Tuesday, 24 December 2013

LG launching 4K, 31-inch ultra-widescreen monitor

Engadget reports: [edited]

LG's 31-inch 31MU95 will feature a 4,096 x 2,160 IPS panel with a 19:10 ratio. For comparison's sake, most Ultra HDTVs and monitors like ASUS's first 4K model display 3,840 x 2,160 pixels at 16:9.

The new offering conforms to the 4K format recorded by RED's Epic and Scarlet cameras and also packs a Thunderbolt 2 port with 20Gbps throughput. LG claims that'll let you monitor 4K footage and archive it up at the same time - ideal for on-set movie playback or post-production, for instance.

LG will also offer 34-inch and 29-inch UM95 models with 3,440 x 1,440 resolution at 21:9, which will display 99-percent of the sRGB gamut and come with LG's True Color calibration software.

There's no pricing on any of the new monitors yet, but Dell's recently launched 32-inch 4K Ultrasharp model is running $3,299, by way of reference. The high-res panels and other ultra-widescreen business models from LG will arrive at CES 2014 in January.
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Thursday, 19 December 2013

Color Template

Rocket Design has produced a helpful online colour tutorial that takes you through a number of logical stages to help choose an appropriate colour palette for your design project.
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Tuesday, 17 December 2013

British Library puts a million images online

The Appendix reports: [edited]

The British Library has released one million of images on Flickr under the most open Creative Commons license.
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Thursday, 12 December 2013

Google Launches Chrome Apps for Mac

MacRumours reports: [edited]

Google today announced that it is bringing Chrome Apps to the Mac, following a beta period that began in May. Chrome Apps are designed to function like native Mac apps, working offline, updating automatically, and syncing on any computer where a user is signed into Chrome.

Chrome Apps work offline, update automatically and sync to any computer where you're signed into Chrome, so you can pick up where you left off. Your Chrome Apps on Mac behave and feel just like native software. For example, you can find your Chrome Apps in the Applications folder on the Dock. Search for apps by name in the Spotlight search—just like any other Mac program that you already use.

Chrome Apps, which are separate from Chrome browser apps, are downloaded into the applications folder and work like any other Mac app. The apps have access to local storage for offline support, differentiating them from standard Chrome apps, and are able to easily sync content between multiple computers.

Chrome Apps for the Mac also work with Google's Chrome App Launcher, which will be automatically installed when any Chrome App is downloaded. The Chrome App Launcher aggregates all Chrome Apps into one convenient expandable grid on the Mac's dock.
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Tuesday, 10 December 2013

Open Dyslexic

opendyslexic.org reports: [edited]

OpenDyslexic is a new open sourced font created to increase readability for readers with dyslexia. The typeface includes regular, bold, italic, and bold-italic styles. It is being updated continually and improved based on input from dyslexic users. There are no restrictions on using OpenDyslexic outside of attribution.
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Thursday, 5 December 2013

50 Vintage Freebie Finds

Go Media reports: [edited]

I hope you enjoy these vintage finds – not only fonts, but also badges, frames, PSD retro layer styles and icons.

As always, please pay attention to the license on each offering.
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Tuesday, 3 December 2013

Boomf

The Next Web reports: [edited]

Boomf prints Instagram photos on vanilla-flavoured marshmallows and sends them to you in the mail.

You connect your Instagram account to the Boomf website, select nine images, pay £12 and they’re sent to your UK address.

As the Web app for ordering them connects to your Instagram account to access the photos, you won’t be able to use a friend’s photos on their own gift.

- - - - -

Editor's Note: I ordered a pack. The process is painless, especially if you have a PayPal account. The package arrived a couple of days later. The presentation is good, and the printing perfectly acceptable. However, there is currently no facility for adding a personalised message, which I think is a major oversight. I Tweeted this to Boomf, and they replied with a reassuring "coming soon, my friend!".
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Thursday, 28 November 2013

Type Connection

Type Connection helps you learn how to pair typefaces. Along the way you are provided with smatterings of type history and terminology.
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Tuesday, 26 November 2013

Adobe Typography Primer

Adobe reports: [edited]

This 20 page primer was first published in 2000. It talks about things like using the right character, choosing and using typefaces, combining typefaces in a publication, and loads of other interesting typographic tidbits. It’s something you might share with a co-worker who needs to know more about the mysterious world of x-heights and optical sizes.

