July 22
Canon posts firmware update for EOS 7D digital SLR
Canon has posted a firmware update for its EOS 7D digital SLR. Firmware v1.2.2 fixes AF point selection and display bugs occuring under specific shooting conditions, and also addresses an error in movie mode. It also corrects misspellings in the Spanish and Thai language menus. The firmware is available for immediate download from Canon's website.
July 21
Samsung launches PL200 budget compact camera
Samsung has launched the PL200 budget compact camera. The 14.1MP camera features a 3.0 inch LCD and comes with 7x image-stabilized zoom lens (31-217mm equiv.) and records 720p HD videos using H.264 compression. The camera will be available from September at a retail price of $179.99.
Samsung releases ST600 and ST100 DualView cameras
Samsung has launched 14.2MP versions of its dual LCD compact cameras in the shape of the ST600 and ST100. Both feature larger 3.5" rear LCDs and slightly bigger 1.8" front LCDs compared their DualView predecessors (known as 2View in Europe). The ST600 comes with a 5x image stabilized zoom starting at a useful 27mm equivalent, while the ST100 comes with a 35-175mm equiv. lens. The ST100 is a departure for the DualView series, being a card-style camera built around a periscope lens. Both cameras are designed around touch-screen interfaces. The ST600 and ST100 will be available from September at a retail price of $329.99 and $349.99 respectively.
Just Posted: Panasonic DMC-LX5 sample gallery
Just posted: full sized images from the Panasonic DMC-LX5. We had the chance to shoot with the newly-announced LX5 and have prepared a 24 shot gallery of images. We intentionally shot at a variety of apertures, ISOs, focal lengths and aspect ratios to give a flavor of what the camera can do. The images were taken with a pre-production camera, so may not be representative of final, production image quality.
Panasonic officially announces DMC-LX5 premium compact
Panasonic has officially unveiled the DMC-LX5, successor to the popular LX3. The latest model features a revised sensor, longer zoom range and improved control layout without fundamentally changing the existing model's formula. It offers a more flexible 24-90mm equivalent lens with a bright F2.0-3.3 maximum aperture range and a comparatively large 10MP sensor in a small body. The body itself is barely changed compared to the LX3 - gaining an improved hand grip, clickable control dial, direct movie record button and a 1:1 position on the aspect ratio slider. Most significantly it gains a connector to add the DMW-LVF1 electronic viewfinder originally launched with the GF1. Other than this, the LX5 gains the AVCHD Lite format for its 720p video, and its image stabilization is branded with the company's latest 'Power O.I.S' designation. It will be available from the end of August for a suggested retail price of $499.95. We've had a chance to use an LX5 for a bit, so have prepared some notes on our first impressions.
Fujifilm unveils F300EXR compact superzoom with Hybrid autofocus system
Fujifilm has unveiled the FinePix F300EXR which debuts a new Hybrid autofocus system that the company claims is as fast as that on DSLRs. The camera automatically chooses between using the contrast-detection AF method used in compact cameras and the phase-detection method usually used in DSLRs. In addition the F300 offers a 15x optical zoom lens starting at a wide 24mm, a 1/2" 12MP Super CCD EXR sensor and a 460k 3.0" LCD. The camera's image stabilization system has also been tweaked, adding a 'Gyro' sensor to detect a wider range of camera movements that can contribute to shaky images. Other features include manual exposure modes, 360 degrees Motion Panorama and a Super Intelligent flash that attempts to balance flash illumination across the foreground and background.
Panasonic premieres Lumix DMC-FZ100 high-speed superzoom camera
Panasonic has released the Lumix DMC-FZ100 super-zoom digital camera with Full HD AVCHD video recording. With a 24x zoom lens (25mm - 600mm equiv.), 14.1 MP CMOS sensor and 460K dot 3.0 inch tiltable LCD, it includes features such as Image Stabilization, the latest Venus Engine FHD processor and P/A/S/M shooting modes. It also offers the industry's fastest full resolution burst shooting using a mechanical shutter at 11 fps. The camera is designed with a focus mode switch on the lens barrel, and a rear jog dial for better control while shooting manually. It will be available from the end of August for a suggested retail price of $499.95. Now with demonstration of zoom range added.
Fujifilm unleashes Finepix Z800EXR with Hybrid autofocus
Fujifilm has released the FinePix Z800EXR premium ultra-compact. A successor to the Z700EXR, the camera features a second-generation EXR CCD that incorporates sensors for the company's new Hybrid autofocus system. The camera automatically chooses between using the contrast-detection AF method used in compact cameras and the phase-detection method usually used in DSLRs to offer DSLR-like autofocus times. The camera also inherits the 3.5" touch screen LCD and 5x (35-175mm equiv.) optical zoom lens from its predecessor.
