The Print Foundry Sponsor Monthly Image Competition

The Print Foundry (www.theprintfoundry.co.uk) are sponsoring The National Photographic Society Image Competition.

Their generous prizes are a choice of a Pro Mounted Print or Fine Art Print for the Gold winner of the winning images!  These come in a nice 16 x 20 or 16 x 24 size and have to be seen to appreciate the quality.
Not to be left out the Highly Commended winners will have a small 12×8 print made of their image too.
This is a fantastic prize and best of all the competition is free to enter so don’t delay, submit your images today for your chance to win.

Mobee Magic Charger Review

The folks over at Mobee have sent us one of their cooler products for us to review – the Magic Charger, a replacement battery and inductive charging station for Apple’s Magic Mouse™

Mobee describe it as the world’s first wireless, eco-friendly, inductive charger for Apple’s Magic Mouse™ and our first impressions were good when we opened the packaging.  Often times you can tell a companies quality philosophy from their packaging and the Mobee Magic Charger came in an attractive sturdy box that reminded us of Apple’s own packaging, so far so good.

Once you’ve opened the box installation is about as simple as it gets; remove your existing batteries from your mouse, slip in the battery pack and plug the wireless charging base into a spare USB port.  You don’t even need to worry about that fiddly little flap on the bottom of your mouse as their battery pack contains one built in.

The charging base shouts Apple at you from every angle, this product blends in seamlessly on your desk along with the other Apple peripherals and could have been made by Apple themselves, this will appeal to the purist Apple fans without a doubt.

A small flashing light on the side of the charging station flashes to tell you that your mouse is charging and goes a solid green once done (Mobee claim this can take up to 5 hours but ours claimed to be fully charged after about 3 1/2)

A small detail is that due to the Mobee battery pack being rated at a smaller voltage than Apple’s own you will never see more than 80% charge shown on your status bar for your mouse.  Mobee claim around 6 days use for a charge but as the charging station is sat on the desk anyway we all agreed in the office that it was just as easy to place it on the charging station when not in use anyway so this might be academic.

One of the more annoying quirks of Apple’s mouse is that depending on the brand of battery you use the mouse could often disconnect intermittently but as the Mobee battery fits so snugly we’ve not had a single dropout in over a week of use.

All in all there is not a lot more than can be said about this product which is really a testimony to the fact that it works exactly as described.  After a week of using the mouse with it installed you forget about it entirely, in theory you will recoup the cost of the product by not having to purchase batteries making it almost a no-brainer purchase.

Our recommendation? If you own an Apple Magic Mouse™ then treat yourself to one of these, the product is well built, simple to install and even looks good on your desk.

 

Eyefi launches new cloud service

Eyefi, the global leader in digital camera connectivity, today announces the worldwide availability of Eyefi Cloud, a private photo-centric cloud service that makes newly captured photos instantly available on a smartphone, tablet, desktop/laptop or smart TV. Eyefi Cloud is designed for photo enthusiasts who require the superior image quality provided by digital cameras but are frustrated with the time-consuming processes required to enjoy those photos on multiple devices. Eyefi Cloud, along with the Eyefi Mobi wireless SD card and Eyefi Mobi apps, makes every picture taken instantly accessible, anytime anywhere to enjoy, curate and share securely and privately. Eyefi Cloud offers users the ability to organise, sync and share unlimited photos, and the first 90 days are provided free of charge.

Eyefi Cloud serves the needs of photographers who want their high quality photos accessible in a single unified and organised library on multiple devices. Rather than manually transferring files or e-mailing photos to different devices, Eyefi Cloud automatically syncs photos across all devices as soon as they are taken so you can view them anytime, anywhere.

The cloud service is available immediately by simply downloading and registering the new Eyefi Mobi mobile app available through the iTunes or Google Play stores. Included with the new apps, is a three-month membership to the Eyefi Cloud once users activate a new account. After this period users can extend their membership for a recommended price of £34,99 per year. With the introduction of Eyefi Cloud, the company also sports a new logo and introduces new packaging for its Eyefi Mobi cards.

