Wednesday, February 29, 2012



Vancouver, Canada  (February 29, 2012)  The worldwide search for the greatest photographers of our generation has officially begun. It is comprised of two major components: the online SOLO (single-image) competition and the pinnacle LIVE event in Vancouver, Canada.

The 2012 World Open of Photography™(THE OPEN) is a $50,000 global search to discover the undiscovered, rediscover the established and bring the very best real-life photographers in the world to the forefront.

“There is a new generation of photographers who are changing the game,” says event creator Doug Perry of media production firm W1. “In this age of rising individual creativity we’re seeing incredible photographers who are out there pushing the boundaries of visual art every day. THE OPEN was created to seek out and discover these artists and connect them to a global audience.”

Today, social media plays a major role in bringing talented photographers into the spotlight. THE OPEN leverages the power of multiple social platforms to seek out and elevate the profiles of its participating photographers. The public curates the online SOLO competition gallery through voting and sharing, the most-loved artists continually moving to the forefront. 
Half of the 200 finalists are chosen by the public, and half are chosen by a panel of the sharpest eyes in the business to ensure the very best images are captured.

Following the global online SOLO competition, attention turns to the pinnacle LIVE event on September 28, 2012 in Vancouver, Canada. Six of the world’s best photographers will be flown to Vancouver, Canada to unleash 7-minute choreographed shows of the best work of their careers. The shows are produced on a massive digital screen with concert-level audio. One photographer will be awarded Best of Show. $50,000US is shared between the winners of the SOLO and LIVE competitions.

THE OPEN is developed by award-winning media production firm W1 of Vancouver, Canada. W1 is renowned for creating bold, original events that discover artists and athletes. W1-produced events have awarded over $1,000,000 in prize money to artists and athletes and drawn a collective live audience of more than 2,000,000 people. Its television specials are distributed to 122 countries.

W1 developed the THE OPEN as the evolution of the renowned Pro Photographer Showdown, a major annual live photography competition in the action-sport industry. W1 developed the Showdown (1998-2006) into a ten-screen digital mega-production that Transworld Media dubbed “The Sundance Festival of Photography.” The Showdown has sold out every year in its 14-year history. THE OPEN expands its reach beyond its foundation of action-sport by also including the genres of street, people and nature. It reaches out to artists in over 100 countries.

“We decided the time was right to blow the doors wide open and launch a truly global search for the greatest photographers of our time. We are as inspired to show the work of the most-published legends as we are with completely undiscovered artists whose careers haven’t yet taken flight.” says Perry.

The live event format is unique and very powerful. The artists spend months preparing their shows, taking the time to choreograph career-defining productions. The shows are typically comprised of 120-160 images designed to take the audience on epic journeys. As 2-time Pro Photographer Showdown winner Blake Jorgensen describes: “These shows are cool because normally your photography is diced up, and then goes to different places – it’s chosen by photo editors and art directors. The photographer himself has very little choice in how the photography is represented, so having a show where you get to creatively display your whole life’s work is pretty much the best thing you can ever do as a photographer.”  (source: Pique Newsmagazine)

THE OPEN is designed to create career-building opportunities for photographers. The online SOLO competition connects with 50,000 creative industry professionals including a broad range of photo editors and creative directors from around the world. The site also enables any photographer to sell gallery-quality prints of their images to be shipped anywhere in the world.

The online SOLO competition runs through August 1, 2012. The World Open of Photography LIVE event is scheduled for September 28, 2012 in Vancouver.


Established in 1993, W1 is an award-winning media production firm located in Vancouver, Canada. It is best known for creating the World Ski & Snowboard Festival in Whistler, BC. W1 has produced over 250 events and 400 concerts. Its productions are credited with driving over $100 million in economic activity (Canadian Sport-Tourism Alliance).

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Photokore opens the ‘Asian Flavors’ Photo Contest to all photographers

Asia-based stock photo company, Photokore, launches an Asian-themed photo competition today, inviting image submissions that portrays each contestant’s concept of Asia. Images are being accepted from today, March 1.

The contest, ‘Asian Flavors’, is open to all photographers around the world, and is accepting single or multiple image submissions that illustrate the photographer’s personal concept of Asia. Participants can submit images to two categories – People, and Still Life/Objects. Subject matter is left to the contestant’s imagination – traditional, modern, everyday items/situations, conceptual photos, etc. The objective is to submit a photo that portrays the participant’s concept of Asia.

“Asia is a broad and diverse region, and everyone has a different concept of Asia. We’re interested to have photographers from around the world – whether they are located in the region or not - share their perception of Asia through their images.” said Photokore’s President & CEO, Sean Mooney, at the contest launch.

Finalists will be selected by Photokore’s Image Rearch Team, and then be posted on the website for Photokore members to vote for. (Anyone can register on the site, and become a member, for free). The deadline for entries is 15 April

First, second, and third place winners in both categories will receive prizes, which include a DSLR, tripod, and more. The winning images will be exhibited on

Contest details, and submission guidelines are available at

About Photokore
Photokore is a royalty-free stock photography site dedicated to offering the unique Asian images to the world, and high quality global images to the Asian market. Photokore’s website supports image uploads and purchases in English, Chinese, Japanese and Korean.

Visitors to can also search for images in Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Indonesian, Filipino, Thai, Hindi, English, French, German, Spanish and Portuguese. Landing pages are also available in Arabic, Russian, and Vietnamese.  

All photos and illustrations on can be licensed for creative use – whether on a personal website, or in a global marketing campaign – at prices ranging from US$2 – US$40.

For more information, contact

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Monday, February 27, 2012

The EPSON International Pano Awards 2012

Prize Pool announced!
The EPSON International Pano Awards 2012

Over US$30,000 in cash and prizes!
Enter online at

Professional and amateur photographers around the world are invited to enter The EPSON
International Pano Awards to compete for over $30,000 in cash and prizes.

Early-bird entries are open until Friday 20th of April 2012.

