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September 30, 2007

DxO raises the noise reduction bar

DxO Optics Pro v5 has been unveiled by the DXO Labs headquarters in France. This latest version of the DXO automatic image quality enhancement software application will deliver digital noise reduction at a "new standard" according to the announcement made today.

DXO-5-250.jpg DxO Optics Pro v5 is planned to be available at the end of October, and purchasers of DxO Optics Pro v4.5 on or after August 1st, 2007 are eligible for a free upgrade.
The new version also features dust and blemish removal, an improved user interface, increased speed and expanded camera support.

Details on the newest version of Optics Pro are provided in the following DxO Labs News Release:

Paris, France, October 1st, 2007 --DxO Labs today announced DxO Optics Pro v5, the latest version of its award-winning flagship software application for automatic image quality enhancement for Digital SLR camera users. Due to be released later in the fall, DxO Optics Pro v5 sets a new standard for image quality with its new RAW conversion engine.

A breakthrough in demosaicing; the 'holy grail' of RAW conversion
DxO Optics Pro v5's RAW conversion engine includes a completely new demosaicing algorithm which produces images with much more detail and fewer artifacts, setting a new standard in image quality. Demosaicing is the crucial step of RAW conversion during which the camera's image sensor pattern is reconstructed as a visible image for the human eye. Inherently, demosaicing involves trade-offs between image sharpness, details, noise, processing time and conversion artifacts. The quality of demosaicing determines the amount of detail and artifacts in the final image. These artifacts, particularly visible and unsightly, are compounded at high ISO settings and are in large part responsible for what is deemed the unnatural look of digital images.

"DxO Labs' approach to demosaicing turned a number of classical solutions on their head: instead of only considering pixels with respect to their direct neighbors, DxO's new RAW Engine uses a 'non local' approach looking much further than is usual from each pixel in the image in order to reconstruct detail. This significantly reduces demosaicing artifacts," said Frédéric Guichard, Chief Scientist at DxO Labs.

Performing noise removal directly on the RAW data for best lowlight performance
The other key characteristic of DxO Optics Pro's new RAW Engine is that instead of applying noise reduction techniques after demosaicing, a newly-developed noise reduction is performed upfront, before noise has a chance to be amplified by the RAW conversion process and absorb important fine details.
Combined with other proprietary techniques, DxO Optics Pro v5's new RAW Engine produces both the most detailed and most natural looking images yet - its very fine and homogenous grain translating into subtle shades and textures. DxO Optics Pro v5's new RAW conversion engine has been fine-tuned and optimized with the rest of the software's automated image enhancement features (optical corrections, color rendering, exposure optimization, highlight recovery, etc.) to produce best-in class results.

Dust/Blemish Removal now available in version 5
DxO Optics Pro v5 now incorporates a new tool to remove dust and blemishes from any digital image. Once dust and blemishes have been marked by the user, DxO Optics Pro v5 can automatically process any number of images with this particular dust/blemish template.

A revamped User Interface
Based on extensive research and communications with photographers, DxO Optics Pro's user interface has been reorganized to improve workflow and ease of use. In particular, tools are now organized into four main sections that match the photographer's approach: Light, Color, Geometry, Details. Users of DxO Optics Pro v5 can also customize their workspace to their particular way of working or choose to keep the tool organization of the previous version. DxO Optics Pro's powerful project and preset functions have also been overhauled for increased ease of use and functionality.

Increased speed and camera support
Benefiting from an entire rewrite using Microsoft's .NET and Apple's ObjC-Cocoa technologies, DxO Optics Pro v5 is up to four times faster than version 4.0. This is due in particular to the use of GPU processing; where the power of dedicated video card chips is used to accelerate an application.

DxO Optics Pro v5 will also support the latest Canon and Nikon Digital SLR camera bodies. Support for the Canon 40D, Canon 1Ds MKIII, Nikon D300 and Nikon D3 will be included in DxO Optics Pro v5 over the next few months following the availability of these cameras.

Pricing and availability (Europe)
DxO Optics Pro v5 for Windows is planned to be available at the end of October 2007. DxO Optics Pro v5 for Macintosh is planned to be available approximately one month after the Windows version.
DxO Optics Pro v5 will be available in Standard and Elite versions at pricing unchanged from version 4.5:
DxO Optics Pro v5 Standard: £99
DxO Optics Pro v5 Elite: £199
(Prices include 17.5% VAT)
All customers who purchased DxO Optics Pro v4.5 on or after August 1st, 2007 are entitled to a free upgrade to version 5. For customers who purchased DxO Optics Pro before August 1st, 2007, the pricing of upgrades is as follows:
DxO Optics Pro Standard (any version) to DxO Optics Pro v5 Standard: £59
DxO Optics Pro Elite (any version) to DxO Optics Pro v5 Elite: £75
(Prices include 17.5% VAT)

Pricing and availability (USA)
DxO Optics Pro v5 will be available in Standard and Elite versions at pricing unchanged from version 4.5:
DxO Optics Pro v5 Standard: $169
DxO Optics Pro v5 Elite: $299
(All prices are excluding sales taxes)
All customers who purchased DxO Optics Pro v4.5 on or after August 1st, 2007 are entitled to a free upgrade to version 5. For customers who purchased DxO Optics Pro before August 1st, 2007, the pricing of upgrades is as follows:
DxO Optics Pro Standard (any version) to DxO Optics Pro v5 Standard: $95
DxO Optics Pro Elite (any version) to DxO Optics Pro v5 Elite: $125


Operating System Requirements
Windows:
Intel® Pentium® 4 processor or AMD® equivalent (Pentium® Dual Core or higher or equivalent recommended)
Microsoft® Windows XP Service Pack 2 or Windows VISTA
Macintosh:
Universal Binary (G4, G5 or Intel)
Mac OS X.4 or X.5 when available
120 MB of available disk space
DxO Optics Pro Standard Edition: 1 GB RAM
DxO Optics Pro Elite Edition: 2GB RAM

