January Photo Competition Winner Announced

We kicked off the year with the launch of our exciting new photo competition ‘Inspired by Colour’. Each month is centred around a different photography theme. Last month, we took to social media to invite both amateur and professional photographers to submit their images that best represent ‘Street photography’. January’s prize was an X-Rite i1Display Pro (worth £207 incl. VAT).

We are pleased to reveal that the winner of our January photo competition was Rebecca from South Yorkshire with her excellent Street Photography image entitled ‘Urban San Fran’.

January winner

Rebecca’s winning image ‘Urban San Fran’

“Urban San Fran and was taken in San Francisco back in 2011. I used a Canon 450d with a standard Canon camera lens. The only editing was in Photoshop to correct the levels. I took the photo as the colours stood out to me and it’s not your typical view of Golden Gate Bridge that you see, I like to be a bit different and look at things from a different view to give a more unique photo.

I am a professional photographer who graduated from the University of Lincoln in 2012. I currently do weddings and model portfolio shoots. I love to travel and meet new people.”

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Rebecca with her new prize – an X-Rite i1Display Pro

THIS MONTH’S PHOTO COMPETITION THEME: LOVING LIFE

original_FebSubmit your images on our Facebook page that show your love for life for the chance to win a brand new NEC MultiSync® EA193Mi monitor.

WHAT YOU COULD WIN THIS MONTH:

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Why is it important to use a colour critical monitor when working in the photographic industry?

The demands of the photographic industry have changed significantly over the last few years. Photographers have identified that colour accuracy is critical to their workflow, to ensure they get a true-to-life reproduction of their photographic images. Investing in a good quality camera is not enough, for reliable colour reproduction, you must also invest in a colour critical monitor.

Leading monitor manufacturers in the photographic market include:

SW2700PT_hood_regular_frontBenQ

Key features:

  • Palette Master calibration software powered by X-Rite for optimum colour accuracy
  • Wide colour gamut with superb image clarity and detail
  • Each monitor rigorously factory tested for uniformity and colour accuracy.

eizo115EIZO

Key features:

  • Wide selection of monitors, including the ColorEdge CG and CX ranges, to suit a variety of users and budgets
  • The top end ColorEdge CG monitors include a self-calibration device for ease of use
  • Dedicated ColorNavigator NX and Color-Navigator 6 software, allows you to schedule the monitor to self-calibrate at specific times.

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Key features:

  • State-of-the-art SpectraView Reference, SpectraView and MultiSync ranges offer the ultimate colour accurate displays
  • Entry and advance level options available, offering a wide range of professional monitors to cater to all needs
  • Options available for the latest 4K UHD (3840 x 2160) super resolution and accurate wide colour gamut capability.

Color Confidence, Europe’s leading colour management specialist, catering to the digital imaging markets, has developed a reputation as the unbiased provider of the best colour critical displays on the market.

The monitor showroom on their website is used to assess all three leading monitor brands using a star rating system from three to five stars. Three stars indicates good colour accuracy and five stars indicates excellent colour accuracy. There is also a downloadable monitor comparison chart on the website, where people can compare each monitor and find the right one to meet their needs.

“We pride ourselves on our brand portfolio, ensuring that we only supply products from the best quality brands on the market”, says Simon Prais, Technical Director at Color Confidence. “Those in the photographic industry know that when you spend hours at a time reviewing and retouching images, it is essential that you invest in a high-quality display.”

Simon continues: “Choosing the right monitor to meet your individual requirements can be a daunting task, but we offer online resources and free expert advice and support, to ensure customers make an informed decision on the right product to suit their specific needs.”

“There are various factors to consider when buying a colour critical monitor to ensure it is appropriate to your needs.”

“Resolution indicates the number of pixels across and down the panel – conveying how much of an image will be displayed. However, it is the pixel pitch that defines the size of the pixels (normally in mm) and the quality of the display. Therefore, when assessing the image quality of a monitor, it is better to compare the size of monitor you require (such as 24”) in relation to its pixel pitch, rather than comparing the monitor’s size in relation to its resolution.”

