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Imaging Resource logo. Copyright ©, Imaging Resource. All rights reserved. Imaging Resource: News in brief
By
(Friday, August 20, 2010 - 13:36 EDT)

It's been a busy week for the Imaging Resource editorial staff, with no less than fifteen new digital camera announcements to cover in the last several days.

Along with our hands-on Nikon D3100 preview, we've also posted previews for a whole raft of new compact cameras from Canon, Fujifilm, Nikon, Olympus, and Ricoh -- and that's left us a little behind in our day-to-day news coverage. That being the case, we felt a quick catch-up might be in order.

Given the sheer volume of news to report on, we've broken it down into a number of sections for easier consumption -- Technology, Hardware, Software and firmware, Print and web, Education, Contests, Market research, and Other news.

Our sincere apologies for the brevity of coverage, and the delay in getting to some of these news stories!

Technology:

  • Sony has announced a new technology that promises to greatly simplify internal connections in mobile devices, for example replacing the flex cable in a cameraphone hinge, or a digicam's tilt/swivel LCD touch panel. In a cellphone, the technology would allow a single wire to simultaneously provide DC power, and data connectivity to a WVGA LCD panel with touch panel, VGA-resolution camera with audio, two LED indicators, and four key switches -- something the company says would require roughly 22 wires to achieve with current technology.

Hardware:

  • Metz has unveiled its new mecablitz 58 AF-2 and 50 AF-1 flash strobes, replacing the existing 58 AF-1 and 48 AF-1 models. Both new strobes adopt a metal flash shoe, and have improved flash tubes, wider diffusers, and are compatible with cameras that lack a wireless master function. The mecablitz 58 AF-2 also has a revised motor zoom mode, while the mecablitz 50 AF-1 has a slightly increased guide number.

  • Nikon has launched a new digital camera bracket FSB-7, which allows its Coolpix S5100 digital camera to be connected to an EZ-Micro microscope, or fieldscopes and spotting scopes with either a Nikon EDG eyepiece (except FEP-20-60 and FEP-25LER), Fieldscope DS eyepiece, or Spotting Scope RAIII DS eyepiece. Depending on the focal length and connected device, vignetting is possible, and this is detailed on Nikon's website.

  • Quantum Instruments has announced new cables that allow its Turbo3 or Turbo2x2 battery packs to be used with the Canon EOS 5D Mark II, Canon EOS 7D, Nikon D3S, Nikon D300S, or Nikon D90. This allows as much as five hours of video shooting on a charge, according to the company. There's also a new locking power cable to connect the Turbo 3 pack to a Qflash 5 or Trio, and a new vehicle charger for use with the Turbo 3 or Turbo 2x2.

  • Redrock Micro has launched its new nano DSLR rigs, aimed at videographers shooting with the latest high-definition video capable SLRs. Seven different rigs are offered, from the simple Grippit stick grip to the top of the line, shoulder-braced Stealth V rig.

Software and firmware:

  • CyberLink's Power2Go 7 burns data, including photos and videos, to CD, DVD and Blu-Ray discs. The program includes a photo slideshow / gallery function, the ability to create DVD menus, and to output 256-bit encrypted discs.

  • PictoColor has released the latest Windows version of its Photoshop color correction plugin, iCorrect Portrait 2.0. The plugin is now compatible with Photoshop CS5, including 64-bit compatibility.

  • Singular Software has announced the availability of its PluralEyes plugin for Adobe Premiere Pro CS4 and CS5. Available in beta since last April, PluralEyes for Premiere Pro synchronizes audio and video -- even in multiple camera setups -- without timecode or clappers.

  • proDAD GmbH has previewed its Mercalli Pro plugin for use with non-linear editors from Adobe, Apple, Magix, Pinnacle, Sony, and Grass Valley, as well as a standalone variant. The programs provide for both video stabilization, and rolling shutter compensation.

  • Photographer and Lightroom trainer Gavin Seim has released Power Workflow 3, his latest collection of Lightroom presets. PW3 is compatible with Lightroom 1 thru 3, and contains a total of 75 presets, grouped into five categories.

  • PocketWizard has launched ControlTL firmware v5.15, which fixes problems with corrupted exposure and timing data tables in v5.10. The new release can be downloaded through the PocketWizard utility.

  • TweetPhoto has announced that Android Twitter client Twidroyd has selected its service as the default photo sharing provider. Twidroyd users will now be able to upload, view, favorite, comment on, and vote on photos directly from the Twidroyd app.

  • The GuteWolke Project has released its Microstock Photo Plugin, which simplifies the process of purchasing stock photos from the iStockPhoto and Fotolia websites for use in blog posts. The Microstock Photo Plugin is free of charge, and works with WordPress. Photos purchased through the plugin start at $1 apiece for the smallest photo size.

