BenQ revealed as the new ‘Mystery Monitor’ for creative professionals

SW2700PT_hood_regular_frontBenQ has launched a stunning new colour critical monitor that offers photography professionals unprecedented colour accuracy, high specifications and an amazing price point. The 27” monitor was offered as part of a ‘Mystery Monitor’ competition, organised by Color Confidence last month.

The new BenQ SW2700PT is designed to effortlessly and accurately showcase the creative vision of professional photographers, enhancing and empowering the visual stories they communicate. It is user-friendly and has unprecedented colour accuracy and attention to precise detail.

Designed for visual perfection in professional photo editing, the SW2700PT is packed full of image enhancing features such as a 2560 x 1440 resolution display, 99% Adobe RGB colour space and IPS technology.

The SW2700PT offers colours so true that it brings out the fine detail and creative essence of every photo, whether taken by a seasoned professional or amateur hobbyist. The SW2700PT is BenQ’s second colour critical monitor created for photography professionals, following the launch of the PG2401PT earlier this year.

Key features of the BenQ SW2700PT monitor include:

  • 27” screen – 2560×1440 QHD resolution
  • 99% Adobe RGB colour space
  • Hardware calibration allows users to adjust the 14-bit 3D Look-Up-Table directly without altering graphics card output data, ensuring that every photo is smoothly and consistently displayed just as it was taken
  • Controller included, which allows users to quickly switch between 3 custom modes; Adobe RGB, sRGB and Black-and-White photo mode
  • Monitor hood included
  • Individual factory-tested colour calibration report included
  • Palette Master Element software can be used with a calibrator to optimise the colour performance of the display
  • A 10-bit display panel for smooth shading and colour transitions in natural gradations
  • The monitor achieves an average Delta E≤2 for both Adobe RGB and sRGB, ensuring colour accuracy throughout project workflow, as well as providing viewers with the truest impression of the original image.

The SW2700PT display includes a variety of input terminals such as D-Sub, DVI-D, HDMI, DisplayPort, Mini Display Port, USB 3.0 together with a convenient SD card reader.

We can now reveal that the Color Confidence ‘Mystery Monitor’ competition winner is Wioleta Swietlik from Poland. Congratulations Wioleta!

You will now receive the new BenQ monitor and an X-Rite i1Display Pro – the ultimate colour management solution for creative professionals that demand speed, options and flexibility to attain colour accuracy.

The BenQ SW2700PT is priced at just £499 incl. VAT (RRP) and is available to purchase through leading photography retailers. For more information, visit: www.colorconfidence.com.

Cube – the ‘must-have’ device for creative professionals

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We are pleased to announced the UK launch of Cube, by Palette. The ideal tool for creative professionals, Cube is an incredibly accurate colour capture device that makes it easy to record raw colour data with a simple tap.

Cube removes the guesswork from colour matching, seamlessly pairing with smartphones and desktops to save, store, and work with surrounding, real-world colour. Using an internal spherical light source, Cube picks up the desired hue in a controlled sequence and records the raw colour values for future reference.

With industry first functionality, Cube Link allows users to seamlessly import real-world colour directly into Photoshop.

“Cube was built to make colour digital. By taking the complexity out of colour capture and matching, Cube allows creative professionals to focus on what they’re best at – creating,” says Palette Co-Founder Paul Peng.

From colourful graffiti on the side of a building, to a beautiful flower that catches your eye, Cube can turn a brief moment of colour inspiration into the beginning of a new creative project.

Key features:

  • Highly accurate – Cube uses a controlled light sequence through an aperture to identify and capture colour accurately
  • Seamless pairing – Bluetooth connects automatically. No settings menus or confusing pairing rituals. Just open the Cube Companion App and turn Cube on
  • Instant matching – On either PC or Mac, use the Cube Link App to import colours directly to Photoshop and match to multiple colour libraries, including Pantone.
  • Colour, Your Way – Cube can output colours in RGB, CMYK, HEX, Lab, and LRV colour spaces, with support for multiple colour profiles.

The Cube team will be at 100% Design in London on 23 – 26 September 2015 to demonstrate the creative tools innovative features. You can visit the team at Stand L114 to get expert tips and advice on how best to get the most out of your Cube.

Cube is priced at £149.95 incl. VAT. For further information and to purchase your Cube, visit: www.colorconfidence.com.

Enter our free prize draw for your chance to win a brand new ‘mystery’ monitor on launch day!

