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February 05, 2014

New Pentax DA AF 1.4x AW Rear Converter (2cm long)

Lens Converter party at K-Ville! Pentax has officially announced a new 2cm long HD DA AF 1.4x AW Rear Converter for the K-mount. Both weather-proofness and auto-focusing are preserved when using it per the Pentax press release. AF is preserved with both camera-based and lens-based systems.

Detailed specs and pre-orders for $600 can be found at B&H Photo.

New Pentax elementproof WG-series cameras now under the Ricoh brand: WG4, WG4 GPS and WG20 (with optional mounting system to compete with GoPros and other action cameras)

The Pentax WG-series of elementproof cameras is now under the Ricoh brand name. Pentax-Ricoh has announced three new WG-series cameras today, the WG-4, WG-4 GPS and WG-20. The 4s have CMOS sensors while the 20 has a CCD sensor. But that's not all. They are also trying to piggy-bag on the popularity of "action cams". Optionally Ricoh is offering a mounting system for these cameras, so you can use them as action cameras. The mounting options include suction, handle bar, and adhesive.

Being elementproof cameras, it makes them good candidates for this type of thing, and a smart way for camera manufacturers to try to find a niche for P&S cameras and piggy-back on the popularity of action-cameras like the GoPros.

Details on the new cameras at Pentax Press Release (WG4* and WG20) and Pop Photo (with close-up of suction mount).

Details specs can also be found at the B&H Photo product pages, with the WG-4 going for $330 and the WG-4 GPS going for $380 with a late March 2014 release estimate.

February 04, 2014

Crazy Stackable Lensaholic Deal for Olympus M43rds: $100/$200 off per lens (stackable on Lenses) when purchased with OM-D or E-P5 bodies

Olympus has a hot deal if you are interested in jumping into their M43rds system or loading up on lenses. It is a stackable promotion on the lens side. You buy one camera (E-M1 or E-M10 or E-M5 or E-P5) and one or more lenses. For each different lens you add to the shopping cart, you get a $100 or $200 off discount. The more expensive lenses get $200 off, the lower priced ones get $100 off. If you buy one camera (eg E-M1) and four different lenses, you will get a $800 off combined purchase discount. You can see the promotion overview at Amazon. However, that page does not list all the eligible lenses. You can find all the eligible lenses at the individual camera pages below:

Eligible Cameras and Lenses
+ use the links below to see ALL eligible Lenses
+ lots of lenses are eligible!!!

+ Olympus E-M1

+ Olympus E-M10

+ Olympus E-M5

+ Olympus E-P5

Eligible Lenses
+ Primes: 12mm f2, 17mm f1.8, 25mm f1.8, 75mm f1.8

+ Zooms: 12-40mm f2.8, 9-18mm f4-5.6 and 12-42mm f3.5-5.6 II R, 75-300mm f4.8-6.7

+ it appears you can get one discount for each color of the same lens as well (in the example below, I have one black and one silver 75mm f1.8 in the cart and they both get $200 off)

+ promotion expires by 3/1/14 or earlier if changed or cancelled

+ thanks to one of our readers for the alert

Example of Checkout page (annotated screenshot)
Below you see an annotated screenshot crop of the Amazon Checkout page of a shopping cart that has one camera and six different lenses. Note the six different $200 off discounts!


Crazy Example
In the example below, I added even more lenses! Note all the $200 off and $100 off discounts!


Research Eligible Cameras and Lenses
+ Olympus E-M1 reviews
+ Olympus E-M5 reviews
+ Olympus E-P5 reviews
+ for the Lenses, use the Search Box on the right side of the Lens Reviews stream or go through the list of Olympus Lens reviews. Unfortunately we ran out of tags for individual lenses over there

Optical Image Stabilization continues to make inroads in smartphones - to be included in new LG G Pro 2 flagship

While smartphones were quick to start climbing the megapixels ladder, optical image stabilization was a different kind of challenge. However, it is slowly but steadily now picking up momentum. Last year LG was the first Korean manufacturer to offer optical image stabilization in a smartphone (LG G2). This year, they have officially announced on their Korean website (computer-translated) that their new flagship uberphone, to be announced in/by late February at the Mobile World Congress in beautiful Barcelona::Spain, the "LG G Pro 2" will feature an improvement of that technology, the "OIS Plus". The OIS Plus appears to be combining both optical image stabilization and software (based on the shaky computer translation). The new uberphone will also be able to record 4K video (UHD), slow motion HD video, burst mode at full resolution, etc.

