Pre-CES 2010: Next up from Panasonic are three slimline Lumix compacts, in the shape of the 12MP FP1, and the 14MP FP2 and FP3. All three models feature a 4X non-extending image-stabilized zoom lens (35-140mm equivalent range) and the Venus Engine IV processor; the FP1 and FP2 use 2.7" LCDs, whereas the FP3 uses a 3" touch-screen with Touch AF and metering area selection. The cameras all come in a generous range of pretty colors - 8 for the FP1 and FP2, and no fewer than 12 for the FP3.
Pre-CES 2010: Rounding off Panasonic's early 2010 Lumix range are the FS 10 and FS11. Both cameras come equiped with 28mm wideangle 5X zoom lenses with Mega OIS, 2.7" screens, Venus Engine IV processors and 720p MJPEG format HD video recording. The FS11 sports a 14Mp sensor, while the FS10 has to make do with just 12Mp. Again there's a choice of colors including silver, black, blue and pink; the FS11 will also come in red, but if you really want an orange camera you'll have to buy the FS10 instead.
Pre-CES 2010: Samsung has updated its 2View range of dual LCD compact cameras with the launch of the TL210 and TL205 (PL150 and PL100 in Europe). The cameras share a 12MP sensor but the TL210 features a 5X image stabilized zoom starting at a useful 27mm equivalent, while the TL205 makes do with a less flexible, unstabilized 35-105mm equiv. (3X) lens. The TL210 also offers 720p HD video and a 3.0" rear LCD, whereas the TL205 offers VGA recording and a 2.7" screen. Both cameras are designed to lean backwards slightly when placed on a flat surface which, when combined with the dual LCD design, helps when taking self-portraits.
Pre-CES 2010: Samsung has launched the CL80 and TL240 stylish touch-screen cameras. Both cameras feature 14MP sensors housed in hydro-formed metal bodies. The CL80 (ST5500 in Europe) offers a 3.7" AMOLED touch-sensitive display while the TL240 (ST5000) has a simpler 3.5" LCD screen. The CL80 also offers both Wi-Fi and BlueTooth connectivity for transferring movies and images. Both have 7X zoom lenses and 720p HD video. Both models are inclined towards self-timer photos - they tilt backwards at 7 degrees to ensure they point up towards the subject.
Pre-CES 2010: Casio has announced four cameras in its Exilim line of digital compacts. From the top, we have the EX-FH100 with a wide-angle 10x optical zoom lens starting at 24mm, a 10MP back-illuminated CMOS sensor that allows high-speed movie recording at up to 1,000 fps, image stabilization and RAW capture. Next we have the EX-H15, EX-Z2000 and EX-Z550, all featuring the company's latest EXILIM Engine 5.0 processor and stabilized 14.1MP CCD sensors. The EX-H15 includes the same lens as the EX-FH100, a 3.0 inch LCD and offers a 1000-shot battery life. The EX-Z2000 features a 5x (26-130mm equiv.) optical zoom lens and a 3 inch LCD, while the EX-Z550 includes a 4x(26-104mm equiv.)optical zoom lens and a smaller 2.7 inch LCD.
Without a doubt the cameras which created the most 'buzz' in 2009 were the Olympus E-P1 and Panasonic GF1 - the first in a new breed of interchangeable-lens compacts that promise the image quality of a DSLR in a much more portable package. Samsung's new NX10 is surely the herald of many more similar designs, and we'd expect that this segment of the market will be much more crowded by the end of the year. We've been musing on the kind of lenses we'd most like to see for these small cameras, and have scribbled down our thoughts in our latest blog post - click through to read all about it.
Kodak has announced the 'Slice' touchscreen camera built around a 3.5" LCD. It features a 14MP sensor, 5x optically stabilized zoom lens and will be available in black, nickel and 'radish' colors for US $349.95 from April 2010. It also has internal memory to store 5000 HD-resolution images. The camera' combines its share and face recognition functions to tag pictures directly for easy upload ito popular social networking websites.
