors have successfully produced such notable projects as A Day in the Life of America: America 24x7 24 Hours in Cyberspace and One Digital Day.

Nikon's 8.1-megapixel COOLPIX S51c digital camera lets users take stunning photos and share them instantly via a Wi-Fi hotspot, allowing them to email pictures directly from the camera or upload them to Nikon's 'my Picturetown' online photo sharing Web site. The camera features a 3x Nikkor optical zoom lens and a bright 3-inch LCD screen, so users can compose and share images with ease. The S51c also has features that help the user to take better pictures like advanced face detection for in-focus smiles and VR image stabilization to reduce the chance of taking a blurry photo.

DataRescue Announces PhotoRescue 3.1.1 Update

DataRescue has updated PhotoRescue, its digital picture and digital photo data recovery solution, to version 3.1.1. The update adds support for recently released cameras, improves recovery and more.

DataRescue's Pierre Vandevenne explained the changes, "As usual, we catch up with the specific file formats of the new cameras that have been released and try to improve recovery slightly. The old 'cardwiper' functions which were available separately have now been integrated into PhotoRescue itself."

The upgrade is free to all version 3.x customers (and most 2.1 customers that have received a free key when version 3.0 was released), Pierre said.

Version 3.1.1 is not yet available from the DataRescue website but a demo version of 3.0 can be downloaded in the meantime.

Previews Of The Nikon D3

Previews of Nikon’s recently announced 12MP, full-frame D3 abound. First up, Digital Photography Review takes a closer look at a pre-production model. Here is an excerpt:

… It's been almost three years since Nikon introduced a completely new digital SLR with a new sensor (the D2X) and there has been much anticipation that Nikon's next move would be a full-frame chip. This predictions have come true with the introduction of the 'FX format' (new moniker created by Nikon) D3 which features a 36 x 23.9 mm 12.1 megapixel CMOS sensor as well as a vast array of new features which absolutely raise it another notch above previous single digit Nikon DSLRs. Important headline improvements include high sensitivity support by default, up to ISO 6400 with 25600 available as a boost option, 14-bit A/D conversion, a new standard image processor, a new shutter, new auto focus sensor, focus tracking by color, nine frames per second continuous, dual compact flash support, DX lens support (albeit at lower resolution) and a 3.0" 922,000 pixel LCD monitor (which it has to be said is lovely)…

Read the entire Nikon D3 preview on the DPReview website.

Meanwhile back at the Batcave…

Scott Kelby, editor and publisher of Photoshop User Magazine, Layers Magazine, and President of the National Association of Photoshop Professionals (NAPP), takes the Nikon D3 out for a test run. See some images (including the example above) he captured with the camera, and his first impressions of this new professional DSLR on his blog Photoshop Insider.
image © Scott Kelby

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Virginia Poultry Farmer Sues Getty Images And Jupitermedia

What happens if you receive a birthday card in the mail and discover your image is on the front? You’d get a lawyer if you were Andrew E. Marsinko, a Virginia poultry farmer. Mr. Marsinko filed a lawsuit against several people and companies involved in the photograph and the greeting card, including stock photo heavyweights Getty Images and Jupitermedia, since he feels the image was used without his permission. Read this interesting article from Photo District News.

Layers Magazine Launches "Layers TV" Adobe How-To Podcast

Layers TV has been launched by some of the folks that provide NAPP TV and Layers magazine. This new video cast is full of information covering a multitude of Adobe products. Layers magazine is the how-to magazine for everything Adobe. The website includes a learning center, product reviews and now this informative video cast. Check out Layers TV for yourself.

Adobe Announces Record Revenue And New Photoshop Logo

Software developer Adobe Systems Inc. has announced record revenue in the third quarter, reporting an all-time high of $851.7 million.

Revenue grew from $602.2 million this time last year, increasing 41 percent year-over-year. Adobe attributes its record growth to the strong performance of Creative Suite 3, which launched in March.

In the three-month quarter ending Aug. 31, 2007, Adobe reached its all-time high $851.7 million in revenue, surpassing the original target range of $760 to $800 million. Adobe’s operating income more than doubled from $110 to $255 million this quarter, soaring 132 percent year-over-year.

“Our record results were driven by outstanding Creative Suite 3 adoption and continued Acrobat momentum,” said Adobe CEO Bruce Chizen in a Sept. 17 press release.

Adobe called Creative Suite 3 the largest launch in the company’s 25-year history. Made up of 13 updated stand-alone multimedia and design applications, the suite includes the latest version of Acrobat 8 Professional software and Photoshop CS3. Adobe yesterday also released a new Photoshop logo with an updated revised slogan: “See What’s Possible.”

“As we near the end of fiscal 2007, we remain well positioned for continued double digit revenue growth,” Chizen said.

Adobe predicts fourth quarter revenue will draw between $860 million and $890 million. Adobe’s diluted earnings per share were $0.34, up from $0.16 last year.

New Carl Zeiss 28mm Lens

Carl Zeiss this week launched a wide-angle 28.5mm SLR lens, the Distagon T* 2/28 ZF lens. Geared for landscape, architecture, and portrait photography, the lens allows for wide-angle images with a maximum aperture of 1:2.0. The Carl Zeiss lens will retail for $1,464 USD when it is released later this year.

“This lens is among the most high-speed optics for these focal lengths and is thus ideally suited for taking pictures in unfavorable lighting conditions,” stated a Sept. 17 company press release.

The Carl Zeiss lens will sit between the 25mm and 35mm lenses in the current Carl Zeiss product line. It will be offered in two versions, the Distagon T* 2/28 ZF for F bayonet mount and the Distagon T* 2/28 ZK for K mount. Users can manually focus as close as 0.24 meters (9.45 inches) for detail shots, according to the release. The lens has an aperture range of f/2 to f/22.

The metal lens is constructed of 10 elements in 8 groups with floating lens elements and weighs 530 grams (18 ounces).

Dynamic Photo HDR 1.6 Upgrade Now Available

MediaChance software has announced version 1.6 of its $39.00 Dynamic Photo HDR. The Windows-only software upgrades include:

• Improved RAW support, with a live preview of many RAW filetypes.
• E.V. reading and "Guess E.V." function works with most RAW formats.
• A live HDR preview function during most steps of the HDR process.
• Addition of an Orton Effect filter for a "dreamy" look.

More information on the upgrades, and a downloadable trial version is available on the MediaChance Website, or check out our Dynamic Photo HDR How-to.

USB 3.0 Provides Faster Digital Transfer

Although not technically photography related, since transferring large digital image files from a camera to a computer or media device can take awhile, a new announcement of USB 3.0 could potentially improve that process. Below is a press release covering the development of a faster USB connection.

Intel Corp. and other industry leaders have formed the USB 3.0 Promoter Group to create a superspeed personal USB interconnect that can deliver over 10 times the speed of today's connection. The technology, also developed by HP, Microsoft Corp., NEC Corp., NXP Semiconductors and Texas Instruments Incorporated, will target fast sync-and-go transfer applications in the PC, consumer and mobile segments that are necessary as digital media become ubiquitous and file sizes increase up to and beyond 25 gigabytes.

USB (Universal Serial Bus) 3.0 will create a backward-compatible standard with the same ease-of-use and plug and play capabilities of previous USB technologies. Targeting over 10x performance increase, the technology will draw from the same architecture of wired USB. In addition, the USB 3.0 specification will be optimized for low power and improved protocol efficiency. USB 3.0 ports and cabling will be designed to enable backward compatibility as well as future-proofing for optical capabilities.

"USB 3.0 is the next logical step for the PC's most popular wired connectivity," said Jeff Ravencraft, technology strategist with Intel and president of the USB Implementers Forum (USB-IF). "The digital era requires high-speed performance and reliable connectivity to move the enormous amounts of digital content now present in everyday life. USB 3.0 will meet this challenge while maintaining the ease-of-use experience that users have come to love and expect from any USB technology."

