PocketWizard Plus III: One Trigger To Rule Them All

The new PocketWizard Plus III wireless transceiver

On Monday, February 20th, 2012, LPA Design announced the latest iteration of their highly regarded wireless remote transceiver, the PocketWizard Plus III. Succeeding the PocketWizard Plus II, the Plus III comes packed with a bunch of new features and improvements that will make a photographer’s life easier, such as a broad range of operating modes, an improved backlit LCD screen as well as screw-locking PC cords. Plus, it is about 30 % cheaper than the previous model. How’s that for an upgrade!? Read more after the jump.

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Yongnuo Introduces Improved Flash Models YN560-II And YN468-II

The new Yongnuo flashes YN560-II and YN468-II

Yongnuo, Hong Kong based manufacturer of accessory flashes, has introduced two new feature-packed models to their lineup of affordable speedlights. The YN560-II, an update to the very popular YN560 model, gains an LCD panel and stroboscopic mode, while the YN468-II comes with improved buttons and is now also available for Nikon cameras. Read more after the jump.

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Samsung’s Latest Stylish Memory Cards Are Like The Sexy Underwear You’ll Never Show Off

In one of the most interesting technology moves I’ve ever seen, Samsung has today introduced what they call, “Stylish” memory cards. Numbering seven SD and Micro SD in total, the company claims speeds of 24MB/sec read speeds on cards with a capacity of 4GB or higher. Plus, they also promise the ability to transfer 1GB of information in as little as 42 seconds. Each card also features a brushed metal chassis. Additionally, they can are guaranteed to survive up to 24 hours in water, withstand the force of a 1.6 ton vehicle (3,200 lbs), and resist up to 10,000 Gauss (slightly less than the power of a medical imaging magnet).

Spec table and a video of a waterproofing test I did with SD cards a while back are after the jump. Don’t ask about my appearance; I’m not wearing sexy underwear either.

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Lomography Spinner 360 Motorizer Was Probably Designed With That 70’s Show in Mind

Yesterday, Lomography introduced their new Spinner 360 Motorizer unit. For those of you not familiar; the Spinner 360 essentially takes panoramic images on 35mm film by letting the user simply spin the camera around on a handle. The motorizer is powered by 8 AA batteries and will spin the camera around itself as long as the user activates it via the handy little matching radio transmitter: which works from a fairly far distance.

Hands on photos and demo videos are after the jump. The new unit will run you a cool $179.00.

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Canon 5D Mk II Outdoes iPhone 4 on Flickr (For a Little While at Least)

Apple iPhone 4S and Canon EOS 5D Mark II. Picture by MacLife.de

According to Flickr’s latest camera usage stats, the Canon 5D Mk II has just dethroned the iPhone 4 as the most popular camera with Flickr users. Well, it did.

While we’re not surprised about the fact that the 5D2 is a popular camera per se, we are surprised to learn that it sees more use with Flickr users than the ever-ready take-anywhere iPhone. Read more after the jump.

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Lensbaby Presents Edge 80 Lens Module For Control Freak(s)

The new Lensbaby Edge 80 selective focus lens

On Tuesday, February 14th, 2012, Lensbaby Inc., creator of extraordinary optical products, has announced a new member of their “Optic Swap System” product family, the Edge 80. With a focal length of 80mm and an intial aperture of f2.8, the lens is ideally suited for portait and product photography where selective focus effects are desired. Read more after the jump.

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Fiscal Reports: Leica Going Uphill, Olympus Going Downhill

The planned new Leica production facility in Wetzlar, Germany

While Leica Camera AG reports a sales high of € 81.9 million (US-$ 108m) for the third quarter of the ongoing fiscal year, Olympus reports a loss of an estimated ¥ 32 bn. (US-$ 412m) until the end of the fiscal year in March. Where Leica experiences an ongoing streak of success, Olympus suffers a continuing streak of bad luck that shows no sign of breaking off. And while the past fiscal year has been extremely fortunate for Leica, it was extremely unfortunate for Olympus. Read more after the jump.

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Cosina Announces New SL II N Lenses At CP+

The new Voigtländer Color Skopar 28/2.8 SL II N. Picture by DC Watch

At their showcase on CP+ in Yokohama, Japan, Cosina presented a number of new Voigtländer lenses in Canon and Nikon mount. The new series of SL II N lenses comprises the well-known 20mm f3.5 Color Skopar, 40mm f2 Ultron and 58mm f1.4 Nokton lenses. Additionally, Cosina presented an SLR version of their 75mm f1.8 Heliar Classic lens (previously available only in Leica M-mount) as well as a completely new 28mm f2.8 Color Skopar pancake lens. Read more after the jump.