Kodak has announced four EasyShare M-series digital compacts. As usual, Kodak is promoting the cameras' ease of use - the new models feature improved in-camera tagging and searching based on face recognition. The M580, M575, M550 and M530 are 14MP and 12 MP cameras featuring a variety of lenses from 8x to 3x with the the top two models extending from 28mm equivalent.
Pre-CES 2010: Canon has released a successor to its professional workhorse fast telezoom, in the shape of the EF 70-200mm F2.8 L IS II USM. Although outwardly similar to its predecessor, the new lens features a revised optical design, incorporating a fluorite element and no fewer than 5 UD elements for the correction of chromatic aberrations. The minimum focus distance has been reduced to 1.2m, with a corresponding increase in maximum magnification to 0.21x. The mechanical design has also been modified, with the most obvious external change being a wider focusing ring. As usual for an L series design, the lens features dust- and drip-proof construction. It's also fully compatible with Canon's existing teleconverters and extension tubes.
Pre-CES 2010: Canon has introduced the PowerShot A3000 IS and A3100 IS to top its A series of budget compacts. They become the first A series cameras to be built around Lithium Ion rechargeable batteries, rather than AA cells, giving around 230 shots per charge (based on standard tests). Both share the same 35-140mm equivalent (4x) image-stabilized zoom lens and 2.7" LCD screen, with the A3100 offering a 12MP CCD sensor, rather than the A3000's 10MP CCD. In line with their price tags, both cameras feature only VGA movie capability. Both are SDXC compatible.
Pre-CES 2010: Canon has refreshed its budget, 'A series' with the launch of the A490 and A495. The cameras replace the A480 and share a 10 megapixel sensor, 37-122mm equivalent (3.3x) zoom lens and 2.5" LCD. The A495, available in more color options, offers slightly more sophisticated face detection, a 'face timer' feature and two additional scene modes. Both models will accept the forthcoming SDXC memory format.
Pre-CES 2010: Lexar has announced upgrades to its Professional line of memory cards. The company's Professional 300x CompactFlash card is now available in a larger 32GB capacity, while the Professional 233x CF cards are available in 32GB and 16GB capacities. In addition, the Professional 133x SDHC cards have been upgraded to Class 10 speed rating.
Pre-CES 2010: Eye-Fi has launched its second generation of wireless SD cards promising faster write and transmission speeds as well as new features. The Eye-Fi Pro X2 is an 8GB SDHC card offering class 6 transfer speeds (guaranteed 6MB/s) and faster (802.11n compliant) wireless data rates. It also features an optional 'Endless Memory' mode in which the card will automatically delete content it has already transferred, when it fills to a user defined level.
Pre-CES 2010: Sensor developer Omnivision has launched a 14.6MP 1/2.33-inch back-illuminated CMOS sensor capable of full 1080p HD video. The OV14810 sensor uses the company's latest 1.4-micron OmniBSITM architecture and is intended for use in digital cameras and mobile phones. The sensor can produce full resolution images at 15 fps or 1080p at 60 fps. It will enter mass production in the second quarter of 2010.
Sony has introduced another sub-$1000 DSLR, the A450. The Sony Alpha 450 slots in below the A500, offering the same 14.2 megapixel CMOS sensor as the more expensive A550 but losing the company's clever fast-AF live view system. It also loses the tilt and flip LCD screen, instead receiveing the same rather small 6.7cm (2.6") display as the A230. This stripped-down, lower-cost model plays the same role as the A230 does to the A3XX range, but with the improved ergonomics and larger battery of the A5XX series. The reduced feature set helps boost the battery life to over 1000 shots, using standard test methods. However, in adding a sixth sub-$1000 DSLR, Sony has made its range that bit more confusing.
Korean lens makers Samyang Optics has announced plans to make its 8mm f3.5 fish-eye and 85mm f1.4 lenses in the Four Thirds mount. Already available in Canon, Nikon, Sony and Pentax mounts, the manual focus lenses will be available by the end of March 2010. Polish importer Delta has started distributing Samyang's lens range across Europe, with London Camera Exchange selling exclusively to the UK market.