About DxO Labs
DxO Labs offers products and solutions ensuring excellence in digital imaging. DxO Labs develops and licenses intellectual property serving the entire digital imaging chain: licensing of optics and silicon architectures for embedded still and video image processing; image quality evaluation and measurement tools and methodologies; image quality enhancement software for consumers. The company's key customers and partners include:
Consumer electronics manufacturers such as digital camera vendors and cameraphones vendors;
Imaging components suppliers: camera module manufacturers, sensor vendors, and processor vendors;
Demanding photographers, as well as photography journalists and imaging experts.
DxO Labs' product portfolio is steadily finding a place at the heart of advanced consumer electronics and world-class industry imaging systems where "Image Science by DxO" becomes a reference for quality.
For more information or a list of distributors and resellers, visit DxO Labs online at www.dxo.com.

Posted by flashdeadline at 9:41 PM

Weekly News from the Nikonians Academy

Nikonians Field Event of the Year enters second week
From the mobile desk of Nikonians Academy Director Mike Hagen:
Our 7th Annual Photo Adventure Trip (ANPAT) participants are in the middle of the final week in Yellowstone and Grand Tetons National Parks.

Check out some of the picture posts at the ANPAT forum to see what the excitement is about.
As most of the Group One attendees headed home Group Two began their week-long adventure, and soon we'll be seeing a good selection of 7th ANPAT impressions in the Nikonians Galleries.

As we mentioned last week, we are currently evaluating a few locations for our 2008 ANPAT. Right now, we are considering a trip to the American Southwest for deserts, canyons and valleys. Alternatively, we are looking at the Northeast for Maine, fall colors and coastal landscapes. As soon as this ANPAT is concluded we'll have the 8th ANPAT forum opened, and we'll be looking for your suggestions. Stay tuned to the News Blog for updates.

Quick Tip:

Each week we receive numerous questions about camera techniques, methods, software, etc. This week I received a great question about photographing waterfalls that I'd thought would be a great tip to share with the rest of you. Connie from Portland, Oregon writes:

Mike, when shooting in Shutter Priority mode on the Nikon D200, I am having an awful time trying to get water movement in waves and streams. When I slow down the shutter speed, the exposure is burnt out... I don't know how to set the camera for both slow shutter AND proper exposure??? Help!

slow_shutter-250.jpg
Here's my answer to Connie:
In order to get a long exposure, it has to be relatively dark. On a cloudy day, if you shoot at ISO 100, you'll be lucky to get a 1/2 to 1/4 second exposure. That will give you a little bit of motion blur, but won't really result in silky smooth water.
The only way to really get what you are after is to decrease the amount of light coming into your camera. The best method for doing this is to use a neutral density filter. These are dark filters that simply fit over your lens and reduce the amount of light landing on your CCD. In my humble opinion, the best product on the market right now is made by Singh-Ray. It is pricey, but allows you to actually dial it in for a specific amount of light reduction.

For example, you can set it to reduce the light by 2 stops to 8 stops just by rotating the front element of the filter. There are other filters that are much less expensive and are usually designated as 1-stop, 2-stop or 3-stop filters.

Also, remember that in in shutter priority mode, you are setting your camera for a specific shutter speed (maybe 2-seconds) but the light is way too bright to get a decent shot. With a long exposure, your camera will have to choose an aperture of f22. Unfortunately, most lenses don't stop down any further than that, so there's no other way to reduce the light. The result is a blown out exposure. The neutral density filter is a great solution to your problem.

----------------------

Workshop bookings are getting rare:
We have a few seats remaining in our Orlando, Atlanta and Washington DC workshops. Many of the individual classes are sold out, but there are still some available for Nikon Capture NX in most cities during October.
In each city we'll be teaching the Nikon D200, Nikon D80/D70, Nikon Capture NX and Nikon iTTL Wireless Flash. Orlando is scheduled for October 11th - 14th. Both Atlanta and Washington DC are scheduled for October 25th - 28th. You can sign up for workshops on Nikon D200, Nikon D80/D70, Nikon Capture NX and Nikon iTTL Wireless Flash by visiting the Nikonians Academy.

Until next week -- keep shooting!


Posted by flashdeadline at 8:00 PM

Congratulations to Nikonians Photographer of the Year 2007 Segment Three Winners

Contests Director Chris Gray (wpgf100) has contacted the winners of Segment Three in our Nikonians Photographers of the Year 2007 Contest, letting them know they have earned prizes in their categories. The First Place winners have also been selected to move on to the finals of this year's contest.

Segment Three judging concentrated on the Night Time, Open and Digital Art categories, with the following Nikonians taking top honors.

Night Time ----------

First Place - Sten (stenrasmussen) Rasmussen, from Norway, for "Norwegian Spring Night" - The winning entry earns Sten a Spyder2PRO from ColorVision and a seat in the finals.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Second Place - Phil (pmwollenberg) Wollenberg, from the USA, for "Overlook at Chateau de Blois" - The winning entry earns Phil an HP Scanjet G4000 Photo Scanner from HP.

 

 

 

 

Open ----------

 

 

First Place - Jeff (jrayner) Rayner, from the USA, for "Underwater Danger" - The winning entry earns Jeff a SilverFast DC Pro Studio from LaserSoft Imaging and a seat in the finals.

 

 

 

 

 

Second Place - John (WINDSURFER) Bambace, from the USA, for "Dream Boats" - The winning entry earns John a Glass Taxi Backpack from Think Tank Photo.

 


 

Digital Art ----------

First Place - Sue (Sue A) Ahon, from Australia, for "Inner Soul"- The winning entry earns Sue an HP Photosmart A618 Compact Photo Printer from HP and a seat in the finals.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Second Place - Alexander (Alejandro) van Toom, from Spain, for "Un lagardonbe la paz se puede tocar"- The winning entry earns Alexander a Capture One LE from Phase One.

