Epson adds Trio of New Professional Pigment-Based Inkjets to Line

Epson Stylus Pro 4900, 17-inch printer.

Earlier this month, Epson announced the addition of three new pigment-based printers to its line: the Stylus Pro 4900, Stylus Pro 7890 (wide-format) and Stylus Pro 9890 (wide-format).

The Stylus Pro 4900 is a 17-inch printer that utilizes Epson’s UltraChrome HDR ink and MicroPiezo TFP print head for fast print speeds and a very wide color gamut. The printer uses a 10-color ink set: orange, green, cyan, light cyan, vivid magenta, vivid light magenta, yellow, light black, light light black, and photo black or matte black. Both the matte and photo black inks are installed but depending upon the media type or driver setting, the printer will choose the best ink (matte or photo black) for the image. This is a great convenience over having to physically swap out ink cartridges depending on what you’re printing/media you’re using. The printer takes 200ml ink cartridges.

Print resolution is 2880×1440 dpi. The printer’s roll functionality can accept both two- and three-inch media cores; and cut sheets can also be used, up to 1.5mm thick. The cut media paper cassette can hold up to 200 sheets of paper, from 8.5×11 to 17×24 in size. Another convenience is the realtime automatic counter for the remaining amount of roll media. Its always nice to know how much you have left before a print has to stop in mid-printing. You can also print full-bleed prints with the Epson Stylus Pro 4900.

Epson Stylus Pro 7890, 24-inch printer.

Connectivity to computers is via USB 2.0 and 10/100 BaseT Ethernet. The printer fully supports third-party RIPs and workflows, and comes with drivers for Mac and Windows. Mac users need the Leopard 10.5 OS or higher (16-bit), and Windows users need to be running, XP, Vista or Windows 7 (32- or 64-bit).

An optional accessory is the SpectroProofer 17, a 17-inch wide spectrophotometer, developed with X-rite.

The printer is available in two configurations: the base model for photography, and a Graphic Design Edition that includes an EFI eXpress RIP. Both models will be available in December, for $2,495. and $2,995 MSRP respectively.

Two New Wide-Format Printers

The Stylus Pro 7890 is a 24-inch printer, and the 9890 is a 44-inch printer. Both utilize Epson’s eight color UltraChrome K3 inks, and the company’s MicroPiezo TFP print head for prints that are about twice as fast as both printers’ predecessors, the 7880 and 9880. The eight 150ml ink cartridges used are: cyan, vivid magenta, yellow, light cyan, vivid light magenta, light black, light light black, and matte black or photo black.

Epson Stylus Pro 9890 44-inch printer.

Features of these new printers include roll media tracking, 2880×1440 dpi resolution, and like the 4900, they can accept 2- and 3-inch core roll media, cut sheets up to 1.5mm thick, print full bleed, and utilize a built-in media cutter. Connectivity to computers is via USB 2.0 and 10/100 BaseT Ethernet. The printer fully supports third-party RIPs and workflows, and comes with drivers for Mac and Windows. The printers can be run with Mac or Windows-based PC computers. Mac OS needs to be Tiger (10.4.9 or higher), Leopard (10.5 or higher/16-bit) or Snow Leopard (10.6 or higher/16-bit); Windows XP, Vista or Windows 7, 32- and 64-bit.

The printers can be purchased with an optional Epson/X-rite developed SpectroProofer (24- or 44-inch, depending on printer being used).

The Epson Stylus Pro 7890 and 9890 printers will also be available in December, with an MSRP of $2,995. and $4,995. respectively.

For more information, go to www.proimaging.epson.com.

— D.B.

