Just posted! The fourth (and penultimate) installment of our compact camera roundup looks at the top-end cameras aimed at the experienced photographer. These enthusiast cameras offer a bit more flexibility than the cameras we've looked at so far, whether that's the inclusion of a large zoom range or a greater degree of manual control. Follow the link to find what we made of them.
Canon has published a statement in response to concerns raised about the EOS 5D Mk II. The announcement addresses the widely discussed 'Black Dot' and 'Vertical Banding' issues being reported by owners and potential owners who have been scrutinizing the camera's output. The company says it is investigating both issues and will work on 'measures to reduce or eliminate these phenomena.'
Software maker Breeze Systems has launched remote capture software for the Nikon D90 and Nikon D300 DSLRs. Both enable users to control focus from a PC, shoot time-lapse sequences and display live images. They incorporate the company’s Photobooth shoot and print feature designed for event photographers. The packages are the first time Breeze Systems has supported remote capture for Nikon cameras, having covered Canon DSLRs since 2001, and trial versions are now available.
Just posted! Our latest lens review featuring the Sony 50mm F1.4. Rounding off lens reviews for the year (and completing for the moment our mini-series of 50mm F1.4 lenses), we find out how this fast prime matches up to the exacting demands of Sony's 24 Mp A900 full-frame DSLR, as well as how it performs on the more popular APS-C sensor format.
Pentax has announced a limited edition of the K2000 (K-m in Europe) in white, bundled as a double zoom kit with the camera body and two kit lenses. Both Pentax DA L 18-55mm F3.5-5.6 AL and Pentax DA L 50-200mm F4-5.6 AL lenses and the K2000 body sport a white finish with black trim. The kit will be made available on a limited basis in February 2009. UK MSRP is £50 above the recommended selling price of the standard K-m. In addition, Pentax has also released an online game for prospective K2000/K-m users to learn more about the camera and have a little fun.
Adobe has updated Photoshop Lightroom to Version 2.2. The latest version extends RAW support to the cameras included in the recent Camera RAW 5.2 release. The latest update also builds-in the camera profiles, previously available from Adobe Labs, that attempt to mimic the camera manufacturers' intended output.
Just posted! The third of our group tests covers the premium 'point and shoot' compacts that sit at or near the top of their respective ranges. With wide lenses, up to 14.7 million pixels and stuffed to the gills with features these cameras command top dollar, but are they all worth it? Follow the link, delve into the reviews and see what we've found...
Olympus is rebranding its Stylus SW series of digital compacts as the Stylus TOUGH series to better promote its range of rugged cameras in a more defined category. Now to be known as Stylus TOUGH in the United States and µ TOUGH in the European Union, this new name will be introduced in early January 2009.
Nikon has announced updates to its Capture NX and Camera Control Pro software. The latest version of both extend support to the D3X. Version 2.1.1 of Capture NX also includes a number of fixes and improvements, including issues with non-display of GPS information and error messages while setting grey point on multiple images. Camera Control Pro 2.4.0 resolves minor issues pertaining to both Windows and Mac users.
Just posted! The second of our group tests covers the ultra compact, style cameras. They fit well in a pocket or handbag, they offer interesting design and a choice of colors; but is there a price to be paid for that compactness? Can the substance match the style? Follow the link, delve into the reviews and see what we've found...
Leica and Fujifilm have announced firmware updates. Leica’s update for the M8 and M8.2 rangefinders recognizes and incorporates profiles for 4 new M lenses into the camera. It also fixes a problem in discreet mode on the M8.2 and corrects issues with the auto ISO mode, image numbering and displayed sync speed. The firmware update for Fujifilm S5 Pro prevents the camera from freezing while operating it from a computer. Fujifilm has also released updates for its Finepix J Series compacts that fixes minor printing issues.
