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Archive for May, 2012

MotoGP Riders Gather for pre-Catalunya Press Conference

31 May

Photo: Dorna Communications

Thursday’s pre-race press conference for the fifth round of the MotoGP championship at the Gran Premi Aperol de Catalunya saw championship leader Jorge Lorenzo joined by Dani Pedrosa, Valentino Rossi, Stefan Bradl and Yonny Hernandez.

Yamaha Factory Racing’s Lorenzo, fresh from a dominant victory in the wet at Le Mans, leads the championship standings by eight points at present. The Catalunya circuit has yielded success for the Spaniard in the past, where he has recorded one win and two second-place finishes in the last three years. He commented: “I’m arriving in a good state. I’m very happy, very motivated. It’s my home race. I’m from Mallorca, but have lived in Barcelona for a long time. It’s also a track where I’ve had great results in the past. I think for the 1000cc Yamaha it could be a good track. I hope we have a weekend with good conditions, but if it rains we’ll be ok as well.

“It’s [the season] been very tough with a lot of competition, especially in the front group with Casey [Stoner] and Dani. The races have a very high pace and are physically demanding. To be at the front you can’t stop concentrating, you have to be at the limit all the time, and of course not crash. To do this is always difficult, but I’m a little bit older and more experienced than the pervious years, so this can make it a bit easier.”

Repsol Honda Team’s Dani Pedrosa, who missed last year’s round with a broken collarbone, will be looking to close the gap to his teammate Casey Stoner and Lorenzo with a victory in front of his home crowd. He said: “I’m happy to be here. It’s been a great start to the season, although last race wasn’t so good. Last year I missed this one and had to watch it on the TV, which is not the greatest feeling. I have won here in the three classes and I aim to get a good result this time. It’s a hard track, especially for the bike and the tyres; you have to have a good set-up on the bike here. As Jorge says, it’s important to keep the pace up and be on the limit all the time.”

Ducati Team’s Valentino Rossi, fresh from a private test at Mugello, stated that finding pace in the dry was the main aim for the Italian outfit this weekend: “We were in Mugello last week and we were lucky with the weather. We could try some new stuff to try to improve our speed and performance in the dry. We tried a different swingarm and some improvements in the electronic system under acceleration. To understand if we have made a step we will have to wait until tomorrow. We know that in the rain we’re fast, but our target is to be faster in the dry. It’s [Catalunya] one of my three favourite tracks of the season. I love to race here and I love the atmosphere with the fans.

LCR Honda MotoGP’s Stefan Bradl, who recorded his best result in fifth last time out is looking to not get carried away this weekend and keep progressing as he has been: “When we come to a track where we haven’t tested, Friday is always really tough for me because I only have the reference from last year in Moto2™. I need to adapt little things and try and get it together, but this track I really like. It’s a really good one for a MotoGP bike. We hope to have some good weather this weekend.”

Avintia Blusens’ Yonny Hernandez, who is the first ever Columbian rider to record points in the MotoGP class, is aiming to put in a solid performance on his team’s home ground: “For me it is like home because my team is from here. I feel very good on this track and I expect to have a good race and get a good result for me, my team and for my family. I’ll try to do my best. To share the track with Valentino, Lorenzo and Pedrosa is like a dream for me.”

 
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Posted in Motorcycling

 

Ducati Team looking to confirm progress at Catalunya

30 May

Photo: Ducati Corse

The Ducati Team is preparing for Sunday’s Catalan Grand Prix at the Circuit de Catalunya, which hosts the second of four MotoGP races held in Spain this season.

The circuit is one of Valentino Rossi’s favourites, having served as the scene for nine of his victories, and while Nicky Hayden has only achieved one podium finish at the track, he also appreciates its fast, open layout. Rossi, who scored his Ducati-best position in second last time out at a very wet Le Mans, will no doubt be looking for a repeat this weekend. However, he has stated that rain might still be his best chance to replicate such a feat before the bike receives its upgrades for late July.