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Kodak To Completely Back Out Of Camera Business: The Story Continues

The Kodak Brownie No. 2. Source: Wikimedia Commons

Eastman Kodak, situated in Rochester, NY, pioneer of film photography and inventor of the famous “Brownie” — the first widely available photographic camera for amateurs — just announced that they will completely back out of the camera business. Despite never being really successful on the digital camera market, the brand name “Kodak” is associated with photography like no other.

After the continuous decline of their stock market value during the past couple years, this January Eastman Kodak finally had to declare Chapter 11 bankruptcy. Read more after the jump.

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Sony Announces 500mm f4 Telephoto Beast, Confirms New Full-Frame Camera

Sony's new G-grade super-telephoto lens, the SAL500F40G

On the CP+ show in Yokohama, Japan last night, Sony announced a new high-performance super-telephoto lens for their SLR and SLT cameras, the SAL500F40G. With its 500mm focal length and an initial aperture of f4, this is the longest-ever lens carrying the “G” branding which only Sony’s professional grade telephoto lenses receive. Besides being extraordinarily bright for a lens of its focal length, the new SAL500F40G focuses via a new ultrasonic SSM drive and is both dust- and moisture-proof. It is aimed primarily at outdoor user, as in wildlife photography, sports documentation etc.

Sony also confirmed that they are working on a new full-frame A-mount camera to replace the aged α900, but have given no further details. Read more after the jump.

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Sigma Puts DP-series on Steroids, Re-brands and Re-prices SD1

The re-branded and re-priced Sigma SD1 Merrill

Sigma Corporation today announced the re-branding and re-pricing of their flagship DSLR camera, the SD1. The camera will henceforth be known by the name SD1 Merrill, in honor of the inventor of the three-layer Foveon sensor technology (more below) used in Sigma’s cameras, Dick Merrill. The SD1 has also been re-priced, now estimated to sell for a street price as low as US-$ 2,299 — roughly one third of the camera’s original Medium Format-like price tag.

Also today, Sigma Corporation announced a complete reinvention of their famous DP series cameras, the DP1 and DP2. Being the first compact cameras to include almost DSLR-size sensors when they were first presented back in 2006, the DP1 and DP2 have now received a complete overhaul that makes them competitive again on the camera market. Read more after the jump.

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Olympus Announces Two New Point-and-Shoots For Outdoor Junkies

The new Olympus Tough TG-820 iHS

Olympus today announced two new point-and-shoot cameras, the SZ-31MR iHS superzoom and the TG-820 iHS rugged compact. Both cameras are aimed at outdoor photographers — the SZ-31MR iHS with its 24x zoom lens (25-600 mm equivalent) lends itself at nature and wildlife photography, while the water-, shock-, freeze-, crush- and dustproof TG-820 iHS can go with you on outdoor activities in the mountains and underwater alike. More details after the jump.

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Pentax Germany Releases New Details on Upcoming Lenses

Pentax Forums found a recent news post from Pentax Germany: who outed the specs on new lenses hinted at in their roadmap. According to the Google Translation in English, three new K mount lenses are coming in the form of the SMC Pentax-DA 560mm F5.6, SMC Pentax-DA 50mm F1.8, 25mm F4, and SMC Pentax-D FA 645 90mm F2.8. The former is a serious birding and spy lens, while the 50mm f1.8 is the quintessential portrait lens for all their APS-C sensor cameras like their popular K-5, the recently announced K-01, and this monster. The latter is a new lens for their 645D and shared image samples from, which we had hands on with a long time ago.

Plus, details on a new telephoto lens for the Q system have been spread; but info is very lacking. They’ve also announced that users of the 645D can finally tether to their computers as they shoot, and some new tough cameras.

For convenience, the translated press release has been copy and pasted after the jump.

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The Tiniest M-Mount Lens Ever Looks Like a Body Cap

 

perar-40-1

MS Optical, a Japanese one-man business best known for their lens conversions, are about to introduce what is probably the tiniest lens ever made for Leica M-mount: the Super Triplet Perar 28mm f4. Successor to the very popular and critically acclaimed Super Triplet Perar 35mm f3.5, the new Perar 4/28 manages to beat its already minute predecessor in terms of size and weight. Coming in at only 45 g (1.58 oz), the lens is based on a triplet design comprising only three lens elements. To make the optical formula even more compact, the lens’ aperture is placed before the front element. More details after the jump.

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Nikon Announces D800/D800E; Relieves Angry Fanboys’ Frustrations

Nikon finally announced what all the fanboys and girls were waiting for after leaks of the worst kept secret ever: the Nikon D800 full frame successor to the D700. Sporting a new 36.3MP full frame CMOS sensor, 91,000 pixel RGB sensor (metering), and an advanced Scene recognition system, it sounds like the camera that lots of enthusiasts and pros alike have been asking for.

