Tuesday, October 30, 2007

ASU Working To Develop Terabyte Thumb Drive

Researchers here in my neck of the words, at Arizona State University have developed a low-cost, low-power computer memory that could put terabyte-sized thumb drives in consumers' pockets within a few years. Even more importantly the ASU Sun Devils are 8-0 so far this season!

Read more about their terabyte thumb drive tech on wired.com. Go Sun Devils!

WiFi SD Card From Eye-Fi

Eye-Fi has introduced an SD card with built-in wireless connectivity that allows it to automatically transfer images to a computer or online destination when in range of a WiFi network. The 2GB Eye-Fi Card stores photos just like any other SD card used in a compatible camera, but can also be set up to send the stored images via WiFi to a PC, a Mac, or many online gallery, blogging, and social networking sites such as Kodak Gallery, Flickr, Facebook, Photobucket and more.

Eye-Fi software works with Windows XP, Windows Vista, Mac OS X (10.3 and 10.4). Eye-Fi software works with Internet Explorer 6 and 7 (Windows only), FireFox 2.0 (Windows and Macintosh). Includes USB memory card reader to make set-up easy.

The Eye-Fi Card is available now for $99.99. For more information, go to the Eye-Fi Web site.

Nikon 90th Anniversary Video

Celebrating the 90th anniversary of Nikon as an imaging technology world-leader.

View video here

Highlights include a recap of the world's-firsts in terms of technological imaging advancements from Nikon Corporation as well as their desire to see the Earth; it's most remote locations and capture the world's greatest moments. This video also features some of Nikon's latest innovations on their newest products that all aim to make creating better images more fun and exciting.

To download a high-resolution version of this video, please right-click here and choose "Save Link As" or "Save Target As".

Sony's New 80GB Digital Photo Album Device

Sony has introduced the 80GB HDMS-S1D Digital Photo Album that organizes and displays up to 50,000 high resolution images. The digital photo album can display images on high definition televisions and, using the included Sony software, create slide shows and scrapbook pages. Available this month, it will retail for approximately $400 and be sold on Sony’s website and in stores.

There are multiple ways to import images to the digital album. It is compatible with flash memory cards, CDs, DVDs, USB drives, and Ethernet cables. Once photos are uploaded, users can organize and display their images in multiple ways. Images can be sorted by a specific date, occasion, or grouped into up to 3,000 albums. The included remote control or the interface can be used to navigate images.

Using the included software, images can be viewed as a slide show, printed, or arranged on a scrapbook page. The slide show software, X-PictStory, allows users to choose from multiple transitions and play one of the 30 included songs to accompany their slide show. Five additional songs can be added to the software. When the slide shows play, Sony’s face detection technology identifies the location of subjects and applies transitions around them.

x-ScrapBook helps users organize photos into scrapbook pages. Like X-PictStory, the software can detect faces and layout groups of photos. The digital album can be connected in an HDTV using HDMI. Images can be exported from the frame onto a CD, DVD, or flash memory card.

Sony Alpha 700 DSLR Hands-On Review

LetsGoDigital.com provides a hands-on review of the new Sony Alpha 700 digital SLR. I’ve been looking forward to hearing about this camera and actual user opinions. As a current Sony A100 DSLR user, the A700 may be my next acquisition or I may wait until Sony releases their anticipated ‘pro’ model to make a decision. Here is an excerpt from the review.

…The housing of the Sony A700 is light in weight and consists of aluminum. The buttons, memory card slot and flaps in the body are dust- and waterproof. A handy feature is the indication of the battery life in percentage, which is made possible through the use of an InfoLithium battery; also with the use of an optional grip, this information remains visible. The Sony Alpha 700 has a double card slot supporting Memory Stick PRO Duo and CompactFlash type I & II flash memory cards. It’s a pity that Sony does not fully utilize the presence of a double card slot; you have to set the card slot manually, via the camera’s menu. It would be handier, and above all faster, if the camera itself would recognize and activate the card slot. Perhaps a future firmware solution can offer such possibility. New is also the built-in studio- flash connection, so a direct connection to a studio flash-installation becomes possible…

The camera sounds great. Read the entire review on letsgodigital.com.

Lightroom Killer Tips Video - Backing Up Lightroom

Matt Kloskowski of at Adobe Photoshop Lightroom Killer Tips has posted an informative video covering the backup process for Lightroom. With version 1.1 and 1.2 you can now save the Lightroom database as an entire catalog or individual catalogs. The original image files can even be copied to the backup location as well, or transferred to other computers. Watch the video on the Adobe Photoshop Lightroom Killer Tips blog.
image © Matt Kloskowski

Monday, October 29, 2007

Macworld Contemplates Value Of A Mac OS X Leopard Upgrade

I like the way Andy Ihnatko of Macworld sums up the new Mac OS X 'Leopard' from Apple;

...I think the way to sum up the correct level of anticipation for Leopard is to compare it to a movie that stars Gene Hackman or Michael Caine. You know that it’s going to be worthwhile… but the coin’s in the air as to whether it’s worth seeing right away...

Which is why I'm a Netflix subscriber..."I'll just wait for the rental."

Ihnatko asks "What's Leopard really worth?" Read the entire article on Macworld.com.

Adobe Compatibility With New Mac OS X Leopard

With the new Apple OS release called 'Leopard', Adobe, one of Apple’s most important third-party partners, has commented on its compatibility with the Mac. The company said that most, but not all of its applications are compatible with Leopard without the need for an update.

Adobe Photoshop CS3, Flash CS3 Professional, Contribute CS3, Dreamweaver CS3, Fireworks CS3, Flash Player 9, GoLive 9, Illustrator CS3, InCopy CS3, InDesign CS3, Bridge CS3, Version Cue CS3, Device Central CS3 and Acrobat Connect (Start Meeting) are all compatible with Leopard.

Products that will require updates for full Leopard compatibility include Adobe Acrobat 8 Professional and the company’s professional video applications, including Adobe Premiere Pro CS3, After Effects CS3 Professional, Encore CS3 and Soundbooth CS3.

Adobe said it expects to publish free Leopard compatibility updates for the video applications in December 2007 and for Acrobat 8 Professional and Adobe Reader 8 in January 2008.

Older versions of Adobe and Macromedia may work with Leopard, but the company warns there could be “installation, stability, and reliability issues for which there is no resolution.” Adobe said these products would not be updated for Leopard.

Conversation With Photographer Adam Bartos

Popphoto.com has a conversation with photographer with Adam Bartos.

...A native New Yorker, Adam Bartos became interested in photography at an early age, inspired largely by the work of Magnum co-founder Henri Cartier-Bresson. Through frequent trips to The Museum of Modern Art, he was well acquainted with the black and white street photography of Garry Winogrand, Lee Friedlander, and Diane Arbus. But in 1974, while studying film at NYU, Bartos struck up a relationship with color pioneer Joel Meyerowitz that inspired his transition away from 35mm black and white work...

