Monday, June 27, 2011

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Hasselblad Bonus Cheque!

(Photo credit: August Bradley)

Hasselblad says "check", so being Canadian, you might not get all that excited. However if I say "cheque", does that perhaps get a little more interesting? How about a cheque amounting to 10% of the purchase price of a Hasselblad camera or digital back that you can then can spend on anything else at Beau Photo. Now are you excited? I'm thinking the answer might be... YES! Click on the above image to be taken to Hasselblad's info page for details on terms and conditions etc. You have until the end of July!

Friday, June 24, 2011

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X100: Firmware v1.10 has arrived!

Fujifilm Global: X100 Firmware Update Page

The long awaited major firmware update has arrived! A link to the appropriate page is below the above image, a photo of my own X100 that I took just before initiating the update. After a few minutes of playing around, I have to congratulate Fujifilm for carefully listening to user feedback with a responsiveness that I have rarely, if ever, seen from any other camera company. This is no subtle update: major changes to the operation of the camera have been made, and all this after a few months of end-user and reviewer feedback!

In particular, I want to mention image playback, which has been changed so dramatically that it has gone from being one of the most frustrating cameras I have ever used used in that regard, to very nearly the best! Not only can one still very quickly zoom in with a single button press, but also switch between info screens, to a blank "image only" view, also zoom in from the histogram/full-info view, switch to previous and next images in almost every possible mode and finally, the current mode you are in now sticks for good, until you go and change it yourself. Anyone who has spent any time with an X100 will be astonished at how dramatic and effective the changes are to image review and playback. Well done!

When it comes to shooting, all the annoying "automatic" mode changes, ISO changes etc. when switching between P/A/S/M modes, turning the power off, initiating playback, all those "...what the hell did the camera just do without me asking it to?!" quirks seem to be pretty much gone for good now. Hooray!

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

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Epson Stylus Photo R3000 - in stock!

We finally received a shipment of Epson's latest R3000 printers. This all new desktop 13"x19" printer boasts much larger ink cartridges than the R2880 (over twice the capacity) and, similar to its larger cousins like the Pro 4880 or 4900, the cartridges are now installed in a separate compartment and not directly on the printhead. Unlike the R2880, the R3000 now allows loading of both the photo-black and matte-black inks for hassle free printing on either glossy or semi-gloss RC and fibre-based inkjet paper, as well as on matte fine-art or proofing papers too without having to switch out the black cartridge. The printer is also WiFi enabled and has Ethernet and USB 2.0 ports for connectivity.

The new print heads also have a low-friction ink repellant coating that should reduce the need for head cleanings, and with tiny 2 pL droplets, your photos will print with incredibly smoothness and essentially no visible dot pattern. Black & white images will render dead-neutral (if you so desire) under pretty much any light source and with the right paper, colour print longevity can be upwards of 100 years.

Specifications: Epson Stylus Photo R3000 Specifications Sheet

The price is $899 and we have a few in stock...

Friday, June 3, 2011

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Panasonic: GH2 is in stock!

It's a miracle! After being on order since December 2010, we finally received a shipment of GH2 bodies! We now have a few, both a body and a kit with the video-optimized 14-140mm stabilized zoom.

In addition, our rental dept. now has numerous Panasonic items for rent, including the GH2 kit with the 14-140mm, a 7-14mm f/4 ultra-wide zoom, a 14mm f/2.5 pancake prime, the 20mm f/1.7 pancake and lastly, the excellent 100-300mm f/4-5.6 OIS zoom.

I have spent a bit of time shooting with the GH2 system now, and plan to do so a little more over the next couple of weeks. Watch for a hands-on review by the time our next newsletter hits at the beginning of July.
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X100: DigiPower Travel Charger

DigiPower TC-55F Charger compared to Fujifilm's X100 Charger

While Fujifilm's charger that is included with the X100 works great, it can be a bit of a pain to travel with. First off, looking at the above picture, you will see the piece of white "gaffer" tape on it. That tape is on my charger to keep the little plastic insert from getting lost. Without this insert, the NP-95 battery will not stay in place for charging and this little bit is not very securely fastened and pops off quite easily. Secondly, have a look at that power cord, it's huge! And it is stiff. Total overkill and it takes up a lot of extra of room when packing. Most chargers that I have, for all the different cameras I own, have little fold-out prongs and are very convenient to pack when traveling.

After a bit of searching, I found a Fuji compatible DigiPower charger available from one of our suppliers and after bringing one in for testing, I decided to order a few for stock here at Beau. I bought one for myself too.