Amazon Europe click and bait practices

Amazon Europe ‘click and bait’ practices
Introduction
After B&H Photos click and bait scandal over the Christmas holidays involving a deal with Hasselblad X1D with two free lenses, Amazon Europe seems to going the same route.
My Story
On January 3rd, I saw the Sony SEL70-200G f/2.8 had a rather nice 16% discount. I proceeded to order this lens. It wasn’t in stock, but I don’t mind waiting a few weeks until it becomes available.
I received my order confirmation in the mailbox as usual so all looked well.

The next day, I thought I’d check my amazon account to see if any delivery date has been set. To my surprise, I could not find my order and after some investigation in turned out that it was moved to the ‘cancelled orders’ section. I had not received any communication from amazon about this, so I decided to contact customer support…
I received this reply:

Their explanation was that someone had made a ‘pricing mistake’ and hence they had cancelled my order. They directed me back to the page with the original listing price. Now in Europe, as a seller, you are obliged to sell your products for the (in this case discounted) listed price. Mistake or not, unless the mistake is obvious, say a zero was forgotten and the item is listed at 10% of the normal value. A 16% discount is not that rare an occurrence, especially on Amazon, so I replied telling them that they are legally bound to sell this item to me at that price.
Now this is where it gets interesting. Check their reply:

It looks like the Amazon lawyers have found a loophole, saying that the “contract of sale” only comes into existence when they actually dispatch your item. So this basically means that in a regular store, you’d only be able to know the price of an item once you’ve paid at the cashiers’ desk and they put your order in a bag. Almost out the door…Fishy.
To make matters worse, a big Amazon competitor was holding a 16% sale on all Sony lenses that day, and Amazon has a price matching policy. So they probably matched their price or made a mistake in what lenses were included in that deal and realised afterwards that it would eat up all their profits on that item.
But now we know: Amazon can always withdraw from any deal or discount they offer until the item is physically shipped. This also means that you could potentially lose out on a deal somewhere else if Amazon decides to change it’s mind for any reason.
I would think that this practice is bordering on illegal. I’d like to hear if anyone else has had any experiences like that so we can hopefully change this Amazon policy!
 
 
 
 
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Flashpoint R2 Li-on TTL On-Camera Flash Speedlight

Flashpoint R2 Li-on TTL On-Camera Flash Speedlight
Introduction
Flashpoint is the in-house brand of one of the biggest US camera retail stores called Adorama. These flashes are actually sourced from Chinese manufacturer Flashpointand basically rebranded by Adorama under the name Flashpoint. Since virtually every electronic device is now produced in China, there is nothing wrong with that, as long as you get value for money and a decent support desk should anything go wrong.

I’ll be looking at the Flashpoint R2 TTL On-Camera Flash (or mark 2) for Sony MIS (Multi Interface Shoe) in this post. You’ll find this exact flash under different brand names like Neewer and Godox in various parts of the world.
The box comes with a high quality carrying pouch
There is much to like here on paper. This is a powerful flash with a high guide number (GN) of 60, offers High-speed sync up to 1/8000th of a second, TTL (through the lens metering), a powerful built-in 2.4G ultra-long-distance wireless remote system for transmitting and receiving and to top it all off comes with a 2000mAh rechargeable Li-ion Battery that provides 650 Full Power Flashes with a Recycle time that is less than 1.5s.

Build
The Flashpoint R2 TTL On-Camera Flash is roughly the same size and weight as top Sony speed lights like the HVL-F60M. This isn’t a light flash, but there is no difference in weight when compared to ‘brand’ flashes costing four times as much. The build quality also looks equal to those top brands. Not a big surprise really as they are probably made in the same factories, or at least with the same quality control mechanisms. The buttons, switch, and wheel also feel quite feel durable.

The foot is made of plastic and locks securely in the Sony MIS. I would complain about the plastic hot shoe, but I’ve had a Nissin, and Sony flash shoe break on me too It’s always better to break a flash foot (they are cheaper on often self-replaceable) than break the camera’s metal hot shoe itself.
Battery
I am used to flashes with AA batteries and these last for around 200-250 flashes. Recycle times do get longer too when they drain, so there is much to be said for a flash that comes with a powerful 2000mAh rechargeable Li-ion Battery. The manual states that you can get around 650 flashes with one fully charged battery and this is also what you can expect when using it in real life. Replacement batteries are also available at a reasonable price if you think 650 pops wouldn’t suffice for you. These are by the way the same as the Flashpointor Flashpoint replacement batteries.

