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March 05, 2014

Mozilla launches new JPEG encoder that reduces file size 10% on average

JPEG has been attacked from all sides, yet it remains (for a variety of reasons) the main digital image format on the interwebs. So the good digital hippies at Mozilla decided to help squeeze some compression juice out of JPEGs. They launched today, as a Version 1.0 project, a new JPEG encoder, Mozipeg, that on average reduces JPEG file size by 10%. The estimate is based on 1500 sample images from Wikimedia. The project is introduced at the Mozilla blog and is available for all to see and compile and hack at Github. Source code is included!

Via Tech Crunch and CNet News.

Android imaging apps: Adobe Revel arrives at Google Play (free to use; must sign-up/sign-in)

The Adobe Revel mobile photography app is no longer an iTunes exclusive. The app is now available to download for free at the Google Play. It is free to use, however, you must sign-up or sign-in with an existing Adobe, Facebook or Google+ account in order to use it. Because all our data is belong to them :)

Via Android Central and CNet Central.

A screenshot crop of the relevant parts of the start screen you see when you run the app on Android is right below...


Adobe_revel_on_android

New crafty adaptive Pentax K mount adapter ring for older Pentax DSLRs/SLRs

And now some crafty work in the world of mount adapters. Singapore-based Adaptive, as their name suggests, is releasing their first Pentax K mount adapter ring that allows the mounting of various lenses from other mounts (Nikon F, Olympus OM, Contax-Yashica, Konica) to some older Pentax dSLRs and some Pentax film SLRs. This is ...adaptive in some ways.

Supported with this product are older non-weather-resistant dSLRs like the K-x, K-r, K-m, K2000, K100D*/K110D, and five *istD*. There is a detailed page on which Pentax Film SLRs are supported.

As with all adapters, there are trade-offs and restrictions. You can find the full details on their website. Here are some of them:
+ no autofocus; only manual focus
+ aperture control is manual
+ no lens release catch
+ check their website for details
+ instructions in JPEG or HTML are linked to from the right hand site of the above page

This is a six minute video demo produced by Adaptist on Vimeo.

This is one mount ring for all the supported mounts. The ring supports Pentax K-lenses as well so you don't have to remove it if you want to go "native".

The price of this new product is around $100 Singapore Dollars. Orders outside Singapore have a $5 shipping fee for the first item plus $3 per additional item. All prices are in Singapore dollars. Based on current currency rates, $100 Singapore Dollars is around $80 US Dollars.


Sample Pictures
Adaptist has a sample pictures gallery showing actual pictures taken with the adapter using lenses from Nikon F, Olympus OM, Contax/Yashica C/Y and Konica AR.


What about the newer and weather resistant Pentax DSLRs?
Hope is not lost! While this first product does not support them, the Adaptive website, in red ink, states:

"*PK+MM for WR DSLRs is under development and not available yet."


Via The Photography Blog

Customizable cameras coming for select Fuji X cameras (fixed or iLC)

Fuji is jumping in on the camera customization game. At The Photography Show in Birmingham::UK they showed various cameras from the X line-up (interchangeable or fixed lens) available in custom colors and skins. This is a financial savvy move by Fuji, they even gave it a "prestigious" name, it is the "Fujifilm X Signature Service".

Fuji is perhaps at the moment the biggest risk for Leica. Fuji continues to make moves that can "poach" some of the not True Beliebers in the Leica Magic - and those photographers can revel in Fuji X prestige at a fraction of the Leica prices.

Details via dpreview and Photography Blog et al.

March 04, 2014

In-Stock Nao: Fuji X-T1 Body Only for $1300

Hide your X-Wallets! The Fuji X-T1 body only is, as of the time of writing of this blog-post, in-stock and ready to ship for $1300 with free shipping at Amazon by Amazon herself. Limit two per shopping cart... The X-T1 w/18-55mm kits are currently sold out... Research the camera with Fuji X-T1 reviews list... For more specials and in-stock alerts check the Camera Deals blog with twenty new posts added there today...


UPDATE: the camera is now (3/6/14) in-stock and ready to ship for $1300 and 4% rewards at Adorama.

March 03, 2014

Comic Relief: the impact of Selfies

And now some comic relief. The word "selfie" refuses to go away. Some may think this whole selfie thing is taking photography back a few years in some ways. Regardless of how you feel about "selfies", comedian Kumail Nanjiani (Portlandia, Comedy Central, etc) perhaps captured the extent of the selfie mania with this particular tweet, Twitter-widget embedded (Javascript) below...


Price Announcement: Hasselblad H5D-50c (CMOS sensor Medium Format) for $27,500

One of the early themes of 2014 is the arrival of CMOS sensors for Medium Format cameras with Pentax, Phase One and Hasselblad making product announcements. Today we find out the price of innovation.

Hasselblad issued a press release revealing a European price of 21,000 euro for their H5D-50c medium format CMOS sensor camera. In the USA, the camera is priced at $27,500 with pre-orders accepted at B&H Photo (or $30,000 bundled with the 80mm lens). It is expected to start shipping in late March 2014.

Obviously compared to a full frame DSLR, this is a high price, however, this is only $500 more than the previous CCD-powered model, the H5D-50 which went (and still goes) for $27,000.

RED DSLR Panic 2014: RED Epic Dragon Dethrones all DSLRs from Dxomark rankings

Monday excitement from Dxomark! They published their evaluation of the RED EPIC Dragon camera and shock-and-awe for realz, it dethroned all DSLRs, climbing straight to the #1 spot in the DXomark rankings, above and beyond the Nikon D800* and Sony a7* full frame duets!

In the RED Epic Drogon vs Nikon D800 score comparison, the RED beats the D800 in Portrait and Landscape, and only loses by a small margin (2745 vs 2853) in the Sports (low light ISO) score.

