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Wednesday, September 23, 2009

HP Redefines the Premium Notebook PC with ENVY

HP today redefines the premium notebook PC experience with the introduction of the HP ENVY sub-brand, which offers customers precision-crafted, high-performance models featuring HP Metal Etching and concierge service and support.

The new HP ENVY 13 boasts the brightest display in its class, and the HP ENVY 15 is the company’s fastest consumer notebook PC ever.

“HP ENVY includes the latest in materials and technology inside and out and pushes the technological and performance boundaries of what can be done in sleek, powerful and lightweight notebook PCs,” said Ted Clark, senior vice president and general manager, Notebook Global Business Unit, Personal Systems Group, HP. “Discerning consumers will get a premium experience and performance.”

With HP ENVY, the focus is on designing an entire premium experience to satisfy the most demanding customers – from the products to the packaging to the service and support.

Note: We think they are aiming at the Apple market with style and specs. If the operating system is up to the task this could really give Apple a run for the $$

Breakthrough HP Metal Etching on the lid and palmrest of the ENVY 15, and on the palmrest of the ENVY 13, subtly signals luxury. The combination of materials provides exceptional mobility and a compelling metal look and feel, while using energy-responsible manufacturing methods.

The HP ENVY line – building upon the Voodoo ENVY legacy – includes leading-edge components optimized to yield power and performance. To offer consumers the best audio experience available on a notebook PC, HP partnered with Beats™ by Dr. Dre™ to develop a unique, high-performance audio software solution. Available exclusively on the HP Envy, Beats Audio offers users playing music or audio through headphones or external speakers the optimal sound experience – the way the artist intended it.

The lightweight heavyweight: ENVY 13

The ENVY 13 balances style and substance. Carefully crafted details inside and out will satisfy the cravings of demanding mobile customers.

The HP Radiance display is twice as bright as other notebook displays in its class – 410 nit (a measurement of display brightness) – and provides an exceptional movie and photo experience, even in high ambient light conditions. With 82 percent color gamut (versus standard 45-60 percent), photos appear richer with amazing color depth. Additionally, with fast 8-millisecond response time, customers can view movies with TV-like performance.

The ENVY 13’s strong performance is delivered in a small frame – less than an inch thin and weighing 3.74 pounds.(1) The exterior’s aluminum and magnesium construction provides durability in a sleek design. An etched-metal palmrest further sets the PC apart from others, and a VGA webcam(3) optimized for low light also is included.

HP placed the same focus on design into its optional Slim Fit Extended-Life Notebook Battery. Taking the form of a “slice,” it preserves the sleek look of the ENVY 13 while giving users up to 18 hours of battery life with the extended-life battery.(2) The standard battery is user-replaceable.

ATI Switchable Graphics technology dynamically switches between ATI Mobility Radeon™ HD 4330 discrete graphics and the Intel® integrated graphics processor for either high-powered graphics processing or low power consumption for long battery life without booting the notebook. The Intel Core™ 2 Duo processor provides the power of dual processor cores while delivering extended battery life when the notebook is unplugged.

Designed with the most demanding mobile user in mind, the ENVY 13 notebook’s premium AC adapter is small and light. It draws minimal power, has built-in surge protection and includes a rubberized strap that keeps the cables organized and the adapter from slipping off a slick surface. An optional HP USB Ethernet Adapter also is available.

The performance powerhouse: ENVY 15

This lean, mean, dream machine is HP’s fastest consumer notebook. The full metal case features a sleek, subtly crafted, laser-etched metal design on the lid that is repeated on the palmrest. The magnesium alloy casing provides lightweight durability in a 1-inch thin, 5.18-pound package.(1)

Customers have maximum speed and mobility with the future Intel Core i7 processor(4) and up to 16 gigabytes (GB) of DDR3 1,066-MHz system memory in four SODIMM memory slots. Versatile storage options include the ability to add two solid-state drives in a RAID-0 configuration to improve the overall speed of the ENVY 15 while providing excellent disk performance. Creative users will appreciate the ENVY 15 notebook’s performance and full versions of Corel® Paint Shop Pro® Photo X2 and Corel VideoStudio® Pro X2 for creating photo and video content.

