Leica X2 Yokohama Edition Announced, Only 30 Units Available

Leica X2 Yokohama Edition

As if Leica cameras weren’t expensive enough, it seems that the camera manufacturer has a new limited edition camera planned that will set you back ¥283,500 ($2,795). In conjunction with Leica opening their store in the SOGO departmental store in Yokohama, Japan, the company has decided to release a limited edition Leica X2 Yokohama Edition camera, and by limited we are talking about only 30 such units ever being made. The camera will not differ from the original X2 in terms of hardware, with the main difference being that in the case of the limited edition model, it will sport a lizard-style leather for its body, and will feature the same material for its shoulder strap and camera protector. The Leica store in SOGO is currently accepting pre-orders for the camera with a released slated for around July.

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Sources : ubergizmo

Leica Mini M Gets Pictured And Priced

Leica Mini M

Last week Leica teased a photo on its Facebook page in which the company hinted that a new Mini M camera would be revealed. Well according to the folks at Mirrorlessrumors, it seems that a photo of the new Leica Mini M has been revealed (pictured above) along with some of it specs. Considering that the official announcement has been pegged for the 11th of June, take it with a grain of salt for now, but for the sake of discussion, these specs are pretty believable.

So what are we looking at here? According to the specs, the Mini M is expected to come with a fixed zoom lens, a Leica Elmar 28-70mm f/3.5-6.4 lens to be exact. It will also sport a 16.1MP APS-C sensor, an optional external electronic viewfinder, a full aluminum body, Full HD video recording capabilities, and is also said to come bundled with Adobe Photoshop Lightroom as well. As expected Leica’s offerings do not come cheap and its alleged price has been set at €2450. Ouch.

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[code]Sources : http://www.ubergizmo.com/2013/05/leica-mini-m-gets-pictured-and-priced/[/code]

Triple and quadruple main lights learning

TRIPLE MAIN LIGHTS

Looking for a soft light with a lot of punch? You’ve come to the right chapter. But the triple main light technique is different in that each light is a parabolic aimed into a 36-inch white umbrella.

For this approach, I set the lights in a loose semicircle or with all three parallel to each other, with the center light on a boom so there is no stand to get in my way. This center light is placed higher than usual, roughly 3 feet over the subject’s head. The other lights are on regular stands and placed lower than my typically recommended height, 6 to 12 inches over the subject, and can slightly overlap the center umbrella or just be butted up to it. Placement like this guarantees nice, soft shadows (but with an “edge”), and the light on the boom means I can shoot through the tunnel from whatever distance is best for the lens I’m using. All three lights are angled down slightly but aimed straight ahead, not individually angled toward the subject, and are placed about 6 feet from where my model will be. See image 8.1.

Metering is a little tricky but not too difficult. Set up another light stand or some sort of target where your subject will be. Measure each light separately, with the others turned off, until all three are powered equally. Turn all three lights on and measure again. You’ll notice the three lights together are brighter than their individual readings because the effects of light are cumulative. If you must make an adjustment to get the total reading to a perfect whole, one-third, or two-thirds f-stop, power the two sidelights down equally or power the center light up. The adjustment will be minor, but you’ll need to be as accurate as possible.

When your subject is in place, the first thing you’ll notice is how nicely the subject’s features are modeled by the light. You might have thought this light would be flat, but the snappy specularity the umbrellas render does exactly the opposite, and the result is beautiful. See image 8.2.

TOP—IMAGE 8.1. BOTTOM—IMAGE 8.2.

Triple main lights

TOP LEFT—IMAGE 8.3. TOP RIGHT—IMAGE 8.4.

TOP LEFT—IMAGE 8.3. TOP RIGHT—IMAGE 8.4.

DIAGRAM 8A.

As you can imagine, the three lights create interesting catchlights in the eyes. These are easily retouched to a single point should you wish to disguise your lighting or want a more traditional look. Personally, I think retouching two of them out of each eye, disguising the technique, would be one more little thing that could set your work apart from that of your competition. (“I use one umbrella, just like you, but my shots aren’t even close.” Music to my ears.) See image 8.3.

