All posts for the month February, 2013


The PENTAX K-5 II is the latest model in the PENTAX digital SLR K series, featuring a newly developed, state-of-the-art AF sensor that boasts the widest range of exposure values in its class*

PENTAX RICOH IMAGING UK LTD is pleased to announce the launch of the PENTAX K-5 II digital SLR camera, its flagship model for the acclaimed PENTAX K series.

This new model is designed to be the successor to the PENTAX K-5 (launched in October 2010), which has been very well received for its compact, solid, functional body and high-quality image reproduction.

The K-5 II boasts a range of advanced functions and user-friendly features. These include a newly developed AF sensor assuring a broader AF working EV range, which lends itself well to a variety of shooting conditions and photographic requirements.

Launched in conjunction with the PENTAX K-5 II is the PENTAX K-5 II s, which is available without an anti-aliasing filter. The K-5 II s is perfect for photographers who value image resolution above all other factors and fully understand the function and characteristics of an anti-aliasing filter.

 Major Features

 1. A new SAFOX X AF module for the top AF performance in its class

The K-5 II features a newly developed, highly sensitive SAFOX X AF module. Thanks to the unit’s high-sensitivity AF sensor, which performs brilliantly in low-light conditions, this new module offers a broad AF working EV range (-3 EV to +18 EV).

SAFOX X can work with luminous flux based on F2.8 levels as well as at F5.6. This vastly increases the AF accuracy when used with very fast lenses.

Coupled with an upgraded AF algorithm, the camera delivers exceptional AF performance, including such useful features as a select-area expansion function, which automatically tracks the subject even when it moves away from a pre-assigned select point. This function is enabled as the distance data is assessed when collected by neighbouring focus sensors.

2. High-quality LCD monitor with outstanding visibility outdoors

The K-5 II comes equipped with a 3.0-inch, wide-view, airtight LCD monitor with approximately 921,000 dots. Sandwiched between the front glass panel (which is coated with an anti-glare film) and the LCD screen is a unique resin layer that cuts down the reflection and dispersion of light to effectively prevent ghost images and greatly reduce loss of brightness. The front panel is made of tempered glass to keep it scratch free.

3. High-resolution, true-to-life images with minimal noise

With its large sensor measuring 23.7mm by 15.7mm with approximately 16.28 effective megapixels, the K-5 II’s latest-generation CMOS image sensor assures high-speed image data readout. By coupling this high-performance image sensor with the acclaimed PRIME II (PENTAX Real Image Engine), the K-5 II delivers super-high resolution, rich-gradation digital images free of digital noise over a wide sensitivity range — from ISO 100 to ISO 12800 in its standard setting, or from ISO 80 to ISO 51200 when expanded via a custom function.

4. Bright, clear optical viewfinder

The K-5 II features a glass pentaprism finder with an almost 100% field of view and approximately 0.92-times magnification (with a 50mm F1.4 lens at infinity) which provides a sharp, clear view of the entire image field and improves the accuracy and speed of both focusing and image composition. It also comes with the renowned Natural-Bright-Matte III focusing screen to facilitate manual-focus operation.

5. Compact, solid body perfect for outdoor shooting

The K-5 II’s exterior casing is made of sturdy yet lightweight magnesium alloy, while its chassis is made of highly rigid stainless steel. Thanks to the inclusion of 77 special seals in the body, it boasts a dustproof, weather-resistant and cold-resistant construction, assuring reliable operation even under demanding outdoor conditions and at temperatures as low as -10°C.

The camera also features a dependable shutter unit that provides a top shutter speed of 1/8000 second and outstanding durability to withstand as many as 100,000 shutter releases.

6. High-speed continuous shooting

The K-5 II’s high-speed continuous shooting mode records as many as 30 images (in the JPEG format) in a single sequence at a maximum speed of approximately seven images per second. This allows the photographer to capture sharp, crisp images of active, fast-moving subjects, such as athletes, dancers and wildlife, with great ease.

 7. PENTAX-original SR mechanism with user-friendly options

The K-5 II features the PENTAX-developed SR (Shake Reduction) mechanism, which effectively compensates for the adverse effect of camera shake with approximately three shutter steps, to produce sharp, blur-free images. This image sensor shift-type SR mechanism works with almost all PENTAX interchangeable lenses — even those designed for film-format cameras.**

Thanks to its flexible design, which tilts the image sensor unit in all directions, the K-5 II offers several useful features to assist the photographer during shooting, such as auto-level compensation and image composition fine-adjustment functions. In combination with the optional GPS Unit O-GPS1, it also offers an ASTROTRACER function to simplify astronomical photography.

