We span the Web to bring you this week's photography world highlights, which include new movie film from Kodak, a pink Panasonic, a load of firmware updates, Leica's new blog, tips for getting noticed on Flickr and more!
Kodak: Let's All Go To The Movies
Kodak's had a pretty good year, thanks to its innovative efforts in the digital realm. So what's their latest cutting-edge new product? Super 8 Ektachrome 100D. Film! And movie film for Super 8 cameras, no less. They are claiming bright, saturated colors with fine grain and excellent sharpness, which is probably going to turn out to be true if it's based on its 35mm sister emulsion. But why Super 8? Kodak product manager Chris Johnson says that serious filmmakers may embrace it because times, and technolgy, have changed: “Super 8 mm film is a versatile, affordable option for filmmakers who require the image quality and flexibility of film. Quantum leaps in film emulsion technology have made Super 8 - once considered a hobbyist’s format - a viable option for professional filmmakers and students.” Apparently there's been enough consumer demand to make this happen. It joins Tri-X Reversal and Plus-X Reversal Black and White Super 8 movie film in the line.
Panasonic GF-1 is Pretty in Pink
Tired of the same old silver and grey revolutionary cameras? Panasonic has just unveiled the Sakura edition of its interchangeable lens compact, the GF-1. Touted as being the color of Cherry Blossoms, the GF-1 joins the black, silver, red and white versions. Internally, it's the same camera, which ain't a bad thing. US availability has not been announced.
Sony's Pixel Shrinkdown
Sony has announced a new 1/2.3 CCD imaging sensor with 1.43-micron sized individual pixels—the smallest ever made (the previous record holder was 1.55 microns, according to Sony. Lest you think this is literally splitting hairs, Sony claims the 15% size reduction allows a different design that gathers light more efficiently for better saturation and lower signal-noise ratio. Translation: The pictures shot on a 14MP compact camera with this sensor may look better with a slight reduction in shutter lag and a better ability to transfer images to memory cards more quickly. It still won't be anywhere near APS-sensor quality, but it sounds like it could be a step in the right direction. Take a gander at it, right, and marvel at how Sony can squeeze all of that into roughly the equivalent of the tip of a needle.
Camera Raw 6.1: Almost Ready
Adobe has launched the release candidate version of Camera Raw 6.1, a Photoshop Plug-In, which lets you quickly access RAW images from many pro and enthusiast digital cameras. A "release candidate" means the software has been tested pretty well, but now Adobe is looking for user input to verify that the plug-in will work in the real world, not just in the lab. Download it here. http://labs.adobe.com/wiki/index.php/Camera_Raw_6.1
Firmware Round-Up: Canon 5D MII, Sigma DP2, Samsung NX10, Fuji HS10
Firmware updates can improve camera performance, add functions that should have been there in the first place, or correct problems within the camera. Several have been introduced this week:
• Canon EOS 5D Mark II Version 2.0.7 fixes problems with weird aperture movement, and fixes exposure level display problems and power on/off problems with the Wireless File Transmitter.
• Sigma DP2 and DP2s (Sigma claims these will improve image quality at ISO 400)
• Samsung NX10 adds selectable manual focus assist, claims more stable operation.
• Fujifilm FinePix HS10 corrects a problem with low-battery warning coming on too soon and color shifts in RAW conversion.
How to Get Attention on Flickr
Thomas Hawk is a blogger who is somebody else in real life, but online he's an opinionated authority who has figured out how to get attention. He recently updated his popular blog post on how photographers can draw attention to their work on Flickr with advice that takes into account the rapidly changing and merging image sharing and social networking scene. Worth a read if your photographs are the best-kept secret on the Internet and you want that to change.
Viewsonic's Big, Honkin' 27" HD Monitor
Talk about living large—ViewSonic has just announced what they claim is the world's first 27-inch Full HD monitor. The VX2739wm is mainly meant for gamers because of its fast (1ms) response time, but its 1080p resolution and 100,000:1 dynamic contrast ratio may be embraced by photographers and videographers as well. Amazingly, the cost will be around $350.
Welcome to the Blogosphere, Leica!
Leica is reaching out to its peeps via the Blogosphere, and the quality of the posts I've seen so far are deserving of Leica's Big Red Dot of approval. There are many different contributors, and one of 'em is our own Jason Schneider. Check out his interview with Laith Majali, a documentary photographer who is working on a project on the underground Pan-Arab Hip-Hop movement.