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Staff Posted: Aug 12, 2009 0 comments

Online photo site snapizzi announced that it has added an array of new web tools and print products that improve the photographer’s workbench and make photo sales and management easier than ever before.

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Staff Posted: Apr 17, 2009 0 comments

The new HX1 Cyber-shot model can take 224-degree panorama shots in one easy press-and-sweep motion. It is also the company’s first Cyber-shot camera to use the exclusive 1/2.4-inch Exmor CMOS sensor technology. This technology allows it to achieve burst speeds of 10 frames per second at full 9.1 megapixel resolution in continuous burst mode.

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Staff Posted: Sep 15, 2008 0 comments

Sony Electronics has recently launched the Digital
Darkroom, a photo sharing site for consumers to indulge their passion for
photography. In the Digital Darkroom, photo group members can share their photos within
the community; participate in forum discussions; access tutorials; and even
³Ask Sony² about specific products or technologies.

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Staff Posted: Nov 17, 2008 0 comments

Sony Electronics has added two new models to its family of S-Frame digital photo frames—including the company’s first 10-inch model here at the PhotoPlus Expo trade show. The new 10-inch and 8-inch digital photo frames (models DPF-D100 and DPF-D80) have high-quality SVGA resolution (800 x 600 pixels) LCD screens. They are Sony’s first digital photo frames that offer a 4:3 aspect ratio.

This apect ratio eliminates borders around the digital photos and allows pictures to fill up the screen. Photos appear larger on theses frames’ displays than digital photo frames with the 16:9 aspect ratio.

In addition to providing high-quality LCD screens, these models have an advanced image processing feature that quickly decodes and displays images. The digital photo frames will dispay images that are up to 48 megapixels or files that are up to 100MB. The digital photo frames have 200MB of available capacity, so you can store hundreds of photos to the device and then return your memory card back to the camera.

Digital images can be loaded onto the internal memory of the digital photo frames from several types of flash memory cards, including Memory Stick PRO, Memory Stick PRO Duo, SD Memory Card, MMC, Compact Flash,  Microdrive and xD-Picture Card.

Photos can also be transferred to the frames via a USB cable (not included) from a personal computer or digital camera. These two new S-Frame models support JPEG and RAW (SRF, SR2, ARW) image file formats.

The S-Frame models offer convenient features including the auto orientation sensor. The photo frame automatically detects whether it has been positioned horzonally or verically and then adjusts the display of the picture accordingly. When the frame is horizontal the Sony logo will light up. When the frame is vertical, the logo turns off and blends into the piano black finish.

Additional features include 10 slide show variations, clock and calendar views, and two index modes so you can preview several photos at once. You can also conserve energy by using the auto power on/off setting to program when you want the frame to turn on in the morning and off at night. Functions of the digital photo frame can be managed remotely using the included controller.

The DPF-D80 digital photo frame is now available for about $180 and the DPF-D100 model will be available in November for about $280. Both will be offered direct at sonystyle.com, at 43 Sony Style® retail stores around the country, and at hundreds of authorized dealers nationwide. Pre-orders are now being accepted for the DPF-D100 unit at sonystyle.com.

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Staff Posted: Sep 08, 2009 0 comments

Aimed at experienced shooters looking for value and sophisticated SLR performance, Sony has introduced the full-frame α (alpha) DSLR-A850 camera and a new 28-75mm F2.8 lens.  The α850 model shares the same 24.6 megapixel sensor and most features of the flagship α900 camera, introduced last year, but will be available for just under $2000 (body only).

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Staff Posted: Jul 17, 2009 0 comments

Sony is making it easy for first-time digital SLR buyers to step up from point-and-shoot digital still cameras with the introduction today of three new easy-to-use α (alpha) cameras (models DSLR-A380, DSLR-A330 and DSLR-A230), four new lenses, a flash and accessories.

The new cameras are designed to overcome challenges faced by many customers taking their first steps in DSLR photography. Without compromising performance and versatility, the new models are smaller, lighter, easier to use and offer innovative expansion options not found in other systems.

