Jessops Brand May Be Saved

Peter Jones To Buy Jessops’ Brand

Peter Jones of Dragons Den fame may buy the Jessops Brand. The technology entrepreneur, who owns internet specialist Phones International, has been in discussions over the terms of an impending deal and an announcement could be made as early as tomorrow.
Price Waterhouse Coopers took the unusual step of immediately closing all of Jessops’ 187 stores causing the loss of up to 2,000 jobs. It seems that Peter Jones is mainly interested in the brand, but may possibly buy some of the stores also.

Lets hope we can see the Jessop’s name back on the High Street..

More Information can be found here

The Snow Keeps Coming

The Snow Keeps Coming

Here in Yorkshire we are getting a lot of snow. The bulk of it fell overnight.

Schools closed buses not running, seems lessons are never learned.

It always seems to catch everybody out even when they have been forewarned well in advance.

Snow Queen and bird
Snow Queen

It seems the forecast now is for milder weather later in the week, leading to rain, hope flooding is

not the next big problem yet again.!!!!

As for now it is still -1c and still snowing..

So for now the snow keeps coming.

Wildlife Photographer Of The Year 2013

Wildlife Photographer Of The Year 2013


Visit the Website

The Wildlife Photographer Of The Year 2013 opens it’s doors for entries soon.

Start taking your wildlife entries for this competition.

Not much time to enter from opening to close dates.

The  competition opens for entries from 7 January to 25 February 2013.

From 7 January to 25 February 2013 amateur and professional photographers alike are able to submit images for 18 categories, with three categories specifically for those aged 17 and under. Last year, the competition received a record 48,000 entries from photographers across 98 countries.

all of whom were wanting to win one of two coveted grand titles, also a share of the £30,000 prize, critical acclaim in the international media and the opportunity for their image to be viewed by millions in an exhibition that debuts at London’s Natural History Museum before touring around the world.


About the competition


Wildlife Photographer of the Year harnesses the power of photography to promote the discovery, understanding, and responsible enjoyment of the natural world.

Now in its 49th year, the Wildlife Photographer of the Year competition provides a global showcase of the very best nature photography. The competition is co-owned by two UK institutions that pride themselves on revealing and championing the diversity of life on Earth – the Natural History Museum and BBC Worldwide.

Being shortlisted in this competition is something to which photographers across the world aspire. Every year emerging talents compete with established names for a chance to be hailed Wildlife Photographer of the Year.

Reasons to enter

  • Compete for one of 2 coveted grand winner titles, plus a share of the £30,000 prize fund.
  • Win a trip to London to attend the exclusive awards night at the Natural History Museum.
  • Be showcased in the world-renowned exhibition and delight millions in venues across 6 continents.
  • Revel in the critical acclaim of the global media spotlight.
  • Be published in a limited-edition hardcover portfolio book

This Years Jury

Ingo Arndt, wildlife photographer (Germany)
Sophie Boulet-Gercourt, executive, Biosphoto (France)
Luciano Candisani, wildlife photojournalist (Brazil)
Tui De Roy, naturalist, wildlife photographer (New Zealand)
Richard Eccleston, Art Editor, BBC Wildlife magazine (UK)
Ruth Eichhorn, Director of Photography, GEO magazine (Germany)
Lisa Lytton, Director, Paraculture Books, Director of Digital Editions, National Geographic Magazine (US)
Koji Nakamura, underwater photographer, President, Japan Underwater Films (Japan)
Elio Lello Piazza, natural history picture editor (Italy)
Anna Sever, director, picture editor, ASA Agency (Spain)
Igor Shpilenok, wildlife photographer (Russia)
Hans Strand, landscape photographer (Sweden)
Jan Vermeer, wildlife photographer (The Netherlands)
Steve Winter, wildlife photojournalist and Director of Media, Panthera (US)Find out more about the 2013 jury


Calling all photographers!
The 2013 Wildlife Photographer of the Year competition is now open for entries.Enter online at and take part in one of the world’s most prestigious photography events.

Compete for the coveted titles of Wildlife Photographer of the Year and Young Wildlife Photographer of the Year and:

• receive a share of the £30,000 prize pot, including £10,000 for the adult overall winner.
• win a trip to London to attend the exclusive awards night at the Natural History Museum.
• revel in the critical acclaim of the global media spotlight.
• be showcased in the Museum’s world renowned exhibition, tour and portfolio book.

