Just Posted: Our real-world sample images from the Olympus Stylus XZ-2. The XZ-2 builds on the features of one of our favorite compact cameras - the Olympus XZ-1 - adding an improved 12MP CMOS sensor, flip-out touch-screen and innovative dual-mode lens control ring. We've been shooting a range of subjects in a variety of lighting conditions, using various apertures and processing settings on the XZ-2. Click through to see the gallery.
Articles from October 2012
Connect: Australian photographer Misho Baranovic decided to use Instagram as a way of keeping track of the human-scale impact of Hurricane Sandy as it reached the US coast. He explains the steps he took to find the most relevant photos and filter-out inauthentic images - highlighting both the potential and pitfalls of curating and sharing crowd-sourced content.
We're delighted to be able to announce the re-introduction of lens reviews. In partnership with DxO Labs, we've re-developed the way the data is collected and how it's presented, so we've prepared an extensive guide to our testing methodology and the revised lens widget. The collaboration with DxO means we'll be able to provide data for more lenses than previously possible, so have a read to see what those results mean and how they were achieved.
Just posted: Our review of Nikon's latest superzoom for its DX format SLRs, the AF-S DX Nikkor 18-300mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR. In the first of our series of lens reviews produced in partnership with DxOMark, we take a look at the longest-range zoom currently made for any interchangeable lens camera system. By current standards it's large and heavy for its class, and expensive too, but does its imaging performance make this all worthwhile? Read our review to find out.
Sony has introduced two 4K-capable modular cameras, including the PMW-F55 which has a Super 35-sized sensor with a global shutter. The specifications of the two cameras are pretty overwhelming - 16-bit Raw recording, parallel 2K and 4K recording, but the biggest news is the global shutter - the ability to capture all pixels simultaneously, rather than one line at a time - totally eliminating rolling shutter effect. (via EOS HD)
Connect: Creative White Balance tips for smartphone photographers. White Balance can make the difference between a bland image and an engaging photograph. Smartphones are increasingly giving control over this important tool for getting color 'right' in your photos - we give some tips about how it's used.
Connect: Sensor maker Omnivision has announced two smartphone-targeted CMOS camera modules. The OV5645 is built on an affordable 1/4"-type 5MP sensor built around a standardized MIPI interface, allowing processing functions to be passed to the host processor, rather than having to include JPEG compression in the device. The OV8835 uses a higher-end, 1/3.2"-type 8MP second-generation BSI CMOS sensor with claimed 'best-in-class pixel performance.'
Connect: The Beamr app allows full-res iPhone and iPad images to be shared as virtual magazines. We spoke to Dror Gill, Chief Technology Officer of ICVT about the way it uses the company's JEPGmini technology to make file sizes manageable and how this is just the consumer-facing beginning.
Just Posted: Our review of the Pentax K-30 16MP DSLR. The K-30 continues a Pentax tradition of building cameras around a strong photographer-friendly feature set. It may be less expensive than the much-loved K-5 but it gives up very little in terms of specification - it has a 100% viewfinder and a level of weather sealing unique at this point in the market. Nor does it skimp on software features, including intervalometer, distortion correction and image processing filters. So do these features add up to the perfect mid-level DSLR? Read our review to find out.
DCWatch has provided more details of Panasonic's DMW-FL360L - the company's first wirelessly controllable flashgun. The feature is designed to work with the company's recently-announced range-topping DMC-GH3. The bounceable flash has a guide number of 36 (m at ISO 100) and includes a flip-down wide-angle converter to provide coverage for an 8mm (16mm equivalent) lens' field of view. It also features an LED continuous lamp for video work. US pricing isn't available but is expected to cost around £250 in the UK and ¥30,000 ($376) in Japan. (via DCWatch)
Just Posted: We've just added a 36-image sample gallery to our hands-on preview of the Nikon Coolpix P7700. We've been using a production P7700 for a few days and as we work out way through the necessary studio and real-world shooting we've created a sample gallery to show you what the camera can do. Our gallery contains images shot in a range of different conditions, both indoors and out. Click the links below to go see our full hands-on preview of the P7700 now updated with with real-world samples.
We got the chance to grab some hands-on time with Nikon's latest 1-Series mirrorless interchangeable lens camera - the 1 V2. It gains a 14MP sensor, built-in flash and more conventional control points than its predecessor. Here we give our first impressions of Nikon's smallest 'serious' interchangeable lens camera.
