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May 2007 news and reviews
Adobe has today released version 4.1 of their Camera RAW plug-in for Photoshop CS3, Elements 4.01 (Mac) and Elements 5.0. This update adds support for the Canon EOS-1D Mark III, Fuji FinePix S5 Pro, Nikon D40X, Olympus E-410, Olympus SP-550 UZ, Sigma SD14, Phase One H 20, Phase One H 25, Phase One P 20, Phase One P 21, Phase One P 25, Phase One P 30 and Phase One P 45. The update also includes a new version of Adobe DNG converter which can convert all ACR supported RAW formats to Adobe's "universal" DNG format. UPDATE: Now available for download.
Just posted! Our detailed in-depth review of the Nikon D40X, the ten megapixel follow-on from the D40. As well as another four megapixels the D40X also features faster continuous shooting (three frames per second) and a lower base sensitivity of ISO 100. Delivering a compact digital SLR with a ten megapixel sensor for $699 means the D40X is aimed squarely at the Canon EOS 400D (Rebel XTi). See how it performed and how it compared to such stiff competition in our extensive review.
Samsung has released firmware version 1.20 for its GX-10 DSLR. Adding functionality to the command dials and green button seems to be at the heart of this update, improving speed and ease of operation by allowing photographers to change settings without having to delve into the menu system. The firmware may be installed over all previous versions as it incorporates the changes added in previous releases and is available now via Samsung's support site (link after the jump).
Sigma has today released version 1.03 firmware for the SD14 digital SLR. This new firmware contains two fixes; Corrects the intermittent camera freeze while CF CARD BUSY LIGHT is on during continuous shooting. Corrects the remaining battery power display on the top LCD panel. Firmware can be user updated and higher version numbers contain all the fixes of previous versions. This new firmware can be downloaded from the sigma-sd14.com website (link after the jump).
In a saga which (publicly) began in December last year and has seen Pentax fighting Hoya's approaches on various fronts including the resignation of their president Fumio Urano last month and talk of selling its headquarters in Tokyo looks to be finally coming to an end. According to numerous reports Pentax's board of directors has today approved the deal and the merger will go ahead next month. Additionally Pentax's board members have agreed to resign after the Hoya takeover goes through.
Pentax has announced a Mac OS X version of its Remove Assistant 3 software. This tool enables you to remotely control one or more tethered K10D digital SLRs from a PC or (now) Mac. You can control almost all camera functions as well as triggering shutter release manually, at regular intervals or at specific times. With more than one camera attached you can even achieve 'same time' synchronized exposures. In addition to releasing an OS X version of RA 3 Pentax has also posted an updated version for Windows which includes a small bug fix. Download links after the jump.
According to a report by CNET Kodak President Antonio Perez speaking at the JPMorgan Technology Conference revealed that the company "wasn't making much money" in the low-end digicam segment and has decided to pull out of it. In Addition Mr Perez also revealed that the company had developed its own five megapixel CMOS sensor which would make its way into a future Kodak digital camera. It's unclear where Mr Perez draws the 'low-end' line but we can't say we're that surprised at this news.
Panasonic has today unveiled the latest addition to its popular and acclaimed Lumix range of digital cameras, boasting a world's first in its combination of 12.2 megapixels and a 28mm wideangle lens. Also able to capture HD video the dinky Panasonic certainly is bang up to date specification-wise, let's hope it's not a step too far in terms of pixel density.
Casio has today announced its new "Flagship Exilim" compact digital camera which packs an unnatural twelve megapixels into its 1/1.7" CCD sensor and helps to deal with camera shake thanks to a CCD-shift style stabilization system. The EX-Z1200SR also features automatic ISO which is dependent on the speed of the subject (several other manufacuters have a similar feature). Other key specs are a three times optical zoom lens, 2.8" LCD monitor, H.264 video clips and SDHC support. Perhaps telling a little more of the performance of the CCD the maximum default sensitivity is ISO 400 with ISO 800 and 1600 available as a 'Best Shot' scene option.