Print and web:

  • Rocky Nook has launched "The Wild Side of Photography: Unconventional and Creative Techniques for the Courageous Photographer", by author and designer Cyrill Harnischmacher. This 224-page book includes topics such as how to build your own tilt/shift lens from a 120 film camera, shoot aerial photos from a kite or pole monopod, set up a laptop ministudio, and use a peephole door viewer as a fisheye lens.

  • Photographer Geoff Sanders and entrepreneur Steve Ranieri have launched -- in beta form -- a new social networking website aimed at modeling professionals, including photographers, models, stylists, artists, agents, and managers. The Modelrific beta offers free member profiles, hosted portfolios, and a variety of interactive features including blogs, walls, instant chat, and private messaging.

Education:

  • Kubota Image Tools has announced its week-long, 20th anniversary Digital Photography Bootcamp, to be held at the Five Pine Lodge in Sisters, Oregon this November. As well as Kevin Kubota, guest speakers will include Lensbaby inventor Craig Strong, and photographers Doug Gordon and Benjamin Edwards. The bootcamp will be preceded by a separate two-day SummitUP workshop in the Central Oregon foothills.

  • With the PMA Canada Photo Expo 2010 fast approaching, the Photo Marketing Association has previewed three pro photography sessions covering outdoor photography, senior portraiture, and digital retouching. Freelance outdoor photographer Ethan Meleg will host "Outdoor Photography: Business on the Run!", PPA certified photographer Beth Forester will host "Get Wired for Senior Success", and Portland-based portrait studio owner Mike Long will host "Pinned Up".

  • The PDN PhotoPlus International Conference + Expo, which takes place this October in New York, has also announced its extensive seminar, keynote, and special events schedule. Keynote presenters will include photographers Chase Jarvis, Albert Watson, and Cristina Mittermeier.

Contests:

  • Sigma Corp. of America have launched their Empower, Engage and Inspire sweepstakes, with two prizes on offer -- both the Sigma DP1s and DP2s digital cameras, respectively.The winners will be selected randomly. To enter, fill in the form on Sigma's website. At the same time, while Sigma's Momtographers contest entry period has now ended, the company is accepting votes for submissions.

  • Eye-Fi have launched their Summer Sweepstakes, with prizes including a Sony NEX-3 digital camera, an Apple iPad, and a selection of Eye-Fi's wifi-capable flash cards. Entering is as simple as signing into Facebook, visiting Eye-Fi's page, and clicking the "like" button. The company has simultaneously announced availability of its products at the Target store chain in the US market.

  • myBarnwoodFrames.com has a contest to win a free collage picture frame, in which entrants must come up with a unique way to use a collage frame to show family photos. Email submissions to info@mybarnwoodframes.com with the subject line "family photo contest subission".

Market research:

  • Market research company InfoTrends has released its latest publication, U.S. Consumer Photo Merchandise Forecast for 2009 – 2014. The report expects significant growth in photo merchandise, to an expected $2.2 billion in revenues by 2014.

  • Research and Markets, meanwhile, has pubished a report entitled The H.264 Advanced Video Compression Standard, 2nd Edition. Authored by John Wiley and Sons Ltd., this 346 page document covers syntax, tools and features of H.264, including "how to measure and optimise the performance of H.264, and how to balance bitrate, computation and video quality".

Other news:

  • UK nature travel company Wildlife & Wilderness has announced a ten-day Arctic cruise aimed at photographers. Two passages in a 12-berth icebreaker are scheduled for late August 2011, with conservationist and wildlife photographer Andy Rouse serving as the resident expert.

  • We've previously covered announcements from Canon, Fujifilm, Nikon and Panasonic noting their recognition in this year's European EISA awards. Epson and Olympus have both joined the mix, with awards for the Epson Stylus Pro 3880 printer, Olympus μ TOUGH-8010 digital camera, and M.ZUIKO DIGITAL ED 9-18mm 1:4-5.6 lens. The full list of photo product awards is available on the EISA website, and also includes Apple (Aperture 3), Samsung (EX1 digital camera), Sigma (17-70mm F2.8-4 DC Macro OS HSM lens), Sony (Alpha NEX-5 and Cyber-shot DSC-HX5V cameras), and Tamron (SP70-300mm F4-5.6 Di VC USD lens).

  • Finally, if you've been paying attention to international news, you'll likely have heard of the widespread flooding and landslides in China and Pakistan, caused by several months of heavy rains. Doing their part to help in the China relief efforts, Canon has announced a two million renminbi donation (approximately US$295,000), and Nikon has announced a 6.5 million yen donation (approximately US$76,000), each going to the Japanese Red Cross Society and other humanitarian aid organizations. In addition, Nikon has pledged a further one million yen (approximately US$12,000) to the Japanese Red Cross Society for Pakistan relief efforts.

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