We've been one of the first publications to get a chance to handle Nikon's AF-S Nikkor 70-200mm f/4G ED VR. The example we used is officially pre-production, so we weren't able to shoot samples with it, but it had the build and handling of a finished model, so we were able to form some initial impressions of this long hoped-for F4 tele-zoom lens.
Samsung has announced US pricing for the 12-24mm F4-5.6 ED wide-angle zoom and 45mm F1.8 mid-telephoto prime for its NX system. The lenses - announced at Photokina - will cost around $600 for the wide-angle zoom and $300 for the 45mm F1.8. Oddly we're told there are no samples of the 45mm F1.8 at the show where they're being 'unveiled', so we can't know if it's any closer to the promised 'ultra-professional look and feel' than the inexpensive-feeling early examples we saw at Photokina.
Phase One has announced Capture One Pro 7, the latest version of its image processing and workflow tool. The latest version is based around an entirely new image processing engine and gains digital asset management tools, developed from the company's experience with its Media Pro software. The software's tethered shooting option now gains live view for some DSLR models. The software will cost $299/€229 with significant discounts for upgraders from previous versions.
Apple has issued Digital Camera RAW Compatibility Update 4.01, adding support for 11 cameras to Aperture 3 and iPhoto '11. The update includes support for many of the latest cameras including the Nikon D600, Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX100, Canon EOS-M and Panasonic G5. Many of the latest enthusiast compacts, including the Canon G15 and S110, and Panasonic DMC-LX7 are also covered, though there's still no support for recent high-end Fujifilm models.
Connect: Microsoft has taken a different approach to the tablet market with its Surface, by including a fold-out keyboard. The device isn't formally available until Friday but various tech bloggers have already had a chance to play with the Windows RT-based machine. What are their first impressions and should photographers take interest?
DxO Labs has announced DxO Optics Pro 8, a major update of its image processing tool incorporating 'DxO Smart Lighting.' The company's Smart Lighting tool influences both image brightness and contrast using a single slider and will attempt to recover both highlight and shadow detail. Meanwhile a selective tone tool makes it easy to apply different changes to the highlight, mid-tone and shadow regions of an image.The software also allows the configuration of multiple output options. It also gains more lens/body optical correction profiles, with DxO aiming to double the current 10,000 combinations by the end of 2013. The software comes with the customary introductory pricing valid until November 15th.
Nikon has announced that it is developing three additional lenses for its 1 System mirrorless cameras. The 32mm f/1.2 will offer a classic short telephoto 'portrait' option, equivalent to an 86mm lens on the 35mm full frame format. The 6.7-13mm f/3.5-5.6 VR is an image-stabilized, 18-35mm-equivalent wideangle zoom. Finally the 10-100mm f/4-5.6 superzoom will offer a similar 27-270mm-equivalent range to Nikon's existing 1 System powerzoom, but in a smaller package with a mechanical zoom ring. Full specifications, price and release date are yet to be revealed.
Nikon has launched the 1 V2 - a more enthusiast-focused 1-series camera built around a 14MP sensor. The V2 adds a built-in flash and mode dial and more extensive front grip. It can shoot at up to 15 frames per second in combination with its hybrid AF system. It also has a configurable 'F' button to give faster access to key camera settings. The V2 uses a processor that lives up to the latest Expeed 3A billing. It also retains the V1's original list price of $899 with 10-30mm kit zoom. Nikon has also announced an accessory SB-N7 bounce-able Speedlight for the 1 System. The V2 will be available from late November, with the SB-N7 following in January 2013.
Nikon has launched the much-rumored AF-S Nikkor 70-200mm f/4G ED VR, a lighter and more affordable tele-zoom with a claimed 5 stops of image stabilization. This is delivered by what the company terms 'third-generation VR,' which we're told is not a successor to VRII. The lens joins Nikon's range of constant f/4 lenses, alongside the 16-35mm f/4 and 24-120mm f/4, and includes both nano crystal coating and a ring-type AF-S motor to give full-time manual focus override. At $1400 the lens is priced relatively closely to the Canon equivalent's list price - as is the $224 optional tripod ring.