8. Innovative image-processing functions to produce distinctive photographic results

The K-5 II features a custom image function, which allows the user to easily select the desired finishing touch for an image. This function offers a choice of nine distinctive custom image modes, such as: Bleach Bypass, which creates a solemn visual effect similar to one used in motion pictures; and Cross Process, which produces eye-catching images with unique, dramatic colours. The K-5 II also offers 18 digital filters to add distinctive visual effects to images, without the need for a computer. The user can even apply several different filters to a single image to create more inventive visual effects.

9. K-5 II s achieves supreme resolution

The K-5 II s is available without an anti-aliasing filter. This filter, commonly found in DSLRs, helps smooth computer generated imagery by decreasing high frequencies and distortion, but it also reduces detail resolution. Without this filter included, the user can create rich, detailed imagery at supreme resolution levels and capture stunning landscapes and scenes with maximum depth of field and clarity. The K-5 II s is the perfect choice for studio and commercial photography where camera settings, lens selection and shooting conditions are controlled.

10. Other features

  • 77-segment multi-pattern metering system, for extra-accurate light measurement
  • Customisable slow shutter speed NR (Noise Reduction) setting, with a choice of auto, on and off modes
  • Customisable High-ISO sensitivity NR (Noise Reduction) setting, with a camera-dependent auto mode and a user-adjustable reduction strength preset for each ISO setting
  • Electronic level function, with a vertical level scale
  • Automatic compensation of distortion and lateral chromatic aberration (available only with DA, DFA and FA Limited-series lenses)
  • CTE mode, to automatically adjust the white-balance to emphasise the dominant colours of a specific scene
  • DR II (Dust Removal II) mechanism, to effectively shake dust off the CMOS image sensor using ultrasonic vibration
  • PENTAX-original hyper control system, which swiftly and accurately responds to the photographer
  • Dynamic range expansion function, to compensate for both whitewashed (overexposed) areas and black-out (underexposed) shadowy areas
  • RAW data retrieve function, which allows the user to save an original RAW data of a newly taken JPEG-format image
  • RAW/Fx button, for single-action switching of the image file format, as well as for assignment and instant recall of a specific function
  • A choice of three grid patterns while in live-view mode, including “Golden Section”
  • Long battery life, for recording approximately 980 images with a full recharge
  • PENTAX Digital Camera Utility 4 software package, including RAW-data processing (based on the popular SILKYPIX RAW-data processing engine developed by Ichikawa Soft Laboratory) and a browser application

* Within the digital cameras that have an APS-C size sensor as of August 31st 2012 (based on PENTAX’s research).

** Lenses compatible with this mechanism: PENTAX K, KA, KAF, KAF2 and KAF3-mount lenses; screw-mounted lenses (with adapter); and 645 and 67-system lenses (with adapter). Some functions may not be available with certain lenses.

The PENTAX K5 II and K5 II s will available now



K5 II Body only                  £799.99

K5 II + 18-55mm WR          £869.99

K5 II + 18-135mm WR        £1,119.99


K5 II s

K5 II s Body only                £949.99


The Basílica i Temple Expiatori de la Sagrada Família, commonly known as the Sagrada Família, is a large Roman Catholic church in Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain, designed by Catalan architect Antoni Gaudí.

Photo taken with a Kodak K610 digital camera. This is a handy camera to use, although limited in functionality, this is not a bad thing in many ways as it makes you think about the pictures rather than which setting to use.


Trudy Good, 1967 – present: Surrender No. 1




This collection encompasses a century of art celebrating the nude, from 1920s French salon painters to frankly erotic contemporary work, with neo-impressionism and classical influences along the way, and a stone sculpture of elongated forms, verging on the abstract, by Bettina Seitz

Jean Souverbie, 1891-1981: La Femme A La Fontaine, 1948

Richard Symonds, 1969 – present: Zoe Standing (Oil)

Richard Symonds, 1969 – present: Zoe Standing (Oil)

Jean Issy de Botton, 1898 – 1968: Nue Sur La Plage

Jean Issy de Botton, 1898 – 1968: Nue Sur La Plage

Belgravia Gallery was established in 1986 by Anna Hunter, who now runs the gallery with her daughter Laura Walford. They sell an exceptionally diverse variety of work.Artists include HRH The Prince of Wales, Nelson Mandela (limited edition lithographs) pop art by Warhol and Blake, mono prints, equestrian scenes, landscape, and even Rembrandt.

