January 23
Pentax Optio M50
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Pre-PMA 2008: The M50 slots into the middle of the Optio range with 8.0 megapixels and a 36-180mm equivalent lens, 'Shake Reduction' bumping up the ISO to 6400 (!) if light gets low. The monitor is a 2.5" LCD and as per usual with Pentax there are plenty of helpful scene modes to ensure the camera is set up correctly for every situation. Pop down £149.99 on the counter from March 2008 and it's yours.
Pentax Optio E50
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Pre-PMA 2008: Pentax's entry level offering for 2008 is the Optio E50. This 8.1 megapixel compact digital camera sees the world through a 3x 37.5 - 112.5 mm (equiv.) lens and a 'Shake Reduction' system increases the sensitivity to ISO 1600 to increase shutter speeds and help prevent both camera shake and subject motion from ruining low-light images. Priced at £99, the Optio E50 should be in shops come February 2008.
Sony Cyber-Shot DSC-H10
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Pre-PMA 2008: Sony today announced the CyberShot DSC-H10, a fairly mild update to the DSC-H3 'compact superzoom' released in August 2007. Still with 10x optical zoom, 8 megapixels and no viewfinder, the LCD has been upgraded with a 3.0" 230k dot screen - dubbed 'Clear Photo LCD Plus™ - replacing the 2.5" 115k panel in the previous model. Available to pre-order from 31 Jan, the DSC-H3 will relieve you of $300.
Sony updates Cyber-Shot S series
Pre-PMA 2008: Sony today announced the latest models in its entry-level S-Series - the Cyber-Shot DSC-S750 and S780. 3x zoom and sensors featuring 7.2 and 8.1 megapixels respectively are pretty standard fare but crucially, Sony has dropped AA batteries and fitted these new models with a lithium power source. Besides promising improved performance - particularly flash recycle time which generally suffers when using AAs - the move allows a slimmer design much more in keeping with Sony's image. Expect to see the S750 hitting the shelves toward the end of February with the S780 following around a month later.
Sony Cyber-Shot DSC-T300
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Pre-PMA 2008: Sony today announced its DSC-T300 - the latest in its line of touch-controlled slim digital cameras. You could almost describe it as a 'tablet camera' as all controls bar the shutter release have been dispensed with and replaced with a gargantuan 3.5" touch panel filling the entire rear surface of the device. Whilst not a buttonfest in the traditional sense, Sony has certainly not held back on cramming it full of gadgets and gizmos. They've taken advantage of the unique interface to present such features as Child/Adult priority Face Detection, Face Search and DRO Plus (Dynamic Range Optimization) as well as a whole raft of retouching tools so one can perfect (or ruin) images all without them ever leaving the camera. $399 will secure a T300 when it hits the shops. More after the jump.
Sony raises a smile with new W-Series
Pre-PMA 2008: Too many grumpy facial expressions in your family snaps? Do not despair! Sony has today announced 4 new models in its W-series of digital compact cameras, all of which are featuring Sony's 'smile shutter' mode. When set to this shooting mode the camera automatically releases the shutter when the subject smiles. The DSC-W170 and DSC-W150 (available in April) sport a 5x Carl Zeiss Vario Tessar lens while the smaller sister models DSC-W130 and DSC-W120 (available in March) come with a 4x zoom. All cameras will be offered in a range of colors.
Faster xD Picture Cards launched
Pre-PMA 2008: In a scene reminiscent of a once-respected prize fighter climbing back into the ring, the xD-Picture Card format has been given a revamp. Olympus has launched the "Type M+" that offers higher speeds in the format's largest capacities. The disappearance of the Type-H, fast (by xD standards), cards and Fujifilm's move to accepting the cheaper and potentially faster SD format looked like knock-out blows to the xD format. But the little card appears to have picked itself up off the canvas for the benefit of Olympus owners wanting to make the most of their cameras' continuous shooting and movie modes.