Apple has announced an new 'Mini' version of the iPad with a 7.9 inch, 163ppi display. The iPad Mini's display offers a quarter of the pixel count (1024 x 768 pixels compared to 2048 x 1536) of its 9.7", A6 processor-equipped cousin (simply called 'iPad'), the fourth generation of which was also unveiled at an event in San Jose, California. The iPad Mini has created a lot of buzz, but photographers might be disappointed that its screen resolution is lower than the cheaper Google Nexus 7 tablet, which offers 1280 x 800 pixels and a pixel density of 217ppi.
Canon has announced it will be releasing a firmware update for the EOS 5D Mark III that will provide uncompressed HDMI output for videographers. It will also enable autofocus using lens / teleconverter combinations with an effective aperture of f/8, using the camera's central cross-type AF points in a similar fashion to the recently-released EOS-1D X Firmware 1.1.1. However EOS 5D Mark III owners will have to wait until April 2013 before the new firmware becomes available.
Connect: When you're not using it to browse the web, show off your photos or check your e-mail, have you considered using your tablet computer as a light source for photography? It may not offer a high-speed sync mode but, with an inexpensive app, it can open up some creative opportunities.
Updated: We've just added our resolution and menu pages to our hands-on preview of the Nikon D600. These latest pages have been added to the preview as we work towards the full review. Our final analysis of the D600's image quality will come later, but for now, click through to see for yourself how Nikon's newest 24MP DSLR performs against our resolution chart in both JPEG and Raw modes.
With beautiful models, elaborate lighting set-ups and an army of willing assistants, the idea of a fashion shoot can seem very glamorous. In this article, professional photographer Martin Evening takes you behind the scenes with a look at the amount of often mundane preparation that goes into making a beauty or fashion shoot come off seamlessly. Click through to find out why taking the picture is 'the easy part'.
What does your dream camera look like? One of our more enterprising readers has sketched-out what his would look like - creating an interesting contemporary rangefinder concept. Bristling with Nikon F4-inspired manual controls, each dial and switch also has a 'neutral' position to allow the on-screen interface settings to take precedence. Easycass acknowledges the concept may not be entirely possible - an 'ultra-fast' 24-105mm lens would dictate a fairly small sensor, and autofocus rangefinders have never exactly been commonplace - but it raises questions the question: 'What would your perfect camera be?'
I present here a concept camera, one that harks back to the classic age of manual controls, blended with contemporary digital innovation, shared here for the purposes of discussion, finding out what it really is we want as photographers; perhaps what we can inspire someone to create for us one day.
Industry body CEA has defined a minimum standard for '4K' video and has chosen the terms 'Ultra High-Definition' and 'Ultra HD' to describe it. The consumer electronics body, which includes most major camera makers, has concluded that devices must be capable of showing 3840 x 2160 pixel video to be classed as Ultra HD devices. Despite being a member of CEA, Sony has said it will continue to use the term 4K, and will brand its products as 4K UHD.
If you've got a one-of-a-kind, innovative invention, one of the best routes to bring it to market these days is through Kickstarter. Kickstarter is a website that allows dreamers to showcase their unique product concepts and generate funding. We've scoured Kickstarter for some of the most interesting photgraphic tools and inventions that have benefitted from crowd-sourced funding. Whether you shoot with an iPhone, DSLR or dedicated video camera, there's something on our list for you. Click through for our roundup.
Just posted: Our full review of the HTC One X smartphone. With a 4.7 inch screen, 8MP camera, fast F2.0 lens and 1080p video recording, the HTC One X packs some impressive photographic specifications. Read our in-depth review to find out how it performs.
National Geographic photographers can find themselves in unusual, extreme and potentially dangerous situations, trying to capture the 'never before seen' images the magazine is famous for. However, contributing photographer Paul Nicklen's story of his close encounter with a huge Leopard Seal (one of the top predators in the Antarctic), shows there's still opportunity for surprises in the job. We heard about this video following Nicklen being given the Veolia Environnement Wildlife Photographer of the year 2012 award.
Canon has issued firmware v1.1.1 for its flagship EOS-1D X full-frame DSLR. The update adds three options for indicating the selected AF point when in AI Servo autofocus mode. This includes red illumination, rather than just darkening the selected point, making the camera easier to work with in low light. The update also allows the central AF point to act as a cross-type point when working with lens/teleconverter combinations that give a maximum aperture of F8. This capability is currently only available with F5.6 (or brighter) combinations.