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Nikon Announces new DSLR and Four Lenses Today

By Diane Berkenfeld

An editor’s job is never done, and today—which at the time I’m writing this—is only about 40 minutes old is no exception. Scouring the internet while watching TV late yesterday I came upon a mention of a possible new camera introduction by Nikon. Intrigued, I decided to go onto the Nikonrumors.com website and found not only a DSLR was expected today, but four lenses as well. Figuring that no leaks would appear so close to midnight, I checked the Nikonusa.com and Nikon.com websites regardless. At 12-midnight exactly I was finally rewarded when the pages I’d seen on both sites updated to include the D3100 and four new lenses.

nikon.com screengrab for picture-soup.com article

Notice the screenshot on the left, captured at approximately 11:00pm, Wednesday, August 18 and the lonely area at the bottom right corner. Now look at the screenshot on the right, which was taken at 12:01am on Thursday, August 19, revealing the addition of the D3100 to Nikon's lineup of DSLRs. These screenshots were captured off of the Nikon.com website.

Drumroll please… The brand new equipment includes the D3100 DSLR body and AF-S DX 55-300mm f/4.5-5.6G ED VR, AF-S 28-300mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR, AF-S 24-120mm f/4G ED VR and AF-S 85mm f/1.4G lenses.

nikon camera photo d3100 for picture-soup.com article

Newly announced Nikon D3100 DSLR with the 18-55 kit lens attached.

14MP D3100 DSLR

The D3100 is designed as an easy-to-use and affordable camera by the press release Nikon distributed at 12:01am. The camera features a DX-format CMOS sensor with14.2MP in resolution, full HD video capture and the new EXPEED 2TM image processing engine. The camera offers photographers full time AF in Live View and D-Movie mode—and according to Nikon, it is the first DSLR offering full time AF while shooting video.

Other features of the D3100 include an 11-point AF system, ISO range of 100 to 3200, expandable to 12,800, an enhanced Guide Mode that offers step-by-step assistance for newbie DSLR users, a 3-inch LCD, and Face Detection that can lock focus on a whopping 35 faces, among other features. The D3100 records images to SD media and is compatible with the SDXC memory card format. The camera also supports use of the Eye-Fi wireless media card.

Like other Nikon cameras, the D3100 incorporates such proprietary Nikon technologies as Active D-Lighting, Nikon’s Scene Recognition system, in-camera Retouch Menu, and more.

The D3100 features Nikon’s Integrated Dust Reduction System, and a shutter tested to 100,000 cycles.

The camera features a Quiet Shutter Release mode, which allows photographers to be as unobtrusive as possible, as it reduces the sound of the mirror flipping up and down while shooting.

The Nikon D3100 D-SLR gives users the ability to capture Full HD, 1080p resolution movies, in cinematic quality 24p video clips, or shoot at 24 or 30 frames-per-second at 720p. Movies are recorded in the H.264 AVCHD codec (.mov file) format. The camera can be connected to HDTVs via the HDMI port, for viewing of both movie and still images.

Pricing and Availability

The D3100 D-SLR camera outfit, including the AF-S Nikkor 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6G VR kit lens, is scheduled to be available at Nikon Authorized dealers beginning in mid September 2010, at an estimated selling price of $699.95.

Lenses Too

Nikon also announced the addition of four new lenses to the Nikkor line—one DX lens, designed for the smaller DX image sensor and three lenses designed for use with both the full frame FX and smaller DX format sensors.

Nikkor AF-S DX 55-300mm f/4.5-5.6G ED VR lens for picture-soup.com article

Nikkor AF-S DX 55-300mm f/4.5-5.6G ED VR lens

The AF-S DX 55-300mm f/4.5-5.6G ED VR

The AF-S DX 55-300mm f/4.5-5.6G ED VR is an ideal complement to the kit lens that is available with DSLRs such as the newly announced D3100. Additional features include a Tripod Detection Mode, which allows users to keep VR image stabilization activated and automatically compensates for minute vibrations when mounted on a tripod.

Additionally, a High Refractive Index (HRI) lens element is implemented to keep the lens compact while offering high contrast even at maximum aperture. The optical construction consists of two Extra-low Dispersion (ED) Elements that effectively minimize chromatic aberration, even at the widest aperture settings.

Nikkor AF-S 28-300mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR lens for picture-soup.com article

Nikkor AF-S 28-300mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR lens

AF-S 28-300mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR

The AF-S 28-300mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR is Nikon’s first FX-format lens with a 10.7X zoom range for both enthusiasts and pros. The lens has an equivalent focal length of 42-450mm when attached to a DX-format DSLR.