An added benefit from this scenario is that your subject is free to move to either side without a need to reposition the lights. See image 8.4.

I’ve found the best place for the model is 5 to 8 feet from the lights. This gives each light enough distance to mix with the others and yet be separate enough to add contour. If the model is farther back, the lights tend to mix too much and flatten out a bit. It’s not necessarily a bad look, it’s just not as punchy. See diagram 8A.

Since the background will be flooded with light that’s angled straight toward it, the only way you can control the brightness or darkness of the background is to vary the distance of the model to it, relative to the lights. For example, if the model is 6 feet from the background and 6 feet from you, and the background is too bright for your taste, double her distance from the background (i.e., move her 12 feet away from the background) but keep her 6 feet from you and the lights. This will reduce the light on the background by 2 stops, making it 1/4 its original strength.

This technique works beautifully with a black background as well, and, while it will work with any model, it can be very dramatic if the model has dark hair. In my case, my model’s hair was professionally colored to matte black and soaks up light like a black hole. I set a beauty bowl with a 25 degree grid on a boom above her and powered it up 1 full stop over the triple main light. It was placed very close to the top of her head, about 18 inches, because I wanted fast falloff and needed to control how much light would spill onto her shoulder. If too much light were to hit the shoulder, it would blow out to pure white and be a distraction. The light was metered at the top of the model’s head and allowed to fall off from there.

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After checking that all three lights were outputting the same amount of power, we started to shoot. The result is spectacular light that softly wraps around the subject. It shows all the qualities that make a triple umbrella main light so wonderful, but with a little less punch. Notice how well the light illuminates the fabric of her dress.

When a hair light is so close to the subject, there’s an element of danger in the setup. While the odds are against electrocution, it is quite possible that the model may move her head in such a way as to get hit by extra light. Since the effects of light are cumulative, she will be overexposed wherever the extra light lands.

When you get everything set, you might want to put a piece of tape on the floor, between the model’s feet, so she knows exactly where she needs to be centered. She won’t have a lot of room to move around, given the narrow constraints of the hair light.

You probably know by now that my favorite working question is, “What if . . . ?” So, what if the model were lit by softboxes in the same configuration?

I removed the umbrellas and substituted a 3×4-foot softbox for each of the sidelights, with a 2×3-foot softbox on the boom. The side boxes were angled slightly off the vertical to give me more room to shoot through them, while the softbox on the boom was set straight across. This is not carved in stone, you understand. I set the softboxes as I did for the space, but also because I thought I’d get more interesting catchlights in the model’s eyes.

QUAD MAIN LIGHTS

I keep trying to find new ways to wrap light around my models. When it’s properly thought out and tested, light that wraps around a subject creates a different look, a look that’s both even and dimensional, unlike other methods.

For this portfolio shoot I wanted something different. I knew my model would look great if I used the triple main light scenario, but I wanted to push the envelope. I wondered if the approach could be improved with an additional strobe and umbrella. I began by setting up three lights on stands arranged in a semicircle. I attached the fourth to a boom. Putting the center light on a boom allows me to shoot through the umbrellas without having to deal with a stand right in the center of the group, but that’s only a matter of convenience. One could easily shoot around the stand if necessary.

The upper three lights were powered to the same f-stop by metering each light separately. The fourth light, also metered separately, was 11/3 stops less because I wanted it to act as fill. All four lights were then turned on and metered together to get the working f-stop.

The model was positioned about 6 feet from the lights. I’ve found 5 to 8 feet to be the optimum distance for a single model because the light will flatten out with more distance. Image 8.10 is what the setup looked like from the model’s perspective. Imagine the camera right in the center.

