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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Product Review: Sony SnapLab UP-CR20L Dye-Sub Printer

By Diane Berkenfeld

sony snaplab for picture-soup.com reviewHaving the ability to print photographs on-site for your customers is convenient for them—but it is also a potential revenue source—as you can charge extra for this convenience.

I recently had the opportunity to test out one of Sony’s dye-sub printers and brought it along to an event I photographed. The event was a fundraiser for a charity I have been working with for the past two years. They requested on-site printing, and I was able to provide the solution, courtesy of Sony’s loan of a SnapLab UP-CR20L printer.

The SnapLab UP-CR20L is a workhorse dye-sub printer, able to print up to 6×8-inch prints. In addition to being used by event photographers for on-site printing, the UP-CR20L is also used as a kiosk/printer by photo labs and can be used for in-house printing for prints up to 6×8-inches.

Printer Specs:

  • The SnapLab UP-CR20L is 13 3/8-inches wide x 17 1/2-inches high x 17 7/8-inches deep, and weighs about 50 pounds.
  • The UP-CR20L runs on household 110 voltage. It features a 10.4-inch touch-screen LCD that is used to navigate through the menus.
  • The printer offers slots to accept CompactFlash (including MicroDrive), Secure Digital/MMC and miniSD, Memory Stick (including Pro and Duo format cards), and x-D Picture Card media; as well as a USB port and tray for CD-R/RW/DVD-R/RW disks. The SnapLab can also print directly from computers via USB 2.0. An optional Bluetooth adapter allows for printing directly from Bluetooth enabled devices. There is also an optional wireless adapter that allows the printer to receive images sent wirelessly from cameras that support it.
  • The printer supports JPG, TIFF and BMP files.
  • Printing resolution is 330 DPI.
  • Print sizes include wallets, 3.5×5, 4×6, 5×7, 6×8, index prints and multiple prints on one sheet of paper. Maximum print size is 6×8.
  • Printer modes include Full Mode, Quick Print Mode and Event Mode.
  • Simple image editing options are available including exposure correction, red-eye removal, printing color images in B&W or Sepia, and more.
  • While the printer is idle, promotional images can be displayed.
  • Text can be added to photographs, in a number of font choices, type sizes and colors.
  • Because the printer is used at retail, it can be set with print prices. Once a customer is ready to finalize their order, a password is needed for printing to begin. The printer can also be set to print without a password.
  • The number of prints that can be output from one paper roll/ribbon set depends upon the sizes of the prints being made. For example, you can get 350 6×8 prints out of one paper roll/ribbon. The speed of prints also depends upon the sizes being printed, but ranges between eight and 14.5 seconds each.

In-Use at an Event and as an In-House Printer

The printer is easy to set-up. The first time, I followed the directions, but after I’d done it once, I was able to quickly set-up the printer each time I moved it. The directions specify that paper and ribbon be removed before transporting the printer, so you’ll have to set it up for each event you take it to.

The event I brought the printer to was relatively small, so I was able to be the photographer and take care of the printing too. Depending upon the size of the job you’re shooting, you might want to bring an extra person to take care of the printing duties.

Once set up at the event, I took a couple of images and printed them out to make sure everything was in working order. After guests started arriving I began photographing groups of people. Once about a half-dozen or so images were taken, I swapped out CompactFlash cards and took the “used” card to the SnapLab and began printing. Since I’d originally decided to offer 5×7 prints only, I had brought a paper cutter with me to trim the prints. Each print was then placed in a print folder. On the back of the folders, I put stickers that had the event name, date and my website printed on it. I placed the completed photos in an area for folks to pick up their photos at their leisure.

Had the event been larger that it was, or if I was shooting at a quicker pace, I probably would have waited until I had more portraits shot before stopping to print.

Although the fundraiser had marketed the fact that a photographer would be there, some of the attendees were surprised to find out that images were being printed on-site. And, I can say they were all very pleased with the quality of the prints.

Because the SnapLab was on loan from Sony for review purposes, I didn’t have to worry about the cost of paper/ribbon. The host of the fundraiser and I decided not to charge an additional fee for the prints; but, there are a number of ways you can bring in additional revenue by offering on-site printing.

  1. Charge your client a set fee for the printing services.
  2. Charge your client a per print fee, for the number of prints made during an event.
  3. If your client is running a fundraiser or type of event that would sustain attendees willing to pay an additional fee, you can charge the attendees you photograph a per print fee.
  4. You could also throw in the printing costs for clients who spend above a certain amount of money, say for a wedding or Bar-Mitzvah, or other such event.

