Olympus OM-D E-M5 Firmware Update V2.0 Adds ISO100

Olympus Japan has details of the new firmware for the Olympus OM-D E-M5, which adds the following:

  • Small AF target (icon) was added to the AF target settings.
  • ISO LOW (100 equivalent) was expanded on the low sensitivity side.

The firmware on the Olympus OM-D E-M5 can be updated using the Olympus Digital Camera Updater software available from Olympus, with the camera connected to your computer via the USB cable.

Olympus 25mm 14-42mm 9mm Fisheye Lens Announced

The M.ZUIKO DIGITAL 14-42mm f/3.5-5.6 EZ pancake zoom lens measures just 22.5mm deep, making it the world’s slimmest standard zoom kit lens. It has a smooth electric zoom that is suitable for shooting movies. An automatically closing lens-cap, as shown below, will be available as an optional extra, priced at £39.99. The M.ZUIKO DIGITAL 14-42mm f/3.5-5.6 EZ pancake zoom lens is available as a kit with the new Olympus OM-D E-M10, or £299.99 on its own.

The super-bright, lightweight, high-performance M.ZUIKO DIGITAL 25mm f/1.8 lens has a fixed focal length and is ideal for capturing portraits or close-ups from as little as 25cm. The M.ZUIKO 25mm f/1.8 lens will be available from March, priced at £369.99, and comes with a lens hood following feedback from customers.

Also announced is a number of accessories, including a 9mm f/8 Fisheye body cap lens (BCL-0980) which has an RRP of £89.99, and a new macro convertor, the MCON-P01, compatible with 6 Olympus Micro Four Thirds lenses, to adapt them for close-up shooting, priced at £49.99.

Hasselblad Launch Phocus 2.8 RAW Image Processing Solution

Hasselblad has launched Phocus 2.8, a RAW image processing solution that makes large files simple to handle.

Phocus 2.8 provides uncompromising image quality, allowing you to work quickly, efficiently, and creatively with the world’s most advanced image files.

New features in Phocus 2.8:

Capture Sequencer – This new tool allows you to easily execute various kinds of capture automation directly from Phocus. Typical usage includes bracketing, self timer and interval capture. The tool is also very flexible and allows for combinations of initial delay, repeated captures and aperture or shutter variations.

Landscape Compare Mode – In addition to the existing side-by-side comparison, you can now switch to a mode that works better for images in landscape format.

Hasselblad L* Working Space – The Reproduction tool will now let you select a new Hasselblad L* working space as an alternative to Hasselblad RGB. It is especially suited to reproduction work where the L* gradation is commonly used but will also function as an all-purpose photographic working space which is specially tuned to Hasselblad cameras.

Eizo Monitor Support – For the self-calibrating Eizo monitors Phocus will offer you the opportunity of setting up and executing display calibration using parameters that are optimal for viewing images in Phocus.

For more information, take a look at Hasselblad’s Phocus page.

Phase One Announce Medium Format CMOS Camera Back

Phase One today introduced the world’s first CMOS-based medium format digital camera back.

The new 50-megapixel IQ250 brings unprecedented image capture flexibility to the IQ2 family of wireless-enabled high-end camera systems. Whether photo sessions are held in the studio or on a mountainside, the IQ250 lets photographers capture stunning imagery in available light.

With a sensor size of 44x33mm, the IQ250 offers 68 percent more image-capture real estate than any full-frame 35mm DSLR camera and the widest usable ISO range of any medium format camera system. Its phenomenal dynamic range of 14 f-stops enables photographers to capture the most demanding scenes in one shot, while retaining details in highlights and shadows.

The IQ250 is designed for capture versatility; it has an ISO range from 100 to 6400, delivering world class image quality at any ISO speed. And its range of exposure time is extreme — from 1/10000s to one hour. Fluid and responsive Live View is another key feature of the IQ250. Live View on the IQ250 offers great composition and focus assistance — whether it is used directly on the digital back, connected via USB3 to Capture One on the computer, or displayed wirelessly on iPads or iPhones running Capture Pilot.

The Phase One IQ250 system is available now and may be ordered through Phase One photography partners worldwide. Prices start at 24990 EUR / 34990 USD. The Phase One IQ250 comes with Capture Onesoftware for optimal raw image processing and image editing. Attractive camera system upgrade offers are available for all existing Phase One photographers. For more information, take a look at the Phase One website.

New Lowepro shoulder bags

Lowepro has launched a new range of shoulder bags designed to accommodate the full range of technology carried by today’s photographers.

