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BRIEFS: June 16

June 16, 2011: Lowepro offer goes viral…Lifepics delivers the apps…New Panasonic GF3 priceless…As is Canon all-purpose zoom

Newly-appointed Maxwell International marketing manager, Brendan Lee, had one of those ‘nice problems to have’ last week when a email/social networking promotion he ran to attract people to the Maxwell stand at next week’s Imaging and Entertainment Expo proved more successful than planned.

He sent out an email to a list of friends and associates of Maxwell International directing them to a form on the Tamron Australia Facebook page which, when completed, qualified them to exchange a coupon for a Lowepro Factor Backpack (RRP $85 – pictured right) from the Maxwell stand at the show.

Brendan said he was anticipating 400 or 500 people taking up the offer, but was fully subscribed by 11am the day after the initial email went out.

Now he’s frantically sourcing a substitute ‘freebie’ to supply to the hundreds more who will be fronting up at Maxwell’s stand next weekend.

‘It was a toe-in-the-water trial for some things we have planned later this year,’ said Mr Lee. ‘The interaction so far has been great.

‘Employees sent a heads up to their friends and then before we knew it, friends of friends of friends were asking us questions about the PMA Expo and what they could expect to see there and how they get tickets, etc.’

Lifepics goes ape on apps

Lifepics has been busy over the past week or so, announcing that it is now possible to order prints direct from MediaImpressions, ArcSoft’s latest version of their popular PC media management software, and also new apps for Android and iPhone users.

Users of MediaImpression HD can now place orders for photo prints from home, and then pick them up locally from Lifepics retailers.

‘LifePics’ integration with ArcSoft’s MediaImpression HD software simplifies the ordering process and eliminates the need to download photos from the software and upload to an ordering site. Plus, the LifePics network provides the convenience of ordering through a trusted, local photo retailer and picking up the order in an hour, rather than having to wait and pay delivery charges,’ said Steuart Meers at Photo Direct, the Australian and New Zealand representatives for LifePics.

LifePics View & Order Photos Android app and LifePics iPhoto Uploader/Exporter plugin allow Android and iPhoto users to quickly and easily order photos from Android phones or iPhoto to any retailer in the LifePics Network.

The updated Android app now includes the ability to order photos directly from the app, while the iPhoto plugin exports images from iPhoto to a LifePics online photo account for users to order or use on creative photo products like photo books, photo calendars, or photo cards.

Lifepics now has apps coming out of its ears, with iPhone and iPad apps, an Android app, a Facebook ordering app, a Windows Phone 7 app, and the iPhoto plugin.

New Panasonic GF3 priceless

Panasonic will release its latest G-series camera, the Lumix DMC-GF3, in August, with local pricing to be announced closer to the launch date.

(The curious will easily discover that US pricing is $599 with standard zoom lens and then find it passing strange if the local pricing is closer to $1000 when the camera is finally released.)

The smallest and lightest model in the range to date, the GF3 features a 12.1-megapixel Live MOS sensor and enhanced Venus Engine FHD image processor that enables the camera to support 1920 x 1080 Full HD video recording using the AVCHD format. The image processor is also designed to extend battery life. A variety of touch-control operations make playback ‘quick, easy and more fun’.

Panasonic also announced a new Leica DG Summilux 25mm f1.4 ASPH lens for its Lumix G Micro System cameras.

Covering an equivalent focal length to 50mm on a 35mm camera, the new lens is compact and lightweight and features a fast f1.4 maximum aperture, making it ideal for use in low-light conditions and where defocused backgrounds are desired.

To be released in Australia ‘later in 2011’.

…As is Canon all-purpose zoom

Canon will release a new EF-S 55-250mm f4-5.6 IS II lens for cameras with APS-C sized sensors next month.

The new EF-S 55-250mm is compact and lightweight and covers a broad zoom range, making it an ideal all-purpose lens for family portraits, holidays, sporting events and special occasions. It comes with Canon’s built-in Image Stabiliser (IS), which Canon says delivers the equivalent of four f-stops compensation to ensure clear and crisp shots. Automatic panning detection enables users to capture moving subjects with ease.

The new lens covers a 35mm equivalent focal length to an 88-400mm when fitted to compatible camera bodies, which include all Canon DSLR cameras from the new EOS 1100D to the EOS 7D.

Pricing is still to be announced.

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