The team will be working on not only a correct race setup, but both the riders and the engineers, headed by Filippo Preziosi, will look to confirm that the development work on the Desmosedici GP12 is heading in the right direction. On Monday, they’ll also take part in a post-race test.

Valentino Rossi

“Two Sundays ago, we got a nice result because we took advantage of the wet track, a condition in which we know we can be competitive, but we’re aware that we must continue improving in normal, dry conditions. Some of the things we tried in the Mugello test last week seemed promising. It will be interesting to try them on a different track, and with much less time to set the bike up, to see if they’re really a small step forward. The Catalunya circuit has always been one of my favourites, and although it’s hard to imagine another podium, we must still do our best to finish with the front riders.”

Nicky Hayden

“Although I’ve struggled a bit at Catalunya the last few years, I do like the track, and it’s one of the calendar’s great GPs. It’s pretty wide, open and fast, and it’s really important to have good edge grip, especially in the last bit with all the long right-handers. Luckily we got some good weather in Mugello and were able to test a few things with setup, and I look forward to taking them to a race to see if we’ve really done any progress.”

Vittoriano Guareschi, Team Manager

“First of all, I’d like to extend a thought to the people who were affected by the earthquake that struck the Emilia Romagna region, which we’re all deeply attached to, and in which Ducati and its workers are located. As for our work, we’ll continue giving our all. We’re going to Catalunya, which is a fast track with big, long corners that require good grip. It’s a good opportunity to check the work we’ve been doing. At Le Mans we confirmed that we’re competitive in the wet, but our main goal is still to reduce the gap to the front in the dry.”

 
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Posted in Motorcycling

 

Sony Malaysia Launches NEX-F3 and Alpha a37 SLT

29 May

Sony Malaysia today unveiled 2 new cameras to its line-up of Alpha cameras – the NEX-F3 and a37 SLT.

The Sony NEX-F3 sits between the entry-level NEX-C3 and the NEX-5N in terms of specification. At the heart is a 16 megapixel Exmor APS HD CMOS image sensor, with the same dimensions and pixel count as that in the NEX-5N and SLT-A57, although it’s not clear if it’s actually identical to those cameras’ sensor. We do know, however, that it’s identical to that featured in the simultaneously-announced Alpha SLT-A37.

Compared to the C3, the NEX-F3 also features a newly-designed tilt mechanism for the LCD which allows viewing from in front of the camera, and adds a built-in popup flash similar to that of the NEX-7, plus Full HD video capture. The NEX-F3 camera adds a whole new perspective to self-portraits with a 180° Tiltable LCD screen, a first for Sony’s E-mount camera line.  By simply holding the camera at arm’s length and flipping the LCD screen vertically, users can adjust the on-screen preview image and properly frame photos.

Additionally, the new model features a useful built-in flash to broaden shooting options indoors or in low light situations.  Already introduced on Sony’s acclaimed NEX-7 camera, this pop-up flash handily brightens portraits and other shots without the need to carry an additional flash accessory.

The new SLT Alpah a37 comes equipped with Sony’s Translucent Mirror Technology. Light and easy to use, the  Translucent Mirror Technology delivers a potent combination of speedy shooting, non-stop phase detection autofocus and continuous live image preview, even when shooting in Full HD video (50i/25p) mode. The precision 3-cross 15-point AF system, with tracking autofocus, keeps faces and fast-moving subjects in sharp focus. From action-packed sports to spontaneous family portraits, you’ll capture all the drama and beauty of that special moment.

The Translucent Mirror Technology also lets the α37 grab split-second action with a burst of sharply-focused images. Tele-zoom Continuous Advance Priority AE mode magnifies the central portion of the sensor’s image, delivering a crisply-detailed burst of still images at up to seven frames per second – even when your subject’s moving. Framing and focusing is a pleasure through the high-resolution Tru-Finder, which matches or exceeds the abilities of many optical viewfinders. With a high 1440k dot resolution, excellent contrast and 100% field of view, this high-performance electronic viewfinder offers the same detail and clarity as the recently-launched SLT-A57. There’s also a special mode to assist comfortable Tru-Finder operation for spectacle wearers.

