All posts for the month May, 2013

Press release:
Manfrotto, world leader in the equipment and accessories industry for photography and imaging, is pleased to announce the new Manfrotto 500 Video Head. This lightweight fluid head, designed for users of the latest HDSLRs and video cameras, replaces the Manfrotto 701HDV and becomes the smallest head to be built around Manfrotto’s successful Bridging Technology.

Debuted at the recent National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) show in Las Vegas where it achieved the accolade of Best Support of NAB 2013 Wayne Schulman, Manfrotto Sales and Product Manager, Video commented, “We are happy to debut the new Manfrotto 500 video head, as it provides vastly improved support and balance for equipment while not sacrificing ease of use, safety or efficiency. The Manfrotto 500 Video Head delivers beautiful shots, ensuring smooth and controlled camera movement.”

Better support and balance for your equipment
The “hollowed out” structure of Bridging Technology heads gives the Manfrotto 500 Video Head a great advantage. Without sacrificing its light weight, it has a top plate that is broader, providing better support of the wider shape of DSLRs. The top plate is also longer, so its sliding plate has a greater range of adjustment to balance the shifting centre of gravity of a DLSR or camcorder used with interchangeable prime and zoom lenses.

Faster, easier and safer to use
The Manfrotto 500 Video Head is faster to set up and safer to use. The new side lock lever allows the camera and sliding QR plate to click quickly into the head from above. It is simpler to remove the camera now as well; with only one locking control to release, the camera lifts easily out from above.

The Manfrotto 500 Video Head is set to a fixed counterbalance of 2.4Kg but locking power on the tilt axis ensures the head is perfectly stable under camera equipment weighing up to 5Kg. To allow an external monitor or other accessory equipment to be fitted and properly supported, the Manfrotto 500 Video Head has an industry-standard Easy Link 3/8” connector.

Beautifully smooth shots 
The Manfrotto 500 Video Head has professional fluid cartridges on both pan and tilt axes which ensures that every movement made with the camera is smooth, controlled and gentle.

The Manfrotto 500 Video Head is available as a stand-alone head, in either flat-based or 60mm half-ball versions, in a kit with twin aluminium leg tripod or single carbon fibre tubes tripod. A combination including the Manfrotto 500 Video Head with Manfrotto’s patented fluid monopod is also available. The head’s comfortable pan bar can be switched between left and right sides depending on personal preference.

Prices £129.95 for the Manfrotto MVH500AH and £149.95 for the Manfrotto MVH500A Fluid Video Head. £659.95 for the Manfrotto MVK500C Carbon Fibre 60mm Video System.

Product will be available to purchase as of the start of May 2013

For more details on Manfrotto heads, tripods and other accessories visit 

1 NIKKOR 32mm f/1.2 – the fast and portable portrait lens



London, UK, 14 May 2013                Nikon today launches the ultra-fast 1 NIKKOR 32mm f/1.2 lens and brings large-aperture portrait photography to the Nikon 1 system.

With a focal length that’s ideal for portraiture and a compact design, this impressive CX-format lens combines superior image quality with convenience. And, as the first 1 NIKKOR flagship lens to be announced this new lens marks an expanding line-up.

Lenses don’t get much faster; whether indoors at a dinner party, or outside making the most of natural light, this lens allows you to capture striking portraits that you can be proud of. From candid shots to staged compositions, you can bring your subject into sharp focus with smooth bokeh, and capture crisp images and movies when you shoot in low light.

Simon Iddon, Product Manager for Nikon 1 Compact System Cameras, Nikon UK says: “Nikon 1 owners will enjoy exploring the creative effects of this new flagship lens and will appreciate the advantages that come with the f/1.2 aperture, such as shallow depth-of-field.” He continues: “Nikon is dedicated to developing lenses that make the most of the Nikon 1 system and we’re excited about the potential of this new 1 NIKKOR 32mm f/1.2lens that also gives serious portrait photographers a brilliant portable option”.