As I mentioned earlier, this review was done with a loaner printer, but if I were in the market for an on-site printer, I would find it hard not to consider purchasing the Sony SnapLab UP-CR20L.

Because the dye-sub prints are lab quality, I was comfortable offering them to clients, as I like the quality of dye-sub over inkjet. And because the SnapLab UP-CR20L is used at retail, I know it is a real workhorse unit, and meant to print constantly. It is also rugged, and I would not hesitate to transport it a lot. The printer offers a range of print sizes and offers the capability to load new borders and watermark artwork. So, in effect, you could personalize the printing for each client by creating specific artwork for those prints.

Another option, if you don’t do a lot of event photography/on-site printing, but do often print 4×6 up to 6×8 prints, is to use the UP-CR20L as an in-house small format printer. During the two weeks I spent reviewing the printer, I did a lot of printing, in the range of sizes offered by the printer; and in matte and glossy, which the printer can do with the same paper/ribbon. One of the print jobs I did was for a client who’s family reunion I recently photographed. I needed to print dozens of photos and they were all consistent, from the first of the group to the last.

The Sony SnapLab UP-CR20L is a great printer/kiosk and ideal for event photographers or those who do a lot of in-house small format printing. MSRP is $2,995.

For more information, go to http://pro.sony.com/bbsc/ssr/mkt-digitalphotography/product-UPCR20L/.

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Creating Large Format Negs with HP Wide-Format Inkjets

By Kristin Reimer

Photography has been evolving since its conception, however the age of digital seems to be ushering in new technology with a rapid speed that has exceeded the industry’s expectations. New technology brings with it fresh ideas and creativity. It’s often inevitable when things are new, that it will bring with it, its share of critics and curmudgeons who must have something negative to say.

When I had been asked to write this article about the HP DesignJet Z3200, with the Large Format Negative Application, a printer that has the technology to create large format digital negatives, I was very excited. I thought to myself how far this industry has come and how exciting these times are. My thoughts immediately took me back to my days in college learning photography… more specifically, it brought me back to the stone age days of laboring over making the perfect digital negative that I could use to create my platinum and palladium prints. I was young, I was impatient, I wanted everything “now” and on top of it, I was made even more impatient from the constant inhalation of chemicals in my little darkroom.

Times Have Changed

As I read about this printer, I drooled and immediately began thinking of getting into non-traditional processes once more. I had been wanting to for a long time, one of the things holding me back was the reaction I had to thinking about the time extensive process, not to mention the expense of, making digital negatives.

I immediately heard the wedding bells of technology, the marriage of digital photography and alternative processing. I saw myself barefoot in the kitchen printing out thousands upon thousands of digital negatives and spending my time lovingly stroking platinum over a sheet of paper, confidently sandwiching my perfect digital negative and placing it under U.V. lamps to finish to perfection. The end result—exquisite.

As I was mapping out my plan to become the supreme ruler of non-traditional processes, I had another thought; everyone else and their Uncle Bob would be too. I’m sure by now you’ve heard all the rants that have come from how easy digital photography has made it for the masses to partake in our profession. This brings both advantages and disadvantages. The market changes, it becomes tougher to keep the proper rates, it becomes more competitive. On the flip side, it forces us to become more creative, it forces us to push ourselves, to find ways to stand ahead of the pack, to stay away from complacency. This is the attitude that led Hewlett-Packard to push ahead and create this innovative tool for our industry.

“Invent.”

HP’s slogan was created in 1999. I think they chose wisely.

I want to digress a moment here for a history lesson. You won’t be quizzed, but there is a nifty little tidbit at the end.

Sir John Herschel, mathematician, astronomer and chemist, made significant contributions to the birth of photography. From Sir John, we received the word “photography” which is Greek for “light” and “writing,” in addition to the terms “negative” and “positive.” Sir John also contributed to the work of fellow photography pioneers, Niepce and Daguerre, supplying them with his discovery of an early photographic fixer.

Joseph Nicephore Niepce, chemist, brings to us, the invention of photography, and the world’s first known photograph in 1825.

Louis Jacques Daguerre, artist and chemist, was also working to perfect the process of early photography. From Daguerre, we have received the famous Daguerreotype. Daguerre was in direct competition to William Fox Talbot, inventor of the calotype process, and the first to hold a patent in Britain for this early photographic process.