More/Via Pocket Lint and CNet and Boy Genius Report and Android Centralle and Talk Android.

First wave of Fuji X-T1 reviews are published online! (and more new samples)

Last week Fuji announced the new X-T1 weatherproof mirrorless camera. Fast forward to now and already we have completed reviews of the camera along with sample pictures at various websites. This is a sign that the camera is ready and actual release/shipment is close! Here is some of the latest action:

+ completed review at ePhotozine

+ completed review at Photography Blog

+ hands-on report at DC Watch (computer-translated)

+ first impressions at (computer-translated)

+ first look at (computer-translated)

+ gallery of 64 real world full size samples at dpreview

+ gallery of samples at Imaging Resource

+ X-T1 available for pre-order at Amazon for $1300 body only and $1700 with 18-55mm f2.8-4 OIS lens with a March 7 2014 release estimate
+ note estimates are only estimates

+ @FujiGuys video preview part #1 on YouTube (19 minutes long), also YouTube embedded below...

February 03, 2014

Adobe's John Nack now moves over to Google

Google has been making all kinds of moves the last few years, buying companies left and right, hiring people, selling companies, indexing your trash can contents (joke (I hope)), including some photography related moves, including the purchase of the company behind the critically acclaimed Snapseed app and stand-alone desktop software. Now they have made a very interesting hire. John Nack, a familiar person for those involved with Photoshop and Adobe, is now moving from Adobe to Google!

Details at CNet News. He wrote a farewell post on his own blog saying farewell. As of the time of writing, the blog post is not loading but none of the other Adobe pages are loading either. So it is a temporary technical snafu. You can use google cache to read it.

Why did Google hire him? What will be working with over there? He gave some very vague hints:

"... . Now, though, I’ll get a chance to work on some new projects. It’s about doing something very different from, and I think complementary to**, the work I’ve done at Adobe..."

The "**" footnote above is this text:

"Adobe & Google have enjoyed great collaboration for years, and I hope to take that even further. There’s so much we can all do to help photographers & storytellers of every sort."

The Sony A99 returns as a luxury DSLR - the new Hasselblad HV

Hasselblad is back with their Sony cloning program. This time they have gone 35mm full frame SLT dSLR, by announcing the new Hasselblad HV, based on the good old Sony Alpha A99 [reviews]. Having the Hasseblad brand means you have to pay a Hasseblad price, so you pay 8500 euro (in European markets) and $11,500 USD (in USA markets).

Hasselblad "skinned" the camera to luxurify it and perhaps some may find some of the non-luxurified changes useful. But are they useful enough to pay 4 times as much? Probably not for 99.9999043% of the population of photographers :)

Since the camera has such a crazy profit margin that makes iPad profit margins look like peanuts, Hasselblad went all out with the web development, creating a dedicated mini site for the camera.

Press release parade at PDN Pulse and Photography Blog and Quesabesde and DSLR Magazine and et al.

This is obviously a variation on a theme DSLR, but technically, this is one more company making Alpha mount DSLRs. So we have Minolta, Konica Minolta, Sony and Hasselblad selling Alpha mount SLRs/dSLRs :)

February 02, 2014

Photographer Cloud $10/month no-previous-ownership contract returns

Adobe has relaunched their $10 per month contract offer for the Photographer Cloud subscription for everyone. Under this offer, you can sign up for it, regardless of what other Adobe software you own. In other words, anyone can sign up. It is important to note that this is a 12-month contract. You pay $10 per month and during these 12 months, you have access to the latest versions and updates/upgrades of Lightroom 5 and Photoshop Creative Cloud and Behance and 20GB cloud.