January 22
Olympus SP-570 UZ
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Pre-PMA 2008: Olympus has today announced its 20x zoom SP-570 UZ as a replacement for the SP-560 UZ and by doing so reconquered the sole number one spot in the race for the longest superzoom lens on a compact camera. The lens has 'grown' at both ends and is now covering the astounding range of 26-520mm (35mm equivalent). Inevitably there has also been an increase in resolution, from 8 to 10M
Stylus range now up to 7x zoom
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Pre-PMA 2008: Looking at Olympus diminuitive Stylus (mju) range, you'd be forgiven for thinking that the 5x zoom range currently employed was the biggest which would fit. However, Olympus has other plans and has shoehorned a whopping 7x 37-260 mm equivalent optic onto the front plate of the 10.1 megapixel Stylus 1010 and 1020. Also announced was the Stylus 840 with 8.0 MP and a 36-180 mm range. Catch all three on the shelves from February.
Olympus announces new Stylus SW models
Pre-PMA 2008: Olympus today announced two new models in its 'heavy duty' Stylus SW series. SW range cameras are (within limits) shock- and water proof and generally well known for their ruggedness. The 1030SW sports a 10MP sensor and comes with a 3.6x (28-102mm equiv.) zoom lens, the 850SW features an 8MP imaging sensor and a 3x (38-114mm equiv.) zoom. Both cameras will be available from February.
Olympus announces new additions to FE range
Pre-PMA 2008: Olympus today announced the latest additions to its FE-range of compact digital cameras. All sporting 8 megapixel sensors, the new cameras differ in zoom range, with the FE-310 and FE-340 packing 5x 36-180 equiv. optics and the FE-350 Wide extending the wide end and reigning in the tele for a useful 28-112. All will be available from February.
January 21
Panasonic LUMIX DMC-LS80
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Pre-PMA 2008: Panasonic has quietly announced the LUMIX DMC-LS80, an economical model featuring a 33-100 mm equivalent zoom and 8.1 megapixel sensor. Also featuring - as it does on every single Panasonic camera - is Mega O.I.S. optical stabilization. Slightly worryingly the LS80's maximum ISO is quoted as 6400 so expect a sea of noise or an image devoid of fine detail. Either way, ISO ratings this high on a compact serve almost no practical purpose. That aside the LS80 seems a solid entry-level offering. More after the click.
January 18
Olympus E-Series price drops
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Pre-PMA 2008: Olympus UK today announced price reductions of up to £150 on its E410 and E510 DSLR kits. Packages now start at £319.99 for the E410 body and rise to £549.99 for the E510 double lens kit with a focal length range of 28 - 300mm (equiv.)
onOne to scale-up resizing technology
Pre-PMA 2008: onOne Software, a maker of software and plug-ins for photographers has bought the Liquid Resize technology we reported on in August 2007. Stand-alone software using the technology, which allows images to be resized and reproportioned without geometric constraints while retaining the key image features, will be available in late January as part of a free public beta test. A Photoshop plug-in should follow later in the year.
January 16
SD-compatible GPS makes geotagging easy
Pre-PMA 2008: Memory maker ATP has launched what it describes as: "the World's most easy-to-use Geotagging device." The Photo Finder is a portable GPS receiver that can automatically sync its data with the photos from your digital camera, without the need for a computer.
January 15
FotoNation revolutionizes the self-timer
Pre-PMA 2008: Perhaps you've never heard of FotoNation but chances are if you bought a digital camera in the past couple of years it may well be using technology developed by the Burlingame, CA based firm. Automatic red-eye reduction, face recognition, smile shutter...get the idea? Now these clever folks have combined that old recipe for disaster - the self-timer - with the latest advances in facial recognition to create FaceTime™. Essentially this delays the countdown until the photographer has positioned themselves in the frame. It will recognize a group of people and only start the timer once that final straggler reaches position. Clever stuff and they will be holding demonstrations at PMA too.