Just posted! Our new lens review of the Tamron AF 18-270mm f/3.5-6.3 Di II VC LD Aspherical (IF) MACRO. It may have a name straight out of the web-pages of Acrophobia, but it also features a mind-blowing 15 times zoom ratio that leaves its competitors trailing in its wake. This is coupled with Tamron's own optical image stabilization system to reduce the effects of camera shake. But is longer necessarily better? Read on to find out.
Nikon has announced the D3X, its latest high-resultion professional DSLR. Sporting an imaging sensor with double the number of photosites of the popular D3, the 24.5 megapixel D3x includes similar features such as a 3.0", 920,000 dot LCD monitor with Live View, 51-point autofocus, EXPEED image processing and HDMI output. To keep up with the demands of stock photography the camera produces 50MB 14-bit RAW files that can be processed to produce 140MB TIFFs. It also supports Nikon’s wireless system and is compatible with Nikon’s new GP-1 GPS unit.
Just posted! The first of our Holidays '08 compact camera group tests. We're starting with the budget group, which contains nine models in the sub-$150 range. So what can you expect to get if shopping on a tight budget? Are there really any differences between the various models? And are there any bargains to be had or hidden gems in the entry-level ranges? Check out the roundup after the link to get all the answers...
Panasonic has announced the launch of the compact FL220 flashgun and will update the DMC-LX3's firmware to accommodate it. Firmware v1.1 not only allows full compatibility with the DMW-FL220 flash unit, it also promises to improve Auto White Balance performance. Firmware v1.1 will be available for download on 15th December, 2008.
Just Posted: Our Canon Powershot G10 review. The Canon 'G' series has been the most consistently photographer-focused family of compact cameras on the market. This, the 8th iteration of that dynasty includes a 14.7MP sensor and a 28-140mm zoom, offering serious flexibility. The family faces stiffer than ever competition though - from the budget DSLRs that now undercut it on price and from some compelling RAW-shooting compact peers that fancy a tilt at its 'king of compacts' crown. Is the ruggedly built G10 tough enough to weather such a grueling environment? Find out in our full review.
Adobe has released an update to its Camera Raw Plug-in for Photoshop CS4. Camera Raw 5.2, which replaces v5.1, extends support to seven more cameras, including Canon EOS 5D Mark II and Panasonic DMC-G1. The update includes enhanced color profiles, output sharpening and a new Targeted Adjustment tool. In addition, users can save all image adjustments and settings as a single snapshot for future reference.
Canon has asked US customers planning take advantage of its rebate program not to cash the checks they have received, following the company handling the rebates filing for bankruptcy protection. The problems relate to rebate checks for video and printer products dated prior to November 14th. Any customer yet to send-in rebate materials should also delay until further notice.
Kodak is challenging Samsung Electronics, LG Electronics and related companies over alleged patent infringement. Kodak is claiming technologies used in LG and Samsung camera phones are covered by its patents. Documents filed with the International Trade Commission highlight technologies in the Samsung Blackjack II and LG Dare handsets.
Sony has announced the development of the finest-yet pixel-pitch 1/2.5" sensor. The 12.2MP CMOS sensor has been developed for mobile phone cameras, but is of a size commonly used in compact and super zoom cameras. The IMX060PQ sensor, which Sony brands 'Exmor' in common with its DSLR CMOS sensors, will also be available incorporated into an F2.8 28mm-equiv lens unit with piezoelectric driven autofocus - relatively advanced for a camera phone module.
Just posted! Our new lens review featuring the Pentax smc P-FA 50mm 1:1.4. This is the latest in our on-going series scrutinising the optical credentials of the camera manufacturers' various "fast fifties", and looks at a lens which has been around since the days of 35mm film. Designed as a fast 'standard' prime, it's now being pressed into service as a short portrait telephoto on the APS-C sensor. So how well has it adapted to this new role?
Camera and lens maker Sigma has bought Foveon, the sensor technology company that develops the sensors it uses. Foveon's technology uses three photosensitive layers to detect red, green and blue light at each pixel. Sigma says owning the company will allow the development of new types of sensors and improved integration between the sensors and its lenses.