 

The Nikonians Photographers of the Year 2007 Contest is open to all Silver, Gold and Platinum Members. All entries are judged by a panel of expert Nikonians photographers who cast their vote on the photographs received within a given period.

Segment Four is currently being judged. This segment concentrates on Landscape, Architectural and Sports.

Posted by flashdeadline at 6:34 PM

Nikonians News Flash #64

News-Flash.png

Tune in for your weekly dose of Nikonians News Flash! Chock full of news from your friendly neighborhood Nikonians, Nikon, and more.


Download Nikonians News Flash #64 (NPC-NF-2007-09-30.mp3; 7:45; 7.1MB; MP3 format)

September 30, 2007
In The News:
Updates from the Nikonians Academy.

Nikon News:
Nikon US has announced a new CEO!

New high ISO samples from the D3.

Other News:
Adobe releases Photoshop Elements 6.

Epson's new travel pack.

From The Forums:
Wedding photographer wanted for late November in Sedona.

Shout out for Nikonians in/around Manchester, UK!

Winners of Segement 3 of the 2007 Photographer of the Year contest have been released.

Forum of the Week:
ANPAT 7

Jessica's Choice Photo:
Fresh Fall Rain.

Questions, Comments, Announcements?
Email Jessica at newsflash@nikonians.org, or drop us a line in the Podcast Feedback forum!

Posted by odle2 at 2:39 PM

September 29, 2007

Nikon D3 High ISO Samples Released

High-ISO samples for the Nikon D3 Digital SLR have been released. Included among the JPEG examples are action photos at 3200 and 6400 by noted photographer Dave Black.

Posted by covey22 at 9:29 PM

September 27, 2007

Color Efex 2.0 for Capture NX Upgrade Released

Nik Software has released the long-awaited FREE Upgrader for Color Efex 2.0 for Nikon Capture NX.

Please note - this is the Upgrade ONLY - you must own a previous version of Color Efex 2.0 for Capture 4.x in order to use this program. This is NOT a trial version. The full version of Color Efex 2.0 for Capture NX is expected to be made available very soon.

Posted by covey22 at 6:44 PM

ID#50: The Image Doctors

This week, the "Doctors" discuss options for portrait lenses and how to find your photographic style.

Download The Image Doctors #50 (NPC-ID-2007-09-27.mp3; 45:19; 15.9MB; MP3 format)

Show Notes: September 27, 2007

2:08 Portrait Lenses

23:00 Defining your personal photographic style

41:36 Photo Prescription: Tripod hooks

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Posted by drjay32 at 6:44 AM

Epson Storage Viewer Travel Pack

For our members who own Epson portable storage viewer devices, the new Travel Pack will be of interest.

Available through the Epson store, the pack is compatible with the P-2000, P-3000, P-4000 and P-5000 portable viewers and features a custom carry unit that will fit on your belt or camera case, a foldable viewer stand, microfiber polish cloth, protective LCD screen films and a car/wall adapter that can power the camera and recharge two batteries simultaneously.

Posted by covey22 at 12:15 AM

Adobe Photoshop Elements 6 Released

Adobe has upgraded their popular consumer editing software package yet again. Photoshop Elements 6 has some very appealing new tools such as PhotoMerge, which simplifies combining several pictures to get the best features located in each frame onto a single photo, and a much improved Quick Selection tool that promises to ease the click burden of selecting a complex area in a frame.

Posted by covey22 at 12:07 AM

September 26, 2007

New CEO for Nikon USA

A new CEO for Nikon USA has been named. Yasuyuki Okamoto has been tapped for the head position for the imaging giant's American operations. Okamoto's previous successful tours includehead of Marketing at the Tokyo headquarters and five years at the helm of Nikon France SA.

Posted by covey22 at 11:43 PM

September 24, 2007

Weekly News from the Nikonians Academy

African Safari sold out, plans for second outing in the works
From the mobile desk of Nikonians Academy Director Mike Hagen:
Our 2008 Nikonians African Safari to Tanzania and the Ngongoro Crater has completely sold out! The class filled up in less than four days and there are many of you who have asked to be placed on a waiting list.
Therefore, we are considering offering a second African Safari in '08 and have already begun working with our outfitter for other possibilities. We should know within the next month or so if we will host a second Safari in '08.

This week and next week is the 7th Annual Nikonians Photo Adventure Trip (7th ANPAT) in Yellowstone and Grand Tetons National Parks. About 70 of your fellow Nikonians are participating and will be taking breathtaking landscape and wildlife photos in one of America's most breathtaking locations. Photos are already being posted in our forums.
In fact, demand was so great this year that we had to expand to two sessions with about 35 people per group! We have already started planning for the 2008 ANPAT and are currently looking for a great location in North America to host another great adventure.


Although many of our October Nikonians Academy workshops have sold out, we still have some open seats in Orlando, Atlanta and Washington DC. In each city we'll be teaching the Nikon D200, Nikon D80/D70, Nikon Capture NX and Nikon iTTL Wireless Flash. Orlando is scheduled for October 11th - 14th. Both Atlanta and Washington DC are scheduled for October 25th - 28th. Sign up here: www.nikoniansacademy.com.

Quick Tip:
Here's a tip for those of you using the new Nikon ViewNX browsing software. The traditional way to open a photo for editing from Nikon ViewNX is to send it to Nikon Capture NX. Capture NX is an incredible program and we use it all the time here at the Academy.
Capture NX is truly a revolutionary piece of software, however, there are many times when you just want to send the photograph directly into Adobe Photoshop to work on it. Here's how to send it directly to Photoshop from ViewNX.