Just Posted: Sony Cyber-shot DSC-H3 review
Just Posted! Our review of the latest addition to Sony's H series of 'High Zoom' compact digital cameras. This 'baby-brother' of the Cyber-shot H7/H9 offers a 10x zoom and 8MP sensor in a very compact body. The H3 enters the market at a very attractive price point which - together with its specification - puts it into direct competition with the Canon Powershot SX100 IS and the Panasonic DMC-TZ3. Can the H3 cut the mustard in the battle with these established rivals? Find out in our concise review, after the link...
Jobo announces PMA 2008 line-up
Pre-PMA 2008: Jobo today announced its PMA line-up including a brand new product line - camera and camcorder batteries. Image storage and viewing solutions are catered for by the GIGA range of hard drive storage devices and 7 to 15-inch digital picture frames. The new battery range, dubbed PREMIO, comprises 300 different types of both Li-Ion and Ni-MH cells with the most popular 60 - taking care of 400 of the most popular applications - being 'readily available' and the remainder presumably requiring special production runs. More after the jump.
PMA 2008 show report preview, predictions
Pre-PMA 2008: In just over two weeks the most important photography trade show of the year will kick off. The Photo Marketing Association show begins in Las Vegas on 31st January and will open the floodgates on a raft of new digital cameras and other digital photography related products. So that you can keep up to date with his growing list of new products we have enabled our show report and new product index which will also provide direct access to our live 'from the show floor' reports as they happen. We've also added a little preview / predictions list. Bookmark our show report page or subscribe to our PMA 2008 RSS feeds.
January 14
Eye-Fi announces enhanced Mac compatibility
Eye-Fi, makers of wireless SD cards for digital cameras, has announced enhanced Mac functionality with the card now able to import photos directly into iPhoto. In addition the device is now compatible with OS X 10.5 aka Leopard and Safari 3 may be used to access and change settings. The updated software is available for download via the Eye-Fi site and will be included with new cards. Click through for the links.
Olympus Europe extends free E-3 grip offer
Olympus Europe has again prolonged its offer of a free HLD-4 grip to existing E-System users purchasing a new E-3. Originally scheduled to end on Dec 31st 2007, the promotion was first extended to Jan 31st and the folks at Olympus now say customers have until the end of March to get their claims in - most generous. Full details on how to 'get a grip' coming up after the jump.
January 11
'Big two' continue to dominate Japan
Nikon is expected to be Japan's DSLR market leader for 2007 says a leading Japanese market research company. But Canon's compact sales ensure it retains the top-spot for overall digital camera sales in the country. DSLR sales are expected to continue to grow as more manufacturers join the fray.
Panasonic expands sensor production
Panasonic is to expand its semiconductor plant in Tonami, Japan in a move to boost image sensor production. The ¥94 Billion (US $860 million) investment will allow the 48,000 sqM plant to process up to 30,000 8" silicon wafers per month, meaning total device production is likely to be in the millions. construction begins in September 2008 and the facility is expected to be fully operational by August 2009.
Olympus releases far-sighted firmware update
Olympus has released updated firmware for the Zuiko Digital ED 12-60mm f/2.8-4.0 SWD lens, announced in October 2007. The update offers improved focusing precision on distant subjects when using continuous autofocus mode. Firmware updates are downloaded through Olympus Master software.
January 10
Matsushita to adopt Panasonic brand across company
Matsushita Electric Industrial Co., Ltd. has today announced its decision to adopt the Panasonic name across the entire company. The firm, founded by Konosuke Matsushita in 1918 as 'Matsushita Electric Housewares Manufacturing Works', has used its current moniker since 1935. Brands affected by the change include National, the name used for household goods in Japan and Technics, producer of Hi-Fi equipment and turntables beloved of DJs the world over. The changeover is scheduled to begin October 1st with rebranding of National to be completed by March 31st 2010.