Just posted: Compact Camera High ISO modes: Separating the facts from the hype. It's rare these days for a compact camera to be launched without a high sensitivity mode / high ISO capabilities, but the truth behind the marketing hype is often disappointing to say the least. We believe consumers are often being misled by the manufacturers when it comes to the actual performance of most cameras at higher ISO settings and in low light. So we decided to put together a short article for the uninitiated on the truth behind those headline high ISO modes. If you're new to digital cameras or are in the market for a new one this is well worth checking out.
Olympus has added to the range of underwater accessories for its compact and SLR digital cameras. Interestingly Olympus have released housings for its already waterproofed SW range, perfect for the 'belt and braces' approach to aquatic photography. The entire current lineup of DSLRs now has the option of dipping beneath the surface with an array of lens ports available for wideangle and macro lenses.
Just Posted! Our review of the new 'flagship' in Nikon's Coolpix compact digital camera range, the P5000. The 10 megapixel P5000 offers an appealing combination of features in a remarkably compact format, including full photographic control, flash hot shoe and add-on lens capabilities. Find out if the P5000 lives up to its promise after the link...
We're proud and excited to announce that Dpreview has been acquired by the worlds leading online retailer, Amazon.com. Started as hobby site in 1998, dpreview.com has grown to be the number one destination for anyone interested in digital cameras and digital photography. Each month dpreview.com has seven million unique visitors (over 22 million sessions) who read over 120 million pages. "We've worked very hard over the last eight years to deliver consistently high quality content to our readers", founder Phil Askey said. "It will be fantastic to be able to expand and build on that without compromising our quality or independence. With the support and resources of Amazon we can achieve this."
Panasonic has today announced that it has developed a MOS type image sensor which can withstand being exposed to direct sunlight for more than twenty years. The most significant part of this announcement however is the development of a new type of microlens formed by concentric rings and color filters made from inorganic materials (unlike the dyed RGB color filters found on traditional sensors). "The cutting-edge semiconductor process technology can realize the pattering of an array of digital-microlenses made of an inorganic material in subwavelength dimensions. A digital-microlens can be formed by patterning digitally the inorganic material in concentric rings, which works out as a conventional onchip microlens to gather more light onto the photo diode area. "
Finally we have the update everyone had expected at PMA, the new PowerShot S5 IS digital camera. The S5 IS features an eight megapixel 1/2.5" (5.8 x 4.3 mm) CCD sensor and a twelve times Image Stabilized zoom lens. Unfortunately this lens, while offering long reach with its maximum 432 mm equiv. FOV doesn't improve at the wide end with the same 36 mm equiv. FOV as the S3 IS. Improvements include Face Detection (for AF, AE and Flash in shooting mode and red-eye removal in playback), a 2.5" LCD monitor (up on the S3 IS) and a flash hot-shoe. Still no RAW support though.
Canon has announced the new Powershot SD850 IS (IXUS 950 IS) which replaces the SD700 IS (IXUS 800 IS). Confused yet? This new digital camera features an eight megapixel 1/2.5" (5.8 x 4.3 mm) CCD sensor mated to a four times optical zoom lens in a compact metal body. In addition the SD850 also features optical Image Stabilization (hence the IS suffix), a 2.5" "PureColor" LCD monitor and face detection for optimizing AF, exposure and flash (up to nine faces). Face Detection can also be used in playback mode for red-eye removal. The SD850 also has a 1 frame per second 'spy camera mode' (well, time lapse).
In addition to their two new cameras Canon has also introduced two new dye-sublimation photo printers the Selphy CP740 and CP750. The primary difference between the two appears to be in LCD size, photo adjustment and IrDA and IrSimple (high-speed) support. These two new printers take approximately one minute to produce a postcard (6x4") print at 300 dpi, they feature a range of connectivity options including card slots (CF, SD, MMC, Memory Stick, xD-Picture Card), direct PC/Mac printing (USB), Canon Direct Print and PictBridge (USB), Infrared (CP750), Bluetooth (optional BU-20 unit) and even WiFi (optional WA-1E unit).
Just Posted! Our concise review of the Casio Exilim EX-V7 digital camera. As well as being the first ultra-slim Exilim to sport a large (7x) zoom it is the first with mechanical (CCD-shift) image stabilization. It's also got a wealth of unique features and a fair degree of photographic control. But is the EX-V7 as good in use as it looks on paper? Read the review after the link to find out...