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February 2013 news and reviews

February 28
Samsung Galaxy S4 expected to be announced on March 14th

Samsung is expected to unveil the Galaxy S4, its next flagship Android smartphone on March 14 at a press event in New York. The company took to its Twitter account this morning to tell followers to be ready '4' the next Galaxy. Read more at connect.dpreview.com

Aptina signs patent cross-license agreement with Sony

Sensor maker Aptina has announced it has signed a patent cross-license agreement with Sony, that provides each company with access to the other’s patent portfolio. This agreement gives two prominent sensor makers access to some of each other's technologies for future development of cameras and other imaging products.

Hands-on with weatherproof Sony Xperia Z and multi-screen YotaPhone

Day four at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona and the team at connect.dpreview.com is still at the show, visiting manufacturer stands to find the newest in smartphone and tablet camera technology. We've added brief hands-on articles of the weatherproof Sony Xperia Z tablet and multi-screen YotaPhone. Click through for links to the latest content at connect.dpreview.com.

Vimeo adds 'Looks' filter effects for videos

Video-sharing service Vimeo has partnered with video-editing company Vivoom, to add a filter effects tool called 'Looks'. More than 500 effects ranging from vintage to futuristic and can be applied during video upload. Each effect can be adjusted from 0-100% intensity. Looks will be free to Vimeo’s registered users for the next 90 days. Read more at connect.dpreview.com.

Satechi introduces BT Smart Trigger wireless shutter release for Canon

Accessory maker Satechi has announced the BT Smart Trigger, an iOS-controlled Bluetooth 4.0 shutter release for Canon DSLRs. It features multiple shooting modes including timelapse and long exposures, via the free Smart Trigger app. The trigger has a claimed battery life of up to 10 years and range of 50 feet. It is currently available for an introductory price of $44.99. An Android-compatible version will be available from March 2013.

February 27
Toshiba shows-off Lytro-style Light Field module for mobiles

Toshiba Semiconductors has been demonstrating a sensor module for mobile phones that allows Lytro-style refocusable images. The company promises 2MP images from an 8MP sensor and is already working on a version with higher-resolution output. However, there's reason to believe such cameras would be even more prone to the drawbacks we identified in Lytro's camera. Click through to find out more.

Hands-on with the HTC One at the Mobile World Congress

While most smartphone manufacturers have opted for a 13MP camera module, HTC is going the opposite way in terms of sensor resolution, equipping the HTC One with a 4MP camera. However, the photodiodes that collect the light on the HTC's sensor module are similar in size to those found in enthusiast compact cameras such as the Canon Powershot G15, and as such, and HTC promises this will result in much better low-light performance than conventional smartphone cameras. We take a closer look at what HTC is calling 'ultrapixel' technology at connect.dpreview.com

Adobe releases Photoshop Touch for Android and iOS smartphones

Adobe has announced a smartphone version of its Photoshop Touch app for both Android and iOS. The app was originally launched for 10-inch tablets and more recently a version for smaller tablets such as the iPad Mini and Google Nexus 7. It includes features familiar to Photoshop users such as layers, advanced selections tools, adjustments and filters, but in a much smaller format. Photoshop Touch for smartphones is available on the Apple App Store and Google Play for U.S. $4.99. Read more at connect.dpreview.com

Rambus unveils 'Binary Pixel' sensor tech for expanded dynamic range

US technology company Rambus has unveiled 'Binary Pixel' sensor technology, promising greatly expanded dynamic range for the small sensors used in devices such as smartphones. Current image sensors are unable to record light above a specific saturation point, which results in clipped highlights. Binary Pixel technology gets around this by recording when a pixel has received a certain amount of light, then resetting it and in effect restarting the exposure. The result is significantly expanded dynamic range from a single exposure. 

Instagram hits 100 million monthly users milestone

Popular photo-sharing service Instagram has reached a milestone of 100 million monthly active users. The mobile app, among the most popular ways of sharing images worldwide, was launched in October 2010. The platform has seen exponential growth since then. Read more about its two-and-a-half-year journey, including the Facebook acquisition in 2012, controversial changes to its Terms of Service and more at connect.dpreview.com

February 26
Digital imaging at the Mobile World Congress 2013

It is day two at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona and the team at connect.dpreview.com are there, covering the newest in smartphone and tablet camera technology. We've visited the stands of LG, Samsung, ZTE, Asus and Huawei to cover their latest products and as well as news and commentary we've published several brief hands-on articles with the latest new gear. Click through for links to the latest content at connect.dpreview.com.

Adobe updated Raw support for Fujifilm X-Trans tested

The latest release candidates of Adobe Camera Raw (7.4) and Lightroom (4.4) include improved demosaicing logic for Fujifilm's X-Trans sensor cameras, including the flagship X-Pro1. We found previous ACR versions struggled with fine detail and color accuracy, so were anxious to re-process our X-Pro1 files in ACR 7.4 RC. Is this the update X-Pro1 owners have been waiting for? Have a look at our results.

