Pre-Photokina 2006: Last but not least we have the Olympus FE-170 and FE-180, a pair of 'no-nonsense' budget models with 6.0 million pixel CCDs, 3x zoom lenses and, in the case of the FE-180, a top sensitivity of ISO 1000. The other differences are minor, and to be honest inexplicable unless Olympus intends them to be sold through different channels.
Just posted! Our Review of the unique Ricoh GR Digital. Announced almost a year ago and described as a 'professional grade high resolution compact' the GR Digital echoes the design and ethos of the popular and very highly regarded GR series of film compacts and is unusual in having a fixed 28mm equivalent F2.4 lens and full photographic control. It's also won a small but growing band of dedicated fans. So does the GR-D live up to all the hype or is it just another 8MP compact with pretensions? Find out what we thought after the link...
Pre-Photokina 2006: Here at Digital Photography Review we are proud to have attended and reported from the last three Photokina shows (2000, 2002 and 2004). In preparation for this years show (which looms ever closer) we have now activated our Photokina 2006 Show Report which already carries some twenty-two recently announced products and will be continually updated from now until the end of the show. The report pages carries a new product index and during the show itself will be the starting point for our minute-by-minute live reports 'from the show floor'.
Pre-Photokina 2006: With just over a month to go the organizers of Photokina 2006 are reporting that this show will be the biggest ever with around 1,600 exhibitors and an estimated 160,000 visitors. This year will also see the attendance of Apple and CeWe Color for the first time. For those who are attending you should also be aware of the restructuring of Koelnmesse because of the leasing of the Rhineside Halls to the RTL television station.
Sigma has today announced a very interesting sounding lens, the new APO 50-150 mm F2.8 EX DC HSM. This lens promises to be compact (its DC notation means its designed for an APS-C size imaging circle) and fast (an F2.8 maximum aperture) with a good telephoto zoom range, HSM focusing motor and four SLD (Low Dispersion) glass elements to reduce chromatic aberrations. This lens on a 1.5x crop digital SLR (such as the Nikon D80) would provide an equivalent FOV of 75 to 225 mm.
Samsung Electronics today announced that they have developed the worlds first three-inch TFT LCD with a full VGA (640 x 480) resolution designed specifically for digital cameras (most digital camera LCD monitors are QVGA; 320 x 240). To simplify the interface between the CCD live view signal and the monitor this new LCD operates at 30 Hz instead of the standard 60 Hz. Other specifications include 300 nit brightness, a 350:1 contrast ratio and a 150 degree viewing angle (left to right). Production is due to start in the first half of 2007.
Fujifilm has today announced a specialized version of their S3 Pro digital SLR. The new UVIR suffix model has been modified to be able to take photographs in the Ultra Violet and InfraRed parts of the light spectrum, this feature aimed primarily at law enforcement, science, medical and fine art. Like something from CSI the new S3 Pro UVIR is capable of uncovering otherwise invisible evidence such as gun shot residue, blood stains and burned writing. This new model (which appears to be US only) will be available at select dealers priced at $1,799.
Nikon has today put the end to the speculation and announced the new ten megapixel D80 digital SLR. This new camera is the natural successor to the D70/D70s with a refreshed design, user interface and a wide range of new features. Headline improvements are; 10.2 mp CCD, new image processing engine, 3D Color Matrix Metering II, 11-area AF system, configurable Auto ISO, configurable high ISO NR, a larger and brighter viewfinder, in-camera retouching (including D-Lighting), built-in wireless flash commander, SD card storage (with SD-HC support) and the D200's higher capacity battery. The D80 will go on sale in September with a body only price of $999 in the US, £699 in the UK or $1299 in the US, £949 in the UK as a kit with the new 18-135 mm DX lens. We have had a D80 for a few days to produce our detailed hands-on preview which is available now.
In conjunction with their announcement of the new D80 digital SLR Nikon has also revealed two new lenses, the first of which is the DX Zoom-Nikkor 18-135mm f/3.5-5.6G IF-ED which is destined to become the D80's kit lens. This new lens features ED glass, Internal Focusing and a Silent Wave Motor, it provides an equivalent field of view of 27 - 202.5 mm on a DX format digital SLR and has a maximum aperture of F3.5 at wide angle and F5.6 at telephoto. Unbundled it will be priced at £299 in the UK and should be available in September.
The second lens announcement from Nikon is the AF-S VR Zoom-Nikkor 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6G IF-ED (a mouthful if there ever was one). This lens features ED glass, Internal Focusing, a Silent Wave Motor and Vibration Reduction (II), it provides an equivalent field of view of 105 - 450 mm on a DX format digital SLR (such as the new D80) and has a maximum aperture of F4.5 at wide angle and F5.6 at telephoto. It will priced at $699 in the US and £399 in the UK and should be available in October.