The 10.2 megapixel α230 camera is the lightest, most compact alpha DSLR camera body ever at 15.9 ounces. The 10.2 megapixel α330 and the 14.2 megapixel α380 cameras are also smaller and lighter than their predecessor models (the DSLR-A300 and DSLR-A350, respectively). These cameras are also more compact and feature an intuitive control layout that allows for easy single-handed operation.

SteadyShot INSIDE in-camera image stabilization is built into each camera body, so every α-mount lens benefits from the ability to minimize blur due to camera shake.

Quick AF Live View System
Both the α380 and α330 cameras offer Sony’s Quick Autofocus (AF) Live View technology, so you can frame photos on the camera’s LCD screen as well as in the optical viewfinder.  Through the use of a dedicated image sensor, Quick AF Live View maintains the rapid response of a DSLR, while avoiding the focus delay common to other live view systems.

The new cameras feature a 2.7-inch (diagonally) Clear Photo LCD™ screen that is easy to view even in bright sunlight. Additionally, the LCD on the α380 and α330 models can be tilted up or down, making it easy to frame your subject from high or low positions, otherwise difficult to see using an eye-level viewfinder.  The range of adjustment has been increased from their predecessors, making it even easier to get shots from difficult angles.

By combining Quick AF Live View and an adjustable LCD, users can frame the scene without holding the camera in front of their face, allowing parents, for example, to maintain eye-contact when photographing their children for more natural expressions.

An HDMI terminal gives you the option of connecting your camera to a compatible HDTV and playing back your images in high definition quality (HDMI cable required, sold separately). Additionally, BRAVIA Sync works with compatible Sony BRAVIA HDTVs to let you control camera playback using the television’s remote (HDMI cable and BRAVIA Sync capable HDTV required, sold separately).

The new cameras include dedicated slots for high-capacity Memory Stick PRO Duo™, Memory Stick PRO-HG Duo and SD/SDHC media (sold separately).

The α380, α330 and α230 models are Sony’s first DSLR cameras to feature a graphical user interface (GUI) with built-in on-screen Help Guide.

The Help Guide offers clear, concise explanations of various modes and settings, while the Graphic Display helps you understand the relationship between aperture and shutter speed, as well as the effect each has on photographic results.

The new Sony cameras come in camera-and-lens packages. In addition to the two new standard zoom and telephoto lenses that are offered with the camera bodies, the company introduced new portrait and macro lenses. These purpose-built lenses make it much easier to obtain professional-looking, creative results. 

Optimized for use with APS-C sized image sensors, these lenses feature a Smooth Autofocus Motor (SAM) that enables in-lens auto focus (AF) drive for smooth, quiet operation, and high optical performance in a compact size.

The DT 18-55mm F/3.5-5.6 standard zoom lens (model SAL-1855) incorporates aspherical and Extra-low Dispersion (ED) elements to provide an all purpose lens with outstanding image quality.  The DT 55-200mm F/4-5.6 telephoto zoom lens (model SAL-55200/2) features an ED glass element and helps bring distant subjects closer, ideal for capturing sports. Both the SAL-1855 and SAL-55200 lenses are available separately, or packaged as kits with the new cameras.

To make the benefits of portrait and macro photography easier and more accessible, Sony is introducing a DT 50mm F/1.8 portrait lens (model SAL-50F18) and DT 30mm F/2.8 (model SAL-30M28) macro lens.  The wide aperture SAL-50F18 lens helps users capture beautiful portraits with gently defocused backgrounds while the SAL-30M28 macro lens captures intricate close-ups. Both techniques are difficult to achieve with standard lenses. 

To help users take better shots with flash, Sony offers an affordable, compact external flash unit (model HVL-F20AM) that is simple to operate. Unlike a camera’s built-in flash, this external flash provides higher output (Guide Number 20), and enables users to bounce light off the ceiling to eliminate harsh shadows and achieve more even illumination when shooting indoors.

