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All posts for the month August, 2012

 

Canon expands its contribution to cinematic culture with the introduction of the new EOS C500 4K Digital Cinema Camera and the EOS C100 Digital Video Camera. The C500 will take its place as the flagship camera model in Canon’s Cinema EOS System while the C100 provides another option for beginning filmmakers working on a budget. The C500 is Canon’s high-end professional 4K (4096 x 2160-pixel) cinema camera capable of originating uncompressed RAW output for external recording to meet the demands of premium cinematic productions and other top-quality production markets. The C100 digital video camera is a compact, affordable entry-level model delivering full 1920×1080 HD video and integrating the popular AVCHD codec for universal compatibility with laptop and desktop editing systems. The C500 will be available in both EF- and PL-mount versions; while the C100 will be offered in EF mount only and will be compatible with the more than 70 zoom and prime lenses in Canon’s EF, EF-S and EF Cinema lens line ups.

The EOS C500 4K digital cinema camera and EOS C100 digital video camera join Canon’s Cinema EOS System which includes two other camera models, the EOS C300 digital cinema camera for mainstream HD production and the EOS-1D C 4K Digital SLR cinema camera for 4K and HD filmmakers favoring the SLR form factor. The Cinema EOS System also offers filmmakers optical diversity with seven EF Cinema lens models: the compact and lightweight CN-E15.5-47mm T2.8 L wide-angle cinema zoom and the CN-E30-105mm T2.8 L telephoto cinema zoom (available in EF and PL versions); the CN-E14.5-60mm T2.6 L wide-angle zoom and CN-E30-300mm T2.95-3.7 L telephoto zoom (also available in EF and PL versions); and the CN-E24mm T1.5 L, CN-E50mm T1.3 L, and CN-E85mm T1.3 L prime lenses for EF-mount cameras, in addition to the more than 60 lenses in Canon’s EF and EF-S lens lines (which include macro, fisheye, telephoto, and tilt-shift models).

4K, 2K, and Full HD Image Quality
The Canon EOS C500 and C500 PL digital cinema cameras are designed to provide a versatile high-quality 4K imaging solution to high-end productions. High-quality 4K resolution imaging has become the new standard for advanced effects and is particularly important for big-budget motion pictures that include scenes compositing live-action cinematography with high-resolution computer-generated imagery. The C500 and C500 PL cameras output 4K resolution to external recorders as a 10-bit uncompressed RAW data stream, as well as offering the additional versatility of being able to output quad full-HD (3840 x 2160), 2K (2048 x 1080), full HD (1920 x 1080), and other imaging options. All of these digital image source formats fully conform to established SMPTE production standards. All 4K formats can be selected to operate from one to 60 frames per second. When shooting in 2K, the C500 and C500 PL cameras employ a 12-bit RGB 4:4:4 signal format from one to 60 frames-per-second (fps) as well. For high-speed shooting and slow motion capture the cameras can be set to a 10-bit YCrCb 4:2:2 mode, and can output 4K or 2K video up to 120 fps.

While outputting 4K or 2K video to an external recorder, the Canon EOS C500 and C500 PL digital cinema cameras simultaneously record a 50 Mbps Full HD video file in-camera to the user’s choice of one or two CF cards. The 8-bit 4:2:2 in-camera recordings can be used as a proxy for offline editing of 4K projects, and they are also suitable for various projects that do not require 4K resolution. Equipped with Canon’s exceptional Super 35mm 8.85-megapixel CMOS sensor, both C500 camera models are compatible with a wide range of interchangeable Canon lenses – the C500 is compatible with EF, EF-S and EF Cinema lenses for Canon SLR cameras, while the C500 PL is compatible with PL-mount EF Cinema lenses and other PL-mount lenses. Highly mobile and compact, the C500 digital cinema camera provides the same ergonomic features as the C300 model, with the exception of a fixed hand grip that incorporates a pair of 3G-SDI ports for 4K video output and another pair of video ports for monitoring purposes. Canon is working with several independent manufacturers of external video recorders to support smooth workflow options, and these recorders are expected to be available by the time the EOS C500 and C500 PL 4K digital cinema cameras ship to authorized dealers later this year.