The SLT-A37 helps inexperienced photographers craft top-quality portraits without effort. Auto Portrait Framing mode identifies your sitter’s position, trimming the scene to create beautifully composed, high resolution portraits using the compositional ‘rule of thirds’. By Pixel Super Resolution Technology ensures that cropped, zoomed portraits retain a full pixel count to flatter your subject.

Getting close to the action used to mean packing a more powerful lens. But now you can enjoy high-quality close-ups with 2x Clear Image Zoom that doubles effective magnification of your lens. Unique to Sony, By Pixel Super Resolution Technology maintains superb image detail, tones and textures. Ideal for travel and everyday shooting, it’s a great way to boost your maximum focal length without carrying extra hardware.

The 16.1 effective megapixel Exmor APS HD CMOS sensor inside the SLT-A37 captures finely-detailed, low noise stills and Full HD video. It’s teamed with the latest BIONZ image processor that extends sensitivity to a generous ISO 100-16000 range, broadening options for atmospheric low-light shooting without flash. Shared with all α SLT cameras, SteadyShot INSIDE cuts the effects of camera shake by up to 4.0 stops for clearer handheld images with any A-mount lenses.

SAL18135 – A-mount 18-135mm F3.5-5.6 telephoto zoom lens

A versatile match for the SLT-A37 and all other models in the SLT range, the new SAL18135 telephoto zoom offers a generous 8x (approx.) zoom range in a compact, go-anywhere lens, the perfect companion for travel, street photography and everyday shooting. The SAM design assures smooth, rapid, whisper-quiet autofocus operation, while Direct Manual Focus allows accurate fine-tuning of focus for refined results.

 
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Lastolite TriGrip Warm Tone Difflector

28 May

Lastolite Limited has announced the availability of the new TriGrip Warm Tone Difflector. The TriGrip Difflector is claimed to be the world’s first dual purpose reflector panel which can be used as a diffuser and a soft bounce reflector. The unique fabric developed for this product allows light to pass through one side and bounce off the other side, making it a truly versatile product whatever the lighting conditions. Now, in addition to the popular cool soft silver, it is now available in warm soft gold finish.

The TriGrip Difflector also features the unique TriGrip moulded handle for accurate positioning of the reflector with just one hand.

Main Features:

Hold the reflector with just one hand Hold two reflectors’ one in each hand Use as a diffuser or a bounce reflector Collapses to a third of its original size

The new TriGrip Warm Tone Difflector is available in 3 sizes:

TRIGRIP DIFFLECTOR SOFT GOLD MINI 45CM (18”) TRIGRIP DIFFLECTOR SOFT GOLD 75CM (30”) TRIGRIP DIFFLECTOR SOFT GOLD LARGE 120CM (48”)

 
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“Get To Know Your EOS Cameras Better” Session @ Canon Professional HD Center

27 May

The Canon Professional HD Center located inside the IT Centre of Berjaya Times Square today held an informal session for EOS users who wanted to know more of what their cameras could do. Those who attended the session also get to handle Canon’s latest EF lenses and EOS cameras like the EF 300mm f/2.8L IS II USM, EOS 5D Mark III and Cine EOS C300 movie camcorder.

The session was conducted by the Center’s General Manager, Herman Chiew and Technical Editor of Just Like That… blog Philip Chong. Both were also assisted by Canon Marketing Malaysia Senior Product Specialist Kevin Boey.

This informal session kicks off of what will be a formal session each weekend at the Canon Professional HD Centre beginning in June 2, 2012, with each session having a different theme relating to either EOS DSLRs or EOS Cinema System of cameras.

