Sharp Japan has announced a new 1/2.5" CCD, now packing a frankly shocking eight million pixels into an area measuring just 5.8 x 4.3 mm it has a pixel pitch of just 1.75 µm which Sharp are proud to announce is the smallest in its class. Is this a good thing? I think probably not, as we will see manufacturers cramming this sensor into existing designs with average quality lenses and then claiming to deliver high sensitivities such as ISO 1600. Progress marches on, at least the marketing department will be happy.
Canon has today announced three new models in their affordable PowerShot A range. Slotting in at the entry-level, the PowerShot A450 and A460 replace the previous A420 and A430. Both sport 5.0 megapixel sensors and 3.2x / 4x zooms respectively. The A550 meanwhile enters the mid-range to supersede the A530, and offers a little more both in terms of features and control as well as increasing the pixel count to 7.1 million.
Sony has today revealed no less than four new seven megapixel digital cameras. First come two new W series the W35 and W55 both with three times zoom lenses but with 2.0" and 2.5" LCD screens respectively. Next the S650 and S700, again with a three times zoom lens and 2.0" and 2.4" LCD screens respectively. The four models range in price from US150 to US$200 and should be available in March.
Just Posted! We're finally sweeping up the last few Canon Photokina 2006 cameras with our Review of the SD 800 IS Digital ELPH (Digital IXUS 850 IS). The SD 800 IS builds on the successful formula established with the SD700 IS (Ixus 800) but adds an extra million pixels and a useful 28-105mm equiv. wideangle zoom. The SD700 IS was one of the better ultra compact P&S cameras of last year, find out if we liked the SD800 IS as much after the link...
Lexar has announced new SDHC cards in two speed categories; a standard line conforming to SDHC class 2* (Greater than 2MB per second) and Platinum II which is class 6* (Greater than 6MB per second). Both types will be available in 4GB capacity from February with 8GB to follow later in the year.
* Minimum sustained write speed
* Minimum sustained write speed
CES 2007: Zoran Corporation has today announced its new Coach 9 processor which will enable high quality DivX video encoding for digital cameras. 'By working with DivX, we are able to provide our OEM customers with high-quality video recording as a key product differentiator,' said Ohad Meitav, Senior Director, digital cameras at Zoran. 'In addition, consumers can enjoy the benefit of video compatibility with the tens of millions of DivX Certified DVD players and recorders powered by Zoran in the market today.'
CES 2007: Panasonic has today officially announced its range of 'Class 6 SD Speed' cards, an addition to the Pro High Speed SD card range. These new cards, available in 1, 2 and 4 GB capacities are 'Class 6' speed compliant, meaning they have a guaranteed minimum write speed of 6 MB/sec, they are capable of burst speeds of up to 20 MB/sec. In addition Panasonic has upgraded its existing card range to the next class (Class 4; 4 MB/sec minimum) and also revealed that they intend to introduce a 16 GB card this year.
CES 2007: Samsung has announced 7 new models today. Perhaps the most interesting is the S1050, which has the same styling as the NV10/NV7 launched earlier in the year, though without the innovative Smart Touch user interface. The S1050 is a 10MP model with a 5x optical zoom, lots of exposure modes (including A,S and M) and what Samsung describes as an 'Advanced Shake Reduction' system (but we know as an ISO boosting mode).
CES 2007: The second new S series camera from Samsung announced today is the S850, which - as the name implies - is an 8MP / 5x zoom model. As well as lots of exposure modes (including A, S and M) and a 2.5-inch screen the S850 sports face recognition technology and, once again, 'Advanced Shake Reduction' that features neither a moving lens element nor a shifting CCD...
CES 2007: Bringing up the rear of the S series launch are the twin S630 and S730 models featuring 6 and 7MP sensors, respectively, and 3x optical zoom lenses. Both cameras also sport 2.5-inch screens, MPEG-4 movie capture and a range of subject / scene mode. And yes, the same 'ASR' system as all the others...
CES 2007: The fifth new camera from Samsung today is the slim 7MP. 3x zoom model with a decent range of features - including face recognition technology, the Smart Touch interface, MPEG-4 movies, motion-triggered self-timer and a plethora of scene modes. The L73 will be available in black or silver.