Intel formed the USB 3.0 Promoter Group with the understanding that the USB-IF would act as the trade association for the USB 3.0 specification. A completed USB 3.0 specification is expected by the first half of 2008. USB 3.0 implementations will initially be in the form of discrete silicon.

The USB 3.0 Promoter Group is committed to preserving the existing USB device class driver infrastructure and investment, look-and-feel and ease-of-use of USB while continuing to expand this great technology's capabilities.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Left-Handed Canon EOS-1Ds Mark III?

Here is an interesting concept. Left-handers rejoice! Too bad it's not real. This Canon EOS-1Ds Mark IIIA (The A stands for "ambidexterous") would work in either hand, although would probably be quite the bulky shooter. No one has taken credit for this innovative use of Photoshop but it is all over the Net and Canon forums.

BenVista Announces PhotoArtist 2 Software

BenVista announces the release of PhotoArtist 2, software for creating picturesque artwork based on digital photos. Fine sketches, wonderful watercolors, and oil paintings on canvas backgrounds: these are just a few examples of what an ordinary photo can be transformed into.

Designed to give free rein to one’s artistic and creative aspirations, PhotoArtist 2 allows the user to fine-tune effects and manually paint them onto the on-screen canvas using fine brush strokes. But one can also apply and combine effects onto the entire canvas with a single mouse click.

This makes PhotoArtist 2 the ideal painting tool for both professionals and consumers: it allows users to create hand made art with a strong personal touch, but one can also obtain quick - yet great looking - results. To add a deeper dimension to the software, pen tablet support is included as well.

PhotoArtist 2 offers many advantages over the previous version: more than 30 additional filters, various new brushes, increased fine-tuning options, and an improved software interface. Also, the Mac version of PhotoArtist 2 is a Universal application, ensuring optimum performance on both PowerPC and Intel based systems.

Free demo versions, for both Macintosh and Windows platforms, can be downloaded directly from benvista.com. An inviting upgrade offer is available for registered users of PhotoArtist, PhotoArtist Express, and PhotoMagic.

Prestigious International Underwater Photography Competition

Popular websites Wetpixel.com and DivePhotoGuide.com, in association with Our World Underwater, one of the largest consumer dive shows in the US, celebrate the beauty and delicacy of the marine environment with the announcement of the 3rd annual, international underwater photography and video competition. The competition has become the "Superbowl" of international underwater imagery competitions, with world-class prizes, major industry involvement, celebrity judges, and the opportunity to have your images showcased to the world as some of the best. Truly an international competition, last year winners hailed from 17 different countries.

The official competition website has links to entry forms, guidelines prizes and more information: underwatercompetition.com

Photographers will compete in seven still-image categories and two video categories, to win more than $50,000 in prizes including premium dive travel, underwater photo, video and diving equipment and more! Dive packages include trips to some of the top photo destinations in the world, including Socorro, Wakatobi-Indonesia, Papua New Guinea, Ambon-Indonesia, the Red Sea, Grand Cayman, the Solomon Islands and Vietnam! Other prizes include housings, strobes, lighting systems, signed books and other valuable items.

The competition includes a category for images that focus on conservation and the marine environment, and one specifically for entries taken by compact digital cameras. All compact camera entrants will receive one free lesson from TheUnderwaterPhotographer.com

Prestigious judges include leading professional underwater photographers, cinematographers and editors.

Deadline for submissions Jan 13, 2008

Winners will be announced live on stage at the 2008 Our World Underwater film festival in Chicago, Illinois (February 15-17, 2008), and will be published by our supporting media partners worldwide. Winning videos will be broadcast via podcast as episodes of the iTunes-featured DiveFilm Podcast Video and DiveFilm High Definition Podcast Video

As with all UnderwaterCompetition.com events, 15% of entry proceeds will be donated to marine conservation efforts.

For more information, please contact: contest@divephotoguide.com.

Friday, September 14, 2007

Lightroom Journal Explores New Photoshop Lightroom v1.2 Release

Find out more information about the recent release of Photoshop Lightroom v1.2 from Adobe on the Lightroom Journal. This is a great blog covering the ins and outs of Adobe's fantastic photo management application.

Canon Tops Recent Digicam Customer Satisfaction Studies

New York – Reports by Ispos Insight and J.D. Power and Associates put Canon atop the digital camera market in terms of customer satisfaction.

Canon was singled out as the “best manufacturer” from fifteen brands in an Ipsos Insight Internet poll conducted during the spring. Nearly a quarter of respondents (24 percent) picked Canon, followed by Kodak (17 percent), Sony and Nikon (15 percent) and Olympus (6 percent).

Canon won highest marks among younger, college-educated users and those with high incomes, the firm noted. Kodak earned kudos from older, less-educated consumers, Ipsos said.

“Our study results show that consumer perception of the Kodak brand has been more positive than the brand’s actual market share figures would reflect,” said Leslie Rich, Ipsos Insight media, entertainment and technology practice VP in a statement released with the findings.

Seventy percent of Internet households own a digital camera and 61 percent own a photo printer, the study found. Younger consumers reported higher digital camera ownership and older consumers had stronger printer ownership numbers.

Ipsos also noted that digital cameras and home photo printers are second only to cell phones as the most pervasive consumer electronics in consumer’s homes

“Americans are embracing their love for digital photography and sharing images within their social networks. The online photo storage and sharing industry will benefit from this and continue to grow,” Rich observed.

On the printing side, Ipsos predicted that HP’s lock on the ink cartridge business would come under increasing pressure as consumers catch on to alternatives, like aftermarket cartridges or inkjet refillers. “Consumers are likely to sacrifice some quality in response to the perceived price-gouging by the [printing] industry leaders,” Rich said.

In J.D. Power and Associates 2007 Digital Camera Usage and Satisfaction study, Canon’s PowerShot SD series ranked highest in the premium point and shoot digital camera segment. Casio took top honors in the “ultra slim” segment with its Exilim Zoom line, while Fujifilm’s FinePix F series lead the general point-and-shoot segment and Nikon’s D-series took d-SLR honors.

The research firm used picture quality, performance, operation, and appearance and styling as judging criteria.

Brand loyalty was strongest among d-SLR users, the firm found, and d-SLR users reported greater satisfaction with their product and a higher propensity to recommend their current brand.

"The relationship between owner satisfaction and brand loyalty is critical to manufacturers in this highly competitive market," said Steve Kirkeby, telecommunications and technology executive director, J.D. Power and Associates, in a statement released with the findings.

"A 10-point improvement in overall satisfaction can lead to a 1-percentage-point improvement in brand loyalty, particularly within the point and shoot, premium point and shoot and ultra slim segments," he added.

Aside from being happier, d-SLR owners also snapped more than twice as many photos per month as their point-and-shoot counterparts, 400 photos vs. 140.

Among purchase motivators, J.D. Power found that 36 percent of all camera owners report that positive recommendations from friends and family played a strong role in their purchase decision.
By Greg Scoblete -- TWICE

PhotoShelter Online Microstock Site

The photo marketing and archiving service PhotoShelter will launch a new online marketplace for stock photography on September 15, 2007. The PhotoShelter Collection will allow photographers to set their own prices for images accepted by a team of professional photo editors, and will pay photographers 70 percent of each transaction's proceeds. The Collection complements PhotoShelter's Personal Archive service, which provides a platform for individual photographers' image archives and portfolios, and includes e-commerce tools.

Although the PhotoShelter Collection offers an alternative to existing microstock sites such as iStockphoto and SnapVillage , it represents a departure from typical microstock pricing schemes, which limit image prices to very low dollar amounts and pay commissions of 30 percent or less. Instead of capping image prices, the PhotoShelter Collection imposes a $50 minimum price per photo. PhotoShelter CEO Allen Murabayashi has called the company's approach the "antithesis of microstock," emphasizing its desire to drive a shift in the online stock photography market by providing photographers at all stages of their careers with an avenue for reaching commercial buyers without artificially lowering the market value of their images.

