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News from around the world covering photography topics. These include technology developments, new product announcements, events news and more.

US image copyright advice from Copytrack

Press release issued by Copytrack:

Copyright

US Copyright Office: If copyright is free, then why should we pay for photographic protection? COPYTRACK breaks it down

Copytrack knows dealing with image piracy on a global scale is tricky as copyright law is still territorial. The closest we get to a global copyright law is the Berne Convention for the Protection of Literary and Artistic Works, established in 1886, which helps with photographic protection. The agreement now includes over 190 countries, including the UK, France, Germany, Australia.

The US initially had reservations of signing due to the changes it would have on their own copyright law. They finally joined the Berne Convention in 1989, but amended some of their laws so registration was required to tackle infringements in court.

Now, just like Europe in the US copyright is free and instant. You don´t need to do anything to create it. Photography protection is done this way to encourage people to keep being creative. If everything we ever made could be easily stolen we wouldn’t be so keen on making and sharing it, right?

So where does the Copyright Office come into it?

However, if that´s the case, then what´s all the fuss with registering copyright with US Copyright Office for photography protection? Costing around $35 a picture it´s really something you have to think about. But what are the actual benefits of it? Here are some listed on the office´s website:

  • Registration allows the owner of the copyright to record the registration with the U.S. Customs Service for protection against the importation of infringing copies.
  • If registration is made within three months after publication of the work or prior to an infringement of the work, statutory damages and attorney’s fees will be available to the copyright owner in court actions. Otherwise, only an award of actual damages and profits is available to the copyright owner.
  • Before an infringement suit may be filed in court, registration is necessary for works of U.S. origin.
  • If made before or within five years of publication, registration will establish evidence in court of the validity of the copyright and of the facts stated in the certificate.

So, these are some pretty beneficial points to registering, and it´s clear it helps with photographic protection. The fact you can only go to federal court with a registered piece of work is pretty defining. It means you really should consider registering your work, and early on too. One of the main benefits of registering is statutory damages, but what are they?

Statutory Damages

Predetermined payments established by law to compensate for certain injuries. Statutory damages are sometimes made available because it is too difficult to calculate actual damages. This is a really nice perk of the registration and the statutory damages can range from anywhere between $750 to $150,000!

Should anyone outside of Europe considering registering?

Copytrack warns photographers that just because you’re not based in the US doesn’t mean your work won´t be published there. With the internet as it is, you can never be sure where your work might end up once you shared it online.

If your work is created outside of the US it´s not mandatory to have work registered to file a lawsuit. However, when you register early statutory damages are still available.

It´s key to note, when you share an image online it could end up anywhere. It could be found in the US meaning to tackle the copyright abuse you would need to take finical risk going to court in the US.

Copytrack
understands the importance of global protection and is ready to battle image theft worldwide for its users. We ensure users are kept risk free, and never bear legal costs when tackling image theft.

Our tip: Definitely consider registering your work, especially when you are working in the US. It might not be free, but you are well protected.

For additional information about registration, go to the U.S. Customs and
Border Protection website at
www.cbp.gov/.

 

About COPYTRACK
COPYTRACK was founded in 2015 by Marcus Schmitt. The company now consists of a team of around 25 colleagues from legal, IT, to customer service, and finance. The service is offered to photographers, publishers, picture agencies and e-commerce providers, and includes a risk-free search of the Internet worldwide. Photos uploaded by the users are located by COPYTRACK with a hit accuracy of 98 per cent. The customers can then define if images are with or without a license, and even determine the number of subsequent fees, supported by an automatic license calculator on our portal. COPYTRACK is fully responsible for out-of-court resolutions in over 140 countries, as well as legal resolutions in the relevant areas of copyright law. If the post-licensing process has been successful, the rights holder receives up to 70 percent of the agreed sum. The search function is free of charge.

Nikon reveals new AF-P NIKKOR 70–300mm ED VR zoom

 Press release issued by Nikon UK:

Faster. Sharper. Better. The new AF-P NIKKOR 70–300mm ED VR telephoto zoom.

RRP: £749.99 / € 899.00

Sales start date: TBC

London, UK, 11th July 2017: Nikon gives sports, wildlife, and travel photographers the power to achieve better handheld telephoto shots with the new AF-P NIKKOR 70–300mm f/4.5-5.6E ED VR. Faster AF plus SPORT VR mode hone in on the action without compromising sharpness. The lighter, weather-resistant build goes anywhere.