To download the pdf, click here.

via the logo smith
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Thursday, 21 November 2013

Infinit

TNW reports: [edited]

After a few months in stealth mode, Infinit launching its file-transfer app for Mac (Windows and Linux coming soon) to the world in public beta.

Infinit is aimed at creatives, and lets them transfer gargantuan files with haste, claiming to be up to 23 times faster than WeTransfer and Hightail. Infinit caters for any size of file. You simply drag-and-drop your file to the desired recipient, who will then be prompted to accept the file transfer.

Infinit offers automatic pause-and-resume, which means that file-transfers are paused when an internet connection is lost, and automatically restarted when the connection is restored. Shutting your computer down doesn’t cancel the transfer either. And you can begin streaming a media file as soon as the transfer has started.

For launch, Infinit will be free to download and use.
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Thursday, 14 November 2013

GlyphSearch

GlyphSearch allows you to search for icons from Glyphicons, Ionicons, and Font Awesome.
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Tuesday, 12 November 2013

Thursday, 7 November 2013

Lightzone now open source

Digital Photography Review reports: [edited]

LightZone is powerful raw image file developer and editing software, with a polished, pleasant user interface and decent help files. Online forum support is available and it has a growing, active user community.

LightZone 4.0 is now Free (as in Freedom) software and it is available from Lightzone.org under a BSD license for Windows, Mac and Linux.

LightZone uses the dcraw library to open raw files, software that is well maintained and periodically updated.
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Tuesday, 5 November 2013

Olympus OM-D E-M1 Review

Steve Huff has produced an excellent, real-world review of Olympus' flagship Micro Four Thirds camera.

If you have any interest in photography, the whole review is worth reading, but this excerpt it telling...

"The facts are plain and simple. There are really are no limits with this system in 2013 . It may lose some in high ISO ranges from 6400 and up and it may not have that last 5% of bite that a Leica M has but it easily matches an APS-C and in many cases, exceeds in beauty of rendering and that is thanks to the lenses. But even if I have said it a million times, usability and joy of use go a long way, and this camera has it."

"With a camera like the E-M1 or E-M5 you can take images in any situation. You can go for wide and large depth of field or achieve very shallow depth of field. You can shoot with one of the best macro lenses ever as well as an amazing fisheye and ultra wide zoom. You can use a fast 2.8 pro zoom or even one of the best portrait lenses made today. You can go as fast as f/0.95 in three focal lengths and get gorgeous results."
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Tuesday, 29 October 2013

Wood Type Samples

Patricia M has compiled a beautiful Flickr Collection of old wood type alphabets.
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Thursday, 24 October 2013

Pixelmator 3.0 FX

Life Hacker reports: [edited]

Most Mac users know that Pixelmator is pretty much the best Photoshop alternative you can get. That said, Pixelmator always lacked a few flagship features of Adobe's behemoth-at least, until now.

They've now added layer styles. You can now easily apply non-destructive effects to any layer to quickly add drop shadows, reflections, gradients, and more.

And there is a liquify tool for moving around parts of your image, support for OS X Mavericks, and a new image editing engine to speed up just about every task across the app.

While Pixelmator still won't replace Photoshop for everyone, this update brings it close for handling most any common image editing task as well as or better than its far more expensive competition. If you've been holding out, you might want to give Pixelmator another look.

Available for £20.99 from the App Store
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Tuesday, 22 October 2013

Panasonic Lumix DMC-GM1

Digital Photography Review reports: [edited]

The Lumix DMC-GM1 is a pocketable camera with a 16 megapixel Four Thirds sensor. It uses the same Micro Four Thirds mount that its larger Olympus and Panasonic siblings, and will be sold with a specially designed 12-32mm F3.5-5.6 kit zoom sporting a smaller diameter for the GM1's diminutive form.

Despite its M43 sensor, using the GM1 gives the impression of using a point-and-shoot. The controls are crowded together, and the GM1 lacks a command dial. Its exposure mode dial and focus ring are positive additions for advanced users, but it feels like it could offer just a little more in terms of direct control.