Popphoto.com got an advance look at the Collection's online platform for photographers, and we can attest to its efficient and attractive design. A combination of tabbed sections, drop-down selection menus, and drag-and-drop functionality makes the interface simple and intuitive, while a flash-based uploading tool obviates any need to download desktop software in order to use the site. The platform is supported by the Internet Explorer, Firefox, and Safari browsers, and PhotoShelter has also developed a plug-in for Aperture integration.

The interface also includes a handy loupe tool, which allows users to view any part of a photo at 100 percent magnification in a small window by mousing over the image. Also available in the buyer interface, which will launch in November, this tool will allow purchasers to quickly check image sharpness and detail before buying a photo.

PhotoShelter has given considerable attention to the Collection's image-search functionality, hiring a linguist to oversee the development of keywords.

Photographers enter these with each photo, and buyers can use them to search for images. When a buyer enters a search term that has more than one meaning, a set of definitions is presented to narrow the search and prevent buyers from having to sort through images that are unrelated to what they're looking for.

To submit images for inclusion in the Collection, photographers must fill out a brief application and upload three to ten images for evaluation by PhotoShelter's editors. If approved, the photographer will be able to submit additional images for consideration. Once an image is accepted, the photographer must enter pricing, basic image attributes, and keywords, and indicate whether a model or property release is available, uploading the release document if available. The interface for entering this information pulls in EXIF and IPTC metadata from each image in order to keep data entry time to a minimum. Other image information such as captions and keywords can also be entered. Each image in the Collection is categorized as Editorial, Pro Stock, or Contemporary. The Pro Stock category includes creative images with a traditional stock photography look, while Contemporary photos have a more unorthodox aesthetic.

In addition to accepting and rejecting photos, PhotoShelter's editors have the option of issuing a soft rejection, which is a sort of "close-but-no-cigar" option designed to encourage developing photographers whose work shows promise but not commercial viability as initially submitted. Soft rejections will be issued with a brief critique, and PhotoShelter is also launching forums and tutorials to help Collection photographers improve their chops. The editors also have the option to designate a photograph as an "editor's choice," a category that will be searchable by buyers for quick access to images that the editors feel are stand-outs. As part of the Collection launch, PhotoShelter will pay an 85 percent commission on work accepted through November 4, 2007, and sold within six months.

This announcement dovetails in with the Photoshelter "Town Hall" tour, which kicks off today in New York. Click here for more information on the Photography 2.0 roundtables and upcoming sessions in 5 other cities.
provided by popphoto.com

New Handy Camera Straps From Epic Photo Gear

According to Imaging Resource Epic Photo Gear has just announced three unique camera straps with a twist – these straps all have two handy pockets – one for a cell phone and the other for camera batteries or memory cards. Vic Cherubini, President of epic photo gear was inspired to design the new straps after attending a Friday night high school football game. “I was at the game and noticed one of the photographers on the sidelines with a small pocket sewn into his camera strap. His wife added the appendage which he used to hold an extra battery and a memory card. I though it was a wonderful idea, but I wanted to take it to the next level said Cherubini, so he designed the PocketPal line of camera straps.

PocketPal Camera Straps™ have a contemporary design and are curved to fit the profile of your shoulder (see photos below). Soft Velour padding on the underside provides comfort, distributes the weight of the camera, and keeps the strap in place. If you have a need to remove the strap, a set of quick release buckles allow it to instantly be disconnected from the camera. Yet the feature that makes this product really unique is a set of two pockets in the front of the strap. The larger pocket measures 3” x 1” x 1.5” and was designed to hold a cell phone. The elastic band on both sides of the pocket allows it to accommodate a wide variety of cell phones. The smaller pocket measures 2.5” x 1”, and will hold two AA batteries, memory cards a key or change. The contents for each pocket are kept secure with Velcro tabbed flaps.

The straps are fully adjustable and measure 2” wide by up to 50” long. The PocketPal Camera Straps can be used in combination with the line of hand grips sold by the company. PocketPal Camera Straps are available in a three styles:

- Black Faux Leather style (Model 10B)
- Red ballistic fabric style (Model 20R)
- Blue ballistic fabric style (Model (20B)

At this time, the PocketPal straps are only available directly from epic photo gear.

The three styles of straps are each sold with a 100% money back guarantee. You can order the straps directly from epic at 281-363-3742 or online in the stores section of their web site: http://www.epicsoftware.com/

KoffeePhoto Online Storage And Management

KoffeeWare has unveiled a new version of KoffeePhoto, the online photo storage and sharing solution. KoffeePhoto perfectly targets the needs of photo storing and sharing within the scope of known relationship (family, friends) where numerous photos are shared and where privacy is a concern. Based on the feedback from numerous users, this new version targets increased simplicity and added proximity to the users' everyday experience with his photo management tasks thus providing the convergence between local photo management, remote photo sharing and online photo storage and backup.

KoffeePhoto is a complete photo management solution including a software for local management and background photo upload tasks as well as a web space for photo sharing and print ordering tasks. Albums are available for viewing by anyone anywhere at anytime. KoffeePhoto thus perfectly addressed the needs of the general public use: a lot of pictures taken and shared with family and friends rapidly, without limitation nor hassle. Pictures can be displayed interactively or through a full screen Flash based slideshow. Size of the screen used is automatically detected to optimize display and bandwidth usage. More, the pictures can be displayed on personalized home pages or web pages using the modules available for iGoogle and Netvibes.

The main advantage of the KoffeePhoto photo sharing solution is the distributed storage. The original files are stored on the computers of fellows sharing the picture and are the source for a restoration of the photo library if lost. This distributed storage offers a straightforward solution for patrimonial archiving of photos which will become a more and more critical task as more digital pictures are taken and the computer's life time scarely exceeds a couple of years.

Last, KoffeePhoto provides for integrated photo prints ordering through multiple online vendors. Uploads to these printing services have also been optimized in order to reduce the upload time and improve the customer experience. Copied from server to server, transfer is close to instantaneous.

"This simplification of our photo storage and sharing solution fully addresses requirements expressed by our users" claims Carl Conrad, Marketing Manager of KoffeeWare, editor of KoffeePhoto. "and allows us to provide our partners with the right tools for an increased activity and turnover."

"Our new software architecture helped us to achieve far better synchronization times and allow KoffeePhoto to offer the fastest means of sharing hundreds of pictures." adds Gilles Pommereuil, CTO of KoffeeWare, editor of KoffeePhoto.

KoffeePhoto is available from http://www.koffeephoto.com/.

Nikon Releases New Versions Of ViewNX And Transfer Software

Nikon this week released two new software applications, the image upload program Nikon Transfer version 1.0.1 and the image browser Nikon ViewNX version 1.0.0. The software are compatible with both Windows and Macintosh platforms and are currently available online.

Nikon Transfer 1.0.1 is a software application that transfers images captured from Nikon digital cameras or memory media to a computer. The uploaded images contain embedded metadata, such as copyright information, ratings, and file titles, during data transfer, according to a Sept. 11 Nikon post. Users can select a specific image browser to launch automatically after images are moved using Nikon Transfer. Nikon recommends the Nikon Transfer be used in concert with the new Nikon ViewNX 1.0.0 image browser. ViewNX is meant for viewing standard JPEG sizes, as well as larger RAW (NEF) files. Users can browse through their photos in three views: Thumbnail Grid, Image Viewer, and Full Screen. The management software also retains XMP and IPTC information and displays histograms, highlights, shadows, and focus area.

“ViewNX and Nikon Transfer offer smooth collaboration. Use of these two applications together is convenient and recommended,” states the company website. Nikon Transfer v1.0.1 and NikonView NX v1.0.0 are available for download at the Nikon Knowledge Database download page.