Where the magic happens

Offering speed and range without sacrificing portability, this new 1 NIKKOR makes an excellent portrait lens. The 32 mm focal length is equivalent to approximately 85 mm in 35mm film format, a classic portrait length that allows for tight head and shoulder shots with extreme detail. The ultra-fast f/1.2 aperture enables super-smooth bokeh, so you can single out subjects beautifully, and creates a clear advantage in low-light situations. Ideal for everything from candid portraits to staged shots, this lens lets you catch the best of people in any situation.

1 Nikon 32mm f1.2 lens

1 Nikon 32mm f1.2 lens

 Optical Brilliance

Comprising nine elements in seven groups, this lens offers superb image quality. A seven-blade rounded diaphragm opening ensures beautifully rounded bokeh and this is the first 1 NIKKOR lens to feature Nikon’s Nano Crystal Coat, which greatly reduces ghosting and flare even in backlit situations. The dedicated Silent Wave Motor (SWM) enables smooth and accurate autofocus, and helps ensure quiet movie recording. For photographers that like to shoot in manual control, this is the first 1 NIKKOR lens to feature a focus ring that lets you control focus while looking into the camera’s viewfinder or monitor.

Portraits from anywhere

Remarkably compact for such a large-aperture lens and boasting a high-quality metallic exterior, this lens is a stellar addition to the Nikon 1 system. Available in high-gloss silver and semi-gloss black, the compact new lens combines portability with high-quality performance for stunning portraits that can be captured on the go.

The lens is supplied with a front lens cap and the HB-N107 bayonet lens hood, which helps reduce stray light and minimise flare for images with better contrast and colour saturation. Optional accessories include the CL-N101 soft lens case.

1 NIKKOR range

1 NIKKOR lenses capture life with exceptional sharpness. Combined with the portability, power and speed of Nikon 1 cameras, the small size of 1 NIKKOR lenses truly sets the Nikon 1 system apart. Designed with active lifestyles in mind, the growing range currently includes nine lenses that cover a wide range of scenes, and each lens is optimized for movie recording. For photographers who want to use F-Mount NIKKOR lenses on their Nikon 1 camera, the dedicated FT1 Mount Adapter allows them to do just that.

RRP: £799.99 / €979

Sales start date: 13th June 2013

Introducing the EF 200-400mm f/4L IS USM Extender


United Kingdom, Republic of Ireland, 14 May 2013 – Canon today adds a new category to its range of high-performance super-telephoto lenses, with the introduction of the EF 200-400mm f/4L IS USM Extender 1.4x to Canon’s acclaimed L-series. The EF 200-400mm f/4L IS USM Extender 1.4x features a flexible 200-400mm focal range with a fixed f/4 aperture, 4-stop optical Image Stabilizer and for the first time in a commercially available lens, a built-in 1.4x extender. These features combine to provide an outstandingly versatile lens for professional sports or wildlife photographers. A robust magnesium alloy design, environmental protection and specialised lens coatings also make it ideal for mobile use, combining with the finest quality optics to deliver exceptional results, even in the harshest conditions.


Get closer to the action with superior image quality

The reach of the EF 200-400mm f/4L IS USM Extender 1.4x is boosted by its internal 1.4x extender, which is engaged or disengaged at the flick of a lever to provide an extended focal length of 280mm to 560mm – allowing photographers to get even closer to distant action. Ensuring the highest image performance, the optical design includes both fluorite and Ultra-low Dispersion (UD) lens elements, which help minimise chromatic aberration and eliminate colour blurring. Advanced anti-reflection SubWavelength Structure Coating (SWC) and Super Spectra Coating also reduce ghosting and flare. Thanks to the use of the latest optical technologies, image performance is unaffected when the integrated extender is used.

With a fixed f/4[i] aperture the use of high shutter speeds to capture fast-paced action or a low-light scene is possible. A newly designed optical Image Stabilizer, which provides users with a four stop advantage, while IS ‘Mode 3’ applies image stabilisation only at the time of exposure – ensuring that photographers can pan with fast-paced action without IS overcompensating for movement. This feature is ideal for sports photographers, who typically have only a split-second to capture a subject in front of them.