 
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Posted in Gatherings

 

Olympus M. Zuiko DIGITAL ED 75mm f/1.8

26 May

For owners of Olympus Micro Four Thirds cameras, a new lens has to offer more than stunning optical quality –the design has to live up to the beautiful, retro-styled O-MD and PEN series as well. The M.ZUIKO DIGITAL ED 75mm 1:1.8 (150mm*) ‘Prime Portrait’ lens ticks all those boxes and more. The ideal choice for portraits, high-speed indoor sports and stage shooting in low light, it has the sleek, full-metal housing to match its impressive specifications and spotless optical performance. From picture-book bokeh to virtually silent, high-speed autofocus, this large-aperture beauty has everything the serious enthusiast could ask for.

High speed, low reflection, next to no aberration The large aperture of the new Olympus lens is perfect for low-light and high-speed photography. Combined with the long focal length, it also helps generate the shallow depth of field needed to highlight subjects against an intentionally blurred background – an ideal effect for shooting portraits. For sheer quality, ZUIKO’s ultra-high precision assembling and polishing technology puts the Prime Portrait neck and neck with the fantastic ZUIKO DIGITAL ED 150mm 1:2.0. Clear and sharp images are a matter of course, with edge-to-edge high contrast and resolution.Lightweight and compact, the Prime Portrait is a pleasure to work with in manual mode. The all-metal design has a reassuringly premium feel and the fine-tuned focus ring is a cinch to use. The ZUIKO Extra-low Reflection Optical (ZERO) coating is twice as effective as conventional coatings, giving you the confidence to shoot in bright light without fear of ghosting and flaring. What’s more, this lens also delivers reliable circular bokeh without the dreaded vignetting or off-axis aberration.

Several optional all-metal accessories are available to round off a sleek lens package, including the LH-61F lens hood and the LC-61 lens cap, both from Olympus.

* 35mm equivalent.

 
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Manfrotto Announces New Lino Apparel Collection for Women

25 May

Manfrotto Distribution has just announced the Lino Apparel Collection women’s line today. This is the first line designed specifically for women, tailored to comfortably fit without compromising style.  The line includes four items that are specially designed for the female shape: Pro Field Jacket, Pro Photo Vest, Pro Soft Shell Jacket and Pro Air Jacket.

“We are excited to debut a brand new line of Lino apparel that is specially designed for women in both form and function,” said Kayla Murata, Product Manager Manfrotto Bags and Apparel. “Each piece allows for active movement and flexibility under various working conditions in the field.  The entire collection is made from high quality materials and is designed to last for years.”

Pricing and Features

PRO FIELD JACKETUS$349.00 The Pro Field Jacket features photographic working tools combined with comfort, convertibility, and a sleek design. It offers a classic style and comfortably holds camera gear and accessories.

* Main pockets hold the removable modular pocket inserts, and the weight distribution system connects the pocket to the shoulders and transfers the weight ergonomically     * Designated epaulets secure the camera strap in place while the shoulder pad inserts cushion the load of the camera or bag     * Includes anti-tilt securing tabs for the camera strap     * Modular pocket inserts fit inside main pockets, which can accommodate two lenses (24-70)     * Integrated Micro-Fiber lens and screen cleaner tucks into the sleeve     * $100 off Mail-In-Rebate offered through July 31, 2012     * Available in Women’s sizes XS-3L

PRO PHOTO VESTUS$229.00 The Pro Photo Vest combines sleek design with the functionality of an everyday vest. It comfortably holds and supports your camera gear and accessories

* Main pockets hold the removable modular pocket inserts while expanded or zipped up. The weight distribution system connects the pockets to the shoulders and transfers the weight ergonomically     * Designated epaulets secure the camera strap in place     * Includes anti-tilt securing tabs for the camera strap     * Camera ready for quick draw and shoot action     * Modular pocket inserts fit inside main pockets, which can accommodate two lenses (24-70)     * Add the Soft Shell Jacket when additional insulation is required (sold separately)     * $80 off Mail-In-Rebate through July 31, 2012     * Available in Women’s sizes XS-3L

PRO SOFT SHELL JACKETUS$169.00 The Pro Soft Shell Jacket is a warm and stylish shooting jacket designed to protect from cold while accommodating the functionality needed for day to day shooting.