More images and specs after the jump; but if you want to read the press release, check out Nikon’s press room section.

Available for Pre-order at B&H Photo: D800 and D800E

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Voigtländer Announces New 17.5mm f/0.95 Lens For Micro Four Thirds (35mm Equivalent)


Have you ever sat there and literally drooled over an announcement? Well according to 43Rumors, Voigtlander just announced a 17.5mm f0.95; which equates to 35mm f0.95. The company already makes the very highly regarded 25mm f0.95 lens, and this is the one that I’m personally lusting after. I’m married to my Canon 35mm f1.4 L, and as my favorite focal length this has got to have Micro Four Thirds users excited everywhere. Complete with clickless aperture (excellent for video), it will also have a 58mm filter thread size. That’s about the size of the front end of a Canon 50mm f1.4. In reality, that may mean that this lens may actually be kind of big on a Micro Four Thirds camera body.

If you convert the Euros over to American, it will run you around $1704.93.

You can read more over at 43Rumors.

Tamron Announces 24-70mm f/2.8 Full-frame Standard Zoom for Nikon, Canon and Sony

Tamron Co., Ltd., Japanese manufacturer of optical equipment, just announced their latest DSLR zoom lens, the SP 24-70mm f2.8 Di VC USD for Nikon, Canon and Sony DSLR cameras. This is the first full-frame lens of these specifications featuring Tamron’s renowned Vibration Compensation image stabilization system, which has been completely worked over for better performance and lower weight. In addition to full 35mm coverage and a constant f2.8 aperture, the lens is moisture resistant and comes with a fast and silent ultrasonic AF.

Full specs after the jump.

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Lomography Partners With Virginia is For Lovers To Announce New La Sardina Camera: Reminds Me That I’m Single

This evening, Lomography announced their new partnership with Virginia is for Lovers. To kick off the new love affair, they announced a special edition of their La Sardina camera (previously reviewed on the site) in typical Lomo style: with a big party. We got to have some hands on time with the camera and also got to take one home with their special Fritz the Blitz flash.

Photos and more about the partnership (including a competition) after the jump.

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Pentax K-01 Sports APS-C Sensor, Weird Look

Yes, the rumors were true. Pentax announced the K-01 mirrorless camera. Unlike the Q, this one’s got an APS-C sized sensor just as large as their very good K-5. Other important features are 1080 HD video (H.264: 30p, 25p or 24p, ISO output up to 12800, and a burst shooting rate at 6 fps at the fastest. Plus, it features a 3.0-inch 921k-dot LCD and sensor-shift image stabilization. Lastly, it features an SD card slot. The Pentax K-01 will be sold body-only for $749.95 and will also be available with the new 40mm pancake for $899.95. By itself, the 40mm F2.8 XS will be $249.95.

Look for it all in March.

CameraBag 2 Comes Out of Beta; Essentially Lightroom with More Presets

Not long ago, we did a quick hands on review of the beta version of CameraBag 2. Today the company has announced that they are releasing the entire version. CameraBag 2 is a piece of software for Mac and PC that lets the user apply loads and loads of those amazing Instagram-like filters to their images (both RAW and JPEGs.) Additionally, it offers a totally different interface that Lightroom 3 and 4 do while still allowing the user to do quite a bit of the manipulations that those programs offer. It does all this while still remaining non-destructive in the editing process.

For the person that doesn’t want to take the plunge into Lightroom yet, you can surely consider CameraBag 2. However, don’t consider it a replacement for Lightroom or Photoshop.

CameraBag 2 is available now for Mac and PC. A single cross-platform license is available at www.nevercenter.com for $29 (launch sale price: $24), and a Mac-only version is available via the Mac App Store for $24 (launch sale price: $19). A free, fully-functional 30-day demo is included in the download from www.nevercenter.com, where more info, tutorials, and videos can also be found.

I’ve been using the final release for around a week now and will have a full review coming soon.

Sony Announces New Point and Shoots with Lots of Megapickels

This evening, Sony announced three new additions to their point and shoot line of cameras. At a glance, the TX200V (above) is their tough camera that it waterproof up to 16 feet, and has a fairly thick layer of glass right in front of it (when we asked if it was Gorilla Glass, they couldn’t comment.) Plus, they announced the new WX70 with a 3.0 inch touch screen LCD and the WX50: which is their latest entry level CMOS model.

Interestingly, Sony said that the cameras will continuously autofocus and try to find something to focus on until you half-press the shutter button and lock it. That means that in real life use, the battery life may suffer. They also claim that these cameras have 1/6th the noise as their previous generation. During the presentation, we saw charts that we’re not allowed the publish; but the technology is called, “pixel super resolution technology.”

No press release here: just all the details you’re probably curious about after the jump; like more megapickels on those itsy bitty teenie weeny sensor.

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