September 26
Lensbaby 3G, now with lens locks
Photokina 2006: Lensbabies has today revealed their Lensbaby 3G (third generation). These 'selective focus' lenses allow you to produce unique focusing and depth of field effects, the latest generation providing even more control thanks to lockable thread adjustments and additional fine-tuning adjustment on the front dial.
September 25
Adobe Photoshop Lightroom beta 4.0
Pre-Photokina 2006: Adobe Systems Inc today announced an update to Photoshop Lightroom beta with version 4.0. Available immediately for free download, version 4.0 unites product feature set for Windows and Mac platforms allowing a new way to import, manage and showcase large volumes of digital photos. Version 4.0 also adds improved workflow tools including a precision white balance option, new filters and search presets, and a new tone curve adjustment feature.
Ulead PhotoImpact 12
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Pre-Photokina 2006: Ulead Systems Inc. has announced the latest version of its flagship image editing software, PhotoImpact 12. The new version features ExpressFix mode - a simplified interface that allows users to adjust color, exposure and focus with one-click presets and a SmartGuide 'How-to' panel. Version 12 also adds a new white-balance correction tool, an enhanced Reduce Noise feature and the RAW file format has been extended to cover more camera models.
dpreview at Photokina 2006
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Pre-Photokina 2006: We've arrived to a rather dull and cloudy Cologne, Germany for the Photokina 'World of Imaging' Trade Show. Today is Press Day, the show proper starts tomorrow so keep an eye on our show report page for regular updates live from the floor during show hours. We'll also be posting any further news on the front page as it breaks.
Kodak EasyShare Z710 Zoom
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Pre-Photokina 2006: Kodak has announced another big zoom camera, the budget-priced 7.1-megapixel EasyShare Z710 Zoom. It sports a non-stabilized 10x optical zoom, 2-inch LCD, 19 pre-programmed scene and color modes and full manual mode control.
Fujifilm FinePix S5 Pro
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Pre-Photokina 2006: Fujifilm has today announced the Fujifilm FinePix S5 Pro, or at least the development of it, due to be available in 'early 2007'. The S5 Pro features the same SuperCCD SR design sensor although now called 'SR Pro', it features 6.17 million 'S photodiodes' (normal DR) and 6.17 million 'R photodiodes' (highlight DR) for a total photodiode count of 12.34 million. Other headline improvements are the new body (which is obviously based on the Nikon D200) and all that includes; better AF, i-TTL flash, metering, Lithium-Ion battery. Other improvements include better DR control, up to ISO 3200 sensitivity and LAN / WiFi accessories.
Fujifilm FinePix F31fd
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Pre-Photokina 2006: Just seven months after the launch of the FinePix F30, Fujifilm has given it a minor upgrade in the shape of the FinePix F31fd, which adds the hardware-based face recognition technology debuted on the S6500fd (using the Real Photo Processor II). The only other change we could find was the addition of IR communication capabilitles. It is not known at this time if the new model replaces the FinePix F30.
September 23
Just posted! Nikon D80 Review
Just posted! Our in-depth review of Nikon's sub-$1000 ten megapixel D80 digital SLR. Announced and previewed just last month this is the second of our 'Photokina reviews' (the first being the Panasonic DMC-FZ50). The D80 takes the D70 to the next level with a smaller body which doesn't compromise on comfort or ergonomics, a wide ranging feature set and range of customization options, fast performance and above all great image quality. As you can probably tell we liked the D80, so dive in to our 30 page review for all the detail and how it shaped up to the competition.
September 21
Three new Pentax DA star lenses
Pre-Photokina 2006: Pentax has posted some very brief information about three new digital-only DA* (star) lenses which utilize built-in Supersonic motors for focusing and are likely to be environmentally sealed to match the recently announced K10D. The lenses are the DA* 16-50 mm F2.8 ED AL [IF], DA* 50-135 mm F2.8 ED [IF] and the DA* 60-250 mm F4 ED [IF]. On a digital SLR with a 1.5x FOV crop (such as the K10D) these lenses will provide an equivalent field-of-view of 24 - 75 mm, 75 - 202.5 mm and 90 - 375 mm. According to available information these lenses should be available in March 2007.
Samsung GX-10
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Pre-Photokina 2006: Samsung has apparently 'announced' the GX-10 digital SLR. This camera, rather unsurprisingly is in reality the Pentax K10D with its logos replaced. Hence a ten megapixel digital SLR with built-in shake reduction, dust 'shake' removal, weather sealing and unique exposure modes. We received no information on this camera from Samsung, all we have at this point is a press release which popped up two hours after news first broke, which is amazing considering how Samsung keep telling us they want to be taken more seriously on dpreview.
