Saturday, 26 September 2009

Canon EOS 7D

Park Cameras now have stock available the new Canon EOS 7D. Click here for details of their very special first delivery offer and be one of the first people in the UK to own Canon's latest creation.

I guess stocks will be limited so don't hang around.

The weather's looking good for some early autumn images - the beeches and chestnuts are starting to turn into wonderful rich orange & golden hues that look stunning in the early morning sun. To get the best light this weekend, you'll need to be up to catch sunrise at 06:52 AM on Saturday 26th September. Sunset is 6:50 PM.

Have a great weekend.


Friday, 25 September 2009

Kata KT LS- 36 Light Stand Bags

Kata has just announced the introduction of three new light stand bags aimed at professional photographers. These bags feature Kata's unique Thermo Shield Technology (TST). TST is a state of the art lightweight material which protects your kit from extremes of temperature and shocks without adding excessive weight.

The light stand bags come in three sizes: 36 inch, 46 inch and 54 inch respectively. Each bag is designed to carry four stands. For quick and simple access, each bag opens easily and completely with a full length zipper. Extra side pockets on each model help to keep equipment organised and additional internal pockets are perfect for storing cables and smaller accessories within.
Each bag offers effortless, comfortable transportation with a padded carrying handle and Kata’s unique Dual Purpose Buckle allowing the bags to be carried in several ways at the optimal angle. For added versatility, D-Rings are provided allowing the bags to be attached to any of Kata’s ergonomically designed shoulder straps (Shoulder Strap not included).

The KT LS- 36, KT LS-46 and KT LS-54 are available now. Recommended UK prices (inc. VAT) as follows:

KT LS-36 £59.95
KT LS-46 £69.95
KT LS-54 £79.95

KT LS-36 Technical Specifications:
External maximum size L 94 cm, W 28 cm H19 cm
Internal main compartment L 93.5 cm, W 27.5 cm, H 18 cm

Based on my expereince with Kata bags, these will be well constructed and designed and prove the ideal protection and transport/carrying solution. If like me, you end up strapping your stands together with bungee cords or gaffer tape (not!) these Kata KT LS series light stand bags will prove invaluable.

Wednesday, 23 September 2009

Adobe Photoshop Elements 8 & Adobe Premiere Elements 8

Today Adobe Systems announced the launch of their new Adobe Photoshop Elements 8 & Adobe Premiere Elements 8. This package creates a single hub where you can manage and edit all of your still & moving images.

Personally, I'll be looking into this product further as it has one feature that Apple's iMovie lacks – a time line. Call me old fashion (I started my multi-media career in 1982), but I like a visual representation of my footage and transitions. We're also looking at the feasibility of using Adobe Premiere Elements 8 & Adobe Photoshop Elements 8 in future UK Photo Walks & Park Cameras workshops.

For those of you not wanting or needing to enter into the world of full-blown Adobe Photoshop CS4 then Adobe Photoshop Elements 8 is well worth considering. It's packed full of features to make storing, finding, editing, enhancing and sharing images fairly simple. And, if like more and more DSLR photographers you're using the recently introduced video features of your camera you can create you own movies with relative simplicity.

Keep an eye on my UK Photo Walks website for news of our Video (for digital photographers) Workshop. This workshop will give anyone with a camcorder or video enabled DSLR an introduction to shooting better video footage and creating your own movies.

You can get more information and download by visiting the Adobe website.

New features in Adobe Photoshop Elements 8

People Recognition


Adobe Photomerge® Exposure

Quick fix previews

New artwork and templates

Support for Windows 7

New features in Adobe Premiere Elements 8


Smart Trim


Motion tracking

Clip art library

New visual effects, movie themes, and transitions

Online Albums

Support for Windows 7 NB this is a Windoze only application

Here's the Adobe press release:

Organize your Media

Experience the ultimate media management hub—Bring all your video clips and photos together in the powerful, easy to use, fully featured new Organizer that’s accessible from either product. It’s easier than ever to find, view, and manage all your media.

Quickly find your best, most relevant photos and video—Want to easily find your most interesting, highest quality photos and video? The Auto-Analyzer automatically tags your media for quality and interest, and a variety of smart search options make it easy to zero in on just the media you need.

Get the big picture—See the full effect of your photos and video clips from within the Organizer with new full-screen previews, which let you make quick edits to photos while viewing them.

Enjoy support for Windows 7—Take advantage of support for the new Windows 7 platform and the hands-on capabilities of Windows Touch technology.

Create Extraordinary Photos and Tell Amazing Stories

Make all your photos extraordinary—Easily get the results you want with your photos. Get whiter teeth and bluer skies in seconds; recompose photos to any size without distorting key subjects; quickly combine multiple exposures into a single, perfectly lit shot; get step-by-step editing assistance; and much more.