Phase One Release Capture One 4

Phase One recently released Capture One 4 beta, a RAW photo management software. As the follow-up version to Capture One 3.x LE, the updated software promises a simplified interface and faster response times, according to the company website. Users can download the free beta of Capture One 4 until Nov. 1.

Still in its testing phase, the beta version supports large RAW files during workflow like the earlier 3.x LE version. Existing customers of the final versions of LE and PRO qualify for free upgrades. New users can purchase Capture One version 3.7x LE for $99 and then activate the full version of Capture One 4 when it becomes available, at no extra cost. Capture One 4 is compatible with Windows XP and higher and Mac OS 10.4.8 and higher. The beta is available for download on the Phase One website.

Adobe Releases v1.2 Update For Photoshop Lightroom

Adobe has released a free update for Photoshop Lightroom users. Version 1.2 is now available for download from within the application itself, or on the Adobe website.

According to the Readme PDF from Adobe, Lightroom 1.2 includes corrections for the following issues:

● Lightroom 1.1 catalogs with user-specified sort order could not be imported into another catalog
● Lightroom 1.1 for Windows could at times display gray boxes instead of image thumbnails
● The preference to write XMP metadata automatically in Lightroom 1.1 could attempt to write metadata indefinitely foroffline images causing significant performance problems
● Images could be dropped from the Quick Collection upon reordering of the source folder
● Catalogs could not be exported to drives smaller than 250MB
● The Web Module was not accessible in Lightroom 1.1 on the Macintosh platform when Lightroom was installed on case-sensitive volumes such as the Case Sensitive HFS+ (Journaled) volume
● Errors occurred exporting to a Linux SMB network volume
● Scroll position in the grid view was not maintained when changing the view option using the J shortcut key
● The tokens for image number and image count were not displaying properly in the Slideshow module
● The metadata panel could display incorrectly on Windows
● Slideshows on the Macintosh platform did not display properly when a 256MB ATI graphics card was connected to 30 ” LCD
● The Lightroom 1.1 Web module export did not position the copyright tag in the same location displayed in the preview
● The auto-eject functionality on Windows ejected the card reader device in addition to the card
● Noise reduction adjustment for all cameras with Bayer Pattern sensor: The base point noise reduction applied at the demosaic stage of raw processing has been reduced. The resulting effect is that images with zero luminance noise reduction applied in Lightroom 1.2 will contain more noise than the identical settings in Lightroom 1.1 but less noise than identical settings in Lightroom 1.0.
● 1:1 previews were not discarded according to the timing set in the Lightroom preferences
● 1:1 previews are not built for an entire set of images when requested after import

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Two Florida Photographers Killed In News Helicopter Crash

Local news aerial photography is becoming a dangerous business. Recently here in Phoenix, Arizona two news helicopters collided killing the pilots and on-board photographers, while covering a police chase. Yesterday a similar situation occurred in Florida while a news helicopter was covering the testing of a boat off the Florida coast. While this was only a single helicopter accident, the two photographers on-board were killed. Read an account of this terrible tragedy on the National Press Photographers Association website.

FUJIFILM Makes It Easier For Customers to Get Film and One-Time-Use Camera Prints

35mm Film and One-Time-Use Camera Pre-Paid Mailers are Now Available.

“This program offers the consumer value and convenience. It brings quality Fujicolor processing right to the consumer’s doorstep with easy-to-use postage paid mailers,” said Rafi Haqqani, Senior Product Manager for One-Time-Use Cameras, FUJIFILM U.S.A., Inc.

Fujifilm is especially excited to offer this service in times when it may be challenging for consumers to find time to drop off their film and pick up prints, or to find a photofinishing retailer in some remote areas. Consumers can purchase the pre-paid mailers at the time of their Film or One-Time-Use Camera purchase, mail the exposed cartridge or camera, and then have the prints conveniently delivered to their door.

Separate pre-paid mailers are available for 35mm Film and 35mm One-Time-Use Cameras. Each mailer holds one roll of Film, or one OTUC. Prints are 4”x6”, printed on high quality glossy Fujicolor Crystal Archive Paper, and mailed back to the consumer within 7-10 business days.

Suggested retail prices for the pre-paid mailers are $15.99 for the 35mm Film mailer and $17.99 for the 35mm OTUC mailer.

Adobe Announces Photoshop Express Online Service

An online version of popular photo editor Adobe Photoshop is currently in development, called Photoshop Express. The upcoming entry-level online editor was first announced in March, with an intended target base of consumers that want to access photo editing through online sharing sites. Adobe previewed Photoshop Express at last week’s Photoshop World in Las Vegas, Nev.

Modeled after Premiere Express, Adobe’s video editor announced earlier this year, Adobe is approaching Photoshop Express with the same online audience in mind. While Adobe did not specify details about the pending photo program, the company likens Photoshop Express to Premiere Express which, upon release, will be a free, Flash-based application that can be accessed through sharing sites such as Photobucket and TestTube.

Photoshop Express will not replace the professional Photoshop CS3 version or the basic Elements edition, according to a Thursday blog post by Adobe Photoshop Senior Product Manager John Nack.

“Rather, it's a new member of the Photoshop family that's meant to make Adobe imaging technology immediately accessible way to large numbers of people,” said Nack in the post.

An availability date of Photoshop Express has yet to be announced.

Hands-On Preview From Digital Photography Review

Digital Photography Review has posted a hands-on preview of the upcoming Nikon D300 digital SLR. It includes close-up photos of the camera itself, side-by-side comparison to the D200, and camera specifications. Read the entire
Nikon D300 Preview.

Image Trends Releases AutoMatting Digital Mat Software

Software maker Image Trends has announced a new AutoMatting program that automatically creates custom digital mats for photographs, and sizes them to a selected aspect ratio. This creates a consistent look for vertical and horizontal photographs shown together on any kind of display device and eliminates black bars. AutoMatting can process single images and batches. It creates a custom mat with a beveled edge effect for each image. Each mat incorporates colors and patterns from the photograph it displays.

A Windows version of AutoMatting is available for $49.95 or as a free trial from the Image Trends Web site. The company says it will create a Mac version of the software if there is a demand for it.

Pentax Introduces New Pentaxian.com Website

PENTAX Imaging Company announced today the launch of a community-based website developed for PENTAX photographers. The new website, www.pentaxian.com, welcomes visitors from around the world.

"The term 'Pentaxian' is used widely by PENTAX photographers who describe themselves on various web photo forums," said Ned Bunnell, vice president marketing, PENTAX Imaging Company. "We built www.pentaxian.com as a gathering place for them all."

At the core of the site are videos that share the stories of four inspiring Pentaxian artists and their passion for photography. Godfrey DiGiorgio of San Francisco, CA, is a former NASA scientist and computer technology executive turned urban street photographer. Mark Dimalanta of Huntington Beach, CA, is a former Doctor of Medicine turned freelance international surf photographer. Kerrick James of Mesa, AZ, has been a professional nature photographer of the American West for more than 20 years. Julie Quarry of Portland, OR, is a cruise ship marketing executive who picked up her first digital SLR two years ago and now freelances on the side as a photographer.

Additional current features of http://www.pentaxian.com/ include:

A Community Section with a content geo cloud where visitors from around the world may submit a brief answer to the question "What makes you a Pentaxian?" followed by their name, country, city, and an image of themselves (optional)

Fun search options to locate hidden promotions and opportunities to win free premium items such as t-shirts, cameras, lenses, and flashes

An entertaining quiz that tests Pentaxian knowledge and gathers information about what it means to be a Pentaxian

Access to various Pentaxian print advertising campaigns including PDFs and wallpaper downloads

A "Keep Me In The Loop" email signup that allows visitors to opt-in to receive future Pentaxian updates including new artist videos, product promotions and more.