From the winner’s expression to birds in flight, the latest incarnation of this full-frame telephoto zoom captures exceptional stills and movies. As an AF-P NIKKOR lens it boasts Nikon’s Stepping Motor, which brings subjects into focus extra quickly and extra quietly. Vibration Reduction (VR) is now faster, quieter, and more effective. And this lens also benefits from SPORT VR mode, inherited from Nikon’s pro lenses. A firm favourite with photographers who shoot action, SPORT VR mode enables photographers to reliably track fast-moving subjects—even when they’re moving erratically. Additional features from Nikon’s pro lenses include an electromagnetic diaphragm, which ensures precise exposures at high frame rates. And A/M and M/A focus-mode switches that make it possible to control manual-focus override simply by turning the focus ring. The preferred option of sports photographers, M/A mode allows switching with virtually no time lag. The A/M focus mode is less sensitive to prevent unintentional switching to manual mode.

Emma Fergie, Product Manager, Lenses & Accessories, Nikon UK says: “The new AF-P 70-300mm lens is an excellent addition to our NIKKOR lens line-up. Nikon is renowned for its ability to integrate proven pro technology into more affordable lenses, and this new telephoto zoom is testament to that. Exceptional features like the SPORT VR and advance vibration reduction (VR) mean that this is the ideal lens for photographers who often have to shoot in gruelling situations.”

A significant upgrade—New features of the AF-P NIKKOR 70–300mm f/4.5-5.6E ED VR

More flexibility: this 70–300mm telephoto zoom (105–450mm when used with a Nikon DX-format SLR) now boasts a minimum focus distance of 1.2 m throughout the zoom range and a 0.25x maximum reproduction ratio.
AF-P Stepping Motor: for ultra-fast, ultra-quiet autofocus. Enables video footage to be recorded with practically no drive noise.
Advanced Vibration Reduction (VR): enables shooting at shutter speeds up to 4.5 stops slower than otherwise possible.¹
SPORT VR mode: delivers a more stable viewfinder image, which is helpful when shooting exceptionally fast action, or when panning.
Weather-resistant build: every movable part of the lens barrel is sealed to protect from dust and water droplets.
Electromagnetic nine-blade diaphragm: delivers consistent automatic exposure control even during high-speed bursts. The rounded diaphragm blades enable natural-looking bokeh.
Superior control: A/M and M/A focus-mode switches. Focus ring and the zoom ring boast a knurled covering that enables a firm grip.

FOOTNOTE:

1 Based on CIPA standards.

 

ENDS

Venus Optics announces the Laowa Magic Shift Converter

Press release issued by Venus Optics:

Venus Optics announces the Laowa Magic Shift Converter (MSC) for Sony FE mount cameras

Convert your ultra-wide angle lens into a SHIFT lens with no vignetting

 

 

Anhui China, Jul 10, 2017 – Venus Optics, the camera lenses manufacturer who had previously launched a number of unique Laowa camera lenses, unveil the Laowa Magic Shift Converter (MSC) for Sony Full Frame E-mount cameras. It can convert your ultra-wide angle lens into a Shift lens and with no vignetting observed.

Laowa Magic Shift Converter (MSC) is a lens adapter built with a patented optics system, which expands the image circle of the ultra-wide angle lenses. The shift mechanism on the adapter takes advantage of the enlarged image circle and shift the camera sensor along the axis. The MSC is specially designed for the Laowa 12mm f/2.8 Zero-D lens and it will convert the lens into a 17mm f/4 Zero-D lens with +/- 10mm shift capability. There is no vignetting observed even at the maximum shift and we have successfully controlled the image performance impact to the minimal. The close-to-zero distortion feature of this lens can also be retained. Additionally, the MSC comes with a 360° rotation structure which allows photographers to shoot in both horizontal and portrait orientation.

Shift lens is extremely beneficial for architecture photographers to capture the skyscrapers and real estate photos because the converged lines arisen from perspective distortion can be easily eliminated. When using a standard lens angled upwards to shoot a building, the bottom of the building will appear wider and bigger than the top. Shift can be used to keep the image plane parallel to the subject so that the sides of the tall building can stay parallel.