In 1829, Niepce and Daguerre formed a partnership to further explore and create in the world of photography. Unfortunately Niepce passed away a few years later. The contributions by both live on today.

In those early days of photography, the art world was ablaze with excitement about this new process. Just as we often think there are too many photographers working today, the new processes brought to the photography world brought an ease that had the masses rushing out to create “Daguerrotype Studios” worldwide. Of course, with the creative excitement, came the local critics. Many artists claimed photography was not art. It was considered “soulless” and simply a “mechanical process.” Many artists felt photography threatened their livelihood and the invention would destroy the world of painting.

Sound familiar?

Photography continued to expand and develop. Competition continued to grow and boundaries and creativity continued to be pushed further. By 1884, the photography world saw the development of film by George Eastman.

Digital Merging with Film and Alternative Processes

The birth of digital photography began in the 1960’s and by 1990, the first digital camera was available for commercial sales.

Just as in the late 1800s, the debate raged between painters and photographers, so today does one often see a debate between digital and traditional photography. In the early days it was in relation to the lack of personal touches eliminated by using a mechanical box, much as today we are presented with further mechanical debates, which seem to take photography even further away from “art.”

As digital photography entered its more mature years, we began to see another faction being created, that of traditional film photographers who stood firm in their craft, abstaining from further mechanical interferences to their art. The film faction holds that it can be seen as being even more artistic for its connection to the human touch required. The “alternative processes” that employ even more of the human hand, the mixing of chemistry, the precious metals that are painted by hand on to a single sheet of paper, have raised the bar, and the price tag of another early aspect of photography.

And here is where Hewlett-Packard enters my history lesson. Just as photography began with mechanics and chemistry, not the “arts” per se, so too has HP entered our world. Similar to the birth of photography, HP was birthed in technology, not the “arts.” In the early 1800’s a partnership was created between two chemists, Niepce and Dagueere that led us to this exciting new world. In the early 1930’s, a team of engineers formed a partnership to create a company that would eventually find itself involved in a rich history of photography and creative leadership. Bill Hewlett and Dave Packard founded their business in 1939, and in the 1980’s they entered the photographic printer market. How’s that for that “nifty tidbit” I tried to entice you with earlier?

And for those us who are working in digital capture? Imagine being able to take a digital file and transform it into an actual piece of film, and to be able to do in a way that one can afford! Let your mind run away with ideas of the future of your photography.

Preserving Photographic Masterpieces

hp photo for picture-soup.com article

Gabe Greenberg with a negative being printed on the HP Designjet Z3200. Photograph courtesy Elliott Erwitt.

Of course, this printer has another wonderful selling point. In the hands of masters that we have studied, this is a way to preserve old negatives and to ensure that a fragile archive and its history isn’t lost. In the hands of master photographer, Elliott Erwitt, the HP DesignJet Z3200 was used to create 30×40-inch, perfect renditions of his most iconic images in platinum. Who would have dreamed we could afford to see 30×40-inch platinum prints? Erwitt and HP have bridged our “mechanic” digital world with the artistry of years gone by and allowing precious, original negatives to sit undisturbed in a proper climate to ensure they will remain preserved in history.

Gabe Greenberg and Elliott Erwitt reviewing the negative. Photograph courtesy Elliott Erwitt.

On a personal note, I was fortunate enough to have worked with Elliott Erwitt for a number of years running his studio. I wish I could fully describe what it was like as a young photography student viewing his vast archive of negatives. The history at my fingertips was awe-inspiring. I was able to see the elaborate and time-consuming process that happened with every print that was created in his darkroom. Elliott treats his tools with the utmost respect.

Making the print. Photograph courtesy Elliott Erwitt.

Elliott keeps the tradition of photography alive, but I also know how much he respects his time and strives to work the most efficiently he can. The HP DesignJet Z3200 must be a welcome tool to his studio, one which enables him to keep his archive of negatives pristine and enables him to produce gorgeous gallery prints while leaving him time to continue making the art we all know and love.

Elliott Erwitt with the final platinum print for picture-soup hp article

Elliott Erwitt with the final platinum print. Photograph courtesy Elliott Erwitt.

HP has raised the bar and has closed the gap between artists around the world. With that gap closed, we may find some competition among ourselves, but I urge you to join in on the fun and see where that competition may take you. Without the early competitiveness of Talbot and Daguerre, I wonder where we might have ended up?