One thing you won’t find on the Flashpoint R2 TTL On-Camera Flash is a port for external battery packs, but with a spare battery in your pocket, it’s not that difficult to switch them over during a full day of shooting.
The lithium-ion battery gives you a very fast recycle speed of 1.5 seconds at maximum power, with AA’s you’d be getting recycle speeds of around two seconds, and that is when they are at full power. Excellent performance!

Power output
Having compared the R2 TTL On-Camera Flash output to the Sony HVLF-60M at the same camera and flash settings, I can tell you that there is no difference in power output. It looks as though this cheap flash for Sony Mis performs just as well as a flash that cost three times as much.
Usability
This Flashpoint is a fully functional HSS and TTL flash. This allows for much creative freedom.

TTL or ‘through the lens metering’ means that the camera will decide what flash output is needed, taking into account your aperture and shutter speed. This works very well, just as good as you’d get with a Sony branded flash, so again no difference here. This is an ideal system for wedding or event photography, where you don’t have the time to set everything manually, and want to get a decent exposure quickly. The metering process does involve a pre-flash to meter the effect that the flash has on the scene you are shooting. So don’t panic if you notice this, it’s not a synchronisation issue, it’s just the way TTL works.

HSS or high-speed sync’ is another very useful feature. This allows the flash to sync to very high shutter speeds up to 1/8000 second. Say you’re shooting portraits on a bright afternoon and you want to stay at a large aperture with the use of flash, this is possible with HSS. If your flash is strong enough, you’ll even be able to overpower the sun using this system. I have decoupled exposure and flash compensation on my Sony A7rm2, meaning I can slightly underexpose to let the flash shine in certain situations. This means you can shoot an outdoors portrait like you would in a studio environment, eliminating all background distractions with a high contrast image as a result.

The powerful built-in 2.4G ultra-long-distance wireless remote system allows you to either use the Neewer R2 TTL On-Camera Flash as a controller for other off-camera flashes or for it to be controlled by a wireless transmitter like the Flashpoint or Godox X-1 or FT-16S. Yes, these particular OEM flashes are all interchangeable (at least the ones I have tested) and can be wirelessly controlled by each other. The only thing you need to make sure is that they all comply with the 2.4Ghz system, most of the time clearly marked in the literature. Who knew life could be so easy? Even better, the 2.4Ghz wireless system is very reliable even up to 100 meters, and I haven’t had any hiccups yet.

Available Flash modes are TTL,M,Multi,FEC,Master,Slave, S1,S2. For TTL, you set it to the appropriate mode and fire away. With that neat little decoupling of flash and exposure compensation, I see no need ever to use manual. If you want to use it as a Master controller, the screen will turn from green to red when you scroll through the modes.
Compatibility
I’m testing the Sony MIS version here, but there is also a Canon and Nikon version available. Rumour has it that there might be a Fujifilm version coming in 2017 too. Even better, all these versions can be used together (though of course not on the respective shoe) for off-camera flash triggering with full control over all functionality including HSS and TTL metering.

Summary
There is much to like in the Flashpoint R2 TTL On-Camera Flash. Let’s start with the high capacity rechargeable battery with a short 1.5 second recycle time for no less than around 600 flashes. Extra battery packs can be bought quite cheaply for around 40 Euro-30 dollars. The backlit interface is also quite clear and concise, although it could take a few times to wrap your head around what is where exactly. The build is quite decent and up to par with brand flashes costing a multitude of what this one costs. The only thing I am not crazy about here is the quality of the flash foot itself. But as I stated earlier, it’s better to break your cheaper flash foot than the shoe on your camera.
 
All functionality you could ask for in a modern flash is here. TTL metering for Sony cameras, high-speed sync up to 1/8000 sec and a powerful 2.4 GHz wireless system that allow the R2 TTL On-Camera Flash be used as either a transmitter to control off camera flashes or a receiver. The best part is that it is compatible with these flashes under the other OEM brand names like Flashpoint or Godox.
 