In addition to the www.pentaxian.com launch, PENTAX opened the doors of http://www.pentaxphotogallery.com/ in August to give photographers around the world the opportunity to be represented in the gallery and share their most defining moments of photography. As a companion site, pentaxphotogallery.com offers PENTAX photographers a place to display their work, while pentaxian.com offers an environment for PENTAX enthusiasts and new consumers to participate in and learn more about the brand, the products and the photographers.

PENTAX digital SLR photographers interested in more information regarding submitting work to the gallery may email: photogallery@pentax.com.

ACDSee Pro 2 Released

ACD Systems International Inc. has put a new level of control and convenience into photographers' hands with the release of ACDSee Pro 2, featuring next-generation workflow management and RAW processing functionality tested by thousands of professional photographers.

This updated version of the industry's most complete, "one-stop" software package for viewing, processing, editing, cataloging, publishing and archiving digital images is rich with new features. The capabilities of ACDSee Pro 2 leverage the power of today's digital SLR cameras and support an expanding variety of RAW-format files. The upgrade was developed with input from more than 2,500 photographers from around the globe who participated in a beta-testing program earlier this year.

"Our Pro 2 software serves professionals and avid amateur photographers who need advanced tools," said Mark Franklin, executive vice president of ACD Systems. "The ability to work directly with our customers has allowed us to develop a product release that will bring unprecedented efficiency to the photographic community, freeing them to focus on what they do best -- producing quality images."

ACDSee Pro 2's expanded processing power and speed allows viewing and handling of large RAW files with the speed of smaller JPEGs. File manipulation is made easier with cutting and pasting of RAW photo settings, one-step rotating and cropping, and recovery of up to two stops of lost highlight detail with the Highlights Recovery slider. RAW files can now be simultaneously exported to up to 14 different formats and multiple resolutions. Options to rename, resize and embed color profiles are also included in this time-saving operation.

Cataloging images is now even easier with ACDSee Pro 2's improved metadata features, including automated metadata-based file sorting capabilities, and read/write capabilities for XMP sidecar files and digital negatives (DNG). Enhanced editing is made possible through tools such as opacity and blending, channel mixer, and patent-pending shadow and highlight controls. Other key features in ACDSee Pro 2, which is Certified for Windows Vista, include uploading to online services like Flickr and advanced browsing capabilities such as "Group By," "Filter By" and "Events View."

"I haven't found a better program than ACDSee Pro to blaze through my workflow. I can fly through a thousand-picture assignment and have a tight edit sent to a client in no time," said David Honl, a photojournalist based in Istanbul, Turkey.

Selected Formats Supported by ACDSee Pro 2
For the complete list of camera RAW formats supported by ACDSee software, visit www.acdsee.com.

Highlights of the list include:

• Canon EOS-1D Mark III
• Canon EOS 400D / Digital Rebel XTi
• Epson R-D1
• FujiFilm FinePix S5 Pro
• FujiFilm FinePix S6000fd
• Imacon Ixpress
• Kodak DCS Pro SLR/c
• Konica Minolta Dynax 7D
• Leaf Aptus 75
• Leaf Valeo 22
• Leica M8
• Nikon D80
• Nikon D200
• Olympus E-510
• Panasonic Lumix DMC-L1
• Pentax K10D
• Phase One H 25
• Ricoh GR Digital
• Samsung Pro 815
• Sinar 12582980-byte
• Sony Alpha DSLR-A100

Pricing and Availability
ACDSee Pro 2 is available now for $129.99 (USD) by visiting www.acdsee.com. Current ACDSee customers are eligible for a 30-percent customer discount via online purchase of the ACDSee Pro 2 upgrade.

Thursday, September 06, 2007

Karen Kuehn Photography

While scanning the latest updates on Matt Kloskowski’s Adobe Photoshop Lightroom Killer Tips blog, I noticed his posting regarding New Mexico photographer Karen Kuehn. I just wanted to share this wonderful photographer’s website and body of work. Take a look for yourself at the impressive images of celebs such as Sean Penn, Santana, Denis Leary and many more.

Karen Kuehn Photography

Corel Announces Paint Shop Pro Photo X2

Official Company Press Release:
Corel Corporation, a leading developer of graphics, productivity and digital media software, has announced the launch of Corel Paint Shop Pro Photo X2, a major new product release from its award-winning digital media portfolio. Corel Paint Shop Pro Photo X2 is the ideal digital photography software for aspiring photographers and business communicators who want to transform their digital pictures into professional-looking photos fast. Corel Paint Shop Pro Photo X2 provides users with the widest selection of photo editing features ranging from automatic tools for quick fixes to precision controls for fine-tuning. Unlike lite, essentials or elements version photo editors, Corel Paint Shop Pro Photo X2 provides continued depth of functionality that enables users to grow as their skills and knowledge progress.

With Corel Paint Shop Pro Photo X2, viewing, sorting and processing downloaded photos is faster than ever thanks to the all new Express Lab. Beginners benefit from a wide range of automatic, one-click adjustments while advanced users can take full advantage of the program's manual adjustments providing more direct control over each photo. With speed improvements and the built-in Learning Center, new users can produce results quickly, learning as they go.

"Our focus for this release of Corel Paint Shop Pro Photo was to make it even easier and faster for both new and experienced users to create stunning digital photos," said Denise MacDonell, Director, Product Management, Digital Media at Corel. "We worked closely with users to understand how they interact with our software in order to deliver an end product that truly reflects and enriches the way they use Paint Shop Pro Photo at home and at work."

Powerful Photo Editing Made Easy

Corel Paint Shop Pro Photo X2 offers a number of new features and significant enhancements to bring the power and creative possibilities of digital photography to more users. New features in Corel Paint Shop Pro Photo X2 include:

Express Lab

The all-new Express Lab mode enables users to view and edit dozens of photos in the time it used to take to edit just a few. When using Express Lab, users can rapidly crop, rotate, apply color adjustments and perform other common tasks on large numbers of images without having to open each image individually. Now even new users can edit photos with the speed and efficiency of a professional photographer. Express Lab includes full support for all file formats including camera raw.

Graphite Look and Feel

Corel Paint Shop Pro Photo X2 features a new graphite workspace that puts the focus on the photo. The new interface also provides a neutral background for unbiased color adjustments.

HDR Photo Merge

With the NEW HDR Photo Merge, users can easily create photos that capture the full details found in the shadows and the highlights of a high-contrast scene. Users can combine two or more photos taken at different exposures and use the Clarify feature to automatically "dodge and burn" bringing out the contrast.

Makeover Tools

With the NEW Thinify tool, users can make anyone look thinner with just one click. The NEW Eye Drop tool takes the red out of bloodshot eyes. The popular Suntan brush and Blemish Fixer have also been enhanced so users of any skill level can quickly and easily touch up images like the pros.

Layer Styles

With the NEW Layer Styles, photographers and business users can add drop shadows, embossing, outer and inner glows, bevels and reflections to text, photos and creative projects.

Visible Watermarks

Users can easily create and add a personal watermark to their photos, whether they are a professional photographer sharing proofs with a client or an individual user who wants to share images online.

Auto-Preserve Originals

The NEW Auto-Preserve Originals option enables users to freely experiment with changes to their photos, confident that their original image is preserved.

Save for Office

With the NEW Save for Office option, photos are automatically resized and saved in the appropriate format for a given project. File sizes are also automatically compressed to make it easier for the business user to share images via email. Users who prefer to Copy and Paste can use the NEW Copy Special options for the same benefits.

Dynamic Language Switching

With Dynamic Language Switching, Corel Paint Shop Pro Photo X2 makes it easy for users to work in their preferred language, a feature especially useful to Corel's growing number of multinational corporate site license customers.

Crop as New Image

For people who scan multiple images at once, the Crop as New Image option automatically opens scanned photos into separate documents, dramatically increasing the speed and efficiency with which users can crop and save their photos.

For a complete list of new and enhanced features in Corel Paint Shop Pro Photo X2, please visit www.corel.com/paintshopprophoto.