Don’t leave it until the last minute – find out how to take part

Closing date: 25 February 2013 

Sony Cyber-shot RX1

Sony RX1
Sony RX1

Sony Cyber-shot RX1


  • Shoots like a DSLR – Get pro-quality pictures with a Full Frame 35mm Exmor® CMOS sensor that takes high quality 24.3 megapixel photos
  • A sharper window to the world – With a F2.0 aperture, the bright Carl Zeiss Sonnar T* lens reduces lens flare and ghost images
  • Power behind your photos – A powerful BIONZ processor ensures clear, detailed, low-noise images and quick, responsive shooting
  • Find the right setting fast – A DSLR style control wheel lets you easily access common shooting modes, or your own custom settings
  • Make the picture your own – With different picture modes you can give your photos a poster effect, soft focus, a miniature look and more
  • A clearer view at speed – A high-speed burst of five frames creates a single low-noise image to minimise blur
  • Movies at the touch of a button – Shoot high quality AVHCD video with every frame at Full HD 1080resolution. Choose cinematic 24p, for clips with a movie look
  • Make a HD connection – Send a HD signal to your TV, laptop or other HDMI® enabled device for High Definition viewing
  • Low light? No problem – Lens and sensor work together in the RX1 to deliver a particularly high ISO level – right up to ISO 102400 in Multi Frame NR mode, for crisper images in low light
  • Six becomes one – For when light is low, Multi Frame NR (noise reduction) mode creates a single bright photo from six images shot continuously
  • A clean, pure digital image – The RX1 ensures a clean, signal in two stages – once at the analogue signal stage and again at the digital conversion stage
  • Ready for your close-up? – Macro mode shortens the minimum focus distance to 20cm and sets the magnification ratio to 0.26 for close-up photography
  • Check settings at a glance – Activate Quick Navi, to see and change settings instantly without having to scroll through menus
  • Your favourite settings remembered – With memory recall mode, you can remember up to three groups of settings – ready at the push of a button when you need them
  • Line up your shots – Looking for the perfect composition? See grid lines on the LCD screen in diagonal and square patterns to check roll and pitch
  • Add your own extras – With a multi interface shoe you can add an external flash, viewfinder, thumb grip, or extra LCD monitor
  • See every shade and tone – Experience the full range of tonal gradations with the Intelligent Auto HDR (high dynamic range) setting
  • Get an even wider view – Sweep Panorama stitches together a burst of images to create extra-wide panoramic landscapes, city scenes and more
  • A flash of inspiration – A built-in flash pops up when you need it, with four different modes for every occasion
  • Get in focus – With single shot as well as direct and full manual focus, you can lock-on to your subject fast

The Sony Cyber-shot RX1 Digital Camera is the world’s first digital compact camera to have a 35mm full-frame sensor in a form factor that can sit in the palm of your hand. This pocket-sized camera is equipped with a 24.3 MP Exmor CMOS sensor, a BIONZ image processor and a newly developed Carl Zeiss 35mm f2.0 prime lens. Together, the above technologies should ensure that images and full HD movies are sharp and colourful even in low light.

The Sony RX1 is a highly advanced compact with full manual controls, an ISO range from ISO 100-102400, a built-in flash, a minimum focusing distance of 20cm, high speed shooting at up to 5fps and full HD 24p/60i/60p video with manual control and audio input. Smaller and lighter than any full-frame DSLR currently on the market, the Sony RX1 offers exceptional image quality and performance,which compares to that usually found in a high-end digital SLR.

UK pricing seems to be around the £2,500 mark so not a purchase to be taken lightly, but it is going to have a lot of appeal to street shooters and many professional’s that want a smaller form factor high megapixel camera for ease of use,when not wishing to carry a heavy DSLR around. Time to start saving up again !!!

Nikon Release D4 Firmware Upgrade

Nikon Release D4 Firmware Upgrade 

Nikon has released a firmware upgrade for the Nikon D4.

Modifications enabled with A firmware Ver. 1.03 / B firmware Ver. 1.02

Focus accuracy when a lens and teleconverter with a combined maximum aperture of f/8 is used has been increased.
The firmware can be downloaded here

Nikon 70-200mm F4 Lens

Nikon 70-200mm F4 ED VR
Nikon 70-200mm F4 ED VR


Nikon Imaging has announced a new 70-200mm lens with a constant F4 aperture

Nikon 70-200mm F4 ED VR Lens has been announced and will go on sale on 29/11/2012.

“High-performance telephoto zoom lens for use with FX-format SLRs.

Boasting a strong combination of constant f/4 aperture and versatile 70–200mm focal range, this lens is ideal for events, travel, wildlife, and even sports.

Nikon’s Vibration Reduction system lets you shoot at shutter speeds up to five stops slower for exceptionally sharp, steady images when shooting handheld. The superior optical design delivers outstanding resolution and contrast in diverse conditions.”