Panasonic launches Lumix DMC-FZ40 / FZ45 digital superzoom
Along with the DMC-FZ100, Panasonic has also announced the Lumix DMC-FZ40 superzoom (FZ45 in Europe). Slotting in where the FZ38/35 left off, it features the same 25-600mm equiv. lens as the FZ100, but with a 14.1MP CCD sensor and simpler 230K dot 3.0 inch fixed LCD (as opposed to the FZ100's CMOS sensor and high-res screen). The FZ40 also offers AVCHD Lite 720p HD video recording, manual shooting modes and 'Sonic Speed' auto-focus system that the company says offers the industry's fastest focus times. The European FZ45 version is limited to 29 minutes video recording. It will be available from the end of August for a suggested retail price of $399.95.
Panasonic announces Lumix DMC-FX700 touch-screen compact
Panasonic has announced the Lumix DMC-FX700 touch-screen digital compact, featuring a stabilized wide angle 5x zoom lens (24-120mm) with a semi-fast F2.2-5.9 maximum aperture range. The camera reduces buttons to a minimum, instead depending on its touch-sensitive 3.0" screen. It also offers full 1080i AVCHD video and 10 fps full resolution burst shooting. Other features include P/A/S/M shooting modes and the latest Venus Engine FHD processor.
Panasonic releases Lumix DMC-TS10 rugged compact
Panasonic has announced the Lumix DMC-TS10 rugged compact camera (known as the FT10 in Europe). A simpler version of the DMC-TS2, it sports a 35-140mm equivalent 4x optical zoom lens, and is certified waterproof at depths of up to 3 meters /10 ft and shockproof for drops of up to 1.5 meters /5 ft (as opposed to 10 meters and 2 meters repectively for the FT2). The rest of the features remain the same, including a 14.1MP CCD sensor and a 2.7" LCD. It will be available from mid-Septemeber for a suggested retail price of $249.95.
Fujifilm launches world's smallest 18x zoom  lens compact camera
Fujifilm has announced what it claims to be the world's smallest 18x zoom camera in the shape of FinePix S2800HD. It appears to be a 14MP version of its existing S2500HD/S2600HD model, using the same 28-420mm equivalent zoom lens and 3.0" LCD. It offers standard 720p HD video recording alongside features such as AF tracking and Panorama Shooting mode, and is powered by AA batteries.
July 19
Olympus updates 'ib' software
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Olympus has released an updated version of its 'ib' image editing software. Version 1.2 adds video-editing features including creation of movie slideshows. It also adds the ability to perform color management. The update can be accessed via the software's update feature or can be downloaded from the company's website.
July 16
Ricoh and Samsung post firmware updates
Ricoh and Samsung have announced firmware updates for the GXR system and TL500/EX1 enthusiast compact respectively. Ricoh's update, covering the A12 50mm equiv. macro, S10 24-72mm equiv. and P10 28-300 equiv. zoom lens units, fixes bugs and brings in a few improvements. Meanwhile, firmware version 006291 for the Samsung EX1 and v.006254 for the TL500 are bug-fixes - correcting an error when the camera is turned on with the playback button and contributing towards system stability.
July 15
Sigma 17-50mm F2.8 EX DC OS HSM now available
Sigma Corporation of America has announced that the Sigma 17-50 F2.8 EX DC OS HSM is now available. The lens, originally announced at the PMA exhibition in February 2010, offers a faster, image stabilized alternative for APS-C users wanting to upgrade from their kit lens. It is now available in Canon mount with Pentax, Sony, Nikon and Sigma-mount versions expected 'in the coming weeks.' The lens will sell with a recommended price of $980/£649.99.
July 14
Sony unveils NEX-VG10 E-mount HD camcorder
Two months after announcing its development, Sony has launched the NEX-VG10E - an E-mount camcorder that becomes the worlds' first consumer-grade HD camcorder with interchangeable lenses. Although appearing under Sony's Handycam brand, rather than Alpha, it retains a lot in common with the Alpha NEX series. It features the same 14.6MP Exmor APS HD CMOS sensor but is capable of recording 1080i video at a higher, 24mbps, bitrate. The NEX-VG10E also features an electronic viewfinder and 'Quad Capsule Spatial Array Stereo Microphone' that uses four microphone elements to provide better channel separation and cancel unwanted noise. In every other respect it is essentially a NEX 5, featuring the same user interface (though with more external controls) and both SD and MemoryStick storage. It will sold as kit with image-stabilised E18-200mm F3.5-6.3 OSS lens and will be available a suggested retail price of €2000 / $2000.
July 13
Oloneo releases PhotoEngine Beta 1