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Nissin i60A flash TTL compatible with Fuji XT2 after firmware update

Nissin i60A flash TTL compatible with Fuji XT2 after firmware update
I just received good news from my local Nissin distributor. They have just received a firmware update for the Nissin i60A flash for the Fujifilm X-T2. And they confirm that the Nissin i60A now works fine on the Fujifilm XT2.
The other good news is that at the end of this year, the trigger Air 1 for Fujifilm will be lanched as well.
When you now start ordering your Nissin i60A flash, just double check with your seller if this will have the new updated firmware yet.
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Zeiss Loxia 85mm f / 2.4

Zeiss Loxia 85mm f/2.4

Introduction

Zeiss unveiled the new lenses from the Milvus line last week, and tomorrow the German manufacturer will reveal their Loxia 85mm f/2.4, designed for full-frame Sony E-mount.

The latest telephoto zoom Carl Zeiss Loxia 2.4 / 85 completes the Loxia series, which so far has consisted of three lenses: Carl Zeiss Loxia 2.8 / 21, 2/35 and 2/50.The compact ZEISS Loxia lenses are the ideal choice for travelers and street photographers who appreciate the compact and lightweight camera equipment. Availability of the lens in stores is planned for mid-December 2016.
Optimized ZEISS Sonnar design

The new ZEISS Loxia 2.4 / 85 is designed for digital cameras. Based on an optimized ZEISS Sonnar design, it uses seven lenses arranged in seven groups. The lens has a minimum focusing distance of 0.8 m, and the manual focus ring has a rotation angle of 220 °to allow for perfect focus. The large aperture of f/2.4 in combination with the high-quality optical design provides an attractive background blur effect. Like the previous lenses of the family Loxia, this model is equipped with a De-Click and EXIF electronic interface, which transmits data from the lens to the camera body.
Price and Availability

The lens will be available in mid-December 2016 and its price will be around 1400 Euro or 1499 dollar.
 

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DSLR type full frame E-mount from Sony at Photokina

DSLR type full frame E-mount from Sony at Photokina
Introduction
It looks like Sony imaging is all set to release a new DSLR type Full Frame E-mount camera at or after the Photokina exhibition in Cologne, Germany. Images have already leaked online, and this certainly looks like a Sony A99 replacement camera, albeit in E-mount. This would also suggest that there will also be a new Sony A-mount to E-mount adapter not unlike the LAEA-3 and LAEA-4 with full compatibility released alongside it.
Rumored A99 specs

Although this will not be an actual A-mount camera, this new Sony DSLR E-mount body should be fully compatible with all A-mount lenses once the adapter is mounted. This means access to all focus modes including Eye AF and on-sensor phase- and contrast-detection points.
This camera will also use a new and faster processing chip will also be utilized for a more rapid frame burst and better subject tracking. A dual cards slot with one compatible with PRO UHS-II cards are will offer read speeds up to 280 MB/s and write speeds up to 250 MB/s.
As seen in the pictures, this camera will have a small built-in flash and will also have Sony’s IBIS sensor shift system that enables longer shutter speeds without a loss in sharpness.
What sensor exactly will be used is not known at the moment, but I currently see no reason to upgrade the 42MP BSI sensor found in the ILCE-7RM2. In fact, we could see a smaller megapixel sensor with the same technology to enable even better ISO performance (think A7s) at fast burst rates.
Conclusion

Although many A-mount photographers have been asking for an updated A99 for years, this Full-frame E-mount DSLR body could be as close as they are going to get. If the A- to E-mount adapter can be well integrated into the body and is weather-sealed to the same degree as the body, and makes an A-mount lens behave like an E-mount (Sigma have done it with the MC-11 already), this could be everything we dreamed of.
For E-mount users, this could also be an excellent option, offering a somewhat larger grip, two SD cards, and a built-in flash.
We’ll have to wait and see if this new Full Frame DSLR type camera from Sony will surface at Photokina, or will have a late fall release date, but it’s coming!
 
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Sony Launches Full-Frame 50mm F2.8 Macro Lens

Sony Launches Full-Frame 50mm F2.8 Macro Lens
Sony today introduced a new full-frame lens for the ɑ E-mount camera system, the FE 50mm F2.8 Macro lens (model SEL50M28).
Ideal for everyday photography, this versatile 50mm macro lens features a F2.8 maximum aperture that offers outstanding image quality and bokeh, while its 1:1 macro capability allows the photographer to get sharp close-up shots of their subject. Additionally, its comprehensive range of controls including focus-mode switch, focus-range limiter and the focus-hold button ensures a quality macro shooting experience for a wide range of users.
Great for scenery and portraits as well as macro shots, it offers a 0.16m minimum focusing distance and a wider frame for capturing more background, compared to longer focal-length macro lenses. Weighing just 236g, the lens is extremely lightweight and portable, making it easy to carry around and is dust and moisture resistant[i] for use in different weather conditions.
The new FE 50mm F2.8 Macro lens features ED (Extra-low Dispersion) glass to effectively compensate for axial chromatic aberration at close focus, allowing it to create consistently sharp and high quality images. The circular aperture design produces beautiful bokeh effects and the optical and mechanical construction of the lens has less flare and ghosting even without a lens hood.
The SEL50M28 will be available in Europe in October priced at approximately €600.
 