Availability
The Laowa Magic Shift Converter (MSC) Canon variant is currently available to pre-order in the official website of Venus Optics (http://www.venuslens.net/) and their authorized
resellers. Shipping is expected to start in late July/early Aug. For Nikon variant, please reserve around 2 months more for shipment.

Lens structure 5 elements in 4 groups
Dimensions 69.6 x 44.1mm
Weight About 360g
Mounts Canon EF – Sony FE Nikon AI – Sony FE

 

Magic Converters Line-up

The MSC is the first member of the Laowa Magic Converters line-up. Venus Optics has previously announced the Laowa Magic Format Converter (MFC) which adopts the same patented optics system and it can fit a full frame lens into a GFX medium format body without vignetting. The MFC is due to ship later this year.

About Us

Anhui ChangGeng Optical Technology Company Limited (Venus Optics) is a new Chinese camera lens manufacturer based in Hefei, Anhui. We currently manufacture and distribute camera lenses under the brand name of ‘Laowa’.

For more information about Anhui ChangGeng Optical Technology Company Limited and our products information, visit http://www.venuslens.net/

For review request or other enquiries, please kindly contact us at marketing@venuslens.net

Supplementary Information

Official page of the Laowa Magic Shift Converter (MSC) http://www.venuslens.net/product/laowa-magic-shift-converter/

Features and Demonstration of the Laowa Magic Shift Converter https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IE8KngnZXCk

Sample Image Gallery of MSC https://www.flickr.com/photos/137268551@N02/sets/72157685536263386

 

Above is a sample image provided showing the MSC in use.

Download a the full-size (16 megabytes) image

 

Kamlan 50mm f/1.1 mirrorless lens for just $169

Product information from SainSonic:

Kamlan 50mm F1.1 APS-C Large Aperture Manual Focus Lens, Standard Prime Lens for Canon EOS-M Mount Mirrorless Camera

Christopher Frost has published an interesting video review on YouTube

Quick Overview

Amazing Large Aperture- Designed with high quality multi-coated optical glass. Exquisite body features amazing maximum aperture of F1.1, which creates fascinating background blur effect and sharper image quality. No worry about the low-light & night scene, just shoot and enjoy the safe and fast shutter speed.

Premium Optical Design- 11 circular aperture blade, 5 groups 5 elements lens stricture with high quality multi-coated optical glass, ensures low image distortion, excellent image sharpness and contrast. 50mm focal length is equivalent to 75mm on APS-C camera. Perfect for portraits shooting with fascinating background blur effect.

Compatibility- Compatible with EOS-M Mount Digital Cameras, Such as Canon EOS M3 M2 M5 M6 M10

Easy to Use- With the focal length scale and smooth focal ring. After a short term learning, it’s very easy to focus what you want and feel the unique charm of the manual lens, and lets you more concentrate on the image itself.

What You Get- Lens, lens hood, lens front & rear caps and microfiber cleaning cloth.

Nokia smartphones to feature ZEISS optics

Press release issued by HMD Global:

  • Exclusive collaboration sees ZEISS innovating in imaging experience on Nokia smartphones
  • Rekindles commitment to set new imaging standards for Nokia smartphone consumers

OBERKOCHEN/Germany, ESPOO/Finland, 2017-07-06.

HMD Global, the home of Nokia phones, and ZEISS today jointly announced the signing of an exclusive partnership that aims to set new imaging standards within the smartphone industry. This long-term agreement builds on the shared history and expertise between ZEISS and Nokia smartphones.

Florian Seiche, HMD Global and Andreas Back, ZEISS

With a joint ambition to advance the quality of the total imaging experience on smartphones spanning the entire ecosystem from software, services, through to screen quality, and optic design, the partnership will see ZEISS and HMD Global co-develop standard-defining imaging capabilities and will bring the ZEISS brand back to Nokia smartphones. This pledge to constantly improve consumers’ imaging experience is a reflection of the shared values between both businesses – a single minded commitment to quality, true craftsmanship and a desire to improve real life experience.

The relationship between ZEISS and Nokia phones began more than a decade ago, and is founded on a shared passion for innovation and always delivering the best for the consumer. The past collaboration saw ZEISS and Nokia phones driving technology innovations such as the world’s first multi-megapixel mobile phone and many more standard-setting devices, from the Nokia Nseries to those featuring Nokia PureView technologies. This renewed relationship is a long-term commitment to build on that technology innovation over the years to come.