Samsung Techwin, the Korean manufacturer, plans to separate out its camera division into an individual entity (under the same ownership), according to news agency Reuters. Samsung Techwin is part of the Samsung Group's machinery and heavy industry division and makes mobile artillery and gas turbines, as well as digital cameras. Tentatively named Samsung Digital Imaging, the new company will have a separate listing from Feb. 1, 2009, allowing its management to concentrate on the fast-moving consumer market into which its products are sold, without also having to also consider sales of aircraft engines.
Dragged kicking and screaming into 2008 we've finally decided to break the code of silence which hovered over the inner workings of the dpreview beast and launch our very own blog, or blogs to be more precise. As of today we now have a more informal channel for our editorial and developer teams to communicate directly with our readership, answer some of your burning questions and give you a peek through the window into the hive of activity which occurs in our basement. It's early days but we've already got a few entries, more to come!
Apple has released a RAW compatibility update for iPhoto '08 and Aperture 2. Update 2.3 supports RAW files from the Canon EOS 50D, Nikon D90, Sony A900 and the Nikon Coolpix P6000. The latest update also addresses unspecified issues relating to certain cameras already supported and overall stability of RAW conversion.
We've had a quick chance to have a look at the new Olympus E-30, so have put together a brief hands-on report. This mid-level DSLR offers many features of the more expensive E-3, with a host of new functions pulled together in slightly smaller format. So what does the E-30 offer to entice the semi-professional shooter into the Four Thirds fold?
Olympus has today announced the E-30 digital SLR. The mid-range DSLR features a 12MP Live MOS sensor and 2.7" tilt and swivel LCD. It also incorportates Live View with Contrast AF, Image Stabilization, 5fps continuous shooting and shutter speeds of up to 1/8000th sec. The E-30 also introduces a set of six 'Art Filters', a Multiple Exposure mode and offers a choice of 9 aspect ratios.
Alongside the E-30, Olympus has released the Zuiko Digital 14-54mm 1:2.8-3.5 II lens; successor to the Zuiko Digital 14-54mm 1:2.8-3.5. The new lens has been redesigned to offer compatibility with the 'High-speed imager AF' system included in recent Four Thirds DSLRs. The lens is a 3x zoom, equivalent to 28-108mm on 35mm format.
Just Posted! Canon EOS 50D in-depth review. Canon's EOS 50D is essentially a 40D body with a newly-developed 15 megapixel sensor, a 3.0 inch VGA screen and Canon's updated imaging processor, the DIGIC 4. Canon claims the new sensor's design (new manufacturing processes, redesigned photo diodes and micro lenses) means that despite the higher resolution image noise has improved. As you might imagine, we've had a closer look at this. Find out more after the link. Review now updated using the final version of Adobe Camera Raw 4.6.
Olympus has announced firmware updates for several of its lenses to allow their use with the Panasonic DMC-G1. The updated lenses are the 35mm F3.5 Macro, 25mm F2.8 pancake, 35-100mm F2 and 40-150mm F4.0-5.6. Once upgraded, the lenses will be 'compatible' with the G1. (Update: The 25mm pancake and 40-150mm F4.0-5.6 lenses will autofocus on the G1, but it has been confirmed that the 35mm Macro and 35-100mm F2 will not.)
It's taken us a little while, but we've finally found the time to write up a much-needed 'Help' section for our lens reviews. Focusing mainly on how to use our interactive data display 'widget', but also featuring useful tidbits of extra information and a 'Frequently Asked Questions' page, it can be found in the 'Learn/Glossary' section of the site.
Just Posted! Sony Alpha 900 in-depth review. Sony's eagerly anticipated flagship digital SLR finally gives Minolta/Konica Minolta users a full frame option and, on paper, looks like a strong new entry to the exclusive full frame club. Featuring the 24.6 MP CMOS sensor announced in January, the Alpha 900 offers several enticing features, including sensor-shift image stabilization, a super 100% coverage viewfinder and the same high resolution screen as the Alpha 700. To find out how it fared in our extensive testing check out the in-depth review after the link.