Pricing and Availability
The Canon EOS C500 and C500 PL 4K Digital Cinema Cameras are scheduled to be available in October for an estimated list price of $30,000. The Canon EOS C100 Digital Video Camera is scheduled to be available in November 2012 for an estimated list price of $7,999.

 

 

There’s nothing like sharing your breakfast with the one you love. This photograph was taken at Giraffe Manor, Kenya. Giraffes pop in every breakfast time to see what’s on the menu.

Have you got a fun picture that you would like to share on our photo of the day? If so then send it in to us as a JPEG. image which should be no larger than 1000 pixels wide. Upright photos do not work on this page. However, we can feature upright pictures in our Photography Masterclass series.

Photo’s should be sent to vincent@photo-i.co.uk, please supply as much information as possible; camera, lens, intersting facts about the picture etc. All submitted photographs should be your copyright.

 

Yesterday I was photographing Julian Lloyd Webber in rehearsal with the National Youth Orchestra of Iraq, at the Queen Elizabeth Hall, London. He played Élégie  by Fauré with exquisite beauty on his Stradivarius cello. Generally when photographing rock bands and maybe the 1812 overture taking photographs is not a problem but on this occasion I felt guilty with each click of the shutter from my camera, I felt like I was breaking a magical spell on this sublime music.

I used a Nikon D90 together with a 80-200mm f2.8 Nikkor zoom lens. I pushed the ISO up to 1250 and used the available light. Unlike many other photographers, I don’t actually mind some slight noise in an image, it keeps me in touch with my film shooting days. In the past I would push HP4 or Tri-X to 800ASA and get pepper grain all over the image, which can be quite effective for setting a gritty mood.

 

Here a couple of other shots taken of Julian Lloyd Webber

Julian Lloyd Webber in rehearsal at the QEH London

 

Julian Llyod Webber in rehearsal with the National Youth Orchestra of Iraq

 

Female Cellist from the National Youth Orchestra of Iraq

 

Photograph taken at the Notting Hill Carnival in London, using a Nikon D90 with the 18 – 105mm Nikkor zoom lens. Did you go to the carnival this year? if you were there and took some great pictures then why not send them to us for inclusion as a photo of the day or for use in the photography masterclass, or maybe you just want a constructive critique.

Send your photos to vincent@photo-i.co.uk and include as much technical detail as possible or other interesting  information . Photographs can be of any subject matter

Things are never just
Black and White


Before digital cameras came on the scene, I always carried two cameras. One was loaded with transparency film and the other with black and white film. Problems arose when you took a shot in black and white and by the time you got the other camera up to your eye the picture had gone. You had to be a master juggler to swap bodies and lenses quickly. Today, this problem has been resolved – simply shoot everything in colour using a digital camera then convert it to Greyscale on a computer. Simple? Well not quite, one resolved problem always seems to create a new one. In this feature we are going to show you how to get the best from your monochrome images using Photoshop or other imaging application, a decent photo inkjet printer, and a few tricks.

Original shot in colour

Converted to Greysacle

b/w or colour?

You are not going to fit more pictures on your memory card by shooting in b/w – a digital camera captures images using a three filter CCD (RGB). Setting your camera to shoot in b/w simply desaturates the file and you lose the ability to tweak the image at a later stage. It’s easy to convert any colour image file into greyscale with most imaging applications.

