Weekend Wrap for August 12, 2011

This week in the world of Photography

Fujifilm Grows a Pair of Compact Cameras

Fujifilm this week announced the F600EXR, a 15x optical zoom (25-360mm 35mm equivalent) lens, 16MP compact camera that packs several technological punches: EX HR Priority Mode, which chooses the 16MP resolution setting for highest resolution; EX DR, which merges two images for extended dynamic range; and EXR SN priority mode, which doubles up pixels to boost sensitivity and reduce digital noise (signal to noise) in low light and high-ISO situations. The camera also has motion panorama, GPS Landmark Navigator and many other features—get details here. Fujifilm also announced a slim fashion-friendly compact, the JX370, which is designed for the point-and-shoot crowd. Get the details here.


Polaroid Launches Lens Line

In a surprise move, Polaroid this week announced a series of four auxiliary lenses, ranging from fisheye to telephoto mirror lens, that screw into a lens's filter. Can we expect future Polaroid cameras to have lenses filter screws to accommodate these these products?
The Polaroid Studio Series lenses are:

  • 2.2x telephoto and 0.43x wide angle travel kit, available in 58mm and 37mm versions with adapter rings for 52, 55mm and 30, 30.5 and 43mm. The kit will cost approximately $50.
  • 0.3x HD Ultra Fisheye produces 180 degree circular view. Available in 37mm and 58mm versions, with adapters. Price will be $269.99.
  • 900mm mirror lens. No word on mounts. Price will be around $300.

Photographers Attacked, Camera Stores Looted in UK Riots

Photographers and camera retailers have not been spared by rioting thugs in the UK this week. Jessops, a well-known chain of British camera stores, reports one of its Manchester stores was looted Tuesday night, while the owner of Jacobs Camera Store in Leicester claimed to have fought off rioters and prevented them from looting that retailer, according to an article in Amateur Photographer. More ominously, Amateur Photographer's Chris Cheesman reports that two Mail photographers were beaten in Totenham Square last Saturday, while another photographer was wrestled to the ground on Monday and his camera gear was stolen.

Hi-Res “White Magic” Sony LCD Likes Sunlight

Sony revealed a new “White Magic” LCD monitor that they say will improve visibility in bright sunlight. The new LCD uses a new “RGBW” method that includes a white pixels to improve brightness, while the unit is claimed to use less power and therefore improve battery life. The 1.23 million dot resolution, 3-inch LCD is being marketed to camera and smart phone manufacturers and may start appearing in new models in coming months. For details, read the Sony press release.

Leica M9 “Discrete” Upgrade Offered

M9 owners can now upgrade their cameras to be more like the M9-P, although it will cost them. The Sapphire Glass upgrade package replaces the original M9 top cover with one that lacks the red dot, just like the M9-P, and adds a more rugged Sapphire Glass LCD cover. The upgrade will cost just under $2k—or the price of an X1. Call 1-800-222-0118 x 9930 to make an appointment for the upgrade and for details. Specially trained technicians are standing by.

8” Vizio 'Droid Tablet to Cost $299

Firing a shot across the Apple iPad's bow, Visio has just announced an 8-inch Android tablet for $299. With WiFi and Bluetooth connectivity, the tablet features a three-speaker design for stereo audio in landscape and portrait modes, allows you to control your home theater via a universal remote app, offers 32GB of built-in memory and a MicroSD slot. And—is Apple listening?—it supports Flash.



Shoot Untethered with Android App for Canon

With Android hardware starting to eat into smart phone and tablet sales, we may be approaching the critical mass necessary for App developers to roll out Android compatible Apps for photographers.  Chainfire has jumped on the Android App bandwagon with an app that lets you control your Canon camera via your Android via a USB tether. Features you can control include Live View, live tap AF, manual focus, histogram, zoom control, grid display, bulb capture, continuous capture, and modification of more than a dozen exposure modes and focus settings. Price: $8.57. Learn more here.

Rugged CF Cards from Delkin Last Beyond Human Endurance
Action and outdoor adventure photographers as well as scientists and manufacturers who work in extreme temperature ranges now have a choice of 32 and 64GB CompactFlash cards that can be used at temperatures of -40 to +85 degrees Celsius (-40 to +185 Farenheit). The cards, which are said to be up to ten times more durable than other CF cards with vibration and shock endurace, have read speads of up to 105MB/sec and write speeds of up to 95 MB/sec. Now if only we can find a camera or photographer  that can endure a similar temperature range!

Firmware Updates

Olympus Update adds support for new VF-3 electronic viewfinder for Olympus XZ-1, E-P2, E-PL1 and E_PL2; Update for VR-310 and VR-320 improve LCD image quality. Go here to upload all Olympus Firmware updates.

Eye-Fi X2: v.4.5157 fixes camera/router inoperability, faster scanning when card is filled with files and folders, support for Samsung folder structure. Download firmware

Sigma DP1x, DP2x: V. 1.02 adds capture priority, RAW+JPEG simultaneous recording, improved High AF, improved LCD image quality, more. Details and download

And finally....10 years later, Joe McNally is re-shooting 9/11 heroes
For nearly ten years, Adorama has helped foot the bill to store Joe McNally's large-format Polaroid portraits of heroes of Ground Zero. Now, as part of the decade commemoration of the terrorist attacks, Joe is re-photographing many of the first responders and others involved in the aftermath. He's also posting stories in his blog. Read about Bill Butler of the New York Fire Department and how he saved Josephine Harris in Joe's blog.


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