Paris-based software maker Oloneo has launched a beta version of its image processing suite called PhotoEngine for Windows that includes raw processing, HDR merging and a method for combining images shot under different lighting conditions to give control over the individual light sources. The software is based around a 32-bit per channel wide color gamut that allows users to edit tonal range and color with minimum data loss. PhotoEngine Beta 1 is available immediately as a free download from the company's website.
July 9
Just posted: our Samsung TL500/EX1 review
Just Posted: Our review of the Samsung TL500 (EX1 in Europe). The future of the enthusiast compact camera is under threat from the small mirrorless cameras that are starting to encroach on their territory. However, the Samsung TL500's smaller sensor (compared to the mirrorless models) means the company has been able to include a lens that not only offers a useful 24-72mm equivalent range but also a phenomenally bright F1.8-2.4 maximum aperture range. This lens flexibility is combined with a tilt/swivel OLED screen in a package smaller than any mirrorless camera with zoom lens. So does the camera live up to the promise of its specifications?
Leica posts firmware update for M8 and M8.2 rangefinders
Leica has posted a firmware update for its M8 and M8.2 digital rangefinders. Version 2.005 for the both cameras fixes the 'Shutter Fault' error that can occur when shooting multiple images. The firmware is available for immediate download from the company's website.
Sigma says 70-200mm F2.8 OS available soon for Canon
Sigma has set the suggested retail price of its latest 70-200mm F2.8 EX DG OS HSM lens at £1500. Announced in PMA 2010, the lens will be available from July 23 in Canon EF mount. The lens features a new optical design that uses two elements made of the company's recently developed 'FLD' glass plus three SLD glass elements to reduce aberrations, a 9-blade circular aperture, and features full-time manual focus override. The lens is designed for full frame cameras but comes with a lens hood adapter to provide better shading for APS-C cameras.
July 8
Lexar announces 'Take the Next Shot' sweepstake
Lexar has announced a Facebook based sweepstake with a chance to win either a Canon 7D or Nikon D300S DSLR kit with Lexar memory cards and reader. To enter the 'Take the Next Shot' sweepstake participants need to submit a 'favourite' photograph along with a 15 word caption and click on the 'Like' button in the company's Facebook page. Entries need to be submitted before July 31, 2010.
Sony unveils Cyber-shot DSC-WX5, DSC-TX9 and DSC-T99 digital cameras
Sony has unveiled the Cyber-shot DSC-WX5, DSC-TX9 and DSC-T99 digital compacts. The WX5 and TX9 incorporate the company's latest 12.2MP, 1/2.3" Exmor R back illuminated CMOS sensor. Both feature a 'Superior Auto' mode that shoots bursts of between 2 and 6 shots then combines them either to reduced noise or boost dynamic range, depending on the scene you're shooting. The WX5 includes a wide angle 5x optical zoom lens starting at 24mm equivalent and a 2.8" LCD, while the TX9 comes with a 3.5" touchscreen LCD and a 25-100mm equivalent lens. Other features include a Background Defocus mode, 3D Sweep Panorama mode and 1080i Full AVCHD video recording. The DSC-T99 features the same lens and body design as the TX9, a smaller LCD and a 14MP CCD sensor that cannot achieve the fast multi-shot shooting required for Superior Auto mode. All three cameras offer a Soft Skin mode that tries to smooth out wrinkles and other blemishes from the subject's skin.
July 7
Canon releases firmware updates for EOS-1D Mark IV and Rebel T2i
Canon has released firmware updates for its EOS-1D Mark IV and EOS Rebel T2i/550D digital SLRs. Firmware v1.0.8 for both cameras fixes a bug in the movie mode. The update for the EOS 1D Mark IV also corrects misspellings in the French and Spanish language menus. The latest versions are available for immediate download from Canon's website.
July 6
Unified Color Technologies discusses HDR Expose
A few days before the release of Unified Color Technology's HDR Expose software, we got a chance to speak to the company's marketing director John Omvik. He told us how different it is from the previous HDR PhotoStudio software, what's in store for high dynamic range users and how will they can benefit from the new features.
Unified Color Technologies unveils HDR Expose
HDR software maker, Unified Color Technologies has unveiled the HDR Expose 32-bit HDR merge and editing software. It replaces the company's flagship HDR PhotoStudio software, but inherits its core features and technology. Headline features include the addition of de-ghosting algorithms and a Brightness Histogram to help maintain highlight and shadow details at lower bit-depths. It also includes new plug-ins allowing direct export from third party Raw conversion software. The software will be available from July 12, 2010 as a free upgrade to existing users of HDR PhotoStudio or for an introductory price of $99.00 for new users.
Just posted: 2010 Super Zoom Group Test

