Thursday, 19 November 2009

Zeiss launch new ZF.2 lenses with CPUs for Nikon


Carl Zeiss today announced its introduction of a new series of lenses for the semi-professional market: the ZF.2 with F bayonet for Nikon digital SLRs.

Thanks to its electronic interface (CPU), these new Zeiss lenses support all- important operations such as the automatic mechanisms for time, aperture setting and program. The CPU also supports manual exposure settings, including those for camera casings that are not AI-compatible. Since the lens now transmits the EXIF data such as manufacturer, date, metering system and exposure to the camera, photographers no longer need to set the parameters manually. These quicker and faster handling capabilities are especially useful under hectic shooting conditions.

The ZF.2 lenses are available in eight focal lengths, six of which will be available from the end of November 2009... 3,5/18, 2,8/21, 2/35, 1,4/50, 2/50 and 1,4/85. The Distagon T* 2/28 ZF.2 and macro Planar T* 2/100 ZF.2 will be introduced in Spring 2010.

Zeiss are currently reworking and optimizing the Distagon T* 2.8/25 ZF, and as a result, it will be available for other mounts somewhat later. Prices for these new lenses will lie between EUR 545 and EUR 1.386 (excluding VAT).

Wednesday, 14 October 2009

Nikon announce D3S Digital SLR Camera Body


Nikon has announced the launch of the FX-format D3S D-SLR ...providing professional photographers with a powerful tool that redefines the boundaries of digital SLR versatility, while maintaining the strength of superior image quality and high speed performance inherited from the groundbreaking D3.

The D3S enables not only new opportunities in low-light photography, but also provides photographers with added shutterspeed and aperture freedom with a base ISO sensitivity range from ISO 200 to a remarkable 12,800.

Additionally, expanded ISO equivalent settings up to a staggering 102,400 are available, enabling photographers to create images previously thought impossible. The Nikon D3S builds upon the success of the Nikon D3, the professional digital SLR that set new standards for D-SLR performance ...and utilizes a newly designed Nikon original 12.1-megapixel FX-format CMOS sensor that also integrates its amazing low-light ability to High Definition (HD) video, creating a uniquely capable multi-media tool to meet the needs of a changing imaging landscape.


Feature Highlights:

ISO performance: ISO 12800 as standard, expandable to ISO equivalent of 102400 (Hi 3).

Large pixel pitch: The D3S’s image sensor has been completely redesigned from the D3 - the inner structure has been further optimised, with the pixel count and large pixel pitch maintained for even greater latitude in high ISO performance. The D3S promises to capture and render light in ways that no other ordinary digital SLR cameras has yet achieved, with a significantly higher signal-to-noise ratio and a wide dynamic range for unmatched image quality for both still images and movies throughout the broadened ISO sensitivity capabilities.

New and improved D-Movie function: From well-lit scenes to extremely low-lit situations, the D3S’s D-Movie mode delivers unique versatility. The newly refined D-Movie offers HD quality (1,280 x 720 pixels) Motion-JPEG movies at 24 fps. By controlling the aperture from the widest f-stop to the smallest, the large FX-format sensor renders low-noise images with beautiful bokeh effects from a large selection of NIKKOR lenses. High-Sensitivity Movie mode allows users to shoot at up to ISO equivalent of 102,400in places too dark to see clearly with their own eyes. D-Movie footage is easy to trim in-camera by simply selecting the starting and ending point. An extra bonus for sports and news photographers is the ability to save selected movie frames as JPEGs for immediate printand web publishing needs. The D3S has both an internal mono-aural microphone and an external stereo microphone input, enabling higher fidelity audio recording.

Image sensor cleaning: Another significant improvement from the D3 is the employment of the Image Sensor Cleaning function, which generates vibrations at four specific frequencies to optimise dust removal. This function can be set to operate automatically when the camera is turned on and off, or manually.

EXPEED: Nikon’s fast, comprehensive, and energy-efficient approach to in-camera image processing maintains the rich initial data’s integrity through 14-bit A/D conversion and 16-bit image-processing, which demonstrates the enormous creative potential of NEF (Nikon Electronic Image Format). Combined with Nikon’s FX-format sensor, the D3S produces an exceptional tonal range and minimized tone jumps. Users can expect more accuracy with difficult colour combinations such as skin tones and strong reds in the same frame without over-saturation and finer tonal gradation in highlights, even with extremely bright subject matter.

