Quest for Land: Magnum photographer John Vink chooses the iPad for latest project

Quest for Land, an extensive photo reportage to be viewed on the iPad about land issues in Cambodia by John Vink, a Magnum Photos photographer who has been working on these issues over the last 11 years.

The application developed by Robert Starkweather contains over 700 photographs, texts written by Robert Carmichael, links to reports by various NGO’s and slideshows with sound.

As Vink said in an interview:

I am interested in the digital aspects of photography since over 15 years, when I first started scanning prints and tried to build a database on my Mac. My first digital publishing experience was in 1994 with a CD-Rom I put together with my work on refugees. It combined sound with pictures, it had geographical or thematical access to the photographs, captions, story descriptions, a video interview etc… Nearly all the things you would find on an App today minus the tactile interactivity and the fancy user interfaces. CD-Roms were a dead-end though, and the market collapsed some fifteen years ago. The arrival of the iPad seemed to finally give me the opportunity to pick things up where I left them. The portability, packed with multimedia content, a quality screen, and the increased possibility to be involved in the publication process, as well as the incredible public response to the device are great assets. Hopefully its longevity will be better than for CD-Roms.

Available on iTunes at John Vink.
The app retails at $8.99 / £5.99 / €6.99.

[Via John Vink]


Nikon D800 product tour video

For those eager to get their hands on the brand new upcoming Nikon D800, here’s a product tour video from Nikon Australia that covers most D800’s features.


Photography book: The Ruins of Detroit by Yves Marchand and Romain Meffre

ruins of detroitThe Ruins of Detroit: a gorgeous book about Detroit, how the city has changed and some storytelling about the decay of a dream, of an industry and an era.
Authors Yves Marchand and Romain Meffre depict in 186 amazing photos almost a century of Detroit in empty buildings, ruins and ghostly landscapes.

“Ruins are the visible symbols and landmarks of our societies and their changes, small pieces of history in suspension. The state of ruin is temporary by nature, the volatile result of the end of an era and the fall of empires. This fragility, the time elapsed but even so running fast, lead us to watch them one very last time: being dismayed, or admiring, wondering about the permanence of things. Photography appeared to us as a modest way to keep a little bit of this ephemeral state.”

ruins of detroit photo book

Check here for more info about both photographers and authors and here to have more info about this book.
The Ruins of Detroit is available on Amazon too (with some savings).

[Thanks to Renate for the link]


This photo is worth $4.34 million

This is a real ground breaking record: a whopping $4.34 million is the price paid at a Christie’s auction in NY.

This Rhein II river snapshot set the world record for a photo.

gursky auction photo

Gursky’s print, made in 1999, was expected to sell for between $2.5 million and $3.5 million. It depicts a stunning panorama of Germany’s most famous river. The sale price includes the buyer’s premium.

BusinessInsider reports with a top-16 photo, the most expensive ever – and some of the most wonderful yet of this art.

[Via BusinessInsider]


Go Pro with the new Canon EOS-D1 X top DSLR camera!

It’s been quite a long time since Canon introduced the (now old) EOS 1D Mark IV and EOS 1D Mark III: Canon has finally unveiled the 10th (I might be wrong, but this should be the right number) generation of its professional digital camera.

The new Canon EOS-D1 X sports a CMOS sensor with 18.1 megapixels and ISO sensitivity range between 100 and 51.200, two (!) DIGIC 5+ processors and a brand new autofocus system with 61 focus points reaching new performance levels in sharp and fast focusing.

The RGB measurement system has been renewed too: featuring no less than 100.000 pixels and a dedicated DIGIC 4 processor (coupled to the autofocus system), is aimed at exposure measurement, colour calibration and AF tracking.

canon eos-1d x

By the way, the double DIGIC 5+ processors are up to three times faster than previous DIGIC 5 and, accordingly, the I/O subsystem (Canon explains) has been upgraded to 16 channels allowing for up to 12 fps, full resolution @ 14 bit!
Not enough? An extra hi-res mode allows up to 14 fps in JPEG!

As any DSLR in 2011, even the EOS-1D X shoots video too: supported mode is Full HD 1080p with full manual control over exposure, focusing, frame rate and audio leveling.
Again, the twin DIGIC 5+ give a boost to video quality reducing file compression, keeping high the frame rate and overriding the 4GB video limitation – by automatically creating a new movie file when this limit is reached.

The EOS-1D X, as any Pro-camera has a magnesium-alloy body and some minor enhancements over the previous EOS-1 models: bigger buttons, twin multi-controllers and a touch-sensitive control dial.

Viewfinder coverage is 100% and the Clear View II LCD display is 3.2″ and with 1.040.000 pixel gives a great deal of image quality to both photo preview and Live View mode.

My favorite feature is the Gigabit Ethernet port: a must for professionals and a first-time ever on such camera (AFAIK).
The Canon EOS-1D X becomes, de facto, a network appliance as any other (albeit a bit expensive) and, from the professional point of view, a better part of any photo workflow.
I guess upcoming software will better leverage this great asset!

Availability: March 2012
Price: estimated retail price $6,800.00.


Magnum Photos exhibition in Germany (Oct 2011-Jan-2012): war photography compendium

magnum photosDo you happen to be in Reutlingen, Germany from October 10, 2011 – January 31, 2012?