One of the beautiful features of this scenario is the multiple catchlights in the model’s eyes. Under other scenarios I’d personally not want to see more than one catchlight in each eye, but that “rule” may go out the window when the lights are placed symmetrically.

You may have noticed minimal shadowing in the shots made with the triple main light. The fourth light worked beautifully to eliminate that problem, filling what few shadows there were and adding an extra degree of dimensionality.When the model looked straight into the camera, the softness and depth of the light were spectacular. The extra catchlight is pretty cool, too.

It didn’t matter if my model moved left or right, as long as she stayed the correct distance from the light, giving her a great deal of freedom on the set. I found it interesting that, whenever she turned her head, slight shadowing occurred on the half of her face not hit by all four lights. Beautiful.

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This lighting scenario has proved to be very versatile. For example, it’s not necessary to always power the bottom light less than the other three. When all are equal, the result is soft, even light with a great deal of “snap.” Look at the detail and color in this model’s hair and the even color of her skin.

Let’s make a couple of changes.I left the top and bottom lights evenly powered but turned the two sidelights down 1 stop each. It’s necessary to re-meter, of course, because the cumulative strength of the light has changed.

Notice how she appears to be outlined, slightly, by the areas of less density on the sides of her arms yet her entire front is perfectly lit.

I’ll take it a step further and turn the sidelights down an additional stop. The impression given by the lights would indicate the model’s being lit with a long softbox. Notice how the extra density on her arms increases as her arms recede from the camera. Unfortunately, I’m not aware of any traditional softbox in use today that allows a camera to shoot through it.

I left the sidelights at –2 stops and turned the bottom light down 1 full stop. The shadow under her chin has increased and the light now falls off, vertically, across her body. Even though it doesn’t quite have the unique feel to it that it had in the previous images, the light is still beautiful.

Want to drive your competitors crazy?Most photographers will look at catchlights when trying to figure out how someone was lit. If a faceted reflection is seen, it’s a no-brainer that the photographer used an umbrella, so that’s what they’ll use to duplicate the look. Same goes for the rectangular shape of a softbox. I’d suggest that you retouch the multiple catchlights in a quad main light or triple main light shot and replace them with fake catchlights made in a shape that could never create this light, an ellipse, perhaps, or a point light source. It’s so much fun to mess with the competition.

By now you’ve seen some of what I would consider to be basic extensions of my train of thought, the “What if…?” scenario. You’ve seen what just a few combinations of lights can do if the application, the physics, and the end result are thought through before the “moment of truth” begins on the set. I’m certain that there are many combinations of lights, ratios, and modifiers that I’ve not covered or even thought of. I’m equally certain that you, if you’ve welcomed the investigative spirit that I’ve tried to impart, will find them. And more.

Always keep your customers amazed and your competition guessing. It helps justify your fee.

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Steer clear of bad debt and enjoy your student life

Most students are confused between what exactly a good debt is and what a bad debt is and it’s this confusion that ultimately leads students to rack up a whole lot of bad debt. Basically, the first thing you’ve got to understand is the fact that student loan happens to be a “good debt”. This is one of those debts that’ll be deducted from your paycheck in future once you start earning. Of course, the more you earn, faster would you be able to pay off debts.

5 Ways by which you could use to stay out of bad debt

Now, as for other kinds of debt like say credit card debt, then they’re definitely bad. Here are 5 ways which you could adopt to stay out of bad debt for good.

  1. Stick to a budget: Don’t be under the impression that just because you’re a student, hence you don’t need to follow any budget. It’s a wrong notion for a budget is essential to keep you from overspending and getting into unnecessary debt.
  2. Stay away from credit cards: This is extremely important. Being reckless with credit card usage can literally bury you in the debt grave permanently. Credit card is definitely bad, bad debt! Use your credit cards for such purchases only if you’re sure that you’ll be able to pay off that money immediately. Losing control over your credit card payments is sure to end in disaster.
  3. Go for a student loan: Since you’re a student and you’d need funds for your education, hence you can go for student loans instead of trying any other means. Even better would be if you could get federal scholarships, for then there’s no question of paying them back once you qualify.
  4. Debit directly from your loan: If you feel that you’re terrible with your finances and can’t handle transactions properly, then you can remove the temptation to spend. This would be quite easy by not holding all your money in 1 account. Set up a separate account where you can deposit a specific amount each week and set up a direct debit from it. In this way, you curb overspending.
  5. Look for a part time job: It’s always good to earn extra and that too for more reasons than one. As a student you’re sure to find a plethora of part time jobs which you could take up.