The touch screen takes the place of some of those functions, so testing it in real-world shooting will be key to understanding how the camera handles.
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Thursday, 17 October 2013

Sony Cyber-shot RX10

Digital Photography Review reports: [edited]

With the same 1" sensor as the RX100 II, the RX10 offers a Carl Zeiss Vario Sonnar T* 24-200mm (35mm equivalent) zoom lens with an F2.8 constant maximum aperture. It uses a Bionz X image processor with offers improvements in resolution, noise reduction, and diffraction reduction. Other features include a tilting 3-inch LCD, OLED electronic viewfinder, Wi-Fi with NFC, and 60p video recording.

Available for purchase in November with a $1300 MSRP.

For a hands-on preview, click here
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Tuesday, 15 October 2013

Thursday, 10 October 2013

webcolourdata.com

webcolourdata.com reports: [edited]

This project aims to uncover some insights about colours on the web, in particular, some questions I've struggled with as a designer. With a crowd-sourced data-set, the ultimate goal is to answer questions like: What is the most common colour/s or hue/s on the web? Do certain industries prefer certain colours over others? What colours are generally found together?

Why not just use the CSS? Unfortunately, the colour that makes up a web design is not just the background and text colour found in the CSS. The overall impression of the website includes the images, so this app takes screenshots and analyses colour values of each pixel. This is not a 100% foolproof method, but screenshots are kept so they can be reanalysed later on with better colour-matching algorithms.
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Tuesday, 8 October 2013

Olympus Pen E-P5

Digital Photography Review have published an in-depth review of Olympus' flagship compact Micro Four Thirds camera.

Conclusion snippets follow:

For the first time the E-P5 is a PEN model that offers a competitively complete camera - with the image quality, focus speed and user interface all coming together to offer a strong package. Of course its rather high pricing (£850, body-only) means it has to stand up to the E-M5 - one of our favourite mirrorless cameras so far - but if you want something a little smaller, the P5 does a good job.

And, while we weren't sure we'd find reasons to use it, the ability to easily transfer images to a smartphone (yours or someone else's) proved to be rather liberating. The ability to grab good quality images and post or email them immediately further suppresses any temptation to use a phone camera. The Olympus system isn't quite 'click to send' but it's one of the easier to configure and initiate systems we've so far encountered.

However, its inability to correct image shake at what should be usable shutter speeds means we don't feel able to unreservedly recommend the E-P5. We're hoping an improvement can be made to the camera's stabilization system but, as it stands, there's too much risk of your best shots being undermined - something that's unacceptable at this level. As such, we can't give the E-P5 as high an award as it would otherwise receive.
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Thursday, 3 October 2013

Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX100 II

Digital Photography Review has posted a full review of Sony's upgraded high-end compact camera.

Conclusion snippets follow:

It feels almost greedy asking the RX100 II to do more than it does. As it is, it takes exceptional pictures for a camera of its size, offers a wealth of manual shooting and customization options, and takes great video. It does everything and more you'd expect from a compact, and quite a few things you'd expect from a bigger camera.

The Sony Cyber-shot RX100 II produces some of the best images we could ever expect to see from a compact camera. It's not the best shooting experience, but Sony has pushed the limits for this category and produced something really innovative.

Is the RX100 II worth the cost of a mid-range interchangeable lens system? And would you be better off saving some money and buying the now-discounted RX100 instead? That depends. If a slightly-less-noisy ISO 3200 JPEG is worth an extra $150 to you, then the RX100 II will be the better investment. If you can live with a little more noise, don't care much for a tilting LCD and don't plan to use Wi-Fi sharing, then you're better off with an RX100.
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Tuesday, 1 October 2013

Free Font - Paihuén Mapuche

Creative Bloq reports: [edited]

Chile-based graphic designer Benjamín Rivera is the man behind today's font of choice Paihuén Mapuche. The name refers to the indigenous people of Chile and Argentina (Mapuche), with paihuén being part of their native language, translated into 'being at peace'. Developed as a personal project, Rivera generously now offers his design as a free download for all to enjoy.
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Thursday, 26 September 2013

YouTube Audio Library

The Verge reports: [edited]

YouTube includes a number of simple production tools to help film makers improve their projects, and today it's launching a library of royalty-free music that can be used in any video. The YouTube Audio Library is launching with 150 tracks in genres spanning from funky dance and electronic to sappy country tunes, all of which can be streamed and downloaded as 320kbps MP3 files.