You should, we all should, even if we’re not photo enthusiasts.

Magnum Photos (yes, the name associated with Robert Capa, Henry Cartier Bresson, Steve McCurry…) is presenting Wunden der Welt – Wounds of the World, an educational exhibition on war photography from the Spanish Civil War (1936) to the Arab Revolutions (2011).

Besides the renowned fame of Magnum photographers, it’s a tribute to all war photojournalist and a civil attempt to recall our eyes on wars that too often gets out of our sight.

The exhibition features 53 pictures on Spanish Civil War, World War II, Cuban Revolution, Algerian War, Suez Crisis, Vietnam War, Six Day War, Biafra War, Invasion of Czechoslovakia, North Ireland Conflict, Lebanon Civil War, Iranian Revolution, Afghanistan, Nicaragua, Balkan Wars, First Gulf War, Rwanda, Chechnya, 9/11, Iraq Invasion, Lebanon War, Palestine, Arab Revolutions. With photographs by the following Magnum photographers: Abbas, Micha Bar-Am, Bruno Barbey, Werner Bischof, René Burri, Robert Capa, Raymond Depardon, Thomas Dworzak, Cristina Garcia Rodero, Jean Gaumy, Burt Glinn, Philip Jones Griffiths, Thomas Hoepker, Josef Koudelka, Alex Majoli, Peter Marlow, Steve McCurry, Susan Meiselas, Paolo Pellegrin, Mark Power, Mark Riboud, Moises Saman, David ‘Chim’ Seymour, Kryn Taconis, Larry Towell, Peter Van Agtmael, Alex Webb.

The stories behind the pictures have been researched and written by the alumnis of Reutlinger Reportageschule, they are presented on text panels together with the photographs.

magnum photos exhibition

For more info check the Magnum Photos web site and some of the pictures on show.


Sony SLT-A77: a video hands-on review

If the previous post about the Sony SLT-A77 and its DPReview test-drive wasn’t fully exhaustive, check out DigitalRev video.

Follow DigitalRev’s Kay W testing the new translucent-mirror camera from Sony.


Sony SLT-A77 reviewed

As usual, the excellent DPreview just published their 27-pages full review of the latest – and much-awaited Sony A77, the new flagship camera with SLT (Translucent mirror) technology, a brand-new 24 Megapixel sensor and a product placement that’s going to boost Sony’s position among the major DSLR makers (Nikon and Canon namely).

The Sony A77 has extended its translucent mirror camera range with a new A-mount model beyond the SLT-33/35 and the much more interesting SLT-A65.

This Sony A700-replacement features a newly developed APS HD CMOS sensor with 24.3-megapixel resolution, but its key feature is what Sony claims is the world’s fastest continuous AF shooting performance among interchangeable lens digital cameras with an APS-C size sensor.
Sony claims that the A77 can capture a burst of full-resolution images at 12 frames per second with full-time phase-detection autofocus. The A77 also features a 19-point autofocus system with 11 cross-sensors, while a new electronic shutter curtain offers a minimum release time lag of approximately 0.050 seconds.
The new Sony camera’s sensitivity range extends from ISO 100 to ISO 16,000, and is expandable down to ISO 50.
Another key feature is the XGA OLED Tru-Finder electronic viewfinder, offering 2,359k-dot resolution and 100 per cent frame coverage.
The A77 can shoot full HD videos, and is supported at 50p (progressive) frame rates – reflecting recent enhancements to the AVCHD (Ver. 2.0) format. New creative video options allow for manual focusing and use of P/A/S/M exposure modes.

Check here the full Sony SLT-A77 review.

My pick: I’m still waiting for the Sony SLT-A65, it’s an A77 with less steroids, a much lower price tag and almost the same features as the flagship camera – in a smaller package too!


Nikon P7100 debuts with tilt-screen – not just an update

Nikon’s latest premium compact, the Nikon Coolpix P7100, replaces the P7000 and comes with a 1/1.7in sensor and 10.1 million effective pixels.

Also new to the P7100 is a tilting 3in LCD monitor for composing at unusual angles.
Users also get 720p HD video recording, RAW file format and a 7.1x zoom NIKKOR lens with two ED glass elements to reduce chromatic aberration and fringing at longer focal lengths, as well as a Natural Density filter.
The Nikon COOLPIX P7100 is priced at US$ 499.99 and will be available from September 22nd.


Sony NEX-5N: a shiny new – and powerful – mirrorless interchangeable lens camera

Sony adds 16.1 MP Sony NEX-5N.

A slim magnesium alloy body, the NEX-5N allows 10fps continuous shooting, and a new BIONZ processor enables high-sensitivity images at ISO 25,600 for low-light shooting.

The Sony NEX-5N shoots AVCHD Ver. 2.0 (Progressive) Full HD movies with stereo sound at 1080p and, in video mode, users can access manual focusing, as well as retain full control over exposure with P/A/S/M modes.
Other features include a 3in tilt-angle Xtra Fine LCD touchscreen with a Photo Creativity Touch interface with which adjustments can be previewed and applied.

The price is expected to be $699.00, available in October 2011.