Adobe posts Lightroom 4.4 and ACR 7.4 release candidates

Adobe has announced 'release candidate' versions of Lightroom 4.4 and Adobe Camera Raw 7.4. As usual, the latest near-complete versions add support for recent cameras. What makes this release especially significant, however, is improved support for Fujifilm's X-Trans sensor models, including the X-Pro1 and X-E1. The Lightroom update also corrects a series of bugs present in the current version of the software. As usual, release candidates are considered well tested but not final.

February 25
Ethics of prize-winning photo debated

A controversy over photojournalistic ethics and integrity has sprung up over the accusation that Magnum photographer Paolo Pellegrin misrepresented both the subject and context of an award-winning image. An image purporting to show a gun-wielding former Marine corps sniper in a rough neighborhood is actually of a former photojournalism student in a safe neighborhood. Was this simply poor record-keeping or a deliberate fabrication? Read on for more details.

Smartphone photography technology on display at Mobile World Congress

We're at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Spain, this week to cover the newest in smartphone and tablet technology. Manufacturers are making major headway to improve 'the camera that's always with you' and day one of the weeklong event offered plenty to impress us. We've got hands-on with the latest from LG and Huawei and more MWC news at connect.dpreview.com.

Pentax Ricoh discontinues K-01 K-mount mirrorless camera

Pentax Ricoh has moved its K-01 K-mount mirrorless camera to the 'discontinued' section of its website after just 12 months on the market. The unconventional-looking K-01 used a full-depth Pentax K lens mount but relied on contrast-detection AF, rather than the phase-detection systems for which all autofocus K-mount lenses have been primarily designed. Designed by Marc Newson, the K-01 was one of the most unusual-looking cameras we've ever tested. Click through for more details. 

Luxi turns smartphones into incident light meters

Luxi is a diffusion dome accessory that aims to turns your smartphone into an affordable incident light meter. The accessory is currently gaining traction via a Kickstarter campaign, is designed to work as an incident light meter by measuring the light for an entire scene, rather than just reflected light. Luxi is expected to retail for $24.95, and its developers claim the accessory will work with existing light meter apps. See the Luxi in action at connect.dpreview.com.

Phase One releases Capture One Express 7

Phase One has announced Capture One Express 7, the latest version of its enthusiast Raw image processing tool. A stripped-down version of Capture One Pro, Capture One Express 7 gains features including HDR processing, lens correction and digital asset management tools. Express doesn't support tethered shooting, but images can be viewed remotely and wirelessly using either the Capture Pilot iOS app or a web browser on other devices. Capture One Express 7 will cost $99/€69 with discounted upgrades. Click through for the press release and more details.

Just Posted: Sony NEX-3N hands-on preview with samples gallery

Just Posted: Sony NEX-3N hands-on preview with real world samples. We've had a chance to use and shoot with a NEX-3N and, now that Sony US has announced the camera, we can publish our look at the latest model. The 3N is the fourth entry-level NEX camera and the smallest so far. Despite this, it includes most of the features of its predecessors. We look at what has been added and what it lacks, compared to last year's NEX-F3.

Sony US announces SLT-A58 DSLR and NEX-3N mirrorless cameras

Sony US has announced the Alpha SLT-A58 and NEX 3N cameras, five days after they were announced in Europe. The A58 replaces both the A37 and A57, helping to simplify the company's lineup. Meanwhile, the NEX-3N gains a compact-camera-style zoom lever and a smaller body than its predecessor, the F3. Both gain a lock-on focus mode and Auto Object Framing mode. The SLT-A58 will cost around $600 as a kit with the 18-55mm zoom, while the NEX-3N comes with a 16-50mm power zoom lens for around $500.

Sony US launches Planar T* 50mm F1.4 and 70-400mm F4.5.6 G SSM II

Sony US has announced the Zeiss-branded Planar T* 50mm F1.4 ZA SSM and 70-400mm F4-5.6 G SSM II A-mount lenses, alongside a redesigned DT 18-55mm F3.5-5.6 SAM II entry-level kit zoom. Both have already been announced in Europe. The lenses will ship from May 2013 at retail prices of around $1500, $2200 and $220 respectively.

Sony US introduces Cyber-shot WX300, HX300 and TX30 compact cameras

Sony has announced the Cyber-shot DSC-WX300, DSC-HX300 and DSC-TX30 compact cameras in the US market. The HX300 is a 20MP 50x superzoom with a 24-1200mm equiv. lens. Meanwhile the WX300 is an 18MP Wi-Fi compact superzoom with a 25-500mm equiv. lens. The tough, waterproof, card-style TX30 offers a 26-130mm equiv zoom. The WX300 will cost around $330, while the HX300 and TX30 will have retail prices of $500 and $350 respectively.