* Abrasion protection shoulder and elbow patches keep your camera from slipping off your shoulder     * Side entry chest pockets expand internally to hold equipment such as a cell phone or wallet     * Includes a pocket for a point-and-shoot camera     * Thumb holes keep your hands warm when shooting     * Can be used with Pro Photo Vest as thermal protection     * US$50 off Mail-In-Rebate through July 31, 2012     * Available in Women’s sizes XS-3L

PRO AIR JACKETUS$159.00 The Pro Air Jacket is a breathable wind and waterproof jacket that folds into its own integrated compact pouch.

* Seam seals throughout the jacket keep water out     * Two front pockets will hold photo accessories     * Protect your head and camera from rain by using the integrated hood and visor     * Air jacket folds compactly into its own integrated pouch     * US$50 off Mail-In-Rebate through July 31, 2012     * Available in Women’s sizes XS-3L

PRO PONCHOUS$149.99 The Pro Poncho is a wind and waterproof poncho designed to protect the photographer and her gear from any weather conditions.

* Folds into its own integrated compact pouch     * Seam seals throughout the poncho keep water out     * Large zip front pocket inside the poncho will keep photo accessories protected from rain     * Protect your head and camera from rain by using the integrated hood and visor     * Pull the poncho over your back to accommodate and protect a backpack     * Poncho folds compactly into its own integrated pouch     * Unisex, 1 size

For more information, visit http://www.manfrotto.us

 
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PHOTOS: Samsung Galaxy S-III’s Malaysian Launch

25 May

 
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Samsung Unveils Galaxy S III Smartphone

24 May

Samsung Malaysia Electronics has today announced the commercial availability the Samsung GALAXY S III into the Malaysian market. Designed for humans and inspired by nature, the third-generation Samsung GALAXY S is a smartphone that recognizes your voice, understands your intention, and lets you share a moment instantly and easily.

The Samsung GALAXY S III emphasizes on human-centric designs, natural interaction and instant sharing. Its comfortable grip, gentle curves, and organic form deliver a rich organic feel and design. Inspired by nature, its design concept reflects the flow and movement of nature. The elements of wind, water and light are all evoked in the physical construct of the Samsung GALAXY S III. In its essence, the minimal organic design identity is reflected in the smooth and non-linear lines of the device.

Smart enough to detect your face, voice and motions, the Samsung GALAXY S III adapts to the individual user to provide a more convenient and natural experience. With the innovative ‘Smart stay’ feature, the Samsung GALAXY S III recognizes how you are using your phone – reading an e-book or browsing the web for instance – by having the front camera identify your eyes; the phone maintains a bright display for continued viewing pleasure.

Equipped with ‘S Voice,’ the advanced natural language understanding, the Samsung GALAXY S III listens and responds to your words as well as your motions to offer maximized usability. If you are messaging someone but decide to call them instead, simply lift your phone to your ear and ‘Direct call’ will dial their number. With ‘Smart alert,’ the Samsung GALAXY S III will also save you from trouble by catching any missed messages or calls; your phone will vibrate to notify missed statuses when picked up after being idle.

Sharing is now easy and instant with the new ‘S Beam’ which allows any large files including movie files to be transferred by simply touching another Samsung GALAXY S III phone, even without a Wi-Fi or cellular signal. With ‘AllShare Play’, users can be also used to instantly share any forms of files between Samsung GALAXY S III and your tablet, PCs, cameras and televisions regardless of the distance between the devices.

Weighing at only 133 grams and measuring at only 8.55mm thick, the Samsung GALAXY S III is the first device featuring quad core application processor. This provides users with enhanced performance, faster web browsing, seamless multi-tasking, supreme graphics quality, and an instantly responsive user interface on a larger screen. As a leader in display technology, Samsung’s state-of-the-art innovation is further reflected in the device’s heritage Super AMOLED display that has been enhanced to include HD wider viewing angles on a 4.8 inch display.