Lateral chromatic aberration reduction: The D3S corrects colour fringes caused by chromatic aberrations that, in some instances, can appear at the edges of differing subject elements. Lateral chromatic aberrations are corrected regardless of lens type — whether telephoto, wide-angle, non-CPU and other types of NIKKOR lenses.

Active D-Lighting: Nikon’s Active D-Lighting automatically regulates the dynamic range of high-contrast scenes, pulling out shadow details and preserving highlights while maintaining proper contrast. The D3S allows photographers to choose from six Active D-Lighting settings, including the newly added Auto and Extra High, as well as High, Normal, Low and Off. You can also bracket Active D-Lighting strength levels up to five frames and select the best rendition afterwards.

Picture Control: Helps you define the look and feel of your images by custom-tailoring sharpness, saturation and other parameters to match your creative intentions. The D3S comes with four pre-installed Picture Control profiles, which can be fine-tuned and saved as new custom Picture Control profiles that match your personal shooting style or particular shooting conditions. These profiles can easily be copied to additional cameras.

Speed and readiness throughout the workflow: The D3S optimises workflow speed and fluidity throughout the entire shooting process. Start-up time is approx. 0.12 seconds* and release time lag is minimised to approx. 0.04 seconds*, exactly as fast as the D3, but the D3S’s increased buffer memory is twice as large as that of the D3’s. In addition, the D3S’s autofocusing, image processing, memory card access and recording, USB interface and optional wireless transmitter all work together to keep professional photographers focused. And for sport and news photographers, many of the D3S’s JPEG files are print-ready with little or no post-production: an extra edge when time is short.

9-frames-per-second* shooting rate in FX-format, 11 fps* in DX crop: the D3S’s powerful stepping motor allows for a more steady delivery of fast continuous shooting speeds at a wider range of aperture settings than lesser cameras can claim. Professionals will now have greater control and fewer limitations when making the images they desire. With the DX crop, photographers can also add a 1.5x picture angle and a faster frame rate to their arsenal. Furthermore, the factory-installed buffer memory is twice the capacity of the D3, dramatically increasing the power of continuous shooting.

Scene Recognition System: Nikon’s exclusive 1,005-pixel RGB sensor precisely reads brightness and colour information to raise the overall accuracy of AF, AE, i-TTL flash control and auto white balance to new heights, thanks to the Scene Recognition System. The D3S’s AF delivers superb subject tracking and subject identification performance. Highlight analysis used for AE reproduces brightness faithful to the eye, and light source identification makes auto white balance uniquely precise and reliable.

51-point AF: The D3S’s strategically positioned 51 AF points deliver faster focus, even with quick and/or erratic subject movement. The 15 cross-type sensors in the centre of the frame maintain the same outstanding performance with any AF NIKKOR lens f/5.6 or faster. There are four Dynamic-area AF options, including 51 points (3D-tracking), which accurately follows your subject by shifting focus points using colour and brightness information from the Scene Recognition System. This gives users an extra advantage when composition is important but your subject’s movement is extremely erratic. Single-point and Auto-area AF modes are also available.

Sophisticated AE with highlight analysis: Nikon’s exclusive 3D colour matrix metering II is highly praised for its outstanding performance and faithful exposure results — even in complex, unforgiving lighting conditions. The D3S takes accurate exposure further, using highlight analysis from the Scene Recognition System and then carefully selecting from a database containing information from over 30,000 actual shooting situations.

Informed auto white balance: Nikon’s auto white balance is often noted for its accuracy, achieving remarkable results, even in challenging conditions with mixed light sources ...with the D3S, auto white balance makes even further progress. Professionals can expect white as truly white in a wider variety of settings.

Approx. 100% frame coverage: The D3S’s large prism gives you the FX-format visual advantage when you shoot. The viewfinder image is not only larger and brighter, but the focusing screen is also carefully designed to help you to more intuitively sense sharp focus, be it manual or autofocus.