Tthere are some gems within the collection that do a great job representing their genre without feeling like a knockoff product, giving filmmakers easy access to royalty-free music.
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Tuesday, 24 September 2013

Free Flat Design Icons

abduzeedo reports: [edited]

With the release of iOS7 I took the time to find some line icons packs that you can download and use for free.
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Thursday, 19 September 2013

Archive of Book Cover Designs & Designers

Creative Pro reports: [edited]

Next time you feel the need for a little visual inspiration, head directly to bookcoverarchive.com and be prepared to spend some time browsing over 1300 cover designs.

Click on a cover to get a close up view with info about the designer, publisher, author. You can also choose to view covers by a specific designer.
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Tuesday, 17 September 2013

Ricoh Theta

The Inquirer reports: [edited]

Ricoh has unwrapped what it claims is 'the world's first mass-produced' 360 degree imaging device. The device features a twin lens that captures the scene around, above and below the device in one shot for fully spherical images.

Weighing 95g, the device links up to smartphones so that images can be uploaded via WiFi and viewed in a free Ricoh app. The app allows users to then pinch, swipe or rotate the images they have taken, editing the size, shape and composition if they like before sharing online

Ricoh said the Theta will work with Apple iOS 6.0 devices and newer. Android compatibility is expected before the end of the year.

The handheld device will be sold for £329 and will go up for pre-order this month.


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Thursday, 12 September 2013

Olympus O-MD E-M1

Digital Photography Review has released a hands-on preview of Olympus' recently announced flagship Four Third/Micro Four Third hybrid.

Snippets follow:

"There are two distinctions that set the E-M1 apart from its little brother (the E-M5) - a more sophisticated autofocus system and a 'buttons for everything' design approach."

"The biggest technological step forward on the E-M1 is the addition of on-sensor phase detection elements, giving the camera two distinct focus modes. The phase-detection system is used when lenses from the original Four Thirds system."

"The E-M1 gains the 2.3m-dot electronic viewfinder panel we first saw as the VF-4 accessory for the PEN E-P5. The optics give a viewfinder with magnification of up to 1.48x, which puts it only a fraction behind the 0.76x viewfinder in Canon's 1D X and ahead of Nikon's pro-grade D4 DSLRs.

"There's a more advanced processor in the E-M1 that conducts a variety of lens corrections, when creating JPEGs, including correcting for chromatic aberration and correcting sharpness on a per-lens basis.

"The biggest difference between the E-M1 and the E-M5, though, is the degree of direct control on offer. We really liked the E-M5's twin-dial control system, but the E-M1 goes beyond that by providing button-and-dial combinations for quickly changing almost every imaginable setting on the camera, quickly."

For early reviews, visit ePhotozine, Robin Wong and Ming Thein.
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Tuesday, 10 September 2013

Kapture

uncrate reports: [edited]

Sure, your smartphone has the ability to record voice memos, but using it means you have to know ahead of time about something you'll want recorded.

Kapture is an always-on audio-recording wristband — so any time you feel the need to capture the last 60 seconds of audio, all you have to do it tap it, and it instantly saves. And, with the included smartphone app, you can store, edit, share, and replay your old audio clips for as long as you want.

To find out more, visit the Kickstarter page.
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Thursday, 5 September 2013

A week with Google's Chromebook

If you're thinking of purchasing Google's £1,049 Chromebook Pixel, Jeffrey Van Camp's Living with a Chromebook for a week is like 7 minutes of heaven, then 7 days of hell" article is worth a read.

In case the title isn't too much of a clue, here are some excerpts from John Gruber.