Adobe PSE Mac: Now available for pre-order
Adobe has made the latest release of Photoshop Elements available for pre-order with release scheduled for early Q2 2008 priced at $89.99. Version 6, which was released for Windows users back in September, is compatible with Mac OS X 10.4.8 and higher including 10.5 aka Leopard. The software is to be demonstrated at next week's Macworld Expo.
January 9
Just Posted: Canon Powershot A720 IS review
Just Posted! Our review of latest in Canon's popular A Series range of affordable feature-rich compact digital cameras. The A720 IS represents a fairly minor upgrade to the A710 IS, upping the resolution by a megapixel and throwing in a couple of new features, but retaining the useful 6x zoom range and full range of photographic controls. Find out if it's a worthwhile upgrade in our concise review, after the link...
Photosimile 5000 "Office photography machine"
CES 2008: Ortery Technologies has announced the world's first first example what it describes as an "Office Photography Machine" and designed to make product photography - in particular 360-degree product animations - as painless as using a photocopier. The system consists of an illuminated box housing a turntable and curved rail which allow the camera (included) to be positioned within a hemispherical area around the object to be photographed. The really clever bit is that both box and camera may be controlled remotely from an attached PC, live view and all. This means that it is possible to simply place an object in the box and - without touching either it or the camera - create a full 3D view. More after the jump.
January 8
8GB SDHC cards from Lexar
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CES 2008: Swift shooters supported with superior speed SDHC. Lexar has launched 8GB SDHC cards in all its products lines, including Professional 133X cards with their category defying 20MB/sec minimum sustained write performance.
Panasonic 32GB class 6 SDHC
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CES 2008: Egg consolidation fans will delight at the launch of the World's first 'class 6' 32GB SDHC memory card. Panasonic unveiled a prototype of the capacious card, capable of sustained write speeds of at least 6MB/sec and maximum data speeds of up to 20MB/sec.
Sony 16GB Memory Stick PRO Duo
CES 2008: Miniature memory for Sony compact consumers. Sony has launched a 16GB variant (the largest yet) of its Memory Stick PRO Duo memory card format used in its compact digital cameras.
Pretec introduces first 48 GB CompactFlash
CES 2008: Pretec, which has quite a history of pushing forward flash media capacities, has announced new CompactFlash cards available in sizes up to 48 GB. The speed ratings are also good with 2 - 24 GB cards available in 233x (35 MB/sec) and 1 - 48 GB in super-fast 333x (50 MB/sec). Release dates and pricing are yet to be announced but don't expect the largest cards to be cheap - at least for a while.
Via Engadget.
Kodak M1033, M763, M863 and M893 compacts
CES 2008: Kodak has used CES 2008 to launch a phalanx of compact digital cameras. All feature the ability to output their stills in both 720p and 1080i HD formats. Here we look at the M763, M863, M893 and M1033, the last of which is able to record 720p30 HD video. (This may not be as fast as 720p60 or as high res as 1080i, but it's still a big jump from the VGA that is standard issue on most compacts).
Kodak Z1085 IS, Z1285 and Z8612 zoom compacts
CES 2008: The latest Z series digital cameras from Kodak, the Z1085 IS, Z1285 and Z8612 all feature the ability to output their stills in both 720p and 1080i HD formats. The Z1085 IS and Z1285 are also able to record 720p30 HD video. (This may not be as fast as 720p60 or as high res as 1080i, but it's still a big jump from the VGA that is standard issue on most compacts).
Kodak V1273 and V1073 IS touch screen compacts
CES 2008: The V1273 and V1073 are the latest ultra compacts from Kodak. Both can record video at 720p30 HD resolution. They also feature optically stabilized lenses and the ability to output their stills in both 720p and 1080i HD formats.