Key Features

FX-format telephoto zoom lens with 70–200mm focal range (105–300mm when used with a Nikon DX-format SLR).

Constant f/4 aperture throughout the zoom range.

Vibration Reduction (VR) system: minimizes camera shake and lets you shoot at shutter speeds up to five stops slower.

Nano Crystal Coat greatly reduces ghosting and flare.

SWM (Silent Wave Motor) enables quiet and accurate autofocus.

Two focus modes: A/M (autofocus with manual override, AF priority) and M (manual focus).

Minimum focus distance: 1 m.

Lightweight body for a telephoto zoom lens.

RT-1 tripod collar ring (optional accessory): enables the lens to be rotated freely for smooth transition between vertical and horizontal orientation.


Type Type G AF-S lens with built-in CPU and F mount
Focal length 70-200 mm
Maximum aperture f/4
Minimum aperture f/32
Lens construction 20 elements in 14 groups (including 3 ED lens elements, one HRI lens element, and lens elements with Nano-Crystal coatings)
Angle of view Nikon film SLR and FX-format D-SLR cameras: 34° 20′ – 12° 20′ Nikon DX-format D-SLR cameras: 22° 50′ – 8°
Focusing Nikon Internal Focusing (IF) System with autofocus controlled by Silent Wave Motor and separate focus ring for manual focus
Minimum focus distance 1 m (3.28 ft) from focal plane at all zoom positions
Maximum reproduction ratio Approx. 0.274x
No. of diaphragm blades 9 (rounded diaphragm opening)
Diaphragm Fully automatic
Filter-attachment size 67 mm
Dimensions Approx. 78 mm maximum diameter x 178.5 mm (distance from camera lens mount flange)
Weight Approx. 850 g (30.0 oz)

the Nikon 70-200mm F4 Lens is a long awaited lens in the Nikon line up and is sure to be a good seller.. the recommended retail price at launch is

£ 1,172.9
From the Nikon Store

Capture One Pro 7

Capture One Pro 7

PhaseOne have updated CaptureOne 6.4 to version 7. I for one am a bit bummed by this payed upgrade as I only bought the software in August. Apparently if you purchased version 6 less than a month ago it is a free upgrade. If not it is a €99.0 upgrade.

It seems the cut of date for the free upgrade to version 7 is 26/Sept/2012, so I expect there will be quite a few put out by this.

I tried version 7 as a trial and found quite a few initial problems, on my machine if I open a folder full of .NEF files it only displays about a 1/3 rd of the folder images, leaving the rest as blank squares with no information about the image showing. I haven’t gone into it any further than that and removed it from my machine.


I tried Capture One Pro 7 again and found that by turning of OpenCL the thumbnails all loaded and also that the program was more responsive on my machine. After comparing the costs of buying say PhotoNinja from PictureCode versus the latest C1 Pro, that I was better of upgrading. The Picturcode purchasing model is for a yearly subscription of $99.00 to continue with updates after a year. I purchased my C1 pro upgrade for €69.00. I have to say that Capture One Pro 7‘s new conversion engine is very good.

So decision made.

I will be using Capture One Pro 7 extensively over the next few weeks and trying out the new features the program offers, not least of which is cataloguing of images

Update 2

It seems there is a Beta version designated 7.02 being tested at the moment offering excellent raw conversion for the Fuji X-Trans sensor. This will be very good news for those with the alleged water-colour effect seen in images coming from Adobe Lightroom and Silkypix to some degree.


PictureCode PhotoNinja

PictureCode PhotoNinja

From the makers of NoiseNinja have unveiled a pre-release version of PhotoNinja 1.02 a trial version can be downloaded here

PhotoNinja Interface
PhotoNinja Interface

I have downloaded and used PhotoNinja for a couple of days now. Initially when you download and install the program

it will not allow you to render any of your raw files out of the program, a quick email to PictureCode requesting a trial key

received a swift reply with a key code for a two weeks trial.

I had occasion to email PictureCode regarding one or two small problems I had

and received quick and detailed replies to my questions.

I really have not used the program long enough yet to come to an absolute conclusion as to  whether this program

is the best raw convertor or indeed the value of it in monetary terms. The cost of PhotoNinja is $129.00 or in Sterling around £79.50.

I can say though that I am enjoying testing the program and hope to have my own review of the program in the next couple of weeks.

PictureCode are also working on a Photoshop plugin for better integration so that an intermediate image does not have to be used

to finish the image in Photoshop itself.

All in all so far I have found the program to have an excellent raw engine which gets very good detail both in the shadow areas and indeed the highlights.

I have found though that the highlight recovery can create a false color, which though can be easily corrected using the tools provided for raw conversion.