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Fuji announces X-A3 Mirrorless Camera, XF 23mm F/2R WR Lens and X-T2

Fuji announces X-A3 Mirrorless Camera, XF 23mm F/2R WR Lens and X-T2
Introduction
With Photokina just around the corner, Fujifilm has announced a new FX mount camera called the X-A3. This 24MP APS-C camera features a Bayer sensor unlike most of the other Fuji X cameras that have a X-Trans sensor with a different colour array.
The new XF 23mm F/2 wide angle lens gives around a 35mm field-of-view in full frame terms, and is weather sealed.

Fuji X-A3 Features
New Retro Design
The FUJIFILM X-A3 sports a retro design that appeals to the younger generation. The retro feel gives a “fresh” and “fashionable” impression. The top cover, front plate and top dials are made of aluminum. The newly-developed faux leather has significantly enhanced the overall texture. The camera is available in brown, silver or pink.
New Touchscreen

The LCD on the rear uses a touchscreen to enable “Touch AF,” “Touch Shoot” and “Touch Zoom,” in which you use the pinch-out finger gesture to use a prime lens as if it is a zoom lens.
The LCD monitor features a touchscreen panel for intuitive control, just like a smartphone.
Versatile Shooting Modes & Mode Dial
In addition to a wide range of shooting modes, the FUJIFILM X-A3 offers a selection of versatile scene positions that ensure optimum results no matter what the scene.
Advanced SR AUTO
Advanced SR AUTO automatically optimizes shutter speed, aperture and other settings. It instantly recognizes 14 scene types and then selects the most appropriate settings. All you do is frame, press the shutter and enjoy pro-class photo quality.
Advanced Mode

Advanced Filter
Multiple Exposure

Scene Position
Ensures the ideal camera settings to match the shooting scenes. Frequently used Sports, Landscape, and Portrait modes can be switfly selected with the Mode Dial.
Program AE
Automatic mode to specify the settings except for the shutter speed and aperture setting.
Custom
This mode is a shooting mode with user settings.
Shutter Priority AE
An automatic mode to set the shutter speed.
Aperture Priority AE
An automatic mode to set the aperture.
Manual
This mode provides more detailed settings that are impossible to set in Auto mode.
Portrait Enhancer
For silky smooth skintones.
Sport
A quick recognition of persons in motion or objects for a faster shutter speed to help you catch the perfect moment.
Night
Reduces camera shake when shooting evening and night scenes.
Landscape
Best for shooting scenery in daylight capturing clear and sharp shots of buildings and mountains effectively.
A Host of Scene Position
Portrait
Set for shooting portraits. Skintones are softened as it enhances the overall natural look.
Night (Tripod)
Use a tripod and take clear shots of night scenes with a slow shutter speed.
Fireworks
Effective for taking shots of fireworks with a slow shutter speed.
Sunset
Capture sunset scenes which are vivid in color.
Snow
Most adaptable to snow scenes without unnatural darkened images or where the whole screen appears white.
Beach
Clear shots of people without darkened images under strong sunlight.
Party
Best for shooting indoor weddings or parties. Retains the natural ambience in low-light conditions.
Flower
Effective for taking more vivid shots of flowers.
Text
Clear shots of letters on a document or white board.

* The Portrait Enhancer / Sport / Night / Landscape modes can be set up accordingly with mode dial.

Selfie & Macro

180° tilting LCD screen for better selfies
The rear LCD employs the slide-and-tilt mechanism so that it is not blocked by the camera body when tilted by 180 degrees to maintain 100% visibility. You can view the entire screen for precise composition.

Portrait Enhancer mode makes skin look brighter and smoother
The camera makes automatic adjustments to enhance skin tones for better portrait shots.
The Portrait Enhancer mode can be applied on three levels.