January 7
Panasonic to develop wireless camera
CES 2008: Panasonic has announced development of a wireless camera with the ability to upload directly to Google's Picasa Web Albums. Thanks to a deal with T-Mobile, the camera will include twelve months' free use of the network's HotSpot service which is available in selected Starbucks, Borders, Hyatt hotels and airports. There are currently no details on the hardware aspect nor timeframe for introduction but we shall, of course, keep you up to date with more details as we receive them.
Sony announces "Transferjet" wireless data transfer
CES 2008: Sony has unveiled its Close Proximity Wireless Transfer Technology system: "TransferJet". Essentially, this is a data transfer system which relies on close proximity - 3cm maximum - and will deliver up to 560 Mbps when two compliant devices are brought together. Aside from the obvious benefits of a standardized, no-contact means of communication between AV devices the new technology promises minimal electromagnetic interference due to the low intensity of the radio waves employed. Click through for Sony's press release.
Casio EX-Z100, EX-Z200: First 28mm equiv. for Casio
CES 2008: Casio's EX-Z100 and EX-Z200 are 10.1 megapixel compacts featuring, for the first time on a Casio, 28 - 112mm equivalent zoom lenses. Both models feature Auto Shutter and Auto Best Shot, whereby the camera analyses the scene and shooting conditions and selects the appropriate exposure settings. The EX-Z200 also includes CCD-Shift image stabilization. The pair will be available from March 2008, the EX-Z100 priced at $279.99 and the EX-Z200 $329.99.
Casio EX-Z80
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CES 2008: The new EXILIM EX-Z80 is a smart looking little camera: 8.1 megapixels and a 3x zoom wrapped in a compact and solid shell. Interesting features on this model include Auto Shutter to delay taking a picture until there is minimal camera shake and/or the subject has cracked a smile - face detection also makes an appearance. A new system of focus confirmation allows the user to choose an image which coalesces when focus has been achieved or breaks up if the camera will not lock on. Availability is scheduled for March 2008 with a price of $199.
Casio EX-S10: World's slimmest 10MP compact
CES 2008: Casio has launched the world's slimmest 10 megapixel camera today in the form of the EXILIM EX-S10. A mere 15mm thick, this latest 'Wearable Card Camera' sports a 3x optical zoom and the usual complement of Casio scene modes including YouTube™ Capture Mode, using H.264 encoding for high quality movies with small file sizes. A 2.7", 230k screen fills the rear of the camera and a shutter release control ensures camera shake has subsided before taking a picture. You may also set smile detection and have the shutter trip based on the quality of your subject's grin. The EX-S10 will be available in Red, Blue, Silver and Black when it hits US shores in February priced at $249.99.
Samsung i8
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CES 2008: Last but not least from Samsung is the i8 - a blend of camera and media player with a 2.7" touch-sensitive screen and a 'World Tour Guide' covering 30 countries. 195 MB internal memory stores the 8.1 megapixel images or you can slot in an SD card for more space. ISO 1600 and Digital Image Stabilization help to keep things steady and Intelligent Face Recognition ensures faces are correctly focused and exposed. Interested? You'll find it in the shops from February for £149.
Three new Samsung L series cameras
CES 2008: More from Samsung with three new L series compacts - all taking advantage of Digital Image Stabilization and Intelligent Face Recognition. They also share a 3x optical zoom - the L210 taking the resolution lead with 10.1 million to the L100 and L110s 8.2 megapixels. The L100 will be available from February for £99 with the L110 (£129) and L210 (£149) following in March.
Three new Samsung NV series additions
CES 2008: Alongside the NV24HD, Samsung also launched three new NV cameras without the high definition recording capability but featuring the latest processing technology for improved image quality and faster operation. First up is the NV40 - 10 megapixels and a 3x zoom are backed up with dual image stabilization. The display is a generous 2.5" and adapts to changing light conditions whilst the controls take the grid form known as 'Smart Touch'. The NV30 drops the pixel count to 8 million and omits the optical stabilization in favor of an all-electronic system. The 'baby' NV4 has a non-protruding 3x zoom lens and 8 megapixels and also uses a more conventional button arrangement. All three will be available from February 2008 priced at £149, £179 and £199 for the NV4, NV30 and NV40 respectively.
