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Sony Announces Slim 10x Cyber-shot DSC-WX220 and 20.1MP DSC-W810

Fri August 1, 2014

Sony Adds Two New Compact Zoom Cameras to Cyber-shot® Line

WX220 model with 10x Zoom plus Wi-Fi; W810 model with 6x Zoom, Easy Operation

SAN DIEGO, July 31, 2014 – Sony today has introduced the versatile new DSC-WX220 and DSC-W810 cameras to its compact Cyber-shot® line, offering consumers a variety of new ways to capture high-quality images and HD videos on-the-go.

Cyber-shot WX220 Camera – Premium power in a compact package
The new pocket-sized DSC-WX220 model is extremely slim and compact, yet packs a ton of imaging punch thanks to its 18.2 megapixel Exmor R® CMOS sensor and 10x optical zoom G Lens.  The high-resolution sensor and versatile lens are paired with Sony’s powerful BIONZ® X processor, ensuring that all images and full HD (1920×1080 @60p) videos are captured with exceptional detail and low noise.


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Photographic Documentation of “Octomom’s” Tenacity to Brood Eggs for Over Four Years

Wed July 30, 2014

"Octomom" never leaves her eggs unattended. Image extracted from video below.

“Octomom” never leaves her eggs unattended. Image extracted from video below.

This video presents “Deep-sea octopus invests in future: Longest brooding period ever recorded.”

  • “At the sediment-covered base of a sloping wall in the Monterey Submarine Canyon, off central California, researchers at the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute (MBARI) have observed a deep-sea octopus brooding its eggs for four and one half years—longer than any other known animal: from May, 2007 to September, 2011, or 53 months.
  • Throughout this time, the female kept the eggs clean and guarded them from predators.
  • This strategy has apparently worked for Graneledone boreopacifica—it is one of the most common deep-sea octopuses in the Northeastern Pacific.
  • From HD video frame grabs of the empty capsules and the characteristic green cement of their anchor points we estimate the clutch size to have been between 155 and 165 eggs.”
    Original journal article: Robison B., Seibel B., Drazen J. (2014), Deep-sea octopus (Graneledone boreopacifica) conducts the longest-known egg-brooding period of any animal. PLoS ONE 9(7): e103437. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0103437

Photographic and Video Documentation

This study provided photographic and video documentation of the tenacity of “Octomom” – a deep-sea octopus – to remarkably brood eggs for over four years which is by far the longest egg-brooding period ever reported for any animal species.

“Octopuses typically have a single reproductive period and then they die (semelparity). Once a clutch of fertilized eggs has been produced, the female protects and tends them until they hatch….In the cold, dark waters of the deep ocean, metabolic processes are often slower than their counterparts at shallower depths… Likewise, laboratory studies have linked lower temperatures to longer brooding periods in cephalopods, but direct evidence has not been available. We found an opportunity to directly measure the brooding period of the deep-sea octopus Graneledone boreopacifica, in its natural habitat. At 53 months, it is by far the longest egg-brooding period ever reported for any animal species.

The ultimate fate of a brooding female octopus is invariably death, but in this first example from the deep-sea, brooding also confers an extension of adult life that greatly exceeds most projections of cephalopod longevity.

This study did not involve endangered or protected species. The location of the study site was 36° 42′ N, 122° 03′ W, at a depth of 1397 meters. Field work was conducted under NOAA Office of Marine Sanctuaries permit MBNMS 2005-010-A3, and California Department of Fish and Wildlife scientific collecting permit D-0004069542-0; no specimens were collected.”

Robison B, Seibel B, Drazen J (2014) Deep-Sea Octopus (Graneledone boreopacifica) Conducts the Longest-Known Egg-Brooding Period of Any Animal. PLoS ONE 9(7): e103437. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0103437

http://www.plosone.org/article/info%3Adoi%2F10.1371%2Fjournal.pone.0103437

Photography and Videography Via Ventana, a Remotely Operated Vehicle (ROV)

ROV Ventana was built for the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute by International Submarine Engineering. The specifications for Ventana were developed by David Packard and the original core group of scientists and engineers at MBARI. The vehicle was delivered in 1988 with a standard suite of instruments and cameras. Data collection sensors, a high definition camera, and animal collection devices have been added. As requirements changed and requests for tasks grew Ventana has evolved into its present configuration. Image by MBARI.

