BrickHouse Photo School

Tips, Tricks and Reviews for Photo Hobbyists

Archive for February 19th, 2009

Picture Perfect Image Quality with New Sony Digital Photo Frames

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I will often publish media releases related to photography on this blog in order to help keep you informed. These media releases are created by the respective companies. I edit the releases for space as needed.

LAS VEGAS – Sony recently put the spotlight on its new 10-inch digital photo frame, the company’s first to offer a super clear LCD and TruBlack technology, which minimizes the reflection on the display and adds more contrast.

The contrast is 15 times sharper and is 13 percent brighter than the company’s previous photo frames. Additionally, Sony announced three more digital photo frames that are designed to display crystal clear images.

“Our digital photo frames make the best centerpiece for your bedside table or home office,” says Koba Kobayashi, director of digital imaging accessories at Sony Electronics. “Their modern, super slim design and intelligent features make them the perfect addition for almost any décor.”

Feature-Packed Frames

In addition to the top-end DPF-X1000 model, Sony introduced another 10-inch frame (model DPF-V1000). Both frames offer new alarm clock, auto dimmer and a variety of slide-show features.  The auto dimmer feature automatically adjusts the display’s brightness based on the (ambient) lighting.

Using the multiple auto power setting, you can set times that the digital photo frames will automatically turn on and off, which conserves power.

The new frames offer a convenient auto orientation sensor, which automatically detects whether the frames have been positioned horizontally or vertically, and then adjusts the display of the pictures accordingly. When the frames are horizontal, the Sony logo will light up. When the frames are vertical, the logo turns off and blends into the piano black finish. You can also turn the Sony logo on or off from the menu.

The calendar or clock can be viewed in different slide show modes. Choose from four scrapboking templates in slideshow mode and 18 templates in creative edit mode to view pictures against a personalized background.

Additionally, the digital photo frames automatically correct the white balance in digital photos to provide best picture quality.

It is easy to store thousands of digital images on the frames’ internal memories. Search by date, folder, marked photos or photo orientation (vertical and horizontal) to easily find and organize photos.
The DPF-X1000 frame has 2GB of storage and comes in black with wood trim. The DPF-V1000 model can store thousands of photos on its 1GB internal memory and comes in black with silver trim.

Both frames also connect to Sony BRAVIA® HDTVs and other compatible HDTV sets to display your photos in high definition via an HDMI™ cable (sold separately).

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, SDHC, Microdrive®, xD-Picture Card and Compact Flash Card.

Photos can be transferred from the frame to a printer or transferred to the frames via a USB cable (not included) from a PC or digital still camera. These new S-Frame models support JPEG, BMP, TIFF and RAW (SRF, SR2, ARW) image file formats.

Pricing and Availability

The DPF-X1000 and DPF-V1000 digital photo frames will be available in March for about $300 and $250, respectively, direct at sonystyle.com, at Sony Style® retail stores around the country, and at authorized dealers nationwide.

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Written by jeremyparce

February 19, 2009 at 10:07 pm

Canon Introduces the New TS-E 24mm f/3.5L II and the TS-E 17mm f/4L Tilt-Shift Lenses

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I will often publish media releases related to photography on this blog in order to help keep you informed. These media releases are created by the respective companies. I edit the releases for space as needed.

LAKE SUCCESS, N.Y. – Canon U.S.A., Inc., recently introduced two new Tilt-Shift lenses, the TS-E 24mm f/3.5L II and the TS-E 17mm f/4L.

Both the TS-E 24mm f/3.5L II and the TS-E 17mm f/4L are specialty lenses ideal for landscape and architectural photography and are compatible with all Canon EOS system SLR cameras.

Canon's TS-E 17mm f/4L lens. (Photo Credit: Canon USA)

Canon's TS-E 17mm f/4L lens. (Photo Credit: Canon USA)

The TS-E 24mm f/3.5L II, a replacement for Canon’s TS-E 24mm f/3.5L introduced in 1991, has significantly improved operability with low distortion when photographing buildings, consistent image quality throughout the image and reduced chromatic aberration when shooting at ultra-wide angles. The TS-E 17mm f/4L is the world’s shortest focal length Tilt-Shift lens with full-frame 35mm coverage.