“Increased image sharpness is achieved by using a smaller pixel pitch, however with the latest generation of UHD and 4K monitors, the pixel pitch is substantially smaller. Viewing can be described as ‘pixel free’ and produces an ultra sharp image.”

“For a quality display you will need a monitor with an In-Plane Switching (IPS) panel type. IPS panels offer a much larger colour gamut than TN panels, which are frequently used in laptops. A further benefit of IPS panels over both TN and VA panels, used on standard grade monitors, is the colour consistency and viewing angle. Viewing such panels from even a slight angle causes a shift in the display, whereas IPS panel technology provides consistency from increased viewing angles.”

“Professional quality monitors generally include hardware calibration software. This communicates directly with the monitor for optimised colour accuracy. This type of calibration process provides the highest degree of accuracy.

“The X-Rite i1Display Pro is supported by the software provided with professional monitors, or can be used with its own software to profile monitors that do not include their own software. Some monitors, currently the Eizo CG range, include a built-in calibration instrument. This can also be used in conjunction with the X-Rite i1Display Pro, for correlation of the built-in calibrators, to match between similar monitors and also to monitors requiring an external calibrator.”

“A monitor hood is included with most top of the range professional monitors. This provides a tunnel effect, enabling the brightness of the monitor to be set at a lower level for a more realistic representation of a printed result. This has the additional benefits of using less power, reducing the risk of eyestrain and extending the life of the monitor. Third-party monitor hoods are available, such as the PChOOD Pro, which is a high quality substantial monitor hood that fits any monitor size from 15” up to 26”, and some 27” monitors.”

For free expert advice and support on choosing a colour critical monitor to suit your needs, call 0800 977 4167, email: info@colorconfidence.com or visit the Color Confidence website at: www.colorconfidence.com. Color Confidence offer next day delivery on all products purchased on the website.

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Win great prizes in our new ‘Inspired by Colour’ photography competition

Comp image Happy New Year from all of the Color Confidence team!

Today not only marks the first day of 2016, but the launch of our exciting new photography competition that will allow you to win great prizes as we search for the Color Confidence Photographer of the Year 2016.

Our new ‘Inspired by Colour’ competition gives both amateur and professional photographers the chance to win great prizes from some of the industry’s leading manufacturers such as X-Rite, NEC, ExpoImaging, BenQ and DxO software.

At the beginning of each month, we will announce a different theme for the photography competition. Submit your images via our Facebook page to enter the competition. Throughout the month, the public will vote for their favourite image. The person with the most votes at the end of each month will win a great prize from one of our key vendors (minimum prize value £100).

At the end of the year, the Color Confidence team will judge all the winning images to determine who will be crowned Color Confidence Photographer of the Year 2016. The winner will receive a fantastic prize bundle worth over £1,000!

The competition is a great opportunity for you to get great exposure and win great prizes. Each monthly winning image will be displayed on the Color Confidence website, monthly newsletter and social media sites. You will also be featured in the Color Confidence Blog.

Do you have what it takes to be crowned Color Confidence Photographer of the Year 2016?

This month’s theme:

SPWe look forward to seeing your images that capture chance encounters whilst out and about.

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RAL launches an innovative colour-measuring tool for the architecture and design industry

ralg033RAL, the global market leader for colour standards, has today announced the launch of an innovative new colour-measuring tool that can instantly match the colour of any surface or material to the closest RAL colour.

The new COLORCATCH NANO is RAL’s first colorimeter. It measures up to five colours at the same time, regardless of the surface or material. The picture is enlarged to six times its size, while shadows and dirt are at the same time eliminated, thereby reaching the highest precision in colour measurement.

The RAL App iCOLOURS allows the closest RAL colour, or a colour from another preselected colour collection, to appear on screen. The selected colour shade can then be directly transferred to a photographed object and shared via e-mail. This way, architects, painters and designers can work more efficiently.