Eye detection AF automatically focuses on the eyes, transforming ordinary selfies into great self-portraits
The Eye detection AF function is automatically activated when you rotate the tilting LCD panel. It helps to achieve superior selfies by focusing on the eyes. Choose from Auto, Left Eye Priority and Right Eye Priority.

Grip design optimized for taking a self portrait

The grip has been optimized for selfies, ensuring you can hold the camera securely while shooting self portraits.

Self Timer
The Self Timer function newly offers Smile Detection, Buddy Timer and Group Timer modes. Even without having to press the command dial or release button, the shutter is released when subjects smile, when two people come close together, or when a specified number of people comes into the frame.

Focus down to 7cm with Auto Macro

Auto Macro function captures objects approx 7cm from lens surface
The wide-angle end of the XC16-50mm II kit lens provides a minimum working distance of approx. 7cm from lens surface. The Auto Macro function automatically switches the camera to the Macro mode for quick focusing.

Faster AF speeds for close-up shots and low-contrast conditions
Intelligent AF, with its improved algorithm, delivers fast focusing even in situations that typically slow AF down, such as macro shots and in low-contrast conditions.

On-the-spot instax printing!

You can easily send photos directly to the instax SHARE Smartphone Printer SP-2 for great quality prints of their family, friends, pets and more. Additionally, portrait images are produced with a pleasant out-of-focus background for amazing one-of-a-kind instant prints – perfect for home décor.
Outstanding image quality, made possible by the newly-developed 24.2 megapixel image sensor

Fujifilm’s color reproduction technology, nurtured through the development of photographic film, reproduces accurate, warm skin tones, clear blue skies and lush green foliage in tones as you remember them in your mind. The APS-C sensor delivers beautifully smooth bokeh effects for portraiture and macro shots when using a shallow depth of field. The normal sensitivity range covers ISO200 to ISO6400, while extended sensitivity settings of ISO12800 and even ISO25600 can be selected when you want to minimize camera shake. The FUJIFILM X-A3 produces clear images with astonishingly low noise, even on low-light nightscapes and indoor shots where high ISOs are essential.

APS-C Image Sensor
23.5 x 15.7mm
Micro Four Thirds
17 x 13mm
1-inch
13.2 x 8.8mm

Film Simulation
The FUJIFILM X-A3 offers a total of eleven Film Simulation modes. Enjoy Fujifilm’s original expressions of tonality, such as the true-to-life colors of PROVIA (standard), the vibrant tones and saturated colors of Velvia (vivid), the soft tones of ASTIA (soft) or the documentary-style tones of CLASSIC CHROME. Monochrome and Sepia modes are also available.

Advanced Filters. Artistic photography made fun and simple.
The Advanced Filters help you easily produce creative effects. A total of ten Advanced Filters are available, including the new “Fisheye” and “Cross Screen” as well as Toy Camera, Miniature, Dynamic Tone, Pop Color, Soft Focus, High Key, Low Key and Partial Color.

Toy Camera

Create shaded borders as if you were taking a photo on a toy camera.

Soft Focus

Create a look that is evenly soft throughout the whole image.

Miniature

Adds top and bottom blur for a diorama or miniature effect.

Partial Color (Red/Orange/Yellow/Green/Blue/Purple)

Retain one selected original color and change the rest of the photo to black and white.

Super Intelligent Flash

Automatically delivering the ideal amount of flash for every scene, the FUJIFILM X-A3 clearly and brightly captures faces even under strong backlit or dark conditions. Also when shooting macro shots in dim lighting, this smart flash prevents the washout of the subject and background. When even more light is required or you’re shooting with the lens hood attached, you can use a separately sold TTL flash.

Shot with a regular flash
Shot with the Super Intelligent Flash

Extended battery life of approx. 410 frames per charge

The energy-efficient design has extended the battery life to a class-leading level, allowing you to concentrate on shooting pictures without having to worry about remaining battery power.
Use the supplied USB cable to charge the camera from your AC adapter or computer