Background
In June 2013, Eyefi pioneered simple, instant image transfer from digital cameras to mobile devices with the launch of Eyefi Mobi wireless SD memory card. Now Eyefi adds a new cloud service, Eyefi Cloud, as well as all new mobile apps for iOS and Android based smartphones and tablets. When used together, Eyefi’s product line-up combines camera quality and mobile convenience with the power of the cloud for the over 500 million digital camera owners throughout the world. Until now, digital camera owners had to manually transfer photos to view them on their smartphone or tablet. With Eyefi, the highest quality images are as accessible as those captured using a smartphone and can be shared and enjoyed on every device that is equipped with a web browser.

“Photo lovers know that life’s most important moments are best captured using a digital camera but it’s difficult to access those shots until long after the images are taken,” said Matt DiMaria, chief executive officer of Eyefi. “Eyefi Mobi works with Eyefi Cloud to make those highest-quality shots available as they are captured, so photographers can immediately enjoy quality images on the beautiful displays of their smartphone, tablet, desktop, laptop or smart TV.”

How it works
The Eyefi Mobi WiFi SD card automatically transfers photos from a digital camera to the Eyefi Mobi app on an iOS or Android device. The mobile apps intelligently organise and transfer the images, in full-resolution, to Eyefi Cloud.

Eyefi Cloud syncs every picture taken to other devices so users can enjoy their photos anywhere they want, online and offline. Any device with the Eyefi app or with a web browser can be used to view, share and manage the entire photo collection.

For photographers with multiple cameras, Eyefi Cloud automatically merges their photos into a single, well-organised collection where they can be enjoyed together and further curated. The entire collection is then available on all the user’s devices.

For customers that do not wish to transfer images over the Internet, Eyefi has introduced Eyefi Desktop Transfer apps for the PC and Mac platforms. Eyefi Desktop transfer sends images directly from a digital camera equipped with Eyefi Mobi SD memory card to a PC or Mac without the need for a physical cable. Transferred images are stored on the user’s PC or Mac in a file location of their choice where they can be enjoyed, edited or archived.

 The new Eyefi offerings include a full range of photo related functionality including:

  • Transfer – Add wireless functionality to any digital camera, and easily send images from camera to mobile device or desktop.
  • Organise – Sort and tag images as they are taken, so they are easy to find later – for sharing, printing, and all the other wonderful ways photos are used.
  • Sync – Automatically synchronize photos to all devices so that users can view, edit, and manipulate photos both on and offline, anytime, anywhere.
  • Share – Invite friends and family to view photos and albums without requiring registration. Photo collections are “live”, so any additions to an existing collection will generate a notice to recipients that new images have been added.

Pricing and availability
Eyefi Mobi wireless SD memory card recommended pricing begins at £33.99 for the 8GB edition. The 16GB Mobi card will retail for £49.99 and the 32GB for £65.99. Customers will find the new Eyefi Mobi apps in the Apple app store, Google Play app store and Amazon Kindle app store. Included with the new apps, is a three-month membership to the Eyefi Cloud once they activate a new account. Existing Eyefi Mobi card customers can simply download the new apps and will also receive a three-month membership. Twelve-month memberships start at £34.99 for an unlimited number of photos. Find out more at http://en.eyefi.com/

About Eyefi
At Eyefi we are passionate about photography. We build products and services that help photographers experience the beauty and clarity of life’s moments anytime, anywhere. We are dedicated to creating products and services that enable consumers to enjoy a secure, magical experience beginning the moment they take a picture and extending to anywhere they wish those images to go. Our pioneering, patented, technology and products provide the only way to get high quality pictures from any digital camera to any Internet enabled display device, instantly. Eyefi products have transferred over 1 billion images from digital cameras to the Internet, mobile devices and PCs.

Eyefi’s headquarters is in Mountain View, California and our products are available throughout the world. Our investors include NTT Docomo, Opus Capital, Shasta Ventures and TransLink Capital. Eyefi was founded in 2005.

For more information about Eyefi, please visit www.eyefi.com

 

SanDisk Announce Highest Capacity Memory Card

SanDisk has launched a 512GB Extreme Pro SDXC UHS-I memory card.