Converting to greyscale

The simplest way to convert to greyscale in Photoshop is to select Image > Mode > Greyscale. This merges the three colour channels (RGB) into one single channel and reduces the file size down to 33% of its original size (three channels make up a colour image). Another method is to desaturate, Image > Adjustments > Desaturate, or use a shortcut key stroke Ctrl + Shift + U. The desaturate method leaves the image in RGB mode, although it has discarded all the colour information. Use this last method if you want to apply a colour tone such as Sepia etc. Although I use the desaturate command from time to time, it is not a very precise method, I will show you why later in this feature.

An image which has been converted to greyscale, or desaturated, probably looks flat and dull. This can be easily fixed using Brightness/Contrast, Levels or Curves. The Brightness/Contrast is limited to basic overall adjustments, whereas the Levels (Ctrl + L) gives you extra control on the mid tones. The best option is to use Curves (Ctrl + M). This may take a while to get to grips with, but it allows you to fine tune any tone in the image.

Brightness & Contrast

Levels

Curves

Using the Channel Mixer

Don’t overdo the Blue saturation on the Hue/Saturation palette


A more advanced method is to use the Channel Mixer which simulates traditional glass photographic filters such as Yellow, Orange, Red etc. For a more dramatic sky increase the intensity of the Blue sky first. Press Ctrl + U to open the Hue/Saturation… panel and select the Blues from the Edit drop down list. Move the Saturation slider to approx 30, or other desired amount, but be careful not to overdo this as you can end up with unwanted artifacts. (in the sample picture above I have used a value of 95%, look at the mess it has made of the clouds)

The Channel Mixer panel

End result


Launch the Channel Mixer, Image > Adjustments > Channel Mixer. Make sure the bottom Monochrome box is ticked, your Output Channel will now read Gray. Move the Red Source Slider to approx 150, and reduce both the Green and Blue by –20 and -30. The total value for any adjustment combination should be as near as possible to 100, this avoids blowing out highlights. You can use any combination of sliders to achieve 100%, slide the Green slider to 150 and reduce the other two to –25 and this simulates a green filter by lightening the foliage. The bottom Constant slider is for reducing, or increasing, the overall brightness of the image. If you had shot your original image in b/w mode, then using the Channel Mixer will have no effect on your image, you must use a colour image.

Tinting techniques

Once you have achieved the correct tonality in your b/w pictures you can add a colour tint for effect. Make sure that your b/w picture is in RGB mode – Image > Mode > RGB Color. The simplest way to add a colour is by using the Colour Balance sliders (Ctrl + B) and move the sliders until you have the desired tone.

Using the Colour Balance to define a tone

Alternatively, use the Hue/Saturation… panel (Ctrl + U) and make sure the Colourize and Preview buttons are ticked. Reduce the saturation to approx 10 and then move the Hue slider to find the colour you want – you will see the colour on screen change. Increase or decrease the Saturation to taste.

Using the HSL panel to define the tone

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Charlie Waite Landscape Photographer

 
Charlie Waite, one of Britain’s most famous and best-loved landscape photographers, started out as an actor.  With an interest in photography kindled by his father, it was the drama of the lighting on the stage set that was to play a significant part in influencing his approach to his landscape photography. Leaving the stage, he went off to capture the drama of the natural world.  Today his time is divided between exhibitions, lectures, running field trips and taking pictures. Charlie has 22 books to his name and a new book due for publication in October 2002. We caught up with him at his exhibition in London, “Light, Colour, Landscape:  Images of Italy” and talked to him about his work.

 

The gallery is lined with row upon row of superbly printed photographs, varying in size from 40 x 30 through to 120 x 60 cm. Looking at these pictures is like looking through Charlie’s own personal window, the colours are staggeringly beautiful and take your breath away. The simplicity of design and structure in his photographs, fools you into thinking these are easy pictures to take, far from it.  Charlie was standing in a corner looking at his own work, quietly observing and listening to the comments of praise from the many visitors. They were unaware of Charlie’s presence, deep down he was probably wishing he was in Tuscany rather than confined to a gallery on a rainy day in London.

Hi Charlie, these are fantastic prints, the quality is outstanding.