At the end of the 12 month contract, this will auto renew unless you manually cancel it. You do not own any of the software included in the subscription. You are essentially renting them. Also, keep in mind, there was a big hack of Adobe accounts in recent weeks, so make sure you use a different account/password scheme there just to be on the safe side.

This offer expires by 3/31/14 or earlier if changed or later if extended. This is as of the blog-posting date. Things may be different in the future, so always be sure to check the Terms/FAQ/etc over there.

Thanks to Ron for the alert in the comments of an earlier post.

January 31, 2014

New Deals added: Fuji X-E1, E2, XPro1, etc and Spyder 4 Express for $70, etc [updated]

Somehow we managed to significantly fall behind again, but we are slowly picking up the pieces! A number of new deals have been added to the Camera Deals blog today. Perhaps the two biggest deals of the lot (subjective obviously since preferences, needs, wants, priorities and opinions vary) are:

+ Fuji X-E1 and X-Pro1 and X-E2 and X-etc and rawsumers on sale with various freebies as well [NEW!]

+ Datacolor Spyder 4 Express Colorimeter at Adorama for $70 with free shipping

+ the following sold out but judging by the pattern of Nikon J1 offers, it may return at some point in the future...
+ + manufacturer refurbished Nikon J1 w/10-30mm and 30-110mm for $200 with free shipping in either black or white (red sold out) by BuyDig on eBay with 90 day Nikon warranty
+ more camera/photo related offers at the eBay Deals Tech Frenzy

January 30, 2014

New Zeiss 50mm f2.8 Touit Mirrorless lens (NEX, Fuji) for $1000 - with full size samples available!

Zeiss continues to build up their Touit mirrorless system lenses with the announcement of the new 50mm f2.8 APS-C for the Sony NEX e-mount and the Fuji X system.

Details on the lens, along with the cutout diagram and sample pictures at the official Zeiss blog and the Zeiss Flickr account where you will find 20 full size JPEG samples (eight of which are pictures of stamps).

Press release parade at Zeiss and and Photoxels and Quesabesde et al.

The new lens is available for pre-order for $1000 at B&H Photo in your choice of Sony NEX E-mount or Fuji X mount. Release estimate is currently end of April 2014.

Zeiss produced a four minute video spotlighting this lens, in English, YouTube-embedded right below...

Updated: 7/30/14 at 10:45am ET
Amazon (via 3rd parties)
B&H Photo
eBay Search
Amazon itself (TOOS)
B&H Photo
Adorama (openbox, $1900)
Amazon ($1900+ via 3rd parties)
B&H Photo

Nooooooo! The word Selfie now becomes an ABC sitcom

With smartphones in almost every hand, and ever-improving cameras and ever-improving camera apps in most smartphones out there, photography is now front and center, in varying ways, in most people's lives. This opens up photography to millions of new people. Not only that, but people are introduced to photography at a younger age than people did during the stand-alone camera era. As with all things, when the flood gates open, there are risks, and some are worried about the dumbing down of photography.

These worriers will point out that the general population is obsessing with "selfies" and "photo bombing" instead of learning more about photography. Fast forward to now, we have a new "Nooooooooooooooo!" moment, the now official word "Selfie" makes more inroads as ABC is picking up a new comedy pilot with that very name. The comedy is not photography-related. Via The Verge and Inside TV.

January 29, 2014

Tablet Photography Strikes Back: Sony makes Tablet attachments for QX sensor-lens smartphone modules

For a variety of reasons, tablet photography spawned a series of jokes, jests, japes, and jeers across the internets (present company included). But a camera is a camera and a picture is a picture, and Sony is now giving tablet photography a new option, the new SPA-TA1 attachments. These allow the attachment of Sony's QX-series sensor-lens smartphone add-on lenses to tablets of different sizes. The attachments come in six different sizes, ranging from 85 × 65.6 × 33.9mm (smallest) to 190 × 65.6 × 33.9mm (largest), so in theory most tablets out there should be covered.