"The biggest realization came for me when I turned on my MacBook Air after a week. (I had to because I needed to take a Skype call.) It was so... fast. And I could use every Chat service I wanted. And the battery life was much better than the Pixel. And it was so much lighter. And I could run the full version of Spotify. And I could open iTunes. And I could edit Microsoft Office documents without a lengthy conversion process. And I could use Dropbox. And it didn’t slow down for me. And, best of all, I could use the Chrome browser, and every Chrome app I had installed, on my Mac. It was wonderful and such a relief to not have to think about what I couldn’t do, or worry if my next email attachment will open or not."

"Some readers say I’ve expected too much out of Chrome, but wanting to edit some documents, chat outside a browser window, and use common services is not excessive."

To anglicise Gruber's conclusion... "How can someone 'expect too much' from a £1,049 notebook?
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Tuesday, 3 September 2013

Nokia Lumia 1020

Digital Photography Review Connect has published an in-depth report on the Lumia 1020's 41 megapixel camera.

The 'Final Word'

The Nokia Lumia 1020’s innovative zoom and impressive image quality set it apart from all competitors. By nearly every metric, it takes better pictures than any other phone on the market.

Its imaging Achilles heel is its camera app’s sluggish shot-to-shot and start-up times. While many phones feel nearly instantaneous on both fronts, the 1020’s four-second delays can feel very long. Whether you find this negligible or nauseating depends on your personal style of photography.
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Tuesday, 27 August 2013

Sony A3000

Digital Photography Review reports: [edited]

The A3000 is essentially a 20.1MP APS-C mirrorless camera that uses the same E-mount as the Sony NEX line, yet which has the look and feel of a traditional SLR. Though not the first manufacturer to take this approach, Sony is the first to achieve the low starting price point of $399 for both 18-55mm lens and body. However, to achieve that price point the company had to choose lower quality components for the LCD and electronic viewfinder (EVF).

Superficially, the Sony A3000 is rather like the now-discontinued Panasonic G10, a low-priced mirrorless with an EVF and an LCD on the back, designed to ape, if not directly challenge Canon's Rebel and Nikon's D3000-series SLRs.

Its appearance screams low-budget, with few controls. The LCD is more coarse than we're used to seeing these days, with disappointingly low 230,400-dot resolution; its 3-inch size amplifies the effect. The small EVF is also disappointing, and what appears to be a rubber pad around the outside is actually hard plastic, a hazard to glasses-wearers. Those who liked the menus of the NEX system cameras will feel right at home with the A3000's menu; those who did not will carry on hating.
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Thursday, 22 August 2013

Vintage Type

Daring Fireball reports: [edited]

Great collection of vintage type available here.
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Tuesday, 20 August 2013

90+ Free Vector Icons

Graphic Design Junction reports: [edited]

The set comes as a web-font and in EPS, PSD, AI, PDF & SVG formats.

The icon font is available in two different styles, Character Mapping and CSS Mapping.
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Thursday, 15 August 2013

20 Free Stencil Typefaces

Creative Bloq reports: [edited]

Stencil artwork is a familar technique in design, from its use by military and government to quickly and clearly label objects, vehicles and locations to industrial and commercial settings and its use by street and graffiti artists like Banksy.
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Tuesday, 13 August 2013

Adobe Illustrator CS6 Shortcuts Cheatsheet

Zerolag reports: [edited]

ZeroLag is very excited to present our shortcuts cheatsheet for Adobe Illustrator CS6. For a hi-res jpeg, click here.
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Thursday, 8 August 2013

Free Font - Billion Stars

Da Font are hosting this font, designed by Måns Grebäckfree. The free version is for personal use only. The commercial version is available here. Swashes can be added via the '[](){}' keys.
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Tuesday, 6 August 2013

The Pronunciation of European Typefaces

Ralf Herrmann reports: [edited]

So you’re an expert in typography? But do you pronounce Frutiger’s typeface Univers like the English word 'universe'? Then you've got it wrong. Here are some popular European typeface names and their 'proper' pronunciation.
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Thursday, 1 August 2013

Cocoon Grid-It Slim

core 77 reports: [edited]

The GRID-IT organiser first caused a stir when it hit the market some years ago. It was an affordable and clever way to bring order to chaos. The seemingly-randomly-placed elastic straps belie the object's ability to organise whatever you want, in whatever order you want it.