More information about HP Designjet solutions is available at www.hp.com/go/designjet. Retail price from $ 3,496. (24”) to $ 5,799. (44”).

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Olympus Introduces Flagship E-5 DSLR

Today Olympus announced the E-5, the new flagship E series DSLR. The camera uses a 12.3MP High-Speed Live MOS Sensor with Olympus’ proprietary TruePic V+ image processing engine for crisp images that display greater detail than previously available. The E-5 also incorporates the capability to shoot 720p HD video, at 30 frames per second.

Other features of the camera include a 3-inch, 270 degree swivel LCD for flexibility when shooting isn’t straight on, and 10 creative in-camera Art Filters that can be applied to both still and video.

The art filters are an example of features that first appeared on enthusiast level DSLRs and have migrated to the pro level. The Art Filters can be used in all shooting modes. ISO range is 100 to 6400, and the top shutter speed is 1/8000 of a second. The camera can capture up to four multiple exposures to be combined in either real time or in the camera at a later time.

The E-5 employs an in-body Mechanical Image Stabilization system to compensate for camera movement, up to 5 EV steps. Now the full line of compatible Olympus Zuiko Digital lenses become image stabilized.

The new Dramatic Tone art filter represents real space in a more imaginary way by applying unrealistic tones of light and darkness based on local changes in contrast. This new filter joins the Pop Art, Soft Focus, Pale & Light Color, Light Tone, Grainy Film, Pin Hole, Diorama, Cross Process and Gentle Sepia filters previously available on the E-30, E-620 and PEN series cameras.

Rear of the E-5 with optional vertical grip attached.

Like its predecessor, the E-3, the E-5 is completely splashproof and dustproof. The camera also uses a built-in Dust Reduction System with a Supersonic Wave Filter. The shutter is expected to withstand 150,000 exposures.

The Olympus E-5 is compatible with a range of external flashes and can wirelessly control both the Olympus FL-36R and FL-50R flashes with its commander function incorporated into its built-in flash.

The E-5 has a built-in microphone and also features a microphone jack so you can use external microphones for even greater quality audio capture while recording video.  The E-5 can accept both CompactFlash Type I UDMA and SD (SDHC/SDXC) media cards.

Olympus is scheduled to ship the E-5 DSLR in October. Street pricing for the E-5 body is $1,699.99.

For more information, go to: www.olympusamerica.com.

— Diane Berkenfeld

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Canon Introduces PowerShot G12

Canon’s PowerShot G12 is one of those P&S cameras that is so much more than a P&S, and that’s why we’re including it here. Just introduced today, the camera’s predecessors have been a popular choice by professional photographers as their “carry around anytime/all the time” camera, and we’re sure the new G12 will be just as hot.

The PowerShot G12 is packed with many of the features that were found in the PowerShot G11, the camera that it replaces, with the addition of High Def video capture and Canon’s HS (High Sensitivity) system. The G12 utilizes a 10MP High Sensitivity CCD sensor and Canon’s proprietary DIGIC 4 image processor to reduce noise.

Other features of the camera include 720p HD video recording, a full range of shooting and recording modes, a 5x optical zoom with image stabilization, a 2.8-inch LCD, and now, an HDR (high dynamic range) scene mode. Optional accessories include Canon Speedlite flashes, an underwater housing, and a tele-converter lens.

Canon is scheduled to ship the G12 in early October for an estimated price of $499.99. For more info, go to www.usa.canon.com.

Incidentally, the Canon PowerShot G series of cameras is one of those often chosen for Infrared conversion, as we found out when we researched a recent article on the 100th Anniversary of Infrared Photography. To read that article, click here.

— Diane Berkenfeld

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Canon Announces New DSLR, Pro Lenses & Extenders

By Diane Berkenfeld

With Canon Expo happening next week in New York City, one had to wonder whether or not there would be any photography announcements coming this week from the company. The answer is a definite yes! Canon today introduced the EOS 60D DSLR, a replacement to the EOS 50D. The camera is designed for advanced amateurs but we’re sure to see it show up in the gear bags of pro shooters too. Canon also introduced four pro lenses and two tele-extenders. The lenses include new 300mm f/2.8 and 400mm f/2.8 prime telephoto lenses—pro glass for sure, with hefty price tags.

eos60d_hand product shot for picture-soup.com announcement article

The 18MP EOS 60D is Canon's first DSLR to utilize a vari-angle LCD.