Thanks, they are ink jet prints I am also amazed at the quality you can get from printers today. For my exhibition and limited edition sales, ink jets are ideal.

What printer are you using for your work?

Until recently I was using the Epson 7500 24 inch printer, but for the OXO tower exhibition and this one I purchased the new Epson 7600 printer.  It is so, so good,  I just can’t find the words.  The differences between the 7600 and the 7500 are incredible, they are using new inks, which I have only just appreciated. Just look at that leaf,  my God, I can’t believe it could be sharper, especially on art paper, and look at the tonality in this sky.  Prior to that it was Iris prints which were phenomenally expensive and there’s not a jot of difference.  In fact the Epson is better and it’s archival.

 

Are you printing your own work?

Yes, I am but with a minimal knowledge.  I have all my pictures professionally drum scanned. All I have to do is enter the size and press the button.  I’m absolutely fine about it.  If needed I apply a minute amount of contrast to compensate for the paper, and I’m happy. That’s about my limit for the time being.

I notice that all your photographs are printed on art paper what are you using?

The paper is fine art watercolour paper which I get from “The Mill” down in Somerset.

Did you get a profile to use with this paper?

No, I used the Archival settings on the printer, I just chose the nearest setting to the paper and pressed the button, and it works. My God, just look at all the profiles you can get, you can become inundated with them! I like the watercolour finish on this paper, it gives my pictures an extra dimension and my collectors also like it.

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Pentax-X-5

An all-purpose digital bridge camera, featuring a versatile optical

26x zoom lens and a tilting LCD monitor

PENTAX RICOH IMAGING UK LTD. has announced the launch of the PENTAX X-5 a 16.0 effective megapixels digital bridge camera. The X-5 has a 26x optical zoom lens which has a 35mm equivalent focal range of 22.3mm (ultra-wide angle) to 580mm (super-telephoto). The lens also has an Intelligent Zoom function, which extends the camera’s zoom coverage to approximately 187.2 times (for a focal length of 4174mm in the 35mm format), which Pentax claims does not compromise image quality. The lens also features a 1cm Macro mode, for ultra close-up photos of a subject from just one centimetre away.

Other features include: a back-illuminated CMOS image sensor with a top sensitivity of ISO 6400. Handheld Night Scene shooting mode for capturing a blur-free night-time image by taking multiple images at once and synthesizing them into a single composite picture.

A large 3.0-inch, high-definition LCD monitor with approximately 460,000 dots. Its construction allows the photographer to tilt the monitor up and down and set it at the angle easiest for viewing.

The dual shake-reduction system couples the PENTAX- developed sensor-shift-type SR (Shake Reduction) mechanism with a digital SR mode to effectively compensate for annoying camera shake.

An electronic viewfinder, handy for shooting a subject in harsh backlight or when the photographer needs a more solid hold of the camera. A dioptre adjustment mechanism gives the user a clear view of both subject and viewfinder display,

The X-5 is powered by four AA-size batteries, which can be easily obtained almost anywhere around the world. a fresh set of alkaline batteries can capture approximately 330 images

The X-5 features a Full HD movie recording function using the H-264 recording format. Users can capture high-quality, extended movie clips (1920 x 1080 pixels at a 16:9 aspect ratio) at a frame rate of 30 frames per second. The camera also offers creative movie playback features, such as High-speed Movie mode for slow-motion playback and Time-lapse Movie mode 

 

 

Nikon today announces four new additions to its COOLPIX range of compact cameras:

The Nikon COOLPIX P7700 offers vivid images with beautiful bokeh.  The P7700 offers a bright f/2.0-4.0 NIKKOR lens with a  7.1x optical zoom (28-200mm focal range), a large 1/1.7-inch, back-illuminated 12-MP CMOS sensor, lens shift vibration reduction, Full 1080p HD movie mode, RAW file format and a 7.5 cm (3.0-in.) vari-angle LCD monitor.