The third Epson International Pano Awards is dedicated to the art of panoramic photography.
It showcases the work of panoramic photographers worldwide and is the largest and most
important competition for panoramic photography.

Prizes include an Epson Stylus Pro 7900 printer, an Epson Stylus Pro 4900 printer, an Epson
EB-1775 Ultra-Slim Projector and US$5000 cash.

Craig Heckenberg, Epson Australia’s Business Unit Manager, says, ……“Epson is pleased to
sponsor the International Pano Awards again in 2012. We are consistently impressed with the
quality of the entries from countries all over the world creating really interesting outcomes
year on year. Epson is proud to work closely with the professional photography industry and
support photographers everywhere in different areas and stages of development.”

Prizes also include an Apollo Motorhome holiday, a Kolor Panogear head and software, two
Gigapan Epic Pro motorized heads, two Nodal Ninja packages, Genius Printing vouchers,
software from Easypano, PTGui and Garden Gnome, and books from Lonely Planet and
Scott Highton/VR Photography.

Thanks to Epson Australia, this year will also see the repeat of the highly popular PMA
display of highest scoring and winning images, this time held in Melbourne, May 25-27.
The judging panel includes some of the world's top panoramic photographers and industry
professionals, including members of the IAPP and IVRPA.

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Saturday, February 11, 2012

New PowerShot Lineup Enables Photographers To Stay Connected While Capturing Legendary Canon Image Quality

Highlighted Features include Wi-Fi, Powerful Optical Zoom and Ruggedness

LAKE SUCCESS, N.Y., February 7, 2012 – Canon U.S.A., Inc., a leader in digital imaging solutions, today announced the addition of four PowerShot digital cameras: the ELPH 530 HS, ELPH 320 HS, SX260 HS, and D20. Photographers no longer have to sacrifice image quality for the ability to instantly share images and videos with the use of the PowerShot ELPH 530 HS and ELPH 320 HS Wi-Fi enabled cameras. The PowerShot SX260 HS camera puts Canon's amazing optical reach into a pocket sized camera, with a 20x optical zoom (25mm to 500mm) letting you pull subjects in close. Designed for the adventurous photographer looking to take spectacular photos, the rugged PowerShot D20 camera is ideally suited for the backpacker, snowboarder or tropical-traveler.

"Canon wants to help people capture the best images possible with the ability to quickly and easily share them with the world. With new PowerShot features such as Wi-Fi connectivity, people can quickly upload and share images on social networks," said Yuichi Ishizuka, executive vice president and general manager, Imaging Technologies & Communications Group, Canon U.S.A. "Whether it's a powerful zoom, Wi-Fi or waterproof features, our new PowerShot lineup empowers people to be creative with their photography. There are good enough images and there are great images, we always aim to help people capture the best images."

Mobile Sharing with Excellent Image Quality

The Wi-Fi functionality built into the two ELPH models allow for a variety of connection options to help photographers share, upload, or back-up images. Users can connect directly to a wireless network from their camera to upload photos and videos to the Canon iMAGE GATEWAYi, an online service that lets registered users store images to an online album, and then post their content to social networks such as Facebook, YouTube and Twitter.

In March, the Canon CameraWindow application is expected to be available on the Apple App Store for the iPad, iPhone and iPod Touchii to further enhance the connectivity options. With this App, users can transfer and save images and videos from the camera to compatible iOS devices, which can then be directly uploaded to Facebook and YouTube or emailed. Photos and videos can also be shared on-the-spot with friends and family by transmitting to another current Wi-Fi-enabled Canon camera as well. A similar app is expected to be available in May for Android devices.

Canon PowerShot ELPH 530 HS Digital Camera

The flagship of the ELPH line, the .78 inches thick ELPH 530 HS camera has the classic style of the original ELPH design while also being Wi-Fi enabled and packing an amazing 12x optical zoom lens to capture great shots from a distance. Canon's HS SYSTEM has been included where the 10-megapixel high-sensitivity CMOS sensor will work in tandem with the camera's DIGIC 5 image processor to help produce high-quality images in low-light conditions. The ELPH 530 HS will also shoot 1080p Full HD video helping capture footage in crystal clear clarity. This new model sports a 3.2-inch LCD touch screen for simple and intuitive operation and menu navigation, Smart AUTO scene selection with 58 scenes, Face ID for optimal images of up to 12 registered subjects and the Intelligent Image Stabilization (IS) function. The camera will be available in black or white for an estimated retail price of $349.99 and is expected to ship in April.

Canon PowerShot ELPH 320 HS Digital Camera

The Canon PowerShot ELPH 320 HS camera makes the perfect on-the-go camera for the young and active photographer, with Wi-Fi connectivity for easy uploading of memorable moments. The HS SYSTEM has also been included on this model with the 16.1 megapixel high-sensitivity CMOS and DIGIC 5 image processor working together to produce high-quality, low-light images. For those users who value high-quality video, the camera has 1080p Full HD capabilities as well. A 5x-Optical Zoom 24mm wide-angle lens will help expand the shooting capabilities of the camera and a 3.2-inch LCD touch screen for simple and intuitive operation and menu navigation. This camera will also feature Smart AUTO scene selection with 58 scenes and Face ID in addition to Intelligent IS. The camera will be available in four eye-catching colors (black, silver, blue and red) for an estimated retail price of $279.99 and is expected to ship in March.

Canon PowerShot SX260 HS Digital Camera

Canon's PowerShot SX260 HS camera delivers a powerful 20x Optical Zoom and 25mm Wide-Angle lens with Optical Image Stabilization delivers stunning images from up close or at a distance and measuring just 1.29-inches thick. The camera's impressive zoom is accompanied by Canon's HS SYSTEM for improved low-light shooting with a 12.1-megapixel high-sensitivity CMOS sensor and DIGIC 5 image processor. Combining this incredible zoom and high-image quality will allow photographers of all levels to capture great photos or 1080p Full HD video up close and at a distance, all in one portable, powerful digital camera. The Smart AUTO scene selection with 58 scenes and Face ID has also been included in this incredibly diverse yet compact device. The camera also includes Intelligent IS and GPS photo tagging with location and elevation information to help plot exactly where your travels have taken you. Adding to the feature-set is High-Speed Burst HQ allowing for approximately 10 high-resolution shots to be captured at a continuous rate at 10.3 frames per second. The camera will be available in three colors - black, green and red - and is expected to be available in March for an estimated retail price of $349.99.

