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Wednesday, November 18, 2009

UNDP Photo Contest Winers

Today the United Nations Development Programme announces the winners of an eco-themed photo contest. All the winners will receive digital cameras from Olympus.
UNDP salutes heroes of the environment
Kenyans and Moroccan receive top awards for
Africa eco-themed photo contest

New York, 18 November, 2009—The winning photographs of an eco-themed photo contest focused on Africa feature environmentalists planting trees in a water catchment area in Kenya, Moroccan women turning plastic bags into handbags as part of a fair trade project, and a Kenyan couple planting a tree on their wedding day.

“By showing us what ordinary citizens of Africa are doing to tackle climate change, we see the extraordinary power of photographs to tell stories,” said Helen Clark, UNDP Administrator. “These photographs will help carry the message to Copenhagen that the poorest and most vulnerable stand to lose the most from climate change, and must be part of any agreement.”

The Picture This: Caring for the Earth photo contest was organized earlier this year by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in partnership with Olympus Corporation and the Agence France-Presse (AFP) Foundation, and aimed to profile ordinary people working to preserve the environment and reduce the effects of climate change in their communities.

The first prize winners are Jacob Otieno, a Kenyan newspaper photo editor, in the professional category; Faiza Hajji Wozniak, a social entrepreneur from Morocco, in the photo essay category and Simon Ndegwa, a Kenyan youth pastor in the amateur category. Tonight, Miss Clark will present the winners with their awards, which include a certificate of acknowledgement from UNDP, and digital cameras and camera equipment from Olympus Corporation. The winner of the professional category will receive a two-week internship at one of AFP’s bureaus in Africa. The second and third place winners are from Cameroon, Kenya, Lesotho, Malawi, Senegal and South Africa, and will all receive digital cameras from Olympus.

Olympus provides extensive support to achieve the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) as a member of the United Nations Global Compact. This project is shining a spotlight on ordinary people’s actions, which when combined, demonstrate a massive commitment to preserving our world,” said Tsuyoshi Kikukawa, President of Olympus. “As private companies, and at an individual level, we all stand to lose if we do not engage in this movement.”

The contest was inspired by the upcoming 15th Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen, Denmark, in December, which will witness a gathering of 15,000 officials from 192 countries.

“Climate change has no respect for borders, and so the media’s role in documenting how people in different parts of the world are coping with its effects is very important, as it can also inspire action in others,” said Robert Holloway, Director of the AFP Foundation. “We at the AFP Foundation are encouraged by the images produced in this contest, both by the professional and amateur photographers, and look forward to collaborating further with them.”

The photo contest jurors were Nobel Peace Prize winner and Kenyan environmentalist Wangari Maathai and four professional photojournalists, including Peter Magubane, one of South Africa’s most internationally acclaimed photographers, and John Isaac, Olympus Visionary photographer, and who also was a photojournalist with the United Nations for nearly 30 years.

Protecting the environment and working to mitigate the effects of climate change lie at the heart of UNDP’s mandate. We help developing countries adapt to climate change while reducing poverty through improving disaster coping methods, strengthening institutions and charting a low-carbon development path because climate change demands that we grow in a different way.

For more information on the winners and the photo contest, see:

Olympus Corporation: Established in 1919, Olympus Corp., Tokyo, Japan, manufactures and sells precision machinery and instruments for medical and healthcare, imaging and information, and industrial applications. Its core competency is Opto-digital technology, which is a fusion of traditional optical technology with advanced digital and fine processing technologies. For more information, visit:

The AFP Foundation was set up by Agence France-Presse in 2007 to train young photographers and reporters, especially in developing countries. It exists in the belief that free, independent and responsible media can help people make informed decisions about their lives and thus help reduce poverty, promote development and defend human rights. It seeks to raise journalists' professional standards in accordance with its code of conduct and to promote press freedom. The AFP Foundation supports efforts to improve the working conditions of journalists and the protection of those working in combat zones and other dangerous areas, especially freelance reporters and photographers. It also supports efforts to elevate the status of women in the news media. For more information, visit:

UNDP is the UN's global development network, advocating for change and connecting countries to knowledge, experience and resources to help people build a better life. We are on the ground in 166 countries, working with them on their own solutions to global and national development challenges. As they develop local capacity, they draw on the people of UNDP and our wide range of partners. For more information, visit:

New Zeiss ZF.2 lenses series

Maximum image quality meets the comfort of automatic control

Carl Zeiss presents a new series of lenses: ZF.2 for F bayonet

Thornwood, NY – Optics specialist Carl Zeiss today announced its introduction of a new series of lenses for the semi-professional market: the ZF.2 with F bayonet for digital SLRs. Thanks to its electronic interface (CPU), these new ZEISS lenses support all-important operations such as the automatic mechanisms for time, aperture setting and program. The CPU also supports manual exposure settings, including those for camera casings that are not AI-compatible. Since the lens now transmits the EXIF data such as manufacturer, date, metering system and exposure to the camera, photographers no longer need to set the parameters manually. These quicker and faster handling capabilities of the ZF.2 lenses are especially useful under hectic shooting conditions.

ZEISS lenses truly come into their own in situations that demand extreme photographic creativity and maximum image quality. Carl Zeiss’ established fixed focal length lenses are known for their high light sensitivity and precise manual handling, leaving the photographer in full control. The new ZF.2 series will be especially interesting for photo enthusiasts who value creative, high-quality images combined with the comfort of automatic settings.

Martin Klottig, Marketing Manager of the Camera Lens Division at Carl Zeiss AG: “The ZF.2 lenses are ideal tools for photographers who want to concentrate more on the subject than on their camera equipment. Whether at a wedding, a toddler’s first steps or impressions from faraway countries, these lenses are perfect for photographers who want to capture once-only moments quickly and accurately. These situations demand first-class technology that captures spontaneous actions without too much effort and delivers fantastic images each time.”

The ZF.2 lenses are available in eight focal lengths, six of which will be available from the end of November: 3,5/18, 2,8/21, 2/35, 1,4/50, 2/50 and 1,4/85. The Distagon T* 2/28 ZF.2 and Makro-Planar T* 2/100 ZF.2 will be introduced in Spring 2010. “We are currently reworking and optimizing the Distagon T* 2.8/25 ZF. As a result, it will be available for other mounts somewhat later,“ says Klottig.

The prices for these new lenses will fall between $725 and $1,843.

With the new ZF.2 series, Carl Zeiss extends its acclaimed ZF family of lenses, for which there is still high demand and possibly long waiting times. “We will offer the ZF series as long as the demand lasts,” stresses Klottig.

For more information, visit Product photos are available for download at:

A list of compatible camera models is available under:

About Carl Zeiss AG

Carl Zeiss AG is a leading group of companies operating worldwide in the optical and opto-electronic industry. The five independently operating business groups are active in the future-oriented markets of Medical and Research Solutions, Industrial Solutions and Lifestyle Products. Founded in 1846 in Jena, the company is headquartered in Oberkochen, Germany. The company has been a technological pioneer in optical innovation for more than 160 years.

Carl Zeiss develops and distributes products and services under the ZEISS brand name for biomedical research and medical technology, as well as for the semiconductor, automotive and mechanical engineering industries. Planetariums, binoculars, and camera and cine lenses are valued by millions of users around the world. The eyeglass business is now bundled in Carl Zeiss Vision International GmbH, the number two eyeglass provider in the world.

Carl Zeiss AG is fully owned by the Carl Zeiss Stiftung (Carl Zeiss Foundation). During fiscal year 2007/08 (ended Sept. 30), the company generated revenues of EUR 2,731 million. Carl Zeiss has around 13,000 employees in more than 30 countries, including more than 8,000 in Germany.

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Panasonic wins Props from Popular Science "Best of whats new"


Annual Popular Science Award Names Panasonic TC-P54Z1 Plasma and

LUMIX GF1 Digital Camera the 2009 “Gadget” Winners

Secaucus, NJ (November 18, 2009) – Popular Science Magazine has named two Panasonic products, the TC-P54Z1 Ultra-thin VIERA Plasma and the LUMIX GF1 digital camera, the magazine’s 2009 “The Best of What’s New” winners in the Home Entertainment and Gadgets categories, respectfully. Both Panasonic products will be featured in the December 2009 issue of Popular Science Magazine.