Color management company X-Rite has announced its latest round of online education sessions. The forthcoming 'webinars' cover a series of topics from monitor calibration to landscape photo editing in Photoshop. The courses tend to be around an hour long and are free (though it seems reasonable to expect some focus on X-Rite's products), but with a limited number of registered places available. Previous events, including those conducted in French, German and Italian, are available in an archive on the X-Rite website.
A new app from the online photo storage service Snapjoy makes it easy to view your online photo library from your mobile device. With a well-organized timeline view, we imagine photographers may find the tool useful for sharing online portfolios with clients from their iPad.
Sony has announced a series of firmware updates for its cameras and lenses, including the addition of Hybrid-AF compatibility for key E-mount lenses and the option to disable the movie record button on cameras including the NEX-7. The NEX-7 also gets an increase in the range over which you can set exposure bracketing - the ±3EV range it now offers is something a users have been calling for. Firmware v1.01 also promises to improve the responsiveness of post-shot image review. Further updates for the SLT-A37, A57, A65 and A77 also offer the option to disable the movie button and provide lens correction for a broader range of lenses.
Japanese camera site DCWatch has reviewed the PQI Air Wi-Fi Micro-SD to SD adapter. The adapter features a built-in Wi-Fi transmitter but, unlike rival FlashAir or Eye-Fi cards, does not feature any internal memory of its own - instead allowing you to swap MicroSD cards in and out. The adapter communicated with smartphones via an Android or iOS app from where you can browse and download images from the camera. The system allows you to swap inexpensive standard MicroSD cards, rather than buying multiple Wi-Fi cards, also allowing you to upgrade the speed or capacity of card without having to replace the Wi-Fi component. (from DCWatch)
The L.A. Times has posted a fascinating time-lapse video, showing the progress of retired space shuttle Endeavour across Los Angeles to its new home in the California Science Center, in Exposition Park. The video spans the entire length of the journey from Los Angeles International Airport, which started on Thursday night and due to delays caused by maintainance issues and obstacles along the route, finally ended 16 hours late, on Sunday afternoon. Click through for a link to the video.
GoPro, the action camera maker, has refreshed its entire range, including the addition of the 4k-capable Hero 3 Black Edition. The existing Hero HD and Hero 2 models have essentially been re-housed in smaller cases with updated user interfaces and will sit alongside the Black Edition as the White and Silver Editions, respectively. The Hero 3 Black Edition can shoot at up to 3840x2160 pixels at 15 frames per second. It also has 2.7k mode (2716 horizontal pixels) at 30 or 24fps, and a Protune mode that offers higher bit-rates and a neutral color profile better suited to post-processing.
Updated: We've just added the Nikon Coolpix P7700 to our studio comparison database, and we've taken the opportunity to add three image quallity comparison pages to our previously-published preview. Our final analysis of the P7700's image quality will come later, but for now, you can use our comparison tool to see how Nikon's newest enthusiast compact camera measures up to its competitors in both JPEG and Raw mode. Does the new 12MP BSI-CMOS sensor and revamped lens combination make a difference? Click through to find out.
While Google's social experiment may not have taken off for other users, photographers have flocked to Google+ and somehow transformed it into one of the most vibrant photographic communities in recent years. What makes it so attractive to photographers and how are they using the platform to interact?
Following the announcement of its 1" sensor, we spoke to Aptina's Sandor Barna, who believes these larger sensors could save the compact camera by offering a leap in quality that smartphones can't compete with. Barna, the Vice President and General Manager of Aptina's Consumer Camera Business Unit, told us about the unfilled gap in the market that 1" sensors can address, explained the freedoms that the larger format gives the company's designers, and why this is currently best exemplified by a product it wasn't involved in: The Sony RX100.
Just Posted: Our Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX7 review. The latest of our collaborative reviews with Jeff Keller of The Digital Camera Resource Page is of Panasonic's enthusiast compact. The LX7 retains the bright lens and small body that have become the hallmarks of the series but adds more direct control than its forebears, including a dedicated aperture ring. Underpinning it all is a new 10MP CMOS sensor - moving on from the CCDs used in the LX5 and 3. Do all these changes help restore the Lumix to the top of the enthusiast compact pile? Read our review to find out.
'Sony is changing the market through innovation' says Phil Molyneux, President and COO of Sony Electronics. In a recent interview we spoke to him about Sony's relationship with Hasselblad, what the tie-up with Olympus will mean for both manufacturers' product lines and how the company has been 'disruptive.'