My only gripe with the thing was that it was somewhat awkward to pull in and out of bags, with accidental friction causing some items to snag or shift, thus ruining my organizational OCD masterpiece. For that reason I stopped using mine. But Cocoon Innovations has now finally integrated the GRID-IT into its own bag, the SLIM.

Available exclusively through their website and Apple, the $80 SLIM is kitted out with de rigueur materials - water-resistant ballistic nylon and waterproof zippers - but it's got that sweet GRID-IT built-in behind the front flap, while the secondary compartment closer to your back holds your laptop/tablet. It ain't gonna hold your gym stuff, but for folks like me who are fans of slim bags (it's just 3.5" thick) this is looking like a home run.
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Tuesday, 30 July 2013

Thursday, 25 July 2013

Extract Images From Microsoft Office Documents

lifehacker reports: [edited]

If there are a bunch of graphics, videos, and other elements in a Word or PowerPoint file, you can extract these individual elements with a compression/archive program.

Simply open the file in, for example, 7-Zip (right-click on the file and choose to open it with 7-Zip) and then you can extract all the contents.
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Tuesday, 23 July 2013

Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ70 with 60x optical zoom

Digital Photography Review reports: [edited]

Panasonic has announced the Lumix DMC-FZ70, a 16.1MP compact superzoom with a 60x optical zoom. Spanning the equivalent of 20-1200mm it's the largest zoom lens available in a consumer compact. The FZ70's zoom lens has a maximum aperture range of F2.8-5.9, and the camera introduces a new 1/2.3-inch CMOS sensor capable of 1080/60i video.

First Impressions
Side-by-side with the FZ60, the size difference in the lens is immediately obvious. The FZ70's optics are much larger, as expected, making the camera's overall footprint notably increased.

The camera hits a competitive price point at $399, and it seems that some concessions were made in build quality to hit that number. The camera is encased in a composite plastic that feels slightly cheap, especially on the bottom panel. There's a nice deep handgrip though, and the command dial on the back panel makes it easy to change exposure settings quickly.

There's no use resisting the temptation to immediately zoom in to 1200mm equivalent once the FZ70's in hand, so we turned the camera to the streets far beyond and below the office. Zooming to the full telephoto end of the range is done in less than four seconds and the action of the lens is smooth. Using the FZ70 to its full telephoto potential revealed people on the streets below that we hadn't been able to spot with the naked eye. Once focused on these distant subjects, we were able to track them without much difficulty.

Image stabilization is aggressive at the long end of the zoom, and it needs to be. At 1200mm equiv. there's no chance of hand-holding and getting a clear shot, unassisted. The stabilization system fights minor camera shake effectively, shifting to a new subject relatively smoothly when panning across a scene.
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Tuesday, 16 July 2013

Lifehacker Best Mac Apps 2013

Lifehacker reports: [edited]

Every day brings new apps to OS X. Few are gems, but some stand out from the crowd. In our fifth annual Lifehacker Pack for Mac, we're highlighting the best downloads for better productivity, communication, media management, and more.
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Thursday, 11 July 2013

Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 5

MyMac's Steve Hammond has published a helpful review/overview of Lightroom 5's new/improved feature set.

If it whets your appetite, Adobe offers a 30 day free trial of the program.
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Tuesday, 9 July 2013

Free Font - Lot

HypeForType has made this ultrabold, uppercase-only display face available for free download.
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Thursday, 4 July 2013

Tuesday, 2 July 2013

Crumpled Paper Images

Raduluchian has made 10 images available free to download with the following caveats:

- Do not distribute or sell these resources as your own.
- Give credit and link back to this stock.
- Any donation is greatly appreciated.
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Thursday, 27 June 2013

Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX100 II

Digital Photography Review has a hands-on preview of Sony's upgrade of its premium compact zoom camera.

Improvements include:
- Hot shoe
- Tilting LCD
- WiFi capability
- Backlit 20.2 megapixel CMOS sensor
- Claimed 40% higher sensitivity in low light

My son, Brook, owns a RX100, and I am very impressed with the quality of the images it produces (comparable to those captured with my Olympus OM-D E-M5) so it will be interesting to see if this new model is a significant improvement on the original.

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