The photographer talks fine art strategies and how to avoid the photo cliché. Read the entire Q&A on popphoto.com.
Image © Adam Bartos

New Sony CyberShot DSC-T2 Digicam

Sony has introduced a new 8-megapixel point-and-shoot with 4GB internal memory and advanced photo-organizing functions for sorting and viewing shots that are stored on the device. The ultracompact Cyber-shot DSC-T2 is equipped with a 2.7-inch, 230,000-dot touchscreen LCD and an f/3.5-4.3, 38-114mm 3x zoom lens, and will be available in December for about $350.

The T2's numerous photo-sharing features include the ability to display images in chronological order, in a calendar view, and by event. Photos can also be saved as favorites and then sorted into categories within the favorites folder for quick retrieval, and in-camera slideshows can include selectable transitions and music. The T2 can also output images to an HDTV with an optional HD component cable or HD cradle, and it's loaded with Sony PMB Portable software, which allows it to publish photos and videos directly to online image sharing sites such as Flickr and YouTube.

This Cyber-shot is designed for automatic snapshot photography and allows few manual adjustments. However, the touchscreen can be used for spot focus and metering, and the camera has a top light-sensitivity setting of ISO 3200. The T2 offers Sony's recently introduced Smile Shutter mode, which automatically snaps a picture when someone in front of the camera smiles. It allows the photographer to track a specific person in a group by selecting the person's face on the touchscreen, then releases the shutter when the subject smiles. Non-Smile-Shutter face detection is available as well.

The T2 will retail for about $350 starting in December and will be sold with blue, green, pink, white, and black sliding lens covers.
provided by popphoto.com

New Lightroom Plug-In For SlideShowPro

SlideShowPro has announced a plug-in for Adobe Photoshop Lightroom. SlideShowPro lets users create Flash slideshows that can be placed on Web sites, providing numerous options for customizing parameters such as background color, layout, and transitions between images, along with audio track and support for video clips. The plug-in will integrate into Lightroom's Web Module workspace, allowing users to publish slideshows directly from the software to the Web.

The plug-in will be available from SlideShowPro's Web site in November 2007. Pricing has not yet been announced. Current SlideShowPro owners will be able to update their software with the plug-in at a discounted price.

Apple Releases Aperture 1.5.6 Update

Apple has released a 131-MB update to Aperture recommended for all users for its performance and stability improvements. The update should also be installed before updating to Mac OS X Leopard, the company said.

Text of the announcement follows:
"Aperture customers can now install the Aperture 1.5.6 Update, either by running Software Update or by visiting the Aperture Download page. Recommended for all those using Aperture, the Aperture 1.5.6 Update addresses issues related to performance, improves overall stability, and supports compatibility with Mac OS X v10.5. The update should be installed before first use of Aperture with Mac OS X Leopard."

New Packages And Prices From LiveBooks

LiveBooks, Inc., the leading provider of fully editable website solutions for professional photographers, announced it is releasing new packages and new pricing under the product name liveBooks Professional. The decision to revise and enhance their product line is based on the experience of servicing thousands of photographers over four years and recognizing that photographers have many common needs which could be addressed with a common feature set. In addition, they realize that each photographer has their own individual needs which require the flexibility to customize their web presence. Therefore, a robust feature set and custom design time are included with all three of the liveBooks Professional packages— Unlimited, Select and Basic .

Product Details
All liveBooks Professional packages include a standard set of features designed to give photographers the flexibility they need to create their optimal website. These include but are not limited to:

The ability to deliver a custom professional website through the use of custom design time with the liveBooks in-house design staff, large highquality images and intuitive navigation.

Tools to reach and service the photographer’s audience such as image descriptions, automatic ghost HTML creation for search engine optimization, shopping cart, webstats and downloadable PDF portfolios.

An easy-to-use online admin tool to control the content of the website including drag-and-drop portfolio creation and editing, custom styling and uploadable content pages.

A rich multimedia experience including video upload and the ability to add music which can be defined on a page by page or per portfolio basis. These features have been combined to empower photographers to clearly communicate their unique brand in a way that will help them to get work and grow their businesses.

Beyond the standard feature set, photographers will choose between one of three packages based on the scale of the site they are creating. These packages are differentiated by the amount of included design time, as well as the number of portfolios and pages within the site. For the ultimate in flexibility, the Unlimited package offers photographers a choice in image sizing including the largest image area along with virtually unlimited portfolios, menu pages, external links and password-protected client areas. The Select package offers a smaller image size with enough portfolios, menu pages and links to meet the needs of many photographers today. The Basic package provides the minimal number of portfolios and menu pages and is an ideal choice for the emerging photographer beginning a career in photography.

Availability and Pricing
liveBooks Professional is available today through liveBooks, Inc. by calling 800.253.2085. These new packages include an optimal set of features at a maximum value. Packages are sold as a one-time non-recurring fee of $3,200 for Unlimited , $1,700 for Select and $800 for Basic . Additionally, all liveBooks sites are hosted by liveBooks at the annual fee of $90, which includes hosting the site at the photographer’s unique domain as well as email addresses and storage space.

To learn more visit http://www.livebooks.com/packages

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

FujiFilm ‘Capture To Print’ Seminar Series For Professional Photographers

Free Educational Seminars to Feature Live Demonstrations, and Tips to Streamline Your Photographic Workflow

Mark your calendars to attend one of a series of free educational seminars for professional photographers to be held in five cities across the United States. Entitled ‘Capture to Print Solutions,’ these seminars are designed to inform and educate professional photographers on how Fujifilm’s FinePix S5 Pro can be specifically utilized for school, portrait, sports and wedding photography and how they can better streamline their business workflow with a comprehensive range of professional digital imaging solutions.

Fujifilm’s ‘Capture to Print Solutions’ seminar series will kick off on Monday, November 5th in Orlando, Fla., followed by Long Beach, Calif., Sturbridge, Mass., Atlanta, Ga., and Somerset, N.J. At each seminar, Fujifilm Technical Staff Members will demonstrate live studio use of the FinePix S5 Pro with Bar Code Scanner, along with the ASK-2000 and ASK-4000 Digital Photo Printers.

Fujifilm’s ‘Capture to Print Solutions’ seminars will be held in conjunction with partners Express Digital and PhotoLynx. Express Digital and PhotoLynx staff members will demonstrate front-end software applications that enable photographers to shoot tethered or un-tethered and keep track of student records and image databases.

Seminar attendees can hear and see benefits of Fujifilm’s IS-1 and IS Pro ultraviolet and infrared cameras for the fine art market and Fujifilm’s DigiLabs software which enables photographers to build incremental business by offering their customers photo books, cards and calendar products.

For more information or to reserve a seat at Fujifilm’s free half-day ‘Capture to Print Solutions’ seminars, go to Free Seminars.

FujiFilm Announces New “Get A Grip” Promotion For FinePix S5 Pro

“With this new promotion, we’re happy to make it easier for those photographers who have been waiting for the opportunity to get the S5 Pro,” says Darin Pepple, consumer and professional marketing manager with Fujifilm’s Electronic Imaging Division. “And the new Power Grip provides a useful, proven tool for the professional photographer.”