CES 2007: Kodak has today announced three new digital cameras; the eight and ten megapixel V803 and V1003 and the entry-level six megapixel C653. The stylish rounded V803 and V1003 both feature a three itmes optical zoom lens, high sensitivity ISO 1600, 32 MB of internal storage, VGA (640 x 480) MPEG-4 video clips at 30 fps and Lithium-Ion batteries. We'll dock Kodak ten points for describing a high ISO mode as 'Digital Image Stabilization'.
CES 2007: Kodak has today announced four new digital (LCD) picture frames; a 10 and 8 inch with built-in Wi-Fi (EX1011 and EX811) and an 8 and 7 inch standard (SV811 and SV710). These picture frames are all capable of displaying JPEG images as well as video in MPEG-1, MPEG-4, MOV and AVI formats as well as playing MP3 music files. The Wi-Fi functionality in the EX1011 and EX811 models allows you to either display images from your local network or from an online 'Kodak Gallery'. All should be available in March at prices ranging from $280 for the EX1011 to $130 for the SV710.
Here at dpreview we're always pleased to see new technological innovations which lead to genuine improvements. However one thing which has become annoying is the increasing use of the label 'Image Stabilization' or 'Anti-Shake' to describe nothing more than a (noisy) high sensitivity mode. In our product database we only give a 'yes' flag to those cameras which implement image stabilization in the true sense, as either stabilization of a lens element or of the sensor itself (on a shifting platform) which allow you to take a blur free shot at slower shutter speeds. Some manufacturers prefix with 'Digital', however to the average consumer this isn't enough to correct what is a misleading and confusing description.
Pre-CES 2007: In addition to the three typical consumer cameras Fujifilm has also announced a specialized infrared sensitive version of the SLR-like S9100. The new IS-1 joins the quietly introduced S3 Pro UVIR in providing additional sensitivity to the infrared spectrum, used mostly for law enforcement and specialized scientific applications. Additionally you can purchase an add-on hot mirror filter to block IR light and produce results similar to a normal digital camera. Just like the S9100 the IS-1 has a 10.7x optical zoom lens and nine megapixel Super CCD sensor. The IS-1 will be available in February for around $900.
Pre-CES 2007: Fujifilm has announced a new addition to the growing FinePix 'F' range. The F40fd offers an increased pixel count (8.3 MP) and (perhaps because of this) a slightly lower ISO 2000 maximum sensitivity, and Fuji's new Face Detection system. Interestingly the F40fd has dual memory card slots (xD and SD), but lacks the F30's Aperture/Shutter priority modes.
Pre-CES 2007: Fujifilm has also announced a couple of additions to its entry-level 'A' series range. The A610 and A800 (6.3MP and 8.3MP respectively) are notable mainly for being the first A series cameras to sport Super CCD HR sensors and Real Photo processors. Like the F40fd (see above) both cameras have dual media slots (for xD and SD cards). Is this the beginning of the end for xD-Picture card?
Canon has issued a safety notice to owners of its Powershot A530 and A540 cameras. Certain examples of these models appear to have a design fault involving the metal spring on the door of their battery compartment allowing it to cause a short circuit which may lead to reduced battery life and the possibility of overheating.
Pre-CES 2007: Just three days in to 2007 and Pentax becomes the first company to announce a new digital camera. The Optio E30 is a body re-design and feature upgrade to Pentax's affordable (low end) E series digital cameras, it features a seven megapixel CCD sensor, three times optical zoom lens, 11 MB of built-in flash storage and movie clips at 640x480 resolution. The E30 should retail for around US$150 and will be available in February.
Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to all of our readers, sponsors, supporters, fellow webmasters and of course, the manufacturers. On December 25th 1998 the very first version of 'dpreview' appeared on the web and eight years on we're going on stronger than ever and look forward to bringing you many more years of quality content and the very best in digital cameras and digital photography.
Hoya, a very familiar name in the photographic industry (not least because they supply lens blanks to many manufacaturers) and Pentax have jointly today announced their intention to merge and become Hoya Pentax HD Corporation (actually Hoya are 'merging' Pentax into their business). This merger is due to be completed by October 1, 2007. Once complete Fumio Urano (current PENTAX President & CEO) will become Chairman of the Board and Hiroshi Suzuki (current HOYA President and CEO) will become President & CEO. The major conclusions in this announcement are that the Pentax name will remain, that Pentax's optical business will merge with Hoya's but that Pentax's current imaging systems division (that which is responsible for digital cameras) will continue.