Canon PowerShot D20 Digital Camera:

Waterproofiii, shock-proof,iv and freeze-proofv the PowerShot D20 is built with the active photographer in mind. Outfitted with an easy-to-access button, the camera enables users to switch from normal photo mode to snow or underwater mode, even with gloves on. To help make the underwater photos as great as those captured on dry land, the camera has a built-in underwater macro mode producing amazing pictures up close while diving or snorkeling. When recording video, the camera includes wind reduction technology to help capture clear audio even in breezy conditions. It touts an impressive array of features including the HS SYSTEM incorporating a 12.1-megapixel high-sensitivity CMOS sensor and DIGIC 4 image processor, 1080p Full HD video and a 5x optical zoom lens. Also included is a 3.0-inch LCD screen, GPS-capabilities allowing users to track their locations and tag each photo with latitude, longitude, and elevation information and Intelligent The PowerShot D20 camera is expected to ship in May 2012 for an estimated retail price of $349.99.

For more information about the new Canon PowerShot cameras go to:

About Canon U.S.A., Inc.

Canon U.S.A., Inc., is a leading provider of consumer, business-to-business, and industrial digital imaging solutions. With more than $45 billion in global revenue, its parent company, Canon Inc. (NYSE:CAJ), ranks fourth overall in patent holdings in the U.S. in 2010†, and is one of Fortune Magazine's World's Most Admired Companies in 2011. Canon U.S.A. is committed to the highest levels of customer satisfaction and loyalty, providing 100 percent U.S.-based consumer service and support for all of the products it distributes. Canon U.S.A. is dedicated to its Kyosei philosophy of social and environmental responsibility. To keep apprised of the latest news from Canon U.S.A., sign up for the Company's RSS news feed by visiting

† Based on weekly patent counts issued by United States Patent and Trademark Office.

All referenced product names, and other marks, are trademarks of their respective owners.

Availability, prices, and specifications of all products are subject to change without notice. Actual prices are set by individual dealers and may vary.

i Canon iMAGE GATEWAY Online Photo Album available starting February 14, 2012. One-time registration will be required.
ii Compatible with iOS 4.3 or later versions.
iii Down to 33 feet
iv Up to 5 feet
v As low as 14 degrees Fahrenheit
vi GPS functions will not operate while the camera is under water.

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Expectations Surpassed: The 36.3-Megapixel Nikon D800 Is The Multimedia HD-SLR That Shatters Conventional Resolution Barriers For Maximum Fidelity

The New Nikon D800 Offers Unrivaled Resolution and Features Designed for a Variety of Demanding Professional Photographic and Multimedia Disciplines, Videographers and Filmmakers

MELVILLE, N.Y. (Feb 6, 2012) – Today, imaging leader Nikon Inc. announced the highly anticipated D800 HD-SLR, engineered to provide extreme resolution, astounding image quality and valuable video features optimized for professional still and multimedia photographers and videographers. A camera with an unmatched balance of accuracy, functionality and image quality, the Nikon D800 realizes innovations such as a high resolution 36.3-megapixel FX-format CMOS sensor, a 91,000-pixel RGB Matrix Metering System, Advanced Scene Recognition System and many other intuitive features designed to create the preeminent device for the most demanding photo and video applications.

Whether shooting high fashion, weddings or multimedia content, Nikon’s highest resolution sensor to date, a groundbreaking new 36.3-megapixel (7360 x 4912 resolution) FX-format CMOS sensor, affords flexibility and astonishing image quality to satisfy a myriad of client requests. The Nikon D800 incorporates the latest 91,000-pixel 3D Color Matrix Metering III and the Advanced Scene Recognition System, coupled with an improved 51-point AF system for images with amazing sharpness, color and clarity. With its compact, lightweight D-SLR form factor and extensive video feature set, the D800 allows photographers to transition to multimedia to create an immersive story. Professional videographers will appreciate practical features that go beyond NIKKOR lens compatibility and Full HD 1080p video, such as full manual control, uncompressed HDMI output, and incredible low-light video capability. With this innovative combination of features, the D800 celebrates resourcefulness and a dedication to the flawless execution of an epic creative vision. All of this is driven by Nikon’s latest EXPEED 3™ image processing engine, providing the necessary processing power to fuel amazing images with faithful color, a wide dynamic range and extreme resolution.

“Whatever the project, visionaries need a tool that is going to help them stay on-time and on-task. The Nikon D800 re-imagines what is possible from this level of D-SLR, to address the needs of an emerging and ever changing market; this is the camera that is going to bridge the gap for the most demanding imaging professionals, and provide never before seen levels of SLR image and video quality,” said Bo Kajiwara, director of marketing, Nikon Inc. “The D800 is the right tool for today’s creative image makers, affording photographers, filmmakers and videographers a versatile option for capturing the ultimate in still image quality or full HD content, with maximum control.”

Extreme Image Quality
The new Nikon developed 36.3-megapixel FX-format (35.9 x 24mm) CMOS sensor realizes Nikon’s highest resolution yet, and is ideal for demanding applications such as weddings, studio portraiture and landscape, where there is no compromise to exceptional high fidelity and dynamic range. Nikon’s first priority is amazing image quality above all else, and resolution of this magnitude affords photographers the ability to portray even the smallest details, such as a strand of hair, with stunning sharpness or crop liberally with confidence. Photographers also shoot with the assurance of NIKKOR lens compatibility, because only a manufacturer with decades of optical excellence can provide the glass to resolve this kind of extreme resolution.