February 23
Destination wedding photography part 2
Chris Mann's tips on planning, pricing and shooting a destination wedding (part 2 of 2). In this part we'll look at how photographing a wedding in a tropical destination differs from more temperate locations.
Destination wedding photography part 1
Chris Mann's tips on planning, pricing and shooting a destination wedding (part 1 of 2). In part one we'll look at the practical, legal and financial side of shooting overseas.
February 22
MIT builds advanced photo functions into hardware for mobile devices

A project at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology has embedded advanced processing functions into an image processor for mobile devices. The chip includes features such as 'real-time' HDR processing and sophisticated bilateral noise reduction at a hardware level - making the process more energy efficient than running it as software, and making the chip more appropriate for battery-limited mobile devices. The work was funded by iPhone manufacturer Foxconn and a prototype chip, fabricated by the Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company, is now being tested.

Nikon issues service advisory on D600's dust issue

Nikon has released a service advisory for its D600 digital SLR, addressing dust and dirt accumulation on the camera's sensor. Based on user complaints, Nikon has belatedly acknowledged that dust removal 'may be difficult using normal measures' and advises customers to contact their nearest Nikon service center if they experience this problem. Service centers will examine and service such cameras 'as needed.' Click through for more details, and links to the service advisory.

Nikon and Microsoft sign patent deal over Android-based camera

Nikon has signed a licensing deal with Microsoft to cover the use of patented technologies in its Android-based cameras. The deal is the latest instance of Microsoft pursuing makers of Android devices, claiming patent infringement. Despite free access being one of the founding ideas of Google's Android operating system, Microsoft has been increasingly successful in convincing manufacturers of Android devices that they need to strike licensing deals for some of its technologies.

Just posted: Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX1 review updated with lens data

We've updated our Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX1 review with an additional page of lens data, brought to you in collaboration with DxOMark. The RX1's headline feature may well be its 24MP full frame image sensor, but the fixed Carl Zeiss Sonnar T* 35mm F2 lens is an equally crucial part of its imaging chain. We've added a full set of technical lens measurements to our review to illustrate how it performs, presented in our unique data widget. You can also see how it measures up against the best 35mm lenses available for SLRs.   

Sigma USA announces price and availability of DP3 Merrill

Sigma USA has announced the price and availability of its DP3 Merrill large sensor, fixed lens compact. The camera will be available from March 2013 at an estimated street price of $999. It is nearly identical to the earlier DP Merrill models featuring the familiar 15x3MP APS-C Foveon X3 sensor, but with a 50mm (75mm equiv.) F2.8 lens. In the UK, meanwhile, the DP3 Merrill will be priced at £799.99 (the same as the DP1 and DP2 Merrill models).  

February 21
320-gigapixel photo of London is the world's largest panoramic photo

A 320-gigapixel image taken from top of London's BT Tower has set the world record of the largest panoramic photo. It breaks the previous record set by a 281-gigapixel electron micrograph of a zebrafish embryo taken in 2012. The London image was shot by panorama specialists 360 Cities and is made up of 48,640 individual frames. To get an idea of just how large this photograph is, BT says if it was printed at 'normal resolution' the photo would measure measure 98 x 24 metres.Click through for pictures and more information on the hardware used to make the image. 

Nikon posts sample images from new D7100

Nikon has just posted a small 6-image sample gallery from the new D7100. The D7100 is a 24MP, APS-C DSLR that does not feature an optical low-pass filter on its sensor. Theoretically, this should increase detail resolution. As well as an unconventional sensor, the D7100 offers a 51-point AF system and a 1.3X crop mode in stills and video capture. The images that Nikon has posted were taken in .NEF Raw mode with the D7100 fitted with the AF-S NIKKOR 500mm f/4G ED VR and AF-S NIKKOR 70-200mm f/4G ED VR.

Sigma introduces Photo Pro 5.5 with Monochrome mode

Sigma has released version 5.5 of its Photo Pro raw processing software, which adds a monochrome processing mode for cameras with the 15x3MP Foveon sensor - i.e. the SD1, SD1 Merrill, DP1 Merrill, DP2 Merrill and DP3 Merrill. It's also now compatible with Windows 8. The software is available now from Sigma's website - click through for more details and download links. 

Just Posted: Nikon D7100 Hands-On Preview

Just Posted: We've had a chance to get our hands on the Nikon D7100 - the company's latest mid-range DSLR. The D7100 looks a lot like the popular D7000 but has been completely overhauled internally. Central to its feature set is a 24MP CMOS sensor with no optical low-pass filter, promising high resolution captures. It also gains a 51-point autofocus system and 1.3x crop mode for both stills and video capture, amongst other upgrades. Click here to find out what we thought.