Find specific people in a flash—Quickly find photos that feature specific friends or family members thanks to People Recognition, which automatically identifies the people in your photos.

Tell your stories in unique photo creations—Use flexible themed layouts—including many all-new options — to create everything from photo books and postcards to scrapbook pages and disc covers. Take advantage of online offerings to upload photos directly to the web to order greeting cards, prints, U.S. postage, hardbound books, and more. Services vary worldwide.

Easily Create Movies with Incredible Results

Make incredible movies with less effort—Enjoy a smarter way to create movies, with powerful, automated moviemaking options that give you incredible results. Create movies instantly using creative techniques from Hollywood directors; just choose a theme, and InstantMovie automatically finds your best clips, trims away bad footage, and edits the clips together with coordinated music, titles, effects, motion graphics, and credits. Or customize your results with less effort using automated options that trim unwanted footage, fix bad footage, and intelligently balance your audio elements.

Microsoft¨ Windows¨ XP with Service Pack 2 or 3, Windows Vista¨, Windows 7

Add professional-quality effects and sound—Add entertaining graphics, text, or effects that automatically move with the subjects in your scenes. Give your movies professional style with dazzling visual and audio effects, including many new options. Easily combine elements of different videos for entertaining results, or impress your audience by adding animated titles; rich audio; amazing special effects; TV-style transitions; and custom, professionally designed motion menus.

Do more with individual video frames—Capture a single video frame; add text, graphics, and other enhancements; and then put the frame back in your movie for a fun or dramatic freeze-frame effect. Or use it to create a personalized disc cover for your movie.

Use Photos and Videos Together in Creative Ways

Instantly add cinematic flair to your photo slide shows—Create a traditional photo slide show, and then let InstantMovie automatically add video-style effects, transitions, motion graphics, and more. Preview the slide show in full screen and then burn it to disc or upload it to the web to share with family and friends.

Share photos and videos in fresh, exciting ways on the web—Showcase your photos and videos in one-of-akind

Online Albums with your choice of dynamic, animated templates, including all-new options for sharing photos and videos together. Adobe Flash¨ technology lets viewers interact with your photos and videos for an entertaining experience.

UK Pricing

Adobe Photoshop Elements 8 & Adobe Premiere Elements 8 (Windows): £99.29

Adobe Photoshop Elements 8 (Windows): £65.93

Adobe Photoshop Elements 8 (Mac): £65.93

Adobe Premiere Elements 8 (Windows): £65.93

Tuesday, 22 September 2009

The Best Camera - Brilliant New iPhone App & Book from Chase Jarvis

This has got to be one of the best iPhone apps around. US commercial photographer Chase Jarvis today launched the BestCamera app which allows you to take, edit and share your iPhone images. And this is where I agree with Chase - the best camera is the one you have with you and what's the point in making a image if you don't share it?

Here's the link to CJ's blog


Thursday, 17 September 2009

Park Cameras & UK Photo Walks

It's been a long couple of weeks and I'm pleased to announce that I will now be running a series of workshops for Park Cameras starting early October, with more being developed.

More information can be found about both my Park Cameras workshops and my new UK Photo Walks venture by visiting the links below:

Ian Pack's Park Cameras Workshops and UK Photo Walks

The photo walks are a great way the put into practice what you have already learned or develop fresh skills and techniques in a practical situation. I've already had people suggest that they'd like to mix both classroom and practical work, which is what I intend to do with all the future workshops. Next year will bring a range of exciting and exclusive walks and workshops. Keep an eye on the UK Photo Walks website for further developments.

The team & I are currently developing the first phase of a video training workshop aimed at stills photographers transitioning to video filming with a video camcorder or video enabled DSLR camera (V-DSLR).

Also, we're developing a portrait and posing workshop and an off camera flash (OCF) workshop aimed at Speedlite users along the lines of Strobist and Joe McNally. All of these workshops will offer great creative opportunities and there will be models available throughout the workshops.

I have to close now as I need to put the finishing touches to the Autumn/fall colour workshops which start later in October.

Thursday, 3 September 2009

Canon EOS 7D

Well, Canon have officially announced the release of their new video enabled DSLR the EOS 7D.

In the press release (shown below) Canon state that they surveyed 5,000 photographers in the development of the 7D - well, I participated in the survey and suggested a swivel LCD chimping screen, and they didn't include it.
No sign of a swivel LCD screen

They did include a dedicated video start/stop button which will improve usability, but in a camera with an APS-C sensor. So surely the model number should be 60D?

Anyway, here's the press release:

London, UK, 1 September 2009: Canon unveils the EOS 7D digital SLR camera – a completely new design to meet the specific demands of photographers. Incorporating a new 18MP APS-C CMOS Sensor, developed by Canon, the EOS 7D also features: Dual “DIGIC 4” processors to offer fast, high-quality performance in all light conditions, an ISO range expandable to 12,800 and continuous shooting at 8 frames per second – without the need for additional accessories.