Professional photographers can take advantage of this new promotion that enables them to purchase a FinePix S5 Pro camera at the reduced price of $1,699.95 – a $200 savings. In addition, Fujifilm is also offering professional photographers a free Power Grip, plus a Pantone Huey™ Pro* with purchase of the S5 Pro Body Only Kit, a savings of $280 with mail-in rebate.

Available only through authorized Fujifilm dealers, the “Get a Grip” promotion represents a total savings of $480.

For more information on the FinePix S5 Pro, visit Fujifilm USA.
*Pantone Huey standard edition will be mailed out with an option for a FREE upgrade to Huey Pro via online software download from Pantone.

Classic Diana MF Camera Makes A Comeback

As someone who enjoys using the Holga, an all-plastic medium-format camera made in China that provides some interesting 'low-tech' results, I was intrigued to discover that the Lomographic Society has revived the Diana, an all-plastic medium-format camera that had its heyday in the 1960s and ‘70s, and inspired the Holga while achieving legendary status among many creative photographers for the atmospheric images it captured. The new Diana Plus is a faithful recreation of the original, with the addition of just a few features. Its boxy black and light-blue body backs up a plastic, single-element 75mm lens and a non-TTL optical viewfinder.

The Diana Plus retains the simplicity of its forebear, with a choice of Normal and Bulb shutter settings, three selectable apertures, and manual focus control. New to the twenty-first-century Diana are a shutter lock for long exposures, a standard tripod mount, and a panorama mode for shooting a seamless series of images the length of a roll of 120 film. Another alteration is the ability to remove the lens, which allows photographers to use the Diana Plus as a pinhole camera at its smallest aperture setting.

To capture separate frames, the Diana Plus can be set to shoot 16 4.2x4.2-centimeter images or 12 5.2x5.2-centimeter photos on a roll of 120 film. The camera’s manual film advance also makes multiple and overlapping exposures possible.

The Diana Plus is available now for $50 and comes with a 200-page book of Diana photographs and history. The Lomographic Society also sells $75 Diana Plus kits that each include 20 rolls of Agfa Portrait 160 or Optima 100 film.

Olympus Announces Two New SLR Flash Units

Olympus has announced two new flash units for its line of digital SLRs. The FL-50R and FL-36R both have a head that can be rotated in four directions, and support the commander function of Olympus's new flagship SLR, the E-3. That feature allows wireless control of multiple remote flash units from the camera.

The FL-50R will be available later this year for $499 and the FL-36R for $299.

Olympus Announces Three New Zuiko Lenses

Olympus has introduced three new Zuiko lenses that implement its Supersonic Wave Drive (SWD). According to the company, when used with the E-3 SLR, also announced today, the lenses will offer extremely fast and quiet autofocus, with the new 12-60mm optic providing the fastest autofocus performance in the world. The three compact, weatherproof lenses have Four-Thirds standard mounts, and are designed for use with digital SLRs only. Olympus has also introduced a new teleconverter for use with its Four-Thirds lenses, the Zuiko Digital EC-20 2x Teleconverter.

The new optics include the Zuiko Digital ED 12-60mm f2.8-4.0 SWD, the Zuiko Digital ED 50-200mm f2.8-3.5 SWD, and the Zuiko Digital ED 14-35mm f2.0 SWD. Four-Thirds cameras have a 2x lens conversion factor, making the 35mm-equivalent focal lengths of the lenses 24-120mm, 100-400mm, and 28-70mm. The new teleconverter doubles the focal lengths of any Four-Thirds lens attached.

Olympus notes that the 14-35mm lens is the world's first standard zoom with a constant f/2.0 maximum aperture. That spec makes it part of the Olympus Super High Grade (SHG) lens series. It also offers splash- and dust-proofing, a mechanically interlocked manual focusing mechanism, and a large, petal-shaped hood with a polarization filter control window.

The new lenses and teleconverter will be available as follows:
Zuiko Digital ED 12-60mm f2.8-4.0 SWD: November 2007 for $999.99.
Zuiko Digital ED 50-200mm f2.8-3.5 SWD: December 2007 for $1,199.99
Zuiko Digital ED 14-35mm f2.0 SWD: first quarter of 2008 for $2,299.99
Zuiko Digital 2x Teleconverter EC-20: December 2007 for $479.99

Olympus Announces New E-3 DSLR

Olympus has announced the long-awaited successor to its E-1 camera. The new flagship model of the company's line of digital SLRs, the 10.1-megapixel E-3, promises to outdo its predecessor with significantly faster autofocus performance, a larger viewfinder, and live LCD viewing, while retaining the Four-Thirds format that makes it compatible with existing lenses from Olympus and other Four-Thirds optics makers. Equipped with an articulating 230,000-dot, 2.5-inch Live View LCD with a 170-degree viewing angle, the E-3 also offers a pentaprism eyepiece viewfinder that shows 100 percent of the image frame at 1.15x magnification. The LCD has a dedicated luminance sensor that allows it to automatically adjust the screen brightness in response to ambient light changes. The E-3 offers dual CompactFlash and xD-Picture Card slots, with support for fast UDMA CF cards.

Read the entire camera preview which includes the company press release, product gallery, hands-on review, etc., on popphoto.com.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Nikon Leads Wireless Digital Camera Technology

Taken from the official Nikon press release:

Nikon announced today key findings from IDC, a leading technology analyst, resulting from their white paper titled "The Evolution of Wireless Photography" concluding: Nikon is, and always has been on the forefront of the wireless revolution. Since the introduction of its first wireless cameras in 2005 to the current COOLPIX S51c digital camera, Nikon has been the worldwide leader in regards to Wi-Fi integration and innovative ways to share memories such as the new my Picturetown, Nikon’s new photo sharing and storage service. Results are based on IDC’s ongoing research on wireless connectivity, digital camera market research and a consumer survey on the adoption of wireless digital cameras and their propensity to embrace the capability in future camera purchases.

With each new digital camera generation, Nikon continues to streamline the photo-sharing process through wireless technology, making it easier than ever to share and send pictures without the confines of wires and cables or even computers! The new white paper from IDC states “To date, Nikon is the only digital camera manufacturer to consistently and fully embrace wireless photography. IDC predicts that other top vendors will seek to catch up and embrace wireless photography as well, spurring industry-wide adoption.”

Read the entire release on the Nikon website.

Kodak Ends Olympic Sponsorship After Beijing Games

Eastman Kodak Co. has announced that it will end its long-standing sponsorship of the Olympics after the 2008 Beijing Games end next August. Kodak has been involved with the Olympics for more than 100 years and has been one of 12 "top tier" sponsors for more than two decades, but now they say the company's long-term market strategy is moving away from film products to digital products.

Kodak said the move is not out of financial consideration but a change to "get closer to our customers," a company spokesperson told Reuters. "Our new business strategy requires us to reassess our marketing tactics as well, and adapt them to changing market conditions and evolving customer behavior," said Kodak director of brand management Elizabeth Noonan.