Nikon unveils D7100 mid-level 24MP APS-C DSLR with no low-pass filter

Nikon has announced the D7100 - a 24MP mid-range, enthusiast-focused APS-C DSLR. The D7100 promises high resolution by making do without an optical low-pass filter in front of its 24MP CMOS sensor. It gains a more sophisticated 51-point autofocus system and a 7fps 1.3x cropped shooting mode that provides a 2x crop compared to a 35mm system. The D7100 has a recommended price of $1,599/£1,299/€1,399 with 18-105mm F3.5-5.6 VR lens.

Nikon announces advanced WR-1 radio remote control

Alongside the D7100, Nikon announced the WR-1 Transceiver, a unique radio-frequency wireless remote control. Able to remotely control multiple cameras capturing stills and videos, and even time-lapse sequences, the Nikon WR-1 Transceiver mounts on the camera's hot shoe, but communicates via a cable attached to the master camera. Expected to retail for £649.99 in the UK, the WR-1 will ship in March 2013 (US pricing has yet to be announced).

Nikon Europe releases Coolpix S3500 compact camera

Nikon Europe has announced the Coolpix S3500. Available in multiple colors, the entry-level compact features a 20MP CCD sensor, 2.7" LCD, 720p HD recording and is compatible with Eye-Fi wireless memory cards. It will be available from the end of this month at a retail price of £129.99. Click through to read the press release.

Google Drive adds photo preview and video streaming

Google has announced the addition of a photo and video preview feature to its Drive cloud-storage service. Following the lead of competitor Dropbox, Google Drive now allow users to navigate photo and video files in a preview screen. Currently this feature is available only for its Android app users. The browser-based version of Google Drive will be updated in the next few days. Learn more about what file types are supported on connect.dpreview.com.

New capacitor could make xenon smartphone flashes more popular

A new, smaller capacitor could make Xenon flashes practical for use in ultra-slim smartphones. Researchers from a university in Singapore have partnered up with Xenon Technologies to develop a tiny capacitor for Xenon flashes that it claims is just as powerful as existing, larger versions. This is potentially big news for the smartphone industry which has primarily used LED lights in preference to Xenon flashes up to now. Few smartphones have incorporated Xenon flashes because of their higher power demands and larger physical size. Learn more about the tiny new capacitor at connect.dpreview.com.

February 20
Google demonstrates view behind the Glass wearable camera

Google has announced that its 'Glass' interactive head-mounted camera is now available for beta testing. Users who want to get their hands on an early version of the augmented eyewear can apply on social media channels, Google+ or Twitter. The company released a video today to promote the technology, showing what the world looks like through its camera. Read more about the Google Glass and instructions to sign up for beta testing on connect.dpreview.com

Sony announces NEX-3N 16MP entry-level mirrorless camera

Sony has announced the NEX-3N, its entry-level NEX camera, replacing the NEX-F3. The 3N is, as before, aimed at users stepping up from compact cameras and gains a compact-style zoom lever around its shutter button. It features a smaller body than the F3, and Sony says it is the smallest, lightest mirrorless camera to feature an APS-C sensor, despite featuring a built-in flash. The camera will be bundled with the e-mount 16-50mm F3.5-5.6 power zoom lens, to make the most of the camera's zoom control.

Sony announces SLT-A58 20MP mid-level DSLR-style camera

Sony has announced the Alpha SLT-A58, a mid-range SLT camera with a newly-developed 20MP sensor. The A58 will replace both the A37 and A57 models, helping to simplify the company's lineup. The A58 builds on the A57's feature set and gains an SVGA (800x600 pixel) OLED viewfinder, rather than its predecessors' LCDs. It gains a new lock-on focus mode and Auto Object Framing mode - an extension of the auto portrait mode in the A57. It will be sold with a redesigned DT 18-55mm F3.5-5.6 SAM II kit lens that offers quieter autofocus. The camera is not being launched in the USA at this point.

Sony has revealed the Planar T* 50mm F1.4 and 70-400mm F4.5.6 G SSM II

Sony has revealed the Zeiss-branded Planar T* 50mm F1.4 ZA SSM and 70-400mm F4-5.6 G SSM II A-mount lenses, alongside a redesigned DT 18-55mm F3.5-5.6 SAM II entry-level kit zoom. The redesigned 70-400mm telephoto zoom offers faster autofocus than the existing version and comes in a white body that matches the recent 70-200mm and 500mm G lenses. Meanwhile, the 50mm F1.4 features a dust and moisture resistant design and quiet autofocus.

Sony launches Cyber-shot WX300, HX300 and TX30 compact cameras

Sony has announced the Cyber-shot DSC-WX300, DSC-HX300 and DSC-TX30 compact cameras. The HX300 is a 50x superzoom with a 24-1200mm equivalent lens in front of a 20MP CMOS sensor. Meanwhile the WX300 is a Wi-Fi compact superzoom that Sony says is the slimmest 20x camera. It has an 18MP CMOS chip behind its 25-500mm equiv. lens. Finally, the tough, waterproof card-style TX30 shares the same sensor and offers a 26-130mm equiv zoom. The three models are not currently being announced in the USA.