“These two new lenses are Canon’s answer to photographers who have requested wider angle Tilt-Shift lenses, with the new TS-E 24mm for wide angles and the all new TS-E 17mm for ultra-wide angles. We continually seek to expand our optics portfolio to meet the demands of our photographers to ensure that they have the best tools available to capture some of the most stunning images on the planet,” stated Yuichi Ishizuka, senior vice president and general manager, Consumer Imaging Group, Canon U.S.A.

An innovative feature on both the TS-E 24mm f/3.5L II and the TS-E 17mm f/4L lenses is Canon’s new TS Revolving System. This feature allows tilting and shifting lens movements to be adjusted in parallel or at right angles to each other, with detents at 45˚ intervals. Additionally, once the TS Revolving System has been set, the orientation of the entire lens can be rotated freely through a range of ±90˚, with detents at 30˚ intervals. The amount of tilt is ±8.5˚ for the TS-E 24mm f/3.5L II and ±6.5˚ for the TS-E 17mm f/4L. The amount of shift is ±12mm for both lenses. The image circle diameter for both lenses is an impressive 67.2mm. (The diagonal measurement of the full-frame 35mm format is only 43.2mm.)

The high-precision glass molded aspherical and UD glass lens elements and accurate aspherical GMo along with a large diameter in new TS-E lenses deliver outstanding image quality, high resolution and super-low distortion to all edges of the image. Each lens incorporates a new type of anti-reflection coating, Canon’s SubWavelength structure Coating (SWC) that continuously changes the refractive index on the lens surface via wedge-shaped structures more minute than wavelength of visible light. Canon’s SWC helps minimize flare and ghosting caused by bright light from large angles of incidence. The new TS-E lenses are the 2nd and 3rd Canon EF series lenses with SWC, following the EF 24mm f/1.4L II USM that was introduced in 2008.

Canon's TS-E 24mm f/3.5L II lens. (Photo Credit: Canon USA)

Canon's TS-E 24mm f/3.5L II lens. (Photo Credit: Canon USA)

Pricing and Availability
The TS-E 24mm f/3.5L II is expected to ship in May for an estimated retail price of $2,199.00. The TS-E 17mm f/4L is expected to ship in May for an estimated retail price of $2,499.00.

Written by jeremyparce

February 19, 2009 at 1:17 am

Photo Critique 2: ‘Mauricio,’ by Daniel M.

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I love critiquing photos. It’s the best way to learn and get new ideas for photo shoots. Today, we’re going to critique an image made by Daniel, a former student of mine in Miami.

Mauricio, a portrait by Daniel of Miami, Florida

'Mauricio,' a portrait by Daniel of Miami, Florida

General Overview:
Daniel, you take great portraits and this is another example of your good work. You have a great eye for composition and lighting.

This is a nice portrait because, like Carla’s, of its relative simplicity. The viewer is drawn to the subject and you captured the subject’s mood very well. You did a great job showing emotion without using complex themes.
You can be very proud of this image.

Improvements
There are just a few things I would improve in this image. First, there are some hot spots on the nose, the right lower portion of the eye and the left upper corner of the eye. Those hotspots can easily be edited out of the image. Next, perhaps a little lighting under the subject would help give more definition between the chin and the neck. Also, I would use the healing brush (in Adobe Photoshop) and clean any areas of the skin that need a little touch up. Finally, I think I would have lit the hair just a little more to add some highlight and contrast.
If you would have used a low-powered light under the subject and a disc reflector above to bounce some light on the hair, the image would have looked better.

I like hard directional lighting and, as usual, you did an outstanding job.

Thanks for the submission, good luck and keep shooting!

If you would like to submit a photo for critique, e-mail us at submissions@brickhousephotoschool.com.

Written by jeremyparce

February 19, 2009 at 12:57 am