Just posted! An extensive gallery of 48 shots taken with an early pre-production sample of Samsung's new Micro Four Thirds competitor, the NX10 (using both 30mm pancake and 18-55mm zoom kit lenses). As both camera and lenses are very early 'beta' samples we must stress that these shots may not fully represent the final 'shipping' image quality so please bear this in mind when looking at the out of camera JPEGs.
Pre-CES 2010: Samsung has announced the NX10, the first of its NX series of mirrorless interchangeable lens cameras. The NX10 wraps a 14.6 megapixel APS-C-sized CMOS sensor up in a comparatively compact, DSLR-style body including an eye-level VGA resolution electronic viewfinder. It also features a 3.0" OLED screen, promising lower power consumption, a wider range of viewing angles and better contrast than LCD technology. It can also shoot 720p HD video with H.264 compression. The company has also launched an 18-55mm F3.5-5.6 kit lens, a 50-200mm telezoom and a 30mm F2 pancake lens for the camera, which uses a completely new lens mount. We've had a pre-production camera for a little while, so have produced a full preview (with sample images to follow later today) to give you an idea of what to expect from the little Korean camera.
First of all a very Happy New Year to all our readers, it's been a great 2009 for dpreview and we've more new exciting stuff coming over the next few weeks (both in terms of new product and site features). Today our 'Challenge of Challenges 2009' ended and the winners have been calculated (from an unbelievable 112,000 votes). Congratulations to elroyie for his winning image 'Continuously', an amazing long exposure dusk landscape shot, runners up were gaston47 and luca moi. Everyone in the top ten will be getting a special reward which can be used with a new site feature we're planning to reveal within the next two weeks.
Bibble Labs has announced that Bibble 5 Pro is now available. The latest version of its RAW workflow and conversion software has been in development since September 2006 and was originally slated for release in the fourth quarter of 2008. The company says its software is up to 88 times as fast as 'similar applications.' Customers who have purchased Bibble 4 after September 1st 2006 can get a free upgrade to the latest version by logging-in to their accounts on the Bibble Labs site and clicking on the 'Upgrade' link.
The entire team at dpreview would like to wish all our readers a very Happy Holidays (whichever you're observing). As we celebrate our 11th anniversary we're looking forward to another exciting year here at dpreview, with more new features in the pipeline and of course even more of the high quality content that made this site what it is today. Whatever you're doing today, enjoy yourselves and thank you for being a part of dpreview.com!
Just posted! Our in-depth review of the Pentax K-x. Despite its compact size and inconspicuous exterior the K-x boasts an impressive feature set that is, in parts, not that far off the semi-pro K-7. In the entry-level segment of the market the new model will be facing fierce competition from the likes of Canon's EOS 500D and the Nikon D5000. Can the Pentax K-x make its mark amongst such well established rivals? Click through to find out.
Just posted! Our in-depth review of the Leica X1. Back in September Leica surprised everyone with the announcement of its entirely home-grown large-sensor compact, which combines a fixed 35mm-equivalent lens with an APS-C sensor. Featuring a pared-down design with traditional analogue-style control dials on its top plate for shutter speed and aperture, the X1 certainly looks desirable on paper, but at an asking price around $2000, can it live up to the inevitable high expectations? We've had our hands on a production X1 for the past couple of months - click through to find out what we thought of it.
It's almost a year since we launched the Challenges system on dpreview.com and we've been constantly impressed with the quality of submissions and the imagination of the challenge hosts. To showcase this talent and imagination, we're running a 'Challenge of Challenges,' to find the dpreview.com Picture of the Year. All previous challenge-winning images have been automatically entered and voting starts immediately so, if you've been as impressed as we have, make sure you show it by helping to choose 2009's best challenge-winning image.
Adobe has launched Photoshop Camera Raw 5.6, Lightroom 2.6 and DNG Converter 5.6 for immediate download. Release candidates of all three had already been available from the Adobe's Labs site. The updates fix minor issues and provide additional Raw support for 20 more DSLRs, including the Canon EOS 7D and Nikon D3S, with additional DNG support for the Leica M9 and Ricoh GXR.