When you’re in the field, whether shooting on location or just meeting with your next client, gear that’s powerful and portable is a must. There are plenty of tablets on the market, but some lend themselves better to photo processing and presentation than others.
Since the launch of the original iPad, Apple's tablet has held great appeal for photographers as a way to show off their work on a sleek, portable, stylish device. But, with its high resolution 'Retina' display, does it deserve to be taken more seriously, and given a chance to earn its place in your photographic workflow?
Simple waterproof gear can protect your smartphone while you catch the spray of the surf and actions of the waves for stunning images from the sea. Allan Hoffman offers seven tips for taking your smartphone into the ocean.
Professional photographer Dean Holland recently tried leaving his DSLR at home and only shooting with his iPhone during a two-week-long trip to Vietmam. Holland offers a selection of images from his trip as he asks: An iPhone, a second honeymoon and photography: Can they mix?
We're looking at all aspects of connected photography over on connect.dpreview.com, which includes Wi-Fi capable cameras and wireless SD cards. What are they like to use and how are camera makers working to match the convenience, flexibility and connectivity of smartphones?
Visual Supply Company has announced 'VSCO Keys,' a keyboard shortcut customization tool for Adobe Lightroom 3 or 4. It aims to make working in Lightroom more efficient, but the $125 price tag (only a fraction less than Lightroom itself) is likely to limit its appeal to photographers who aren't profiting from their work. The software comes with two presets, one of which adds shortcuts without clashing with any of the software's native controls, while a more comprehensive one replaces several of them. A 14-day free trial allows you to assess the value of the efficiency savings to your workflow. (via Petapixel) Updated with lowered price (10/24/12).
Sony has published details of its latest 12MP 1/1.7"-type (7.5 x 5.6mm) back-lit CMOS sensor. The IMX144CQJ offers full-resolution 12-bit output at up to 35 frames per second or a roughly 'widescreen' 17:9 crop at up to 60 fps - allowing 4k video. Sony stresses how well the sensor can receive light from oblique angles, thanks to its large pixel size, making it able to work with 'brighter lenses and high power zoom lenses.' This is interesting, given the recent launch of a group of wide-maximum aperture compacts based around 12MP, 1/1.7"-type BSI CMOS sensors, such as the Olympus XZ-2, Nikon Coolpix P7700 and Samsung EX2F.
Just Posted: Sony E-mount 10-18mm F4, 35mm F1.8 and 16-50mm F3.5-5.6 Power Zoom lens samples on the NEX-6. Our last set of images from the Sony press trip is a series shot with the latest NEX camera and the three E-mount lenses announced at Photokina - the E 10-18mm F4 OSS super-wide-angle zoom, the E 35mm F1.8 OSS fast normal prime, and the E 16-50mm F3.5-5.6 PZ OSS power zoom. We've selected ten images shot with each lens and compiled a combined gallery. Full-size images are, as ever, available for download.
Just Posted: Full-size, real world samples from the Sony A99. We've been shooting with Sony's latest full-frame flagship camera down in San Francisco and Monterey, California as part of a Sony press trip - our first opportunity to get hold of a production-standard camera. We've put together a samples gallery taken in a variety of lighting conditions and at a range of apertures and featuring multiple subjects. Click through to see how the 24MP camera performs.
DxO Labs has announced Optics Pro v7.5.5, with support for the Canon EOS-1D X and the Nikon D600. The latest version of the company's raw processing and optical correction software also adds support for the Panasonic Lumix DMC-G5 and DMC-LX7. Support for the two full-frame DSLRs comes only in the 'Elite' edition of the software, while the Panasonic support is also included in the standard edition, that costs around half as much. As usual, the upgrade is free to existing Optics Pro 7 users and recent purchasers of Pro 6.
As part of the development of connect.dpreview.com we've created a more advanced, more detailed test scene, which will be launched on dpreview.com soon. The new scene is roughly eight times larger (in area) than the existing test, allowing us to test to even higher resolutions than before, amongst other improvements. Click through for more details.
DxO Labs has announced 'DxOMark Mobile' - its assessment of mobile phone image quality that will support mobile device reviews on connect.dpreview.com. In its first group of tests, DxO has found that the best contemporary mobile devices (in this case the Nokia 808 PureView, with its large sensor) will out-perform a 5-year-old high-end compact camera. And when it comes to video, the Samsung Galaxy SIII will trump last year's Canon PowerShot S100. DxOMark Mobile will analyze 14 aspects of mobile imaging and produce a final score that will be comparable to existing DxOMark figures. We'll be reporting DxOMark Mobile figures alongside our overall scores in connect reviews.