The 512GB model is currently the largest SDXC card in the world, and is ideal for shooting 4K ultra high definition video, FullHD video and high speed burst mode photography.

Since SanDisk unveiled its first 512MB SD card in 2003, capacity demands have increased exponentially and the new 512GB SanDisk Extreme PRO SDXC UHS-I card represents a 1,000-fold capacity increase in just over a decade, yet maintains the same size footprint.

SanDisk’s most powerful and highest capacity SD UHS-I memory card yet, the 512GB card delivers write speeds up to 90 MB/s and UHS Speed Class 3 (U3) recording speed for high resolution, real-world color and stutter-free 4K Ultra HD video. Transfer speeds up to 95 MB/s move data quickly for efficient post-production workflow.

The SanDisk Extreme PRO UHS-I SDHC/SDXC memory cards are available worldwide in capacities of 512GB, 256GB and 128GB. The 512GB Extreme PRO SDXC UHS-I card will be available for $799.99 (MSRP). For more information take a look at the SanDisk website.

SanDisk Announce Highest Capacity Memory Card

Nikon D750 FX Full-frame DSLR Announced

Nikon today introduces the fast, versatile, and agile D750. Packed with professional imaging technology and streamlined for compactness, this camera gives photographers the freedom to realise their vision with outstanding flexibility.

Built to upsize your opportunities and downsize your load, the Nikon D750 delivers superb full-frame images regardless of shooting location or conditions. The newly designed FX-format sensor delivers exceptional image quality with cleaner results than ever before at high ISOs. Phenomenally sensitive AF performance, a burst rate of up to 6.5 fps, and Full HD movie recording at 1080/60p combined with the sturdy tilt-screen monitor to enable full freedom of expression. Built-in Wi-Fi makes it simple to share impressive FX-format photos in an instant. Nikon’s Picture Control 2.0 provides exceptional in-camera image processing and optimisation flexibility for still images and videos.

Simon Iddon, Group Product Manager (D-SLR Lenses and Accessories) – Imaging, at Nikon UK says: “The Nikon D750 is a new breed of camera that introduces full-frame photography to new audiences looking for high performance and amazing detail without compromising on convenience or cost.

He adds: “We’re really excited about the potential of the new model; it’s suitable for a wide range of shooting scenarios, from wildlife, to landscapes, to studio set ups and delivers outstanding image quality that can be shared instantly via the WiFi connectivity. Videographers will also be inspired to push the limits of their creativity with the D750, thanks to the impressive broadcast quality movie capability and the flexibility that comes with the tilt-screen for unique perspectives.”

Freedom to dare

Inspiration knows no limits, and the D750 knows no restrictions. The all-new 24.3-megapixel sensor offers wide dynamic range with clean performance across all sensitivities, delivering images with stunning sharpness and rich tonality. The ISO range of 100–12800 is extendable to 50–51200 (equivalent), and Nikon’s flagship EXPEED 4 image-processing engine ensures image rendering is superb for both stills and video. The flexibility you need to capture elusive or fast-moving subjects is assured thanks to the camera’s newly developed professional Multi-CAM 3500II FX 51-point AF system that is sensitive down to a remarkable -3 EV. Combined with the camera’s shooting speeds of up to 6.5 fps in both FX and DX formats, these capabilities ensure you’re free to lock onto your target and capture uncompromised full-resolution images with incredible precision. In addition, Nikon’s new Group Area AF mode offers fast acquisition and improved background isolation when shooting subjects that are comparatively small and close to a high-contrast or distracting background.