Power users and gamers can take advantage of premium graphics performance via ATI Mobility Radeon HD 4830 graphics with 1 GB of dedicated video memory for visually intense applications, DirectX® 10.1 games and high-definition video playback.

A choice of two 15.6-inch HP Brightview high-resolution LED backlit displays, including the Full High Definition LED HP Ultra BrightView Widescreen Display with up to 300-nits brightness, provides a superb display experience for a notebook in this class. A Nightvision VGA webcam that is optimized for low-light or zero-light conditions is standard on the HP ENVY 15, incorporating an infrared LED that assists the webcam(3) by providing the necessary illumination in dark environments.

The ENVY 15 has an optional Slim Fit Extended-Life Notebook Battery, giving users up to seven hours of battery life.(2)

Designing the ENVY experience

The HP ENVY line includes a 360-degree approach to product design – from the products to the packaging:

* Building upon HP’s success with instant-on technology, HP QuickWeb allows customers to access key applications without booting the PC. In less than 30 seconds, users can access the Internet, music, videos and photos, and email.(3)
* HP Clickpad integrates the buttons into the touchpad and allows for fluid movements, while also allowing users to disable the clickpad if desired.
* The keyboard’s direct-action keys (versus typical function keys) allow users to quickly access often-used commands such as print and volume adjustment.
* Minimal desktop clutter and trial software adds to notebooks’ simplicity.
* An optional external optical drive complements the ENVY design and gives users the flexibility to carry the extra weight only when necessary. Two USB ports also transform the drive into a dock for additional capability.
* The ENVY 13 and 15 are presented in streamlined paper carton boxes using minimal ink. Included in the packaging is a simplified setup poster and documentation contained within an SD card.

Concierge service and support

The ENVY experience extends to premium service and support via the award-winning HP Total Care program. This includes expert agents dedicated to addressing ENVY customers’ questions via phone, online chat and email as well as next-day shipping for hardware customer service.

Pricing and availability

The HP ENVY 13 and ENVY 15 are expected to be available in the United States on Oct. 18 with a starting price of $1,699 and $1,799, respectively.(5) Register for availability notification at www.hpdirect.com/go/newfromhp.

Additional information about HP ENVY will be available at www.hp.com/go/ENVY.

About HP

HP, the world’s largest technology company, simplifies the technology experience for consumers and businesses with a portfolio that spans printing, personal computing, software, services and IT infrastructure. More information about HP (NYSE: HPQ) is available at http://www.hp.com/.

(1) Weight will vary by configuration.

(2) Battery life will vary depending on the product’s model, configuration, loaded applications, features and power management settings. The maximum capacity of the battery will decrease with time and usage.

(3) Internet is required and sold separately.

(4) Dual/Quad/Triple Core is designed to improve performance of certain software products. Not all customers or software applications will necessarily benefit from use of this technology. 64-bit computing on Intel architecture requires a computer system with a processor, chipset, BIOS, operating system, device drivers and applications enabled for Intel 64 architecture. Processors will not operate (including 32-bit operation) without an Intel 64 architecture-enabled BIOS. Performance will vary depending on hardware and software configurations. See www.intel.com/info/em64t for more information.

(5) Estimated U.S. street prices. Actual prices may vary.

University Of Texas Briscoe Center recieves Eddie Adams Collection

"On the eve of the fifth anniversary of his death, the extensive photographic archive of Pulitzer Prize-winning photojournalist Eddie Adams has been donated by his widow, Alyssa Adams, to the Dolph Briscoe Center for American History at the University of Texas at Austin."
The value of everything is estimated at over 7 million and contains what many consider priceless photographic moments captured by one of the best photojournalist of our time.