Key benefits

  • Pocket sized, round and ergonomic design
  • Integrated calibration system
  • Thanks to the camera and its optics, the colorimeter increases the image six-fold and accurately measures colour from the size of a few pixels
  • Indicates RGB, Lab and CMYK, as well as the reflectance values of most selected colour libraries
  • More than 400 additional colour libraries can be added
  • Works with iOS and Android Apps
  • The measured colour can be directly applied to a pre-painted object in the App.

The RAL COLORCATCH NANO was developed in co-operation with the Swiss company Colorix. RAL COLORCATCH NANO is compatible with many different Apple and android devices.

RAL produces a range of colour charts, swatches, cards, fans, books and software for the professional and accurate selection and verification of colour for paint, interiors and design projects.

RAL COLORCATCH NANO is priced at £419.94 incl. VAT and is available to purchase from Color Confidence. RAL COLORCATCH NANO works together with RAL iCOLOURS, which is now available to purchase for £7.99 incl. VAT at Apple’s App Store, and £7.17 incl. VAT on Google Play.

For more information about the RAL range, visit: www.colorconfidence.com/ral

DxO announces new software updates

dxos021DxO has announced the immediate availability of DxO OpticsPro v10.5.2, DxO FilmPack v5.5.2, and DxO ViewPoint v2.5.10 for Mac and Windows. These three upgrades mean that DxO now supports seven additional cameras: the iPhone 6s and 6s Plus, the Pentax 645D, and the Panasonic Lumix GF-7, Lumix G-7, Lumix GX-8, and DMC-ZS50/DMC-TZ70.

The three DxO solutions add 787 more modules to the DxO Optics Modules library, which now contains nearly 28,000 combinations. Developed in DxO’s laboratories, DxO Optics Modules contain all of the information about the characteristics of each camera and lens. This unique database allows DxO software to automatically correct optical defects with an unparalleled level of quality.

Photographers who acquired a DxO OpticsPro 9 license on or after September 1, 2014, are entitled to a free upgrade to version 10. Photographers who bought a DxO FilmPack 4 license on or after September 1, 2014, are entitled to a free upgrade to version 5. Upgrades are free for all photographers who acquired a DxO ViewPoint license on or after August 1, 2013.

Free 30-day trial versions of the three applications, are available to download from the DxO website: http://www.dxo.com/us/photography/download

Save 50% on all DxO software!

Don’t miss our spectacular DxO sale; get 50% off all image editing and correction software (excluding upgrades). This great value offer is available until 31st December 2015!

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Introducing the Rogue FlashBender 2 Mirrorless Soft Box Kit for small accessory flash units

Expo new productExpoImaging, creators of the innovative FlashBender 2 shapeable light modifiers for speedlights, has today announced availability of the Rogue FlashBender 2 Mirrorless Soft Box Kit - a versatile and portable new light modifier for photography professionals.

Specifically designed for compact and mirrorless flashes like the Nikon SB500, the Nissin i40 and the Olympus FL-600R, the new FlashBender 2 Mirrorless Soft Box Kit includes a FlashBender 2 Micro Shapeable Reflector and a Micro Diffusion Panel. The kit has been optimised to handle the light output from smaller flash units.

“We’re seeing more and more photographers shooting with these compact new mirrorless camera systems. The advantage of shooting with mirrorless cameras is that everything is smaller and lighter,” said Erik Sowder, ExpoImaging CEO. “We designed the new FlashBender 2 Mirrorless Soft Box Kit to fit the smaller speedlights often used with these mirrorless cameras.”

When used with on-camera flash, the FlashBender 2 Micro Reflector creates a larger, softer light source than the bare flash and allows directed bounce off ceilings or walls. Off-camera, it can be used to shape and control the main, background, hair, rim, or accent lights.

Once the Micro Diffusion Panel is attached, the Rogue FlashBender 2 Mirrorless Soft Box softens light, while reducing contrast and specular highlights.

Key features of the Rogue FlashBender 2 Mirrorless Soft Box:

  • Fits Nikon SB-500, Nissin i40, and Olympus FL-600R flashes
  • Fits flashes with a head circumference of 158.8mm – 184mm
  • Makes a soft box, bounce flash reflector or snoot
  • Attaches quickly and securely
  • Size: 205mm x 240mm
  • Reflective surface area of 178mm x 178mm
  • Total weight of kit: 119g
  • Packs flat to easily fit into any small camera bag.

