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Sony Announces Translucent Mirror Technology α57 DSLR

Sony has announced the latest A-mount series DSLR with Translucent Mirror Technology: the α57. Successor to the α55, the new camera’s body is manufactured from recycled plastics and the camera chassis contains 10% recycled material. The α57 shoots still images at up to 12 frames per second, boasts a sensitivity range of ISO 100-16,000, features the α65‘s 5-point AF system with three cross sensors, and, like the α65, has an OLED Tru-Finder viewfinder with 1440k dot resolution and a 100% field of view.

The α57 interchangeable lens camera will be available in April for about $700 (model SLT-A57, body only) or about $800 (model SLT-A57K, with an 18-55mm kit zoom lens for $800).

(Sony)

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GigaPan Announces Stitch Software Update

We’ve long been impressed by the GigaPan EPIC system. The robotic mounts allow cameras to capture up to thousands of photos at a time in order to create one extremely detailed “gigapixel panorama” image. Said captures are blended together through the use of GigaPan’s Stitch software.

Now GigaPan has announced two new versions of their high resolution image blending software: Stitch 2.0, and the more advanced Stitch.Efx. Updates to both include tools for automatic vignette correction and improved algorithms for estimating lens focal length for optimal alignment. Stitch.Efx also features adjustment options with real-time image preview, including those for brightness, exposure, color temperature, tint, and saturation. Additionally, GigaPan notes that the advanced version “Stitch.Efx allows the user to interactively rearrange the grid of images before stitching, substituting alternate shots and selecting the order of shots. In addition, the ability to save projected images in Stitch.Efx helps a user fine tune blending of their images within other image editing software, for maximum control of blending. This is particularly important when shooting moving subjects.”

Stitch software free if you purchase a GigaPan EPIC, or you can update for free if you’re an existing EPIC owner. For everyone else, they offer a free 14-day trial version, and then GigaPan Stitch retails for $79 and GigaPan Stitch.Efx is available for $149.

(GigaPan)

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Surfrider Foundation Presents 3-Second Movie Contest for World Water Day

Three Seconds

“A lot can happen in three seconds,” points out the Surfrider Foundation, in an effort to bring attention to the immense impact that such a fleeting period of time can have on the environment. For instance: “Every three seconds, approximately 70 tons of sewage and human effluent is discharged into the world’s water ways.”

Grim? Yes. But we can use art to take action and spread the word.

In honor of the UN-established World Water Day holiday (March 22nd), Surfrider is hosting the 3 Second Movie Contest in which entrants are encouraged to create and share a water-themed movie in the span of three seconds. Because, as we now know, a lot can happen in that brief amount of time.

The Details

Surfrider is challenging its supporters to share their cinematic visions and interpretations of water by creating a short three-second film. Between now and March 12th, send your three-second long, water related movies (mov, .avi, .mpeg and .mp4 files preferred) to 3SecMovie@surfrider.org. Surfrider’s favorite submissions will receive prize packages and gear from GoPro camera and Teva footwear. The winners will be announced on World Water Day. Visit surfrider.org for more information.

 

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Kodak to Stop Making Cameras, Pocket Video Cams and Digital Frames

Kodak announced today that it plans to “phase out its dedicated capture devices business—comprising digital cameras, pocket video cameras and digital picture frames—in the first half of 2012.” This news comes less than one month after the company filed for chapter 11 bankruptcy, a move that Kodak said would result in a rigorous reorganization of the company. Not surprisingly, they appear to have determined that the crippled digital capture leg had to be severed.

Still, this is sad news. There’s no denying that for so long the Kodak brand was synonymous with cameras and picture making. Moving forward, their focus will be on: retail-based photo kiosks and digital dry lab systems, inkjet printers, online photo galleries, camera accessories and batteries—which they are quick to point out are compatible with cameras made by other manufacturers, and in a final bittersweet twist, the “traditional film capture and photographic paper business.”

(Kodak)

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Pentax Announces Rugged and Compact Optio WG-2 Camera

Pentax has just announced the latest in their longstanding lineup of rugged compact cameras. The WG-2 is waterproof (to 40 feet), dustproof and shockproof (from drops up to five feet), and it features a a 16-megapixel backlit CMOS image sensor.It also shoots full HD (1080p) video. It also features a 3-inch 460K dots LCD and a 5-25mm 5x optical zoom lens.

The Pentax WG-2 will be available in March for $349.95, while a GPS model, the WG-2 GPS, will be priced at $399.95.

(Pentax)

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