It’s optical formula includes two ED glass elements that effectively minimize chromatic aberration, even at the widest aperture settings, and three Aspherical Lens Elements that virtually eliminates coma and other aberrations at wide aperture settings as well.

This lens also incorporates an M/A Focus Mode Switch that enables quick changes between manual and autofocus operation, and Internal Focus (IF) providing fast and quiet autofocus without changing the length of the lens while retaining working distance through the focus range.

AF-S 24-120mm f/4 G ED VR

Nikkor AF-S 24-120mm f/4 G ED VR for picture-soup.com article

Nikkor AF-S 24-120mm f/4 G ED VR lens

The AF-S 24-120mm f/4 G ED VR zoom lens maintains a constant maximum aperture of f/4 throughout the entire zoom range. The 24-120mm f/4 also features two ED elements, three aspherical lens elements, a M/A Focus Mode Switch, Internal Focus and Nano Crystal Coat to reduce ghosting and flare for greater image clarity throughout the entire frame.

AF-S 85mm f/1.4G ED

Nikkor AF-S 85mm f/1.4G lens for picture-soup.com article

Nikkor AF-S 85mm f/1.4G lens

The AF-S 85mm f/1.4G ED is an ultra-fast classic portrait prime lens boasting amazing picture quality, high performance and the ability to create dramatic background effects (bokeh). The AF-S 85mm f/1.4 is optimized for edge-to-edge sharpness on both FX and DX-format D-SLR cameras, and features two focus modes, M/A (manual-priority autofocus) and M (manual) to further enhance versatility and adapt to a shooters needs.

Additional features include Internal Focus (IF) that allows the lens to focus without changing the barrel length, Nano Crystal Coat to reduce instances of ghosting and flare, and a rugged construction build to endure aggressive field use.

Pricing and Availability

The AF-S Nikkor DX 55-300mm f/4.5-5.6 VR lens has an estimated selling price of $399.95; the AF-S Nikkor 24-120mm f/4 G ED VR has an estimated selling price of $1049.95; the AF-S Nikkor 28-300mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR zoom lens has an estimated selling price of $1,299.95; and the AF-S Nikkor 85mm f/1.4G has an estimated selling price of $1,699.95. These four lenses will be available starting in September.

For more information, please visit www.nikonusa.com.

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Canon Announces 7DSV DSLR for Studio Photographers

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Canon U.S.A. has announced a new studio version of the popular 7D DSLR. Today the company introduced the EOS 7DSV (studio version), which is designed for school and event photography. The camera was also introduced with a new optional Canon barcode solution. The EOS 7DSV DSLR Camera features four levels of “locking” camera controls. By giving administrators the ability to “lock” the camera, unwanted features can be disabled. This would give a studio the ability to ensure each photographer’s work is reliable and repeatable.

The camera has four different “lock” levels allowing administrators to enable the appropriate level of camera functionality for any studio operation. Custom functionality is also achieved through each level by unlocking individual features according to operator-specific needs. This complete level of control is guarded by a daily password preventing anyone with a different vision from changing the camera settings and disrupting the overall project and workflow.

Add the barcode solution and customer data is linked directly to the image file. This is highly desired by school photographers but can also be beneficial to forensic and medical photo workflows as well as event and even catalog photography.

Once the barcode option is enabled, customer, organizational, patient and/or other data will be embedded directly into the image file’s EXIF data by scanning a barcode for easy identification when reviewing the completed work. While shooting, the actual reading of barcodes can be easily managed and, based upon each person’s workflow, the critical task of file management is accomplished with less risk of error. Upon completion, a visual confirmation will appear on the camera’s rear LCD screen.

“We know professional photographers are constantly searching for ways to simplify the workflow process,” said Yuichi Ishizuka, executive vice president and general manager, Consumer Imaging Group, Canon U.S.A. “With the addition of the new EOS 7D Studio Version camera, professionals and business owners can be confident that data management will be streamlined and they can focus on the current task at hand.”