ViewNX_OpenWith-300.jpg
a. With the browsing window open in View NX, right mouse click on the photo you want to edit.
b. Choose "Open With" and then choose "Register...".
c. From this Options window, click the "Add..." button.
d. Now navigate to your Photoshop program folder and choose Photoshop.exe.
e. Click "ok" or "open".
f. Now, you can right mouse click on the picture again and choose Open With > Adobe Photoshop

If you use editing programs other than Photoshop such as GIMP or Digital Light & Color, then you can add those to the "Open With" menu just as easily.

You can download your free copy of Nikon View NX and 30-Day trial versions for Mac and Windosw Platforms from Nikon at their download site.

Until next week, keep shooting!

Posted by flashdeadline at 6:02 AM

September 23, 2007

Nikonians News Flash #63

News-Flash.png

We're back with the latest updates and hints from Mike Hagen and the Nikonians Academy. As well, tune in to find out about where you can see footage of the new D3, and the newest changes to the Online Photo Assignments!


Download Nikonians News Flash #63 (NPC-NF-2007-09-23.mp3; 7:50; 7.2MB; MP3 format)

September 23, 2007
In The News:
Updates from the Nikonians Academy.

Nikon News:
Nikon hosts a 7-city tour in Japan highlighting the new D3 and D300.

In the US, Nikon is starting an America at Home project.

Other News:
Kenko's new F-mount SLR.

Carl Zeiss's new lens.

From The Forums:
New upgrades to NikoScope BETA have been confirmed by Bo!

Want to see the D3? Check out this blog.

Find out more about the newest addition to the monthly Online Photo Assignments here

Forum of the Week:
Shooting Panoramas

Jessica's Choice Photo:
Roller.

Questions, Comments, Announcements?
Email Jessica at newsflash@nikonians.org, or drop us a line in the Podcast Feedback forum!

Posted by odle2 at 1:54 PM

September 21, 2007

"America At Home" - The Nikon S51C Campaign

Nikon is arming 100 preeminent photojournalists with Nikon S51C Coolpix cameras and sending them out to capture a week in the life of American households across the nation. "America at Home" is the latest mass-photojournalism project from the producers of "America 24/7" and "One Digital Day." Thousands of amateur photographers will be participating as well and the entire workflow is digital - only digital still cameras and cameraphone images are allowed.

Posted by covey22 at 2:59 PM

September 19, 2007

Nikon Digital Live 2007 Campaign in Japan

Noted in Newline International's 18-September edition: Nikon will be hosting a seven-city tour in Japan for the next two months, showcasing the new Nikon D3 and D300 digital SLR cameras.

Posted by covey22 at 4:16 PM

Carl Zeiss Introduces Distagon T* 28mm f2

Carl Zeiss introduces the Distagon T* 28mm f2 lens for both Nikon ZF and Pentax K mounts. The latest addition to the lens family closes the gap between the wide-angle 25mm f2.8 and the 35mm f2.

Posted by covey22 at 3:54 PM

September 17, 2007

Weekly News from the Nikonians Academy

African Safari has only 3 seats left
The recently announced Nikonians Africa Photo Safari beginning November 11, 2008 has booked quickly. Three of the 12 seats for wildlife photography in the the heart of Tanzania are still available. The lucky 12 will be photographing the Serengeti, Ngorongoro Crater and at the private Arumeru River Lodge.

The Nikonians Academy reports they had a great bunch at Raleigh (Sept 13-16).
Nashville is on top of us for September 20 to the 23rd and we are anxious to see you getting up there too. If you are in that area, we might have a few seats left, but we encourage you to sign up fast. The September 20 Master your Nikon D200 workshop is already sold out, however we still have a few openings for the Sept. 21 Nikon D80, D70, D70s, Sept. 22 Nikon Capture NX and Sept. 23 Nikon i-TTL Flash, CLS workshops.

For October, Winston C. Hall will be teaching in Orlando, Miami and Atlanta. Mike Hagen, our Nikonians Academy Director, will be in the New York and Washington, DC areas. The Nikonians Academy workshops tend to fill out very fast so make sure you book as early as possible and remember group size is kept at only 12 students for a richer, personalized learning experience.
Passionate photographers and avid learners, you make us so very proud and we are nothing but happy to see you advance so fast.
Like Winston C. Hall says, the key to mastering a new skill is getting out and practicing as often as you can. So, the challenge is to take your camera with you! Everyday--everywhere-- and practice, practice and practice more.

In other news:
Starting in January, the Nikonians Academy will be launching a new series of workshops -- or even better: learn-shops- called "Show Case Events" where you can learn everything you always wanted to ask in regards to workflow, from shooting to color management to image enhancement and preparation for web display and printing. Stay tuned.

Posted by flashdeadline at 9:49 AM

Kenko Enters Nikon Mount SLR Market

KF-2N.jpg

In an little advertised development, Kenko has announced that they will be selling a Nikon F-mount fully manual film SLR.

At first glance, the Kenko KF-2N could be mistaken for a smaller sibling of the now-discontinued Nikon FM10 film SLR. The KF-2N has many familiar features such as shutter speeds of Bulb and 1/4000th of a second, Center-Weighted Metering, F-mount (AI, AIS, AF and AF-D only) compatibility, sync speed of 1/125 and powered by two LR/SR-44 batteries. It slightly edges the FM-10 only in viewfinder relief, maximum shutter speed and a PC sync socket.

Posted by covey22 at 4:38 AM

September 16, 2007

Nikonians News Flash #62

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Listen in for all the latest news from Nikon, Nikonians, Adobe, and more. Find out about the latest podcasts from The Image Doctors and the latest edition to our Behind the Lens series.


Download Nikonians News Flash #61 (NPC-NF-2007-09-16.mp3; 4:20; 4.0MB; MP3 format)

September 16, 2007
In The News:

From Nikon:
New articles from the Nikon Knowledgebase. Find our picks here!

New releases: View NX and samples from the D300 and D3!

Nikonians News:
Check out the latest Image Doctors and Behind the Lens podcasts!