Free your vision

Equipped with a sturdy tilt-screen monitor and built-in Wi-Fi, the D750 offers photographers superior flexibility. The tilt-screen swings open and rotates up to 90º, or down to 75º, enabling you to shoot photos and movies from unique vantage points with ease. When shooting, this 8.0-cm (3.2-in.), 1229k-dot colour-tune monitor lets you push the colour balance and brightness in any direction to suit your personal workflow preference. The built-in Wi-Fi function means you can upload impressive full-frame photos via a compatible smartphone or tablet, or release the camera remotely via your smart device. Simply download the free Wireless Mobile Utility app to your smart device.1

Moviemaking freedom

Harness the speed, power, and agility of the D750 to capture impressive video footage whenever inspiration calls you. Nikon’s D-Movie offers broadcast-quality video in multiple frame formats, recording Full HD (1080p) movies at 50p/60p frame rates with markedly reduced noise, moiré, and false colour. A dedicated movie menu streamlines shooting by letting you store all movie settings in one place. The power aperture can be controlled while recording, and the camera offers clean HDMI out, plus simultaneous capture of full-resolution footage in-camera and on an external recorder. You can configure the ISO settings you want to work with from ISO 100 all the way up to ISO 51200 (equivalent), or fix the maximum Auto ISO range from ISO 200 upwards when shooting in M mode. Nikon’s 3D noise reduction reduces random noise, distortion, and flicker when filming at high sensitivities. Zebra mode shows you on the camera monitor exactly where highlights are blown. Superior audio control improves sound recording and offers greater overall flexibility: a stereo microphone input and an audio out let you fine-tune audio levels in isolation both before and during recording; you can select the sound range (wide/voice); and wind noise can be reduced when recording with the built-in microphone.

Full-frame portability

Superior ergonomics, a lightweight weather-sealed monocoque structure, and an energy-saving design ensure that the D750 offers true full-frame freedom. The deep grip enables a secure hold on the camera no matter what size your hands are, and makes it easier to hold the camera comfortably for long periods of time without tiring. The Kevlar/carbon fiber–composite shutter unit is tested to 150,000 releases, and you can capture up to 1,230 still images and up to 55 minutes of movie footage2 on a single charge of the ultra-compact and lightweight Li-ion rechargeable EN-EL15 battery.

Creative flexibility

When inspiration strikes, the D750 is fully equipped to support your ideas. Whether shooting stills or video, Nikon’s newly introduced second-generation Picture Control System provides invaluable tools for before and after the shoot by offering total control over sharpening, contrast, brightness, hue, clarity, and saturation. For the ultimate freedom in post-production, the new Flat setting will retain all the details and preserve rich tonal information in both highlights and shadows, while the new Clarity setting lets you precisely adjust contrast and differentiate fine structures. Additional creative capabilities include an in-camera time-lapse function that lets you create time-lapse photography with smooth exposure transitions through simple menu operations.

Total Digital Imaging System

Shoot with the D750 and you have the full power of Nikon’s total imaging system to rely on. Draw out the full potential of the D750’s 24.3-MP sensor with the wide range of NIKKOR lenses. With their exceptionally high resolving power, NIKKOR lenses meet the demands of photographers in every field. Also fully compatible with Nikon’s industry-leading Creative Lighting System, the D750 works with a range of versatile Speedlights for creative flash photography on- or off-camera.

Summary of key features:

New 24.3-MP FX-format sensor: offers phenomenal image detail and excellent cropping flexibility.
Spectacular light sensitivity: ISO range of 100–12800 is extendable to 50–51200 (equivalent).
Professional AF performance: Multi-CAM 3500IIFX 51-point AF system configurable in 9-point, 21-point, and 51-point coverage settings and sensitive down to -3 EV (ISO 100, 20 °C/68 °F).
Group Area AF mode: fast acquisition and improved background isolation even in challenging lighting conditions.
Sturdy tilt-screen monitor: swings open and tilts up to 90º, and down to 75º.
Built-in Wi-Fi: upload impressive full-frame photos via a compatible smartphone or tablet.1
Up to 6.5 fps burst rate: uncompromised full-resolution images at up to 6.5 fps in both FX and DX formats.
Multi-area D-Movie: Full HD (1080p) movies in FX- and DX-format at 50p/60p. Access ISO 100 up to ISO 51200 (equivalent) while filming, and control shutter speed, aperture, and audio levels, too. A dedicated movie menu lets you store all movie settings in one place.
EXPEED 4: boosts the camera’s overall performance for extraordinary results.
Picture Control 2.0: ease post-production with Flat setting for maximum dynamic range; fine-tune detail with Clarity.
Colour-tune monitor: anti-reflective 8.0-cm (3.2-in.), 1229k-dot RGBW LCD monitor. Push the colour balance and brightness in any direction.
Energy-saving design: shoot longer on a single charge of the EN-EL15 battery.
Full-frame portability: superior ergonomics and a lightweight, weather-sealed monocoque camera body combine to offer true full-frame freedom.
Creative modes: High Dynamic Range, in-camera time-lapse function, effects with Special effects and Scene modes, as well as unlimited continuous shooting.
Storage media: two SD card slots enable a smooth shooting experience. Both card slots are compatible with high-capacity SDXC and UHS-I cards.
Remote operation: to take further control over wireless shooting, use the WR-R10 Wireless Transceiver and the WR-T10 Wireless Transmitter, or control your camera settings with the WR-1 Wireless Remote Controller. To connect to Ethernet and wireless LAN, use the optional UT-1 Data Transmitter together with the WT-5 Wireless Transmitter.