So far, this has been announced in Japan only with an early April 2014 release estimate and a 3,500 yen price (exchange rate $35~ USD). Announcement at Sony Japan (computer-translated).

More/via Android Authority and Xperia blog and BGR.

It's easier to explain this with an annotated picture than words...


Tablet Photographers Strike Back
Tired of the jokes and jeers, tablet photographers are striking back this week. First up, the one and only Harry McCracken at the Technologizer blog at Time starts a tablet photography pride parade with "Resolved: There’s Nothing Stupid About Using the iPad as a Camera".

Next up (on the more inspirational front), Shawn Blanc writes how iPad photography has been very beneficial to his legally blind grandfather. (via Fireball, Time).

Movie about a Grumpy Photo Store Manager resurfaces: Louis CK's Tomorrow Night

Louis CK is pushing the envelope on many different fronts, one of which is offering his work directly to consumers without DRM and with reasonably straight up prices and without control-freakish middle-men. His latest digital offering is a resurrection of his 1998 movie "Tomorrow Night", which has been "sitting in storage in film cans" for 15 years. The star of the movie? "Charles is the owner of a photo-shop. He is not too friendly...". Photographers sometimes get featured in movies and TV shows, but Photo Store Managers rarely "star" in movies! Now they get their 15 minutes of fame :)

I haven't watched it yet, but note, based on the reviews/descriptions, this is a quirky indie movie for adult and mature audiences that may offend sensitive and sheltered audience members.

You can buy the movie and digitally-own it forever without DRM for $5 at The more successful this type of an experiment is, the more people will be encouraged to offer DRM-free consumer-friendly content, without all the convoluted bolshoi theater of byzantine UltraViolet redemptions and restrictions and such.

Via Indie Wire and The Verge.

The trailer is YouTube embedded after the jump...

»» Continue reading "Movie about a Grumpy Photo Store Manager resurfaces: Louis CK's Tomorrow Night" »»

January 28, 2014

New Olympus E-M10 micro four thirds OM-D mirrorless camera (with RAW and JPEG samples)

Olympus is back with a third camera in their OM-D micro four thirds interchangeable lens camera system. The new E-M10 is a more affordable option to the E-M1 leader of the pack. The body only will go for $700 while the kit with the 14-42 II R will go for $800. It is already available for pre-order at Amazon with a mid-February-2014 release estimate, along with the new lenses.

Olympus E-M10 Previews
+ hands-on with RAW and JPEG samples at Quesabesde
+ six page preview at d-preview
+ ePhotozine
+ Photo Review
+ What Digital Camera?
+ Pocket Lint
+ lots and lots of camera body pictures (including side-by-side body comparisons with other cameras) at Photography Blog
+ press release at dpreview

Olympus E-M10 Video Previews
+ Jamie Mc Donald (12 minutes unboxing)
+ Matthew Gasquet (9 minutes unboxing)
+ Digital Camera World
+ Camera Store TV
+ What Digital Camera?
+ Rajala Camera
+ Olympus Australia promo
+ videos also YouTube-embedded below

New Olympus M43rds Lenses: 25mm 1.8 prime and 14-42mm EZ pancake and fisheye body cap lens

Olympus has announced three new Micro Four Thirds lenses. The 25mm f1.4 pancake, the 14-42mm f3.5-5.6 EZ pancake zoom, and a 9mm f8 fisheye body cap lens.

The 25mm f1.8 has a starting price of $400. Details and pre-orders at B&H Photo (black) and B&H Photo (silver) and Amazon.

The 14-42mm f3.5-5.6 EZ pancake-zoom has a starting price of $350. Details and pre-orders at B&H Photo (black) and B&H Photo (silver) and Amazon.

More details at dpreview and Robin Wong (Olympus employee) and Quesabesde.

Unboxing of this new lens by Jamie Mc Donald (YouTube) along with a promo video from Olympus.

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