The Beijing summer games will reach an estimated 4 billion television viewers, more than 1 billion more than those who watched the Athens games in 2004.

For several years Kodak has been moving away from film and cameras toward a product line that features solely digital products and consumer printing. During past summer Olympic games Kodak ran a media center for professional photographers who had Olympic credentials where film was processed, images were edited, scanned, or printed, and a medical clinic was available for diagnostic imaging to treat injured athletes.

Kodak would not tell Reuters how much they paid to be a top-tier corporate sponsor, but analysts on Madison Ave. have estimated that level of sponsorship may cost as much as $55 million.

Kodak has been involved with the summer Olympics on some level since the first modern games in Athens in 1896, the International Olympic Committee's marketing staff said.

News reports detailing Kodak¹s transformation over the years, since the time they were a chemical and film company who seemed to be caught unprepared for the digital revolution and lagged far behind in developing and marketing digital products to a changed world, has cut more than 30,000 jobs and closed plants around the world while their stock price stayed depressed.
Provided by NPPA.

New Canon Luxury Series Lenses On The Way

Canon U.S.A., Inc., a leader in digital imaging, has announced the development of two all-new telephoto lenses for use with its EOS SLR cameras: the EF200mm f/2L IS USM and the EF800mm f/5.6L IS USM. The Company will exhibit prototypes of the new lenses at PhotoPlus Expo (booth #318), taking place at the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center in New York City, October 18 to 20.

The new Canon EF200mm f/2L IS USM and EF800mm f/5.6L IS USM, both of which are L (luxury)-series lenses incorporating a high-performance Image Stabilizer, feature optical systems utilizing special optical materials such as fluorite to correct chromatic aberrations, making possible high-resolution, high-contrast shooting performance.

The Canon EF200mm f/2L IS USM, targeting users who seek a brighter lens for portraiture and indoor sports photography, realizes a large aperture of f/2. The EF800mm f/5.6L IS USM, expected to deliver telephoto performance surpassing the current top-of-the-line EF600mm f/4L IS USM super telephoto lens, is being developed in response to requests from users working in the fields of sports and news photography who are looking for a high-performance lens that offers a longer focal length.

"These new lenses demonstrate that Canon is continuing to respond actively and flexibly to the wide-ranging needs of professional and advanced amateur users, with the aim of contributing to the expansion of photographic possibilities for SLR cameras," said Yuichi Ishizuka, senior vice president and general manager, Consumer Imaging Group, Canon U.S.A. "Canon's EOS System is the premier brand of Digital SLR cameras, and we take great pride in offering the world's largest selection of interchangeable autofocus lenses."

As these new lenses are currently under development, pricing and availability information is not yet available.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Dragonfly Enjoys Cooler Southwest Weather

With the summer sizzle finally ending here in the Sonoran Desert, I can go outside without the fear of spontaneous combustion. I ventured out to a nearby park and found this little guy also enjoying the cooler weather. Image was taken with the Sony A100 DSLR and the classic Minolta Maxxum 70-210mm f4 “beer can” with a setting of f16@1/160. Focal length was 210mm with the camera set to ISO 400.

Sharpcast Releases Mobile Photo Edition

Sharpcast has released a mobile component of its photo sharing service for devices running Windows Mobile 5.0. Sharpcast provides photo gallery and sharing tools that automatically synchronize photos between a user's computer desktop, online gallery, and designated friends. The mobile component integrates into the system to automatically synchronize photos taken by a Windows Mobile 5.0 camera phone, and to make the user's collection of photos available on the device.

Windows Mobile 5.0 users can download the mobile application directly to their phone by following the instructions on Sharpcast's Web site. Sharpcast is offering the mobile component for free for an introductory period and will announce pricing at a later date. The company plans to release applications for additional mobile platforms later in 2007.
provided by popphoto.com.

PhotoVu Announces 22 Inch Digital Picture Frame

Digital picture frame maker PhotoVu keeps expending its horizongs—literally. Today, the company announced the availability of its PV2265w 22-inch widescreen digital picture frame. The LCD display sports a 1,680 by 1,050 pixel 16:10 widescreen resolution, and offers a customizable picture frame and matboard to complement your images, your decor, or both. The 22-inch model follows on the 19-inch photo frame the company launched last July.

"This is clearly the world's premium digital picture frame," said PhotoVu's Robert Jordan, in a statement. "Our first large wide format digital frame, the PV1965w, has been very well received and we expect the PV2265w to be 'the' digital picture frame gift for the 2007 holiday season."

The PhotoVu photo frames support images stored on most types of USB flash drives, but perhaps more interestingly, can be lashed to a wired Ethernet or wireless Wi-Fi network to pull photos off home servers or the Internet. Once on a network, the PhotoVu frames can be configured with a Web browser, and can access image libraries accessible on Flickr, Google's Picasa service, SmugMug, RSS feeds, and Apple's iPhoto image cataloging software. The frames are also VESA compatible for wall-mounting (which may help explain their popularity as digital signage systems). The 22-inch unit offers 300cd/m2 of brightness, a 1,000:1 contrast ratio, and offers a 165° horizontal viewing angle.

The PV2265w is available now, but be prepared to get out your checkbook: where inexpensive 22-inch monitors for computers can be found for a few hundred dollars, PhotoVu is asking for $1299 for the PV2265w.

Canadian Photographer Jeff Wall

Early in his career, Canadian photographer Jeff Wall, whose retrospective opens at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art on Oct. 27, enjoyed a high reputation as an intellectual among contemporary artists.

When he first got noticed in the late '70s, critics saw Wall's work as a deconstruction of the imaging tactics of advertising. He made, and continues to make, carefully staged pictures presented as large color transparencies in fluorescent light boxes, like those seen in airports, train stations and department stores the world over.

Read the entire online article from the San Francisco Chronicle.

SyncPix Digital Picture Frame

Smartparts, Inc., today announced the retail arrival of the long-awaited SyncPix(TM) digital picture frame, winner of American Photo's 2007 Editor's Choice Award. This state-of-the-art frame gives never-before-experienced functionality in a digital picture frame, including image sorting, automatic download and resizing and an energy saving motion detector.

Millions of digital pictures are snapped each year, yet most remain trapped in digital cameras or on computers. Smartparts' SyncPix delivers the easiest-ever solution to enjoy and share digital photos anywhere, at home or in the office. According to the research group Parks Associates, this year vendors will sell 5 million digital photo frames in the U.S. and 8 million frames worldwide. This is a boost from 1.7 million in the U.S. and 2.9 million throughout the world in 2006.

"At Smartparts, we want to people to share and display all their digital photos," explained Stefan Guelpen, president and co-founder of Smartparts. "We're proud of the new SyncPix line, by far the most elegant and easy-to-use digital picture frames available."

The frame is full of one-of-a-kind features, including software that synchronizes, optimizes and resizes pictures as they are copied onto the frame's memory. It is so simple that all a consumer needs to do is place a memory card in the frame and it will automatically copy and optimize the pictures without a touch of a button. SyncPix is the only frame on the market that organizes images into themed albums and plays video clips from most digital cameras without the need of specialized video modes and that can store up to 3,000 images.