Nikon SB-500 Speedlight Announced

Nikon today announces its first Speedlight with a built-in LED light, the SB-500.

A great lighting accessory for photographers and moviemakers alike, the portable SB-500 is an incredibly handy way to control the quality and direction of light. In a first for Nikon, a high-intensity LED light is built into the front of the unit, which makes this Speedlight the smart choice when you want the flexibility to shoot movies without carrying extra lighting gear.

Compatible with Nikon D-SLRs and specific COOLPIX cameras, as well as the Nikon Creative Lighting System, the SB-500 also enables wireless control of multiple flash units. The flash head and LED light both cover a wide 24 mm angle of view in FX-format, and easy-to-understand controls on the rear of the unit ensure simple operation.

Simon Iddon, Group Product Manager (D-SLR Lenses and Accessories), Nikon UK, says: “The Nikon SB-500 is an ideal addition to a kit bag that offers photographers and videographers a lighting solution that comes in a compact, affordable and easy to operate package. The Speedlight is extremely flexible and fun to use, yet is a great tool for creating still images or movies that boast a professional look and feel.”

Built-in LED light

With a high-intensity (100 lx) LED light on the front of the flash unit, the SB-500 is a smart choice for moviemakers or photographers who want additional light. It’s ideal for shooting movies in dimly lit surroundings, and can be incredibly useful when shooting close-up still images. When used with compatible cameras, the colour information of the LED light can be transmitted together with that of flash, and the colour temperature control has a central value of 5400K, which enables more natural looking light. In addition, the LED unit features a surface light source with a built-in diffuser, which softens harsh light. A switch on the back of the flash unit alters the intensity of the LED light so it will shine at full power. For more subtle light, the LED can be set to shine at a half or quarter of its full intensity. The LED will illuminate a scene for approximately 60 minutes when using rechargeable Ni-MH batteries, and approximately 30 minutes when using alkaline-manganese batteries.

Creative possibilities

The flash head tilts up to 90° and rotates horizontally through 180°, allowing the light to be angled just the way you want. Simple to operate, the SB-500 ensures even newcomers to flash photography will be able to use light to their advantage and add impact to daylight shots, expose subject detail in tough backlit situations, or soften light by ‘bouncing’ the flash off the ceiling. For more advanced lighting, the SB-500 can be used as a master flash for multiple off-camera flash setups (when used with cameras that feature a built-in flash commander mode). The flash fires 140 (or more) times on a single charge of rechargeable Ni-MH batteries, and will fire 100 or more times when using alkaline-manganese batteries. Minimum recycling time is approximately 3.5 seconds when using rechargeable Ni-MH batteries, and approximately 4 seconds when using alkaline-manganese batteries.

Easy does it

The SB-500 combines superior ergonomics with easy-to-understand controls on the rear of the unit for incredibly easy operation. Additional functions and flash mode can be set via a camera menu, which activates automatically when the SB-500 is attached to the camera. Firmware can be upgraded through the camera, and this Speedlight is powered by just two AA-size batteries.