Charles Kvapil, 1884 - 1957: Nue Alongee

Charles Kvapil, 1884 – 1957: Nue Alongee

Exhibition well timed to follow St Valentine’s Day.


Belgravia Gallery

45 Albemarle Street



020 7495 1010





Plustek Launches OpticFilm 120 Medium Format Scanner

Satisfies photographers wanting the ultimate in image quality


TELFORD, 30th January, 2013 – Plustek, Inc., a manufacturer of consumer, prosumer and professional imaging devices, is delighted to announce the OpticFilm 120 medium format scanner. The OpticFilm 120 delivers the professional image quality results from 35mm film strips, slides, and 120/220 film from 6×4.5cm up to 6x12cm in sizes. It is designed for professional photographers, advanced amateur photographers, film photo enthusiasts, photography schools and clubs. The OpticFilm 120 satisfies the film scanning requirements of advanced amateurs or professionals that require the ultimate in image quality and an ICC profiled scanning system. During the OpticFilm 120 development phase, LaserSoft Imaging with its more than 25 years of experience in digital imaging has significantly contributed to achieve the OpticFilm’s superior quality.

Extraordinary image quality

The outstanding image quality is assured by state of the art optical and electronic systems including an 8-element glass lens with 5,300 dpi optical resolution, high-sensitive colour CCD with 10,600 dpi resolution, and stable light sources. Delivering an effective usable Dynamic Range of 4.01 (with SilverFast Multi-Exposure/according to ISO 21550:2004) and a theoretically penetrable maximum density of 4.8, guaranteeing accurate colour, highlight and shadow details at a level only achieved by drum scanners.

 Newly designed film carriers ensure accurate imaging and efficient workflow

The OpticFilm 120 includes patent-pending, adjustable pitch 120mm film holders that ensures flat film for in-focus scans. Users do not need to cut 3-frame 6×7 120 film strips. The OpticFilm 120 also uses an automatic motorised film transport system that speeds the scanning workflow.

Elegant and Compact design

The OpticFilm 120’s metal case provides isolation and stability for the lens, CCD and automatic transport assemblies. The OpticFilm 120 is one of the most compact 120 film scanners on the market. The rear cover design reduces the scanners overall dimensions and prevents dust from entering the scanner.

 Powered by LaserSoft Imaging‘s SilverFast®

 For delivering brilliant images, software is just as important as the hardware. The OpticFilm 120 comes with the top-level version of world recognised professional film scanning software SilverFast Ai Studio 8. Its functionality includes SilverFast iSRD® for infrared based dust and scratch removal, SilverFast Multi-Exposure® for increasing Dynamic Range and reducing image noise. SilverFast‘s Auto IT8 Calibration colour calibrates the OpticFilm 120 in 2 minutes for ensuring correct colours. All in all, SilverFast Ai Studio 8 meets the highest standards. Its software features are well-combined and perfectly integrated with the OpticFilm 120.


  • Scans 35mm film and 120/220mm film. Supports 6×4.5, 6×6, 6×7, 6×9 and 6×12 frame sizes
  • Up to 10,600 dpi input and 5,300 dpi output for film and slides provides extraordinary images
  • Built-in infrared channel for dust and scratch detection
  • Efficient power saving design
  • The patent-pending adjustable pitch 120/220mm film holder is easy to load and holds 120/220mm film strips flat
  • Motorised film transport for automatic batch scanning
  • Innovative folding rear cover reduces the size of the scanner to save desktop space and prevent dust from entering the scanner
  • Powered by LaserSoft Imaging‘s SilverFast Ai Studio 8

Pricing and availability

The OpticFilm 120 is available for £1999 (RRP).