For shooting with minimal noise in a variety of lighting conditions, the D800 features a wide native ISO range of 100-6400, expandable to 50 (Lo-1)-25,600 (Hi-2). Nikon engineers have created innovative ways to manipulate light transmission to the sensor’s photodiodes, giving users the ability to shoot with confidence in challenging lighting conditions. Internal sensor design, an enhanced optical low pass filter (OLPF) and 14 bit A/D conversion with a high signal to noise ratio all contribute to a sensor capable of excellent low light ability despite the extreme resolution. Every aspect of this new FX-format sensor is engineered to deliver amazing low noise images through the ISO range and help create astounding tonal gradation and true colors, whether shooting JPEG or RAW. Images are further routed through a 16-bit image processing pipeline, for maximum performance. To further enhance versatility, users are also able to shoot in additional modes and aspect ratios such as 5:4 to easily frame for printed portraits or a 1.2X crop for a slight telephoto edge. For even more versatility, photographers can also take advantage of Nikon DX-format lenses for more lens options and enhanced focal range (1.5X), while still retaining sharpness and details at a high 15.4-megapixel (4800x3200) resolution.

Contributing to the camera’s rapid performance and amazing image quality is Nikon’s new EXPEED 3 image processing engine that helps professionals create images and HD video with amazing resolution, color and dynamic range. From image processing to transfer, the new engine is capable of processing massive amounts of data, exacting optimal color, rich tonality and minimized noise throughout the frame. Despite the immense data, the new EXPEED 3 also contributes to energy efficiency, affording the ability to shoot longer.

The D800 also features the Advanced Scene Recognition System with the 91,000-pixel 3D Color Matrix Meter III to provide unrivaled metering in even the most challenging of lighting conditions. At the system’s core is a newly designed RGB sensor that meticulously analyzes each scene, recognizes factors such as color and brightness with unprecedented precision and then compares all the data using Nikon’s exclusive 30,000 image database. Additionally, this new sensor now has the ability to detect human faces with startling accuracy, even when shooting through the optical viewfinder. This unique feature is coupled with detailed scene analysis for more accurate autofocus (AF), Auto exposure (AE), i-TTL flash control and even enhanced subject tracking. The Color Matrix Meter also emphasizes priority on exposure of the detected faces, allowing for correct exposure even when the subject is backlit. Even in the most difficult exposures the D800 excels, such as maintaining brightness on a bride’s face while retaining the dynamic range to accentuate the intricate details of a wedding dress beside a black tuxedo.

Advanced new automatic systems make it even easier to capture amazing images. The camera features a new enhanced auto white balance system that more accurately recognizes both natural and artificial light sources, and also gives the user the option to retain the warmth of ambient lighting. Users can expand dynamic range with in-camera High Dynamic Range (HDR) image capture, and enjoy the benefits of Nikon’s Active D-lighting for balanced exposure. Another new feature is direct access to Nikon’s Picture Control presets via a dedicated button on the back of the body to tweak photo and video parameters on the fly, such as sharpness, hue and saturation.

True Cinematic Experience
The Nikon D800 has a compact and lightweight form factor that’s preferable for a production environment, yet is packed with practical and functional features. The D800 is ideal whether the user is a filmmaker on location or in the studio or a documentarian in the field who requires portability and the NIKKOR lens versatility and depth of field that only a HD-SLR can offer. Filmmakers have the choice of various resolutions and frame rates, including Full HD 1080 at 30/24p and HD 720 at 60/30p. By utilizing the B-Frame data compression method, users can record H.264/MPEG-4 AVC format video with unmatched integrity for up to 29:59 minutes per clip (normal quality). This format produces higher quality video data without increasing file size for a more efficient workflow. The optimized CMOS sensor reads image data at astoundingly fast rates, which results in less instances of rolling shutter distortion. The sensor also enables incredible low-light video capability with minimal noise, letting filmmakers capture footage where previously impossible or expensive and complex lighting would otherwise be necessary. Users are also able to have full manual control of exposure, and can also adjust the camera’s power aperture setting in live view for an accurate representation of the depth of field in a scene. Whether shooting for depth of field in FX-format mode, or looking for the extra 1.5X telephoto benefits of DX mode, the high resolution sensor of the D800 allows videographers to retain full 1080p HD resolution no matter which mode they choose to best suit the scene. Users are also able to easily compose and check critical HD focus through the 921,000-dot, 3.2-inch LCD monitor with reinforced glass, automatic monitor brightness control, and wide viewing angle.

For professional and broadcast applications that call for outboard digital recorders or external monitors, users can stream an uncompressed full HD signal directly out of the camera via the HDMI port (8 bit, 4:2:2). This output signal can be ported into a display or digital recording device or routed through a monitor and then to the recording device, eliminating the need for multiple connections. This image can also be simultaneously viewed on both the camera’s LCD and an external monitor, while eliminating on-screen camera status data for streaming purposes. The D800 also includes features concentrated on audio quality, such as a dedicated headphone jack for accurate monitoring of audio levels while recording. Audio output levels can be adjusted with 30 steps for precise audio adjustment and monitoring. The D800 offers high-fidelity audio recording control with audio levels that can be set and monitored on the camera’s LCD screen. A microphone connected via the stereo mic jack can also be adjusted with up to 20 steps of sensitivity for accurate sound reproduction. What’s more, recording can be set to be activated through the shutter button, opening a world of remote applications through the 10-pin accessory terminal.

Wield Speed and Performance with Astonishing Accuracy
Whether shooting the runway or fast moving wildlife, the enhanced 51-point AF system of the D800 delivers blazing fast AF with tack-sharp results. Nikon has enhanced the Multi-Cam 3500-FX AF sensor module and algorithms to significantly improve low light acquisition, for precise focus to an impressive -2 exposure value (EV). The focus system utilizes 15 cross-type AF sensors for enhanced accuracy, and the system also places an emphasis on the human face, working in conjunction with the Advanced Scene Recognition System to provide accurate face detection even through the optical viewfinder. The camera also utilizes nine cross-type sensors that are fully functional when using compatible NIKKOR lenses and teleconverters with an aperture value up to f/8, which is a great advantage to those who need extreme telephoto focal lengths (single cross type sensor active with TC20E III). For maximum versatility in all shooting situations, whether photographing portraits or static subjects, users are also able to select multiple AF modes, including normal, wide area, face tracking and subject tracking to best suit the scene.