The Nova Sport AW series is a versatile, practical and stylish range of shoulder bags that are outdoor friendly. They are available in three sizes, fitting a DSLR in the smallest model and two Pro DSLRs in the largest model. All three models include space for extra lenses, flashes and accessories, plus a tablet (7L and 17L) or laptop compartment (35L).

Built from the latest lightweight resilient technical fabrics to provide weather resistance and durability – the Nova Sport also features a protective storm-flap closure, together with Lowepro’s patented built-in All Weather Cover for additional protection from the elements. There’s fully adjustable space for your camera gear, with plenty of space for additional technology and personal items.

As well as mesh side pockets, and a zippered front pocket, another key feature is the Nova Sport’s totally removable camera insert – just tighten the drawstring and lift the camera compartment out – allowing easy organization of kit, and the bag to be used as a roomy and functional day bag.

The bags are available in two colourway options, Pepper Red and Slate Grey. They are available at the following prices:

Nova Sport 7L AW – £49
Nova Sport 17L AW – £65
Nova Sport 35L AW – £90

For more information, take a look at the Lowepro website.

Once Vision Launch Album Range

One Vision Imaging has announced the launch of a range of luxurious matted albums. The ‘Allura’ range will come in two leather finishes, Nubuck and Suede. Both offer ten sumptuous colours sure to please the requirements of today’s modern Wedding photographers.

With every aspect of their albums made on-site in the UK, they claim to have a matted album that challenges the luxury market for quality at significantly reduced prices and all printed and manufactured in half the time of many of their competitors. They come in a range of sizes from A4 to 16 x 12” and are each supplied in a luxury presentation box with a bow. Each album even gets its own pair of white cotton gloves. Ordering is made easy too via their album design software ‘One Vision Creator’ which is free to download from their website.

One Vision Imaging’s Managing Director, Derek Poulston said “We have been working on this project for some time. We wanted a high end luxury album that we could manufacture 100% here in Coventry so we could control quality, pricing and delivery times. With so many albums these days being made abroad, we can halve the production times of many of our competitors and also cut costs on many. We’re delighted with the result and are confident our customers will love them too”.

If you would like to find out more about their Allura Albums or any of One Vision Imaging’s services, take a look at the One Vision website.

Competition Winner!

A big congratulations to James Backhouse – the winner of our December competition on FaceBook.

James has won himself a years free membership at The NPS.

Well done James!

AF-S DX NIKKOR 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6G VR II

The new NIKKOR 18–55mm VR II is an ultra-lightweight version of one of Nikon’s most popular lenses. Launched together with the new Nikon D3300 entry-level DSLR, the lens weighs just 195g and is equipped with a retractable lens mechanism. The 3x zoom has an 18-55mm focal length range and features Nikon’s Vibration Reduction system.

Simon Iddon, Senior Product Manager for Consumer D-SLR at Nikon UK, says: “Nikon’s 18–55mm lens has long been the first step into the world of NIKKOR optics for many photographers, providing superb optical quality and versatility, at an affordable price. We’re delighted to be able to introduce a considerably more compact and portable successor, that meets the needs of a broad user base and advances it further.”

The optical design of the  AF-S NIKKOR 18–55mm VR II lens features 11 elements in eight groups, and an aspherical lens element minimises spherical aberration and other forms of distortion, plus Nikon’s compact Silent Wave Motor (SWM) technology enables quiet, fast, and accurate autofocus performance.

The AF-S DX NIKKOR 18–55mm f/3.5–5.6G VR II will be available from 6 February 2014 with an RRP of £229.99.

Visit the Nikon website for more information.

Nikon Launch D3300 Entry Level DSLR

Nikon has announced the launch of the D3300, a new entry level DSLR.

Nikon claim the camera allows you to enjoy superior image quality whilst keeping things simple. The camera features a 24.2 megapixel CMOS sensor, ISO up to 12,800 and a new Expeed 4 image processor, as well as faster continuous shooting speeds of up to 5 frames per second.

The kit lens for the D3300 is also smaller and more portable than previous entry level models.

The D3300 body only will be available for £499.99, and the 18-55mm VRII kit will be available for £599.99 from 6 February 2014.

From Nikon: 
Incredible image quality
The D3300’s 24.2-megapixel sensor is specifically designed without an optical low-pass filter, so it can capture the finest details and textures with stunning sharpness. Images are remarkably clear, especially when captured with a NIKKOR lens. Thanks to the powerful new EXPEED 4 image processor and an ISO range that now offers up to ISO 12,800 (extendable to 25,600 equivalent) even images shot in dark situations at high ISOs are beautifully rendered and exceptionally clean, with rich gradation. Fast moving action, and fleeting movements or expressions can be captured at exactly the right moment thanks to continuous shooting speeds of up to 5 frames-per-second. And no matter how quick the pace is, focus is always spot-on thanks to the 11-point AF system, which boasts a cross-type sensor in the centre for greater accuracy.