"Digital picture frames are the consumer photo product du jour, purchased not just for home display, but also for business point-of-purchase displays," American Photo reported in its summer issue. "Most frames can show still and video files, as well as all the standard audio formats, but the Smartparts frame is especially capable. The Smartparts line is distinguished by a variety of available colors and sizes, and by its valuable SyncPix software."

The 8-inch SyncPix digital picture frame retails for $179.99 and is available in an Espresso colored frame with beige matting. Consumers can purchase the new Smartparts SyncPix frame at Circuit City, Staples and Ritz Camera stores nationwide in late October.

Friday, October 12, 2007

Digital Foci Announces The Pocket Album Digital Keychain

Digital Foci Inc this week announced the Pocket Album, a digital keychain that displays images on a 1.5-inch LCD color screen. Priced at $39.95, the Digital Foci Pocket Album has 8 MB of internal memory for storing up to 74 pictures, according to a recent press release.

The Pocket Album features a built-in clock and adjustable LCD contrast. The photo viewer includes an AC adapter, USB cable, and Photo Viewer software that converts JPG and BMP files for the Pocket Album. The software is compatible with Windows and Macintosh computers and allows users to crop, rotate, and resize photos for Pocket Album. Once photos are stored on Pocket Album, users can choose to view images in a slide show or by manually scrolling through the images.

“The perfect sentimental gift, you can even preload precious photo moments on Pocket Album to give to friends and family for the holidays,” according to the release. Pocket Album contains nine hours of battery life on lithium-ion batteries and is available in black, silver, and blue. For more information or to purchase the Pocket Album, visit http://www.digitalfoci.com/.

Star Trek's Leonard Nimoy Becoming Controversial Photographer

Best known as Star Trek’s Mr Spock, Leonard Nimoy is carving a reputation as a controversial photographer. He tells Simon Round why he has taken pictures of naked, obese women.

… “She was a very large lady. I’m not that good at guessing weight, but I would estimate she was 300 pounds. She came to my house at Lake Tahoe and, with my wife’s help, I photographed her in the nude. It was a new experience, a different experience. I was not used to looking at that type of body. I realised when I was done that she had the appearance of a Brancusi sculpture. I showed the images subsequently at a couple of exhibitions and people were extremely curious.”

Nimoy says that the reaction to the photographs in the US has been 95 per cent positive. The same cannot be said for his previous book, The Shekhina Project, published in 2002. Here, he photographed nude female models wearing such religious items as tefillin and talitot in overtly sexual poses…

Read the entire article on The Jewish Chronicle website.
Image © The Jewish Chronicle

Kodak Announces Update To Popular T-Max 400 B&W Film

If you're still shooting black and white file, you'll be pleased to discover that Kodak has announced an improved version of its Professional T-Max 400 film. The new ISO 400 film offers finer grain and greater image sharpness. According to the company, the emulsion has been altered to further minimize light scatter, which can reduce image sharpness. A UV barrier layer has been added to the back of the film in medium-format and 35mm rolls to prevent accidental exposure to static inside the camera. (Large-format sheets, which might be used for contact printing on UV-sensitive materials, do not have the UV layer.)

Kodak recommends slight changes in processing time for the new T-Max 400. Development times with Kodak chemistry will be published on the box, and the company will update its processing instructions online when the new film is available.

The new Professional T-Max 400 will be available in stores beginning in December 2007. You'll be able to tell it apart from the old T-Max by the "World's Sharpest!" text emblazoned on the packaging. Kodak will also replace its 50-sheet packages of 8x10 T-Max 400 sheet film with 10-sheet packages.

New Photoshop Elements 6 Book

Bestselling author Barbara Brundage, whose day job is playing the harp, didn't plan on becoming an authority on Elements, one of the world's most popular photo-editing programs. Yet her newest publication Photoshop Elements 6: The Missing Manual (O'Reilly, $39.99) clearly secures Barbara's position as the premier Elements' expert.

"I'm a lowly musician, but if I can learn Elements anyone can," insists Barbara, the author of three previous books about Elements 3, 4 and 5. A few years back in 2001, Barbara chose Elements to create graphics for her new Web site and promo materials. She soon discovered the nifty software program also made arranging and publishing her harp music a whole lot easier. Then she got hooked on digital photography and relied on Elements to improve and organize her images.

"Fortunately, the folks at Missing Manuals know that sometimes it's easier for someone who isn't from a technical background to explain things to people who don't have a lot of technical knowledge," says Barbara about her road to authorship.

Indeed Barbara's technical knowledge combined with her appealing, down-to-earth writing style made her a perfect addition to the Missing Manual roster of authors. Founded by New York Times technology columnist David Pogue, O'Reilly's Missing Manual series specializes in producing beautifully written manuals for popular consumer software and hardware products -- the book that should have been in the box.

Photoshop Elements 6: The Missing Manual provides the best possible guidance to scrapbookers, photographers at every level, budding graphic artists -- anyone who wants to get the most out of the latest Elements upgrade. She clearly explains Photoshop Elements 6's exciting array of new features, including the new Quick Edit function, Windows Vista compatibility, improved Raw conversion, a handy Quick Selection Tool and more. Under Barbara's intelligent tutelage, readers learn how to:

Import organize and fix photos quickly and easily. Repair and restore old and damaged photos and retouch any image. Jazz up their pictures with dozens of filters, frames and special effects. Learn which tools the pros use -- and finally understand how layers work! Create collages and photo layout pages for greeting cards and other projects. Get downloadable practice images and try new tricks right away.

Photoshop Elements 6: The Missing Manual progresses from simple to complex features. Those ready for the more sophisticated tools can easily jump around to learn specific techniques. As always, Barbara lets you know which Elements features work well, which don't and why -- all with a bit of wit and good humor. Adds Barbara: "Elements is wonderful software, but there's a lot going on there. I wanted to help people find their way around and to understand some of the great things they can do with the program."

Adobe Acknowledges Printing Problem With Photoshop CS3

Photoshop Product Manager John Nack posted an entry on his blog acknowledging that "many people have been unhappy with printing from Photoshop CS3 (overwhelmingly on Windows), and we've been working on changes that will make things work better."

The problems concern getting prints that resemble what you've achieved on screen. Adobe had added print expert Dave Polaschek to the CS3 team to develop a color managed print preview "and to do quite a bit more behind the scenes." Among the later is a change in the Windows version to document-specific page setup from the prior application-wide setup, which is how the Mac version has always behaved.

Nack reported the company has made some changes and will be issuing an update. But in the meantime, he offered, if you've been having problems and want to test the current code, just email him. "I'll then ask our pre-release coordinator to send you an invitation, after which you can download the latest build and send us your feedback."

Details are in the blog entry.