Superior durability: For the reliability professionals demand, the shutter of the D3S has been tested for up to 300,000 cycles in fully assembled cameras under rigorous conditions. The ruggedly constructed D3S employs a strong yet lightweight magnesium alloy for its body, exterior cover, chassis and mirror box. Furthermore, a comprehensive series of O-rings and other specialised seals, combined with additional Nikon engineering, protect the D3S against invasive moisture, dust and even electromagnetic interference.

Twin CF card slots: The D3S lets you designate each card slot for certain tasks: record two full CF cards of data sequentially for a large amount of storage, record the same data onto two cards (backup), record RAW and JPEG simultaneously onto separate cards, and transfer data from one card to another. You can also designate the slot for data-heavy D-Movie recording.

Long-life battery: The D3S uses the EN-EL4a rechargeable batteries. Power consumption and power management systems have been engineered for greater operating efficiency, so you can expect long battery life, shooting up to 4,200 images* per charge.

Easy-to-access Live View mode: The dedicated Live View button gives you instant access to two Live View modes: Tripod mode for accurate AF operation and Hand-held mode for more versatile shooting angles. The speed for Contrast-detect AF in Tripod mode has also been improved for enhanced practicality.

Quiet Shutter-release mode for non-intrusive shooting: Photographers can select “Q” on the release mode dial to substantially reduce the sound of the camera’s mirror-down during shooting. This is particularly useful when shooting in restrictive conditions such as when photographing theatrical performances or wildlife.

3-in., approx. 921k-dot color, 170ยบ viewing angle LCD monitor: The D3S’s large, high-resolution LCD monitor delivers bright, crisp image playback with up to 27x enlargement for immediate and precise image confirmation. Each LCD is covered with scratch resistant tempered glass and individuallycalibrated and fine-tuned at the factory to deliver consistent performance.

Tuesday, 6 October 2009

The Nobel Prize in Physics 2009



The Nobel Committee of the Swedish Royal Academy of Sciences proclaimed three men this morning as 'masters of light'.

This year's Nobel Prize in Physics has been awarded "for groundbreaking achievements concerning the transmission of light in fibers for optical communication" ...and "for the invention of an imaging semiconductor circuit - the CCD sensor".

Half of the 10 million Swedish crowns prize money goes to Charles K. Kao, whose work in the mid-60s enabling light to travel long distances through glass strands made the fiber optic cables we have today possible.

The second half of the prize is divided between Canadian Willard S. Boyle and American George E. Smith, who both worked at Bell Labs in Murray Hill, New Jersey, and invented the so-called charge-coupled device semiconductor, better known to anyone that has ever looked at a digital camera spec list as a CCD.

In 1969 Boyle and Smith invented the first successful imaging technology using a digital sensor, a CCD (charge-coupled device).

The two researchers came up with the idea in just an hour of brainstorming, according to Boyle, who spoke during a press conference today. "It is amazing that a [CCD device] was created so quickly," said Joseph Nordgren, the chair of the Nobel Prize committee.


CCD technology makes use of the photoelectric effect, as theorized by Albert Einstein and for which he was awarded the 1921 Nobel Prize. By this effect, light is transformed into electric signals. The challenge, when designing an image sensor, was to gather and read out the signals in a large number of image points, i.e. pixels, in a short time.

Often considered as the digital camera's electronic eye, CCD technology has revolutionized how images are collected from spacecraft, by telescopes, and in medical imaging ...effectively replacing the film camera in every aspect of photography.

The Nobel Prize committee concluded that the three scientists have helped shape the foundations of today’s networked society. ‘They have created many practical innovations for everyday life and provided new tools for scientific exploration,’ the committee said in a statement.

Saturday, 19 September 2009

The most ridiculous article of the year thus far goes to... Amateur Photographer (26.09.09)

In very large black text with an accompanying close-up of Leica's M9 and famous red dot, Amateur Photographer, a magazine published weekly in the UK, boldly announces on page 6...


Photographers ditch DSLR gear for M9

It goes on to gleefully report... 

Demand for Leica's M9 is outstripping supply (not hard) as customers, who included professionals trading in their DSLRs, snapped up the full-frame camera within minutes of it Wednesday's launch!

RG Lewis, billed as London's 'oldest Leica shop' (thus surely unlikely to talk up the M9's market debut!) confirmed that initial stocks have "come and gone". 

A spokesman said: "We had eight ...and 14 minutes later we didn't.