Canon has issued firmware updates for its EOS-1D Mark III, 1Ds Mark III and 5D Mark II cameras to provide compatibility with the wireless file transfer units. The 1D series cameras gain compatibility with the WFT-E2 II unit while the 5D Mark II gains WFT-E4 II support and lower noise when shooting Bulb exposures. Meanwhile the WFT-E2 and E2A firmware is also updated to allow use with the 1D Mark IV.
123di.com has updated its interactive learning application: 'The 123 of digital imaging'. Version 6.2 adds coverage for Mac and Windows versions both of Adobe's Photoshop Elements 8 and the Public Beta of Photoshop Lightroom 3. It also gains an additional tutorial on the use of clipping masks alongside revisions to keep it up-to-date with the latest changes in technology and post-processing. 123di V6.2 is free to owners of version 6.0 or can be downloaded as a free trial.
Just posted! Our review of the Canon PowerShot G11. The G11 is the company's flagship compact camera, offering a flexible zoom range, solid build and classic styling. This latest incarnation of the G-series regains the much lamented flip-out screen lost from its recent predecessors, it also uses a 'high sensitivity' CCD that could put right the G10's disappointing low-light performance. So, after extensive testing, how did the G11 fare?
Just posted! Our in-depth review of the Nikon D3000, which replaces the popular D60 as Nikon's latest entry-level DSLR. A new guide mode and revamped AF system make the D3000 a compelling upgrade for D60 and D40X users, but the lack of a Live View function will not go unnoticed in the feature-hungry entry-level sector. Does the D3000 have what it takes to become king of the beginners' DSLRs? Click to read our in-depth 27 page review.
Olympus UK has been doing something we found quite interesting. How do you promote a new class of camera to a mainstream audience without confusing them with talk of mirrors and sensor sizes? Its solution appears to be to not talk about cameras at all - instead it's got Kevin Spacey to talk about pictures and memories.
Olympus is offering European customers a free FL-14 flashgun if you buy one of its E-P1 mirrorless interchangeable lens cameras before the end of January 2010. The offer is valid for both body-only and kit purchases and starts on December 12th in the UK and 15th in mainland Europe. We've added this offer to our list of holiday season promotions.
Carl Zeiss has announced it will make its 50mm and 100mm macro lenses in the Canon-compatible ZE mount. The Makro-Planar T* 2/50 and T* 2/100 ZE are both manual focus only and offer maximum magnification ratios of 1:2. The 50mm lens will be available this month, while the 100mm will follow in early 2010.
Nikon has released a new 2x AF-S teleconverter, the world's first to include an aspherical lens element. The AF-S Teleconverter TC-20E III is a completely new optical design designed to minimise its impact on image quality. When used with the 300mm F2.8 VR II lens launched today it would offer an effective 600mm reach at up to F5.6.
Nikon has launched a new 300mm F2.8 VR lens featuring the company's latest image stabilization system. The AF-S Nikkor 300mm f/2.8 ED VR II is designed to be small and light enough to hand-hold while the company says the VR II system can offer 'four or more' stops of compensation for lens shake. It also includes nano-crystal coating and is dust and moisture sealed. Recommended retail prices will be $ 5899 / €6050 / £5099.99.
Pentax has launched a weather resistant 100mm F2.8 Macro lens. The lens, which is designed to work with both digital and film SLRs, features weather-resistant construction to match the company's environmentally-sealed K-7 mid-level DSLR. It also features an aluminium body in the style of the company's 'Limited' prime lenses and offers full-time manual focus override.
Just posted! Our in-depth review of Sony's mid-range SLR, the Alpha DSLR-A550. The A550 is part of a new range that sits between the A200/A300 and the high end A700, and offers an interesting combination of features (including in-camera automatic HDR, 7 fps continuous shooting and Sony's excellent live view system) whilst retaining the Alpha line's emphasis on friendly ease of use. Find out how we got on with the Alpha 550 after the link...