PhotoNinja also has NoiseNinja 3 built in which is a very handy noise reduction algorithm for high iso noise in

your images.

Color Correction panel
Color Correction panel

More information can be found at

The Tutorials page can be found here


Ok so I have been using PhotoNinja with the trial keycode for two weeks and here are a few observations.

The program is very resource intensive. If you work on an image, finish your adjustments and then move on to another image without closing the previous image you worked on, the program will bring your computer to its knees.

Another  thing is the lack of batch processing each image has to be rendered individually.

I can not find any kind of history state in the program which means once an adjustment is made there is no simple way to go back. There is the camera image preview which will show the original and let you compare

the edited version against the original.

The lack of a simple clone tool is also a bit of a bind. a simple dust removal (Spot Healing Tool) would be a welcome addition.

There is a tool for wide angle lens correction, but I found it difficult if not impossible in some images to get lines parallel on architectural type shots.

I am sure that some of these shortcomings will be addressed in future updates, but for the time being these shortcomings do slow down the workflow somewhat.

My trial key runs out tomorrow so I can only adjust images in PhotoNinja and not actually render them.

All these small nitpicks aside the program does an excellent job of getting the best from raw files and I personally prefer them to Phase One’s Capture One Pro renderings, which is a far more expensive, although more comprehensive raw convertor.

PhotoNinja has been updated to Ver 1.02 and can be found here 

Hasselblad Lunar

Hasselblad, manufacturer of the world’s most advanced medium format camera system, has announced a revolutionary plan to market a state-of-the-art, Italian-designed ‘ultimate luxury’ mirrorless, interchangeable lens camera early next year.

Hasselblad Lunar
Hasselblad Lunar

Luca Alessandrini Hasselblad’s New Business Development Manager said: “The Lunar is a celebration of the passion that the company’s founder Victor Hasselblad had for photography. We’ve developed this model in the traditional way, using handmade wooden prototypes to ensure superior ergonomics and functionality. This is a camera for both serious photographers and enthusiasts who aspire to shooting with a Hasselblad.”

He added: “Lunar, which can be used in fully automatic or fully manual mode, has been designed to be easy to use and versatile but with all the advanced technology employed in top DSLRs. For the first time the market now has a camera embracing traditional Hasselblad state-of-the-art image capture combined with stunning Italian design features.

And for the first time ever we are using carbon fiber, titanium, wood, leather and precious metals – including gold. The camera grip itself offers unparalleled ergonomics and has been developed to embrace both compact E-mount and the larger professional A-mount lenses.”

The Lunar, which is set for launch in the first quarter of 2013, will be priced circa 5000 Euros and will be available in a choice of standard models plus a variety of exclusive hand grips and precious materials on special order.

Dr. Larry Hansen, Hasselblad CEO and Chairman said:  “It has always been my ambition to enable all fans of the iconic Hasselblad brand to have an opportunity to own one of our cameras. The company mission is to develop exceptional products at the very top end of the market segments in which we operate. In 1962 astronaut Walter Schirra took the first Hasselblad camera into space. Walter had painted the 500C’s metal surface black to minimise reflections. Now, in celebration fifty years later, we have developed Lunar – an aesthetically and ergonomically beautiful piece of camera art, complete with colour options and an evocative vintage look and feel, for photography lovers down here on planet Earth.”

Key Lunar features will include:

•    DSLR-like performance thanks to the highest technology APS-C 24.3 MP sensor
with 25AF points focusing matched to an Ultra fast Processor with real time
image processing and accurate RAW to JPEG translation.
•    Accurate composition for both still and video in any light conditions thanks to
the Ultra-bright 3″ high definition display and revolutionary OLED viewfinder
that guarantees superior contrast and ultra fast response.
•    One-touch instant full HD video recording to shoot in Auto or fully manual mode.
Focus and exposition control plus the connection for an external microphone and
the option to use larger A-mount lenses for professional video creation.
•    Instant shutter response (0.02 second release time lag) ten frames per second
and an extremely Wide ISO 100 -16000 range.
•    The camera software includes an exceptionally comprehensive set of creative
styles, picture effects, scene selections and the smart “intelligent face registration”
making the shooting experience even more fun.
•    Auto HD, DRO and Anti-motion blur mode.
•    An Innovative TriNavi system for DSLR-like tuning, two flash options and
Anti-dust system complete the Lunar state-of-the-art package

Added Dr. Hansen: “This new model is the result of meticulous engineering research, culminating in the creation of an unprecedented camera which underpins the Hasselblad mission to pioneer and produce supreme quality across all our products.”

Source Of Information Hasselblad

Rumoured price around £4,500 seems a bit steep for a glorified Nex 7?