ROV Ventana was built for the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute by International Submarine Engineering. The specifications for Ventana were developed by David Packard and the original core group of scientists and engineers at MBARI. The vehicle was delivered in 1988 with a standard suite of instruments and cameras. Data collection sensors, a high definition camera, and animal collection devices have been added. As requirements changed and requests for tasks grew Ventana has evolved into its present configuration. Image by MBARI.

Ventana includes these features. (Info was last updated on Mar. 07, 2013.)

  • The forward-looking camera sytems are mounted on pan-and-tilt units.
  • The main viewing camera is a High Definition Insite Zeus Plus and is mounted in a three-axis pan-and-tilt that is capable of plus or minus 45 degrees of pan and +45, –100 degrees of tilt.
  • Two forward looking cameras, a wide angle Insite Aurora and an Insight Orion Zoom, are mounted on a single two-axis pan-and-tilt above the main camera with a range of 270 degrees of pan and 120 degrees of tilt.
  • There are also self-contained time-lapse video cameras.
  • One major component of the Ventana’s control system is the camera control graphical user interface (GUI) and lap controller station and single board computer (SBC) to drive the main camera.
  • Camera Systems
    • One Ikegama HD camera with HA10X5.2 Fujinon Zoom Lens
    • Six Insight Orion zoom cameras with integrated pilot control
    • VARS Video Capture System (direct from RGB Sony Feed), HDSPI capable
    • Sony digital Betacam (D1), and Panasonic AJ-HD2000 high definition recorder (D5)
    • Dynair 30 X 30 Video Switch (ROV control room)
    • Focal 903 digital multiplexer, 21 RS232 serial, 5 RS485 serial, 4 Subsea USB

Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute (MBARI)

NEWS RELEASE

July 30, 2014

Deep-sea octopus broods eggs for over four years—longer than any known animal

This female octopus was photographed in May 2007 clinging to a rocky wall in Monterey Canyon less than a month after she laid her eggs and began brooding them. Image: © 2007 MBARI

This female octopus was photographed in May 2007 clinging to a rocky wall in Monterey Canyon less than a month after she laid her eggs and began brooding them. Image: © 2007 MBARI

Researchers at the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute (MBARI) have observed a deep-sea octopus brooding its eggs for four and one half years—longer than any other known animal. Throughout this time, the female kept the eggs clean and guarded them from predators. This amazing feat represents an evolutionary balancing act between the benefits to the young octopuses of having plenty of time to develop within their eggs, and their mother’s ability to survive for years with little or no food.

Every few months for the last 25 years, a team of MBARI researchers led by Bruce Robison has performed surveys of deep-sea animals at a research site in the depths of Monterey Canyon that they call “Midwater 1.” In May 2007, during one of these surveys, the researchers discovered a female octopus clinging to a rocky ledge just above the floor of the canyon, about 1,400 meters (4,600 feet) below the ocean surface. The octopus, a species known as Graneledone boreopacifica, had not been in this location during their previous dive at this site in April.

Over the next four and one-half years, the researchers dove at this same site 18 times. Each time, they found the same octopus, which they could identify by her distinctive scars, in the same place. As the years passed, her translucent eggs grew larger and the researchers could see young octopuses developing inside. Over the same period, the female gradually lost weight and her skin became loose and pale.


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Sigma Canada Photo Contest Announces Winners

Mon July 28, 2014

Niagara Winter Blues © Doug Hagardorn

Niagara Winter Blues © Doug Hagardorn

Sigma Canada celebrates Canadian photography by awarding Doug Hagardorn of St. Catherines, Ontario and Henry Wong of Vancouver, British Columbia, two grand prize trips to Japan. Both Hagardorn and Wong submitted their photos in the Sigma Canada photo contest that launched in December. Selected from thousands of impressive images, both winners have earned a seven-day, six-night trip for two to Japan. Please join us in congratulating them!

The winning photos, which include the monthly regional winners selected by random draw, are posted online at www.sigmacanada.ca/photocontest.

Congratulations!