Read More HERE

PentaXpedition 09

PentaXpedition TM 09 was a photography expidition taken by P3's own Brendan Cavanaugh, and good friend Thomas Eltorp. The duo explored the wilds of Moab Utah, namely Arches National Park with their Pentax cameras in August 2009.
Brendan Drove from Baltimore Maryland in the PentaXpedition TM 09 truck while Thomas Flew into Denver from Denmark where the two carvanned out to Moab to photograph like none had done before. They enjoyed this first photo venture together so much that another photo-expedition by the two, along with a PentaXpedition TM is already in the works for 2010
To view Thomas's photos from the trip Click Here (all taken with a Pentax K7 or K-m)
Thread with Photos at PentaxForums HERE
More photos from Brendan are coming soon, check back soon. (all taken with a Pentax K7, K20D, K10D or Optio W30)
Special Thanks go's to:
Kingston for supplying the crew with 4gb SDHC Class 6 cards
Expo Imaging for their Ray-flash ring-light adapter and Honl Photo Speed System flash-modifying products
Joby for their Gorillapods
and Pentax Forums for their great pentax-user meeting place
PentaXpedition is trade-marked by P3 Imaging Inc and is not affiliated with Pentax Imaging/Hoya Corp.


FUJIFILM BRINGS STYLISH INSTAX MINI 7S INSTANT COLOR CAMERA TO US


Valhalla, NY, September 23, 2009 – FUJIFILM U.S.A., Inc. today announced the availability of the Instax Mini 7S Instant Camera and Instax Mini Instant Color Film to the U.S. market. The Instax Mini 7S is a compact and lightweight instant film solution ideal for the on-the-go photographer or photo enthusiast. With its sleek and stylish design as well as high end Fujinon optics, the Instax Mini offers customers a great looking camera that produces great looking, high-quality, credit-card sized, instant prints. Fujifilm’s line-up of Instax instant cameras have been enjoying success in Asia and Europe for years, which has helped generate a loyal following in the United States, particularly over the last year.

Note: I am working up a article on the Instant-film market (void and filling of it) and will most likely be featuring this camera in a review coming up in the next week or so


“Once we introduced the Instax 200 Instant Film Camera System to professional and commercial markets in the U.S. late last year, we immediately began to receive inquiries about the availability of additional Instax cameras for the consumer market,” said Kayce Baker, director of marketing, Professional Markets, Imaging Division, FUJIFILM U.S.A., Inc. “We believe the portability, chic design and print quality will be exactly what consumers are looking for in an instant photo solution that doesn’t require any auxiliary printing device.”

The Instax Mini 7S Instant Camera and Instax Mini Instant Film will be available at retail locations beginning in September, 2009. MSRP for the Instax Mini 7S Instant Film Camera is $95.99 while MSRP for a 10-Pack of Instax Mini Instant Film is $19.99.

Instax Mini 7S Instant Camera
• Automatic built-in flash for low-light shooting
• Electronic shutter 1/60-sec
• LED exposure indicator
• Silken White Finish
• 5” w, 5” h, 2.5” d

Instax Mini Instant Film
• ISO 800 film speed
• Glossy finish
• Sharp, clear reproduction
• Vivid color and natural skin tones
• Film size: 2” x 3”; image area: 1.8” x 2.4”

Starting in the late 1980’s, Fujifilm began producing instant films in Japan and by 2003 was introducing branded peel-apart type instant films to the United States. The company’s ongoing commitment to the culture of photography is a global, corporate commitment that is a key part of how Fujifilm contributes to the quality of life for people worldwide

To learn more about the Fujifilm Instax Mini 7S Instant Film Camera and Instax Mini Instant Film, or to find out more about Fujifilm’s entire line-up of instant film solutions, visit www.fujifilmusa.com.