Just Posted: Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX1 review

Just posted: Our review of the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX1. The RX1 is one of the most ambitious cameras Sony has ever built: a full-frame compact with a fixed 35mm F2 lens. Those specifications make the RX1 a high-end, niche camera, as its $2,800/€3,100/£2,600 price tag confirms. So how does it perform? We've run the RX1 through our standard tests and looked into its performance and what this unique camera offers. Click here to see what we found.

February 19
Billingham marks 40 years of history

UK camera bag manufacturer Billingham is celebrating its 40th anniversary this year, and its new 2013 catalogue highlights the development of its products released from 1973 to the present. Billingham was founded in 1973 in the West Midlands, in England. As well as an interesting overview of the company's history, Billingham's 2013 brochure also includes information about and specifications of all current models of bags and optional accessories along with details about the materials and construction methods used in the creation of its premium products. Click through for a link to the catalogue. 

Samsung announces Wi-Fi-only version of Galaxy Camera

Samsung has announced a Wi-Fi-only version of its Galaxy Camera. It shares the same feature-set as the 3G and 4G versions announced last August, including a 21x, 23-481mmm equivalent zoom lens on the front with a 4.8" touchscreen on the back. It runs Android 4.1 (known as Jelly Bean), the latest version of the operating system. There is currently no information on price or availability.

HTC takes new approach to sensor tech in latest flagship phone

Much ado has been made about the sensor technology rumored to debut along with HTC's newest handset launched today, the HTC One. While rumors of stacked sensors were predictably wide of the mark, HTC is taking a clever approach to improving camera phone quality by betting on fewer but larger pixels captured by a 4.0MP 1/3" sensor, which are similar in size to those found in enthusiast compact cameras, and which HTC is calling 'ultrapixels'. Combined with a fast F2.0 lens and optical image stabilization, the HTC One's specs hold promise for better low-light photography - an area where mobile phones have fallen notoriously short. Click though for our detailed preview on Connect.

Olympus USA announces XZ-10 enthusiast compact

Olympus USA has announced the launch of the Stylus XZ-10 enthusiast compact, just three weeks after it was introduced to the rest of the world. A cheaper companion to the XZ-2, it's built around a 26-130mm equivalent F1.8-2.7 lens, coupled with a 12MP 1/2.3" type backlit CMOS sensor that offers ISOs up to 6400 and sensor-shift image stabilization. It can record 1080p Full HD movies with stereo sound, has a fixed 3" 920k dot touch-sensitive LCD, and offers a full set of manual controls including a customizable round-lens control ring. It'll be available from March 2013 at an estimated street price of $399.99.

February 18
Casio Europe announces EX-N5 and EX-N50 compact cameras

Casio Europe has announced the Exilim EX-N5 and EX-N50 16MP entry-level compact cameras. Both come with a similar feature set of the EX-ZS30 announced today, including 26-156mm equiv. optical zoom lenses, 2.7" LCDs and a set of eight Art Shot filters. The cameras differ only in terms of finish - the EX-N50 features a textured pinstripe pattern on its front, while the EX-N5 comes with two-tone silver ring around the lens. There is currently no information on price and availability.

Nikon D5200 hands-on preview updated with menus, test data and samples

We've just added ten pages of content to our hands-on preview of the 24MP Nikon D5200, representing our progress so far towards the completion of a full review. As well as a complete breakdown of the options available in the camera's menu system we've added our full complement of studio tests, including resolution, noise and dynamic range, and a small gallery of 'real world' samples. Click through for a link to the 16-page preview.

India, Instagram and a smartphone

Photographer Misho Baranovic used a smartphone to document his recent project in India for NGO World Vision Australia. He found his smartphone the perfect tool for both recording the journey and sharing it with a worldwide audience in real time. In this article, Baranovic discusses the pros and cons of documentary photography with a camera phone, and offers tips for shooting with a mobile device when travelling abroad. Click through for the full article on connect.dpreview.com.

Casio Europe releases 20.1 MP Exilim EX-ZS30 camera

Casio Europe has launched the Exilim EX-ZS30 featuring a 20.1 MP CCD sensor. It comes with a a 6x 26-156mm equiv. optical zoom lens and a 2.7 inch LCD. The camera includes beginner-friendly features include a Premium Auto mode and a set of eight Art shot filters. The Z320 will be available silver, black, purple, white, and pink at a price to be confirmed. Click through for the press release.

Report zooms in on giant camera resolution test charts throughout the US

Dozens of two-dimentional aerial photo calibration targets are scattered all across the United States, according to a report by the Center for Land Use Interpretation. Constructed mostly during the 1950s and 1960s, these large outdoor charts were used as 'a platform to test, calibrate, and focus aerial cameras traveling at different speeds and altitudes.' The report points out that although some of these 'charts' are still used for some optical camera testing and calibration, they are primarily relics of the past. Click through for more information, and images.