That's almost stock in double digits, and this stunning statement of sales achievement, or unfulfillment, depending on your take on things,  left me reeling, with it's almost profound effect!   

Then followed this most classic of quotes later in the article...

Clients have also included a man who traded in his nikon D3 DSLR and lenses - to the great relief of his wife who, apparently, was glad to be rid of the DSLR kit that took up precious space at home.  What?!?! 

Apparently though another Leica camera store reports that "98% of new M9 customers are existing Leica owners" and that there's a four week waiting list for new orders!!

Have you ever known a respected photographic magazine publish such trite and utter drivel?

Monday, 14 September 2009

R3-BLOG links to The Online Photographer

Great site! Carry on the good work Mike!

Tuesday, 1 September 2009

Canon announces new EOS 7D DSLR



01 September 2009

Canon has today announced the launch of its new EOS 7D. This new high end digital SLR boasts a new 18MP APS-C CMOS sensor, Dual DIGIC 4 processors, ISO range expandable to 12800, continuous shooting at 8 fps ...and full HD video recording. It also incorporates a new viewfinder with 1.0x magnification and 100% coverage and a 3 inch LCD with the now rather standard 920k dot resolution.  See below for a more detailed overview of the new camera's features.


Canon CMOS sensor

The EOS 7D includes a new 18 megapixel CMOS sensor with a wide ISO range that delivers excellent results in both the low and high-speed ranges as well as improved image quality. The sensor is a standard APS-C size (22.4x14.9mm) and produces an effective field of view of 1.6x the lens focal length.

The EOS 7D sensor features condensed circuitry with improved sensitivity and increased capacity of the photodiodes, which enables shooting at high ISO and prevents overloading when shooting in bright conditions. The ISO range (100 - 6400) is expandable to 12800 enabling photographers to capture subjects in their natural light without the use of a flash.

The EOS 7D sensor includes gapless microlenses that have been moved closer to the photodiodes. These technological advances, which were developed and manufactured by Canon, improve the signal to noise ratio creating very clean high ISO images.


19-point cross-type AF system including Spot AF

The AF system has been completely redesigned using the same architecture as the EOS-1 series and includes a separate processor to handle AF calculations. This, along with AI SERVO II AF, enables the EOS 7D to offer accurate, reliable and continuous shooting at 8fps. Uniquely at this level, all 19 points in the EOS 7D AF sensor are cross-type points with f/5.6 or faster lenses, which allows sophisticated tracking, accuracy and performance throughout the frame.
EOS 7D also includes Spot AF, a new mode that uses a smaller area of the sensor to determine focus. This is useful for small subjects where there is background detail that can distract the AF sensor. It also includes Zone AF which limits automatic selection to one of five zones. This allows photographers to ensure their subject is automatically selected.


iFCL metering system with 63-zone Dual-layer Sensor

The iFCL system uses Focus, Colour and Luminance information to determine consistently exposed shots. All focus points provide distance information to the metering system to determine proximity to the subject and allow the algorithm to weight the exposure accordingly. EOS 7D has a completely new metering sensor with 63 zones compatible with 19 AF points. Typically, metering sensors are more sensitive to red subjects which can lead to overexposure. EOS 7D combats this with the dual layer sensor, which has one layer sensitive to red and green light and one that is sensitive to blue and green light. The metering algorithm then compares the level of the two layers and adjusts the meter reading accordingly.


100% Viewfinder with 1.0x magnification and built in LCD overlay

The EOS 7D features a high quality viewfinder with 100% coverage and 1.0x magnification - a first for EOS - making it simple and ease to use. The viewfinder uses a prism, coating technologies and eyepiece lenses inspired by the EOS-1 series.

EOS 7D viewfinder does not have interchangeable focussing screens. In their place is a Transmissive LCD Screen - another first for EOS. Through technological advances Canon has been able to implement the screen whilst maintaining viewfinder image quality. This new feature, which can be illuminated in lowlight, enables grid, spot metering and AF points to be superimposed upon demand.


EOS Movie

The EOS 7D features an improved movie function allowing users to record Full HD movies with full manual control and selectable frame rates. The operation of the movie function has been improved to make it easier to use via direct access to settings with dedicated buttons. AF can now be started by either half pressing the shutter button or using the AF-ON button as before.