Other News:
Adobe releases Lightroom update for Mac and Windows.

Claus Brandt releases his 2008 schedule for the FotoCampus tours!

From The Forums:
"New Lexicon"

Forum of the Week:
7th and 6th ANPAT
Nikonian Rick Paul's favortie thread for NAS is toys for the trip.

Jessica's Choice Photo:
Giraffe pair.

Questions, Comments, Announcements?
Email Jessica at newsflash@nikonians.org, or drop us a line in the Podcast Feedback forum!

Posted by odle2 at 12:38 PM

September 14, 2007

Adobe Lightroom 1.2 Update

Adobe has updated their Lightroom workflow software to Version 1.2 Changes include improvements to cataloging functionality and error fixes to the interface and program behavior. The update is available for Windows and Macintosh.

Posted by covey22 at 3:09 PM

Behind the Lens #9: Vincent Versace

Go behind the lens with Nikon Legend Vincent Versace. Nikonian Jason Odell spent a day with Vincent in his Los Angeles studio, learning about Vincent's techniques for producing outstanding fine art prints and using the latest software tools, like Capture NX.

Click here to download Nikonians Podcast #9 (NPC-2007-09-14; 38:54; 13.7MB, MP3 format).

Vincent Versace is a master photographer for the digital age. He has won numerous awards and is a featured artist for Nikon, Epson, and Lexar. Vincent has been a pioneer in digital photography and digital darkroom techniques. Vincent has been well-known for his photographs of musical artists and celebrities, but now finds himself drawn towards creating images of landscapes and people and evoking emotion from the viewer. Vincent is a strong advocate of Nikon's RAW conversion software, Capture NX, and has created a video tutorial on DVD that describes its use.

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Posted by drjay32 at 1:56 PM

September 13, 2007

Nikon D300 Digital SLR Samples Available

Samples for the highly anticipated Nikon D300 digital SLR are now available. While Nikonians are eager to see how the camera's high ISO performance will compare to the recent stunning images from it's big brother Nikon D3, none of the photos were taken at above the base rating of 200.

Posted by covey22 at 10:35 PM

ID#49: The Image Doctors

Listen as the Image Doctors discuss the upcoming Nikonians ANPAT to Grand Teton NP and Yellowstone NP. Also in this episode, Jason and Rick review a new sensor cleaning tool, the NRD Firefly.

Download The Image Doctors #49 (NPC-ID-2007-09-13.mp3; 41:55; 14.8MB; MP3 format)

Show Notes: September 13, 2007

1:35 A few more thoughts on the D3/D300

10:35 7th ANPAT Preparation/ Storage Strategies for the Field

25:46 Product Review: NRD Firefly

35:20 Photo Prescription: Creative Cropping

[iTunes] Subscribe to the Image Doctors directly in iTunes.
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[Vote] Vote for us on Podcast Alley!

Posted by drjay32 at 3:26 PM

September 12, 2007

Nikon D3 Digital SLR Samples Available

Nikon has released official samples showing the Nikon D3's image capabilities, including a stunning ISO6400 ambient light photo of a trumpet player. The quality shown reinforces how much Nikon is determined to counter industry comments about lack of high-ISO performance.

Posted by covey22 at 6:01 PM

September 11, 2007

Claus Brandt FotoCampus 2008 Schedule

The FotoCampus Tours, hosted by Nikonians' own Claus Brandt, has released the 2008 schedule. Join Claus and new team member Bence Mate in mastering your wildlife and nature photography in three beautiful locations: Helgoland Island - The Pearl of the North Sea, the lively Pusztazer Bird Sanctuary in Hungary and exotic Krueger National Park in South Africa. Register now to save a seat!

Posted by covey22 at 6:06 PM

Nikon View NX, Transfer and Picture Project Export Released

Nikon has released the much-anticipated View NX and some additional new utilities.

Nikon View NX replaces the aging Nikon View 6 series, and includes an expanded set of editing controls using the new Picture Control system which makes it's debut in the upcoming the Nikon D3 and Nikon D300 digital SLRs. Download View NX for the PC or Mac.

Transfer was previously part of Nikon View 6, but has been separated into a standalone application. The utility now can copy files from the camera to multiple locations simultaneously and supports the Label and Rating system introduced in Capture NX. Download Transfer for the PC or Mac.

Finally, in a sign that PictureProject's demise may be near, the PictureProject Export utility allows you to transfer your photo and album information to View NX or selected image management capabilities in Windows or MacOS. Download PictureProject Export Utility for the PC or Mac.

Posted by covey22 at 5:33 PM

September 10, 2007

Nikon Knowledgebase Watch: 10-September-2007

As always, Nikonians is on the lookout for new Nikon Knowledgebase articles of interest to our members. This week's selection includes:

*Updated shutter release count information (including scenarios where they could be reset!)

*Defect Pixel information and visual samples

*Updated List of Nikon Capture How-To articles (up to 32 now!)

*How To Load, Save and Edit IPTC Information on a Nikon DSLR.

*Updated Shipping Instructions for Warranty and Estimate repairs to Nikon USA's new El Segundo facility in California

Posted by covey22 at 5:24 PM

Weekly News from the Nikonians Academy

Nikonians Academy will offer Nikon D300 workshops
From the mobile desk of Nikonians Academy Director Mike Hagen:
With the introduction of Nikon's new digital SLR cameras, we have been receiving many questions about when we will start offering workshops on these new cameras. The answer is that we will add Nikon D300 workshops starting in January of 2008.

Nikon-D300-250.jpg
We're looking forward to this great new camera and can't wait to start teaching each of you how to use it! For the time being, we encourage you to go over to our D100/D200/D300 Users Group forum to read what others have to say about it! You can also check out Nikon's detailed D300 specifications or a quick D300 overview from our friends at LetsGoDigital.