"With Corel Paint Shop Pro Photo X2, Corel is demonstrating a clear understanding of its target customers - aspiring photographers and business professionals who want to use images to enhance their communication at work, in their communities or in their personal relationships with family and friends," said Alexis Gerard, President, Future Image Inc. and author of Going Visual. "This release of Paint Shop Pro Photo delivers improved usability with the addition of Express Lab, adds many more options to the photographer's toolbox and continues to push the envelope for ease-of-use and price/performance ratio."

Pricing and Availability

With a suggested retail price of $99.99 (US and Canada), Corel Paint Shop Pro Photo X2 is available starting today through www.corel.com and in the coming weeks through Corel's global channel partners. Included in the purchase price are video tutorials from www.lynda.com, Nik(TM) plug-in filter effects and a special version of Corel(R) MediaOne(TM) Plus - the fast, fun and easy photo and video software. Corel MediaOne Plus will be available via download beginning mid September. To learn more about Corel's digital media portfolio or to download a free, fully-functional trial version of Corel Paint Shop Pro Photo X2, please visit www.corel.com/paintshopprophoto.

FujiFilm Reduces Price Of FinePix S700

Effective September 2, 2007, Fujifilm has reduced the price of the FinePix S700 to $229.95. The FinePix S700 has not only received rave reviews in many publications, but now it becomes an even greater value.

Ideal for families seeking to kick it up a notch with a more advanced, compact SLR-style digital camera without losing operational simplicity, the FinePix S700 is feature-packed, yet affordable and easy to use. Additionally, its powerful 10x optical zoom will ensure that you capture great close-up action shots of your kids playing sports or candid shots of the family on vacation.
provided by fujifilm

New Lenses And Vertical Grip With Sony's A700 DSLR

The Alpha 700 DSLR from Sony has now been announced and will be available in October. The camera will be introduced with two new lenses, bringing Sony’s lens and teleconverter catalog up to 23 models. Supplied as a standard kit lens, the new DT 16-105 mm f.3.5 – 5.6 lens features a distinctive zoom range (35mm equivalency of 24 – 157.5 mm); compact, lightweight design; and internal focusing. The other addition is a powerful and compact high-magnification DT 18 – 250 mm f3.5 – 6.3 lens. Sony is also planning to introduce a specialty 70 -300 mm f4.5 – 5.6 SSM G telephoto lens featuring super sonic wave motor auto focus drive system for smooth auto focusing in Spring 2008.

Sony’s full line of accessories will also expand to include a new vertical grip. Equipped with buttons and switches for the most essential control functions, it offers the same ease of operation and handling as when shooting vertically. It houses two InfoLithium® batteries (sold separately), which will automatically switch to the second battery when the first one runs out. Remaining charges of both batteries are displayed on the camera’s LCD screen.

Sony Finally Reveals New Alpha 700 DSLR

Sony finally reveals its next addition to the Alpha Digital SLR camera line. As a current owner of the Sony A100, the A700 is a curiosity but I won't even entertain the idea of upgrading until I see the 'Pro' version which is rumored to be released early next year.

From the official company press release:

Sony is expanding its α (Alpha) digital SLR system with the introduction of the DSLR-A700 camera, which is aimed at photo enthusiasts or serious photo hobbyists.
The new model features advanced imaging technologies and ultra-responsive operation, as well as a lightweight, dust- and moisture-resistant, magnesium alloy construction common to enthusiast-class D-SLR cameras.
Like Sony’s mainstream DSLR-A100 model, the new A700 unit incorporates Super SteadyShot® Inside image stabilization in the camera body and is compatible with most Minolta Maxxum® mount lenses in addition to Sony lenses.

Imaging Resource takes a closer look and has posted various images of the new camera body.

Popular Photography & Imaging also provides some insight regarding this new Sony DSLR release.

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

O'Reilly Media Releases Sony Alpha Manual

O'Reilly Media has released the Sony Alpha DSLR A100: A Better Manual in .pdf form. According to O'Reilly "This unique manual is better than the manual that comes with your camera." It should at the very least assist a first-time DSLR owner who has purchased the Sony Alpha 100. Written by Ken Milburn, this 90-page document is available for download for only $9.99.

Nikon Announces Eight New CoolPix Digicams

Nikon has taken the wraps off eight new CoolPix cameras, offering a wide selection of features and price points designed to appeal to first-time digital camera buyers, experienced point-and-shoot snappers, and more serious photographers who want more power and control of their picture-taking. At the same time, the company has also announced my Picturetown, enabling users to securely store up to 2 GB of images and video online, accessible via either computer or BlackBerry handheld device.

First up, the slim CoolPix S700 and S510 offer 12.1 and 8.1 megapixel resolutions, respectively, along with a 37 times; optical zoom, optical image stabilization, and high ISO sensitivities for snapping pictures in low light conditions (the S510 goes to ISO 200, the S700 to ISO 3200). Both cameras feature 2.7-inch LCD monitors, store images fo SDHC media, and offer faster startup times, improved image processing, and Nikon's Face Priority autofocus system which can pick out and optimize for up to 12 faces in a single frame. Expect to see them in September, with the X700 running around $375.95 and the S510 going for around $299.95.

If you're looking for something a little more wireless, check out the Coolpix S51C a Wi-Fi enabled Coolpix camera which can send images via email without using a PC, but also offers direct support for my Picturetown, so users have a convenient, wireless means to back up their images and video. The S51c offers 8.1 megapixel resolution, a 3× optical zoom, and sports Nikon's Expeed image processing system. Also on board: optical image stabilization, ISO sensitivity down to 1600, a 3-inch LCD monitor, face-priority autofocus, and SDHC image storage. Expect to see the S51c in September for about $329.95; it also comes with six months of complimentary Wi-Fi service on T-Mobile's HotSpot service. A Wi-Fi free version dubbed the S51 will also be available for $279.95.

Next up, Nikon is adding the budget-friendly L14 and L15 to it's "Life" series of Coolpix cameras. The L14 comes in at 7 megapixels, features a 2.4-inch LCD display, while the L15 steps things up by offering 8 megapixels, a 2.6-inch display, and optical image stabilization. Both cameras sport 3× optical zooms, sensitivity down to ISO 1000, 15 different scene modes, and Nikon's Expeed image processing for fast response times. Built-in face recognition can optimize images for up to five faces in a single frame, and both can run off readily-available AA batteries, in case you get caught on vacation or in the middle of nowhere without a charger. The L14 and L15 will be available in September for suggested prices of $149.95 and $179.95, respectively.

If budget cameras aren't appealing, check out Nikon's new CoolPix P5100 and P50. The P5100 offers a 12.1 megapixel resolution, a 2.5-inch LCD display, a 3.5× optical zoom, optical image stabilization, sensitivity down to ISO 3200, and a slew of shutter, program, aperture, and manual exposure modes sure to appeal to the photographer who wants full control of a shot rather than the point-and-shoot gamble. The P5100 is also compatible with a wide range of accessories, such as Nikon telephoto lenses and wide angle lens converters. Meanwhile, the P50 offers an 8 megapixel resolution, a 3.6× optical zoom, a 2.4-inch LCD display, sensitivity down to ISO 2000, electronic shake reduction, and the ability to run off AA batteries. Both cameras feature Nikon's Expeed image processing system and Nikon's Face Priority autofocus system. The P5100 should hit retailers in September around $399.95, while the P50 will wait until October, at which point it'll go for about $229.95.
provided by digitaltrends.com

Nikon CoolPix S51c Digicam Press Release

Furthering the development of wireless sharing technology in digital cameras, Nikon has introduced the new COOLPIX S51c digital camera. This camera not only sends images via email through Wi-Fi, but it also supports my Picturetown, Nikon’s new photo sharing and storage service. In addition to an innovative Wi-Fi feature, the S51c boasts 8.1 megapixel resolution for generating high quality prints, a 3x Zoom-Nikkor glass lens ensuring great pictures with true-to-life color, and a huge, bright 3.0-inch LCD screen for users to easily compose and share images. The S51c is also the first in Nikon’s Style line of COOLPIX cameras to utilize the new EXPEED™ image-processing system. To help ensure the consumer will be able to capture stunningly sharp images, the S51c features an Optical Vibration Reduction (VR) image stabilization system and ISO up to 1600, enhancing the camera’s low-light performance.