September 19
Adobe Camera Raw 3.5, DNG Converter
Adobe has today announced the latest version of the Adobe Camera Raw plug-in for Photoshop CS2 or Photoshop Elements 3.0 - 5.0. In addition they have also announced an update to their DNG Converter utility, designed to convert manufacturer specific Raw formats into the 'universal' DNG format. New cameras supported by Adobe Camera Raw 3.5 plug-in and DNG Converter include Nikon D2Xs, Kodak EasyShare P712, Panasonic DMC-FZ50 and DMC-L1, and Sony A100. The DNG Converter is now available as a Mac OS X Universal Binary which means it will run natively on Macintosh Intel-based computers.
September 17
Just posted! Casio EX-Z1000 review
Just posted! The EX-Z1000 was the first compact to break the 10 megapixel barrier, and we've been meaning to have a look at it for a while - as a taste of what we can expect from the flood of 10MP models that followed it. As well as a headline-grabbing pixel count, the EX-Z1000 has an unusual 2.8-inch 16:9 aspect ratio wide screen and all the signature Exilim ease of use and styling. So is the 10MP EX-Z1000 a giant leap forward or a simple case of a megapixel too far? Find out what we thought in our concise review, after the link...
September 15
Kodak sensor in Leica M8
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Kodak today issued a press release stating that the new Leica M8 features their new KAF-10500 CCD. This was developed specifically for the M8 with offset microlenses to help reduce the effect of vignetting due to severely off-perpendicular light towards the corners of the frame (especially when using wide angle lenses). The KAF-10500 has an active area of 27 x 18 mm, a 6.8 µm pixel pitch and two channel output.
September 14
Leica M8, Exclusive Preview
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Pre-Photokina 2006: Leica has today unveiled its long awaited M8 Digital Rangefinder camera. Some fifty-two years since Leica introduced the first M series camera (the M3) they have introduced what is without doubt a milestone model, the first digital M series. The M8 has a ten megapixel CCD (with special offset microlenses to reduce vignetting) which produces a 1.3x FOV crop, it is built around the same sold metal design which has become the M series trademark with a solid brass top and base and a magnesium alloy cast main section. This camera has been built from the ground up as a digital rangefinder but without compromising the size, quality or usability of the M series design. We have been lucky enough to have an M8 in order to produce a detailed hands-on preview (read on for the link).
Two Leica lenses and a finder
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Pre-Photokina 2006: To complement the new M8 Digital Rangefinder camera Leica has also today announced two new lenses and a new wide angle finder. New M series lenses are the Tri-Elmar-M 16-18-21 mm F4 ASPH and the Elmarit-M 28 mm F2.8 ASPH. The new Universal Wide Angle Finder M provides frames for 16, 18, 21, 24 and 28 mm and has a 0.28x magnification.
Leica DIGILUX 3
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Pre-Photokina 2006: The third new camera from Leica is the the DIGILUX 3 (essentially a Panasonic DMC-L1). The company's first integrated digital SLR represents something of a departure as it uses the Four Thirds system rather than Leica's own reflex lens mount. This camera obviously comes as a kit with the LEICA D 14 - 50 mm ASPH (F2.8 - F3.5) lens with built-in optical image stabilization. (While this camera is based on the DMC-L1 it has had image processing adjustments as defined by Leica).
Leica V-LUX 1
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Pre-Photokina 2006: The second new Leica digital camera is the V-LUX 1, clearly based on Panasonic's DMC-FZ50 this camera has virtually identical specifications; a ten megapixel CCD, a 12x optically image stabilized lens (with mechanically linked zoom), a tilting 2.0" LCD monitor, electronic viewfinder, flash hot-shoe and full manual controls. The V-LUX 1 is supplied with a 512 MB SD card. (While this camera is based on the DMC-FZ50 it has had image processing adjustments as defined by Leica).
Leica D-LUX 3
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Pre-Photokina 2006: Leica has today announced the ultra-compact D-LUX 3. This new camera (based on the Panasonic LX-2) has a ten megapixel 16:9 ratio CCD, Leica 4x wide angle optical zoom lens (28 to 112 mm equiv.) with optical image stabilization and a 2.8" 16:9 ratio LCD monitor. (While this camera is based on the LX-2 it has had image processing adjustments as defined by Leica).