PRESS RELEASE

SIGMA CANADA’S PHOTO CONTEST CELEBRATES CANADIAN PHOTOGRAPHY WITH TWO GRAND PRIZE TRIPS TO JAPAN

TORONTO, ON., July 28, 2014 – Gentec International, the exclusive distributor of Sigma products in Canada, is pleased to announce that Doug Hagadorn of St. Catherines, Ontario and Henry Wong of Vancouver, British Columbia have each been awarded one of two grand prize trips to Japan in the Sigma Canada photo contest that launched last December.

Doug’s photo, shot with his Sigma 70-200mm F2.8 EX DG OS HSM lens and entitled Niagara Winter Blues, was selected out of thousands of impressive entries submitted in the consumer category by talented Canadian photographers who shoot with Sigma lenses. Henry used his Sigma 150–500mm F5-6.3 APO DG OS HSM lens to create Wheat Land, his winning entry in the sales associate category, which was open to Sigma retailers across Canada.

Both Doug and Henry have earned themselves a seven-day, six-night trip for two to Japan that includes a tour of the world-famous Japanese Cherry Blossom Gardens, a traditional Japanese green tea ceremony, a Sumida River cruise, a ride on the Hakone Ropeway, and much more.

The winning photos, which include the monthly regional winners selected by random draw, are posted online at www.sigmacanada.ca/photocontest.


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Gentec News: New Compact series from Manfrotto sets the benchmark for entry-level tripods and monopods

Thu July 24, 2014

Manfrotto has announced a new line of compact tripods especially targeted to the mirrorless and light DSLR cameras. The Manfrotto Compact series tripods and monopods come in a range of colours.

The Compact Light is the lightest tripod, perfect as a travel companion. The Compact Action is targeted to both movie makers and photo enthusiasts; it has a joystick head with scroll-wheel locking to ensure stability and is available in black, white and red. The Compact Advanced is able to handle entry level DSLR’s with lenses up to 200mm; it offers independent pan, tilt and level controls for framing and accuracy, and is available in black and white.

The Compact Monopod is very portable and features a universal camera attachment, protective cap and wrist strap. The Compact Advanced Monopod provides an innovative rotating disc to ensure easy and fast camera attachment.

MRSP: Compact Light $89.95, Compact Action $99.95, Compact Advanced $139.95, Compact Monopod $39.95 and Compact Advanced Monopod $54.95.

[All prices quoted in Canadian dollars]

NEWS RELEASE

NEW COMPACT SERIES FROM MANFROTTO SETS THE BENCHMARK FOR ENTRY-LEVEL TRIPODS AND MONOPODS

TORONTO, ON., July 24, 2014 – Gentec International, the exclusive Canadian distributor of Manfrotto photo and video products, announces the launch of the new Compact series of stylish tripods and monopods from Manfrotto. Devoted to those approaching photography for the first time, the Compact family is characterized by a brand new design, innovative and intuitive features, plus an expanded range of colours to address the diverse personalities of photo enthusiasts.

Manfrotto’s Compact tripods help you take better pictures
The supports in the Compact range are not just tripods, but extensions of your creativity. Photo enthusiasts can easily achieve precise, shake-free images, ready to be shared with the world. Step away from the lens and be part of shots with friends and family; frame new memories with creative long exposures and sharper, brighter pictures.


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Fujifilm Updates X-mount Lenses Roadmap (July 24, 2014)

Thu July 24, 2014

Today, Fujifilm released an updated roadmap for X mount interchangeable lenses.

The XF90mmF2.0R large-diameter medium telephoto lens appears for the first time on the XF lens roadmap for first half of 2015. The next available lens will be the XF50-140mm F2.8 R OIS WR weather resistant lens designed to partner the X-T1. Other updates include the approximate timing for the XF16mmF1.4 R ultra-wide angle lens (mid 2015), the XF16-55mmF2.8 WR lens (Spring 2015) and the (as yet unnamed) super telephoto zoom lens (Winter 2015).

PRESS RELEASE

Fujifilm releases a new roadmap for X-mount lenses

July 24, 2014

FUJIFILM Corporation (President: Shigehiro Nakajima) is pleased to release an updated roadmap for X-mount interchangeable lenses.

Following the June announcement of the XF18-135mm F3.5-5.6 R LM OIS WR weather-resistant lens, the next lens introduction will be the XF50-140mm F2.8 R OIS WR lens; the second weather-resistant lens designed to partner with the Fujifilm X-T1 camera.