About FUJIFILM
FUJIFILM U.S.A. Inc. is a marketing subsidiary of FUJIFILM Corporation providing digital and analog photographic imaging systems and services and Motion Picture Film products and services to consumers, professionals and businesses. For more information please visit www.fujifilmusa.com, or go to www.twitter.com/fujifilmus to follow Fujifilm on Twitter. To receive news and information direct from Fujifilm U.S.A. via RSS, subscribe free at www.fujifilmusa.com/rss.

FUJIFILM Corporation brings continuous innovation and leading-edge products to a broad spectrum of industries, including electronic imaging, photofinishing equipment, medical systems, life sciences, graphic arts, flat panel display materials, and office products, based on a vast portfolio of digital, optical, fine chemical and thin film coating technologies. The company was among the top 15 companies around the world granted U.S. patents in 2008, employs more than 70,000 people worldwide and in the year ended March 31, 2009, had global revenues of $24 billion. Fujifilm is committed to environmental stewardship and good corporate citizenship. For more information, please visit www.fujifilmholdings.com.

Review - Hands on with the Pentax K7

By Thomas Eltorp
A little background, I have spend a week with it so far, a week spend on assignment in the Ilulissat area, so it has been put to real work from day one, which is never desirable, but as I run it alongside a couple of D3s and had backup opportunities should it miss, then I though it would be the best way to actually test how it performs.

1000 exposures later I think I have a fair idea. It has been shooting anything from helicopter action, whales, landscape, hiking, travel photography, turisty stuff and anything in between. In short it has been put through the worst I could throw at it, save for macro and low light work. All of this in the arctic summer landscape, around glaciers, mountains and icebergs.

The opening photo and title really says it all, there are ups and downs though, so lets get to it.


The Build:

Finally A Pentax body that is build and feels like a pro body, now you may argue that so is the K10/20D, but while sturdy bodies, the K-7 takes the construction quality to a for pentax new level. While it does not entirely match the solid feel of the D3, then I do think that has more to do with weight than actual build. The K-7 feels extremely solid. I would not hesitate bringing it anywhere and that says a lot.

And I have tested it. I shot a heli take off from the moraine next to the huge Icefiord glacier. The helicopter sent a piece of rock flying, that rock took the DA21 right through the lens hood, and literally shattered the protective filter and knocked me off my feet.

The DA21, K-7 and a fairly black and blue me, came out just fine. I am just glad that I had a camera in front of my face when that rock struck me It sure is a very tough little camera and no do not ask why I chose to shoot a heli take off with a wide angle lens

The Ergonomics and handling:

I called it build to pro standard and the Ergonomics follow suit, by far the body from Pentax that suits me best, I never liked the K10/20D body without grip, however I love the K-7 without it and as it is meant to be my compact system, then it is definitely good news. It seems like so many details have been refined, button layout, the slant of the e-dials, it all comes together nearly perfect.

I can handle this camera all day and it still feels right and comfortable at the end of the day. I dare saying, that it feels as good in my hand as the D3 and that is quite a compliment.

The handling is definitely great too, in some ways it is a little too consumer friendly, but once some of these features, like the info screen and other stuff has been switch off in the menu it starts to handle near perfect.

It has become much more responsive, while it still has a step to go from a handling perspective, it is excellent for its class.

The viewfinder is an improvement too, so nice to finally get what you see and just that.

It is a much more responsive body too, mirror blackout and shutter delay feels much better, the shutter feels and sounds better than any previous Pentax body I have handled, still a touch wimpy sounding, but almost there

The only thing that simply is not fast enough is the push center button to select AF sensor. That particular aspect is simply not good enough.

A tiny issue here is the battery, I dearly missed the high capacity batteries I am used to. The K-7 has as the other pentaxes a fairly low amount of shots per charge, my guess is that I will need quite a few if working in remote areas for a longer period of time.

Metering and WB:

Both seem to work very well.

I am a uniWB fanatic and while Metering and AWB, works, a linear tone curve and uniWB preset would have been a very nice inclusion. However for those using AWB the upgrade should be noticeable.

This actually relates closely to my comments further down on IQ.

