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Flash photos have a future

Flash photography is going through a renaissance and developments in recent years show just how far it’s come, writes ROGER MACHIN, product manager at Canon SA.

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Previously, photographers were limited by cumbersome power requirements. Nowadays, a studio is wherever they want it to be without the need for a generator – from the beach to the jungle, and everywhere in between.

Battery life has drastically increased, wireless TLL technology has become mainstream, and mixing and matching brands’ wireless control triggers and flashes is common practice for professionals. Competition is also healthy. The industry’s exploration of light through flash is more exciting than ever before, but despite for some, flash raises red flags.

Up to now, flash has been almost exclusively reserved for photographers who’ve mastered the art over many years, but we see it as an essential part in taking your photography to the next level. Customer observations have identified an underlying ‘fear’ about using flash, either through a lack of confidence to achieve their desired outcome or being disappointed with the results from an in-built flash or a cheap flash gun they had bought.

Canon has attempted to tackle just that with the launch of its revolutionary Speedlite 470EX-AI, which features world-first AI Bounce technology, earlier this year.

With the Speedlite 470EX-AI we wanted to democratise flash and provide photographers with the confidence to focus more on the shooting subject in question, and less on how to achieve the desired results. Through the introduction of this world-first AI Bounce technology, our ambition is that more photographers, both enthusiasts and seasoned professionals, will start to experiment, grow their confidence and develop their style with flash so that the market can continue to mature,.

I believe that Speedlite 470EX-AI is the future of flash. It is the first flash in the world to be equipped with AI Bounce – a new Auto Intelligent (AI) function that takes the fuss and uncertainty out of flash photography. This revolutionary new technology intelligently calculates and maneuvers the flash head position automatically to create optimum lighting for outstanding images.

This unprecedented innovation uses a test flash to calculate the perfect angle for natural, flattering illumination, whilst automatically moving the motorised flash head into the optimum position for perfect lighting.

The full-auto mode carefully manipulates the flash head for every new shot, eliminating unwanted shooting complications. It also removes the time needed to evaluate the shot and reposition the flash head manually.

For those with greater experience in flash photography, the semi-auto mode allows the user to set the bounce flash angle for different shooting scenarios. The Speedlite 470EX-AI then automatically adjusts the flash head for different camera orientations. This pioneering technology enhances the opportunity for photographers to be creative with their lighting, whilst achieving consistency in every shot. This is crucial for portrait photographers who regularly alternate between landscape and portrait.

Even the most spontaneous moments can be captured with natural looking lighting, as the Speedlite 470EX-AI recharges rapidly and silently in 5.5 seconds to full power with 4 AA/LR6 batteries, or 3.5 seconds with rechargeable NiMH batteries. This is first-class when swiftly capturing consecutive shots, such as during weddings or parties. The Speedlite 470EX-AI features a high-speed sync function, which enables the flash to be fired several times in rapid succession and thus uses a higher shutter speed than normally possible. This is particularly useful for action shots, or to create a darkened or blurred background for stand-out images.

By rotating the flash head 180 degrees left and right, plus 120 degrees upwards, the AI Bounce flash function enables photographers to adapt to different environments and remove unwanted shadows. The bounce adaptor can be clipped onto the Speedlite 470EX-AI to deliver softer illumination, allowing for much more radiant portrait shots. With this level of control over the flash, photographers can focus on capturing high-quality, well-lit imagery that consistently delivers unrivaled results.

With 19 custom functions, the Speedlite 470EX-AI offers complete creative control as the photographer can personalise the settings in pursuance of capturing beautiful and unique shots. The wireless optical receiver function allows the flash to be used at distances of up to 10m away from the camera. With a built in Speedlite transmitter function or Speedlite with Optical transmitter, further creative capturing is enabled via experimenting with varying lighting scenarios. This is perfect for photographers aiming to develop and create their own lighting style. The dot-matrix LCD panel provides an intuitive interface, guiding photographers to easily navigate the flash settings and select how diffused or concentrated the light is via priority settings. To achieve maximum flash output, shortcut buttons and a control wheel provide fast access to settings, delivering a creative fall-off effect and an even distribution of light across the whole image.