A new addition to the developmental roadmap includes a large-diameter medium tele-photo prime lens; the XF90mm F2.0 R, planned for mid 2015.


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Sigma dp2 Quattro Features New Foveon X3 Sensor, Now Available in Canada

Thu July 17, 2014

The Sigma dp2 Quattro, announced back in February, is now available in Canada. It boasts a new bold redesign and a new Foveon X3 image sensor that promises to capture subtle difference in colour through a layered processing for rich and vibrant images. Other key redesign features include a 30mm fixed focal length lens for the highest level of sensor and lens performance, a 39 megapixel-equivalent ultra-high resolution and a newly developed TRUE III image processing engine that allows for ultrafast processing of data without any image deterioration.

The Sigma dp2 Quattro is available this month at the MSRP of CAD $1,099.95.

PRESS RELEASE

SIGMA REINVENTS ITS DP SERIES CAMERAS WITH THE NEW DP2 QUATTRO FEATURING A NEW FOVEON X3 SENSOR

TORONTO, ON., July 17, 2014 – Gentec International announces the launch of Sigma’s dp2 Quattro digital camera, one of their new generation of high image quality compact cameras incorporating a newly developed Foveon X3 direct image sensor. Unique among image sensors, the Foveon direct image sensor is similar to traditional colour film in that its multiple layers capture all of the information that visible light transmits. Along with Sigma’s proprietary image processing technology, this sensor produces incredible resolution with richer, deeper colours that are more faithful to the scene than ever before.

Every aspect of the new dp2 Quattro has been completely redesigned, from the sensor and processing engine to the lens and body. The dp2 Quattro embodies Sigma’s philosophy of creating cameras that deliver the highest level of performance to produce photographic works of art.


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SIGMA DP2 QUATTRO REVIEWS
Get a second opinion. Read the best Expert Reviews on the Web.
Date Camera Review Site
>> Reviews Matrix (All the best reviews on one convenient page.)
2014-07-17 Sigma dp2 Quattro Press Release
2009-09-21 Sigma DP2 DPReview
2009-08-12 Sigma DP2 PhotographyBLOG
2009-08-07 Sigma DP2 PDNGearGuide

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McAfee: 2014 Most Toxic Superheroes List and Tips to Stay Protected

Tue July 15, 2014

NEWS ALERT

As comic fans begin preparing for Comic-Con, McAfee today released its second annual 2014 Most Toxic Superheroes list, with Superman coming in at number 1. McAfee researched superheroes to find out which ones are kryptonite on the Web and result in bad links, including viruses, malware, and sites laden with malicious software designed to steal passwords and personal information.

This year, two female superheroes – Wonder Woman and Black Widow – have soared their way to the top 10. Last year’s number 1 spot went to Aquaman, who has since sunken to the number 3 spot to tie with Wonder Woman.

The top 10 villainous superheroes for online surfers this year include the following:


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Wildlife in North Carolina 2014 Photo Competition: Entries to Be Uploaded by 5 P.M. on Sept. 2, 2014

Mon July 14, 2014

Wildlife in North Carolina magazine is the official educational publication of the North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission in North Carolina, USA.

  • “The magazine is dedicated to the sound conservation of North Carolina’s wildlife and other interrelated natural resources and also to the environment that we share with them.”

North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission’s Mission Statement

“To conserve North Carolina’s wildlife resources and their habitats and provide programs and opportunities that allow hunters, anglers, boaters; other outdoor enthusiasts to enjoy wildlife-associated recreation.”

The magazine recently announced the Wildlife in North Carolina 2014 Photo Competition.

  • Photographers in the two youth categories (13–17 years old and 12 and under) may enter FREE of charge.
  • However, adult photo competition entrants must be subscribers to Wildlife in North Carolina.