We really want to highlight the Philadelphia dates this October.
Carmine Picarello, (our resident commercial, wedding and all-around master photographer) will be teaching workshops on the Master your Nikon D200, Field Photography: Nikon D200 and D80, Nikon Capture NX and Nikon wireless iTTL flash and Creative Lighting System (CLS). The D200 workshops he's leading are set up for two days. The first day will be our standard D200 class, aimed at helping you fully understand all the camera's advanced functions. This is a wonderful workshop and has been selling out in almost every city we run it. The second day will be a field photography workshop. Carmine will be working with you on the D200 in the field, showing you how to actually put into practice professional techniques and methods. The name of this workshop is "Master Field Photography: Nikon D200 and D80". The workshop is actually open to anyone with a Nikon DSLR (D50, D70, D40, D80, D200, D2X, D100) and the purpose is to show you how to get the most out of your camera in real world shooting situations. We'll be doing street photography and also photographing in great locations in Philadelphia's historic downtown district. Carmine will show you how to optimize the camera for autofocus, color modes, depth of field and fill flash so that you can shoot with confidence on your next photo adventure. Join us for an exciting series of workshops in Philadelphia.

Quick Tip:Use your Highlights Screen to check exposures
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Here's a quick field photography tip for you. Many times when I'm photographing on assignment in the outdoors, the ambient light is just too bright to adequately see my camera's LCD. I'm normally in the habit of quickly checking my LCD right after taking my photo just to make sure I've nailed the shot. One of the fastest methods to check your exposure is to view your camera's Highlight screen. Many people call this the blinkies screen. The reason why this screen is important is that it shows you which portions of the photo (if any) are over exposed or "blown out." By quickly viewing this, I can see if the subject's face has any blown highlights and then quickly make adjustments if necessary.
Obviously, judging exposures with the Highlight screen isn't as accurate as using the Histogram screen, but it sure is a lot faster!
When shooting photos on a trip, you want to stay in the moment and keep shoot photos as they are happening and a quick view of the Highlight Screen is one of the best ways to do this.

Finally, for those Floridians out there, we want to remind you that we have a couple workshop dates scheduled just for you this October.
Winston Hall will be teaching in Miami from October 18th - 21st. We have seats remaining for each day of the series in our D200, D80/D70, Capture NX and iTTL flash workshops. Winston is also teaching in Orlando the week before from October 11th - 14th.

Posted by flashdeadline at 4:55 AM

September 9, 2007

Nikonians News Flash #61

News-Flash.png

This week's episode includes the weekly report from the Nikonians Academy, as well as the winners of segment 2 of the Photographer of the Year 2007 Contest, and more.


Download Nikonians News Flash #61 (NPC-NF-2007-09-09.mp3; 7:19; 6.7MB; MP3 format)

August 18, 2007
In The News:

Updates from the Nikonians Academy.

Other Nikonians News:
Winners of the 2007 Photographer of the Year, Segment #2 have been announced!

All About the Cameras, revisited!
Sony: A700.

Forum of the Week:
Underwater Photography
Listener John Owen's chosen photos can be seen here and here

Jessica's Choice Photo:
Newfoundland Water Dog.

Questions, Comments, Announcements?
Email Jessica at newsflash@nikonians.org, or drop us a line in the Podcast Feedback forum!

Posted by odle2 at 12:37 PM

September 8, 2007

Bo and jrp chat- we get to listen in

Nikonians co-founders Bo Stahlbrandt (bgs) and J. Ramon Palacios (jrp) recently discussed the impact of Nikon's announcements of the new Nikon D3, Nikon D300 (and new ultra-wide-angle, standard zoom NIKKOR and VR lenses). The chat was brief, focusing primarily on the D3 and thoughts on future developments.

The pair had very little time to discuss the new announcements while making last minute arrangements for the sold-out 7th Annual Photo Adventure Trip (ANPAT) beginning later this month. For Nikonians who could not attend the ANPAT -- this Internet conversation between them gives you an idea of their current views.

Bo (at right) begins the chat (in blue text) followed by jrp (at left in the Nikonians hat):

bgs: Partner ---Thanks for taking the time to discuss the new Nikon D3 DSLR and what the near future probably brings for us Nikonians in terms of DSLR cameras. Please have a virtual seat. :)  

 

 

 

jrp: Thanks ;)

 

 

 

bgs: I bet that everything in the pro segment will be FX from now on (D3, D3X, D4...), since it is easier to pump up the resolution that way and is probably the best tactic against Canon's marketing to the same segment. It is natural to see the prosumer bodies being DX for now and since the DX lenses are still usable on the FX bodies not much is lost. The "sexiness" of DX lenses will drop fast though.  

jrp: Not sure that everything in the pro segment will be FX only. If that were the case the D3 would have been named D3H, then for sure the incoming D3X would also be FX--a bit slower frames per second but with more megapixels -- Like it was the case with the D1H and D1X, then D2H/D2Hs and D2X/D2Xs -- But who knows.  

bgs: If I recall right, "H" = highspeed. For sure the D3 is high speed, but probably the former "H's" where dubbed "high speed", since that was about the most important, marketable additional feature that would sell... With the new D3 we have a new generation of cameras, not the case with the D1H and D2H which were nothing IMHO but cosmetics.  

jrp:

Let us take a look at the new lenses that are coming out. The two new zoom FX lenses look most attractive, even to me with my D2X. The optical performance is simply incredible - if one is to judge by the published MTF tables. So yes, for the pro and deadly serious amateur segments, the DX lenses "sexiness" is gone.---- But the cost and weight will cause many to still largely favor the DX lenses. They are here to stay and its customer loyalty tradition and margins will make Nikon continue to offer DX lenses and DX DSLR bodies, now that they have broken the initial resistance. There are now 2 FX lenses and 26 DX lenses in production.  

bgs: Yes, good hint on the weight. So that can be another reason for the "heavy pro's/prosumers" to go with FX and the larger "average" crowds to use DX.. 26 DX lenses currently in production is a majestic number. As we can (usefully) connect a large number of non-DX lenses to the FX based Nikon D3, I bet we'll see many interesting lens-D3 combinations in the forums.

jrp: This move makes the three market segments "consumers", "prosumers" and "pros" more complete, covering the entire price/features range and yet with more clearly separated subsegments:

Consumers: D40x - entry level (possibly a D30/D30x coming soon)

Prosumers: D300 (and the alleged D3X that should be coming soon)

PJ Pros: D3 -- which is the main market for the D3

All other Pros: Future D3X and D4

And in this DSLR progression-- we at Nikonians won't forget our loyal Nikon Autofocus Film Bodies, F4/F5/F6 owners , F100 , F80/N80 , D1/D2/ , D100/D200 , D80 and D70/D70s users. 