Powerful, flexible focusing

The EF 200-400mm f/4L IS USM Extender 1.4x features Canon’s pioneering ring-type Ultrasonic Motor providing fast, silent autofocusing. For those who prefer to fine-tune focus themselves, full-time manual override allows photographers to manually focus at any moment when using AF. The Power Focus (PF) mode also increases versatility during movie shooting with the EOS-1D C or EOS-1D X, enabling photographers to achieve an accurate pull-focus effect at one of two speeds, simply by twisting the focus recall ring and stopping at a pre-set distance.

High-performance design for professional demands

Designed to answer professional demands for superior image quality and versatile zoom range, the EF 200-400mm f/4L IS USM Extender 1.4x a boasts a premium-quality design befitting Canon’s industry-renowned L-series lenses.

The tough magnesium alloy chassis ensures that, despite the inclusion of the 1.4x extender, the lens is a similar weight to lenses of comparable focal length. Fluorine coatings on the front and rear lens elements also reduce the ability of dirt to cling to the lens surface, while a dust and water-resistant construction allows photographers to shoot in challenging weather conditions. The combination of outstanding optical performance, versatility, weight and tough construction will make it an essential part of any professional sports or wildlife photographer’s kitbag.

EF 200-400mm f/4L IS USM Extender 1.4x key features:

  • Built-in 1.4x extender, for extra magnification when you need it
  • Shoot in low light with four-stop Image Stabilizer
  • High image quality using Fluorite lens elements
  • Fast AF with USM technology
  • Robust design for use in the toughest environments

Pricing and availability

The EF 200-400mm f/4L IS USM will be available from June with an RRP of £11,999.99 / €13,999.99

Canon develops new Picture Style for EOS DSLRs


United Kingdom, Republic of Ireland, 14 May 2013 – Canon today announces the release of a new in-camera Picture Style pre-set for its range of EOS DSLRs. Created following direct feedback from video enthusiasts, the new Picture Style, called Video Camera X–series-look, enables users to capture EOS Movie footage with lower contrast levels, allowing for easier colour grading during post production processes.

Similar to that available in Canon’s range of X-series camcorders, the new Picture Style works by lowering colour saturation levels and contrast during filming. This makes it ideal for videographers during post production grading processes, especially if complementing with pre-existing footage shot with Canon’s X-series models, or alternatively for those who instantly want to add atmosphere to Full HD movies. In addition, the new Picture Style can also be applied to still images captured in RAW or JPEG formats.

The new Picture Style can be downloaded now from:




Just a quick snapshot of a Peacock I took today taken with the Nikon D7100 together with the 18 – 105 Kit lens. I have been using the D7100 for a couple of week now and simply love the camera, I have a large collection of old style NIkon lenses (22 in all) and they all work perfectly on this camera. Of course the older lenses do not have auto focus and can’t use the fully Auto, Shutter or Program modes, but can use use metered manual and Aperture modes. The D7100 can be also programmed to memorize up to 9 lenses, just set the focal length and maximum aperture. The electronic rangefinder will assist you with the correct focus.

Am I worried that this is a DX format camera and not full frame? Not in the least, I just use a wider lens to get everything in. Far too much is made of full frame capture. For HD video one could argue that a shallow depth of field offered by full frame produces a nice movie like effect, but unless you get the focus spot on, then quite frankly it is not worth the trouble, no-one wants to see an out of focus shot on a 50 inch LCD, LED or Plasma screen.


I have been using the Panasonic GH3 camera for a while now and it is packed with many useful features, my favourite has to be the Electronic shutter release. This is a totally silent shutter, which means I can shoot photographs of TV and stage productions without the performers being aware of any camera clicks etc. The only downside to this function is that the maximum ISO becomes 1600 – the GH3 can go up to ISO 12800 in normal shooting mode. I will be posting more details on the GH3 plus a full review in due course.

photos of the Bromley Youth Chamber Orchestra at Lavenham
shot with the Panasonic GH3  with 12 – 35mm Vario lens using ISO 1600

The GH3 silent shutter is a real bonus for live performances

The GH3 silent shutter is a real bonus in a live performance


Quiet song passages remain quite.

Quiet song passages remain quite.