“For 22 years, Popular Science has honored the innovations that surprise and amaze us − those that make a positive impact on our world today and challenge our views of what’s possible in the future.” said Mark Jannot, Editor-in-Chief of Popular Science. “The Best of What’s New Award is the magazine’s top honor, and the 100 winners − chosen from among thousands of entrants − represent the highest level of achievement in their fields.”

The Panasonic TC-P54Z1 VIERA Plasma uses innovative wireless technology and features an ultra-thin 1” profile, making this HDTV Plasma a truly unique High Definition display. The wireless technology allows for flexible installations and the thin profile makes it easy to fit in any setting. The Panasonic TC-P54Z1 Plasma uses millimeter wave wireless technology established by the Wireless HD Consortium and has a maximum transmission rate of approximately 4Gbs, which enables full-HD uncompressed video and audio signals to be transmitted up to 30 feet from the TV.

Furthermore, the remote is RF, so the external box that houses all the electronics and connections can be placed out of sight. The TC-P54Z1 also features Panasonic's proprietary VIERA CAST™ technology that provides targeted internet content, including Amazon VOD and You Tube™. The TC-P54Z1 also includes 600Hz Sub-field drive that produces full 1080 lines of motion resolution - in prior years, Plasmas produced approximately 900 lines of motion resolution. The TC-P54Z1 is also one of a select few high definition displays to achieve THX® certification, an audio and video standard set by THX Ltd., a company founded by George Lucas to recreate the audio and video ambiance that filmmakers intended.

The Panasonic LUMIX GF1 is the world’s smallest and lightest system digital camera with built-in flash* and packs powerful DSLR-like features and High Definition video capabilities into a sleek and easy-to-use compact body. The LUMIX GF1 builds on Panasonic’s success with the revolutionary LUMIX G Series of digital interchangeable lens system cameras based on the Micro Four Thirds system standard. The Micro Four Thirds system boldly removes the very same mirror box that traditionally defined a “Single Lens Reflex” camera, thus resulting in a much smaller camera body and lenses; while not compromising photo quality or performance. The LUMIX GF1 is Panasonic’s most compact LUMIX G Series digital camera and offers features appropriate for both new and more advanced photographers.

For instance, the LUMIX DMC-GF1 includes the new My Color mode, which includes seven preset effects – Expressive, Retro, Pure, Elegant, Monochrome, Dynamic Art, Silhouette and Custom – all of which let users manually set the color, brightness and saturation levels. With the Live View function, users can see how these settings will affect the photo before they shoot, making it easier to capture the exact mood or atmosphere desired. For even more elaborate effects, users can choose from a total of nine Film modes, and set the contrast, sharpness and saturation levels for each. A custom function lets users store their favorite settings in memory. Furthermore, the exposure meter can be displayed in other shooting modes and the correlation between shutter speed and aperture is shown, with a color-coded warning that alerts users when the settings are not in the proper range.

“Panasonic has a longstanding history of being an innovative company that provides cutting-edge products and because of that, has been a consistent industry leader, so the Popular Science “Best of What’s New Honor” provides great validation that we are indeed leaders in two important categories for our company: High Definition Plasmas and digital cameras,” said Robert Perry, Executive Vice President, Panasonic Consumer Electronics Company. “We are honored by the recognition and will continue to manufacture products that are not only innovative, but also benefit the consumer who will be using them.”

For more information on the TC-P54Z1 and the LUMIX GF1 visit

*As as of September 2, 2009

About Panasonic Consumer Electronics Company

Based in Secaucus, N.J., Panasonic Consumer Electronics Company (PCEC), a market and technology leader in High Definition television, is a Division of Panasonic Corporation of North America, the principal North American subsidiary of Panasonic Corporation (NYSE: PC) and the hub of Panasonic's U.S. marketing, sales, service and R&D operations. Panasonic is pledged to practice prudent, sustainable use of the earth's natural resources and protect our environment through the company’s Eco Ideas programs. Information about Panasonic products is available at

For more than 20 years, Panasonic has been proud to support the Olympic Movement as an Official Worldwide Olympic Partner in the Audio and Visual Equipment category and, beginning in 2009, in the Digital Imaging category as well. Panasonic has also renewed its partnership with the International Olympic Committee for an additional eight years through the 2016 Summer Games. For more information, visit

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"Nikon Festival ( challenges everyone to capture their experience in short-form video – 140-seconds or less – and share their art with celebrities, friends, and the country. Think Sundance gone completely viral, thanks to the strides being made in consumer cameras.