The exposure of the movie can be controlled in Manual mode allowing full control of shutter speeds and apertures. It is possible to select frame rates from: 30 (29.97), 25, and 24 (23.976), with 60 (59.94) and 50 available at 720p. ISO can be set automatically or manually in the range (100-6400) and is expandable to 12800. EOS 7D also allows users to trim and cut their movies.


Dual “DIGIC 4”

EOS 7D is fitted with Dual “DIGIC 4” processors; the power of the processors enables more advanced processing algorithms allowing the camera to achieve a high performance 8fps at 18 megapixels.

DIGIC 4 removes the highly noticeable colour noise as well as reducing luminance noise without loss in detail, allowing for very clean high ISO images. Even at ISO 6400 noise levels are similar to those of ISO 1600 from DIGIC III. Auto Lighting Optimiser is now also available during manual exposure, without any drop in performance.

DIGIC 4 also allows UDMA cards (mode 6) to be used at their full speed, which allows the EOS 7D to take advantage of the fastest cards available.


Clear View II

EOS 7D’s 3 inch LCD monitor has 920,000 dots (VGA resolution) with a viewing angle of 160°. Clear View II has been designed to combat glare by removing the air-gap between the LCD’s protective cover and the liquid crystal. The air-gap is filled with an elastic optical material. This has the affect of suppressing the reflections from the surface of the liquid crystal, caused by the sharp change in refractive index, as light travels through the air-gap. In order to protect the liquid crystal from scratches the Clear View II LCD features a hardened glass cover material. As with the EOS 5D Mark II, an ambient light sensor on the side of the screen can set brightness automatically depending on the environment.

Saturday, 29 August 2009

Nikon Capture NX2 Update: Version 2.2.2


This latest update takes Capture NX 2 Ver. 2.2.0 to Ver. 2.2.2.  Please note therefore that Capture NX 2 Ver. 2.2.0 must be installed before proceeding with this update.  Benefits include:

Windows:

Support for the Service Pack 2 versions of 32-bit Windows Vista Home Basic/ Home Premium/ Business/ Enterprise/ Ultimate has been added.

Support for RAW images captured with the D300S and D3000 has been added.

An issue that caused Capture NX 2 to quit unexpectedly with batch processing to save RAW images captured in portrait (“tall”) orientation, with specific enhancements applied, in JPEG or TIFF format has been resolved.


Macintosh:

Support for Mac OS X version 10.5.7 has been added.

Support for RAW images captured with the D300S and D3000 has been added.

An issue that caused Capture NX 2 to quit unexpectedly with batch processing to save RAW images captured in portrait (“tall”) orientation, with specific enhancements applied, in JPEG or TIFF format has been resolved.


Click here for update:

Thursday, 20 August 2009

New Canon G11 Compact Camera



Specification Highlights:
  • 10mp High Sensitivity CCD
  • 5x Zoom (28-140)
  • DIGIC IV
  • 2.8″ Vari-Angle LCD Screen
  • RAW Capability
  • ISO3200 (Upto ISO 12,500)
Canon has just announced the launch of its new feature packed, rather sexy looking PowerShot G11, the successor to the multi award-winning PowerShot G10 – a deservedly favourite compact camera of many professional photographers and photo agencies around the world.

The new G11 continues the previous model's great build quality, and promises even great image quality care of its expanded dynamic range, new Dual Anti-Noise System and improved high sensitivity 10.0 Megapixel image sensor with Canon’s enhanced DIGIC 4 image processing technology. Noise performance, always a bugbear with compact cameras of this ilk, is supposedly improved by up to 2 stops compared to the PowerShot G10.

The PowerShot G11 also includes i-Contrast technology, which prevents high-light blowout whilst retaining low-light detail – ideal for difficult lighting situations.

The superb quality Canon lens it comes with delivers picture-perfect performance, offering a 5x wide angle (28mm) zoom with optical Image Stabilizer (IS) ...this allows handheld shots to be taken at much slower shutter speeds (4-stops) than conventional non-IS models – allowing perfect shooting in darker conditions or at a lower ISO.