Pentax has today posted a firmware update for its K100D digital SLR. Version 1.01 appears to contain one important update; support for SD-HC cards (SD type cards with a capacity of 4 GB or greater) and one minor update; focal length input into the Shake Reduction menu is now displayed accurately in Pentax Photo Browser 3. The firmware can be easily installed by loading the BIN file onto an SD card and starting the camera holding the MENU button (just make sure you've got fresh batteries).
Both Fujifilm and Olympus (the only two companies utilizing the xD format) have today announced a step up in capacity for xD card to 2 GB. The new 2 GB xD-Picture Card is twice as large as the current largest and utilizes Multi-Level Cell technology to pack so much storage into such a small package. This new card will be available in September, there's currently no word on price.
Kodak has announced today a handful of new EasyShare cameras. The 7.0 megapixel EasyShare V705 Dual Lens and the 8 megapixel EasyShare C875 both feature a 5x all glass Schneider-Kreuznach optical zoom lens and a 2.5-inch LCD and the V705 also sports an additional ultra wide 23mm lens. Kodak has also announced two entry level cameras; the C743 and C433.
Kodak also introduces today the EasyShare G600 Printer Dock, which features a built-in handle, smart paper tray storage and battery for easy portability. Available from this month the G600 is capable of producing a high quality photo in just 60 seconds. The G600 features automatic Kodak Perfect Touch technology providing red-eye reduction and is PictBridge and ImageLink compliant.
Casio has today revealed an all new ultra-slim 'Exilim Card' series digital camera, the seven megapixel EX-S770. Sporting a new smoothed, rounded design and glossy finish it looks slick and expensive. The S770 features a three times optical zoom lens, a large bright 2.8" LCD monitor, and 16:9 format MPEG-4 video capture. The S770 is 17 mm (2/3 in) thin and weighs just 127 g (4.5 oz) without its Lithium-Ion battery. UPDATE: Additionally Casio US has confirmed the already announced EX-Z70 and EX-Z700 will be available there.
Just posted! Our Concise Review of the unique Panasonic DMC-TZ1; the world's smallest 10x image-stabilized zoom camera. Whilst not what you'd call 'pocketable' (unless you have very large pockets), the TZ1 is considerably less bulky than its 'SLR-like' siblings (and their competitors), and, though it offers little in the way of truly manual control, it is packed with features. But is it any good? Find out what we thought after the link...
Sony has today announced a very interesting little device for recording the position where photographs are taken. The GPS-CS1 is a small (9 cm / 3.5 in) cylindrical device which you simply attach to a backback or belt loop and carry with you while you shoot, it records your GPS location and this information can later be synchronized with your digital images to provide a map of where your photos were taken. We assume it does this using date and time information stored in the image header (which obviously requires your camera's clock to be synchronized). Interestingly the mapping solution is an online website with maps provided by Google Maps (it appears that the synchronization software will write the GPS location into JPEG EXIF headers).
Sony has today launched the colorful 7-megapixel Cyber-Shot DSC-T10 camera. The DSC-T10 features sensitivity up to ISO 1000, Sony's Super Steady Shot OIS, a 3x Carl Zeiss Vario-Tessar lens, 56MB of internal memory and a 2.5-inch LCD. It will be available to order from this month in a choice of colors - pink (yes!), white, black or silver.
Just posted! Our mammoth in-depth review of the Sony Alpha DSLR-A100, Sony's first digital SLR and first of their newly created Alpha line. The A100 represents the coupling of Konica Minolta SLR and photographic know-how with Sony's electronics and engineering experience. The A100 is fitted out with a ten megapixel CCD sensor mounted on a CCD-shift 'Super SteadyShot' platform which provides in-camera Anti-Shake capability, it also has other unique features such as in-hardware Dynamic Range Optimization and Eye-Start AF. So dive into one of our longest reviews to date and see how the A100 shaped up.
Casio has announced today the new 7.2 megapixel Exilim Zoom EX-Z700. With a 3x zoom, Casio's Anti-Shake DSP and new BEST SHOT modes including an auto framing mode and a layout shot mode. The EX-Z700 also features a large 2.7-inch LCD with 1200cd/m2 brightness which is claimed to be visible on bright sunny days.
Just Posted! Our Review of the Fujifilm FinePix F30 Zoom, successor to the highly acclaimed FinePix F10. As well as Fuji's new Super CCD sensor that promises sensitivity of up to ISO 3200, the F30 features several important enhancements over the original model, including extra scene and manual modes and a higher resolution screen. Find out what we thought after the link... (Even if you're not interested in this type of camera we recommend you check this review)
Pentax has announced the new ultra-compact Optio S7, almost a year since the Optio S6. This new camera features a seven megapixel sensor with high sensitivity up to ISO 1600 (at 4 mp). In addition it also features Face Recognition AF & AE, a 2.5" LCD monitor, DivX Movie Mode and support for the new SDHC card format. The S7 will be available in September for under US$300.