And that comparison tells the bigger story. The RED Epic Dragon comes on top both the Dynamic Range and Color Depth categories. In the dynamic range (Landscape), it zooms past the leaders (Nikon D800*, D610, Sony RX1) and in the color depth (Portrait) category, it manages to dethrone even the medium format cameras and digital backs (including the Phase One IQ180 and P65 Plus) for the #1 spot.

The only thing that throws a little bit of cold water on the RED hot Epic is the Low Light (ISO) ranking where the RED Epic Dragon finishes #10. The Nikon full frame DSLR line-up leads the way, along with the Canon 1DX and Sony a7r finishing ahead of RED.

Dxomark explains their testing routine and provides detailed technical analysis of their findings. Or if you are looking for a TL;DR, you can jump to their spartan conclusions.

Having said all that, keep in mind, Dxomark measurements and rankings are a specific set of technical measurements and are not designed to be end to end evaluations of a camera or a camera system.

February 25, 2014

(SOLD OUT) Fuji X-T1 Now Shipping: w/18-55mm for $1700 (multiple retailers)

This is an older post. For the latest check the Camera Deals blog... Expired items after the break...

»» Continue reading "(SOLD OUT) Fuji X-T1 Now Shipping: w/18-55mm for $1700 (multiple retailers)" »»

February 24, 2014

New Nikon D4s full frame speed demon 16mp DSLR [with hands-on preview and interview!]

Sports photographers, start your engines! Nikon is now officially announcing a new speed demon DSLR, the "D4S", with a 16mp 35mm full frame sensor! It has an early March (March 6) release estimate with a starting price of $6500 for the body only.

UPDATE: the D4S is now available for pre-order for $6500 at Adorama and Amazon et al.


Nikon D4s Hands-On & First Impressions
+ four page preview at dpreview
+ slideshow and interview with Nikon at dpreview


Nikon D4S presentation
+ by Nikon France on YouTube (6 minutes) and another one (8 minutes) and another one (9 minutes)
+ videos YouTube-embedded right below...





Press Release Parade
+ dpreview
+ PDN Pulse and Fotointern.ch and Photography Review and Quesabesde et al
+ detailed specs at Nikon Imaging

PANASONIC GH4 STOCK STATUS
Updated: 7/30/14 at 10:45am ET
KitIn-StockPre-Order
GH4
$1700
Amazon (via 3rd parties)
Adorama
B&H Photo
eBay Search
Amazon itself (TOOS)
GH4 w/YAGH
$3300
B&H Photo
Adorama
YAGH Unit
$2000
Adorama (openbox, $1900)
Amazon ($1900+ via 3rd parties)
B&H Photo
Adorama


New Nikon Imaging Software: Capture NX-D (in beta and available to download)

In addition to the new D4s DSLR, Nikon also announced a new (currently in beta) version of their Capture software, the new NX-D. This continues to be free software and replaces Capture NX2.

Details at Nikon.com. If you are a boldly going early adopter and want to download and try it right away, you can pick up the beta download at NikonImgLib.com. There, Nikon is actively collecting feedback from photographers who will download and use this new beta app. The PDF of the user manual is also available for download (41 pages).

Smartphone Photographers: new 128GB Sandisk microSDXC card revealed

If you are a smartphone photographer and want to take even more pictures without having to change memory cards midstream or do some cloud-syncing that uses up your monthly data allotment, Sandisk has announced at the 2014 Mobile World Congress in Barcelona a new 128GB microSD memory card, a microSDXC UHS-I Class 10. Now before you pay a new release premium for it when it comes out, make sure your phone is compatible with 128GB microSDXC memory cards!

Details via CNet News and Tech Crunch et al.

UPDATE: the card is now available for purchase for $120 at Amazon by Amazon herself and it "Usually ships within 2 to 3 weeks.".

February 23, 2014

(ENDED) Mobile World Congress Live Announcements In Next Few Hours: Sony, Nokia, Samsung, etc [updated]

The announcements happened at the 2014 Mobile World Congress on Monday 2/24/14 revealing new flagship smartphones from Samsung and Sony among other things... The original alert for the announcements is after the jump for historical reference only (the events already happened)...

»» Continue reading "(ENDED) Mobile World Congress Live Announcements In Next Few Hours: Sony, Nokia, Samsung, etc [updated]" »»

February 17, 2014

New Manual Focus Micro Four Thirds Primes from Kowa

The world of micro four thirds is going to get even more sources of lenses. Kowa, famous for lenses that go in other devices, revealed that they are planning three manual focus prime lenses for micro four thirds, under the Prominar line. These three lenses are going to be 8.5mm f2.8 and 12mm f1.8 and 25mm f1.8. Minimum focus is 20cm for each one of them. Early details via dpreview and ePhotozine et al.

February 13, 2014

Camera & Lens Reviews updated: three new camera and four new lens reviews

We are now caught up with the latest Camera and Lens reviews! Added in the last few hours were new reviews for the Sony a7r (dpreview) and Fuji X100S (Luminous) and Nikon D5300 (EOS-HD) along with four Lens Reviews (Oly 25/1.8, Samsung 60/2.8 mac, etc). You can keep up with latest reviews as they get added at the following places:

+ Camera Reviews website and/or Camera Reviews RSS feed

+ Lens Reviews website and/or Lens Reviews RSS feed


If you are producing completed useful camera or lens reviews (or have favorite websites/blogs producing them) and you don't see them listed over there, please let us know using the online contract form, so we can add them to the rotation. Please note that websites without RSS feeds or similar technology (or without reliable RSS feeds or websites that re-arrange their RSS feeds every few months) are harder to keep track of on a regular basis.


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