Canon PowerShot G7
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Pre-Photokina 2006: Canon has finally announced the long-awaited new G series compact to replace the G6 (launched August 2004). The $550 PowerShot G7 features a new Digic III processor, 10 megapixel (1/1.8-inch) CCD and a 6x (35-200mm equiv.) image stabilized zoom lens. The G7 also sports a hot shoe, face detection software and ISO settings up to 1600. Disappointingly what it doesn't have is a raw mode, which appears to have been completely dropped by Canon for its compact models - presumably to protect the sales of entry-level digital SLRs.
Canon PowerShot SD900
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Pre-Photokina 2006: Next up from Canon today is the PowerShot SD 900 Digital ELPH (Ixus 900 Ti in Europe), a titanium-bodied compact with a close family resemblance to the SD550 and SD700IS. Aside from the solid titanium body the SD900 sports Canon's new Digic III processor (with face detection), a 10MP CCD and ISO 1600 top sensitivity setting. Pricing is around $450 / €450.
Canon PowerShot SD800 IS
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Pre-Photokina 2006: Canon's third new compact today is another image stabilized Ixus/ELPH, this time with a useful (and still fairly rare) 28-105mm wideangle zoom. The $449 / €449 SD800 IS Digital ELPH also features Digic III processor, large 2.5-inch screen, face detection technology and 7.1MP sensor.
Canon PowerShot SD40
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Pre-Photokina 2006: Last but not least is the fourth new Canon for today, the PowerShot SD40 Digital ELPH (Ixus i7). The upgrade to the SD30 features the new Digic III processor, ISO 1600, face detection and a 7.2 megapixel CCD. The SD40 will be offered in four 'chic' new colors.
Olympus E-400
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Pre-Photokina 2006: Olympus has today announced a new ten megapixel compact digital SLR with the retro-good-looks of past Olympus film SLR's. Other headline features are the Supersonic Wave Filter for dust reduction, a 2.5" LCD monitor, three frames per second continuous shooting and an easier to use interface. In addition there's also a new Zuiko Digital lens, the 14-42 mm F3.5-F5.6 which is set to become the E-400's kit lens. The slightly odd, sad news, for many of our readers is that this camera will not be available in North America (news I'm sure that will go down like a lead balloon on our forums). That makes it the first digital SLR not to have a worldwide release, so get ready for the grey imports. UPDATE 15/09/2006: Olympus US has provided an official statement on their reasons for not taking the E-400.
September 13
Pentax Optio T20
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Pre-Photokina 2006: Pentax has announced upgrades to two of its compact digicams. First up is the Optio T20, the successor to the T10 announced back in February. The T20 ups the resolution to 7 million pixels and increases maximum ISO to 800. As with the T10 the T20 features a large 3.0-inch LCD with touch display control, 3x zoom and a super slim 19.5mm body.
Pentax Optio E20
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Pre-Photokina 2006: This is Pentax's new entry level compact, the Optio E20, superceding the E10 announced in January 2006. The 6-megapixel Optio E20 features a 2.4-inch LCD, 3x zoom and operates with just two AA batteries.
Pentax K10D, Exclusive Preview

Pre-Photokina 2006: Pentax has announced its new ten megapixel K10D digital SLR. A long list of features include a '22 bit' analog to digital converter, CCD-shift type Shake Reduction, dust reduction, environment sealing, eleven point auto focus, sixteen segment metering, selectable program lines and some unique exposure modes including Sensitivity and combined Shutter/Aperture priority. The K10D also provides both Pentax PEF and DNG RAW format options. We have had our hands on a pre-production K10D and have produced a detailed hands-on preview of this interesting new camera (read on for the link).

Pentax DA 70 mm F2.4 Limited
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Pre-Photokina 2006: Pentax has today announced the DA 70 mm F2.4 Limited 'pancake design' lens. This new lens measures just 26 mm (1 inch) in length and weighs 130 g (4.6 oz). Its DA prefix indicating this is a digital-only lens and on a Pentax Digital SLR would produce an equivalent field of view of approximately 107 mm (in 35 mm format).
September 12
Adobe Photoshop Elements 5.0
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Pre-Photokina 2006: Adobe has announced Photoshop Elements 5.0, the latest upgrade to its popular consumer photo editing software. As well as lots of new ways to share your photos, Elements 5.0 adds serveral new tools including Black and White conversion, Curves (at last!) and lens distortion correction.