The D800 delivers upon a professional’s need for maximum speed when it counts. The camera is ready to shoot in 0.12 seconds, and is ready to capture with super-fast AF and response speed. To photograph action in a burst, the camera shoots up to 4 frames per second (fps) in FX mode at full resolution, or up to a speedy 6 fps in DX mode using the optional MB-D12 Battery Pack and compatible battery. Further enhancing the speed of the camera and overall workflow, the D800 utilizes the new USB 3.0 standard for ultra fast transfer speeds.

Construction and Operability
The body of the D800 is designed to offer a compact form factor and a lightweight body for the utmost versatility. The chassis is constructed of magnesium alloy for maximum durability, and is sealed and gasketed for resistance to dirt and moisture. Users are able to easily compose through the bright optical viewfinder, which offers 100% frame coverage. For storage, the D800 has dual card slots for CF and SD cards, and offers users the ability to record backup, overflow, RAW/JPEG separation, and the additional option of shooting stills to one and video to the other. For high speed recording and transfer, data can be recorded to recent UDMA-7 and SDXC / UHS-1 cards. The shutter has been tested to withstand approximately 200,000 cycles, and the camera also employs sensor cleaning. The D800 also features a built-in flash and is compatible with Nikon’s acclaimed Creative Lighting System, including a built-in Commander mode for controlling wireless Speedlights.

D800E - Maximum Resolution Unleashed
In addition to the D800, Nikon will also be releasing a supplementary model for those professionals who demand even higher resolution and D-SLR versatility; the D800E. This model treads in medium format territory for studio work or landscape photography when there is no exception to only the highest fidelity and sharpness. This unique alternative model will effectively enhance the resolution characteristics of the 36.3-megapixel CMOS sensor by cancelling the anti-aliasing properties of the OLPF inside the camera. By doing this, light is delivered directly to the photodiodes, yielding an image resulting from the raw light gathering properties of the camera. A color moiré correction tool will also be available within Capture NX2 to enhance the D800E photographer’s workflow.

Price and Availability
The Nikon D800 will be available in late March for the suggested retail price of $2999.95.* The D800E version will be available in mid April 2012 for a suggested retail price of $3,299.95.* For more information about these models, NIKKOR lenses and other D-SLR cameras please visit

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Tamron develops world's first*1 full-size, high-speed standard zoom with built-in image stabilization - SP 24-70mm F/2.8 Di VC USD (Model A007)

With class-leading resolution and Tamron's proprietary VC (Vibration Compensation)

February 6, 2012, Saitama, Japan - Tamron Co., Ltd. (President & CEO: Morio Ono / Headquarters: Saitama City), a leading manufacturer of optical equipment, announced the development of the SP 24-70mm F/2.8 Di VC USD (Model A007), the world's first*1 full-size high-speed standard zoom lens equipped with VC (Vibration Compensation) image stabilization and USD (Ultrasonic Silent Drive)*2, with resolution at the top of its class.

SP 24-70mm F/2.8 Di VC USD (Model A007)
Product Name Date of Launch (in Japan)
SP 24-70mm F/2.8 Di VC USD (Model A007)
for Canon, Nikon and Sony*3
to be determined

Product Features

  • 1. World's first*1 full-size, high-speed standard zoom with built-in VC (Vibration Compensation)*3. Even when shooting in low-light conditions with a slow shutter speed to render sharpness, Tamron's acclaimed VC allows for stable handheld camera work, to more fully enjoy the benefits of this high-speed zoom lens.
  • 2. Uses specialized high-grade glass in the three LD elements, three Glass Molded Aspherical Lenses, one Hybrid Aspherical Lens and two XR (Extra Refractive Index) glasses, delivering top-of-the-class quality images suited to this high-grade lens. Using a rounded diaphragm*4, the lens achieves gorgeous blur effects.
  • 3. Features USD*2 (Ultrasonic Silent Drive) to power a speedy AF drive together with a continuous manual mechanism.
  • 4. This high-speed standard zoom lens has a wide-end focal length of 24mm that expands the photographic area.
  • 5. The lens adopts the new technology including the latest optical design, VC (Vibration Compensation) image stabilization and USD (Ultrasonic Silent Drive), all in a lighter and more compact package.
  • 6. Moisture-resistant construction helps prevent water from penetrating the lens.
  • *1 For high-speed standard zoom lens compatible with full frame size SLR cameras except with Sony full frame size SLR cameras. Current as of February 2012. (Source: Tamron).
  • *2 USD (Ultrasonic Silent Drive) is Tamron's proprietary ultrasonic motor drive.
  • *3 The Sony mount does not include VC, because the body of Sony digital SLR cameras includes image stabilization functionality. The product name for Sony cameras is “SP 24-70mm F/2.8 Di USD” without the VC designation.
  • *4 This rounded diaphragm retains a nearly circular shape even when taken two stops down from its fully open state.
Model A007
Focal length 24-70mm
Maximum aperture F/2.8
Angle of view(diagonal) 84°04' -34°21' (for full frame 35mm format cameras)
60°20' -22°33' (for APS-C format cameras)
Lens construction 17 elements in 12 groups
Minimum focus distance 0.38m (15.0 in)
Maximum magnification ratio 1:5 (at f=70mm: MFD 0.38m)
Filter size φ82mm (3.2 in)
Length*1 108.5mm (4.3 in)*
Entire Length*2 116.9mm (4.6 in)*
Diameter φ88.2mm (3.5 in)
Weight 825g* (29.1 oz)
No. of diaphragm blades 9 (rounded diaphragm)
Minimum aperture F/22
Standard accessories Flower-shaped lens hood
Compatible mounts Canon, Nikon, Sony
  • - Specifications, appearance, functionality, etc., may be changed without prior notice.
  • *Length, entire length and weight values given are for the Nikon mount.
  • *1: Length is the distance between the mount face and the tip of the lens.
  • *2: Entire length is the distance between the tip of the lens and the tip of the protrusion.

