Pentax has announced a firmware upgrade for the *istDS that adds a number of new features. Version 2.00 will add Continuous AF mode to the AF settings in the Record Mode menu, auto ISO has been added to the sensitivity menu and the AE-L button on M has been added to the Custom Function menu. Dutch and Swedish users can now read the menus in their native tongue as these two languages are now available. For a full list of changes see the next page.
Olympus has announced a new accessory for the Four Thirds digital SLR, the E-500, in the shape of the ME-1 Eyecup Magnifier. The device increases the performance of the camera's viewfinder by 1.2 times and is said to enable easier focusing and framing. The eyecup has two lenses and measures 40x30x12mm. It is available next month at a price yet to be confirmed and will also fit the E-300.
Konica Minolta has announced firmware updates for the five megapixel Dimage A1 and the eight megapixel A2. Version 1.1.3 (A1) and 1.1.4 increases the writing speed of the memory card and USB transfer speed. The A1 was first announced in August 2003, making it over two years old and its predecessor, the A2, was launched in February the year after. Both cameras feature an Anti-Shake CCD, whereby the CCD is stabilized, rather than the lens element, which is designed to counteract camera shake.
Sigma has announced a new telephoto lens to add to its DG range with the 135 - 400mm F4.5-5.6 optic. The multi-layered-coated lens, designed to reduce flare and ghosting, has SLD (Special Low Dispersion) glass elements that provide correction for all types of aberration throughout the entire zoom range. Its rear focus system ensures high performance stability and ease of use. The price will be £479.99.
Wacom has announced the world's first wide-format pen tablet for use with widescreen displays and dual monitors. The Intuos3 6x11 tablet is specifically designed for photographers, designers and artists who are using multiple displays. The tablet has programmable ExpressKeys and Touch Strips, and the cordless battery-free Grip Pen offers 1024 levels of pressure sensitivity. Adobe Photoshop Elements 3, Corel Painter Essentials 2, nik Color Efex Pro 2 IE and Wacom Brushes 2 are bundled with the pen tablet. It is expected to retail for $389.95.
Bibble Labs has today announced version 4.4 of its RAW workflow software, which adds support for the Canon 5D and 1D Mark II N cameras, as well as the Konica Minolta 5D, A200 and Pentax *ist DL. Bibble's integrated Photoshop plug-in allows users to open RAW files from the latest cameras in Photoshop 7 or CS. The update provides another new feature called Full Light that brightens deep shadows and recovers detail in dark areas of high contrast photos. Bibble 4.4 is available as a free upgrade to Bibble 4 or you can download a 14-day trial version from Bibble Labs' website.