Archives for February 8, 2012

Long lens and rugged models from Olympus


“Focus on fun, without worrying about damaging your camera’s high-grade components,” says Olympus of its new TG-820 HIS.

The camera resists underwater immersion down to 33 feet, a drop from 6.6 feet, 220 pounds of weight, and sub-freezing temperatures. “Even people with an action-packed lifestyle can capture brilliant photos and 1080p Full HD Videos, no matter how fast their subject is moving or how poor the lighting is,” the company says.

The $300 cam has a new 12-megapixel back-side illuminated CMOS sensor for  improved low-light performance as compared to last year’s rugged model, as well as better response time. It’s 5x lens zooms from 28mm. It has a 3-inch LCD. More information is here.

It’s not as tough, but the SZ-31MR boasts a 24x optical zoom lens (the 35mm equivalent of 25-600mm).

The $400 compact and lightweight camera has a 16-megapixel BSI sensor, two image processors, 3-inch touchscreen, 1080p video capture, and burst shooting at ten frames per second, or 60 frames per second at three megapixel resolution.  Also, the Multi-Recording functionality simultaneously captures 1080p video and 16-megapixel still images. More information is here.

Both cameras provide a new “HDR Backlight Adjustment” function, which takes a collage of separate photos and blends them into one “perfectly exposed image regardless of difficult lighting.”


Sigma compacts boast 46MP resolution

New rangefinder cameras from Sigma now have the same APS-C sized 46-megapixel X3 image sensor used in the company’s SLR, as well as dual image processors.

The cameras’ lenses have fixed focal lengths: The DP1 Merrill features a f2.8 lens that is the equivalent to a 28mm lens, while the DP2’s is the equivalent to a 45mm. They have a 3-inch LCD, and video capture is limited to VGA resolution, 640 by 480.

The cameras are named in honor of Richard “Dick” Merrill, the co-creator of the Foveon X3 direct image sensor technology. The “46-megapixel” resolution is based on Foveon’s direct image sensor capturing primary RGB colors at each pixel location with three layers, “which results in incredibly detailed images with a three-dimensional feel,” the company says. [However, others argue it is more akin to a 30 or even 15MP sensor’s resolution, with better color.]
Pricing was not announced.

The company’s SD1 SLR is now also known as the Sigma SD1 Merrill. This name change not only pays homage to Merrill, Sigma says, but it also “reflects new production efficiencies that will result in a substantial reduction in the camera’s market price starting next month:” a $3,300 suggested retail price, or a $2,299 minimum advertised price — w-a-ay down from the previous $6,900 price.


Industry veteran Fred Lerner acquires

Fred H. Lerner, CEO, MailPix Inc.

Fred H. Lerner, a veteran within the photo specialty and e-commerce industries, announced the acquisition of, an early-stage online-imaging website. Specific terms of the acquisition were not disclosed. The site will be temporarily closed for updates, but is scheduled to re-launch May 1.

According to Lerner, is ideally equipped to serve the large and growing online imaging market.

“I’m impressed by the site’s advanced Facebook, iPhone and Android technology, as well as the overall business model,” says Lerner. “It also has great URL.

“Online imaging is almost a $2 billion industry, and that doesn’t even include the enormous opportunity of the billions of photos on Facebook, Twitter, smartphones, computers and cameras,” adds Lerner.

Lerner was previously the co-founder, president and CEO of Ritz Interactive Inc., Irvine, Calif. During his long photo industry career, he was president and CEO, Kodak Processing Labs Inc., a division of Eastman Kodak Co.‘s Qualex Inc., after selling Lerner Photo Inc., Irvine, Calif., to Qualex. He began his career with Berkey Photo.

Lerner also served as president of RCI Acquisition LLC, which acquired Ritz Camera Centers Inc. under Section 363 of the Chapter 11 Bankruptcy Code. He was international president of the Photo Marketing Association International (PMA) from 2005-06, and served on many PMA committees. Lerner currently serves as a board member of International Photographic Council (IPC), a non-governmental body of the United Nations, where he is a Hall of Fame recipient.

Advisor for the transaction was James Joaquin, a partner of Catamount Ventures. He was president and CEO of Ofoto, leading that company from its start through the successful acquisition by Kodak.


Plan now for PSPA/SPAA Conference vendor reception

A highlight of the 2012 PSPA/SPAA Conference is the Vendor Reception, Feb. 18, from 4:30-7:00 p.m. at The Renaissance. This popular event is offered at no charge for attendees, giving them to connect with professional labs and suppliers in a relaxed atmosphere.

Participating Vendors

36 Pix

Advanced Photographic Solutions

Ark-La-Tex Color Lab

Bay Photo

Cash Flow Solutions, Inc.



Darkroom Software LLC

Denny Manufacturing Co. Inc

Eastman Kodak Co

GPSE/Group Photo Supplies

Group Photographers Association

H & H Color Lab

Heigl Technologies



JD Photo Imaging


Live Yearbook

LumaPix Inc.

MackayMitchell Photopak

Marathon Press

Marco Photo Service

Midwest Camera Repair

Millers Professional Imaging

Neil Enterprises



PCL West


Plasco ID

Pounds Labs

Proven Pictures

Retouch Laboratory

Richmond Professional Lab

School Annual Publishing

Tap Packaging Solutions

Timestone Software

Tyndell Photographic

United Color Lab

United Promotions Inc.