The EOS 7D Studio Version kit includes Canon’s WFT-E5A unit, which along with the optional barcode reader can scan and seamlessly manage image and customer data through a “wired connection”. A wireless system configuration is also possible through Canon’s BU-30 Bluetooth adapter. Existing WFT-E5A units require a firmware update to work with Barcode functionality. According to Canon, this firmware update will need to be done at a Canon USA Factory Service location. However, once you choose this option, the ability to read and embed GPS data will no longer function.

The EOS 7D and EOS 7DSV feature 18MP resolution utilizing an APS-C sized CMOS image sensor and Canon’s proprietary Dual DIGIC 4 image processors. The cameras utilize a 19-point AF system, Live View, ISO range up to 12800, and new iFCL Metering. The 7D/7DSV can also capture full HD video. Ruggedly built, the cameras utilize a magnesium alloy body that is dust- and weather-resistant; and the shutter durability is guaranteed up to 150,000 cycles. The cameras are compatible with over 60 Canon EF and EF-S lenses, in addition to other EOS system accessories.

The new EOS 7DSV Barcode Kit (EOS 7DSV and WFT-E5A with firmware change) will carry an estimated selling price of $ $2,599. The EOS 7DSV Body only will carry an estimated selling price of $1,829. Both are available by special order through select Canon authorized dealers.

The following Barcode Scanners are compatible; Honeywell 3800, Honeywell 3820, for scanning via bluetooth and Honeywell 4600, for scanning 1D and 2D barcodes.

Email all inquiries and questions regarding Canon’s EOS 7D Studio Version DSLR or Canon’s Barcode Solution to ProSolutions@cusa.canon.com.

For all other information, go to www.cusa.canon.com.

— Diane Berkenfeld

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Tamron Announces Anniversary Model 70-300mm Lens

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Nikon F Mount Lens will be Available to Photographers August 26

Earlier this week, Tamron announced the release of its anniversary model SP 70-300mm telephoto zoom lens featuring VC (Vibration Compensation) image stabilization and an ultrasonic auto-focus drive –– USD (Ultrasonic Silent Drive). The SP 70-300mm F/4-5.6 Di VC USD (Model A005) high-resolution DSLR telephoto zoom lens will be available in the Nikon F mount on August 26, 2010. The company says Canon and Sony mount SP 70-300mm F/4-5.6 Di VC USD lenses will follow.

The lens is designed for use with cameras utilizing either a full-frame image sensor or the smaller APS-C sensor. When used on a camera with an APS-C sensor, the zoom range will be equivalent to 109-465mm. In addition to using the lens on full autofocus, the lens can be focused manually on-the-fly simply by the photographers adjusting the focus ring. No need to change modes on the lens first. The maximum aperture of the lens is f/4-5.6 and the minimum aperture is f/32-45. The lens’ minimum focusing distance is 59.1-inches. The filter size of the SP 70-300mm F/4-5.6 Di VC USD lens is 62mm.

For more information, go to www.tamron.com.

— Diane Berkenfeld

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Pentax Offers K-x DSLR in a Rainbow of Colors

Pentax Imaging was one of the first companies to bring colorful DSLRs to market in recent years, and they’ve proved that it wasn’t just a colorful fling. Today the company added four new colors to the seven already available. First came the K-x body/kit lens combo in red, white and navy. Then in bright blue, orange, green and purple. Now there’s also pink, beige, chocolate and olive to choose from. The K-x camera body and kit lens, a Pentax DA L 18-55mm lens, come in coordinating colors.

The new colors of the Pentax K-x DSLR: (l. to r.) Olive, Pink, Beige, Chocolate.

bright colors pentax cameras for picture-soup.com article

(l. to r.) Pentax K-x in Bright Blue, Orange, Purple, Green.

camera colors pentax, for picture-soup.com article

(l. to r.) Originally the K-x was introduced in Red, White and Navy. These colors are still available.