With this innovation, using flash does not have to be intimidating. Photographers can really get creative and feel confident about exploring the use of flash.

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New iPhone pricing for SA

The iStore has announced that the latest iPhones, the Xs and Xs Max, can now be pre-ordered at www.myistore.co.za , and will be available in stores starting 28 September 2018.

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iPhone Xs and iPhone Xs Max feature 5.8-inch and 6.5-inch Super Retina displays that offer remarkable brightness and true blacks while showing 60 percent greater dynamic range in HDR photos. iPhone Xs and iPhone Xs Max have an improved dual camera system that offers breakthrough photo and video features, A12 Bionic chip with next-generation Neural Engine, faster Face ID, wider stereo sound, longer battery life, splash and water resistance,

Pre-orders will be open for cash purchases and on iStore’s revised payment plan in partnership with FNB Credit Card, allowing customers to pay off their iPhone at a reduced interest rate. However, the contract period is 37 months rather than the usual 24 months.
*FNB Credit Card Payment Plan, price per month over 37 months, a 40% trade-in value after 24 months

How to pre-order – Pre-ordering online for either cash or the FNB payment plan gives customers the benefit of reserving their purchase without having to queue and the added convenience of having purchases delivered directly to their door. Pre-orders of iPhone Xs and Xs Max are completed online by visiting www.myistore.co.za.
FREE iCare Plus – Exclusive to iStore, all customers can get its 2-year extended warranty, which includes one Apple Certified screen repair, that normally sells for R1 999, for FREE. To qualify, customers should secure a voucher online now at www.myistore.co.za , and subsequently redeem it when they upgrade their contract or purchase any new iPhone at iStore (iPhone 8 and newer) between now and 31 December 2018. Offer is limited, secure your voucher now.

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Accenture opens Fjord design centre in Johannesburg

Accenture has launched its first design and innovation studio on African soil, Fjord Johannesburg.

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The company says the move significantly expands its design capabilities and demonstrates its commitment to unlocking Africa’s innovation potential through the creation of experiences that redefine industries in our constantly evolving digital era.

The new studio, opening in November, will be located at Accenture’s new 3875m² offices in Waterfall. It will be led by Marcel Rossouw, design director and studio lead for Fjord Johannesburg.

Said Rossouw, “Brands are constantly asking, ’how does one take a business need or problem, build that out into a definition of a service experience, and then bring it to market?’ It’s about re-engineering existing service experiences, identifying customer needs, prototyping rapidly, iterating often and proving or disproving assumptions. But it’s also about getting feedback from customers. The combination of these factors helps companies advance towards the ultimate service experience.”

Fjord is the design and innovation consultancy of Accenture Interactive. The Johannesburg location marks its 28th design studio globally, solidifying its position as the world’s leading design powerhouse.

Working in the same location as Accenture Interactive will allow Fjord to fuse its core design strategy DNA with the digital agency’s expertise in marketing, content and commerce to create and deliver the best customer experiences for the world’s leading brands. Accenture Interactive Africa‘s blend of intelligent design and creative use of technology has already been used by some of South Africa’s largest and most prominent brands, including Alexander Forbes, Discovery, MultiChoice and Nedbank. The digital agency has also earned industry accolades for its innovative and compelling business results, most notably two gold awards in the Service Design category at the 2017 and 2018 Loeries awards.

“Great design tells great stories,” says Wayne Hull, managing director of Accenture Digital and Accenture Interactive lead in Africa. “It unifies a brand, drives innovation and makes the brand or service distinctive and hyper-relevant in both the digital and physical worlds. This is critical to achieving results. Having Fjord Johannesburg as part of Accenture Interactive, and collaborating with all of Accenture Africa, will provide unique experiences and forward-thinking capabilities for our clients.”

“Businesses in South Africa are becoming more design-aware and are looking to take greater advantage of design skills to compete with the rest of the world,” said Thomas Müller, head of Europe, Africa and Latin America at Fjord. “We’re excited to open our first design studio on the continent and to be part of an emerging market that is ripe for design and innovation, and open for business. Developing markets like South Africa are challenging assumptions and norms about what digital services and products are meant to be, and we’ll strive to put design at the heart of the innovation being produced there.”

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