The EOS 60D is Canon’s first DSLR that utilizes a vari-angle LCD. The 3-inch LCD can be tilted up or down for ease of use when shooting stills or video. Ideal for capturing very low-angle or overhead shots that would otherwise be hard to compose.

The EOS 60D offers 18MP of resolution, utilizing an APS-C sized image sensor, and utilizes Canon’s proprietary DIGIC 4 image processor. Other features include a new 9-point AF system, Canon’s pro-level iFCL Metering System, and a frame rate of full resolution images up to 5.3 frames per second. ISO range is 100-6400 expandable to 12,800. Images are recorded to SD media, and the camera can utilize the newer SDHC and SDXC media cards. The camera also features a built-in pop-up flash with integrated Speedlite Transmitter that can control up to two groups of off-camera Speedlights.

The camera also features a number of EOS “firsts” including a new Multi-Control Dial which offers streamlined camera navigation. Responding to customer requests, the EOS 60D also features a locking mode dial, which makes camera operation more secure by preventing inadvertent changes to the photographer’s selected shooting mode. In-camera RAW image processing features let you edit in-camera, producing optimized JPG files without effecting the RAW data. This feature lets you process Picture Style, White Balance, Color Space, High-ISO Noise Reduction, and more. The EOS 60D also offers a new image resizing function which lets you downsize full resolution JPGs for display on HDTVs or for quick uploading to the web. The downsized image file is saved along with the original high-resolution file.

Canon also added new creative filters, which have been incorporated into the Canon PowerShot point and shoot cameras for some time. These artistic filters let you create a second “filtered” JPG file leaving the original RAW or JPG file unaffected when used applied to a captured still image. The four creative looks include soft focus, grainy B&W, “Toy Camera” and Canon’s Miniature Effect which simulates the look of a tilt-shift lens.

In addition to its new still capture capabilities, the EOS 60D features Full HD video capture at 1920 x 1080 resolution with selectable frame rates of 24p, 25p or 30p. Native 24p recording helps videographers achieve a more cinema-style look for their footage without the need for post-processing. The EOS 60D camera’s movie mode also includes manual controls for exposure as well as manual audio levels in 64 steps, much like the latest firmware update for the EOS 5D Mark II HD-SLR. Standard Def. video can also be captured

An in-camera movie editing feature has also been added to the camera. The EOS 60D also includes Canon’s Movie Crop mode, which allows you to achieve 7x magnification when shooting SD video. When using this mode, the camera crops the image directly from the CMOS sensor at full SD resolution.

The Canon EOS 60D DSLR camera is scheduled to hit store shelves in late September. MSRP for the body-only is $1,099. The camera will also be offered in a kit version with the Canon EF-S 18-135mm f/3.5-5.6 IS zoom lens at an estimated retail price of $1,399. The Canon BG-E9 battery grip accessory is expected to ship at the same time with an estimated price of $270.

New Pro Lenses and Tele-Extenders

Canon also introduced four new L-series lenses and two tele-extenders for the pro. They are the EF 8-15mm f/4L Fisheye USM lens, EF 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6L IS USM lens, and two fast prime lenses: EF 300mm f/2.8L IS II USM and EF 400mm f/2.8L IS II USM super-telephoto lenses; and two new tele-extenders: Canon Extender EF 1.4x III and Extender EF 2x III.

Immediately noticeable to Canon shooters is the fact that these new L-series lenses feature a more neutral white tone than earlier lenses. This new shade of white will be used for all future Canon L-series lenses.

Canon EF 8-15mm f/4L Fisheye USM lens

Canon EF 8-15mm f/4L Fisheye USM lens

According to Canon, the EF 8-15mm f/4L USM is the world’s widest fisheye zoom lens. It delivers 180º diagonal angle of view images for all EOS DSLR cameras whether they utilize a full-frame image sensor or the smaller APS-C sensor. The lens provides 180º circular fisheye images for full-frame EOS cameras. Both still photographers and cinematographers are sure to love this new lens.

The Canon EF 8-15mm f/4L Fisheye USM lens is expected to be available in January 2011 for an approximate retail price of $1,400.

Canon EF 70-300mm f/4-5.6L IS USM lens

Canon EF 70-300mm f/4-5.6L IS USM lens

The EF 70-300mm f/4-5.6L IS USM lens is the ideal telephoto zoom lens for advanced amateurs. An updated optical image stabilization system compensates for camera shake up to an equivalent of four full shutter-speed steps, a full step improvement compared to earlier EF 70-300mm lenses.