Fujifilm A700
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Pre Photokina 2006: Fujifilm has quietly slipped out a new flagship model in its entry-level 'A' series range. The $200 FinePix A700 features a new 1/1.6-inch 7.3 MP Super CCD sensor, 3x optical zoom and large 2.4-inch LCD screen. Interestingly the A700 has no high ISO settings at all, topping out at ISO 400.
September 11
Sony Cyber-shot DSC-T50 and DSC-N2
Pre-Photokina 2006: Sony has today announced two new Cyber-shot digital cameras. The DSC-T50 is another ultra-compact from the 'T series', just like previous T cameras this one has a 3x folded optics lens with optical image stabilization and a seven megapixel sensor. The DSC-N2 is a natural progression of the DSC-N1, the first Sony digital camera to feature a large (3.0") touch-screen LCD and built-in RAM for a carry-around mini-gallery. The N2 sounds fairly similar albeit for a ten megapixel (yipee) 1/1.8" CCD and shooting up to ISO 1600 (compared to 800 on the N1). Both cameras should be available in October, the DSC-T50 for $500, the DSC-N2 for $450.
September 8
Just posted! Panasonic DMC-FZ50 review
Just posted! Our Review of the Panasonic DMC-FZ50. Announced bang on schedule exactly a year after the camera it replaces, the FZ50 is the new flagship in Panasonic's big-zoom Lumix range, upping the image size to a class-leading 10.2 megapixels and adding a couple of welcome new features. To find out if the FZ50 is a worthy successor, and if it can overcome the few complaints we had, check out our review after the link...
Update: Samples gallery updated to reduce the number of shots taken with Noise Reduction set to High, and expanded to include a good selection of Low NR shots.
September 7
SDHC update for Pentax *ist digital SLR's
Pentax Japan has released firmware updates for the Pentax *ist DL, *ist DL2, *ist DS and *ist DS2 which allow these cameras to use the new high capacity SDHC cards. SDHC cards have the same form factor as SD cards but allow for capacities of 4 GB or greater (by using sector addressing rather than byte addressing). Having recently introduced this feature via firmware for the K100D Pentax has also announced that they are 'preparing' a similar update for the K110D which will be released on September 14.
September 4
Canon EOS 400D / Digital Rebel XTi hands-on preview
Just posted! Our hands-on preview of a production Canon EOS 400D / Digital Rebel XTi. Canon's latest in their 'affordable' series of digital SLRs addresses several issues raised by EOS 350D owners as well as adding several new features, and two more megapixels. Our detailed preview will hopefully give you a good insight into the camera while we continue work on the final review.
September 1
Pretec 8 GB SD-HC, largest yet
Pretec has today announced the highest capacity SD card to date, their new 8 GB SD-HC. This new card is twice the capacity of cards announced by Panasonic, Toshiba and SanDisk and means that SD cards will soon be available in capacities as high as the largest CompactFlash cards. Pretec's press release doesn't reveal very many details other than compliance with the SD-HC specification (which has a maximum throughput of up to 20 MB/sec; we expect the throughput of this card to be significantly lower). The Pretec 8 GB SD-HC card has a 'sampling price' of $299 and should be in mass production in the last quarter of this year.
August 31
Capture One LE free with Extreme III
Phase One and SanDisk have today jointly announced that every SanDisk Extreme III CompactFlash card will come bundled with a copy of Capture One LE RAW Workflow and also include a 15 percent discount off an upgrade from Capture One LE to Capture One Pro. It's a logical move when you consider that more use of RAW will result in sales of larger, faster cards, for Phase One it's a great way to promote their product to a wider audience.
August 29
Sigma SD14 - coming soon
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Pre-Photokina 2006: Through the use of a teaser website Sigma has today revealed the existence and name of their next digital SLR. The SD14 will be announced on 26th September (first day of Photokina) and has a 'Full Color Capture Direct Image Sensor' (read as a new Foveon chip). No other details have been revealed at this point but as always we will follow this evolving story in as much detail as possible.
August 24
Canon EOS 400D / Digital Rebel XTi
Pre-Photkina 2006: Canon has today announced the latest evolution in their affordable digital SLR series, the ten megapixel EOS 400D / Digital Rebel XTi. Headline new features / specifications include the ten megapixel CMOS sensor (up to ISO 1600), a new dust reduction system, nine area auto focus, Picture Styles, a large 2.5" LCD monitor which now also provides shooting information (the second control panel LCD is gone) and better continuous shooting buffering.