February 15
Computer History Museum shares original Adobe Photoshop source code

The source code of the original version of Adobe Photoshop has been made available by The Computer History Museum, based in California. Photoshop started off in the 1980s as a program called 'Display' written by Thomas Knoll, before being renamed 'Photoshop' in 1990 - the year that the first version of the software shipped to customers. The download, which is available for non-commercial use with the permission of Adobe, consists of around 128,000 lines of code. Click through for more details (and some nostalgia-inducing screenshots of Photoshop 1).

World Press Photo announces 2013 contest winners

Swedish photographer Paul Hansen has won the World Press Photo 2013 award for his picture of a Palestinian family carrying two children who were killed in an Israeli missile strike to their funeral. The contest also awarded prizes in eight other categories ranging from Sports to Portraits. Some of these images may be familiar from news coverage throughout the year, but they make a compelling and inspiring reminder of the exceptional level of photojournalism across the world. Click through to check out some of the winning photographs.

Nauticam introduces NA-NEX6 underwater housing for Sony NEX-6

US underwater housing maker Nauticam has announced the NA-NEX6 for Sony's NEX-6 mirrorless camera. Providing protection up to 100 meters depth, its body is made from aluminum with a scratch-resistant acrylic rear cover. It features a single-lock housing and a patented lens attachment mechanism that allows you to change lenses without removing the camera from the housing. The NA-NEX6 is available at a retail price of $1650.

February 14
Dell announces UltraSharp monitors that cover 99% of AdobeRGB gamut

Dell has announced its 27" U2713H and 24" U2413 LED monitors designed for color critical applications like photo editing. These latest flagship models promise 99% coverage of the AdobeRGB color space, feature a 12-bit internal processor and 14-bit LUT (lookup table) for software calibration. The U2713H and U2413 are currently available at prices starting at US $999/£802/€829  and US $599/£490/€519 respectively.

Panasonic UK launches a 'Try Before You Buy' service for DMC-GH3

Panasonic UK has announced a 'Try Before You Buy' service for the Panasonic Lumix DMC-GH3 Micro Four Thirds camera allowing customers to borrow it as a kit along with the 12-35mm for 48 hours. This offer is available across a number of UK retailers with no obligation to purchase. The company says the scheme lets customers 'road test' the camera before committing to such a big purchase. Click through for the list of 28 participating retailers.

Pentax Ricoh updates firmware for Q10 mirrorless camera

Pentax Ricoh has released the first firmware update for its Q10 mirrorless interchangeable lens camera. Firmware v1.01  improves operational stability and contrast AF performance. The update is available for immediate download from the company's website. Click through for the download link.

February 13
Fujifilm X-Trans matrix and raw converters

I am a happy owner of a Fujifilm X-E1. This camera has an innovation CMOS matrix X-Trans with a non-standart color filter array pattern. Now I am going to test support of several raw converters for the X-Trans raw to choose my new one.

iFixit finds it difficult to tear down Microsoft Surface Pro

The team at iFixit.com have just got their hands on the Pro version of the Microsoft Surface tablet. Powered by an Intel Core i5 processor, the Surface Pro provides the power and performance of a fully-fledged Windows computer in the tablet form factor. The team had a tough time breaking into Microsoft's first tablet and had to use a heat gun and guitar picks to combat the teardown. For all the gory details, images and a link to the full tear-down, click through to our article on connect.dpreview.com.

Penguin 'spy' cams help BBC filmmakers create a fascinating documentary

A new BBC documentary uses tiny disguised cameras to take an intimate look at the lives of penguins. Wildlife producer John Downer and his team shot 'Penguins: Spy in the Huddle' with fifty 'spy cameras' disguised as rocks, eggs and even penguins themselves. The team shot footage of Emperor penguins in Antarctica, Rockhopper penguins on the Falkland Islands and Humboldt penguins in the Atacama Desert near the Peru-Chile border. Click through for photos, video and more information about the cameras.

DxO Optics Pro 8.1.3 adds Leica M9, Nikon D5200 and Panasonic FZ200

DxO Labs has released version 8.1.3 of its DxO Optics Pro software. The Elite edition extends support to the Leica M-E, M9, and M9-P rangefinders. Both the Elite and Standard versions gain Nikon D5200, Panasonic DMC-FZ200, and Canon SX50 HS support. The update also adds 260 lens and cameras combinations for Canon, Leica, Panasonic, Sigma, Sony, Tamron, Tokina, and Zeiss users. These modules join the existing list of over 10,000 combinations.

Olympus denies reports that it is ceasing DSLR production

Olympus is denying reports that it is ceasing its production of DSLR cameras. In its official statement Olympus says there is no truth to these reports and the company will continue to offer DSLR cameras alongside its popular mirrorless camera range. The reports came as Olympus promised 'extensive business restructuring' in its imaging division, above and beyond the downsizing already taking place as part of its 'medium term vision.'