Photographic Lighting

By Robert Harrington

Lighting One of the most over-used, yet misunderstood pieces of photographic equipment is the flash unit in its many forms. While a flash unit – either built in to the camera or a separate device – offers the advantage of adding light to your images, its biggest disadvantage is the complex nature of the flash, which prevents many from using it to its full potential. Seeking an understanding of the nomenclature, the buttons and dials on the flash itself, and the menus inside is akin to trying to learn a foreign language. What is FEC? What does TTL mean and how is it used effectively? What is high-speed synchronisation? How can the less technically gifted photographer understand the complexities of such systems and put them to effective use in the field? Studying a manual full of technical jargon is a daunting task and just as confusing as the flash itself. Professional photographer Robert Harrington takes the confusion out of the subject of photographic lighting, and offers invaluable guidance and expert tips that will benefit all keen photographers.

 ISBN: 9781907708756 PB with Flaps £14.99 Ammonite


Photographic Digital Printing

 By David Taylor

PrintingMost digital photographers will wish to output their images for display purposes, or to use in promotional or publishing work, so it’s essential to have an understanding of the printing process and the options available. How, for example, do you ensure that your print matches what you see on your computer screen? How do you get the most from the files taken with your digital camera? Professional photographer David Taylor offers invaluable guidance and expert tips for all keen photographers on the basics of printing, from choosing a suitable printer and printer software to selecting the right papers and inks. Advice is given on how to use image manipulation software to adjust exposure and contrast, improve highlights, correct colour, sharpen an image, reduce digital noise, remove dust and other marks, crop and resize prior to printing. There’s also advice on shooting and printing black and white images, plus how to produce sepia, split-toned, old-style grainy or artistic lith prints. Finally, there’s information on print on demand services for producing calendars, photo books and greetings cards.

 ISBN: 9781907708749 PB with Flaps £14.99 Ammonite


Bryan Peterson’s Exposure Solutions

The Most Common Exposure Problems and How to Solve Them

 By Bryan Peterson

ExposureThis essential guide from Bryan Peterson, author of the best-selling Understanding Exposure, shows amateur photographers of all levels how to conquer more than 25 tricky exposure scenarios frequently found in the field. As every amateur shutterbug knows, certain exposure situations prove frustrating time and time again, whether photographing a high-contrast snow scene or getting the perfect backlit portrait. In this ready reference, Peterson demystifies common stumbling blocks one by one, with tips and techniques for getting a great shot every time.


ISBN: 9780770433055 PB £14.99 Amphoto

MX395Take your Pix with Canon



United Kingdom, Republic of Ireland, 05 February 2013 – Canon today announces a refresh of  its PIXMA MX printer range with the launch of four new All-In-One devices. The PIXMA MX395, MX455, MX525 and MX925 replace the PIXMA MX375, MX435, MX515 and MX715/MX895 respectively. Offering high-productivity and sophisticated software for home office environments, all the new printers feature print, copy, scan, fax and ADF functionality.

Advanced productivity

Featuring enhanced hardware, designed to improve productivity for home office users, the PIXMA MX925 comes with new double front paper cassettes that hold up to 250 sheets of plain paper and up to 20 sheets of photo paper. Offering greater flexibility for users looking to print both photos and office documents, the new paper cassettes also help to support larger print jobs. Print speeds for the PIXMA MX925 have been increased compared to the previous model, with A4 documents being produced as fast as 10ipm in colour and 15ipm in mono.

Scanning and copying multi-page documents is quick and easy with a fully-integrated 30-sheet ADF (Automatic Document Feeder) available on the PIXMA MX395, MX455 and MX525 printers, whilst the PIXMA MX925 features an even-more productive

35-sheet ADF. The PIXMA MX525 and MX925 printers help users to save paper and produce professional-looking documents fast with double-sided printing, through Canon’s Auto 2-sided Print. These models also feature a large colour display which provides direct access to cloud services while the Dual Function Panel makes it easy to print, copy, scan and fax directly from the printer.

Now available for all printers across Canon’s PIXMA MX range are optional high yield XL cartridges that allow more documents to be printed for less without compromising on quality. Furthermore, the PIXMA MX925 is the first Canon printer to have an optional XXL pigment black ink tank, which enables users to print up to 1,000 pages of A4 documents without needing to replace the ink[i].

