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A round-up of the week in the wacky world of photography
The Impossible Project PX600 Film/New Polaroid Camera expected at CES
You can dust off your old Polaroid 600-series camera and bring it back from the dead: The Impossible Project’s long-awaited PX 600 UV+ Silver Shade Instant Film has arrived and can be bought now. This ISO 600 black-and-white film, manufactured in Polaroid’s old production facility by former Polaroid workers, is optimized for Polaroid 600 cameras. A UV-filtering coating is said to improve black-and-white tones. The image, which develops in 3 minutes, measures 3.1x3.1 inches and is on a 3.5x4.2-inch sheet. An 8-exposure pack costs $23.50.
With rumors that a new Polaroid camera will be announced at CES, this is shaping up to be a good month for Polaroid fans.
PDN TopKnots wedding photo contest
Are your wedding photographs on the cutting edge? Are they prize-worthy material? Prove it! You have 11 days to enter the PDN TopKnots New School of Wedding Photography. Prizes include a Nikon DSLR, gift cards from Adorama, and publication in the April edition of PDN. Entry fees are $35 for individual images, $50 per series. Photos will be judged by a who’s who of wedding and pro photo magazine editors and through popular voting. Learn more and enter.
Photo© Angie Silvy
Tamron 18-270mm Di II VC PZD, world’s smallest 15x zoom
Tamron this week announced the 18-270mm f/3.5-6.3 Di II VC PZD, which they claim is the world’s smallest and lightest 15x zoom. It is smaller and lighter than this lens. http://www.adorama.com/searchsite/default.aspx?searchinfo=Tamron+18-270mm
- Aperture range: f/3.5-6.3 to f/22-40
- 16 Elements in 13 groups
- Minimum focus: 19.3 inches
- Maximum magnification ratio: 1:3.8
- 62mm filter diameter
- VC (Vibration Compensation) image stabilization
- Tamron’s first standing wave ultrasonic motor system for SLR lenses, PZD (Piezo Drive).
- Weight: 15.9 oz
- Length: 3.5 inches
- Mounts: Nikon, Canon, Sony
The Nikon and Canon mount versions of the lens should be available later this month, with the Sony coming “at a later date.”
Control Canon, Nikon DSLRs from iPhone or iPad
A Canadian company, XEquals, has come up with an accessory and app that let you remotely control Canon and Nikon DSLRs from your iPhone, via Bluetooth wireless technology. The app, BlueSLR, has a 300-foot range and controls a self-timer, adds Geotagging, and records location, time, speed and direction in the Meta data. A share option lets you upload the images to Picasa or Flickr. The blueSLR remote control camera attachment costs $150 and is compatible with the Nikon D3100, D90, D5000, D7000, and the entire range of pro-level Nikons; Canon support is coming soon. It can be used in conjunction with the Apple iPhone, iPod and iPad. Learn more.
Lomo Has a White Sale
Lomo is at it again, this time with an all-white camera (perhaps for the wedding market?), the LC-A+, a limited-edition 35mm film camera with a 32mm f/2.8 Minitar lens, a good old-fashioned cable release thread, a hot shoe and what they flowerfully describe as a “whirling white kimono of elegant metal and smooth leather.” They’ve only made 1,000 of them and selling for $399—more than twice the cost of the very similar-looking, digital Pentax I-10.
Adobe Debugs Photoshop, adds RAW support for 15 new cameras
Adobe has fixed several security vulnerabilities and performance issues in Photoshop 12 (AKA CS5) and have posted updates in their update download site. Other fixes include crashes when opening 3D layers, color engine, sharpen, and when using certain fonts, and resolving issues with Histogram, droplet and metadata features.
Adobe has also posted updates to bring RAW file support for 15 new cameras, including the Nikon D7000, Pentax K-5, Ricoh GXR, Canon S95 and others, as well as for over 60 new Nikon, Canon, Pentax and Sigma lenses. Lens Profile Downloader 1.0 is a free companion application to Lightroom 3, Photoshop CS5 and Camera Raw 6 that allows customers to download over 300 lens correction profiles and to create their own. Here’s a complete list of supported cameras and lenses.
Genuine Fractals morphs into Perfect Resize
onOne Software has announced Perfect Resize, a new generation of Genuine Fractals that works as a Photoshop plug-in to let photographers upscale their images. The re-purposed software now offers smoothness control that minimizes resizing artifacts, a loupe tool for instant 100% magnified previews, presets, and sharpening tools. Tiling, Gallery Wrap and Batch Processing features are said to have been improved. It will be available for $100 on its own, or as part of onOne’s $350 Perfect Photo Suite.
Sekonic Goes to the Movies
Sekonic launched the DigiCineMate L-308DC, a light meter that is geared towards both still and video/cinematography use. Functions:
Display only the specific functions you need for fast, easy operation.
• HD Cine Mode: Perfect for today’s DSLR videographers. Make exposure readings and control light using shutter speeds and frame rates and get aperture settings with one-tenth stop accuracy.
• Cine Mode: Designed for digital cinematography. Select from the most useful frame rates and shutter angles for exposure control with one-tenth stop accuracy. Lux and foot-candle readout enables quick set up of lights.
• Photo Mode: Full control for traditional still-image photographers. Shutter-priority display of a full range of ambient and flash functions including Cord and Cordless flash measurement as well as ambient EV measurement.
Three Ways to Measure Light
• The Lumisphere provides incident light readings for nearly foolproof exposure readings and enables lighting that scene before the talent arrives.
• The Lumidisc is perfect for lighting green screens, adjusting ratios and taking lux and foot-candle measurements.
• Reflected light readings enable measuring the brightness of subject tones, gray cards, light sources or window light.
The Sekonic DigiCineMate will be available in January. Price to be determined.
An finally…The New York Times declares the death of the Point-and-Shoot Camera
Have cell phones killed the point-and-shoot camera? Sam Grobart, gadget columnist for the Times, is facing possible extinction thanks to the rise of camera-enabled smartphones, and MILCs. His ruminations about the options available to snapshooters is interesting and thought provoking…and he leaves the discussion open-ended while strongly leaning towards pessimism about stand-alone compact digital cameras. What do you think?