The K-x is an entry level body, designed to be small, affordable and easy to use. The K-x DSLR features a 12.4MP CMOS sensor with sensor-shift Shake Reduction image stabilization, the ability to capture widescreen HD video in 720p resolution, true HDR (high dynamic range) image capture that blends three bracketed images into a single photograph, the Pentax Prime II image processing engine and much more. The camera is powered by AA lithium batteries and is also compatible with AA Ni-MH rechargeable and alkaline batteries.

For more information, go to www.pentaximaging.com.

— Diane Berkenfeld

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New Tech Gear Announced

By Diane Berkenfeld

June has been a hopping good month for Techies (and I don’t mean the availability of the iPhone 4 in stores today). A range of new products—from hard drives to Thumbdrives, batteries, digital frames and monitors have hit the market and if not already on store shelves, almost all should be there by the end of the month. Some of the gear included definitely has the word professional written all over it, while other items may be for the consumer, but what ties them all together is digital imagery—whether by managing files, or displaying images. Read on…

Blu-ray

picture-soup.com Buffalo blu-ray writer

Buffalo Technology's MediaStation 12x External USB 3.0 Blu-ray Writer.

Buffalo Technology (www.buffalotech.com) just announced its new MediaStation 12x External USB 3.0 Blu-ray Writer. The MediaStation can write/play back Blu-ray discs, DVDs and CDs. The Blu-ray writer comes with CyberLink Blu-ray 3D Ready Media suite. Set up is simple and no drivers are needed. The unit supports the following media formats: BD-R SL 8x Read / 12x Write, DVD –R SL 16x Read / 16x Write and CD-R 40x Read / 40x Write.

Buffalo will be shipping the MediaStation 12x External USB 3.0 Blu-ray Writer by month’s end with an estimated street price of $349.99.

External Hard Drives

picture-soup.com western digital my studio drive

Western Digital My Book Studio LX external hard drive for Mac users.

Earlier this month, Western Digital (www.westerndigital.com) introduced its My Book Studio LX external hard drive, with FireWire 800 interface and a sleek new, cool-to-the-touch aluminum case that would complement any Mac product. The drive also supports USB 2.0. The My Book Studio LX is unique in that it utilizes a customizable e-label that lets users identify such information as contents and remaining capacity without having to boot up a computer and plug in the drive.

It will sync seamlessly with Apple Time Machine software and also comes with WD SmartWare software. And the 256-bit hardware-based encryption, typically only found on much more expensive drive systems, provides a high level of data security along with password protection. The new drives area available in 1TB and 2TB capacities. The drives come with HFS + Journaled formatting and are compatible with Mac OS X Tiger, Leopard and Snow Leopard.

MSRP are $199.99 to $269.99 for the 1TB and 2TB models respectively.

(l.) Iomega's new charcoal gray USB 3.0 eGo drive; (r.) Iomega's new eGo BlackBelt Mac portable drive.

Earlier this month, Iomega (www.iomega.com) introduced its Iomega eGo portable and desktop hard drive line. New models including the charcoal gray USB 3.0 eGo portable with 500GB capacity, USB 2.0 eGo in fun colors: ruby red, midnight blue, and silver, in 320GB, 500GB and 1TB capacities.

Also new is the Iomega 1TB eGo BlackBelt Mac Edition Portable Hard Drive featuring two FireWire 800 ports and a USB 2.0 port. The drive also comes with a FireWire 800 to 400 cable, and utilizes the Iomega Power Grip band to help protect the drive from accidental drops from up to seven feet.

New Iomega eGo desktop drives include the charcoal gray Iomega USB 3.0 eGo Desktop Hard Drive with USB 3.0 in 1TB and 2TB capacities; and the Iomega Mac Edition eGo Desktop Hard Drive, a 3.5-inch HDD in a silver enclosure, and featuring two FireWire 800 ports, a USB 2.0 port and three cables: USB 2.0, FireWire 800 and FireWire 800 to 400 conversion cable. The new eGo Mac Edition desktop drive is HFS+ formatted and is available in 1TB and 2TB capacities.