VC (Vibration Compensation)

VC (Vibration Compensation) is Tamron's proprietary image stabilization system. Tamron's VC is a three-coil system, whereby three driving coils activate the shake-compensating VC lens group electromagnetically via three steel balls. The VC lens elements are held in place only by contact with the steel balls, achieving smooth movement with little friction. This provides a stable viewfinder image with excellent tracking performance. And as the VC lens may be moved in parallel using only the motorized control, the mechanical structure has been simplified, enabling the creation of a more compact lens.
New VC system (moving coil method)
Tamron's original VC image stabilization mechanism utilized a moving magnet system whereby a heavy magnet was positioned near the moving VC lens element. In the new VC unit the positions of the magnet and the coil are reversed, because of this the VC optical lens element is attached to the coil. The new VC mechanism employs a moving coil mechanism with a lightweight coil, and the lighter coil reduces the load on the drive system. Thus, the lighter, more compact new VC unit contributes to the lens's overall light weight and compact size.
Because the 24-70 mm F/2.8 Di VC USD is a high-speed zoom lens with maximum aperture of F/2.8, its VC system must drive a lens that is larger and heavier than other zooms. Therefore, the shape, size and layout of the drive coils are all designed to obtain sufficient thrust. The result is a full-size, high-speed zoom that provides the same high level of compensation effect.

About the ultrasonic motor

In the ultrasonic motor, a piezoelectric element arranged in a ring formation generates ultrasonic vibrations in a metallic ring stator, and the vibration energy is used to rotate a metallic ring rotor that is attached to the stator. The rotation energy is in turn transferred from the metallic ring rotor to operate the focus lens.

Notice of Classification Code Change for Nikon Mounts

Since the introduction by Tamron of the first Nikon mount lens featuring an internal AF motor, the AF28-300mm F/3.5-6.3 XR Di VC (Model A20), all Nikon mount lenses with the internal AF motor had used the classification code “N II.” Lenses using a coupler system* without an internal AF motor were designated as “N”" Because future Nikon lenses will have the internal AF motor as a standard feature, Tamron has decided to simplify the designation and consolidate all Nikon mount lenses as “N,” eliminating the “N II” designation for future models. This classification code change will be effective beginning with the 18-270mm F/3.5-6.3 Di II VC PZD (Model B008).
The “N” classification lenses with coupler systems are: AF28-300mm F/3.5-6.3 XR Di (Model A061); SP AF200-500mm F/5.6-6.3 Di (Model A08); and SP AF180mm F/3.5 Di (Model B01).
  • *Coupler system refers to a system that uses a shaft to harness the AF motor built into the camera body to operate the lens.

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Panasonic Expands Its Popular ZS-Series Of Digital Cameras With New Advanced Features And Creative Shooting Options Packed In A Slim Body

Panasonic LUMIX ZS20, the World’s Slimmest Digital Camera with a 20x Optical Zoom Lens*1, Also Features Full-HD Video Recording and Built-In GPS Capabilities

Secaucus, NJ (January, 31, 2012) - Panasonic today introduced the LUMIX DMC-ZS20, the newest member of the acclaimed LUMIX ZS-Series, and the world’s slimmest digital camera with a 20x optical zoom lens*1. With a powerful zoom, a 24mm ultra wide-angle LEICA DC VARIO-ELMAR lens and the ability to shoot full-High Defintion (HD), the new LUMIX ZS20 builds on the series’ success as an extremely versatile point-and-shoot model.  With a newly-redesigned lens system, the LUMIX ZS20 features a new mechanical structure and optical system to further improve image quality and with Nano Surface Coating technology, the LUMIX ZS20 offers stunning image clarity with minimized ghosting and flare. 

Beyond the quality of its lens, the LUMIX ZS20 integrates an enhanced built-in GPS*2 functionality, making it easy for users to pinpoint locations where photos were taken and share with family and friends on internet maps.  Map data can be installed onto the LUMIX ZS20 via a bundled DVD, giving the camera detailed worldwide maps of major regions on a scale of 1/25,000 or more precise.  A user can copy the map data of a designated city to an SDXC/SDHC/SD Memory Card and get quick geographic information to know their location and if any landmarks are located nearby. More than one million landmarks and 82 countries/regions are covered in the bundled DVD map.  Geo-tagged images are automatically sorted and can be played back along a map so that users can literally trace their photographic journey.  Many GPS cameras show only the latitude and longitude of where a photo is taken, but the LUMIX ZS20 shows the name of the Country/Region, State/Prov./County, County/Township, City/Town/Village and Landmark – all of which is saved in the EXIF data. 

“Panasonic has long been the leader in developing compact digital cameras with long zooms and wide-angle lenses and with the introduction of the LUMIX ZS20, we continue to be in the forefront with an extremely versatile digital camera that meets the needs of all different types of photographers,” said David Briganti, Senior Product Manager, Imaging, Panasonic Consumer Marketing Company of North America.  “With an impressive 20x optical zoom and 24mm wide-angle lens, the ZS20 gives consumer the ability to capture a variety of different shots, all while carrying a digital camera that is slim enough to slip in a pocket or small purse.  Plus with Panasonic’s HD video recording capability and improved GPS functionality, the ZS20 is an excellent choice for consumers who want to fully capture the details of their memories.”

Featuring a newly developed 14.1-megapixel High Sensitivity MOS sensor, the LUMIX ZS20 is able to provide even higher image quality compared to its predecessors.  Coupled with the advanced image processor Venus Engine, the LUMIX ZS20 features high speed, high sensitivity image recording.  High speed burst shooting at 10 fps in full resolution and Light Speed AF allows users to capture even the most fleeting photo opportunities.