Just posted! Our detailed in-depth review of Nikon's new entry level digital SLR, the D40. Announced just about three weeks ago the D40 generated a lot of interest, it's the smallest and lightest Nikon digital SLR not to say also the most affordable. It may not have as wider feature set as its bigger brother the D80 but then also isn't aimed at the same audience. See how the D40 shaped up and how it compared in our review.
Clearly today is SDHC firmware update day, Pentax has also introduced new firmware for the *ist DS (ver 2.02), *ist DL (ver 1.03), *ist DS2 (ver 1.02), *ist DL (ver 1.02), K100D (ver 1.02) and K110D (ver 1.02). All of these updates simply "improve SDHC support" over previous versions. Currently the new firmware is only available on the Pentax Japan website, we would recommend waiting until the firmware becomes available in your region before attempting to update.
Canon has today issued new firmware for the EOS-1D Mark II (ver 1.2.6), EOS-1D Mark II N (ver 1.1.2) and EOS-1Ds Mark II (ver 1.1.6). These updates deliver the same improvements to all cameras, support for SDHC cards of 4 GB and more as well as correcting the detected capacity of Compact Flash cards of 12 GB and more. These updates can be installed by the user by simply loading the update file onto a storage card and selecting the firmware update option from the camera menu.
Just Posted! Our Review of the Canon PowerShot A640 - 10MP successor to the popular A620. Aside from an increase in resolution and a larger screen, it's a fairly minor upgrade to what was already a very capable camera offering a full range of photographic features and a useful 4x optical zoom. Find out what we thought of the new A series flagship after the link...
Peter iNova, author of several popular model-specific eBook's has just released his new Nikon D80 eBook, a must-buy for any Nikon D80 owner (or potential owner). As iNova says, "Encounter every feature, every button, every menu, every quirk, every secret opportunity hidden away inside your D80. And there are plenty of them. Here you experience each interaction as a means to an end." (Also includes RAW materials by Uwe Steinmueller).
Just posted! Twelve days after our Pentax K100D review we have a detailed review of its bigger brother, the ten megapixel K10D. Announced just before Photokina this year the K10D garnered a lot of interest from a wide audience as a serious alternative to the 'obvious choice' of Canon or Nikon digital SLR's. The K10D brings a lot of new features to the table as well as Pentax's in-camera Shake Reduction and dust/weather seals. For just under $1000 it's pretty clear Pentax intend to make a big splash with this camera. See how it shaped up and how it compares in our review.
As expected Adobe has today announced that a Beta version of Photoshop CS3 will be available for download tomorrow (15th December). To use CS3 you will need a valid CS2, Creative Suite 2, Creative Suite Production Studio, Design Bundle, Web Bundle or Video Bundle serial number. Without a serial number this Beta of CS3 will expire in just two days. As well as a range of improvements and user interface changes the biggest news with CS3 is Universal Binary support for Mac OS X, providing much performance relief to Mac Intel owners.
At Photokina earlier this year Leica made a surprise announcement that they had purchased the controlling share (51%) in Sinar from Jenoptik. In a rather strange twist to this story Jenoptik has today announced that it is now rescinding the sale of the shares to Leica and that they will maintain the controlling share of the company. The press release issued states that this will not affect the working relationship between Leica and Jenoptik, the later of whom were responsible for some of the image processing for the new M8 digital rangefinder.
Just Posted! Our Concise Review of the Canon PowerShot A710 IS, successor to the A700. Aside from a design facelift and a few feature tweaks the biggest - and most welcome - change is that the new model adds optical image stabilization, something we bemoaned the lack of on the A700. There's also an extra million pixels and the usual A series mix of manual and automatic features. Find out what we thought after the link...
SanDisk and Sony have today announced the development of the new 'Pro-HG' Memory Stick format which is designed to deliver faster continuous write speeds (up to 60 MB/sec) and larger capacities. This new format appears to be aimed more at future flash based video recorders. It would appear as though this new format will only be available in the 'Duo' size.
Sigma has today announced the postponement of the SD14 digital SLR which was initially due to ship in November, this was later put back to December. The new date of availability for the SD14 is March 2007, this due to "one issue that occurred occasionally and only under certain circumstances." Sigma go on to say that, "Initially, we felt that this could be solved with a programming or processing solution. However, after careful investigation and many attempts at a solution, we have come to the conclusion that we need to make a hardware change to fix this issue completely."