Guide Mode: Step-by-step assistance
Offering clear step-by-step explanations and inspiring sample images that illustrate the desired result, Guide Mode shows beginners, as well as those who want to learn more, exactly how to shoot great photos and movies. Easily accessible through the mode dial found on top of the camera body, Guide Mode can be used to learn how to set-up the camera, and shoot, view, delete or even retouch images. Aspiring photographers can also learn how to take portraits with beautiful background blur, freeze the action or obtain clear shots in low light.
D3300 BK Back
Special Effects
With 13 different effects to choose from, users can have a lot of fun shooting distinctive photos and movies. Options include Pop, which brightens colours by increasing the saturation; Toy Camera, which creates a retro effect; and Easy Panorama, which creates spectacular panoramas of vast landscapes or city skylines.

The joy of Full HD movies: D-Movie
The Nikon D3300 doesn’t just make it easy to capture great photos; this camera makes it wonderfully simple to record stunning movies too. The camera’s D-Movie function can record Full HD movie footage at frame rates up to 50p/60p with continuous autofocus, delivering smooth recordings of even fast-moving action, plus a remarkable level of sharpness and clarity. A one-touch movie record button makes it easy to begin and the built-in stereo microphone—plus compatibility with Nikon’s external ME-1 Stereo Microphone—results in movies that don’t just look good, but sound great as well.

Easy connectivity
Photos taken with the Nikon D3300 can be sent directly from the camera to any iOS or Android smartdevice, ready for easy upload to social networking sites like Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter. The Wi-Fi function makes it possible to use the smart device to preview scenes, or control the camera remotely and capture some great self-portraits.

Intelligent design for intuitive operation
Nikon’s superior ergonomics, clear menus, and one-touch buttons for frequently used functions like D-Movie and Live View make operation quick and intuitive. The 7.5 cm (3-in.) LCD monitor with wide-viewing angle and 921K-dot resolution offers incredibly clear images, and the new ‘i’ button, conveniently located on the back of the camera makes it possible to bypass the main menu in order to quickly change settings while shooting. The clear, wide optical viewfinder (offering approximately 95% frame coverage and 0.85x magnification) makes it easy to capture perfectly timed photographs, especially when shooting fast action from a distance. And, new to the D3300, users shooting through the viewfinder can choose between a classic interface and a graphic interface that animates settings for more intuitive operation.
D3300 RD 18 55 VR Frt34l
Small system
Thanks to the new small and retractable NIKKOR 18–55mm VR kit lens, the D3300 is a much more compact to carry than many other D-SLRs. The body weighs just 410 g (without memory card or battery) and is available in black, red or grey. Despite its small dimensions, a large comfortable grip makes it easy to get a firm hold on the camera.

Summary of Key Features:


  • 24.2-megapixel DX-format sensor with no OLPF
  • Guide Mode: Clear, step-by-step assistance
  • Superb low-light performance: ISO 100–12,800 (expandable to ISO 25,600 equivalent)
  • Fast and powerful EXPEED 4 image processing engine
  • 5 fps continuous shooting
  • Razor-sharp 11-point AF system with a cross-type sensor in the centre
  • 420-pixel RGB metering sensor with Nikon’s Scene Recognition System
  • D-Movie: Full HD movies at frame rates up to 50/60p
  • Built-in microphone and compatibility with Nikon’s ME-1 Stereo Microphone
  • Easy wireless connectivity: Via Nikon’s Wu-1a Mobile Adapter
  • Special Effects mode: 13 distinctive effects for still images and movies
  • 6 Scene Modes
  • Large LCD screen: 7.5 cm (3.0-in.) with wide-viewing angle and 921K-dot resolution
  • Optical viewfinder with approximately 95% frame coverage and 0.85x magnification
  • Small, lightweight body: Approx. 124×98×75.5 mm. Weighs just 410 g (without battery and memory card)
  • Small, retractable kit lens: AF-S DX NIKKOR 18–55mm f/3.5–5.6G VR II
  • Stable grip for secure handling
  • Choice of three body colours: Black, red, and grey
  • Expandable system: Compatible with the full range of NIKKOR DX-format lenses and entry-level Nikon Speedlights

For more information, take a look at the Nikon website.