Adobe has released updates to its Camera Raw Plug-in for Photoshop CS4 and Lightroom 2. Camera Raw 5.1 provides raw support to the 15 cameras that were included in the 4.6 update for CS3 users. Lightroom 2.1 has now been released officially, improving Photoshop integration and keyword migration from Lightroom.
Mamiya has released the DL28 digital medium format camera system. It is a combination of the Aptus-II 6 Digital Back from Leaf and the 645AFD III body, that features a new coreless autofocus motor and an enhanced interface system. Sporting a 28 MP image sensor with a pixel pitch of 7.2 microns, the features of DL28 include 16-bit capture, 12 stop dynamic range and an ISO range of 50-800. Priced at $14,999, it will be available in November.
Adobe has announced the availability of Photoshop Creative Suite 4. Priced at US$699, the CS4 version features a unified tabbed interface, enhanced color correction and non-destructive editing tools. To speed up operations, it features OpenGL support and 64-bit support (although only for Windows users). Along with Photoshop CS4, Adobe has also announced the availability of the entire Creative Suite 4 product family.
Creators of the 'black silicon' that has been much discussed, following an article in the New York Times, have said it's too early to discuss what their material's benefits might be for digital photography. The novel, doped silicon technology holds out the promise of increased sensitivity but is still in development by SiOnyx, a Harvard University spin-off.
Phase One has released Capture One 4 PRO, a new version of its RAW workflow software. The lastest version features an enhanced Color Editor and Styles palette. A new Skin Tone tool has been added that helps to set and reproduce skin tones without the use of a gray card. In addition, a lens correction tool has been added to help minimize chromatic aberration, distortion, fringing and features a vignetting tool for framing.
Just posted! Our latest lens review starring Canon's eagerly-awaited 'superzoom' for APS-C DSLRs, the EF-S 18-200mm F3.5-5.6 IS. This much-requested lens was finally delivered by Canon as an accompaniment to the EOS 50D, so we've put it though its paces on the new DSLR using our comprehensive studio test suite. To find out how Canon's latest optic performs (and how it matches up to the demands of a 15Mp sensor) follow the link.
Olympus, Panasonic and Sigma have jointly launched a firmware update service for the Four Thirds system standard. The service enables users to install future DSLR lens firmware updates via their four thirds camera, even if the body and lens are not by the same manufacturer. The move allows all Four Thirds system users to ensure their lenses include all the latest revisions.
Just Posted: Nikon D90 in-depth review. The D90 has some large shoes to step into, given that it replaces one of the most popular enthusiast-level cameras of recent times. We saw in our preview that it's had a feature boost and specification upgrade, but do those tweaks and changes result in a better camera (and images)? Has a fine camera been over-burdened with fripperies and video recording? We find out in our full, in depth review.
Olympus has released a limited edition model, the Stylus 1040 Crystal, embedded with 98 Swarovski crystals on the sliding lens barrier. The 10 MP super slim camera with a 2.7”LCD and 3x (38-114mm equiv) zoom lens includes features such as Advanced Face Detection, Shadow Adjustment and Intelligent Auto Mode. This Crystal edition is now available for an approximate price of £175.
Adobe Systems has released the full version of its Adobe Camera Raw 4.6 plug-in. This latest update extends support to the Pentax K2000 (K-m) and the latest cameras and backs from Leaf. In addition, the cameras given provisional support in the beta are now fully covered. The update will be the last expansion of coverage for Photoshop CS3.
Eye-Fi has added popular websites including Flickr and Twitter to the list that users of its wi-fi memory cards can upload images to. Changes to the Eye-Fi Manager web application also allow the creation of RSS feeds. 'Direct-upload' options have also been expanded to include Apple's MobileMe and AdoramaPix. This follows the partnership the company has recently established with Lexar.