Sunday, March 30, 2008

R.I. P. Dith Pran 1942-2008

Cambodian photojournalist Dith Pran, made famous by the movie "The Killing Fields," passed away March 30 in New Jersey from pancreatic cancer. Dith was 65 years old.

Dith, who came to the United States in 1980, worked for The New York Times as a photographer.

According to The Times:

Mr. Dith saw his country descend into a living hell as he scraped and scrambled to survive the barbarous revolutionary regime of the Khmer Rouge from 1975 to 1979, when as many as two million Cambodians — a third of the population — were killed, experts estimate. Mr. Dith survived through nimbleness, guile and sheer desperation.
Since coming to the United States, Dith spent much of his time fighting against genocide around the world.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Open Medium Format Platform?

Phase One and Mamiya Digital Imaging have joined forces to introduce what they call the "world's most flexible, open medium format digital camera platform."

That might be a bit of PR hyperbole, but it's not far from the truth. The new medium format camera, branded as Phase One but really a Mamiya 645AFDIII, is able to accept digital backs from many different manufactures -- not just Phase One and Mamiya. It also accepts film backs. In addition, it can use a variety of lenses, including Mamiya 645 series lenses, Hasselblad V-system lenses and Pentacon Six lenses.

According to a joint Phase One-Mamiya press release:

It is designed to achieve shutter speeds from 1/4000 sec. to 60 min. The camera features anergonomic molded grip and provides direct control of critical camera settings using manual dials -- both of which are essential elements for the professional photographer engaged in day long hand-held shooting sessions.
The camera is expected to be available in the second quarter of the year. Full system specs and options will be made available at that time, the companies said. It is expected to sell for about 9,000 euros, or about $14,000.