Just Posted: Our group test of the latest 'super zoom' cameras. Despite entry-level DSLRs getting cheaper and cheaper the super zoom models are as popular as ever. This latest generation comes with up to 30x zoom lenses, HD video recording and, in some cases, high speed stills and video capture. We've taken 9 super zoom cameras from the leading manufacturers and put them through the usual dpreview test procedures. Read our group test to find out which one is the best superzoom to take to the soccer pitch or on safari this summer.

July 5
Tokina announces 16-28mm F2.8 lens for Canon &  Nikon
Tokina has announced that its 16-28mm F2.8 ultra wide angle zoom lens will be available in Nikon and Canon full-frame mounts. Announced at PMA 2010, the AT-X 16-28 F2.8 PRO FX lens features the company's newly developed AF system that features a quieter Silent Drive-Module (SD-M) autofocus motor and promises more precise focusing. The weather-sealed lens comes with a fixed lens hood and does not incorporate a filter thread. Priced at ¥123, 900 (~ US $1400) the Nikon mount will start shipping From August 6, 2010 while the Canon version will ship from mid-September.
July 2
Ricoh GXR P10 28-300mm VC Sample Gallery
Just posted! A quick sample gallery of 49 shots taken with the latest lens / sensor module for the Ricoh GXR system, the P10 28-300 mm F3.5-5.6 VC. Sporting a 10.7x wide-to-tele zoom and a ten megapixel 1/2.3" back-illuminated CMOS sensor, the P10 unit offers an interesting alternative to the 'travel zoom' compacts reviewed in our recent group test. We took the new unit on a flying visit to South Africa to put it through its paces.
July 1
Blurb CEO on her plans to make publishers of us all
Print-on-demand book publisher Blurb's third annual international Photography Book Now competition is now in the final phase for submissions - the deadline being July 15, 2010. The competition has had 880 book submissions to date. As the company's founder and CEO Eileen Gittins was on visit to sunny London, we took the opportunity to talk to her about Blurb - how it works, who uses it and what they get out of it.
Sony NEX camera firmware adds 3D Sweep Panorama
Sony has released the promised firmware update for its NEX cameras adding 3D Sweep Panorama mode. This mode separates the left and right edges of the individual image used for creating panoramic shots. It then uses these slices' differing perspectives to create a 3D still image that can be played back if you buy one of the company's Bravia TVs. Firmware version 02 also includes bug fixes and promises to improve camera performance including quicker start-up in low light conditions. The updates are available for immediate download from the company's website.
June 30
Nikon announces submission dates for international photo contest
Nikon has announced its 33rd annual international digital photo competition will be open for entries from September 1, 2010. Participants can submit up to two images to either of the two categories - one with the theme 'Energy' and the other an un-themed, open category. The overall winner will be awarded the company's D3S digital SLR with two lenses, with category winners receiving a D300S with flashgun and lenses. The contest runs until November 30th 2010.
June 29
DxO Optics Pro adds more than 60 lens correction modules
DxO Labs has updated its DxO Optics Pro raw converter software with more than 60 lens and cameras combinations for Canon, Nikon, Olympus and Sony users. These new lens correction modules join the existing list of over 2000 combinations. The modules are available for immediate download from the company's website.
June 28
Samyang to offer 8mm, 14mm & 85mm lenses in Samsung NX mount
Samyang Optics has announced it will be making its 8mm f/3.5 fisheye, 14mm f/2.8 and 85mm f/1.4 manual focus lenses in the Samsung NX mount. Currently available in Canon, Nikon, Pentax, Sony and Olympus four-thirds mount, the NX mount version of the lenses will start shipping from September 2010.
Panasonic releases TZ10, TZ9, TZ8 and FT2 firmware updates
Panasonic has released firmware updates for its Lumix DMC-TZ10, DMC-TZ9, DMC-TZ8 and DMC-FT2 digital compacts. Version 1.1 for all the cameras improves improves flash exposure with the Inon S-2000, D-2000, Z-240 third-party underwater strobes. The TZ10's latest firmware also improves the overall stabilty of the camera. The firmware updates are available for download from Panasonic's website.
Sigma updates Photo Pro software for SD15
Sigma has released an updated version of its Photo Pro image-editing software for immediate dowload. Version 4.1 extends RAW support to the SD15 digital SLR and adds compatibilty with 64-bit Windows OS. The latest versions available for download - 4.1.1.0 (3591) for Windows and 4.1 (1044) for Mac - also add bug fixes compared to previous versions shipped with the SD15 DSLR.
June 24
Hitachi G-Technology announces Driven Creativity competition
Hitachi has announced a competition for photographers, musicians & filmmakers in the UK, France or Germany, with a chance to win €5,000 cash prize. As a promotion for G-Technology storage device brand, participants can submit one of their creative projects from 2009 or 2010 in any of the three categories with a chance to win either the cash prize or the company's 4TB G-Raid dual-drive dependable storage system. In addition, all winning entries will be exhibited at the Brick Lane Gallery in London. The competition runs until September 30 2010.
Olympus M Zuiko Digital 14-150mm F4-5.6 lens review