Nikon Japan has today started a teaser campaign promoting a new compact 10.2 megapixel digital SLR which will be announced on August 9th, we can only guess that this would be the natural successor to the D70/D70s. The teaser gives away few details other than the fact that the camera will have 10.2 megapixels (just in case you were thinking of buying a Sony Alpha). If any other significant details come out over the next 20 days we'll cover them. UPDATE: An English version has now been added to the Nikon Imaging Global website, details inside.
SanDisk has today announced its new Extreme IV CompactFlash cards and the Extreme Firewire 800/400 reader. These new cards will be available in 2, 4 and 8 GB capacities and are rated as delivering 'minimum read and write speeds' of 40 MB/sec. They are also designed to be able to withstand extremes of temperature from -25°C (-13°F) to 85°C (185°F), which will be good news for anyone in the UK at the moment.
Panasonic has announced the latest in the FZ 'double digit' series of prosumer digital cameras (a replacement for the FZ30). The Lumix DMC-FZ50 features a twelve times optical zoom lens, optical image stabilization, a ten megapixel sensor, up to ISO 1600 sensitivity and something Panasonic call IIC (Intelligent ISO control). This new feature monitors the amount of movement in the frame and adjusts the ISO sensitivity automatically at the time of exposure (higher for more movement).
The second big announcement from Panasonic today is the successor to the unique DMC-LX1, the world's first compact with a 16:9 widescreen sensor. The DMC-LX2 increases the pixel count to 10.2 million and adds a larger widescreen 2.8-inch LCD. Despite the increase in resolution Panasonic claims that noise has been significantly reduced (compared to the LX1) thanks to Venus III engine. Other new features include sensitivity up to ISO 3200 (though not at full resolution), Intelligent ISO Control (a mode that increases ISO if the camera detects subject motion) and a refined control interface.
Panasonic has also announced a pair of successors to the popular FX01 in the shape of the DMC-FX50 and DMC-FX07. Both cameras feature 7.2 megapixel sensor, image stabilized 28-102mm equiv. wide angle 3.6x zoom (F2.8-5.6) and Venus III processor. The FX50 sports a 3-inch screen, the FX07 sticks with the 2.5-inch screen of its predecessor. Other new features include 'Intelligent ISO Control', which increases the ISO if necessary to increase the shutter speed if the camera detects motion in the frame.
Panasonic has announced a further addition to its compact Lumix range in the form of the DMC-FX3, a budget 6 megapixel model with a 3x (35-105mm) optically-stabilized zoom and high sensitivity (ISO 1600) mode - albeit one that works at a significantly reduced resolution. The FX3 also sports a 2.5-inch screen (with a slightly lower resolution than the more expensive models) and wide VGA movie mode.
Up until today the Beta of Adobe's new digital photography application, Lightroom, was Mac only. Adobe has now posted the Windows beta of Lightroom free for anyone to download and test (note that if you haven't previously you will need to set up a userid at Adobe). Lightroom is a workflow and editting application which takes all of the useful photography related stuff from Photoshop and combines this with a sophisticated importation, browsing and organizational front-end.
SanDisk has today announced its entrance into the SDHC market with a 4.0 GB SDHC card with a rated 'Class 2' which refers to a minimum sustained write speed of 2.0 MB/sec, slightly slower than other recently announced SDHC cards. So far very few products can actually take advantage of these new SDHC cards although we expect to see more news on this front at Photokina in September.
Just posted! Our Concise Review of the PowerShot SD 700 IS (IXUS 800 IS), Canon's first ultra-compact model to feature optical image stabilization. The 6 megapixel SD700 IS is the new flagship model in the long-running and very successful IXUS / Digital ELPH range, and the first to sport a 4x zoom lens, though in most other respects it is very similar to the previous 'top of the range' SD550. Find out what we thought after the link...
Fujifilm has today announced the new FinePix S6500fd, the suffix stands for one of the S6500's new technologies, Fujifilm's "face detection". This appears to be designed to locate faces in the frame (up to ten faces) for auto focus, metering and subject tracking. According to the press release Fujifilm's hardware implemented Face Detection technology needs just 40ms to locate a face in the frame. In addition the S6500 sports a six megapixel SuperCCD sensor which provides it with up to ISO 3200 at full resolution as well as a wide-angle 10.7x lens with a mechanically linked zoom ring. It's not the first time we've talked about face detection, Nikon has had it in a handful of models since early 2005.