Auto focus:

Save for the issue mentioned above AF has been improved.

AF-S has become faster and more sure, low light performance and accuracy are definitely excellent, still have a slight issue with backlighting and it still feels slower than the D3, but overall Pentax did good and for the class of camera I have nothing but good to say and it seems spot on with the DA21, FA43, DA70 and DA60-250 I have tried it with.

AF-C has been improved I think, but there is still a while to go, before reaching top of class here. While it definitely seems to track fairly OK, it is "clunky" (in lack of a better word), it seems to track in fairly large steps and to be a little slow when a subject moves in or out of focus.

That said I am more than satisfied, the K-7 had a 20-50% hit rate (excluding user errors) and that is good enough for me, in the same situations the D3 delivered only one focus error. I do however know this is not a fair comparison.

The 11 point AF systems could IMHO use an update, compared to the Autocam 3500 in the D3/D700/D300. The smaller and larger amount of focus points allows for a more precise hit.

Now I have not timed anything, so this is my subjective feeling of things and yes I am comparing it to a D3, but all that said I am very happy with the improvement and it delivers enough for me to be satisfied, given what I expect to use it for.


Shake Reduction:

Well, this is really a mixed bag and perhaps the one place where Pentax has a bug to fix, the SR simply is too slow to kick in, that we now notice is something that speaks as a compliment to the improvement to the AF system, but that really is no excuse.

The solution so far, is to disengage the AF from the shutter and use the AF button for that instead.

That allows me to warm up or keep the SR spooled and have it ready when I hit the AF button and press the shutter all the way.

Slightly different way to work and take a little getting used to, but it solves the issue and that is what matters

When SR does kick in however, then it works and works every bit as good as the VR system I am used to.

That I prefer the optical system for telephoto work has nothing to do with how effective it is, but that the optical systems stabilizes the viewfinder and thus the AF module as well and that is a slight advantage for telephoto work.

IQ:

Well the IQ has triggered a huge discussion and I am actually very satisfied with it for my intended purpose.

I am through the editing of the acceptable part of 1000 frames, I will need to see the prints before being making my final judgment, but based on what have gone through editing, IQ is excellent for what I need it to do, save for a few things that I will get to.

Base ISO is generally excellent, ISO 200-400 decent and ISO 800 is there if I absolutely need it as a last resort, but definitely not good. Anything above is a no go for the work I do, luckily it bought it for use at low ISO and as a travel camera and thus I can live with the limitations.

DR is lacking in general, not overly so, but high contrast is unfortunately not something I can avoid shooting, why I see the limitation, a little noisy at base ISO too in certain situations, but overall the lack of DR is the one issue I can find across the board and it gets worse fast as you raise the ISO.

Colour accuracy and tonality is generally in the good to acceptable range at low ISO, at higher ISO or in shadow areas it is a little lacking, but for its class it is very good.

I still think that it will deliver excellent prints at base ISO and all the way up to ISO 2-400, but as we leave base ISO I will need to work a little more to get what I want from it.

Again I have yet to examine the prints, not to mention see how things pans out with Capture One and the K-7 (using Silkypix right now, as Capture One mess up the colours too much without a dedicated profile), but above will likely hold true for me.

Conclusion of it all:

While my thoughts above may seems overly critical and comparing the K-7 to a camera it never intended to compete with, the subject line and the photo posted above should tell you how much I like the K-7.

With a little work on the low ISO IQ and the AF selection part, I would have called it the perfect APS-C DSLR for me, but I can work around those or use another camera when those are important.

Pentax has delivered the most complete APS-C DSLR ever from them and one that suits my needs very, very well.

They have done so in a very compact form factor and that is something that I really appreciate.

The easy way out for me would have been to pick up a D300 that can share lenses with the D3, the fact that I have not is probably the finest compliment I can give the K-7.

Fore more Images from this camera's trip to Iceland CLICK HERE

Feel free to contact Thomas at duplophotography.com
By Thomas Eltorp for P3N&R

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