“Not only does the S51c boast superior imaging abilities, but it also enhances the photo sharing experience for the consumer,” said Bill Giordano, General Manager Marketing, COOLPIX for Nikon, Inc. “With the S51c and my Picturetown, consumers will be able to easily share and securely store their images, faster and more efficiently than ever before.”

Across town or across the ocean, by using the S51c’s One Touch Email with the Picture Mail button and Nikon’s new photo sharing and storage service, my Picturetown, consumers can take advantage of several avenues for sharing their images and videos. Through my Picturetown, users can email pictures directly to friends and family, publish pictures to the photo community sharing website Flickr, and link their photos to blogs and social networking sites. Pictures can also be sent to the email addresses of a Blackberry® device for viewing. Each S51c ships with a six-month complimentary T-Mobile™ HotSpot™ Wi-Fi service for digital cameras, allowing the user to send images and videos to my Picturetown from over 8,200 T-Mobile™ HotSpots™ nationwide.

In addition, S51c owners can utilize my Picturetown to store up to 2 gigabytes of images and movies, providing a valuable back up to memory card storage. S51c users are also able to access my Picturetown from their computers and Blackberry® devices, providing instant access to their images anytime, anywhere.
Adding to the advanced sharing capabilities of these cameras, the S51c features a huge, bright, high resolution 3.0-inch LCD monitor with a 160-degree viewing angle and an anti-reflection coating facilitating easier composition and high-quality playback anywhere, even in direct sunlight.

Furthermore, the LCD monitor serves as an excellent platform for Pictmotion™, which allows users to select up to 200 images along with music that’s pre-loaded, or from the user’s library. The music and photos are then automatically compiled in-camera to produce audiovisual shows in VGA quality for a truly personalized photo-sharing experience.

For capturing great portraits with ease, Nikon has enhanced their hallmark Face-Priority AF feature. When using the camera’s convenient One-Touch Portrait button, the S51c will be able to detect up to five faces in a frame, ensuring in- focus smiles and properly exposed faces. In addition to face detection, S51c users will be able to take advantage of In-Camera Red Eye Fix™, for fixing most instances of red eye, D-lighting, a feature that automatically lightens dark images as well as Optical Vibration Reduction, ensuring sharp pictures. This camera will also utilize EXPEED™, Nikon’s new imaging processing system for enhanced speed and brilliant color reproduction.

In addition to the COOLPIX S51c, Nikon has also today introduced the COOLPIX S51. Similar in features and form, the S51 offers the same stylish body and advanced yet easy to use imaging technologies as the S51c without the wireless transfer capabilities.

Both the COOLPIX S51 and the COOLPIX S51c come bundled with Nikon's COOLPIX software suite for transferring, organizing, editing, and sharing images. The cameras utilize a rechargeable EN-El8 Li-ion battery and are compatible with a wide array of SD and SDHC memory cards.

The COOLPIX S51 and the COOLPIX S51c digital cameras will be available nationwide beginning September 2007. The S51c has an MSRP of $329.95, and the S51 has an MSRP of $279.95. For more information about these and other COOLPIX cameras, please visit http://www.nikonusa.com/.

SanDisk Launches New High-Performance Ultra II Media

SanDisk® Corporation introduced two new capacities in its high-performance SanDisk Ultra® II line: a 4-gigabyte (GB)* SDHC™ Plus card and an 8GB Memory Stick PRO Duo™ card. The announcement was made at IFA, the world’s largest consumer electronics show, where SanDisk is exhibiting at Booth 130, in Hall 15.1 of Messe Berlin, through Sept. 5.

Both cards offer fast read and write speeds of 10 megabytes per second** (10MB/sec), reducing the waiting time between camera shots and the download time when transferring photos and video to a computer.

“With video recording becoming a standard feature on digital still cameras, memory cards need more capacity and speed to capture not only high-quality photos, but also video” said Susan Park, senior product marketing manger for SanDisk Ultra II cards. “Our SanDisk Ultra II line of high-capacity memory cards provides increased storage and speed to meet the growing demands of digital photography, so consumers can capture, preserve, and relive their most precious moments.”

“High-resolution digital still cameras and high-definition video camcorders using flash memory are changing the way people capture their memories,” said Ron Glaz, program director for digital capture devices and photofinishing research at IDC. “But the extra clarity and detail of these images require significant increases in the speed and storage of flash memory, creating demand for capacities such as 4GB and 8GB that would have seemed outlandish a few years ago.”

Beyond speed and capacity, the 4GB SanDisk Ultra II SDHC Plus card offers both SD™ and USB functionality in one card. Designed with SanDisk’s unique, patented Hinge Lock technology, the card may be inserted into a USB port on any computer. This two-in-one SD-plus-USB feature eliminates the need to carry cables or card readers to transfer photos and videos from cameras or camcorders. Despite its small size, the hinge is sturdy – having survived more than 10,000 open-close cycles in SanDisk’s durability testing.

The 8GB SanDisk Ultra II Memory Stick PRO Duo is designed for recording high-definition videos and high-resolution still images on Sony digital cameras and camcorders.

Pricing and availability
The 4GB SanDisk Ultra II SDHC Plus card has a manufacturer’s suggested retail price in the United States of $79.99. The 8GB SanDisk Ultra II Memory Stick PRO Duo card has a U.S. MSRP of $159.99. Worldwide availability of both cards is targeted for October.

SanDisk Launches Multi Card ExpressCard Adapter

SanDisk® Corporation has launched the SanDisk Multi Card ExpressCard™ Adapter, offering fast transfer speeds from memory cards to notebook computers without the need to carry cables or external card readers. The announcement was made at IFA, the world’s largest consumer electronics show, where SanDisk is exhibiting at Booth 130, in Hall 15.1 of Messe Berlin, through Sept. 5.

The new adapter fits into the ExpressCard slot now found in most new notebook computers, and accepts six card formats: SD™, SDHC™, MultiMediaCard™, MMCplus™, Memory Stick Duo™, Memory Stick PRO Duo™ and Memory Stick PRO-HG Duo™. Many competing ExpressCard adapters only accept the full size Memory Stick format, running counter to the swing in market momentum toward the smaller Duo form factor.

“With the SanDisk Multi Card ExpressCard Adapter, we’re supporting the rise of the ExpressCard slot in notebook computers,” said Matthijs Hutten, Senior Product Marketing Manager at SanDisk. “We expect ExpressCard to completely replace the PC Card standard in the near future, so offering an ExpressCard adapter which integrates many popular card formats is a natural move for SanDisk.”

For notebook computers without embedded memory card slots, the SanDisk Multi Card ExpressCard Adapter is an easy system upgrade. Users only need to pop the card into the ExpressCard slot – there is no software to install, with no external cables or hardware required. To transfer data, users simply take a memory card out of a device such as a digital still or video camera, an MP3 player, a portable game player or a mobile phone and insert the card into the adapter.

Even for notebook computers with embedded memory card slots, the SanDisk Multi Card ExpressCard Adapter can be useful. Embedded slots today don’t always support the new SD High Capacity (SDHC) format or the Memory Stick PRO Duo form factor, requiring users to carry an external reader. SanDisk’s new adapter offers native SDHC and Memory Stick PRO Duo support.

Pricing and Availability
The SanDisk Multi Card ExpressCard Adapter is expected to available in North America and Europe in September, with a manufacturer’s suggested retail price of $29.99 in the United States. Suggested retail pricing in Europe is yet to be announced.