With the ability to record high-resolution, full-HD 1,920 x 1,080 60p videos in AVCHD Progressive (MPEG-4) format (or 30p in MP4)*3, the LUMIX ZS20 upgrades its full-HD recording capability and is able to produce extremely clear video details, even when subjects are moving quickly.  A powerful 20x optical zoom with 2-step Zoom function is available in video recording and the popular iA mode assists users, making video recording as easy as aiming the camera.  A stereo zoom microphone provides videos with the high-quality stereo sound of Dolby® Digital Stereo Creator, offering highly realistic sound in the captured video.  The Auto Wind Cut function helps to block out wind background noise making voices clearer, and mechanical noise caused by zooming is suppressed to improve overall video sound quality. 

In addition, the ZS20 has manual control options, allowing the user to adjust shutter speed and aperture, and 3D Photo Mode, the LUMIX ZS20 also features a variety of special effects that add fun to a photography shooting experience.  Creative Control mode offers a selection of artistic effects including Expressive Retro, High Dynamic, Sepia, Dynamic Monochrome, High Key, Low Key, Miniature Effect, Toy Effect and Soft Focus.  In Miniature Effect mode, the peripherals are defocused while saturation and contrast are emphasized to make the picture look like a diorama.  Video recorded in this mode is played back in 10x fast-forwarding, making it comical to watch*4.  Panorama mode makes it possible for users to shoot 360-degree horizontal or vertical panoramic images by taking consecutive shots and then overlay it for the effect of a panoramic photo.  Creative Retouch mode offers users six filters – Toy Effect, Soft Focus, Dynamic Monochrome, Expressive, High Key and Retro – to create artistic looking photos.  Additionally, the Auto Retouch function automatically adjusts contrast and brightness for a clearer, more natural image and can be applied with the simple press of a button. 

For users looking for a more intuitive photo experience, the LUMIX ZS20 features iA (Intelligent Auto) mode, which automatically activates a range of technologies to enhance photos without adjusting settings every time conditions change.  The new HDR (High Dynamic Range) together with POWER O.I.S. with Active Mode, which suppresses blur from hand-shake, AF Tracking, Intelligent ISO Control, Face Recognition, Intelligent Scene Selector, Intelligent Handheld Nightshot, Motion Deblur mode, Intelligent Burst mode and Intelligent Exposure allows users to point and shoot, leaving the camera to do all the work in capturing beautiful imagery. 

Additional features and functionalities of the LUMIX ZS20 include:
  • Large, 3.0-inch 460,000-dot Smart Touch LCD Screen
  • Touch AF, Touch Zoom or Touch Shutter during recording and various playback functions like scrolling the map with high visibility.
  • Flexibility of USB charging or conventional AC adapter charging methods.
  • LUMIX Image Uploader for seamless and instant sharing via Facebook or YouTube. Users can checkmark the photo or video files they want to share, connect it to a PC with the included USB cable or by inserting the SD Memory Card directly into the PC’s SD Card slot, and then the uploading automatically launches with an easy-to-follow menu option. 

Also introduced today, the LUMIX DMC-ZS15 features a versatile 24mm ultra-wide angle and powerful 16x optical zoom LEICA DC VARIO-ELMAR lens (24-383mm on 35mm camera equivalent) with 32x Intelligent Zoom. Other features include:
  • 12.1-megapixel High Sensitivity MOS Sensor
  • Full HD Video Recording in 60i AVCHD*5 and 30p in MP4
  • Monaural Microphone
  • Large, 3.0-inch 460,000-dot Intelligent LCD

The LUMIX ZS20 and ZS15 will be available in March 2012 for a suggested retail price of $349.99 and $279.99 respectively.  The LUMIX ZS20 will be available in black, red, white, and silver options; while the LUMIX ZS15 will be available in black and silver. For more on these Panasonic LUMIX models, please visit

*1 As of January 31, 2012
*2 GPS may not work in China or in the border regions of countries neighboring China
*2 Depending on the locations, it may not be possible to correctly receive the  signals from GPS satellites.  In such cases, positioning may not be possible, or significant positioning discrepancy may occur. 
*3 Maximum time to record motion pictures continuously with [AVCHD] is 29 minutes 59 seconds. (excluding when [GS] or [SH] is set)
*3 Motion pictures in [MP4] can be recorded continuously for up to 29 minutes 59 seconds. Also, motion picture recorded continuously in [MP4] is up to 4 GB.
*4 Sound will not be recorded with Miniature Effect and approximately 1/10 of the time period is recorded (If you record for 10 minutes, the resulting motion picture recording will be approximately 1 minute long).
*5 Sensor output is 30p

Leica is a registered trademark of Leica Microsystems IR GmbH.
The LEICA DC VARIO-ELMAR lenses are manufactured using measurement instruments and quality assurance systems that have been certified by Leica Camera AG based on the company's quality standards.
The "AVCHD" is a high definition (HD) digital video recording / playback format jointly established by Panasonic Corporation and Sony Corporation.
The "AVCHD" and the "AVCHD " logo are trademarks of Panasonic Corporation and Sony Corporation.
AVCHD motion images recorded onto an SD Memory Card or a DVD disc cannot be played from a device that does not support the AVCHD standard.
Dolby and the double-D symbol are trademarks of Dolby Laboratories.
HDMI, the HDMI logo and High-Definition Multimedia Interface are trademarks or registered trademarks of HDMI Licensing LLC.
YouTube is a trademark of Google Inc.
Facebook and the Facebook logo are registered trademarks or trademarks of Facebook, Inc.
All other company and product names are trademarks of their respective corporations.
Some accessories are not available in some countries.
Design and specifications are subject to change without notice.
This unit is compatible with both SD/SDHC/SDXC Memory Cards. You can only use SDHC Memory Cards on devices that are compatible with them. You cannot use SDHC Memory Cards on devices that are only compatible with SD Memory Cards. (When using an SDHC Memory Card on another device, be sure to read the operating instructions for that device.)