The lens features a seven blade rounded iris aperture, two ED glass elements to minimise chromatic aberration, and a built-in Neutral Density filter for greater exposure control.

Other features of the P7700 include: flexible high-speed continuous shooting – choose from three different continuous mode rates of 8 fps (for up to 6 frames), 4 fps (for up to 6 frames) and 1 fps (for up to 30 frames); shoot with Full HD (1080p) video in surround sound, control settings like aperture and ISO in Custom Movie mode.  The ISO can be set manually from 80 to 6400 ISO equivalent using the Hi1 setting.

The P7700 allows shooting from any angle with the 7.5cm (3.0-in.) 921k-dot monitor with wide viewing angle and anti-reflection coating. The vari-angle monitor offers 100% RGB colour reproduction
The COOLPIX P7700 is available in black, priced £499.99.

Nikon Coolpix S800c

The COOLPIX S800c is Nikon’s response to smartphones.  Powered by an Android[2] operating system, it connects to the Internet via Wi-Fi to download any application from Google Play™, opening up a world of photo apps, social media apps and games.

Nikon UK Consumer Products Manager, James Loader, said, “The COOLPIX S800c helps you to capture a stunning image and then allows you to instantly share them via social media platforms, extending your experiences to friends and family. As soon as you’ve got your shot, you simply tap the screen to upload to Facebook, Twitter or to send via email, for example.”

The camera features a 10x optical zoom NIKKOR lens, back-illuminated 16-MP CMOS sensor and high-resolution, anti-reflective 8.7 cm (3.5-in) OLED touch screen,

The COOLPIX S800c will be available in two colours: white and black, priced £379.99

 

Nikon Coolpix S01

Nikon Coolpix S01

The new COOLPIX SO1 is an ultra-compact camera, designed for the fashionable handbag. Smaller than a credit card  it features a 3x optical zoom wide-angle NIKKOR lens, 6.2cm (2.5”) touchscreen, 10.1 MP CCD image sensor, 7.3GB internal memory and 720p HD movie mode,

“The touch screen is responsive and easy to use, so there’s plenty of fun to be had – especially when applying special effects to movies or photos. Not only is the camera a super-stylish fashion accessory, it’s also a miniature photo and movie expert, said Consumer Products Manager, James Loader.

The COOLPIX S01 will be available in glossy red, mirror, white, black, or pink, priced £149.99.

Nikon Coolpix S6400

Finally, the new ultra-thin COOLPIX S6400 is operated by a 7.5 cm (3.0-in.) touch screen so you can review pictures easily, and apply a range of creative photo effects. Meanwhile, the 16-megapixel, backlit CMOS sensor combines with the 12x optical zoom to deliver vivid photos and movies in any light.

The COOLPIX S6400  will be available in five colours, priced £229.99.

 

All new camera models will be available from the end of September.

 

 

Olympus SP-820UZ

Olympus announces new SP-820UZ

Olympus has today announced a new addition to its Ultra Zoom ‘Traveller’ series.  The SP-820UZ features a 40x super-wide angle optical zoom lens with 22.4-896mm  (35mm camera equivalent). The camera also features a 14 megapixel CMOS sensor, full HD and high speed adjustable frame rate movie recording, Dual Image Stabilisation for reducing blur, and multi-motion Movie IS for capturing HD movies with reduced blur while walking.

 

The lightweight SP-820UZ will be available in black from late October, price £279.99

 

This photograph of Freshwater beach was taken with a Panasonic FX33 compact camera, it handled the exposure well although the captured image  lacked some dynamic quality. I used the Tiffen Dfx Digital Filter suite to enhance the picture by adding the following effects; polarizing filter, Key Light, Levels and Looks. Each filter was placed as a new layer in the Dfx interface. I will be publishing a full review on this outstanding filter set in due course.

For your reference here is the original un altered image.

Photograph © Vincent Oliver 2012