Pricing and Availability
Pre-orders will begin on May 18, 2009 at www.sonystyle.com/retail and at selected retailers nationwide. The cameras and a range of accessories will be available in July at Sony Style retail stores (www.sonystyle.com/retail), at military base exchanges and at authorized dealers nationwide.

The α380L, α330L and α230L will cost about $850, $650 and $550, respectively. The L series one-lens kit comes with the SAL-1855 standard zoom lens.

The α380Y, α330Y and α230Y will cost about $1050, $850 and $750, respectively. The Y series two-lens kit comes with both the SAL-1855 standard zoom and SAL-55200 telephoto zoom lenses.

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Staff Posted: Sep 12, 2008 0 comments

Sony is introducing its full-frame (alpha) DSLR-A900 camera, aimed at serious photo enthusiasts looking for traditional SLR performance with the added benefits of digital photography. It is designed to deliver ultra-fine picture quality with the world’s highest resolution, 24.6-megapixel, 35 mm full-frame CMOS sensor and fast image processing with a new dual BIONZ processing engines. The camera is also the first to have a body-integrated image stabilization system for a full-frame sensor with Sony’s SteadyShot Inside anti-shake system.

One look at the camera’s distinctive pentaprism and nostalgic body design will evoke its full-frame optical performance. It features a bright, clear optical viewfinder with 100% field of view coverage that would impress even film photography loyalists. The camera’s Exmor CMOS sensor is designed to take advantage of the resolving power of high-precision alpha lenses. Its high pixel count and large size provide enhanced image detail and a wider dynamic range for natural color reproduction and subtle tonal gradations.

The sensor is produced using proprietary Sony planarization technologies to ensure an ultra-flat surface across the entire imaging area. Instead of a single analog/digital convertor, the sensor uses over 6,000 on-chip, column-parallel A/D converters to convert analog signals to noise-resistant digital signals at the earliest possible stage. The result is reduced noise and high-speed transfer of data.

Image processing gets a boost in speed and power from the application of two BIONZ image processing engines. Large amounts of data captured by the 24.6-megapixel sensor can be quickly processed to achieve a fast shooting response. Additionally, this dual BIONZ processing system applies advanced noise reduction algorithms producing images of exceptional quality and detail, especially at high ISO sensitivities.

The camera’s newly-developed, body-integrated SteadyShot Inside unit achieves an anti-shake effect equivalent to shutter speeds faster by 2.5 to 4 stops. This new unit provides stabilization for Sony, Minolta and Konica-Minolta wide angle, large-aperture lenses, which is difficult for lens-integrated systems.

The ultra-bright viewfinder with 100% field of view coverage and 0.74x magnification enables accurate framing and preview. It features a high-power condenser lens, an eyepiece with high reflective-index glass, and a multi-layer, anti-reflective coating on every optical surface to deliver its extraordinarily bright and accurate view.

Additionally, the focusing screen is user-replaceable, with additional L-type (grid pattern) and M-type (super spherical acute matte) screens sold separately.

The camera’s newly-developed autofocus system consists of nine wide-area sensors with 10 assist points for improved tracking of moving subjects. A center dual cross sensor comprised of two horizontal and two vertical line sensors as well as a dedicated f/2.8 sensor are included to achieve greater precision, especially when using fast-aperture lenses.

It also offers high-speed continuous shooting of 24.6 megapixel images at five frames per second. A newly-designed mirror box features a unique parallel-link mirror mechanism that moves on two horizontal axes to accommodate both 100% viewfinder coverage and the body-integrated image stabilization system without increasing the camera’s size. The mirror box also has a new moving magnet actuator, a high-powered coreless motor for a faster shutter charge, and a magnet catcher to minimize mirror bounce and light refraction within the box.

The model’s innovative intelligent preview function takes the guesswork out of setting up a shot and the hassle of taking multiple shots to achieve a desired effect.