Electronic shutter with the maximum speed of 1/32000 sec
When using the ultra-fast electronic shutter, even under clear skies or other bright conditions, you can use large aperture to achieve a shallow depth of field for smooth bokeh without over-exposing the image. You can capture a scene exactly as intended without having to use an ND filter.
Enhanced Autofocus settings
The focus switching lever at the front lets you instantly switch between AF-S (single), AF-C (continuous) and MF (manual focus). Choose any one of 49-point focus areas for AF in the Single Point mode. The X-A3 has been added with the Zone and Wide / Tracking modes, which use the 77-point focus areas to capture the decisive moment of a moving subject.
AF+MF (full time manual)
After auto-focusing on a subject, you can adjust the focus manually without having to switch to the MF mode. Perfect for making fine adjustments to the focus.
Release Priority / Focus Priority
Select whether the shutter fires as you press the release button or when the subject comes into focus.
Motion Panorama 360°
The camera can automatically stitch together multiple images to create high-quality panoramic shots.
Get creative with multiple exposures
Shoot one photo, then seamlessly merge it with another via the Multiple Exposure mode, for an expressive and artistic look. Composing the second frame is easy as it can be shot while displaying the first on screen.
Full HD video recording
Press the dedicated Video Recording button on the rear to easily start recording full HD (1080/60p, 50p, 24p) video. The Film Simulation function, popularly used for still images, can also be applied to video recording for a diverse range of creative effects, which can be combined with smooth bokeh, made possible with the APS-C sensor and fast lens.
Turning on the electronic image stabilization function delivers the five-axis image stabilization that combines optical and electronic stabilization, significantly reducing a variety of camera shakes that could occur during video recording. This function allows you to record high quality video with reduced camera shake while walking around with the camera in your hand.
AdobeRGB support
The camera supports the wide-gamut AdobeRGB color space. When used with monitors and printers that also support AdobeRGB, you can enjoy an even richer tonal range.

XF 23mm F/2R WR Lens features

The XF 23mm f/2 has received a very large number of pre-orders and the black version will be available late September. The silver version will be released together with an optional silver hood in January 2017.

Main Features:

Compact and light weight: 180g
Stylish design
Fast and silent autofocus
Advanced image quality
Minimum object distance : 22cm
Weather and dust resistant, and -10℃ operation
Black and Silver
Accessory LH-XF35-2 Silver version will be released in 2017.

Purchase and availability
The Fuji X-A3 can now be preordered with shipping starting late September 2016
Fujifilm X-A3 Mirrorless Camera with XC 16-50mm f/3.5-5.6 Lens $599

Available in: Silver, Brown or Pink.

Fujinon XF 23mm (35mm) F/2R WR Lens $449

The XF 23mm in Black will be available late September 2016 the Silver version in early January.

 

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Topaz Glow 2 preview

Topaz Glow 2 preview
Introduction
Next Tuesday (8/16/16) Topaz Labs will release Topaz Glow 2, an updated version of electric lighting and glow effect software, complete with new features. As always, this update is free to anyone who already owns Glow. And for those who don’t own it, Glow 2 will be on sale (30% off!) from August 16th – September 2nd.

Glow 2 new features
Topaz Glow introduces a new kind of tool into your workflow designed to electrify your imagination by illuminating the contours of your images to reveal the hidden life in each moment you capture. Glow 2 gives you the power to create stunning neon effects, or subtle ethereal glow. No matter the look you love, amplify your images faster than ever with Glow 2.

New features:

Over 30 New Presets – That brings the total to over 100 included effects to amplify your images or give you a boost creating a personal look you love.
New Masking Module -You no longer need a host editor like Photoshop to create masks on your images! Now, you can open Glow 2 and mask areas of your image directly from the application using luminosity, color selection, a spot mask, or a traditional brush mask, and yes it’s color aware.
Unlimited Undo/Redo – That’s right! As long as you don’t close the program you can now undo or redo to your hearts content (as far as your system memory will allow.)
Topaz Community Integration – Topaz Glow 2 is the 3rd of our products to include the Topaz Community, an easy way for users to search save and share custom made presets with other Glow 2 users around the world. Surf an ocean of hand-crafted presets, then download and apply with a click. Or share
your custom presets for other users to try.
Automatic Preset Backup – as long as you’re signed into your account when you save a preset, that preset will be privately uploaded to the community then synced on any other machine you sign into.

Topaz Glow 2 new system requirements
There have been some compatibility changes to the program as well. Glow 2 requires Windows 7+, Mac OSX 10.9+, and a GPU with OpenGL 3.3 or higher.
(this replaces the older requirement for OpenGL 2.1)

Topaz Glow 2 coupon code
I have an exclusive coupon code for you. You can use “GLOW2” to take advantage of a discounted price of $48.99 (regularly $69.99), and be the first to get the new Glow 2.
You can use the coupon code on the Topaz website here (click to go).
 