Dr. Winfried Scherle, ZEISS and Pekka Rantala, HMD Global

Arto Nummela, CEO, HMD Global:

“Collaborating with ZEISS is an important part of our commitment to always deliver the very best experience for our customers. Our fans want more than a great smartphone camera, they want a complete imaging experience that doesn’t just set the standard but redefines it. Our fans expect it and, together with ZEISS, we’re delivering it – co-developed imaging excellence for all.”

Dr. Matthias Metz, Member of the Executive Board of ZEISS Group:

“The collaboration of HMD Global with ZEISS for Nokia smartphones will again enhance consumers’ holistic imaging experience based on excellence and innovation. Our partnership is built on a solid foundation. Together, we look forward to an exciting journey into the future of sophisticated smartphone imaging.”

New screw-in filter range from Irix

Press release issued by TH Swiss:

Edge ND, CPL and UV screw-in filters – are officially announced!

Baar, Switzerland, July 5th,2017

TH Swiss company informs about the official launch of Irix Edge series of screw-in filters, which consists of UV & Protector, Circular Polarizer and ND filters with various densities. These filters are designed especially for Irix lenses, but not only! The aesthetic design of Edge filters harmonizes with all Irix products. Since now it  is possible to  fully  enjoy  Irix  15mm  f/2.4  functionality  and  its  unique  features. TH Swiss is starting to send the first deliveries of these new products to Irix dealers.

Perfect protection and high light transmission in Irix Edge UV & Protector filter

This ultra-slim UV filter offers extraordinary light transmission thanks to the high quality optical glass and multi-layer antireflective coating. It’s additional waterproof NANO coating helps keeping the glass surface free of stains and water droplets. Irix UV filter also provides decent protection of the front lens under extreme circumstances. Irix UV filter has been designed especially for Irix 15mm f/2.4 lens. It’s low-profile frame and knurled edges provide very good grip. The additional waterproof coating helps keeping the glass surface free of water droplets under rainy weather.

Irix Edge CPL, ND, UV filters

Reducing the reflections with Irix Edge Circular Polarizer filter

Irix Edge Circular Polarizer (CPL) filter reduces reflections from non-metallic surfaces, emphasizes details and increases colour density of the pictures. Thanks to the slim and ultralight aluminium frame with knurled edges, filter is easy to operate through filter window and causes no vignetting on Irix 15mm f/2.4. The glass surfaces of Irix polarizer are covered by multi-coated antireflection layer that keeps the image clear and full of natural colors.

Diversion of long exposure photography thanks to Irix Edge Neutral Density filters

Irix Edge Neutral Density filters (ND) are an essential tool for long exposure photography and depth of field’s manipulation. They reduce the light that is passing through the lens by 3-stops (3EV), 5-stops (5EV), 7-stops (7EV) or 10-stops (10EV) and help creating astonishing and surreal images. Their additional waterproof and oil repellent NANO coating prevents from stains, fingerprints and enable using in extreme weather conditions.

 

 

Irix Edge CPL, ND, UV filters

Filter type UV & Protector
Thread size 95mm x 1.0
Additional thread at the top of the frame: 95mm x 1.0
Transmittance 99.30%
Frame thickness (without thread) 3.5 mm
Antireflection coatings multi-layer coating
Special type coatings double side waterproof coatings

 

 

Filter type Circular Polarizer
Thread size: 95mm x 1.0
Additional threat at the top of frame: 95mm x 1.0
Transmittance 38,60%
Frame thickness (without thread) 5.1 mm
Antireflection coatings multi-layer, double sides
Special type coatings waterproof and oil repellent

 

 

Filter type Neutral Density
Thread size: 95mm x 1.0
Density 0.9, 1.5, 2.1, 3.0
Light reduction 3-stops, 5-stops, 7-stops, 10-stops
Frame thickness (without thread) 3.5 mm
Antireflection coatings multi-layer NANO coating
Special type coatings double side waterproof and oil repellent

 

Recommended retail prices are:

Irix Edge UV & Protector Filter                           76 EUR (tax incl)

Irix Edge Circular Polarizer Filter                       105 EUR (tax incl)

Irix Edge Neutral Density Filter  ND8                               115 EUR (tax incl)

ND32               115 EUR (tax incl)

ND128              117 EUR (tax incl)

ND1000            117 EUR (tax incl)

Photobucket free account users left high and dry

Potentially millions of users caught out by Photobucket’s radical change to its Terms of Service

Photobucket is currently subject to a storm of social media protests

Photobucket is one of the biggest online services for storing your photos. The company claims to have around 100 million customers and to host some 15 billion images. Unfortunately, many of those customers are discovering that their photos hosted on Photobucket but also linked to and displayed on third party sites, are no longer visible. Instead, they have been replaced by a generic graphic explaining that 3rd party hosting has been temporarily suspended. Photobucket users are, unsurprisingly, furious. The change means millions of images on third party sites from blogs to discussion forums and even on e Commerce sites like Amazon and eBay, are now not being shown.