Canon EF 50 mm F1.2L USM lens
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Pre-Photokina 2006: The second Canon lens announcement is the very interesting looking EF 50 mm F1.2L USM, it features a fast focusing ring-type Ultrasonic Motor, aspherical lebs element, circular aperture diaphragm and L-series construction. This lens should be available in November for $1600 (US).
Canon EF 70-200 mm F4L IS USM lens
Pre-Photokina 2006: The first of two new lenses from Canon is a image stabilized 'version' of the current EF 70-200 mm F4L. With this new stabilized lens Canon are boasting no less than 4 stops of stabilization (meaning you could use a shutter speed 4 stops/EVs slower than without it). Despite the addition of image stabilization the lens remains the same size as its non-stabilized sibling and is only slightly heavier. This lens should be available in November for $1250 (US).
Ricoh Caplio R5
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Pre-Photokina 2006: Ricoh has today announced the update to the Caplio R4 with the 7.24 million pixel Caplio R5. The R5 features a 7.1x zoom, Ricoh's CCD-shift vibration correction, adds a brighter 2.5-inch LCD and ups sensitivity to ISO 1600.
Canon PowerShot A710IS
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Pre-Photokina 2006: Canon has expanded its PowerShot A range with the first A series to feature Optical Image Stabilization, the A710 IS. The A710 IS builds on the successful formula established in the A700 it replaces, with an extra million pixels (now 7.1MP), new photo effects and a new wide viewing angle LCD screen. Like the A700 the new camera has a 6x optical zoom.
Canon PowerShot A630 & A640
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Pre-Photokina 2006: Canon has also launched successors to popular A610 and A620 PowerShots. Both cameras feature 2.5-inch vari-angle LCD screens, 4x optical zooms, Digic II processors and higher megapixel sensors; 10 megapixels for the A640 and 8.0 megapixels for the A630. Both the new cameras also have a maximum ISO 800 sensitivity setting and a new 'Safety Zoom' feature.
Canon Selphy ES1
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Pre-Photokina 2006: Canon's Selphy printer range has a new flagship model in the shape of the ES1, which is claimed to offer the highest print quality ever achieved by a Canon SELPHY compact photo printer. The ES1 supports new all-in-one ink and media cassettes, 50-sheet capacity and one-touch operation for unparalleled ease of use, and boasts a large 2.5-inch color screen, wireless printing, optional battery pack and several built-in effects and enhancement tools.
Canon Selphy CP720 & CP730
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Pre-Photokina 2006: Canon's growing range of Selphy photo printers has been updated with a couple of ultra-compact models sporting distinctly 'ipod-like' styling. The Selphy CP730 and CP720 feature 2.0 and 1.5-inch screens respectively, plus direct print capablities (via USB or memory card) and a new low cost per print.
Canon 3rd generation PIXMA printers
Pre-Photokina 2006: Canon has announced its third generation of PIXMA printers with a staggering fifteen new models. The line-up comprises of seven new Photo All-in-Ones, six new Photo printers and two new Mini series.
Fujifilm FinePix S9600 / S9100
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Pre-Photokina 2006: Fujiflm has announced a minor upgrade to the S9500 (aka S9000) in the shape of the FinePix S9600 (to be known as the FinePix S9100 in the USA). The new model is claimed to offer better low light performance, faster operation and improved image quality thanks to a new processor. Externally almost indentical to its predecessor, the S9600 has the same resolution (9 million pixels) and the same 10.7x optical zoom.
Nikon Coolpix S10
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Pre-Photokina 2006: Nikon has today announced several new Coolpix cameras. We start here with the new Coolpix S10, which updates the Coolpix S4, offering the same 6 million pixels and 10x swivel zoom lens, but adding CCD-shift Vibration Reduction and increased sensitivity (to ISO 800).
Nikon Coolpix S9
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Pre-Photokina 2006: Also added to the slimline Nikon S-series of cameras is the Coolpix S9. This 6.1-megapixel compact features a 2.5-inch screen, 3x zoom, 15 scene modes and Face Priority AF.
Nikon Coolpix S7c
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Pre-Photokina 2006: Next in the new Coolpix line-up is the slimline 7.1-megapixel S7c featuring a large 3-inch LCD, Vibration Reduction, sensitivity to ISO 1600 and WI-FI capability.
Nikon Coolpix L5
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Pre-Photokina 2006: Next up is the first of Nikon's new L-series entry-level compacts, the 7.2 million pixel Coolpix L5. The L5 sports a 2.5-inch LCD, a 5x 38-190mm (35mm equiv) zoom lens, Lens shift VR and Nikon's Face Priority AF.