Photoshop Lightroom Workshop At Glenn Canyon, Arizona

Matt Kloskowski of the National Association of Photoshop Professionals and the Adobe Photoshop Lightroom Killer Tips blog was apparently in Page, Arizona this week for a workshop. Veteran Arizona photographer Leroy DeJolie was also present. Matt provides a few entries on his blog covering the workshop at Glenn Canyon and Lightroom Tips.

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Temperature Cools Off While Youth Sports Heats Up

Summer is finally over here in the valley of the sunstroke. As we say goodbye to 100+ degree afternoons youth sports have kicked off. Although the first youth soccer game I captured back in September took place under a 105 degree, cloudless sky. I have to give those kids credit for giving 100 percent on the field under those conditions, and still managing to have fun. Luckily the following weekend was significantly cooler.

Here are a couple of images taken from recent youth soccer and flag football games. My standard equipment is the Sony Alpha 100 with the classic Minolta Maxxum 70-210mm f4 lens, also known as the ‘beer can.’ The camera is usually set to ISO 400 and focus mode at Continuous Focus.

Parents are happy to have the kids outside, without bursting into flames, and the kids have been playing with unbridled enthusiasm. Hopefully I can capture some of these moments to ensure lasting memories of these brief events in their young lives. I think the hardest part of these types of shoots is to keep focused on the action through the lens and not get caught up in the game itself. Occasionally I find myself pulling away from the viewfinder to watch the action, or reaction, and might miss a good shot. Luckily this doesn’t happen very often.

I’m definitely looking forward to the upcoming new DSLR cameras from Sony. I will probably wait until the ‘pro’ model is released next year to decide to either invest in that model or the upcoming A700 ‘prosumer’ model. Once I get the chance to compare specs and prices. For now the A100 does everything I need it to do in these youth sports situations.

PMA '08 Releases Press Release

PMA® announces its initial list of contracted exhibitors to show the newest imaging technologies and products at PMA 08 International Convention and Trade Show, Jan. 31 - Feb. 2, 2008, at the Las Vegas Convention Center, Las Vegas, Nev.

PMA 08 exhibitors will demonstrate the widest array of technologies and services for sharing, printing and saving life’s photographic moments. From prints made at home to in-store posters to online sharing of cameraphone images, PMA 08 will show imaging at its most innovative.

For a complete list of current exhibitor firms, click on: Exhibitor List

About PMA – The Worldwide Community of Imaging AssociationsAs a professional trade association, PMA® helps the worldwide photo imaging community achieve business success and adapt to new technologies. Its commitment to 20,000 members in 100-plus countries is part of an 83-year legacy that connects business owners to a network of knowledge and support. PMA furthers this purpose through the development of educational programs and business services, marketing research, publications, and trade shows. As a nonprofit organization, any success enjoyed by PMA in its endeavors directly benefits the industry, allowing PMA to provide continual services and activities for members.

About PMA 08The leading international conference and trade show, PMA 08 hosts retail entrepreneurial memory makers from around the world, including photo retailers, professional photographers, mass merchandisers, professional labs, custom picture framers, and scrapbook retailers. The PMA 08 International Convention features approximately 200 sessions, encouraging the discovery of more opportunities, professional development, and the inspiration to act on emerging trends. Further opportunities are found at the PMA 08 Trade Show, offering more picture-related products than any other event. PMA® members help people everywhere create, keep, display and share memories through pictures.

Film Drop-Off Sites Fade Against Digital Cameras

A recent New York Times article looks into the growing trend of retail film developing locations no longer provided that service due to the increase in digital prints. Local film development services are getting fewer and far between, and online film development may soon be your only option

Photographer Faces Prison For Minor Arrests

Here is a very, very interesting story from the New York Times about a photographer who is facing years in prison after two recent arrests on relatively minor charges. The photographer, Jason Nicholas, shoots for the New York Post in the finest tabloid tradition, chasing down stories by listening to his police scanner, a la Weegee. Police have arrested him twice at crime scenes, once for "obstructing governmental administration". After one arrest his Nikons were confiscated. But prior to his photo career, Nicholas spent 13 years years in prison for manslaughter. His recent arrests could put him back behind bars for a long time. Nicholas may not have made himself popular with the cops, but the bottom line here is that he was doing his job. Opinions?
Provided by David Schonauer
Photo by Tyler Hicks for the New York Times

Canon Announces Problem With A650 Digicam

A document recently added to the Canon USA website reports a potential issue for the company's A650 IS digital camera.

According to the original Canon announcement, the issue is restricted solely to cameras with a zero as the fifth digit of the serial number, and occurs in sunny conditions with the tilt/swivel LCD display arm opened. When sunlight shines on the back of the camera in the area normally covered by the LCD display, image quality can be adversely affected.

Canon USA has announced that it will repair this problem free of charge for US and Puerto Rican customers. In the meantime, the problem can be worked around by keeping the LCD display closed against the back of the camera, preventing sunlight from reaching the area. Customers in other countries should contact their local Canon office for further information on whether a similar program has been offered for their area.

Saturday, October 06, 2007

Go D-Backs!!!

On a completely non-photography note…GO DIAMONDBACKS!!!
The Arizona Diamondbacks just swept the Chicago Cubs 3-0 at Wrigley Field. Now they’ll go on to play either the Phillies or the Rockies here in Phoenix at Chase Field. Personally, I hope the Phillies can perform a miracle and win the next three games of that series. Lesser of two evils as they say.

The Life of a Storm Chasing Photographer

Jim Reed's new book on extreme weather events looks to drive public awareness of the coming climate crisis. Tiffany Meyers at popphoto.com takes a closer look at this new book titled “STORM CHASER: A Photographer's Journey.” Here is a brief excerpt.

…Crouching under a carport in Port Charlotte, Florida, award-winning photographer Jim Reed records a desperate good-bye-and-I-love-you into a rolling camera for his mother. He hopes it'll comfort her when he's gone. Around him, 140 mph winds tear homes apart -- uprooting trees and turning cars into toylike projectiles. He's been caught off-guard: What began as an assignment to document the effects of Category 2 winds on palm trees turns out to put Reed and meteorologist partner Greg Zamarripa in the eye of Hurricane Charley of 2004…

Read the entire article on popphoto.com.
Image © Jim Reed Photography

DxO Optics Pro Version 5 with RAW

DxO Labs recently announced a new image enhancing software, DxO Optics Pro version 5, which features a new RAW converter, noise removal technology, and user interface. DxO Labs claims the software will also include preview images displayed up to four times faster compared to the previous version. DxO Optios Pro v.5 now supports the Canon 40D, Canon 1Ds Mark III, Nikon D300, and Nikon D3.

The DXO Optics Pro v.5 RAW conversion engine is a demosaicing engine that allows users to produce images with more detail and fewer artifacts. During RAW conversion, demosaicing determines how much detail and artifacts appear in the final image quality.

“Ever since digital images have been shot using sensors with a Color Filter Array, they have been plagued by a number of disgraceful artifacts: false colors, unnatural 2x2 grain, maze like structures for example,” states the DxO website. DxO claims to produce a new approach for improved image quality through Optics Pro v.5.