About Panasonic Consumer Marketing Company of North America
Based in Secaucus, N.J., Panasonic Consumer Marketing Company of North America, a Division of Panasonic Corporation of North America, the principal North American Subsidiary of Panasonic Corporation (NYSE: PC) and the hub of Panasonic’s U.S. marketing, sales, service and R&D operations, offers a wide-range of consumer solutions in the U.S. and Canada.  The Company’s portfolio of innovative consumer products ranges from VIERA Full HD 3D Televisions, Blu-ray players, LUMIX Digital Cameras, Camcorders, Home Audio, Cordless Phones, Home Appliances, Wellness and Personal Care products and more. 

Panasonic is pledged to practice prudent, sustainable use of the earth’s natural resources and protect our environment through the company’s Eco Ideas programs. Panasonic was the only Consumer Electronics company to be listed in the top ten brands on the Interbrand Best Global Green Brands 2011 ranking. Follow Panasonic on Twitter @panasonicdirect, and additional company information for media is available at

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GIMP - The Final 2.6.12

GIMP 2.6.12 is a bug-fix release in the stable GIMP 2.6 series. Its purpose is mostly to wrap up all fixes that have piled up since 2.6.11 into a last release in the stable 2.6 series before we switch to 2.8. Please have a look at the NEWS file for a detailed list of changes.

The source can be downloaded from Binary packages for various supported platforms should become available soon; please check the Downloads section.

Just like you, we want to see v2.8 out in the wild as soon as possible, but there's still a number of regressions that block this important release.

On a lighter note, v2.8 is going to have an updated default set of brushes for painting and a set of tools presets (new feature in 2.8). The work was done by Ramón Miranda (GIMP Paint Studio project) and Guillermo Espertino.

Meanwhile there is a considerable progress with the GPU-side rendering project we announced in November. Victor Oliveira has brought OpenCL support on GEGL to a level where GIMP can load an image to a GPU and process it there with a brightness-contrast operation. This is only the beginning, but it opens quite a few possibilities.

We also maintain a rather active Google+ page where we post various project related news, links to impressive work done with GIMP and so on.

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Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Connect 2012 Palm Springs Photo Festival

Now in its 7th year, the week-long Palm Springs Photo Festival has become the preeminent photography event for emerging & professional photographers in North America. April 1-6

This event is based on six important and in-depth programs:
  • 16 Workshops with celebrated working photographers
  • Over 1000 Portfolio Reviews with industry leaders from both advertising and commercial sectors
  • 20 Seminars featuring in-depth instruction on technology and business issues
  • Daily Symposiums addressing the current issues facing photographers
  • Daily Evening Presentations featuring the works of our Workshop Instructors
  • Networking Parties, Open Portfolio Review, Slide Show Contests
The Palm Springs Photo Festival is where participants can spend three exhilarating days with a celebrated, real-world master photographer and two days presenting their work to industry experts and attending important seminars. Our attendees make new friends and walk away with a renewed passion for photography!

This year we are proud to welcome the following photographers to our Workshop Faculty:
  • -­‐ Shelby LEE ADAMS
  • -­‐ Lise SARFATI
  • -­‐ Nigel PARRY
  • -­‐ Keith CARTER
  • -­‐ Ron HAVIV
  • -­‐ Nels ISRAELSON
  • -­‐ Lisa KERESZI
  • -­‐ Vincent LAFORET
  • -­‐ Gerd LUDWIG
  • -­‐ David MUENCH
  • -­‐ Franck OCKENFELS III
  • -­‐ And many others

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Thursday, February 2, 2012

Hasselblad Launches State-of-the-art Online Video Platform

Hasselblad is set to launch Hasselblad tv – an exclusive new multi-language online video platform that will ‘target and engage’ the company’s global audience of professional and aspirational photographers.

After two years of planning HTV will launch on February 2 offering viewers a range of channel options, including education and training videos, product information, global news and events plus peer videos submitted by Hasselblad photographers worldwide.

Chris Russell-Fish, Hasselblad’s Global Sales and Marketing Director said: “This is a very exciting project for us, our customers and trade partners like broncolor, Epson and SanDisk”.

“We are working with award-winning digital specialists Skylab to produce a comprehensive standalone platform – primarily an education and research tool of ‘all things Hasselblad’. It will be easy to use but with all the appropriate functionality, including options to download PDF information photographers may find useful after browsing a particular video.”

He added: “We all know there are countless thousands of videos available on YouTube but we wanted to create one single place where Hasselblad enthusiasts can go to access fundamental training on our camera systems; how to attach a back, for example, or tips and tricks on software techniques. We have emulated the excellent BBC iPlayer model but we also wanted to provide our service across a number of languages, including French, German, Italian, Spanish and Chinese. So an Italian architectural photographer will be able to simply access our Italian channel and watch a playlist of videos in that genre, in his or her native language.”

Hasselblad is now looking for photographers to submit videos of interesting shoots, stories and events. Of course Hasselblad will retain the right to edit material but there will be no overarching censorship criteria - other than the obvious and universal constraints of common decency. These videos are frequently between three and seven minutes long but if photographers submit material that is of particular interest but longer, then Hasselblad would still provide the space.

Added Russell-Fish: “This initiative is very much a work in progress and it’s a ‘call to action’ to photographers worldwide. We want everyone, from students to leading professionals - from those who rent Hasselblad cameras and those who own them - to submit their videos.”

Launch channels will include Hasselblad: products, company history, news and events; education and training – cameras, software, and innovation. Hasselblad Masters’ videos encompassing various photo-genres including architectural, editorial, fashion/beauty; fine art, landscape/nature; portrait / social and wildlife. Hasselblad is setting up initial bespoke channels for France, Germany, Italy, Spain, UK, USA & Canada, Asia Pacific and Europe - with more global channels to follow.

There will also be a Hasselblad Studio and a VICTOR Magazine/Bulletin channel.

Hasselblad tv is easily accessible on PC or Mac computers and on iPhones and iPads. Please check out

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