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BRIEFS: September 10

iPhone 5s beefs up camera specs…Leica C debuts…Kiwi crackdown on import rorts…Canon upgrades Cinema EOS firmware…

iPhone 5s beefs up camera specs
The iPhone 5s announced this week features an 8 -megapixel sensor and f2.2 aperture lens.

iPhone5s_3Color_iOS7_PRINTPixel size on the sensor is 1.5 microns ‘for better sensitivity and low-light performance, resulting in better pictures’. Still smaller than the pixels in most low-end compact cameras, though. Apple says the new Camera app in iOS 7 provide up to two-times faster autofocus, faster photo capture, automatic image and video stabilisation, and better dynamic range. Apple also claims a photographic first with the 5s in the form of ‘True Tone flash’ which ‘adjusts colour and intensity for over 1000 combinations, so photos taken with a flash appear more natural.’ The iPhone 5s also includes a new Burst Mode, Slo-Mo video with 120 fps, and a new FaceTime HD camera for better low-light performance.

New Leica C debuts
Leica Australia has released the Leica C, the first in a new range of digital compacts.

Leica-C_light-goldIt features a Leica DC Vario-Summicron 6–42.8mm f2–5.9 ASPH zoom lens (28 to 200 mm in 35mm format) and an ‘exceptionally large’ (ahem) 1/1.7-inch (7.6×5.7mm) 12-megapixel sensor.

The Leica C is the first Leica compact camera to feature an integrated Wi-Fi and NFC (Near Field Communication) module for the wireless transmission of image data to smartphones and tablets (Android and iOS) It also offers ‘a wide range of camera functions, various settings, in-camera processing options and an intuitively simple handling concept for flexible and spontaneous photography’.

Audi Design was commissioned to design the Lieca C and a range of premium accessories. It comes in two finishes – light gold and dark red.
Other features:
– Continuous shooting at up to 10 frames per second;
– Full-HD video
– 3-inch LCD (9200K) plus viewfinder plus electronic viewfinder (200K);
– RAW file shooting capability;
– PASM control;
– Remote control via smartphone or tablet;
– Range of accessory cases and pouches in various premium materials.

The The Leica C will be available from Leica boutiques and other authorised Leica dealers starting in October, with an RRP $900. Accessories will be available from December.

Kiwi crackdown on imports rorts
New Zealand authorities are battling tax evaders trying to exploit the country’s tight (NZ$60) threshold for imports by not declaring the correct value of the goods they’re sending to New Zealand.

Customs Minister, Maurice Williamson, says senders try to get goods in as ‘express delivery low value imports’. He gave one example of electronic parts from the US declared at NZ$326 having an actual value of NZ$24,304.

A Customs operation examined 2562 consignments and found 733 were above the low value threshold.

‘High value goods are being misdescribed and under-valued to speed up border clearance and evade duty,’ Williamson said.

The crackdown resulted in NZ$158,000 in extra revenue being collected.

The NZ express delivery system is designed for clearing low value goods when revenue owed is less than NZ$60, and therefore is not collected.

Canon upgrades Cinema EOS firmware
Canon has announced firmware updates to its Cinema EOS cameras and also unveiled a new EF CN-E35mm T1.5 L F lens.

The firmware updates in Q4 will increase ISO settings from ISO 20,000 to ISO 80,000. Users will be able to shoot in 1-stop or 1/3 stop increments from ISO 320 right through to ISO 80000. There will also be improvements to the Magnify function and Wi-Fi remote control.

Individual cameras in the Canon Cinema EOS range also achieve other benefits from the firmware upgrades.

The new lens is expected to be available from December 2013.

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