With less spilling over from one segment to the next, both under and above, via price, there will be fewer models with more efficient manufacturing, the old tooling lines for 35mm lenses is being revamped with new optical formulas and coatings, etc. It is a great move and shows that the new Nikon management is really performing. 

bgs: I am with you on that segmentation except that even if the D3 is targeting PJ's, the D2X is less versatile than the D3 and we are using the D2X's "for everything", so we can expect to see D3's being used "for everything" while that is the most high performance body Nikon has. What do you personally think is the most exciting with the D3?  

jrp: Well, the most exciting to me about the Nikon D3 is not that is a full frame sensor camera, although it is undeniably a source of brand pride and an opportunity to "recover" the wide angle and shift lenses we used on 35mm film bodies; but the main feature for me is the much extended ISO range, from Lo-1 (ISO 100) all the way up to Hi-2 (ISO 25,600!). Adding to that the several other extraordinary improvements, makes the D3 a photojournalist, sports specialist and paparazzi dream camera.  

bgs: What do those very high ISO numbers mean for nature photographers? How do you expect that they will change your own photography?  

jrp: For nature photographers it could mean a lot. For example those into landscape photography can use smaller apertures for sunrises and sunsets with faster shutter speeds, particularly important when there is wind and you demand high sharpness. For wildlife photographers, to be able to freeze a bird in flight and forget about noise and motion blur is surely a big thing. 

bgs: Are you going to move to the D3 now or stick with your D2X and wait for a future D3X?  

jrp: I am going to keep my D2X, as I kept all cameras I ever owned, and continue to use it, but as responsible for the forums at Nikonians, I feel I must know this camera first hand, so will have to own one and know it well. Also, as head of the publishing team I need to be able to edit our content before it is published at the Resources and the Nikonians Press.

The D2X' DX APS-C sensor is an advantage in telephoto usage given the 1.5 crop factor. To do the same on the D3 one needs to invest on the really big guns, not alwasy easy for those of us who don't make money from our photographs to pay for gear.

Of course the D3X carries great expectations, even when the prospective of having to switch to terabyte hard disks for image storage is not exactly compelling for amateurs; but -after all- we moved out of floppy disks and diskettes, didn't we?  

bgs: Yes, the larger image files produced by the alleged D3X will lead to higher storage capacities required. As you said, storage is getting cheaper and prices are really dropping fast. Many of us have now terabyte hard disks connected to our computers. Even if this is a very speculative question, I have to ask it: What kind of resolution do you think we can expect from an allegged D3X?  

jrp: 28-30 Mpix would not be impossible, unless I am missing something crucial in sensor density projections. 

bgs: Of your arsenal of lenses, which lenses would you like to use on the D3 -- which combination would be thrilling to test? On what subjects?  

jrp: Apart from the constant f/2.8 AF-S magic trio (17-35mm, 28-70mm and 70-200mm), I am intrigued by how the legendary Nikkors will perform in that D3 FX sensor, like the 105mm f/2.5 AI-S and the 85mm f/1.4D AF, the 180mm f/2.8 AI-S for portraits, as well as the superwides for landscapes, like the 14mm f/2.8 AF.  

bgs: Btw, you are mentioning the D3X as if this is a fact. Will there be one and if so, what could be the release time period?  

jrp: Yes, I find it a logical upcoming event. Most likely next year we'll see a succesor of the D2Xs in APS-C format DX sensor. 

bgs: The D3 delivers 9 frames per second at max speed. Why would someone need that and can this be of any interest to Nikonians in general?  

jrp: Sports and Wildlife photographers may need this frame rates, like when shooting a footbal sequence or a cheetah running for a kill, not to mention if running straight at you in the jungle. This is likely an important appeal to our professional members. Even more so as files get larger. Memory card manufacturers work closely with camera makers and we are already seeing new speeds in reading and writing such as the Professional UDMA 300X by Lexar with 45MB/sec USB transmission to computers, and up to 40MB/sec sequential read and write by Sandisk Extreme IV CF cards. I don't think this is just for the sake of being faster, but direct response to a real upcoming industry need.  

bgs: Thank you very much for your time partner. Always good to chat with you about something _else_ than the most pressing daily issues :)

Posted by flashdeadline at 10:00 PM

September 7, 2007

Image Doctor Comments on Nikon View NX

Image Doctor and Nikonian Rick Walker comments on the upcoming features of Nikon View NX, the anticipated upgrade to the long-in-the-tooth Nikon Viewer utility. The updated program will have many features that tie into the latest digital SLR technology such as the Nikon D300 and the Nikon D3 cameras. The Image Doctors have been beta-testing many of Nikon's upcoming applications, so be sure to check into our forums and keep up to date with the latest developments.

Posted by covey22 at 9:15 PM

Congratulations to Nikonians Photographer of the Year 2007 Segment Two Winners

Contests Director Chris Gray (wpgf100) has contacted the winners of Segment Two in our Nikonians Photographers of the Year 2007 Contest, letting them know they have earned prizes in their categories, and the First Place winners have also been selected to move on to the finals of this year's contest.