Just Posted: Canon EOS 6D In-depth Review

Just Posted: Our in-depth review of the Canon EOS 6D. Announced last autumn, the 20MP EOS 6D is Canon's newest full-frame camera, offering a cut-down feature set compared to its big brother the 5D Mark III, but at a more affordable price. The 6D has some unique tricks up its sleeve though, including built-in Wi-Fi and GPS, as well as a super-sensitive central AF point capable of focusing in extremely low light. Is the 6D the budget-friendly full-frame DSLR that Canon enthusiasts have been waiting for? Click through to read our full 25-page review. 

February 12
Roundup: Three smartphone cases to turn your phone into an action cam

While wearable, mountable cameras such as the GoPro have been the choice for capturing action-oriented stills and video, some camera phone cases enable users to achieve similar results safely from their smartphone - at a fraction of the cost. With the high-megapixel cameras and HD video recording capabilities of today's advanced mobile devices, such accessories are becoming very viable options for extreme sports and action mobile photography. We look at three such products today on connect.dpreview.com.

Visual Supply Company releases Film 03 presets pack for Lightroom & ACR

Visual Supply Company has released the VSCO Film 03 camera profiles and film emulation preset pack for Adobe Lightroom 4 and Camera Raw 7. The software comes with customized camera profiles for Fujifilm, Canon and Nikon image files and allows native non-destructive editing of desired film effects within Lightroom and ACR. The latest version includes a toolkit to achieve an 'authentic instant film' look. Version 03 is currently available for immediate download at a retail price of $119 (~ £75/ €90) from the company's website.

Epson announces VS220 and VS320 budget projectors

Epson has announced the VS320 and VS220 budget projectors offering SVGA and XGA resolutions respectively. Both the lightweight models deliver 2700 lumens of color and white brightness and include features such as USB Plug ‘n Play, 3 inch LCDs and HDMI connectivity. The projectors are available at retail prices of $429 and $359 respectively.

February 11
Kickstarter project looks to take 1:1 walk-in camera on a world tour

A German artist is planning on creating a mobile version of IMAGO1:1 - the only camera in the world capable of true 1:1 reproduction for full-length self-portraits. Originally built in 1970, the camera works like a photo booth, projecting a true-to-life 1:1 portrait onto 60cm x 200cm sheets of black-and-white direct positive paper. Artist Susanna Kraus, daughter of original IMAGO1:1 co-inventor Werner Kraus is seeking £95,000 (~$150,000, €112,000) to fund the development of a mobile version of this famous camera to tour around the world. Click through for more information on the camera and the Kickstarter-funding link.

Flickr software bug makes some private photos public

Flickr users may be alarmed to learn some of their private images could have been temporarily publicly viewable. Yahoo's photo sharing site alerted affected users with an email message last week, detailing the error and explaining what steps to take. According to Flickr, a software bug resulted in some private images, uploaded between April and December 2012 becoming public between January 18th and February 7th this year. Click through for more details and analysis on connect.dpreview.com.

Canon to add 25fps 4K video recording to EOS-1D C pro DSLR

Canon has announced an upcoming service update to its EOS-1D C professional DSLR that will add 25p 4K video recording. The camera currently captures 4096 x 2160 resolution videos at up to 24p without downscaling, from an APS-H crop of its 18MP full-frame sensor. In a service advisory, the company promises more information about this update in April 2013 for US EOS-1D C owners. There is currently no information on the European website.

Samsung ships WB250F and DV150F Wi-Fi enabled Smart cameras

Samsung has started shipping its Wi-Fi enabled DV150F dual-LCD and WB250F compact cameras at retail prices of $149.99 and $249.99 respectively. Announced at the CES 2013 tradeshow, the WB250F is an 18x, 24-432mm equiv compact superzoom with a 3.0" touch screen and the company's latest Wi-Fi implementation - dubbed 'Smart 2.0.' The DV150F is 16MP CCD with a 25-125mm equiv zoom and includes a 2.7" LCD and a 1.5" front LCD. UK and European pricing and availability have yet to be confirmed.

February 8
Steve McCurry’s 'Last Roll of Kodachrome' photos are now live on his blog

Award-winning photographer Steve McCurry has published the photos taken with the last roll of Kodakchrome to come off the production line on his Wordpress blog. McCurry has shot more than 800,000 photos including his iconic 'Afghan Girl' portrait, with the film. In an article posted by NPR in 2009 McCurry equated 'losing the medium to losing a dear friend.' Click through for the link the gallery and a video exploring the story behind the gallery.

Nikon D5200 added to our studio comparison database

We've added the Nikon D5200 to our database of studio comparison images. We're in the process of running a production D5200 through our studio tests, so wanted to present the results of our standard test scene. These shots are also available from other reviews and the standalone tool (click 'Review Comparison Tool' link in the site's Reviews menu). We'll be adding a complete set of studio and real-world sample images in the coming days but, in the meantime, click through to see how the D5200 stacks against the competition. 