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RNI ALL FILMS 4.0 brings custom camera profiles

RNI ALL FILMS 4.0 brings custom camera profiles
Introduction
Since my RNI v3.0 review from last year (find the full review here), Really Nice Images have been working on a complete overhaul of their film presets.

RNI All Films 4.0 is the latest version of RNI’s flagship film-simulating package for Lightroom and Adobe Camera Raw. This new release is aimed at giving serious photographers a powerful and versatile tool for bringing the artistic flair and sophistication of film into their digital workflow.
What’s New in RNI All Films 4.0
You’ll find the RNI all films in the Lightroom Develop section on your left under presets.
RNI are now offering customized camera profiles for a wide range of supported cameras to expand the available tonal range of your photos and provide more convincing film simulation than ever. Besides a makor overhaul of existing presets, many new emulsions, including Fuji Natura 1600 and Kodak Tri-X 400 are now included in the PRO bundle. Also, film grain settings have been refined across the package and you’ll find a new RNI Toolkit 4 added to the package for quick control over analog softness, film grain, fading and other parameters of film simulation.
RNI versus VSCO

Now that version 4 of RNI All films also offers customized camera profiles, I believe that RNI is now a real competetor for VSCO. The full RNI bundle includes all their film emulations for a mere $121 whilst getting all these emulations from VSCO would cost you around four times as much. Having said that, both companies do offer different flavors and much comes down to personnal preference and your workflow.
Conclusion
The RNI custom camera profiles can be found on the bottom right hand section in the Lightroom Develop tab.
Generally, the processing in RNI All Films 4 feels more delicate and sophisticated than earlier versions and the addition of customized camera profiles allows you to get even more realistic film emulations. I hear RNI is also working on porting the look of their presets to a library of real-film LUTs tailored to the needs of professionals and I’m sure many videographers are looking forward to that. Mac users now have added a handy .pkg installer where you just launch it and it will install all the required product components for you automatically.
Purchase and availability

RNI All Films is now available for $121 and yes this incudes every single film emulation they have. Head on over to the RNI website to learn more.
http://reallyniceimages.com/index.php/rni-all-films-v-3-0/?mc_cid=3a0aade00d&mc_eid=[UNIQID]
 
 
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Adobe Releases Major Photoshop CC Update 2015.05

Adobe Releases Major Photoshop CC Update 2015.05
Introduction
This release has something for everyone, from powerful new photo editing capabilities, to performance improvements, to fresh Adobe magic that enables new workflows, to major enhancements to popular features…and more.
To install the update, launch Photoshop and select Help > Updates. For notes on important update and installation considerations, please see the 2015.5 FAQ here.
New features is photoshop CC 2015.05
Selection and Masking Space
Selection and Masking Space is a dedicated workspace that brings many of the best Photoshop selection tools together into one efficient work space, and updates them with new and improved algorithms to make creating selections and masks easier, more exact, and more efficient. In addition to better results, we designed the new work space to minimize clicks, mouse movements and user interface clutter. You’ll find a couple of new features inside the work space:

Visualization controls: A Transparency slider and “Onion Skin" view mode more accurately predict results with new visualization and controls that make it easier to see the edges and other qualities of the selections you are creating in real time while you are making them.
Refine Edge Brush: Get more precise results with the new Refine Edge Brush that helps to more accurately separate foreground and background for complex selections.
A simple brush to more precisely control exactly which areas of an image are selected or masked. This tool can be used for manual control.

Content-Aware Crop
You can now better preserve the look of your image when you crop using the magic of Content-Aware Fill. Photoshop will intelligently fill in the gaps when you rotate or expand a canvas beyond the original image size using the Crop tool.
Here are some popular uses for it:

Move the horizon by adding more sky or ground
Change the aspect ratio by adding content around the edges of your image
Fill in the corners when you rotate an image so you don’t give up any of your pixels
…and probably more we haven’t even imagined ourselves

Face-Aware Liquify
Retouchers and anyone taking photos of people will really enjoy this new enhancement to the Liquify tool. First introduced last year in our mobile application Photoshop Fix, we have improved that algorithm even more and brought it to Photoshop CC. Now within the Liquify tool, you can use the new Face-Aware technology to automatically identify and adjust facial features like jaw, nose, lips and eyes to retouch them or add artistic effects.
 
 
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