Sophisticated Software

New to the PIXMA MX office range is Canon’s My Image Garden software, which ensures effortless navigation between printing and scanning functions. A one-stop platform that combines all software previously available for Canon PIXMA printers in a single, easy-to-use interface, My Image Garden provides features to assist the home user with office processes.  This includes software to help streamline scanning functions, with Auto Scan, Photo Scan and Document Scan, as well as Stitch options. The new printers also come with the option to scan documents straight to cloud services such as DropBox and Evernote, and the ability to create PDF documents with passwords for enhanced document security.

Connected devices

The PIXMA MX455, MX525 and MX925 come with a range of connectivity features including support for printing from smartphones and tablets through Canon’s

Easy-PhotoPrint app for Android, iOS and Windows RT. Built-in Wi-Fi allows the printers to be easily shared between multiple PCs around the home or small office. The MX525 and MX925 both support PIXMA Cloud Link, which includes Google Cloud Print support, enabling Google Docs or Gmail attachments (jpeg or PDF files) to be printed remotely via the internet. PIXMA Cloud Link also offers direct access to online photo albums and useful print templates, such as calendars and stationery. The PIXMA MX455, MX525 and MX925 all include a USB port, meaning that PDF and JPG scans and copies of faxes can be saved directly to a USB memory stick.


PIXMA MX395 – key features:

  • Office All-In-One with 30-page ADF
  • Print more with XL cartridges
  • Fast mono and colour prints
  • A4 copy speed approx. 23 seconds
  • Create PDFs quickly
  • Extract text from PDF and JPEG files
  • Scan to  the cloud
  • Easy-Web Print EX

PIXMA MX455 – key features:

  • Office All-In-One with Wi-Fi
  • Print more with XL cartridges
  • 30-page ADF
  • Print from, and scan to, smartphone/tablets
  • Apple AirPrint support
  • Direct scan to USB memory stick
  • Create PDFs quickly
  • Scan to the cloud
  • Intelligent web printing

PIXMA MX525 – key features:

  • Office All-In-One with Wi-Fi/Ethernet
  • 30-page ADF and automatic 2-sided printing
  • Print more with XL cartridges
  • 6.2cm TFT display
  • Google Cloud Print support
  • Print from, and scan to, smartphone/tablets
  • Apple AirPrint support
  • Scan to cloud

PIXMA MX925 – key features:

  • Powerful Office All-In-One
  • 35-page  2-sided ADF
  • Superior prints with 5 single inks
  • XL & XXL ink options
  • 250-sheet paper tray
  • Print from, and scan to, smartphone/tablets
  • Apple AirPrint support
  • 7.5cm  TFT display
  • Google Cloud Print
  • 2-sided printing
  • Direct Disc Print

Pricing and availability:

The PIXMA MX925 is available in March with an RRP of £179

The PIXMA MX525 is available in March with an RRP of £99

The PIXMA MX455 is available in March with an RRP of £79

The PIXMA MX395 is available in March with an RRP of £59

New Olympus 75-300mm lens

New Olympus 75-300mm lens

Olympus Micro Four Thirds system cameras have made high-performance photography more accessible than ever before, and now Olympus has a new, affordable system lens that does the same for dramatic telephoto shooting. The M.ZUIKO DIGITAL ED 75-300mm 1:4.8-6.7 II telephoto lens boasts the high focal lengths that bring far-away objects vividly to life with superb-quality close-ups. Olympus has redesigned the lens to match the distinctive OM-D E-M5 and PEN series cameras, but like its predecessor it still boasts first-class components including the MSC mechanism and the new, advanced ZERO lens coating. Together these deliver outstanding image quality even in bright light. This state-of-the-art lens goes on sale in March 2013 for £499.99.

Power in your Pocket

The compact M.ZUIKO DIGITAL ED 75-300mm 1:4.8-6.7 II weighs just 425 grams but still features extraordinary optical engineering that opens up a wide range of creative shots. Super ED (Extra-low Dispersion), ED and HR (High Refractive index) lens elements benefit from the ZERO (Zuiko Extra-low Reflection Optical) coating that effectively eliminates ghosting and flaring across the entire zoom range, even in bright light. Professional-looking bokeh is one of the main attractions of any high-quality system lens, so Olympus fitted a circular aperture that ensures smooth and even background defocusing. The autofocus mechanism is also extremely fast thanks to MSC (Movie and Still Compatible) technology that is also near silent, making this lens ideal for capturing pristine HD movies as well as stills.