After pressing the depth of field preview button, the camera “grabs” a RAW preview image which is processed and displayed on the LCD screen. You can then fine tune white balance, determine the best level and effect of dynamic range optimization, adjust exposure compensation and check histogram data, all before you actually take the picture. Preview images are not recorded on the camera’s memory card, thus saving capacity.

Other key features aimed to expand creative options include the Dynamic Range Optimizer (DRO) with five levels of user-selectable correction as well as DRO bracketing for enhanced scene analysis and graduation optimization. EV bracketing with ±2EV range makes it easy to create high dynamic range composite images.

Thirteen creative styles can be selected to enhance images and then fine-tuned by customizing contrast, sharpness, zone matching and other parameters, while 3 user-programmable memories provide instant access to as many as 26 different mode settings.

Powerful RAW file processing control is put in the photographer’s hands with the included Image Data Converter SR3 software that delivers faster file processing speeds, easy adjustment of image parameters, Dynamic Range Optimization and a new Peripheral Illumination function that compensates for corner light fall off.

With the camera’s HDMI output and Photo TV HD mode, your creative output can be enjoyed on a compatible HD television. This mode brings the look of actual printed photography to the television, by fine-tuning such image parameters as sharpness, gradation and color.

Its construction features rugged, lightweight magnesium alloy with moisture-resistant, rubber seals for buttons and dials, an anti-static coating to prevent dust adherence to the imager, and a high-endurance shutter rated for more than 100,000 release cycles.

It has a 3-inch, Xtra Fine LCD screen (921K) makes it possible to check focus and image quality with accuracy. It incorporates an easy-to-see display with a quick navigation menu to easily access common functions without interrupting your creative flow. A backlit LCD panel sits on top of the camera and displays key settings.

The A900 camera will be accompanied with an array of accessories like the recently-announced Sony HVL-F58AM flash unit with its innovative Quick Shift Bounce system, powerful performance with a guide number of 58, and wireless auto flash ratio control.

The Sony VG-C90AM vertical grip offers the same ease of operation when shooting vertically as horizontally, with its button layout and low-position shutter-release button. It also houses two InfoLITHIUM batteries (sold separately) for longer shooting and playback.

The DSLR-A900 body will be available in November for about $3,000 along with related accessories. All will be available at authorized dealers, at military base exchanges, Sony Style retail stores (www.sonystyle.com/retail) and at sonystyle.com. Online pre-orders begin online on Sept. 10.

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Staff Posted: Feb 27, 2014 Published: Jan 01, 2014 0 comments
Our Picture This! assignment this month was Stacking, the lingo used to describe the optical effect that makes subjects at some distance from one another seem closely packed together through the use of a telephoto lens. But given the right point of view and arrangement of forms, some readers also sent us successful shots taken with “normal” focal lengths as well. We received a wide range of subjects, from ancient towns to nature studies, all with apt points of view and good application of technique. It all goes to show us that there are simply some images that can’t be mocked up after the fact and that there remain many ways to create an effective image in camera via composition, the proper lens, and a good understanding of exposure control. In that we can all still take heart.
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Staff Posted: Oct 08, 2012 Published: Sep 01, 2012 2 comments
There are a couple of things about telephoto lenses that make them unique. First, and most obvious, is the ability to bring distant objects closer than working with a “normal” lens. Second, and the subject of this month’s Picture This! assignment, is a visual effect known as “stacking,” making subjects that sit at a distance from one another appear closer together, sometimes in an almost surreal way. We asked readers this month to send us examples of this effect, and responses ranged from nature to crowds to perhaps the most popular topic, architecture in urban centers. As you can see, there’s more to working with long teles than at first meets the eye.
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Staff Posted: Apr 01, 2014 Published: Feb 01, 2014 0 comments
Ian Coble had purchased a waterproof housing for his camera earlier in the summer, and after a photo trip to Hawaii wanted to get back into the water for more shooting. So he called his friend Ben Rhodea, an expert stand-up paddleboarder, and they met up at nearby Elliott Bay, outside Seattle, Washington.

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