United Yearbook Printing Service

Virtual Backgrounds

Walter’s Publishing

Noerr Programs promotes three in field operations

 The Noerr Programs, Arvada, Colo., a marketing and digital event-imaging company serving the retail and shopping center industries, promoted three executives in its field operations effective immediately. Steve Fischetti was named vice president of field operations and consumer sales, Danny Neron was promoted to senior division manager and Mark London was named manager of the Florida division.

Hired by The Noerr Programs in 1994, Fischetti has developed the sales operation of the company, which produces more than 3.5 million photos each year for customers who visit Santa Claus and the Easter Bunny. Fischetti directs a field staff including nine division managers, 23 region managers and 3,000 seasonal employees in 38 states and Puerto Rico. In addition to field operations, he continues to develop consumer sales strategies that include photo packages, seasonal merchandising and field training. Fischetti reports to Carl Chudnofsky, who joined The Noerr Programs Corp. as president last October.

As a senior division manager reporting to Fischetti, Neron will oversee Northeast operations, including New York, New Jersey, Eastern Pennsylvania and Massachusetts where he will implement focused sales strategies.

London was promoted to division manager in Florida managing 25 malls. Prior to joining The Noerr Programs, London held high profile positions with Equity Properties in Chicago from 1985 through 1993 and General Growth Properties from 1993 to 1999.


Magix Camera MX app for Android released

MAGIX Camera Live Effects for Android

Magix AG has introduced a photo-editing app for Android, Camera MX, adding new real-time filters and photo editing. Quickly editing captured photos and publishing them over multiple communication channels have been streamlined and neatly packaged for the mobile user. Magix Camera MX is now available for free on the Android Market from version 2.2.

Magix MX includes 16 always-ready filters allowing for creative decisions including effects like Lomo, Sepia, Pop Art, negative, Orton, and Kaleidoscope. After taking the photo, users can calibrate their images more precisely by adjusting saturation, contrast and white balance- to name a few.

The finished photos can also be assembled into more personalized formats. In the provided media manager, they can be viewed as slideshows customized with optional 3D transitions, the Ken Burns effect, and a choice between six optional soundtracks. The end result can be posted to Facebook and to Twitter, as well as Magix’ online album. service.

CRU-DataPort introduces UltraDock v5 with USB 3.0 connectivity

CRU-Dataport UltraDock v5

CRU-Dataport, Vancouver, Wash., debuted UltraDock v5, an aluminum device allowing access to data on bare 2.5- and 3.5-inch SATA and 3.5-inch IDE hard drives via five host interface connections including USB 3.0. UltraDock v5 has a user friendly menu, LCD screen and access to S.M.A.R.T drive data, which makes it the most versatile drive dock from CRU-DataPort.

UltraDock v5 connects to most host computers with included USB 3.0/2.0, eSATA, FireWire 800/400 host interfaces. Attach a bare hard drive to the dock then connect the dock to a computer and begin to access, set up, diagnose or repair the drive. If using non-standard drives, CRU-DataPort offers combo adapters to access 1.8” drives, notebook drives, iPod drives and nearly all spinning disks.

Prosumers and digital photographers may use it to quickly access archived drives, particularly when using CRU’s RTX TrayFree enclosure systems for backup and archiving. UltraDock v5 is available through CRU-DataPort resellers for $249 MSRP


Photogenic extends rebates

Photogenic Professional Lighting, Bartlett, Ill., extended its rebates on their popular models and kits from the Solair, PowerLight, and StudioMax III series. With the rebates, consumers can save up to $250 on lighting and accessories. All consumer purchases must be made between Jan. 15 and March 31, 2012, and all rebate forms must be postmarked by April 30, 2012.

Olympus combines 40-year SLR legacy with Micro Four Thirds

With the E-M5, Olympus says it “builds upon the 40-year legacy of the OM SLR film camera series” with the Micro Four Thirds mirrorless compact interchangeable lens camera, for “blazing fast speed and total creative control in a classic, rugged body ready for sand, sun, sleet or snow.”

The new model is compact and ready-for-action, the company says, with a lightweight magnesium alloy body “evoking the classic design of the original OM Series” to “meet the requirements of discerning photographers who demand more performance and portability from their interchangeable-lens cameras.”

The E-M5’s 16-megapixel sensor allows for a maximum ISO of 25,600, and the dynamic range has been expanded for more faithful color reproduction.


The camera’s “unprecedented” 5-axis image stabilization compensates for multi-directional camera shake during both still photography and HD moviemaking — the world’s first such system, Olympus asserts. It is capable of reducing the effects of camera motion and image blur from five directions on stills and video, even including motion blur caused by the photographer walking or running: horizontal shift, vertical shift, rotary motion, as well as the yaw and pitch. All lenses mounted on the body can take advantage of the technology.


The E-M5 also has the fastest autofocusing system, Olympus says, reading image data off the sensor at 240 frames per second. The new 3D AF tracking improves performance following moving subjects at up to 9 frames per second.

The camera has a tilting 3-inch OLED touchscreen, and measures 4.8 by 3.5 by 1.7 inches. The E-M5 will ship in April for $1,000 body only, and $1,300 with a 12-50mm f3.5-6.3 lens.

More information is here.