Photos will be judged in the following 10 categories:

  1. Birds
  2. Mammals
  3. Reptiles and Amphibians
  4. Invertebrates
  5. Wild Landscapes: The peaks, valleys, plains and beaches of North Carolina.
  6. Wild Plants and Fungi: Wild-growing plants only, including their flowers, leaves, fruits and other parts. Absolutely no cultivated plants will be accepted.
  7. Outdoor Recreation: Show how people interact with North Carolina’s natural world through activ­ities that are inextricably linked to nature, such as hunting, fishing, hiking, rock climbing or canoeing.
  8. Animal Behavior: Anything animals do, from every­day activities to interactions with other animals to unusual behavior.
  9. Youth Photographer, 13–17: Any of the above subjects, shot by photographers under 18.
  10. Youth Photographer, 12 and under: Any of the above subjects, shot by children 12 and younger.

Photographs must have been taken in North Carolina no earlier than Sept. 1, 2009.

Entrants may submit a maximum of two (2) photos per category.

  • An image may be entered in only one category.
    • For instance, if a photo of a preening wood duck might fit in Birds or Animal Behavior, you must choose the one category in which you want the image to compete.

Winners will receive the following prizes:


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Canada Post Celebrates Canadian Photography: Second Issue in a Five-Year Stamp Series is Released Now

Mon July 7, 2014

On June 4, 2012, Canada Post announced the Canadian Photography series as one of two new series for Canada Post’s 2013 stamp program.

The Canadian Photography series is the first of a five-year series depicting 150 years of the most compelling photographs taken by Canadians.

According to Stamp Design Manager Alain Leduc, “I see this series as a continuation of Art Canada – these are masters of the art of photography – but we’ve changed and freshened up the design and the format to better suit the medium.”….framed by the challenge of showcasing the best Canadian photography from Confederation to the country’s sesquicentennial in 2017…..

“Instead of one or two images by a particular photographer each year, we treated the photography we selected as art pieces, combining those choices to produce an annual gallery of the best of the best.” The selection of these images was a gargantuan task, one that needed to be approached with expertise, knowledge and balance. To select the photography for the series, Leduc’s virtual photography task force included the following: Karen Love, Manager of Curatorial Affairs at the Vancouver Art Gallery; David Mattison, BC Archival Network Service, Archives Association of British Columbia; Ann Thomas, Curator of Photography at the National Gallery; Maia Sutnik, Curator of Photography at the Art Gallery of Ontario; Nora Hague, Senior Cataloguer, and Hélène Samson, Curator, both of The McCord Museum’s Notman Collection; Lorraine Monk, photography curator and author who spent two decades as the executive producer of the Still Photography Division at the National Film Board; Mario Béland, Curator of Historical Art and Photography at the Musée national du Québec; and Lilly Koltun, internationally known art and photography historian, Adjunct Research Professor in Fine Art History at Carleton University and former Director General of the Portrait Gallery at Library and Archives Canada.

The initial Permanent domestic stamps of the series features work by early photographers Thomas Coffin Doane, Geraldine Moodie and Margaret Watkins, as well as contemporaries Jim Breukelman and Hungarian-born Canadian, Gabor Szilasi.

The work of Arnaud Maggs, known for his 48 views of Yousuf Karsh, graces the International rate stamp, while Rodney Graham’s Basement Camera Shop appears on the U.S. rate stamp.

Leduc concludes that in the development of the series, the group rejected typical parameters of Canadian photography, choosing instead the best work of photographers who identified as Canadian, whether by birth or by choice, as well as photographs that were shot within Canada, and those that demonstrated a Canadian vision of the larger world.”

Canadian Photography
Canada’s Stamp Details (Vol. XXI No 4; October to December 2012)
https://www.canadapost.ca/cpo/mc/personal/collecting/stamps/2013/2013_mar_photography.jsf

Today, Canada Post released the second issue in a five-year series on Canadian photography.

NEWS RELEASE

Images by Burtynsky, Cohen, Herzog, Hoy, Lambeth, Notman and Vallée featured in second set of Canadian photography stamp series

July 7, 2014

OTTAWA (Ont.) – Canada Post is celebrating the work of master photographers Edward Burtynsky, Lynne Cohen, Fred Herzog, C.D. Hoy, Michel Lambeth, William Notman and Louis-Prudent Vallée, with the second issue in a five-year series on Canadian photography.

Seven stamps will feature some of their most iconic photographs, carefully selected with the help of archivists and museum curators and other experts with historical and technical knowledge of photography. The series includes five Permanent™ domestic stamps, one U.S. rate stamp and one International rate stamp.

Featured artists:


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