Segment Two judging concentrated on the Portrait, Still Life and Nature categories, with the following Nikonians taking top honors.

Portrait

First Place - Carol (essorcalcc) Abrams "Kashmir Elegance" - Her Efforts are being rewarded with a Spyder 2 Pro from ColorVision and a seat in the finals.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Second Place - Jacques (archivue) Pochoy "Behind Glasses"
His efforts are being rewarded with a ScanJet G400 from HP.

 

Still Life

 

 

First Place - Bob (Bob Simrak) Simrak "Sphere" - His efforts are being rewarded with a Silver Fast DC Pro Studio from Laser Soft Imaging and a seat in the finals.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Second Place - Peter (peterst6909) Stacey "Origins of Life" - His efforts are being rewarded with a Glass Taxi Backpack from TTP.

 

 

Nature

First Place - Jeff (jeffmeyers) Meyers "Earth Waves" - His efforts are being rewarded with an A618 Printer from HP and a seat in the finals.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Second Place - David (davidjon_99) Jones "Yum" - His efforts are being rewarded with a Capture One LE from Phase One.

 

 

Contest Director Chris Gray tells us Segment Two was one of the hardest for the judges in the history of the annual contest. Segment Three is now being judged.

The Nikonians Photographers of the Year 2007 Contest is open to all Silver, Gold and Platinum Members. All entries are judged by a panel of expert Nikonians photographers who cast their vote on the photographs received within a given period.

For a guide to entering the competition, check our NIKONIANS PHOTO CONTEST 2007 page.

Posted by flashdeadline at 1:50 PM

September 6, 2007

Sony Responds: The A700 Digital SLR

It was only a matter of time before Sony put out their own DSLR using the 12MP CMOS sensor that was announced for the Nikon D300. The A700 is the latest pro-sumer offering that significantly marks the departure of the design from Minolta and brings more Sony-ness into the product family. New features include an 11-area AF sensor with two central cross-hairs, a large 3.0" LCD, improved Dynamic Range Optimizer logic, glass pentaprism and 5 fps advance rate. See the preview at our colleague site Imaging-Resource.

Posted by covey22 at 3:02 PM

September 3, 2007

Nikonians server upgrade downtime re-scheduled

The move of Nikonians to our new server cluster has begun. All member services should be available during this process with the exception of a scheduled 15-hour forum access downtime later in the week.

Good news: the scheduled downtime of Nikonians.org for Thursday, September 6, from 7 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. Central European Summer Time (CEST) - 1 a.m. to 4 p.m Eastern Daylight Savings Time (EDT) has been moved closer to a day with less members activity. We will have specific scheduling details tomorrow (Thursday) when we know for sure if the decision is made for a move on Friday, Saturday or Sunday, to interrupt the service the least possible.

We should have full access available at http://www.nikonians.com (notice the com vs. org) shortly after the maintenance period has ended.
Two days later, the entire community will once again have full access to all services at our official address http://www.nikonians.org.

Posted by flashdeadline at 6:27 PM

Weekly News from the Nikonians Academy

December workshops schedule increased
From the mobile desk of Nikonians Academy Director Mike Hagen:
In response to popular demand, we've added new workshops for December in Seattle and San Diego.

We'll be running both the D200 and the D80/D70 workshop series along with Capture NX and iTTL Wireless Flash. (Note: the Class Topic links in the previous paragraph refer to the San Diego Workshops. You can find updated information on the Seattle Workshops by looking here)

The San Diego dates are December 6th - 9th and the Seattle dates are December 13th - 16th. Sign up quickly before they sell out!

Our D80/D70 workshops continue to be as popular as ever. These workshops are aimed at helping you fully understand your camera so that you'll be able to create beautiful images. Lots of new D80/D70 owners feel a bit overwhelmed with all of the choices and settings. We help you understand what is important and how to set up your camera so you are in control!
The feedback we receive from our participants is almost always excellent.
Here are some examples:
--------------------
Mike, thanks for that terrific class. You are an exceptional and gifted teacher. Your patience and easy demeanor made the process so much more enjoyable. I am sure I speak for everyone who attended your workshop that we profited greatly from the experience. I look forward to attending future workshops with you.
David
Chicago, Illinois

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Mike, I want to thank you for teaching two wonderful workshops - the D70 workshop and the iTTL flash workshop. It was one of the most enjoyable learning experiences I have ever had and it was all because of you.
Joe
New York

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Dear Mike, This is just a note to say thank you for the excellent workshops that you led (and I took) this weekend. I learned a lot and enjoyed every minute of both sessions. Your teaching style is excellent, and you communicated an excitement for the subjects that I think we all shared. I hope I have a chance to meet you again, and, hopefully, take other courses with you. I will keep my eyes peeled on the Nikonians website.
Ken
San Francisco

Quick Tip:Putting your Color Modes to Work
Mode-Comparison.jpg

Here's a tip for you D80/D70 users out there who want to give your photos some punch and saturation.
Nikon has given us three color modes to work with; color Mode I, Mode II and Mode III. Mode I is a lower saturation setting while Mode III is a high color saturation setting. If you are looking for a quick way to add easy color saturation to your images, then set your color Mode to III.
To set this in the camera, press your "Menu" button and then navigate to the "Shooting Menu" (this is the one that looks like a camera icon).
Next, navigate to the "Optimize Image" settings and choose "Custom". Finally, go to "Color Mode" and choose "IIIa (sRGB)".
This setup will give your pictures some added saturation right out of the camera. There is a lot more to know about choosing sRGB versus Adobe RGB but we won't go into all of that now.
Lots of people are looking for ways to get their images looking more saturated from the get-go, and this is one way to do it!

Posted by flashdeadline at 12:39 AM

September 1, 2007

Nikon D300 Overview

For our members hungry for more information following last week's announcement, Nikon has published a flash presentation on the new features of the D300 digital SLR.

Posted by covey22 at 8:29 PM