Olympus Announces E-1 Successor In October

Olympus will reveal the successor to their top-of-the-range E-1 digital SLR, currently dubbed the E-P1 although rumored to be called the E-3, on 17th October. While no details about the camera have yet been officially announced there have been numerous leaks point to ten megapixels, Liveview, in-body image stabilization (like the E-510), five frames per second and eleven area auto-focus (as well as normal pro features such as full metal body, weatherproofing, etc.).

Altered Photo A 'Shocker'

A posed team photograph taken by a photographer at the Carroll Daily Times Herald of the Carroll High School football players was digitally altered when it ran in the paper to obscure what the paper and the school deemed to be and obscene hand gesture.

Four players were blurred in the picture, three for making the hand gesture and one for behaving in a manner that editors decided was not "respectable."

An editor's note ran beneath the photograph, which had a cutline naming every player (including the ones who were obscured):

"The above photo has been altered to remove hand gestures displayed by four members of the team. While we considered not publishing the photo, we felt it was not fair to the 51 young individuals who conducted themselves in a respectable manner."

The three players making the hand gesture were suspended from the team for one game. The fourth player obscured was not suspended, the Omaha World Herald reported.

The father of one of the players resigned as booster club president in protest over the altered photo and the way the school handled the situation. Mike Bach said the gesture is not obscene and has been used by male and female athletes in other sports at the school, and is used widely by college players. The hand gesture is commonly known as "The Shocker" and it involves the middle, index, and small fingers and is widely known to refer to the use of the hand in a sexual act.

The Omaha World Herald quotes Ann Wilson, the general manager and co-owner of the Carroll Daily Times Herald, who said that the players' action "was disrespectful to the team, to us and to women, which means mothers, sisters and girlfriends. Why cover it up? I think young people need to learn to take responsibility for their actions."

"Any gesture would be considered inappropriate, whether it's a thumbs-up or anything," she told the Omaha World Herald. "If it happens again, we'd do it the exact same way." Wilson said she strongly opposed re-shooting the photograph, so as not to use more of the newspaper or the team's time and resources.
provided by the NPPA

Kodak Announces 10-Inch Digital Picture Frame

Along with the launch of the EasyShare V1253, V1233, Z812 IS, and optional HD dock, Kodak introduced the SV1011 Digital Picture Frame. The frame supports photos taken in the wide 16:9 aspect ratio. The 10-inch Kodak SV1011 Digital Picture Frame with photo, video, and music capabilities will retail for $199.95 when it hits stores this month.

Like Kodak’s cameras, the frame comes equipped with Kodak Color Science technology that optimizes color and detail, according to company press materials. The Kodak SV1011 matches the screen size and monitor resolution of the Kodak EX1011 frame, announced in January. At nearly $80 less than the previous model, the SV1011 frame ditches Wi-Fi abilities but maintains the wide 16:9 aspect ratio viewing abilities on the 10-inch TFT color LCD. The SV1011 frame has a screen resolution of 384,000 pixels.

The Kodak SV1011 is compatible with JPEG photos, movies in MOV, AVI, MPEG 1, and MPEG 4 format, and MP3 audio. Users can insert their memory card media into the frame for automatic viewing in slide show or thumbnail form, or store files on the frame’s 128 MB internal memory. For additional storage, the SV1011 frame accepts SD, CF, xD, MS, MMC, MD, and USB flash media. The Kodak frame has built-in stereo speakers and an earphone jack.

The frame with remote allows users to copy and delete images. Users can also directly print photos from the frame without the use of a computer via a PictBridge compatible printer.

Panasonic Announces 10MP Lumix DMC-L10 DSLR

Panasonic today introduced the 10.1-megapixel Lumix DMC-L10, the company’s second digital SLR. The entry-level SLR features face detection technology, a rotating 2.5-inch Live View LCD, and a dust reduction system. The L10 will retail for $1299.95 when it is released in October.

The L10 is the follow up to the 7.5-megapixel L1, announced in early 2006. The L1 was the first non-Olympus SLR to use a Four-Thirds format sensor. While the L10 retains the Live View LCD, dust reduction system, and Venus Engine III image processor of its predecessor, it comes a few notable upgrades including higher resolution, a better autofocus system, a rotating LCD, and face detection.

Panasonic markets the LS10 as a stepping stone from compact digital cameras to digital SLRs. Features such as face detection, scene modes, and the live view LCD are familiar to point-and-shooters looking to advance their skills.

“Panasonic’s advanced digital imaging technologies, including Optical Image Stabilization and Intelligent ISO control settings, are helping LUMIX compact digital cameras make a name for themselves in this industry, “said Alex Fried, National Marketing Manager, Imaging, Panasonic Consumer Electronics Company in a company press release today. “Now, we expand our SLR line with the LUMIX DMC-L10, which is especially designed for the consumer who is familiar with compact digital cameras, but also wants to further experience the enjoyment of digital SLR photography.”

The point-and-shoot market is replete with cameras with face detection; it’s an automatic feature ideal for digital photography novices. The L10 is the first SLR to include it. The Fuji S5 has a face finding feature in its Playback mode, but it doesn’t automatically focus and expose faces in the Shooting mode. The L10’s rendition can automatically recognize, focus on, and expose up to 15 human faces in a scene.

The L10 continues the Live View LCD trend in SLRs. The Olympus E-330, introduced in January 2006, was the first SLR to incorporate a Live View LCD. It has since made an appearance in consumer and professional models, such as the Canon EOS 40D, Nikon D300, and Canon EOS 1D Mark III. The L10’s 2.5-inch, 207,000-pixel LCD provides 100 percent coverage of a scene while its optical viewfinder provides 95 percent. It can fold out from the camera body and rotate 270 degrees, another non-typical SLR feature. The LCD’s brightness automatically increases or decreases depending on the scene. When the camera is set to Manual mode, users can enlarge the subjects on the screen, according to the release.

The L10 features an upgraded autofocus system. It has eleven autofocus points versus the L1’s three. Users can also switch between the phase difference and contrast autofocus systems, according to the release.

Among the L10’s SLR beginner-friendly features are five scene modes: Portrait, Scenery, Macro, Sports, and Night Portrait. These modes are on the mode dial, alongside the traditional SLR Program, Automatic, and Shutter and Aperture Priority modes. The L10 also has a Film Mode that purportedly applies the look of traditional film to digital images. There are nine effects: Standard, Dynamic, Smooth, Nostalgic, Vibrant, Standard B/W, Dynamic B/W and Smooth B/W. The mode allows users to adjust contrast, sharpness, saturation, and noise reduction.

The L10 comes with a Leica D Vario-Elmar 14-50mm f/3.8-5.6 lens with Panasonic’s MEGA O.I.S. (optical image stabilization) system, which compensates for handshake and moving subjects. The L1's kit lens had the same focal length but a wider f/2.8-3.5 aperture.

The L10 will retail for $1299.95 when it is released in October.

Casio Announces Fastest Digital Camera

Casio announced its plans to develop what it calls the world’s fastest-shooting digital camera. The new 6-megapixel compact model will capture full-resolution still images at a rate of 60fps and movies at 300fps. A prototype is on display at the IFA consumer electronics show in Berlin, Germany.

The new Casio model shoots still images about 20 times faster and movies 5 times faster than high-end compact digital cameras currently on the market. The movie mode captures at VGA resolution (640 x 480) at a rate that allows users to review clips at a super slow rate, according to a company press release today. The Casio’s CMOS sensor sounds like the same sensor Sony announced it was developing in April 2006

The following specifications have been unveiled:
- 6-megapixel 1/1.8-inch CMOS sensor
- Sensor-shift image stabilization
- 12x optical zoom (35-420mm 35mm equivalent)
- 2.8-inch, 230,000-pixel TFT color LCD

Pricing, availablility, and a name have yet to be announced.