Samsung NV24HD
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CES 2008: Samsung has announced its first camera capable of recording 720p HD video at 30 fps. The 10 megapixel NV24HD is happy to display images via HDMI or on its 2.5" OLED display and incorporates a combination of electronic and optical stabilization systems. ISO 3200 also makes an appearance as does local contrast control which aims to balance shadow and highlight detail. The Samsung NV24HD should be available from March for £249.
Herbert Keppler, 1925-2008
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Herbert Keppler, one of the most influential and respected figures in the post-war photographic industry, died on Friday night after a short illness at the age of 82. Keppler, known as Burt to friends and associates, was the former publisher of two of the biggest photography magazines in the world; Modern Photography and Popular Photography, and continued to work until just before his death. In a career spanning more than 50 years Herbert Keppler was instrumental in the success of the Japanese camera industry and in establishing objective laboratory testing for cameras and lenses.
Photo: Popular Photography
Sony Alpha DSLR-A200
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CES 2008: Sony has today revealed it latest Alpha digital SLR, the A200. This new entry-level digital SLR has a ten megapixel APS size CCD (note the switch back from CMOS), Super SteadyShot (sensor-shift image stabilization), three frames per second continuous shooting, Sony's Dynamic Range Optimizer (DRO) and a 2.7" 230,000 pixel LCD monitor. The A200 is set to ship in February for $700 with the 18-70 mm lens or $200 more for a dual-lens kit which adds the 75-300 mm. This model appears to be very similar to the A100 apart from higher sensitivity, faster AF, a slightly larger LCD, a new Fn button and other subtle control changes.
January 6
Casio EXILIM Pro EX-F1: 60fps
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CES 2008: Casio today announced its EXILIM EX-F1 - a six megapixel camera with 12x zoom and some very impressive burst shooting capabilities. Capturing up to 60 frames per second at full resolution and a staggering 1200 fps if you drop the image size to 336 x 96, this innovative camera will also shoot 1920 x 1080 Full HD movies at 60fps. Helping to ensure the moment isn't missed is a buffer system which continually updates then saves the contents to card when the shutter is released. Illumination is taken care of by a conventional strobe which works at up to 7 fps and a cellphone-style LED for 10-60 fps. The EX-F1 will be available from March 2008 priced at $999.99.
January 3
Ridata Smart CompactFlash
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Pre-CES 2008: Ridata has announced a new line of CompactFlash cards designed to minimize the risk of data loss by leveraging technology usually found in magnetic hard drives and RAM memory. SMART or 'Self-Monitoring Analysis and Reporting Technology' provides a standard method for checking the health of mass-storage devices whilst Error Correction Code (ECC) verifies the datastream to catch and correct any errors. The cards will be available in two product lines - Supreme 150x with capacities of 4 and 8GB and Lightning (speed unspecified) up to 16GB.
December 31
Olympus releases Vista-compatible RAW codec
Olympus has made available a RAW codec compatible with Windows Vista. The software is compatible with a wide range of RAW-capable Olympus cameras stretching back to 2000's E-10 and obviously including the latest E-System and SP models. Download link after the jump.
US Department of Transport announces restrictions for Li-Ion batteries
The US Department of Transportation has announced new safety rules relating to the storage of rechargeable Lithium batteries when flying to, from and within the USA. The new restrictions, effective from January 1st 2008, dictate that loose Lithium cells may not be packed in checked baggage under any circumstances - batteries installed in equipment are unaffected. Carry-on baggage may contain up to two loose batteries but only if there is no possibility of short-circuit, containing them individually within simple plastic bags or their original packaging is sufficient to prevent this and will satisfy inspectors. Click through for the DOT press release.