ExpoImaging recently won the 2015 Hot One Award for Best Speedlight Modifier from Professional Photographer Magazine for the Rogue FlashBender 2 XL Pro Lighting System. The award-winning kit includes the FlashBender 2 XL Pro Reflector, the XL Pro Strip Grid Attachment, the XL Pro Soft Box Diffuser Attachment and a travel bag.

HotONE

The Rogue FlashBender 2 Mirrorless Soft Box Kit is available to purchase through leading photography retailers and is distributed exclusively by Color Confidence. For further information about the Rogue FlashBender 2 range, and to purchase your product, visit: www.colorconfidence.com.

PANTONE’s new Extended Gamut Guide bridges the gap between spot and process colour printing

EGGPANTONE has launched a new colour communication guide that bridges the gap between CMYK and spot colour printing.

The new PANTONE PLUS SERIES Extended Gamut Coated Guide has been created to help brand owners; designers, prepress professionals and printers to determine when it may be possible to more accurately reproduce a solid PANTONE colour using CMYK + PANTONE XG Orange, Green and Violet (OGV) Inks.

The PANTONE Extended Gamut Guide is a visual, seven-colour printing simulation of the 1,729 existing PANTONE MATCHING SYSTEM® colours. Printed with an extremely high-quality, seven-colour printing process, the Extended Gamut Coated Guide uses existing Cyan, Magenta, Yellow and Black (CMYK) inks, plus commonly used Orange, Green and Violet (OGV) inks that ‘extend’ the colour gamut significantly.

The new PANTONE Extended Gamut Guide will allow designers and printers to achieve approximately 90% of all PANTONE MATCHING SYSTEM spot colours through the seven-colour process system.

The PANTONE guide was developed in partnership with Esko, the global supplier of innovative printing solutions and packaging software, and Disc Graphics, an award-winning creative packaging printer.

Each page of the PANTONE guide has been replicated and numbered to mirror that of the current PANTONE PLUS Series Formula Guide, so a designer or printer can quickly and easily compare the original spot colours to the new extended gamut reproductions.

The PANTONE Extended Gamut Coated Guide includes:

  • 1,729 seven-colour process simulations of PANTONE Formula Guide Solid Coated Colours on coated stock
  • Closest seven-colour process match with sRGB values
  • Screen tint percentages displayed
  • Colours bleed off page edges for ease and accuracy when comparison checking
  • Portable fan guide format which provides convenience and fast access to colour data
  • PANTONE COLOR MANAGER Software for updating PANTONE colours in popular design applications
  • Colour locator index
  • Each colour identified with a distinct PANTONE EXTENDED GAMUT Coated (XGC) number and/or name.

The PANTONE Extended Gamut Coated Guide is available to purchase from Color Confidence – Europe’s leading colour management specialist and distributor into the digital imaging markets. For more information about the PANTONE range, visit www.colorconfidence.com.

The future of photography is here – Introducing DxO ONE

DxO

DxO ONE is a revolutionary new camera that pairs perfectly with your iPhone and iPad. It is small enough to fit in your pocket, yet features a large 1” sensor capable of capturing beautiful, high-resolution images.

Outside it is sleek smooth and elegant, but inside, it is packed with innovative features and powerful software that enables it to capture dynamic images and cinematic video.

DxO ONE leverages DxO’s world-renowned image processing capabilities to produce photographs that rival those from a DSLR.

DxO ONE is the only camera that gets better the longer you own it. Firmware enhancements and new features are seamlessly bundled into App Store updates, so your DxO ONE is always ready to capture photos with the latest innovations driven by users.

To celebrate the launch of DxO ONE, we are treating you to a special introductory offer, buy DxO ONE and get DxO OpticsPro 10 Elite and DxO FilmPack 5 Elite completely free*! This offer is available while stocks last.

We will have DxO ONE in stock next month. PRE-ORDER YOURS NOW!

Watch the DxO ONE video here

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

Palette_Cube_RGB

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.