Today sees the launch of connect.dpreview.com, a mobile, social and connected photography site from dpreview.com. Mobile photography and the ability to share images across social networks have helped foster a vibrant and creative new genre of photographic arts - one that is having a profound effect on the way we all shoot, share, discover and enjoy photography. Connect will explore, explain and embrace the social, mobile, app-tastic, connected side of contemporary photography. Click through for more details and a link to the new site.
Lytro has announced an update that provides greater exposure control for its Light Field Camera. It will also be offering the 8GB version of the camera in two addition colors - Moxie Pink and Seaglass that will be availble from Target.com/CityTarget stores and the Lytro website respectively. The update, that will be available to all existing customers, adds a manual mode, that provides control over shutter speed and ISO (aperture always being wide open). If you decide to specify both parameters, it becomes possible to apply exposure compensation and apply the camera's built-in ND filter.
Just posted: Sony RX1 real-world sample images - now updated with high ISO samples. We've had the chance to shoot with a near-production RX1 and have started to put together a samples gallery. These are some of the first full resolution independent samples to be taken with an RX1. We've shot a range of subjects, both in good light and in low light at high ISOs. As usual we've included a range af apertures and focus distances too.
Getty Images' scheme for licensing images from the photo sharing site Flickr has added its 500,000th image. The half-millionth image was shot by system engineer and photo hobbyist 'Jiangang Wang' for Tianjin, China, of the Minato Mirai development in Yokohama, Japan. The licensing deal, started in June 2010, allows Flickr members to offer their images for licensing by Getty. If Getty chooses to accept the request, the photographer can choose how to license their images, at rates comparable to Getty's other images libraries.
Sensor maker Aptina has released more details of its two most recently-announced chips, including a 10MP, 1"-type sensor that uses its dynamic range-boosting DR-Pix technology. The company, which also makes the 1" sensors used in the Nikon 1 System cameras, is making this new sensor available to the wider market. It has also provided more detail about an 18MP 1/2.3" compact camera sensor that can shoot 1080p video with three different crops at up to 120 frames per second.
First developed by Ansel Adams and Fred Archer, the Zone System is one of the most enduring methods for understanding - and mastering - exposure. In the fifth edition of his well-regarded book 'The Practical Zone System for Film and Digital Photography' Chris Johnson explains why the Zone System, developed as paradigm for film shooters, can also be easily applied in the digital age. Adam Koplan takes a look.
Alongside its ACR and Lightroom updates, Adobe has extended the specifications of the DNG format, including the creation of a more compact, Lossy DNG option. The format has also been extended to respect in-camera cropping and allow for the inclusion of full HDR data and the non-image areas around merged panoramas. We spoke to Lightroom Product Manager, Tom Hogarty, about the changes made in v1.4 and the reasons behind them.
US mobile carrier AT&T has become the first network to announce that it will be offering Samsung's Galaxy Camera - the first truly camera-like device to include a cellular data connection. The version being offered is being described as 4G but AT&T has confrimed it will use an HSPA+ connection, rather than the faster 'LTE' system that is more widely accepted as '4G.' Prices and details of data plans are also unspecified at this point. (via Engadget)
Updated: We've just added a noise and noise-reduction page to our hands-on preview of the Nikon D600. We've got a production sample D600 in the office, and over the coming weeks we'll be adding test pages to the preview as we move towards the publication of a full review. Our final analysis of the D600's image quality will come later, but for now, click through to see for yourself how Nikon's newest DSLR measures up to its competitors in terms of noise in both JPEG and Raw mode.
The Nimbus Cloud Dome is a plastic bell-shaped light diffuser designed to allow you to capture evenly-lit images of small objects using a smartphone. Aimed at avid eBayers, online jewelry retailers, Craigslisters and macro photographers, the Cloud Dome provides a surprisingly versatile - and very compact - solution for shooting small subjects with your phone. Click through for the full review.