Sigma has added its Optical Stabilization system to its popular 17-70mm fast standard zoom lens. The 17-70mm F2.8-4 DC Macro OS HSM will be available in Canon, Nikon, Sony, Pentax and Sigma mounts. The latest version offers a slightly wider aperture at the long end of the zoom though gains weight and length and has a slightly reduced maximum magnification ratio. Adding image stabilization to a lens that already combines a comparatively fast maximum aperture range is likely to make it an even more tempting replacement for the kit lenses supplied with most DSLRs.
Pentax has issued updated firmware for its entry-level DSLR, the K-x. Firmware V1.01 adds to the camera's 'cross-processing' feature and allows it to be assigned to the camera's 'green' button. It also promises to improve the accuracy of the battery meter as well as 'improved stability and performance'. K-x owners can download the latest firmware from the Pentax website. (Link now added)
DxO Labs has issued a Mac update for its DxO Optics raw converter with a Windows version to follow. The latest Mac version, V5.3.6, includes support for fifteen new cameras and provides support for the Snow Leopard operating system (OS 10.6). The update is based around the inclusion of the cameras covered in DxO Optics 6 for Windows, but without the version 6 interface, a Mac version of which will be introduced in early 2010. A Windows update including support for the Canon G11, EOS 7D and Nikon D3000 will follow by 'mid December.'
Phase One's Capture One software now offers support for Panasonic G Micro series cameras as well as the Olympus E-P2. In addition to support for the G1, GH1 and GF1, version 5.0.1 offers a series of bug fixes and promises image quality improvements for a series of digital backs and the Olympus E-P1. The update can be accessed via Capture One's update feature for existing users or is available as a free 30 day trial.
Just posted! A beginners guide to HD video in digital cameras. One of our many side projects here at dpreview.com is an expansion of our 'Learn' section, and this is the first in a series of technology and technique articles we're hoping to make a regular feature on the site during 2010. This one is designed to give absolute beginners a quick overview of the video modes on digital stills cameras (and more specifically on the HD shooting capabilities of the latest SLRs and hybrid cameras). Check it out after the link or visit the Learn section using the menu on the left.
SilkypixUK has launched the full release version of Silkypix Developer Studio v4 (184.108.40.206) and Pro (220.127.116.11) with full support for the Sigma SD14, DP1, DP1s and DP2. These version also add support for Sony's recently launched A500 and A550 DSLRs. UK customers can obtain updates from the company's website. The updates should be available from US distributor Shortcut Software very soon.
Ricoh has announced a firmware update for its GR Digital III digital compact. The latest version will bring in additional features and improvements to the camera including compatibility with GF-1 external flashgun, addition of 1.5m snap focus distance and improved playback functions. The firmware will be available for download from December 1, 2009 from Ricoh's website.
Panasonic has released firmware updates for its DMC-GF1 camera and five of its Micro Four Thirds interchangeable lenses. Firmware v1.1 for the GF1 promises a series of improvements to features such as autofocus in movie mode and the Manual Focus Assist function, as well as enhancing auto white balance performance. Firmware updates for the 14-45mm, 45-200mm, 14-140mm HD, 7-14mm and 20mm pancake lenses offer improved autofocus in movie mode and extend AF support to 'Full HD' mode for the 14-45mm and 45-200mm lenses. The firmware updates are available for immediate download from Panasonic's website.
Lensbaby has invited photographers to submit images taken with one of its products for a chance to be published in an upcoming book. Photographers have until December 31, 2009 to submit up to two images via the company's website. Successful entries will be announced on Lensbaby's website on January 15, 2010.
Tokyo-based electronics company NEC has developed a technology to eliminate noise from by AF and zoom motors in digital camera videos. At present focus and zoom motors are slowed or disabled to prevent noise being collected by internal microphones. NEC's technology processes-out motor sounds using a similar method used by noise-canceling headphones. Its system takes a three-stage approach to accurately match its suppression to the noises of the specific camera. With manufacturers' increasing concentration on HD movies, this is a technology we'd like to see used, if it allows the effect of zoom and focus to be seen and not heard.