Of course greatly reduced blur caused by camera shake, means photographers can shoot at longer focal lengths and in lower light conditions without the need for a tripod. The G11 importantly includes the ability to shoot in RAW format and is compatible with Canon’s Digital Photo Professional (DPP) software, ensuring that photo shoots can be easily integrated into a photographer’s workflow.

Alongside superb image quality, the compact size of the PowerShot G11 and a 2.8-inch vari-angle PureColor II VA LCD (461k dots) make it the ideal choice for professional photographers to use where an SLR is impractical or obtrusive.

The G11 is ergonomically designed for faster, accurate menu scrolling. Analogue style dials for ISO and exposure compensation give photographers instant, familiar access to common settings and features.

Irrespective of the new camera's low light shooting abilities Canon has increased the G11’s highest flash synchro speed to 1/2000th seconds, reducing the possibility of overexposed bright scenes. A real time histogram displays brightness levels on the PureColor II VA LCD screen, so photographers can easily view conditions and change settings when shooting.

Quick Shot mode takes images almost instantly after pressing the shutter, so fast moving objects are always captured, whilst Servo AF/ AE continuously adjusts focus and exposure to optimise settings when photographing moving subjects.

The PowerShot G11 can be used with a wide range of Canon accessories, including the Speedlite 270EX, 430EX II and 580EX II; Macro Twin Lite MT-24EX and Macro Ring Lite MR-14EX flashes for enhanced shooting options; the Speedlite Transmitter ST-E2, Speedlite Bracket BKT-DC1 and Remote Switch RS-60E3. Underwater photographers can even team the PowerShot G11 with the specially designed Waterproof Case WP-DC34 – an underwater housing allowing full control of the camera at depths down to 40m. The PowerShot G11 includes an HDMI port so users can review images on a full HD screen via an optional HDMI cable.

Coming to market in October 2009 - we hope to be getting one soon and putting it through its paces!

Tuesday, 18 August 2009

Saturday, 15 August 2009

Video: Wim Wenders movie for Leica

video

News: EISA bestows its prestigious 'European Professional Camera - 2009-2010' award upon the Nikon D3x


Congratulations to Nikon and its superb D3x!

With its ultra-high 24.4 million-pixel resolution and full frame imaging sensor, the Nikon D3X is a dream for professional photographers who mix studio assignments with fast moving dynamic subjects outdoors.

The D3X is capable of an image quality that previously could only be achieved with medium format cameras fitted with digital backs, but it has much faster autofocus, continuous shooting rates plus it can be used at sensitivities of up to ISO 6400 with astonishingly good results.

With an enormous range of features the D3X is a top-class modern pro-camera that offers total control over the image, from the moment of composition in the large viewfinder to the output of a ready-to-use digital file.

Monday, 10 August 2009

Lowepro Pro Mag2 AW



You can never have enough camera bags right?!

It's rather sad but I know so many photographers who seemingly spend their entire life watching, waiting, and then updating their camera body after each and every new model release!

Likewise a fair few of them are always in search of the perfect camera bag, and of course such a beast doesn't exist - if only because there's a bag designed for each and every occasion these days. No one bag can truly do it all, but some certainly get closer than others in their attempts to perform a particular function!

The latest in my little collection is the Lowepro ProMag 2 AW. It's a slim-profile bag I use specifically for those short assignments that start with an airport and/or airline who delight in the stringency of their carry-on hand luggage restrictions. Unless I'm away for any great length of time and thus utilisingh a large hard case (i.e. Pelican) there's no way I'm risking putting my DSLR kit in the hold of an aircraft. Hence my purchase of the perfectly formed Lowepro Pro Mag2 AW.

The Pro Mag 2 AW has Lowepro's patented OverLap Zipper and All Weather Cover ...which came in very useful only just recently in snowy Prague. It utilises the requisite high-density cell foam to provide serious protection and a good divider system aids the compartmentalisation side of things - a rather nifty removable see-through filmpack completes the interior.

Inundated with many very useful pockets - accessed via strong, high quality zips - the exterior also provides straps for a light tripod (very light tripod!) and side attachment loops for Lowepro's optional SlipLock add-ons.

On top of all that it also includes a very sturdy belt and buckle, a thickly padded shoulder strap and a very comfortable padded leather carry handle.

