Samyang's fast normal lens, Olympus's Pocket video/sound recorder, Lighroom updated, Wacom's pen for iPad...and a large-format Lego camera
Events over the last seven days in the non-photography world might be succinctly summed up by this quote, found on Facebook: “The girl married the prince, and the bad guy died. This week has been sponsored by Disney.”
And now, on to the week in the world of photography, summarized.
PMA@CES Announced; end of an era for photographers
An era ended this week as the Photo Marketing Association International's once-dominant annual trade show, rebranded as CliQ and moved to Septemeber, was cancelled and the 2012 show was “colocated” within the massive Consumer Electronics Show, which will take place in January. Read the news report and my blog post about how this decision was made and implications for the photo world. One of those implications: Photo Plus Expo, which takes place in New York in October, is now the biggest free-standing photo trade show in the United States.
Samyang 35mm f/1.4, Video Fisheye lenses revealed
Samyang has just introduced two new wide-angle lenses, one for photographers and one for videographers. The Samyang 35mm f/1.4 AS UMC for Canon and Nikon is a wide-aperture, manual focus affair that can focus to approximately 1 foot. It features high refractive index elements and one Aspherical element to protect against chromatic aberration. It is expected to be made for Sony, Pentax, Samsung NX and Four Thirds cameras soon; for owners of APS sensor cameras, it could work as a fast prime “normal” lens. The Samyang 8mm f/3.5 Fish-eye CS VG10 is designed specifically for the Sony NEX-VG10 large-sensor interchangeable-lens camcorder, and sports a Sony E bayonet. This manual-focus lens is not currently expected to be available for still cameras.
First 1-Terabite 3.5-inch External Hard Drive from Seagate
With high-end pro digital cameras recording 20+ megapixel stills and full HD movies, the need for more and more storage for pro shooters continues to increase. Now Seagate has announced what they say is the world's first 3-TB 3.5-inch external hard drive using three 1TB platters; the previous maximum 3.5-inch platter storage capacity was 750GB. 1TB is 1,000 Gigabites. and the Seagate Barracuda Desktop Hard Drive which ought to satiate the storage needs of many pro shooters...for now. Look for it this summer.
Photobucket announces Snapbucket for Mobile Phone Users
Did you know that uploads of still and video images from mobile devices has increased 600% in the past year? Photobucket, the world's largest image storage and sharing service, recognized that there was a need for a special service for mobile phone and tablet users to easily upload and share their images, and has introduced Snapbucket for the mobile image market. Snapbucket is an app for mobile devices that lets users apply various effects and filters to their stills and videos before uploading them to Photobucket's image sharing platform. This video explains how it works.
Olympus LS-20M Pocket Camcorder
Olympus's line of pocket size audio recorders goes back decades, starting with the microcassette format, which Olympus invented in 1969. This marvel of acoustic miniaturization went digital years ago, and the LS-20M continues this tradition. But wait—what's that we see on the 2-inch LCD monitor? A video? Yes, the latest generation adds 1080p HD video recording capability, with a 49mm (35mm equivalent) lens on the top of the unit, nestled between the two stereo microphones. Audio quality is said to be studio-grade and, in fact, the unit is primarily for recording sound. The video is a bonus. It will be available in June for $300. For details, read the Olympus press release.
Adobe announces Lightroom 3.4, Camera RAW 6.4
Adobe this week announced Lightroom 3.4 and Camera RAW 6.4, which add support for 13 new camera models including the Canon EOS Rebel T3i, Nikon D5100 and Fujifilm FinePix X100, plus over 25 new lenses to help correct for distortion and chromatic aberration. The Lightroom 3.4 update is available as a free download for Lightroom 3 customers, and the Photoshop Camera Raw 6.4 plug-in is available as a free download for Photoshop CS5 customers. Go here to download.
Wacom Stylus for iPad: Is a handwriting revival imminent?
The introduction this week of the Wacom Bamboo Stylus pen for the iPad begs the question: Could handwriting make a comeback in the digital age? The Bamboo Stylus has a soft tip and is said to have a good weight balance and is 25 percent slimmer than its competitors for real pen-like ergonomics. Applications may include sketching, drawing, or even—gasp!—writing. Right now it is optimized for the iPad and iPhone, but other tablets and smart phones should be able to use it in the near future. It's expected at the end of this month for around $30.
And Finally...A working Lego 4x5 camera!
For the last year and a half, Cary Norton has been gradually, piece by piece, building a working 4x5 large-format film camera. With Legos. He started in 2009, using a Lego builder app on his computer (such a thing exists...really!) to design it. There's a 127mm f/4.7 lens that he bought on eBay for $40, a plexiglas sandboard, and a negative carrier, and the thing is as light-tight as a typical Holga, judging by the sample shots he has on his blog.
That's a wrap...have a great weekend and remember that spring has sprung; take lots of pictures!