Nikon's new nifty 50, contests and firmware updates galore, Samsung's pocket snorkle-cam, specialized Hassies, and a tele lens for your iPhone. Ladies and Gents, Adorama looks at the news!
Nikon 50mm f/1.8 AF-S Lens Unveiled
If you are one of the growing legion of 50mm lens fans, this is big news: Nikon has announced the 50mm f/1.8G AF-S Nikkor lens, bringing internal focusing and making the lens fully compatible with all Nikon DSLRs. Designed as a higher-quality version of previous 50mm f/1.8G lenses, the 50mm f/1.8G AF-S consists of seven elements in six groups, with one aspherical element to reduce coma and aberration even when shooting fully open. The diaphragm is rounded for better Bokeh, and lens flare and chromatic aberration are said to be supressed via Super Integrated Coatings, which Nikon also claims will produce accurate color balance. Look for it in mid-June for $219.95.
Sigma Offers Photographic Education Enrichment
Andrew Lu, a high school senior in Yorktown Heights, NY, has won the Sigma Scholarship Contest 2011. For his black-and-white fashion portrait, he has been enriched to the tune of $5,000 in cash and $1,000 towards Sigma gear. This annual contest is run by Sigma for graduating high school seniors who are pursuing higher education in a photo-related field. Lu, a 17-year-old who plans to study photography in college this fall, wowed the judges with five black-and-white photos. “By removing color, a sense of vulnerablility is introduced that allows the viewer to capture every shred of emotion and detail,” said Lu in his accompanying essay. View the entire winning portfolio.
Sony World Photo Competition Winners
Sony continues to grow in its support for the photographic community as its camera division grows and matures. Witness the World Photo Competition, with Alexandro Chaskielberg winning the L'Iris d'Or prize for his dramatic environmental portrait series (example shown). See his entire portfolio. Three prizes were given in each of five Photojournalism/Documentary categories, three Commercial categories, and four Fine Art categories. There were 105,000 submissions. Prizes up to $25,000 were awarded. View all winners here.
Do You Love Baby Animals? A Call for Entries!
The National Wildlife Photo Contest, in its 41st year, is open for entries and has a new category—baby animals!—as well as new features. You can share your entries with friends and family (think social networks), view thousands of other entries, and vote online for the People's Choice Award. Winner will appear in National Wildlife magazine. Entries accepted through July 14. Learn more.
Samsung Unveils Hi-Res Video Pocket Snorkel-Cam
With the Cisco Flip pocket camcorder biting the dust, Samsung's new W200 could be an heir to the pocket camcorder throne. Introduced last week, the W200 is waterproof up to nearly ten feet underwater, can capture 1080p videos at 30fps, and sports a fixed focal length f/2 autofocus lens. Its Back Side Illuminated CMOS sensor can also capture 5MP stills.
Redrock Unveils Stereoscopic Vid Rig
The pro video industry continues to push 3D, although the jury is out whether consumers really are interested in embracing this technology. Redrock Micro is betting that they eventually will come around, and have introduced the Redrock Micro micro3D rig for pro-quality cinema. The design takes into account recent improvements (read: shrinkage) in video camera design, holding two full camcorders side by side on an 18-inch rail. At $895 this is relatively affordable. Read the full press release.
FotoSpot adds sophisticated Geotagging to DSLRs
EKA Technologies has just announced FotoSpot, a digital camera peripheral that works with Eye-Fi cards and bluetooth technology to geotag your photos even if your camera doesn't offer a geotagging feature. The FotoSpot will add shot location and directions, and supports GPS tracklogs and images can be uploaded to sharing sites and mash-ups with Google Maps, for instance. The EKA FotoSpot will cost around $250. This video explains it:
Lots of updates to key cameras have been announced over the past two weeks...
Firmware Version 1.2.5 is a minor update that fixes several rare phenomena and, more importantly, improves reading/writing speeds when using UDMA 7-compatible CF cards. And if you have your camera set to Arabic or Portuguese, those nasty spelling and grammar errors have been fixed. More details and download here.
Firmware update version 1.02 is a minor fix that Nikon says will improve noise reduction in longer exposures. Other changes include fixing ability to open movies, A/V Cable connection issues, improvements in RAW white balance, and minor problems relating to the Fn button. Get details, download at Nikon's web site.
The camera may still be hard to find, but Fujifilm has already posted its first firmware update for the X100. Version 1.01 fixes a problem where the camera won't restart when tured off while in the Quick Start Mode. More details, download here.
Ricoh updates its firmware at the drop of a hat, and this one seems very minor. Version 1.36 is for the GXR and all of its lens/sensor units and fixes a bug related to the Cross Processing scene mode. A single firmware file will make appropriate changes for each unit. Get details at Ricoh's web site.
Olympus's posh compact gets a minor fix: Version 1.2 lets users manually change image orientation during playback. Download it here: http://www.olympus.co.jp/en/support/imsg/digicamera/download/software/
Samsung NX10, NX100
Samsung announced a fairly substantial firmware update for both of its NX-mount MILCs. Improvements include: Addition of Panorama Shot in scene mode; Optical Image Stabilization activated when using 50-200mm II lens; improved Movie AF, better Contrast AF for better performance in low light while the AF motor will make less noise; and more features that can be accessed via the lens i-Function setting. Go to samsung.com to grab the new firmware.
Hasselblad Special Apps department
Hasselblad is focusing on specialized uses for its high-end digital cameras and has announced a Special Apps department to help develop customized cameras for specific markets. First out of the box is Aerial photography, which Hasselblad has done for a long time going back to World War II, but this time it's a specially-designed H4D. One of the camera's features is the ability to counteract the aircraft's vibration for super-high resolution shots that show fine details . Hasselblad hopes to develop more models to meet the needs of photographers in other special fields of interest. Photo above: "Strandlinje", by Hans Strand.
And finally...Meet the iTelephoto Lens
When you hear the brand name Rollei, what do you think of? Classic twin-lens reflex cameras? Fugetaboutit! That's soooo last century. Rollei has just introduced an 8x mangnification attachment that turns the iPhone 4G lens into a powerful telephoto shooter. The lens attaches to the phone via a special casing and focuses manually (this might conflict with the iPhone's autofocus, but nobody knows yet); a little desk tripod is included. While there's no information about its availability in the US, it will be available in Europe for 35 Euro. Similar lens kits are available in the US for under $40.
Get the latest photo industry news at the Adorama News Desk.