Stick to the 5 ways discussed above and you could easily stay out of bad debt as a student all the way.

Take help to remove your high interest debts – Opt for debt consolidation

Are you someone who has been trying his best to get out of high interest revolving debt? If answered yes, you need not worry as there are ways in which you can get professional help and assistance in staying out of the debt burden. As there are different debt relief options that you can take resort to, you might get confused as to which one would be best for you. While you can take steps to get out of debt on your own, you can also take help of the professionals. Read on to know the different debt relief options that you can take help of.

  • Credit counseling options: You can take help of the credit counseling options when you’ve incurred debt but you’re still not in the red. The credit counselor is an expert who will first check your present financial condition and then give you budgeting and personal financial advice through which you can keep your debts under control. The credit counselor will formulate a budget for you and then ask you to follow it throughout the month so that it is possible to rein in your finances.
  • Debt consolidation: When you’re trying to consolidate your debts, you can sign up with a debt consolidation program where the debt consultant will discuss your situation and alter the terms and conditions of your debt accounts. The interest rates of the accounts will be lowered and the monthly payments too. Instead of making multiple payments to different creditors, you can now make a single monthly payment to the debt consolidation company. This option doesn’t reduce your entire principal amount but relieves the stress in the form of altered monthly payments.
  • Debt settlement: When you feel that you can’t get out of debt without a principal amount reduction, you may opt for debt settlement. The debt consultant will check your present economic state and will then negotiate with your creditors in order to convince them about a principal amount reduction. As soon as they waive off a certain portion from your debt account, you will require repaying an amount that is much less than what you owe.

Therefore, when you wish to get out of debt with the help of a professional, you might take resort to any of the above mentioned options. Know the pros and cons of each option before taking the plunge.

Olympus E-P5 mirrorless camera were leaked

Olympus E-P5 mirrorless camera

Olympus E-P5 mirrorless camera

Olympus E-P5 mirrorless camera

Just the added day added photos of the Olympus E-P5 mirrorless camera were leaked, and now acknowledgment to added leaks (via Mobile01 and 43Rumors), added blueprint of the camera accept aswell been revealed. So far what we do apperceive of the E-P5 is that it will be a 16MP with a angry LCD display. According to these new leaks, the 16MP sensor and the angry LCD accept been confirmed, with the angel sensor getting the aforementioned as the E-M5, and the LCD affectation featuring 1.04 actor dots. Added blueprint of the E-P5 includes the TruePic VI angel processing engine, an bigger autofocus arrangement which is said to be commensurable to the E-M5, bigger 5-axis stabilization, 5fps shooting, focus peaking, bang 1/8000 sec and as mentioned in the antecedent rumors, will appear with congenital WiFi for wireless appointment of photos and videos. Still no chat on if absolutely will the camera be clearly announced, but affront not as we will accumulate our eyes and aerial bald for added information.