Really a trend story and how camera manufacturers are taking a role in the marketplace and placing more emphasis on video: Nikon is a camera maker now creating a film festival; also about importance of social media in everyday life: videos are limited to 140-seconds a la Twitter. Great judges: The Office’s Rainn Wilson, internet personality iJustine, and photographer/videographer Chase Jarvis.

It’s a cool opportunity and gets people interested in what they can do with their cameras (D5000, D90, D300s and D3S are all Nikon SLRs that do HD video; the COOLPIX S70 also does HD)." ~Nikon PR

Actor Rainn Wilson, Photographer Chase Jarvis and Internet Evangelist “iJustine” to Judge 140-second Video Submissions
Winner Given Chance to Pursue Their Dream with $100,000 Award

MELVILLE, N.Y. (Nov. 10, 2009) –Nikon Inc. today announced the launch of a new integrated marketing campaign that includes the first ever “Nikon Festival” to celebrate, inspire and harness the current popularity of content creation shared through social media.

As a progressive social media innovator and D-SLR market leader, Nikon is challenging budding filmmakers to upload 140 second short-form video with the theme “A Day through Your Lens” to and follow @nikonfestival on Twitter for a chance to win up to $100,000 and Nikon equipment to pursue and chronicle their dreams.

Nikon advertising star, Ashton Kutcher, will contribute to the Nikon Festival by sharing his personally shot video taken with the D5000, which captures his recent visit to Africa. The Festival will be supported by a national TV broadcast and online advertising campaign and will run through the end of the year. The Festival video submission period begins November 10 and will be open for entries for a six-week period.

“The Nikon Festival represents the progressive nature of our brand in merging social media with innovative products as a way to engage and empower aspiring photographers and filmmakers,” said Lisa Baxt, Senior Communications Manager for Nikon Inc. "Nikon is committed to advancing HD video with the D5000 and other products and supporting it with an integrated marketing program that has a strong impact and is viral in nature. As part of this campaign, the Festival presents the opportunity for current and future Nikon customers to tell their story with HD video.”

Nikon has also enlisted influencers from TV, photography and social media to serve as official Festival judges. Each will also share personal videos shot with a Nikon D-SLR camera, including actor/writer Rainn Wilson, Internet personality Justine Ezarik (iJustine), and visionary photographer Chase Jarvis. The Nikon Festival entries will be judged in December and winners will be announced in January.

“As an actor and avid writer, I applaud Nikon’s creation of this Festival to advance the accessibility of thought-sharing and self expression to aspiring filmmakers and photographers,” said Rainn Wilson. “I think this is a unique way for people to initiate dialogue on topics they care about, while gaining exposure for their work. I’m excited to check out the videos people submit and will be tweeting throughout the Festival.”

Upload “A Day through Your Lens” Video As guided by the video submissions of Ashton Kutcher and Festival judges, entrants are challenged to create videos in 140 seconds or less, capturing the essence of a day in their life, whether funny, profound or inspirational. As videos are uploaded, they can be automatically shared with entrants’ social networks, including Twitter and Facebook, allowing instantaneous campaigning for views and votes. Although entrants are not required to use a specific camera, judges will be providing direction to meet the criteria of image quality, originality and ability to capture a day through their lens in 140 seconds.

Change Your Life in 140 Seconds or Less Festival entrants will have the opportunity to win one of two awards: an audience award and a judges’ award. The winning video selected by the Festival judges will be awarded $100,000 and Nikon equipment to pursue and chronicle their dreams. Additionally, the video getting the highest average rating and most audience views will be awarded the $25,000 Audience Award and Nikon equipment. Entrants of the Festival, found at, are encouraged to use social media platforms, including Twitter and Facebook, to share submissions and gain views and votes. Terms and conditions can be found at

For more information on the Nikon Festival and other information on products from Nikon, please visit Follow the Festival on Twitter at the address: @nikonfestival.

All product and company names herein may be trademarks of their registered owners.

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