DxO adds HDR to Optics Pro, Joe McNally writes a book for LIFE, Voigtlander unveils a fast portrait lens, Apple bows a featherweight laptop, Wilhelm says Ilford papers last longer, and Gary Fong makes lenses safer.
DxO Optics Pro 6.5 adds Single-Shot HDR
Just in time for Photo Plus Expo, starts on October 28 in New York, DxO updated its flagship software, Optics Pro, with version 6.5. The headline here is that it now offers Single-Shot HDR for RAW images by combining local exposure correction with shadow noise removal. See the shot above for an idea of what the interface looks like.
Other key features:
DxO Optics Pro 6.5 will be available in November for $169 (standard edition) or $299 (elite edition) and in upgrade form.
Joe McNally’s LIFE lessons
One of Adorama friend Joe McNally’s claims to fame is that he was the last staff photographer to be hired by Life Magazine, before that publication folded. (Life lives on these days as a web site, where Joe is currently the guest editor.) Now he’s circled back, in a way, having just penned The LIFE Guide to Digital Photography: Everything You Need To Shoot Like The Pros. Check out what Joe says about his book in his blog.
Voigtlander Heliar 75mm and Sony NEX Adapters
Voigtlander continues to chug along with precision manual-focus lenses designed to rock the digital age. The latest is the Heliar 75mm f/1.8, a superfast portrait lens, announced this week.
Check the specs:
Focal Length: 75mm
Aperture Ratio: 1:1.8
Smallest aperture: F16
Lens construction: 6 elements in 3 groups
Picture angle: 33°
Aperture blades: 10
Focus range: ∞ ~ 0.9 m
Length: 73.8mm (without lenshood)
Weight: 427g (without lenshood)
Filter size: 52mm
Adapters will be available for Sony NEX E mounts (that’s a new one), along with already available Nikon F, Pentax K and mounts for Contax and older Nikon film cameras.
Apple news: Aperture Gets An Update, and One More Thing…
Apple this week had a few wee bitty announcements, including an update (not an upgrade) for Aperture image editing software. Version 3.1, which you can download here, fixes several bugs, and makes it compatible with iLife 11, which was also introduced this week. iLife 11 includes a revamped interface for iPhoto 11 that Apple says makes it easier to share photos via email or Facebook. Slideshow presentation and book layout features are also available. Learn more about iLife.
Oh, and, in the immortal words of Steve Jobs, one more thing: Apple relaunched the MacBook Air, basing it on solid-state flash storage instead of a hard drive with 64-256GB of storage and up to 4GB of RAM. The notebook computers are made of precision aluminum with their tapered design they are are as thin as 0.11 inches. Available in 11- and 13-inch models and weighing as little as 2.3 pounds, the MacBook Air will sell for between $999 and $1,599, depending on configuration. Promised for some time next year: A new version of the Mac operating system, dubbed Lion, with iPad-like features and apps.
Firmware Updates: Casio Compacts, Canon 5DMII, Sigma DP1x
This week, Casio announced a firmware update for its EX-S200, EX-Z550, and EX-Z800 compact digital cameras:
- S-200, Version 1.02 improves how fast images appear in the LCD monitor after taking the shot.
- Z550 Version 1.01 Fixes a problem that causes incorrect image storage when certain operations are performed with the 3:2 image size, according to Casio.
Meanwhile, Canon announced a minor firmware update for a major camera, the 5D Mark II. To wit:
- Fixes a phenomenon in which movies are not taken at the shooting mode registered in the user's settings if a shooting mode Aperture priority (or Shutter priority) is registered in any of the camera's user settings (C1, C2, C3) and the user attempts to shoot a movie.
- Fixes a phenomenon in which the shutter will not release when pressing the shutter button when the auto power off function is set to "on".
- Fixes a phenomenon in which overexposure occurs when shooting a Live View shooting simulation with the ISO speed set to L.
- Fixes a phenomenon in which the settings of the Speedlite transmitter ST-E2 revert to the default settings when both the camera and the ST-E2 are set to auto power off.
- Fixes a phenomenon in which the Macro Ring Lite (MR-14EX, MT-24EX) and slave flash do not sync while shooting wirelessly.
Finally, Sigma announced a firmware upgrade for its large-sensor compact camera, the DP1x, promising speedier recording time and faster on/off operation. Download here.
Kingston 600x UMDA CF Card
Speaking of big numbers, how does a 600x CF card sound? Kingston’s latest high-speed compact flash card supports UMDA Mode 6, transferring data at read and write speeds up to 90MB/sec. Designed for high-end DSLRs, it is available in 16 and 32GB capacities (they can be pre-ordered now for $99.95 and $139.95, respectively), offering a good amount of space for those high-resolution stills and HD videos.
Ilford Galerie papers , meet Methuselah
In this age of short product lifespans and designed obsolescence, it’s nice to grab onto something that will last. With initial research results in, it looks like digital prints made on Iflord Galerie Smooth Gloss, Smooth Pearl and Gold Fibre Silk papers are going to last a really, really long time. Like 200 years, or longer when stored properly, or when framed behind UV-filtered glass. That’s according to Wilhelm Research Imaging, which conducts accelerated aging tests to see how permanent images are on a variety of traditional and digital print media. Ilford is hoping its just-released Heavy Weight Matt and Fine Art Papers will have similar longevity.
Gary Fong Lens Lock
If you’re a pro using Canon or Nikon gear, you know how valuable your lenses are—and so do ne’er-do-wells who would love to grab your $1,500 optic and run with it to the nearest pawn shop. Gary Fong now offers a solution, the GearGuard Lens Lock. You attach it to your lens’s rear element and it becomes an irremovable object. Check the photo to see how it can be used (you provide the lock and cable), or order them now.
And finally: Lomo unveils a slide film
OK, enough of this high-tech stuff. Let’s go analog! Need some film for that Lomo Fisheye 2, Lomography 419 Colorsplash (above), or Horizon Compact Panorama camera ? Well, Lomo has just announced Lomography X-Pro Chrome, an ISO 100 slide film that can be cross-processed in C41 chemistry or in E6 for regular slides. It’s available in 35mm, 36 exposure rolls in 3-packs.