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To celebrate the launch of an exciting new ‘mystery monitor’, Color Confidence, Europe’s leading colour management specialist and distributor into the digital imaging markets, is inviting photography professionals to register their interest for the chance to win the mystery monitor on launch day along with an X-Rite i1Display Pro.

Color Confidence has not yet revealed the make and model of the monitor but say the 27” display features an impressively wide-gamut IPS (in-plane switching) and reproduces 99% of the Adobe RGB colour space, for complete colour accuracy. The monitor also comes with a hood.

“A new product launch is always exciting and we are delighted to be able to offer our customers a chance to not only win a new monitor, but be one of the first people to own it!” says Geoffrey Clements, Managing Director at Color Confidence.

Geoffrey continues: “We are confident that the new mystery monitor will be very popular due to its high specifications and market-leading price. We look forward to revealing this monitor next month.”

The winner of the mystery monitor competition will also receive an X-Rite i1Display Pro. The i1Display Pro is the first choice for professional photographers, filmmakers, designers and imaging professionals looking for the highest level of on-screen colour accuracy for displays, laptops, mobile devices and projectors.

It has two user modes (Basic and Advanced) that provide photographers with the perfect combination of colour precision, speed, options and controls, to fit any workflow.

The winner of the mystery monitor competition will be announced on 1st September 2015, when the monitor officially launches. For more information, click here.

Colour perfection and incredible editing power with the new BenQ and Adobe offer

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BenQ has partnered with Adobe to launch an incredible new promotion, designed for photographers that value colour accuracy and demand the best from their images. Creative professionals can now get a one-year membership to Adobe Creative Cloud Photography (worth £102) with the purchase of a new BenQ 24” PG2401PT colour critical monitor.

This offer combines photo editing and manipulation tools from Adobe – the global leader in digital marketing and creative software, with BenQ’s colour critical monitor with 99% Adobe RGB coverage, to allow complete colour control over images.

The PG2401PT is the first product in BenQ’s Pro Graphics series of monitors, developed specifically for the colour critical photography market. It comes complete with Palette Master Software, which has been co-developed with X-Rite – the global leader in colour science and technology.

The Creative Cloud Photography plan includes everything you need to bring out the best in your images, from everyday edits to total transformations. It combines the creative power of Adobe Photoshop CC, with the management and enhancement tools within Adobe Lightroom CC.

BenQ’s PG2401PT monitor is very competitively priced when compared with colour critical monitors with similar specifications. It has an impressive 1920 x 1200 resolution and the wide colour gamut offers superb image clarity and detail.

Key features of the BenQ monitor include:

  • 5 year warranty with zero pixel defect guarantee for the first 6 months
  • Monitor hood included
  • Individual factory-tested colour calibration report included
  • A 10-bit display panel for smooth shading and colour transitions in natural gradations
  • 14-bit 3D Look-Up-Table and processing for improved RGB colour blending accuracy, resulting in impeccable colour and grey tone reproduction
  • The monitor achieves an average Delta E≤2 and below, ensuring colour accuracy throughout project workflow as well as providing viewers the truest impression of the original image
  • Input terminals include D-Sub, DVI-D, HDMI, DisplayPort, Mini Display Port, USB 3.0 together with a convenient SD card reader
  • Brightness uniformity support that balances brightness and chromaticity for consistent image viewing across the entire display

This new BenQ / Adobe offer is available to purchase through leading photography retailers and is distributed exclusively by Color Confidence in the UK, Poland, France, Nordics and Spain.

The offer is available until 31st December 2015. For further information and to purchase your monitor, click here.

Introducing the new Pantone Trade and Save scheme

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We are pleased to announce the launch of our new Pantone ‘Trade and Save’ programme, which offers existing customers the chance to trade–in their old Pantone guides, in exchange for up to £100 cash back when purchasing a new Pantone product.

The Trade and Save incentive scheme makes it easier for designers, product managers, printers and all other colour decision makers to stay up-to-date with the latest graphics products from Pantone – the world leader in colour standardisation and communication tools.

“The Trade and Save incentive scheme has been devised to give people that value colour as much as we do, the encouragement to update their Pantone guides,” says Simon Prais, Technical Director at Color Confidence.

Simon continues: “If you don’t use the latest Pantone products, you could be losing time, money, or even clients, through mistaken specifications or inaccurate colour reproduction. Over the past five years, 644 Pantone spot colours have been added to the Pantone Plus range of graphics guides, which now includes a total of 1,761 colours.”