“Instead of only considering pixels with respect to their direct neighbors, DxO’s new RAW Engine uses a ‘non local’ approach looking much further afar than is usual from each pixel in the image in order to reconstruct detail,” according to the DxO website.

DxO Optics Pro v5 is tentatively scheduled to be available for Windows by late October and for Macintosh by late November. Users who purchased DxO Optics Pro v.4 online or in stores are entitled to a free upgrade of Optics Pro v.5 Standard for $95 and Optics Pro v5 Elite for $125.
provided by DigitalCameraInfo.com

Friday, October 05, 2007

Sigma Releases v1.05 Firmware For SD14 DSLR

Sigma has released firmware v.1.05 for its SD14 digital SLR. The firmware includes ISO 50 for low sensitivity when using Extended mode.

The SD14 firmware operates within the camera to improve certain functions. Improvements with past firmware updates have corrected issues with camera freeze on the LCD panel, video output display, and difficulties with the number of remaining shots on the CF card. For best results, Sigma advises users to use the meter accurately when using ISO 50. SD14 v.1.05 cannot be used with SD9 or SD10 cameras.

Users can get tips for using the new ISO 50 feature and download SD14 1.05 at the Sigma download page.

New Photoshop Lightroom Tips From Matt Kloskowsi

New Surreal Edgy Effect provided by Matt Kloskowski on his Adobe Photoshop Lightroom Killer Tips blog. I’ll be trying this myself later today. It looks promising.

He also has posted a link to Erik Almas Photography, an amazing international photographer with some very impressive images.

Finally his latest post covers the Split Toning panel within Adobe Photoshop Lightroom.

Why Buy When You Can Rent?

Peter Kolonia of Popphoto.com asks the question, who says you've got to buy high-priced gear to get the shot? Here is a brief excerpt from the insightful online article.

…You don't have to invest in a lot of new gear that you'll use only occasionally. Instead, do what the pros do -- rent it for a day or a week from one of the full-service rental houses in metro areas across the U.S. The cost is reasonable, and the payoff can be huge…

Read the entire article on popphoto.com.

New Coffee-Table Book, John & Yoko: A New York Love Story

Photographer Allan Tannenbaum's forthcoming book reveals intimate glimpses, many previously unseen, of a renowned couple at a pivotal time. American Photo online has a sitdown with the photographer. Here is a brief excerpt.

AP: Yoko wrote the book's preface. Since advance copies arrived, have you heard her reaction to it?

AT: You know, she sent me a very sweet card with the photo of the Two Virgins album cover, saying, "This is a picture that John did" [laughs]. She didn't mention the book. But I knew, because I met with her several times to show her the layout and everything, Yoko is sort of a unique personality. And at first she was, hmm, hmm, very reserved, and then I could see her face light up as she got into it. And after our second meeting she gave me a big hug. So she liked it. I think she's got to be delighted with the result. She wrote a beautiful preface. And it's not just about John -- it's her and John, a kind of paeon to their love.

Read the entire article on popphoto.com.
Image © Allan Tannenbaum

Aperture To Picasa Web Albums 1.3 Plug-In

Ubermind has released a new version of its plug-in for automatically exporting images from Apple's Aperture software to Google's Picasa Web Albums. According to the company, the main improvement in Aperture to Picasa Web Albums 1.3 is a performance boost that substantially speeds up exports. The plug-in is available for $24.95 or as a free trial from Ubermind's Web site.

New VueScan 8.4.39 Version From Hamrick Software

Phoenix, Arizona based Hamrick Software, the developer of VueScan, the most widely used scanning software in the world, has released its latest version 8.4.39 -- containing more than 30 improvements since the last major release in February 2007 and support for 50 new scanners. VueScan has now been downloaded more than 5 million times.

"When people use third party scanning software -- they frequently have very specific needs. We listen very carefully to our customers and as a result, release frequent upgrades to the product. Our customers expect very high standards and it is important to meet their requirements as soon as possible. For example -- we have immediately added support for two new scanners, the Epson V500 and Epson V200" says Ed Hamrick, President of Hamrick Software. "Most recently, we have acquired many new customers as a result of supporting Vista. Many scanner drivers don't work on Windows Vista, but these scanners will usually work quite well with VueScan on Windows Vista. In fact, VueScan provides higher quality scans and many more features than the software that comes with most scanners."

We work closely with the major scanner manufacturers, as they realise that their own software does not meet all their customer requirements. No other company in the world supports as many scanners as we do, as a result VueScan has been downloaded more than 5 million times and our customer base is increasing by more than 20 percent per year.

VueScan is available for Mac OS X, Windows and Linux. VueScan offers a full range of advanced features; including options for scanning faded slides and prints and automatically adjusting images to optimum color balance that reduces the need to manually do it in Photoshop. It includes built-in IT8 color calibration of scanners, producing colors that look true to life, batch scanning and other advanced and powerful scanning and productivity features, including PDF output.

For a detailed listing of VueScan features, visit the Hamrick Website.

VueScan is available in two editions, Standard Edition ($39.95 USD) and Professional Edition ($79.95). The Professional Edition adds unlimited free upgrades, advanced IT8 color calibration and support for raw scan files. Multi-user licenses are available. A fully functional, trial copy of VueScan can be downloaded from the Hamrick Website.

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Canon Releases EOS Digital Rebel XTi Firmware

Canon recently released updated firmware for its consumer digital SLR, the EOS Digital Rebel XTi. Version 1.1.1 includes data for three new lenses and adds Polish to its list of supported languages. The Canon Digital Rebel XTi now has detailed information from three Canon lenses: EF-S 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 IS, EF-S 55-250mm f/4-5.6 IS, and EF 14mm f/2.8L II USM. “The Version 1.1.1 firmware being released this time is for cameras with firmware up to Version 1.1.0. If the camera's firmware is already Version 1.1.1, it is not necessary to update the firmware,” according to the Canon firmware website.Users are reminded to use a fully charged camera battery and refrain from shutting down during firmware uploading.

Firmware 1.1.1 can be downloaded through Canon's website.

Hasselblad Announces H3D-II Medium Format DSLR

Hasselblad announced the follow-up to the H3D, a year ago declared the world’s first 48mm full frame digital SLR when the launch made waves at Photokina 2006. Titled the H3D-II, the updated medium format camera will be offered, like its predecessor, in three versions; 22-megapixel, 31-megapixel, and 39-megapixel editions. The H3D-II has a bigger LCD screen, improved color and detail, a heat cooling system, and a new embedded GPS system to record coordinates during capture. The H3D-II bodies will range in price from $25,000 to $34,000.

“Hasselblad’s H3D line of products achieve a new level of digital maturity and integration with the launch of the H3D-II, the fourth iteration of the camera system and one that can now justifiably lay claim to be the world’s finest digital SLR camera,” stated a company press release.

One of the main features of the H3D-11 is its Global Image Locator (GIL), a function typically assigned to point-and-shoots or as an optional SLR accessory to gather GPS data. The Hasselblad GIL uses an integrated system that automatically records coordinates during capture and saves the information as attached metadata.