Just Posted! Our Review of the Fujifilm FinePix S6000fd (also known as the S6500fd). The S6000fd has several key features of interest; top of the list being the 6.3MP, 1/1.7" Super CCD sensor used to wide acclaim in the F30 and F31fd and offering 'full resolution' shooting at up to ISO 3200. It also has a new hardware based face detection system and a useful 28-300mm zoom range. But is it any good? Find out after the link...
Just posted! Our in-depth review of the Pentax K100D (and K110D if you ignore the Shake Reduction test). The K100D is the latest in line of Pentax compact digital SLR's which started with the *ist DS (the *ist D being larger and more semi-pro targeted). The K100D comes to the table with in-camera Shake Reduction, a six megapixel CCD, improved image processing, a Penta-mirror viewfinder and a wide range of manual controls. See how the K100D performed and how it shapes up to the competition.
CIPA, the Japanese Camera & Imaging Products Association is made up of all major Japanese camera manufacturers including Canon, Casio, Nikon, Olympus, Panasonic, Pentax, Ricoh, Sigma and Sony. Every month they publish statistics on the production an export of digital cameras, film cameras and photo printers. As we head towards the end of the year we thought it would be interesting to look at the Shipment figures for the first three quarters of this year and how they compare to the same period last year.
The introduction of Leica's first digital M series hasn't gone quite as smoothly as they will have hoped, before the camera even reached owners some reviewers spotted some issues with the imaging side of the camera (Banding, Mirror/Ghost effect and IR sensitivity). Leica issued a statement two weeks ago that they were aware and were working on a solution. Today they have announced the 'action plan', firstly that the Banding and Mirror/Ghost images issue can be rectified by returning your camera to LEICA for repair (and that all new M8's leaving Solms will not suffer from this problem). Secondly the solution for 'above average' IR sensitivity are IR filters which attach to the front of the lens, Leica will be offering two free filters to all M8 owners.
Sony Corp has today announced that it has discovered a defect in eight of its Cyber-shot models. The cameras affected were sold between September 2003 and January 2005, they are the DSC-F88, DSC-M1, DSC-T1, DSC-T11, DSC-T3, DSC-T33, DSC-U40 and DSC-U50. The problem is said to be related to the use of these cameras in hot and/or humid environments and can lead to a loss of image on the LCD (we assume this vague description to mean that live view fails due to overheating of the CCD). Sony has said it will repair any camera (of the above) which show signs of this problem.
Toshiba has announced the introduction of the first 8GB SDHC Memory Card which it says will be available early in the new year. The new cards will be capable of a write speed in excess of 4MB per second up to 6MB per second and useable with all devices compatible with the SDHC specification. With some compact cameras now topping 10 Megapixels and entry-level DSLRs increasingly using SD format, the arrival of higher capacity cards is sure to be welcomed by many.
Ricoh has released an updated V2.20 firmware for it's GR Digital camera, bringing changes to the file storage and exposure bracketing options available. There is now a choice of JPEG sizes when recording RAW and JPEG simultaneously, the 3:2 image size can now be combined with a 'Normal' compression ratio and exposure bracketing may be performed in 0.3 EV steps as well as the 0.5 EV available previously.
Just posted! Our Review of the Canon PowerShot G7. The G7 came as something of a surprise to many who had written off the G series of high end PowerShots. The G series has a long and distinguished history at the top of Canon's PowerShot range, and the G7 continues the tradition, adding all Canon's latest gizmos (including the new Digic III processor, face detection and image stabilization). Since its announcement there has been heated discussion about some of Canon's decisions - particularly the loss of raw mode and the slower lens. Find out what we thought in the review after the link...
As we knew all along the leaks were fairly accurate, Nikon has today announced the six megapixel, compact, 'entry level' D40 digital SLR. This new digital SLR loses some of the D50's features but gains some new ones from the D80. Headline details are a new Multi-CAM530 three area AF sensor, 3D Color Matrix Metering II, custom Auto ISO (same as D80), 2.5 fps continuous shooting, no status LCD and in-camera retouching. The D40 also has lots of nice user interface touches designed to make using the camera an easier experience for first time users. We have a production D40 and have produced a detailed hands-on preview in anticipation of a full review in the next few weeks.
As part of its introduction of the new budget, compact digital SLR the D40, Nikon has updated its DX 18-55 mm lens, now carrying the 'II' suffix. This lens will of course become part of the D40 kit and features a Silent Wave Motor (SWM) and smoother zoom operation, other updates aren't stated by Nikon.