Fujifilm has today announced its 'little brother' to the popular and impressive FinePix F30 Zoom. The new FinePix F20 carries the same six megapixel SuperCCD chip found in the F30 providing it with impressive an high sensitivity of up to ISO 2000 at full resolution. Design wise the F20 is clearly based around the F30's body with a few design tweaks. The only specification differences we could make out are that the F20 is slightly slimmer and lighter, has different long exposure times, a lower resolution LCD monitor and a different battery.
Please note updated spec change; the F20 does not have aperture and shutter priority modes.
Please note updated spec change; the F20 does not have aperture and shutter priority modes.
Fujifilm has today revealed its new corporate brand logo which will be used as of 1st October 2006. According to the press release Fujifilm is currently undergoing company-wide 'structural reforms' and that this new logo represents that change. Personally my favourite 'Fuji' logo of the last few years was the original 'Fuji' logo, after all is there any need for them to have the word 'Film' in their name anymore?
Nikon has today made available a trial version of its all new image workflow, editing and conversion software Capture NX. Announced back in February this year NX is a result of collaboration between Nik software and Nikon, and is widely anticipated by Nikon owners (as its speciality will be Nikon raw, NEF, conversion). Capture NX will cost $149.95 for the full package or $89.95 as an upgrade when it goes on sale later this month. The 30-day trial is availlable for download at the nikonusa.com website.
Canon has today released new firmware for the EOS 5D and EOS-1D Mark II N digital SLRs. The EOS 5D firmware addresses three issues; Correction of communication errors between the 5D and EOS Capture after a certain number of shots, Use of E-TTL flash metering mode using the ST-E2 Speedlite Transmitter in conjunction with the 580EX Speedlite and finally the 'enhancement' of direct printing to two Canon PIXMA Pro printers. The EOS-1D Mark II N firmware update includes only the direct printing improvement with no other bug fixes.
Just posted! Our Review of the Sony DSC-H5, the second replacement for the popular DSC-H1 and 'big brother' to the DSC-H2. The H5 takes the resolution up to 7 megapixels and adds a huge 3.0-inch screen, in addition to all the refinements and improvements we saw on the H2. Find out if the H5 can steal the pole position in the super zoom stakes after the link...
Samsung has revealed a new series of interesting-looking premium cameras under the 'NV' (New Vision) banner. The all-black cameras are the result of two years of consumer research and feature a new user interface and several unique features. We've had our hands on pre-production versions of all three cameras for the last day or two and so far have been impressed with the build and design. First up is the NV3 - a 7.2MP ultra compact with multimedia capabilities and - unusually - stereo speakers built-in.
The final new model in the NV range is perhaps the most interesting; the NV7 OPS ('Optical Picture Stabilzation'). This slim-bodied model boasts a CCD-shift stabiization system, 7x optical zoom and an innovative new 'Smart Touch' user interface. It also has a 2.5-inch screen, full photographic control and MPEG-4 movie capability.
Just posted! Our Review of the Sony DSC-H2, replacement for the popular DSC-H1. The H2 isn't a major upgrade - a bit of a re-style, a few new features and an extra megapixel - but some of the refinements, though small, are significant. Find out if the H2 has what it takes to compete with the likes of Canon's PowerShot S3 IS after the link.
Toshiba has today announced its new 4 GB SDHC card. This card, based newly defined SDHC format has a minimum write speed of 4 MB/sec (known as 'Class 4') and will be available in September. This card also supports the 'CPRM3' copy protection function which we assume to only be used for DRM controlled media such as music and video.
It appears to be acquisition season. Today iView Multimedia, who brought us MediaPro, has announced that it has 'joined' Microsoft. MediaPro is a fairly well known digital imaging workflow and management application which was originally created for Mac and later evolved to Windows. In the announcement on the iView website today Yan Calotychos, founder of iView, stated quite clearly that Mac support would continue and that the iView product range will continue to be available (and supported).
In a brief statement Adobe has announced that it has purchased the 'technology assets' of Pixmantec, the Danish company behind the RawShooter raw workflow and conversion application. Adobe states that this acquisition "strengthens Adobe's leadership position in raw processing" and that that Pixmantec's raw processing technology will be integrated into Lightroom and other Adobe products. RawShooter Premium will be discontinued although the Essential edition will continue to be available and support for existing RawShooter customers will be available from Adobe.
Casio today announced the Exilim Card EX-S600D, an ultra slim 6.0 megapixel camera offering Casio's Anti-Shake DSP, a 3x zoom and a 2.2-inch screen. The EX-S600D is the same model as the EX-S600 (announced in October last year) but adds high quality DivX movie capability. The EX-S600D will only be available to the European market.