Pantone prides themselves on using only the finest paper substrates for their multimedia graphic tools. But the fact is, all paper stocks yellow over time, from exposure to air or sunlight, or simply from use, which changes the appearance of the ink’s colour. For this reason, Pantone recommends replacing your colour guides frequently.

The Trade and Save scheme is made up of three easy steps.

  1. Purchase a brand new Pantone guide from colorconfidence.com – Eligible guides are included in the table below
  2. Send Color Confidence the old Pantone guide in the post – A £5 flat rate postage contribution will be added to your cash back amount
  3. The discount plus postage contribution will be refunded into your account – The guide is then verified and the discount is given (within 5 working days of receipt of the guide)

The Trade and Save scheme applies to purchases of any of the following Pantone Plus guides:

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The Trade and Save scheme ends on 31st July 2015. For more information, visit www.colorconfidence.com.

ExpoImaging announces improvements to their popular professional white balance filter for photography professionals

b7764cea-7d08-4c14-9ff0-4d6170374804ExpoImaging, creators of the innovative Rogue FlashBender 2 speedlight modifiers, has today highlighted the recent improvements to the patented ExpoDisc Professional White Balance Filter to the UK photography market.

ExpoDisc 2.0 is an easy and accurate way for photographers to set a custom white balance meter for exposure, and to dust map the image sensor. Whether shooting in RAW or JPEG, photographers can use ExpoDisc 2.0 to save valuable time editing photos and videos.

“With the original ExpoDisc, we invented the digital white balance filter and established it in the market as the premium white balance tool by individually testing and certifying every ExpoDisc,” said Erik Sowder, CEO at ExpoImaging. “Now ExpoDisc 2.0 introduces user-selectable warming gels and an improved mounting design.”

To maintain its reputation as the premium white balance tool, each ExpoDisc 2.0 is individually calibrated by hand in the USA, for neutrality, and an 18% total light transmission across the visible spectrum. This neutrality is important because using a non-neutral tool for white balance can actually add undesirable colour casts to images.

Key features include:

  • Quickly set white balance for photo and video
  • Meter 18% incident exposure
  • Easily dust map your image sensor
  • Includes four warming filters (gels)
  • Hand calibrated for accuracy
  • Available in 77mm and 82mm filter sizes (to fit a variety of professional lenses)
  • Each ExpoDisc is individually packaged with its own calibration certification card
  • Comes with a sturdy carry pouch and user quick start guide.

The ExpoDisc 2.0 Professional White Balance Filter is available to purchase through leading photography retailers and is distributed exclusively by Color Confidence. For further information and to purchase your ExpoDisc 2.0, visit: www.colorconfidence.com.

Red Arrows Staff Away Day at RAF Scampton

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Last Friday (22 May 2015), some of the Color Confidence team went on a staff away day to RAF Scampton in Lincoln. It was a lovely day out, which included:

  • A presentation on the activities of the Red Arrows, given by one of the Squadron’s Officers
  • Sitting in on the pilot’s briefing session
  • Watching a flying display practice
  • Having a photograph taken with the pilots in front of an aircraft (see picture above)
  • Sitting in on the pilot’s debrief session
  • A buffet lunch with the team members
  • A guided tour of the Hawk aircraft by one of the engineers.

This was an exciting opportunity to watch the Red Arrows in action before the start of their UK tour. A selection of images from the day can be found below:

2The Red Arrows flying display practice.

3What an incredible display.

1A majority of the team had their professional photography equipment at the ready!

4We have supported the Red Arrows for a number of years and provide them with colour management services, prints and equipment.

7Our guided tour of the Hawk aircraft.

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Color Confidence announces UK tour to showcase the latest innovative products for photography professionals

3We will be attending a number of roadshows and open days across the country to showcase the latest innovative products for photography professionals and enthusiasts.

Over the next few months, we will be exhibiting products from some of the world’s leading manufacturers. Key products to be showcased on the day will include a selection of the following:

  • BenQ’s first colour critical monitor
  • DxO’s newly updated image editing software
  • NEC’s latest 4k colour critical monitors with new built-in Spectraview II calibration software
  • Rogue’s new and improved FlashBender 2 portable lighting tools
  • X-Rite‘s colour management solutions

The team will be on hand to give you colour management help and advice. There will be professional product demonstrations and best practice tips, as well as special offers on purchases made on the day.