If I had a magic wand I'd like to have made it just a tad bit bigger along the width axis ...but if I had a magic wand I wouldn't need to fly and circumvent those ever more dimension challenging Check-In rules and regulations!

Conclusion:

One of the finest constructed bags I've had the pleasure to own and very reasonably priced for something so beautifully made. Quite simply, it deserves the many awards it's won and I think it's among the very best in its class!

Specifications

Capacity: 1–2 large pro DSLRs, 3–4 lenses (up to 80–200mm f/2.8 with reversed hood), flash and accessories.

Size(Interior): 11W X 6.5D X 10H in. / 28 X 16.5 X 25.5 cm

Size(Exterior): 14W X 9D X 14H in. / 35.6 X 22.9 X 35.6 cm

Outer fabric: water-resistant 1200D ballistic TXP™ and 2000D ballistic nylon

Weight: 3.97lbs/1.8kg


R3 Rating: 9/10

Saturday, 8 August 2009

Seculine Twin-1 R4N Wireless Remote Control

We've been using the Seculine Twin-1 R4N Wireless Remote Control for a couple or three months now, and generally we're very impressed with this little gadget. It's simple to use and appears well made and certainly sturdy enough for the use intended. The Seculine allows you to control your digital SLR remotely from up to 300 feet away! Presumably you need to be pretty confident of your running abilities, should you be that far away from your beloved camera and an enterprising thief strikes! LOL!

The Twin-1 R4N remote control comprises of i) a transmitter unit, and ii) a small 10-pin receiver unit which plugs directly into the shutter release port on the Nikon DSLRs such as the D3 and D700.

A short cable can be used for wired operation and is also included. It's a veritable bargain at the price and well recommended!

R3 Rating: 9/10

Monday, 3 August 2009

Leica finally announces S2 launch date!


Leica Camera AG has just confirmed that their much anticipated new monster Leica S2 camera is now due out in the UK for October 2009.

The S2 is being considered as a completely new digital SLR camera system as it offers a staggering 37 megapixel, 30x45mm sensor that’s 56% larger than full size 35mm.

Designed from the ground up in consultation with professional photographers from around thew world, the Leica S2 does not use a conventional medium format or 35mm platform. Instead the S2 instead utilises a bespoke Kodak CCD sensor that has enabled the Leica designers to produce the smallest camera in its megapixel class, sitting somewhere in physical size between the Canon EOS 5D and 1Ds Mk III DSLRs.

The Leica “MAESTRO” image processor (developed with Fujitsu specifically for the LEICA S2) allows the camera's lenses, firmware and sensor to function at their optimum, producing market leading processing time and the highest level of picture quality.

With the S2, Leica can lay claim to creating an entirely new class of camera – one that is undeniably groundbreaking and technically innovative, but also incredibly flexible thanks to a wide selection of accessories.

It’s a tempting aquisition for any professional photographer with the requisite bank account who is looking to upgrade from the current full frame DSLR systems on the market.

Several new lenses have also been developed for the new Leica S-system. These currently include the:

LEICA SUMMARIT-S 35 mm F/2.5 ASPH. CS

LEICA SUMMARIT-S 70 mm F/2.5 ASPH. CS

LEICA APO-MACRO-SUMMARIT-S 120 mm F/2.5 CS

and

LEICA APO-ELMAR-S 180 mm F/3.5 CS

Nikon unveils superb new 70-200mm zoom

Nikon has unveiled the new AF-S Nikkor 70-200mm F/2.8G ED VR II, a completely redesigned version of its much loved professional telezoom. Featuring an entirely new optical formula, which is designed to deliver sharp images all the way into the corners of the frame, even on FX format cameras - it uses no fewer than 7 ED elements to minimize aberrations. Nano Crystal coating is included, as one would expect with a new pro-grade Nikkor lens to combat flare.

'VR II' Vibration Reduction technology offers a claimed four stops benefit, and a new A/M focus mode provides autofocus priority when the manual focus ring is handled during shooting. However the lens loses the AF stop buttons of the original.

Physically, it's also shorter but a tad heavier than its predecessor, and obviously incorporates extensive sealing against dust and moisture.

The AF-S Nikkor 70-200mm F/2.8G ED VR II will be available from November 2009 at a rather wallet challenging RRP of £1999 / €2430 / $2399.