The SB-500 comes with the SS-DC2 Soft Case and the AS-23 Speedlight Stand.

NPS Launch New Supplier Directory

The NPS have launched a new directory listing companies that supply goods and services to the photographic industry.

The directory contains details about the companies and links to their website along with contact details but most importantly it allows you and other photographers to rate the companies and leave comments about them.

Take a look today at directory.thenps.com – we’re adding more and more companies every day and hope to have the largest most complete reference for suppliers online.

Thanks

The NPS Team

Zeiss Otus 85mm f/1.4 Lens Announced

Zeiss has announced a new 85mm f/1.4 short telephoto lens, which Zeiss say is the best short tele lens in the world.

The large initial aperture is ideal for isolating your subject from the background. As well as portraits, the lens is also ideal for low light and available light photography.

Zeiss say the apochromat design of the lens eliminates virtually all possible forms of aberration. Chromatic aberrations are corrected with elements of special glass, with anomalous partial dispersion. The lens has 11 elements in 9 groups, and is available in F mount and EF mount.

The Zeiss 85mm f/1.4 will be available to view for the first time at Photokina 2014. The lens should be available from mid-September. The expected recommended retail price is 3,360 Euros as of September 8 2014.

For more information, take a look at the Zeiss blog.

Hasselblad H5X Medium Format System

Hasselblad has announced the launch of a new and exclusive medium format camera body.

The H5X has been developed primarily for H1, H2, H2F and H4X photographers who seek H5 capability – and also as a backup body for H5D users.

The H5X, which boasts latest capture functionality and works seamlessly with Hasselblad’s world-leading H System lenses, comes after the spring launch of the world’s first 50MP CMOS Sensor H5D-50c camera and the summer launch of the new H5D-50c MS, H5D-200c MS and the CFV-50c CMOS digital back.

Hasselblad will showcase the new H5X at photokina (Sep 16-21: Hall 02.1 Stands AO21, BO20, AO10).

The H5X, which will retail at €4,595 without viewfinder (or €5,795 with viewfinder) excluding tax, provides the same extensive functionality as the H1 and H2 cameras but with a number of new functions, including:

  • True Focus – which enables photographers to concentrate completely on creativity without worrying about focus mechanics.
  • Full HC and HCD lens compatibility, including HCD 24; HCD 28 and the HCD 35-90 zoom lens.
  • HVD 90x viewfinder optimised for 36×48 mm format.
  • HV 90x-II viewfinder optimised for the film and 40.2×53.7 mm format.
  • High power AF illumination.
  • The H5X features eight memory banks for easy access to previously saved camera settings.
  • All new programmable button options available with an H5D sensor unit (not with third party backs).

Other H5X highlights include:

  • Tilt/Shift solution with six lenses using the HTS 1.5x Tilt/Shift adapter.
  • Superior viewfinder options.
  • H5D design on grip and grip display, for improved handling and readability.
  • Backup camera for H5D users.

For more information on the H5X, take a look at the Hasselblad website.

Nissin i40 Flash Gun Now Available In Micro 4/3 And Sony Fit

Kenro has announced that the Nissin i40 compact flash gun is now available for Micro Four Thirds and Sony cameras.

Features include a flash output of GN40 at 105mm and the ability to tilt the head horizontally 180° to right and left and up 90° making bounce shooting more arbitrary and increasing the number of angles that can be used.

With an auto adjust zoom ranging from 24mm-105mm and a built-in diffuser giving 16mm lens coverage, the i40 is also suitable for close up photography. The new model is also equipped with a LED video light function providing 9 steps of output level adjustment and a soft box is supplied to soften the output and reduce shadows. It also features a sturdy metal hot shoe with quick release.

Other functions include high-speed synchronization (supporting up to 1/8,000 seconds shutter speed), wireless TTL mode and a simple operation panel with two selector dials controls: Function dial and a Power dial, making it a perfect flash for beginners. The flash is powered by 4 x AA batteries and has an SRP of £204 including VAT.
For more information take a look at the Kenro website.