The Canon EF 70-300mm f/4-5.6L IS USM lens is expected to be available toward the end of October for an approximate retail price of $1,500.

Canon EF 300mm f/2.8L IS II USM lens

Canon EF 300mm f/2.8L IS II USM lens

The Canon EF 300mm f/2.8L IS II USM is the sixth generation of the Canon 300mm f/2.8 lenses that first appeared in 1974. This lens features a lighter weight, improved Image Stabilization, and enhanced durability. The Image Stabilizer provides an equivalent of approximately four full shutter speed steps of shake compensation. Canon has enhanced the durability of this lens by using more magnesium alloy and titanium for lens barrel components, together with weather sealing for all exterior joints and switches. Additionally, a new security slot attachment has been included on this lens to allow a wire-type security lock to be easily affixed, a great safety feature for professionals shooting from high vantage points above arenas and crowds.

The Canon EF 300mm f/2.8L IS USM lens is expected to be available in December for an approximate retail price of $7,000.

Canon EF 400mm f/2.8L IS II USM lens

Canon EF 400mm f/2.8L IS II USM lens

Ideal for the professional sports photographer, Canon’s EF 400mm f/2.8L IS II USM is the fifth generation in Canon’s 400mm f/2.8 series and the successor to the current EF 400mm introduced in 1999. The new lens is lighter than its predecessor. The Image Stabilizer provides an equivalent of approximately four full shutter speed steps of shake compensation. Canon has enhanced the durability of this lens by using more magnesium alloy and titanium for lens barrel components, together with weather sealing for all exterior joints and switches. The new security slot attachment has also been included on this lens as well.

The Canon EF 400mm f/2.8L IS USM lens is expected to be available in December for an approximate retail price of $11,000.

Canon Extender EF 1.4x III & Canon Extender EF 2x III

The Canon Extender EF 1.4x III & Canon Extender EF 2x III are direct replacements of the current extenders offered by Canon. They have been designed to provide faster autofocusing and improved AF precision with compatible EF lenses. Each extender features a newly developed microcomputer that increases AF precision when the extenders are used with a IS Series II EF super-telephoto lens.  Both extenders are equipped with rubber gaskets and seals to enhance weather resistance.

The Canon Extender EF 1.4x III & Canon Extender EF 2x III are expected to be available in December for an approximate retail price of $500 each.

For more information, go to www.cusa.canon.com.

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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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Book Review: Photographer’s Survival Manual, A Legal Guide for Artists in the Digital Age

photographer's survival guide book cover, picture-soup.comBy Diane Berkenfeld

Books abound that cover photography techniques, as do coffee table tomes showing off pretty pictures. Few books however, are written on one of the most important subjects a photographer needs to learn about—the law as it applies to photography.

Lark Photography Books (www.larkbooks.com), a division of Sterling Publishing, just released Photographer’s Survival Manual, A Legal Guide for Artists in the Digital Age (ISBN 978-1-60059-420-5). The book was written by professional photographer Jack Reznicki, and Ed Greenberg, a lawyer who specializes in copyright law and represents many top pros in the business. Readers of Photoshop User magazine may be familiar with Reznicki and Greenberg writing on the subject. They authored a column entitled “The Copyright Zone” in that magazine.

The authors explain what copyright is, what exactly is copyrightable, how to go about registering your copyright with the U.S. Copyright Office; valuable information on pricing, contracts and invoicing, and much more.

One of the most important features of the book is that the authors dispel some of the myths surrounding copyright and photography, as well as photography and the use/need for model releases.

And, considering the subject matter, you might be inclined to think the book is a dry read, but it offers up information in a readable and easily understandable manner. Case studies are included, as is an entire section devoted to registering your copyright with the U.S. Copyright Office electronically. Did you know that you’re charged almost double for copyright registration if you use snail mail as opposed to using the electronic filing system?

The authors also include model/property releases that can be adapted to your uses, as well as valuable information that should be included in contracts and invoices to protect your work.

Copyrighting your images is not just for commercial and advertising photographers, but wedding and portrait shooters too. In fact, if you make your living (or part of your income) through photography, you should be registering your images with the Copyright Office. Do yourself a favor and buy Photographer’s Survival Manual, A Legal Guide for Artists in the Digital Age. It will be the best $24.95 you spend.

For more information, go to The Copyright Zone blog at www.thecopyrightzone.com. The website for the U.S. Copyright Office is www.copyright.gov.

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