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Samsung NX2000 camera, 20.3MP, NFC, WiFi and touchscreen

Samsung NX2000 camera

If you’ve been broken amid Samsung’s NX300 and NX1000 mirrorless cameras, you should apperceive the aggregation has clearly breach the aberration with its new NX2000. While it acceptable will not amplitude NEX-3N lovers abroad from Sony, the $650 NX2000 is alone a Benjamin added than Sammy’s lower-end NX1000 and packs the aforementioned 3D-capable DRIMe IV processor and NFC functionality as the pricier NX300. Of course, you still get the 20.3-megapixel APS-C sensor apparent beyond the line. The appropriate agency from its ancestors is the Galaxy Camera-like 3.7-inch, 1,152k-dot touchscreen (fixed) on the back, rather than the accepted array of rear buttons. The 100 to 25,600 ISO ambit and best JPG access amount of 8 fps is just like the 300’s, admitting this is alone able of recording 1080p video at 60 fps. Unfortunately, the autofocus is alone contrast-detection, but Samsung claims that it’s one of the fastest to the draw.

As you’d expect, this ballista appearance WiFi (single band) for abutting through AllShare or the Smart Camera app, additional there’s a microSD aperture for appointment files physically. Sure, it’s not the a lot of agitative amend to Samsung’s camera line, but it’s acutely a big bound up from the NX1000 — on paper, anyway. The NX2000 will be accessible anon in your best of white, atramentous or pink, and it comes arranged with Adobe Lightroom 4, a 20-50mm lens and a hotshoe-powered flash. Grab added looks in the arcade beneath and hit the columnist absolution afterwards the breach for all the abstruse details.

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Camera inspired 180 degrees, infinite depth of field

Camera inspired 180 degrees

Technologists accept been cartoon afflatus from the insect apple for a continued time. And association alive on robotics absolutely assume to adulation their creepy-crawlies and active arthropods. Advisers at the University of Illinois are searching to our eight-legged planet mates, not for advancement lessons, but as a advertence for a new camera design. The arrangement mimics the eyes of bees and mantises by accumulation assorted lenses on a bisected hemisphere to accommodate a 180-degree appearance with a about absolute abyss of field. The eyes themselves are declared as “soft, rubbery” and anniversary alone microlens is commutual with its own photodiode. The plan gets us a heck of a lot afterpiece to the dream of a agenda fly eye than antecedent efforts, admitting we’re acceptable still absolutely a while from seeing applications alfresco of the lab. DARPA allotment suggests the bogus admixture eyes may accept a approaching in surveillance, admitting the advisers aswell see uses for it in medicine.

 

 

V System cameras, Hasselblad stops production

V System cameras

Update: Just to clear the air, the 503CW has been in production for 17 years — the V System in any form has been active since 1957, since before digital was even a twinkle in Hasselblad’s eye.

Almost by definition, Hasselblad is a company steeped in tradition — it’s hard to be ultra-trendy when your camera systems cost as much as a new car. We shouldn’t be surprised, then, that the company is only just getting around to halting production on its last V System camera, the 503CW, 17 years after the first models rolled off the assembly line. Interest has simply dropped off quickly in the past five years, the company says. Support will continue, and accessories will sell while they last, but the emphasis from now on will be squarely on digital-first H System cameras like the H5D. Whether or not you’re mourning the loss, there’s no question that the V System has survived a lot during its lifetime, including the transition to digital shooting and new management. We’d say it’s worth pouring one out for a true veteran of medium format photography.

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Source :  engadget

Canon 5D Mark III firmware update, Fix improved AF, HDMI output

Canon 5D Mark III firmware update

If your camera arsenal includes a 5D Mark III, prepare to get your download on. Earlier today, Canon released a major firmware update for the hit DSLR — version 1.2.1 enables clean, uncompressed HDMI output with simultaneous LCD display and recording to CF or SD cards, along with cross-type autofocus for apertures as small as f/8, bringing that aspect of AF capability in line with the EOS-1D X. You’ll be able to take advantage of improved autofocus performance even when using an f/5.6 lens with a 1.4x extender, or an f/4 lens with a 2x extender. On the video front, version 1.2.1 will let you boot an uncompressed YCbCr 4:2:2 feed to an external recorder, enabling your pick of codecs and frame rates, while also eliminating arbitrary limits on record time. The free download, available for recent versions of Mac OS and Windows, Canon 5D Mark III firmware

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Source : engadget