Just posted! Our lens review featuring Olympus's Micro Four Thirds superzoom, the M Zuiko Digital 14-150mm F4-5.6. This latest addition to the company's Pen range continues with its downsizing theme, and is dramatically smaller and lighter than most similar SLR lenses. It also promises fast and silent focusing optimized for video shooting. So is this mini-marvel the ultimate general-purpose travel zoom?

SD Association defines new standards for SDXC & SDHC cards

The SD Association has introduced symbols to denote the latest high-speed SDXC and SDHC cards and to help consumers identify ideal cards for their devices. A UHS-I specification indicates a card has an interface capable of transferring data at up to 104 MB/s, four times faster than the current limit of 25 MB/s. UHS-I cards will be compatible with existing devices but can only make use of their extra speed capabilities when used with a UHS-I reader or cameras. An additional 'Class 1' symbol on these cards promises real time recording of HD videos. This symbol differs from the Class 2, 4, 6 and 10 logos used for non-UHS-I cards that defined minimum write speed.

June 23
Sandisk ships tamper-proof single write 1GB SD cards
SanDisk has announced it is shipping its 1 GB Write Once Read Many (WORM) SD memory cards in volume to the Japanese police force. Introduced in 2008 in 128MB capacity, files recorded onto the WORM cards can be stored up to 100 years, and cannot be altered or deleted. The card is aimed at industries where unaltered content is vital such as police investigations, court testimony, electronic voting etc. The SD WORM card is available worldwide, with 'pricing dependent upon the quantity ordered.'
June 22
Toshiba develops wireless SDHC memory cards
Toshiba has announced the development of its first wireless SDHC memory card in conjunction with Singapore based Trek 2000. In addition, the two companies will invite digital camera makers and other interested parties to join an industry forum to promote and share the technology with the aim of creating a standard for WiFi cards. The WiFi enabled 8GB SDHC card will feature 802.11 wireless transfer rates and support RAW file transfer. The cards will have to compete with Eye-Fi cards, first launched in 2007, that have seen increasing in-camera support from camera makers.
June 21
Panasonic reveals more details of AG-AF100 Micro Four Thirds camcorder
Panasonic has released more details of its AG-AF100 professional Micro Four Thirds HD camcorder. It is capable of recording up to 12 hours of video using its two SDXC compatible slots. It offers 1080 and 720 video recording in frame rates of 59.94, 50, 29.97, 25 or 23.98p with the top two rates interlaced in 1080 mode. The camcorder also features industry-standard HD SDI and XLR connectors and is compatible with the company's line up of Lumix G lenses, filters and adapters for using 35mm lenses.
June 18
Olympus dust reduction system wins Japanese invention award
Olympus's dust reduction system, incorporated both in its E-series DSLRs and Micro Four Thirds cameras has won an award in Japan's National Invention Awards 2010. The awards are organized by the Japan Institute of Invention and Innovation (JIII) every June to honor the most significant patents of awarded in the previous year. Olympus Development Division manager Kawai Sumio will receive the award sponsored by national newspaper Asahi Shimbun, for the dust reduction system. The original patent application was made in December 2000, with the technology first appearing in the company's E-1 DSLR in 2003.
June 16
Pentax announces Optio W90 in orange