An 8MP camera and a 1.9MP front camera are also included in the device, giving users a variety of intelligent camera features and face recognition related options that ensure all moments are captured easily and instantly. With the ‘Burst shot’ function that instantly captures twenty continuous shots, and the ‘Best photo’ feature that selects the best of eight photographs for you, the Samsung GALAXY S III ensures users a more enhanced and memorable camera experience.

The Samsung GALAXY S III is powered by Android 4.0, Ice Cream Sandwich and a 2,100 mAh battery.

For more information on the new Samsung GALAXY S III, please visit www.samsung.com/my or visit Samsung Mobile Malaysia Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/samsungmobilemalaysia

 
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Fujifilm X-Pro1 M Mount Adapter

24 May

Fujifilm are proud to announce the launch of the Fujifilm M Mount Adapter, which adds even greater levels of versatility to the innovative X-Pro1. The adapter enables the X-Pro1 to be used with M mount lenses – or those built to the same specification – and are optimised to ensure the best possible results are achieved both from lenses and camera body.Precision engineering for perfect results In just the same way that the X-Pro1 is built to exacting design standards, the M Mount Adapter employs precision engineering to deliver superb results for discerning photographers. The adapter comprises three parts; an aluminium mount for the body, a stainless steel mount for the lens plus an aluminium central tube. This construction enables the Fujifilm designers to accurately maintain a 27.8mm distance from lens mount to sensor, which is crucial for the delivery of high quality images.

The camera side of the M Mount Adapter features an array of electronic connections that automatically pass information to the X-Pro1 body based on pre-registered lens profiles. With firmware version 1.10 or later, this information is transmitted by pressing the Function button on the side of the adapter, which allows users to access the Mount Adapter Settings menu on the rear LCD. Furthermore, with M Mount lenses attached, users can still enjoy the benefits of the X-Pro1’s Hybrid Multi Viewfinder. The Electronic Viewfinder (EVF) and LCD monitor both offer a 100% field of view, while on selected lenses the Optical Viewfinder (OVF) displays a bright frame corresponding to the focal length in use.

Lens correction settings provide ultimate control To ensure the Fujifilm M Mount Adapter delivers optimum results, users can create and fine tune lens profiles through the X-Pro1’s Mount Adapter Settings menu. This menu allows X-Pro1 users to profile up to six lenses. There are four presets for 21mm, 24mm, 28mm and 35mm lenses, plus two optional settings for additional optics. With the Fujifilm M Mount Adapter attached, profiles can be user-defined based around distortion, peripheral illumination and colour shading corrections.

Three levels of distortion correction are available to combat barrel distortion on wide-angle lenses and pincushion distortion on telephoto lenses. Users can select from Strong, Medium or Weak correction, or simply turn any correction off. Peripheral illumination controls the amount of darkening at the four corners of an image. Eleven levels of correction can be applied from +5 to -5 (including “0”) with users given the choice of darkening the corners of the image to emphasise a central subject or lightening edges for more even illumination across the frame.

Finally, colour shading correction allows each corner of the frame to be colour corrected to combat any shift in colour between the centre and edges of the frame. Corrections can be made to red/cyan colour shading and blue/yellow colour shading from -9 to +9 relative to the green channel.

The Fujifilm M Mount Adapter is available bundled the “gauge” checking the compatibility for the M Mount lens.

Fujifilm M Mount Adapter key features • Three-piece aluminium and stainless steel construction • 27.8mm lens mount to sensor distance • Electronic connections and Function button • Compatible with Hybrid Multi Viewfinder • Lens profiles and corrections available through Mount Adapter Setting menu (firmware version 1.10 or later must be installed for using above features)

*The firmware ver 1.10 will be available on the Fujifilm Global website in June/2012.

 
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