Impressive technologies are matched by excellent build-quality designed with the photographer in mind – to create a whole new photographic experience.

During extensive development Canon went back to the drawing board, listening to photographers worldwide in order to design the EOS 7D to meet their specific needs. Commenting on the creation of the EOS 7D, Mr Uchidoi, Group Executive of Photo Products Group, Canon Inc. Japan said “We consulted over 5,000 photographers worldwide and asked them what they most wanted to see from a camera. Matching this insight with cutting-edge technology, we were able to develop a camera that truly gives photographers the versatile tool they require to experiment with their images.”

Accurate Images – High performance AF and metering systems
The EOS 7D features a 19-point cross-type AF sensor, enabling photographers to achieve accurate shots and optimise composition options. This improved AF system offers a range of manual and automatic settings including Zone and Spot AF to track and capture subjects quickly and accurately. AF settings are highly customisable, allowing for rapid reaction to changes in the scene. Different AF points can be set for vertical or horizontal orientation, so photographers can automatically switch between landscape and portrait shots without touching a button.

The EOS 7D also incorporates a new metering system. The Focus Colour Luminance metering system (iFCL) intelligently measures focus, colour and luminance, across 63 zones. Complementing the 19 AF points, the dual layer sensor is able to gather information from each distinct zone to obtain a more accurate and consistent exposure.

Capture images exactly as you see them
The Canon EOS 7D features an Intelligent Viewfinder that offers photographers 100 per cent frame coverage. With 1.0x magnification - a first for EOS - photographers see a large bright image that helps to fully immerse them within the shot. A transmissive LCD incorporated in the viewfinder allows photographers to choose between various overlay features - such as AF points, the spot metering circle and composition grid – providing a range of tools that help when framing a shot. The EOS 7D is also the first EOS to introduce a Dual-Axis Electronic Level – in the viewfinder and on the LCD - that indicates both pitch and roll angles. This feature is particularly useful when shooting landscapes to ensure a level horizon, or when used in conjunction with a Tilt and Shift lens to level the camera.

The camera features a new 3 inch Clear View II LCD screen with a solid structure screen, designed to combat glare by removing the air-gap between the LCD’s protective cover and the liquid crystal. This new screen has a viewing angle of 160 degrees and is effective even in bright light. As with the EOS 5D Mark II, an ambient light sensor on the side of the screen can set brightness automatically depending on the environment.

Experiment creatively with light
The Canon EOS 7D is equipped with an Integrated Speedlite Transmitter. For the first time in an EOS, photographers can control external Speedlites with no additional accessories - ideal for those looking to experiment with creative lighting set-ups. The EOS 7D also features an extensively upgraded, built-in flash including manual control, and wider flash coverage to cover focal lengths as wide as 15mm.

Customise your individual camera experience
The EOS 7D has been conceived and designed with the photographer’s needs in mind. The look and feel of the camera has been aesthetically and ergonomically crafted to offer photographers the very best interaction. To this end, the photographer can design their own experience – camera operations are customisable, allowing the user to assign frequently used functions and settings to convenient controls. This enables photographers to save time when shooting critical moments, by changing settings quickly.

Impressive Features, Impressive Images
The Canon EOS 7D is packed with new features:

  • 18 MP APS–C CMOS Sensor
    Designed and manufactured by Canon, the sensor produces an outstanding image and offers fantastic performance at high and low conditions, thanks to a new photodiode and microlens construction.

  • 8 fps image capture
    Enabled by the Dual “DIGIC 4” processors and improved electrical system, photographers can capture images at 8fps, without the need for additional accessories and in all file types.

  • ISO Range
    The EOS 7D enables photographers to capture subjects in their natural light. The ISO range (100 – 6,400) is expandable to 12,800.

  • EOS Movie
    With improved operation, making it easy to switch directly to movie mode, it is now even simpler to shoot Full HD video. Users can set exposure and frame rate – with options for 24 fps to create that cinematic feel.

  • Dual “DIGIC 4” processors
    By utilising Dual “DIGIC 4” processors, users of the EOS 7D never have to compromise between shooting speed, image quality and ISO performance.

  • Impressive Design
    Canon has listened to photographer feedback when designing the body, as well as the internal technologies. A magnesium alloy body offers environmental protection – the tough, lightweight construction is designed to defend against moisture, and dust – equivalent to the legendary EOS–1N.

The camera is compatible with a wide range of accessories so it can easily be integrated with a photographer’s workflow. The Wireless File Transmitter (WFT-E5) allows extensive camera control via a web browser – allowing photographers to control the camera using a web-enabled mobile device.

The EOS 7D is compatible with all EF and EF-S lenses as well as Canon EX Speedlites. The Canon EOS 7D can also be used with Battery BG-E7, and remote controllers and switches such as the remote Controller RC-1/RC-5.