We've just deployed the redesigned forum system - the biggest single change we've made since our forums were created, over 13 years ago. As discussed in an earlier news post, the new software will closely match the behavior of the existing system but with a range of additional features and with scope for further expansion in the future. We've sifted through the feedback from the preview announcement we made last week and have developed a list of requested features that we will start working on. Click here to find out more...
Adobe has released the final versions of Adobe Camera Raw 7.2 and Lightroom 4.2. The latest updates bring finalized support for 21 additional cameras, including the Sony A99 and RX100, the Fujifilm X-E1 and the Canon EOS M. Lightroom gains tethering support for 11 cameras, including the Nikon D800 and Canon EOS 5D Mark III. It also adds support for 'Albums' in its uploader to the Revel service. Updates are available through the in-software update systems.
Eye-Fi has launched the Pro X2 16GB, its largest Wi-Fi SD card, and its fastest yet. The Pro X2 retains all the existing capabilities of the existing 8GB version, including upload to a smartphone, direct connection to a Wi-Fi network, auto backup and Raw file transfer. Despite the capacity and speed hike (the previous version was rated as Class 6), the Eye-Fi Pro X2 16GB retains the recommended selling price of $99.99, with existing models having $20 knocked off their prices. Customers in Australia and Japan will be next to receive the card.
Olympus has released a firmware update for its OM-D E-M5 high-end Micro Four Thirds camera. Firmware 1.5 allows the use of the camera's in-body stabilization during video recording when using non-native lenses on the camera once the focal length has been specified. The firmware also promises to reduce the humming noise generated by the camera's stabilization system when keeping the sensor in its neutral position. The update can be downloaded and installed via the Olympus Camera Updater software. The update also includes the changes promised for the suspended firmware v1.2.
Sony has announced a two subtle changes to the specifications of its forthcoming RX1 full-frame fixed-lens compact camera. Continuous AF will not be available in stills shooting mode, and the AF-C position will not appear on the front dial. Meanwhile, the camera's maximum shutter speed has been extended, when shooting at moderate apertures. The changes explain Sony's insistence that we leave the 'Not Final' stickers visible on the pre-production unit we used for our preview.
Just Posted: our preview of the Panasonic Lumix G X Vario 35-100mm F2.8 OIS. The 35-100mm F2.8 is Panasonic's second constant aperture zoom for Micro Four Thirds and is designed to cover the classic 70-200mm equivalent range. It does so in a relatively compact lens that matches the company's existing 12-35mm F2.8 bright standard zoom. The lens we have isn't ready for the rigors of studio testing, so isn't part of the relaunch of lens reviews just yet, but is 'final' enough for us to be allowed to publish a full-resolution samples gallery.
We're incredibly pleased to announce the imminent return of lens reviews to dpreview thanks to a joint venture with DXO Labs, involving the establishment of a dedicated DxO lens and camera testing facility in Seattle, and the incorporation of DxO test data into dpreview.com’s class-leading lens reviews. We're currently ironing out the last few bugs in the system, and hope to publish the first review later this week. More after the link...
Just Posted: A quick review of the iPhone 5's camera. Apple might not have set out to make some of the most popular cameras on the planet with its iPhone range of smartphones, but that's exactly what has happened. The iPhone 5, Apple's latest model brings a larger screen, faster processor and redesigned camera compared to its predecessor. In this 5-page article we take a look at the iPhone 5's performance as a camera, including comparisons with the iPhone 4S and iPhone 4 in a range of different environments, video samples and a full gallery of 'real world' shots. Click through to read (and see) more.
Benro has announced the MeTOTO Transfunctional Travel Tripod, an travel tripod that can be converted to a monopod without tools. The latest addition to the MeFOTO range, whihc sits just below the Travel Angel series, it is available in five colors and can be converted between a 1.5m (61.6") tripod and a 1.62m (64") monopod. It folds down to 40cm (15.4") and weighs 1.6kg (3.6lbs). Despite this small size, it is rated for supporting cameras up to 8kg (17.6lbs). It features an Arca-Swiss style quick release mount and plate and includes a carry case a shoulder strap in its $229 list price. No European pricing is yet available.
It's a question that's been on Michael Zhang's mind, over at PetaPixel, and ours too. If Photokina 2012 had a theme it was definitely connectivity, and recent months have seen several moves by manufacturers to introduce smartphone-type functionality into cameras. As camera manufacturers continue to respond to the rise of the smartphone camera with their own solutions, journalists in the industry are faced with an interesting conundrum: what do we call these things?