Pentax has announced the addition of an orange color variant of its Optio W90 rugged compact camera. It joins the exisiting color choices of Pistachio Green and black. The Shiny Orange version will be available from August 2010 at a suggested retail price of US $329.95 and £269.99 GBP.
Samsung releases RAW Converter 3.2
Samsung has released an updated version of its RAW converter software. Version 3.2 extends support to the company's recently released TL500/EX1 premium compact. The latest version is compatible with both Mac and Windows OS, except Windows 7.
Just posted: 2010 Travel Zoom Group Test

Just Posted: Our group test of the latest travel zooms. The pocketable long zoom camera has been one of the great growth sectors in recent years, packing immense flexibility into small, easy-to-use cameras. We've taken 13 compact superzoom cameras from the leading manufacturers and subjected them to a selection of our usual tests to help you decide which deserves a place in your luggage this summer. So which do we think makes the best travel companion?

Sigma releases service notice for latest telephoto lenses
Sigma has issued a notice warning customers of a 'potential autofocus defect' in some of its recently released telephoto lenses. The problem affects a some examples of the APO 50-500mm F4.5-6.3 DG OS HSM, APO 120-400mm F4.5-5.6 DG OS HSM and APO 150-500mm F5-6.3 DG OS HSM lenses. The company has listed the serial numbers of lenses that could be affected - owners experiencing problems with any of these lenses are being offered a free collection, inspection and service.
June 15
Manfrotto revamps its tutorial website

Manfrotto has updated its tutorial website with additional features and improvements. 'The Manfrotto School of Excellence' now includes features such as live chat, news updates and photo-features in addition to free tutorials from established photographers, most of which have an understandable three-legged slant to them. The website also promotes products from other brands from the Vitec Group including Gitzo, Lastolite, Elinchrom and Kata.

Rayqual announces lens adapters for Sony NEX-5 & NEX-3
Japanese manufacturer Rayqual has announced adapters for the Sony NEX-5 and NEX-3 interchangeable lens cameras to mount Nikon, Canon FD, Pentax and Leica lenses. Priced between ¥19,950 - ¥25,200 (~ US $210 -$275), the adapters will start shipping next month. The company already makes a selection of adapters for different systems including a range for Micro Four Thirds cameras.
June 14
Sony NEX reviews updated with new camera
Sony has helped us confirm that the cameras supplied to us for review do not match the performance of the models on sale. Following the publication of our review we became aware of reports of starting up significantly faster than any of the cameras we’d been using (despite repeated assurances that they were production standard). Having discussed this with Sony, we have now been supplied with a camera that reflects the behaviour buyers will experience and have updated the relevant sections of our review accordingly.
Latest Nikon gear to land up in space

Nikon has announced a number of its products including the Nikon D3S, D3X DSLRs and telephoto lenses will be used in the Russian segment of the International Space Station. The company says that no modifications will be made to any of the products and they will join the existing Nikon film and digital cameras/lenses used by the astronauts working in the segment. In a press release the company also mentions the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) had ordered 11 D3S bodies and 7 AF-S Nikkor 14-24mm f/2.8G ED lenses for use in the Space Shuttle and ISS in 2009.