With the new Phocus image processing software, users can search for image files using the coordinates. Phocus also allows users to directly link to Google Earth. The Phocus RAW Converter promises reduced moiré from 3FR files. In addition, the Digital APO Correction III software corrects for image distortion, color aberration, and vignetting.

Externally, the HD3-II has a larger 3-inch LCD, up from the 2.2-inch screen of the older model. The DSLR also has a dedicated button for ISO and white balance settings.

The HD3-II makes some changes internally, as well. A heatsink is attached to the 48 x 36mm CCD image sensor to disperse heat throughout the camera body and ultimately decrease system temperature.

“With the introduction of the Hasselblad H3D-II, we believe that the world’s best high-end DSLR camera has just got better," said Hasselblad CEO Christian Poulsen in the release.

The H3D-39II is priced at $33,995, the H3D-31II at $26,995, and the H3D-22II at $24,995. The Hasselblad digital SLRs are now available worldwide.

“The Hasselblad H3D-II continues the evolution of the world’s most advanced DSLR camera system, and will set a new standard for digital photographic quality,” Poulsen said.

Pentax Announces New 18-250mm Lens

PENTAX Corporation is pleased to announce the marketing of the smc PENTAX-DA 18-250mm F3.5-6.3ED AL [IF] interchangeable zoom lens, designed for exclusive use with PENTAX digital SLR cameras. With its approximately 14-times zoom ratio covering from wide-angle to super-telephoto ranges, this versatile lens handles a great variety of applications without the need for lens changes.

Main Features:

High zoom ratio
When mounted on a PENTAX digital SLR camera body, this zoom lens offers an approximately 14-times zoom ratio that covers the range from 27.5mm wide angle to 383mm super-telephoto in the 35mm format. Without the need for lens changes, it can be used for a wide variety of applications — ranging from such standard applications as landscape photography, snapshots and portrait at frequently used focal lengths, to specialized applications like sports and wildlife photography at the super-telephoto range.

- Superb image description assured by extra-low dispersion (ED) and aspherical optical (AL) elements
- Incorporating one extra-low dispersion (ED) and two aspherical (AL) optical elements in its optics, this lens effectively compensates for the adverse effects of various aberrations, assuring outstanding image description.

Digital SLR-exclusive design
This lens is exclusively designed for use with PENTAX digital SLR cameras, with its image circle perfectly proportioned to their image sensor size (23.5mm x 15.7mm). Since the coating, curvature and position of all optical elements are optimized for the characteristics of digital images, it effectively minimizes annoying flare and ghost images in the resulting images.

Pricing and availability
The smc PENTAX-DA 18-250mm F3.5-6.3ED AL [IF] will be available from October 2007 with a recommended price of US $499.95.

Breeze Systems Announces DSLR Remote Pro v1.5

Breeze Systems today announced availability of DSLR Remote Pro v1.5, adding support for Canon's EOS 40D and 1D Mark III. The software allows the live view feature of these cameras to be operated remotely including contrast-detection autofocus. This is currently a unique capability with interesting possibilities for many fields of photography. DSLR Remote Pro v1.5 is available now at a price of US $75 or $95 until the end of October for users of Breezebrowser Pro. A 15 day trial version is also available from Breeze Systems, link after the jump.

Read more about Remote Pro on dpreview.com.

Elton Asks For End To Controversial Photo Exhibition

ROCK star Sir Elton John has asked for an exhibition of photographs he owns to be taken off public display in the North-East a week after one of the images was seized by police in a child pornography probe.

The musician on Monday asked gallery bosses at the Baltic Centre for Contemporary Art in Gateshead to close the exhibition just nine days after it opened.

The photograph was seized by detectives on September 20, the day before an exhibition of the musicians private collection was due to go on display.

It was among 149 photographs by controversial American photographer Nan Goldin that are owned by Sir Elton John and which formed the Thanksgiving exhibition at the Baltic.

The rest of the photographs went on display on Friday, September 21 as planned, but the musician has now asked the gallery to cancel the exhibition completely.

It had been due to run until January 20, 2008.

A Baltic spokesman said tonight: "Baltic Centre for Contemporary Art, at the request of the Sir Elton John Photography Collection, has closed the exhibition, Thanksgiving, by Nan Goldin.

"After the removal of one image from the series it was no longer possible for Baltic to exhibit the collection of works as the artist intended and therefore Baltic is sympathetic to Sir Elton John's request and supportive of the decision."

The image, entitled Klara And Edda Belly-dancing, depicts an image of two naked young girls and was taken by Nan Goldin.

It is still being examined by Northumbria Police to see if it breaches pornography legislation.

Concerned management at the flagship Baltic arts centre called in police on September 20 and officers removed the exhibit from the multi-million-pound art gallery on Thursday, the day before the exhibition opened.

A spokesman for Northumbria Police said at the time: "We attended the Baltic last Thursday at the invitation of management who were seeking advice about an item from an exhibition prior to it going on public display.

"This item is being assessed and Northumbria Police in consultation with the CPS (Crown Prosecution Service) is investigating the circumstances surrounding it."
By Matt Westcott for The Northern Echo

One Photographer Guilty, Another Acquitted, In Toledo Rally Case

A Toledo, Ohio, jury returned a mixed verdict last Friday in the case of two photographers who were arrested while covering a white supremacist rally in 2005.

Jeffrey Sauger was found guilty of criminal trespass, a fourth-degree misdemeanor, and Jim West was acquitted on the charge of failure to disperse, according to their lawyer.

"This case is not about either one of these guys. It's about the First Amendment," said their attorney, Julie Hurwitz.

Sauger and West are both freelance photographers who were covering a rally by the National Socialist Movement and a counter-protest against the group on Dec. 10, 2005, in Toledo. Sauger was working for the European Pressphoto Agency (EPA) and West was working for the Southern Poverty Law Center

Both were arrested after they took photos of police using horses to keep a crowd away from a barrier, Hurwitz said.

West was arrested while trying to shoot a photograph of a police horse from an area apart from the crowd. Sauger was arrested in the media area and charged with trespassing since he did not have a media pass issued by the Toledo Police. Sauger said at the time he didn't get a media pass because officials told him he was too late for anyone to issue him one, and he was able to enter the media area without one.

"It's been costly in terms of legal fees provided by EPA and in terms of the minimum of $6K I've lost in jobs while having to be in Toledo for all of the pretrials and postponed trials," Sauger wrote in an e-mail.

Sauger now awaits his sentencing, which is likely to be relatively mild given the charge. He will not serve any jail time, Hurwitz said. He is considering whether to appeal.

West, likewise, is considering whether to file a civil rights action against the police, Hurwitz said.

A third photographer who was arrested at the 2005 rally, Jeffrey Willis, reached an agreement to have his charges dismissed, according to Hurwitz. Willis testified at the trial in support of the other photographers, according to Sauger.

The case is number CRB-05-024002 in Toledo Municipal Court and was argued before Judge Lynn H. Schaefer.
By Daryl Lang of Photo District News