 

What’s happened is that Photobucket changed its Terms of Service for users of its free service accounts. From this month users of basic free Photobucket accounts can’t deep-link their images on third party sites. The problem is that the block is retrospective and very few Photobucket users noticed the radical change buried deep in the Terms of Service, never mind the potential consequences.

At the time of writing the only obvious way to reverse the effects of the image ban was to upgrade to a paid-for Photobucket Plus account, which costs $399 per year.

Are you affected by the Photobucket policy change? Let us know what your thoughts are in the comment section below.

Less eyesores for landscape photographers

Project map is first of its kind in the UK

 

The country’s largest electricity distributor, is the first in the industry to launch an online map showing where over 100 miles of overhead cables have been undergrounded.

The interactive project demonstrates the electricity company’s achievements in restoring many historic views across the countryside, showing where power lines have been undergrounded in Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty and National Parks.

The project map also encourages people to suggest which others power lines could be considered in the East and South East of England, where UK Power Networks delivers power (it also keeps the lights on in London where most electricity cables are underground).

Viewers can log on to learn about completed projects totaling 170km (under orange ‘pins’) and planned projects (blue ‘pins’). The map is constantly updated as projects are planned, started and finished.

The map was the result of UK Power Networks’ working in collaboration with Yes&Pepper, a London-based ideas agency. The tool was built based on client-supplied information and continuous tests, with weekly calls and regular reviews in place for further development. The team managed to turn it around in ten weeks.

The inspiration for the project map came from the success of UK Power Networks’ existing power cut map, which enables people to see the progress to restore supplies after any power cuts throughout London, the South and South East of England. Since last summer, relevant customer tweets have been to the map in real time, and other power companies have started to follow its lead.

Jenny Carter from the digital team at UK Power Networks oversaw the map design. She said: “Ofgem encourages us to carry out undergrounding works in AONBs by providing special funding, but we wanted to take this one step further and share the positive impact this initiative has on the UK’s protected countryside, and engage further with local communities.

“We provide the expertise and manpower to underground these lines, allowing local residents and tourists to fully appreciate the surroundings. Such work also increases the reliability of power supplies in the area and this map celebrates all that hard work. We’re looking forward to hearing what people think of it, and will continue to update and improve the online map in future.”

Ross Peet, managing partner at Yes&Pepper, said: “When dealing with large data, it’s vital for the information to be reported in a visual manner, to allow easy access and offer an overall understanding in a matter of seconds. We’ve been working hand in hand with our client to build this innovative, user-centric project, always fine-tuning it for an optimal experience online. It’s been a real technical challenge for Yes&Pepper to pull everything together so quickly and accurately during testing, but the end result is incredibly efficient.”

See: www.ukpowernetworks.co.uk/aonb/map.html

Photo captions: Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty where UK Power Networks has removed overhead power lines.

 

Ends

 

 

For further information please contact UK Power Networks press office on 03301 591712.

 

Notes to editors:

 

  • UK Power Networks is the country’s biggest electricity distributor, making sure the lights stay on for more than eight million homes and businesses across London, the South East and the East of England.

 

Network operators aren’t the same as energy suppliers; network operators manage local power lines and substations, while energy suppliers sell the electricity that runs through the power lines.

 

UK Power Networks is the first electricity distributor to be named in the Sunday Times’ Top 30 Best Companies to Work For, and made industry history by becoming first company to win Utility of the Year two years running (2015 and 2016, also 2012).

 

The company invests more than £500 million in its electricity networks every year, offers extra help to vulnerable customers at times of need, and is undertaking trials to ensure that electricity networks support the transition to a low carbon future. It also moves cables and connects new electricity supplies. If you have a power cut ring 105, see www.ukpowernetworks.co.uk or tweet us @UKPNnews