“The more we talk to new and existing customers, the clearer it becomes that increasing people’s knowledge of how to effectively colour manage a photographic workflow really helps to improve people’s photographic experiences”, says Geoffrey Clements, Managing Director at Color Confidence.

Geoffrey continues: “Good colour management across all your devices saves time, money and ultimately produces better images. We’re looking forward to continuing to educate and support photographers throughout these events.”

We will be exhibiting at shows as part of the Bigger Picture Roadshow, Calumet spring open days, London Camera Exchange Pro Show, Photovision Roadshow, WEX Workflow event and Park Cameras Imaging festival.

The shows will take place on the following dates:

29 April – Bigger Picture Roadshow – Chelmsford
30 April – Calumet Spring Open Day – Manchester
30 April – London Camera Exchange Pro Show – Southampton
15/16 May – Calumet Spring Open Day – London
19 May – Bigger Picture Roadshow – Sheffield
20 May – Bigger Picture Roadshow – Blackburn
10 June – Photovision Roadshow – Windsor
10 June – Bigger Picture Roadshow – Weatherby
13 June – WEX Workflow event – Norwich
20 June – Park Cameras Imaging festival – Burgess Hill
27 June – Park Cameras Imaging festival – London
30 June – Photovision Roadshow – Bristol

For more information about our wide range of products, visit: www.colorconfidence.com

BenQ photo-critique ‘Photo of the Show’ winners announced

There were some fantastic entries in the BenQ photo-critique competition at The Photography Show 2015. Visitors to the show were invited to book a free 15 minute photo-critique from an industry-leading expert. The three best images were awarded ‘Photo of the Show, with each winner receiving a fantastic prize. The first place winner will receive a brand new BenQ colour critical monitor and the two runner-ups will be awarded with a framed print of their image.

We are delighted to announce Steven Reid, from Wiltshire, as the winner with his fantastic image ‘Night at the Station’ and the two runner-ups, Meredith Lewis with her image ‘Blackbird’, and Robert Johnston with his image ‘The Dark Stones of Calanais’.

'Night at the Station' by Steven Reid

‘Night at the Station’ by Steven Reid

“I am so happy to have won a BenQ PG2401PT, I saw one at the Photo Show and it went straight on my want list,” says Steven. “I entered for the Photo Critique, which was extremely useful, and I have already put into practice some of the pointers I received from Keith. I now feel a winner twice over!”

Steven continues: “The photo was taken as part of a night shoot with reenactors at Kingswear Station on the Paignton to Dartmouth Railway. The reenactors took up their positions and then froze for a couple of minutes. It was then the turn of the photographers to work as quickly as possible to set up their shots and take them before letting the next photographer in to take their shot. I remember getting rather cold and west as the wind and rain swept in at the open end of the station, but it was worth it.”

“When I processed the image I converted it to black and white and tried to invoke a film noir feeling to the image.”

'Blackbird' by Meredith Lewis

‘Blackbird’ by Meredith Lewis

“This image was taken at the Imperial War Museum at Duxford in the US Air Force building”, says Meridith. “I really like the aircraft and enjoyed seeing one in person. I was trying to get a nice photo of the shapes of the plane and when the small boy reached up towards the plane I thought it made the shot, as he helps give scale and it seems he is appreciating the Blackbird too”.

Robert

‘The Dark Stones of Calanais’ by Robert Johnston

“I have been taking pictures of stone circles and standing stones for years now, always in black and white and sometimes in infra-red in order to try to conjure a feeling of mystery,” says Robert. “This was the first time though that I used light painting. I was on a trip to Lewis and Harris in the outer Hebrides in 2013 and was particularly hoping to get a good shot of Calanais (or Calanish) stone circle in Lewis to add to my project. The weather did not oblige though.”

Robert continues: “The lighting was flat, but we had brought two powerful torches, so after dark the circle was lit by two people madly shining their torches around while trying to remain hidden behind the stones. In that sense it was a combined effort. It took about six tries before we got it right. The image is of a portion of the circles with the exposed rocks of the chambered tomb in the foreground. The challenge was to find a way of photographing something that has been photographed many times before but to make it different. Hopefully I succeeded. This image was taken with a Sony Alpha 77 and was converted to black and white using Silver Efex pro 2. The exposure was 30 secs at f8, ISO 800.”

Expert judges Mark Wood and Keith Cooper came to a unanimous decision on these entries. Thank you to everyone that took part and congratulations again, to the winners!