More of the Now Ubiquitous USB Flash Drives

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Kingston Technology's DT160 flash drive.

Kingston Technology (www.kingston.com) yesterday announced the DT160 Flash drive, which combines functionality with a capless design. The rubberized thumb grip makes it an easy-to-use retractable USB Flash drive. DT160 is available in capacities from 4GB to 32GB. The drives are Mac, Windows PC and Linux compatible.

And Media Cards

Earlier this month Kingston announced that shipping of its 64GB SDXC media cards should be taking place at the end of the month.

Not Your Average Digital Frame

picture-soup.com framewizard package

Frame Wizard 15-inch frame.

The latest product that falls into the “How cool is that!” category is the FrameWizard (www.framewizard.com). Using your photos and the company’s software/digital frames, you can bring movement to your still digital images.

The company currently offers 7-inch, 8-inch and 15-inch digital frames that utilize their proprietary software (Mac and PC compatible) to make your photographs move, add elements such as snowflakes, raindrops, or falling leaves to your images, change the scenery behind your subjects, and make Matte Magic.

The company is working on a solution for professional photographers.

Sleek Computer Monitors

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Samsung 50 Series LED monitor.

Samsung Electronics America Inc., (www.samsung.com) yesterday announced the launch of its line of 50 Series LED-backlit monitors: the 20-inch BX2050, 21.5-inch BX2250, 23-inch BX2350, and 24-inch BX2450 models. Each delivers a >95% sRGB color gamut and 170 degree horizontal viewing angle. The BX2050 monitor has a resolution of 1600×900 and VGA and DVI-D inputs; while the other three models offer a 1920×1080 resolution and VGA, two HDMI inputs and audio output ports. All monitors use Samsung’s Touch of Color (ToC) technology.

According to Samsung, the displays consume up to 40% less energy than same sized CCFL backlit monitors and are fully recyclable, containing no mercury, halogens or VOCs.

The monitors will be available in July, prices range from $229 through $359.

Pico Projectors

picture-soup.com 3m pico projector

The 3M MPro150 pico projector.

3M’s (www.3m.com) MPro150 is the latest in the company’s family of pico projectors. Designed with professionals in mind, the MPro150 includes 1 GB internal memory, a micro SD card slot and a USB input for transferring files from a laptop or netbook, allowing entire presentations to be pre-loaded onto the projector itself.  The MPro150 supports Microsoft Office applications, as well as Adobe PDF, photos and video. The Mpro 150 lets you project images up to 50-inches at 15 lumens brightness.

The unit also has an integrated MP3 player, headphone jack, and speakers so you can listen to your tunes in-between presentations. Additional features include an integrated flip stand, tripod and a variety of input cables. Optional accessories include an adapter cable for Apple products, component video cable and car charger.

MSRP for the MPro150 is $295. The company also offers the MPro 120 projector, designed more for casual users than business, with an MSRP of $325.

Battery Charging on the Go

picture-soup.com duracell go mobile packaging

Duracell's Go Mobile Ni-MH charger.

Duracell (www.duracell.com) has created a Ni-MH AA/AAA battery charger that’s ideal for use by the photographer on the go. The new GoMobile chargers are not only usable plugged into the wall, but they come with a car adapter as well, and the design allows for the GoMobile charger to easily fit in the cup holder of your car. And the charger is fast, fully charging batteries in an hour.

The GoMobile comes with four Duracell pre-charged rechargeable batteries, the wall cord and car adapter. MSRP is $29.99.

picture-soup.com pandigital digital photo greeting cards

Pandigital's Digital Photo Greeting Cards come in three styles. Shown are the birthday cards.

Greeting Cards Go Digital

Pandigital (www.pandigital.net) came out with Digital Photo Greeting Cards, in three different sets of three cards: holidays, birthday, and thinking of you. The cards each let you upload 50 digital photos via USB. Once the photos are loaded, simply send the card and your recipient not only gets a handwritten note from you but up to 50 digital images that are viewable on the 1.44-inch screen built into the cards.

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