February 7
Apple Raw Compatibility Update v4.04 adds nine more cameras

Apple has added Raw support to its OS-X operating system for nine additional cameras, including Nikon's D5200, Pentax K-5 II/IIs and Sony's DSC-RX1. Digital Camera Raw Compatibility Update v4.04 also brings Leica X2, D-Lux 6 and V-Lux 4 support to Aperture and iPhoto. The update requires Aperture v3.4 or later and iPhoto version 9.4 or later. Click through for the complete list of cameras and download link.

Photographer to shoot 50 weddings in one day with his iPhone

Professional photographer Kevin Kuster, who lives in Chicago, was recently approached by the charity Watts of Love  to help with an interesting photography project that seemed a perfect opportunity to make use of his newfound love of mobile photography. He will now travel to the Philippines and shoot 50 weddings in one day  - with his iPhone 4s.

Just Posted: Olympus M.Zuiko 17mm F1.8 sample gallery

Just posted: Olympus M.Zuiko 17mm F1.8 sample gallery. We've been shooting with the Olympus 17mm F1.8 lens for a while now and have put together a sample gallery showing what it can do. We've also prepared some notes on the experience of shooting with the 34mm equivalent fast prime for Micro Four Thirds and included some shots that match ones we included in our Sony RX1 gallery. Beyond that we've tried to show a the lens at a series of apertures to show how the lens behaves.

Nikon publishes Nikkor lens 80th anniversary video

Nikon has offered a behind-the-scenes look at its lens manufacturing process. The YouTube video follows the process from creating the glass through to final assembly and has been posted to celebrate the 80th anniversary of its Nikkor lenses. The company has also listed out few milestones of the brand's history, which started with the Aero-Nikkor aerial photography lenses in 1933. Click through to watch the video.

Just posted: Samsung Galaxy Camera review

We've just posted our review of the Samsung Galaxy Camera on Connect. The Galaxy Camera takes components from Samsung's WB850F long-zoom compact camera and its flagship smartphone, the Galaxy S3, and combines them in one device. The result of this fusion of technologies is a compact superzoom camera with a 23mm wideangle, 21x zoom lens and pop-up flash that offers the ability to edit images on the go. You can also share images via Wi-Fi or 3G/4G data connectivity and install a plethora of apps from the Google Play Store. Click through to go to the full review.

February 6
Ricoh concept camera makes spherical panoramic images in one shot

Ricoh exhibited a concept camera at CP+ that captures spherical panoramic images and sends them wirelessly to a smartphone or tablet. Apparently produced mainly to gauge market reaction, Ricoh released no technical info on the camera apart from the fact that it uses two opposed 180-degree lenses whose images it combines into one spherical panorama. Users can zoom in on the image elements and swipe to look around the sphere; they can also zoom out to a circular image. The company imagines printing images on spheres as a potential product concept, and is considering video capture as well as stills.

Sony World Photography Awards 2013 announce shortlist of finalists

The World Photography Organisation has announced the shortlists for the professional, open and youth categories of the 2013 Sony World Photography awards. This year's competition saw the highest number of submissions to date with more than 122,000 entries from 170 countries. The shortlist offers an insight into an impressive gallery of images. Winners are scheduled to be announced in March and April. Click through for more information and a look at some of the photographs.

Creators of Raspberry Pi computer announce $25 camera module

The makers of Raspberry Pi - the popular low-cost computer - have announced the development of a new camera module, expected to cost $25. Since the first version of Raspberry Pi was released early last year, more than half a million of the inexpensive boards have been sold to eager enthusiasts all over the world, and put to use doing everything from running games to powering a voice-activated coffee machine (yes, really). Details on the forthcoming camera module are vague, but it is expected to offer at least 5MP resolution and the ability to capture HD video. Click through for more details. 

February 5
Conflict photographer Ben Lowy explains why he uses an iPhone

Photojournalist Ben Lowy made headlines in 2011 when he used his iPhone to shoot an assignment for the New York Times in Afghanistan. Since then he's used his smartphone to document many more events including the Libyan revolution, and the impact of Hurricane Sandy. Today, photo sharing network EyeEm published an interesting interview with Lowy, in which he offers some insight into journalism's changing landscape, and why he chooses to shoot with an iPhone. Click through for more details and a link to the interview on connect.dpreview.com.

Sony firmware for NEX-7, NEX-6, NEX-5R,NEX-5N and E-mount lenses

Sony has announced a series of firmware updates for its NEX-7, NEX-6, NEX-5R, NEX-5N mirrorless APS-C cameras and two E-mount lenses. Version 1.02 for both NEX-7 and 5N adds automatic lens correction with the 16-50mm E mount lens, as well as a number of other improvements and bugs fixes. Firmware v1.01 for NEX-6 and 5R provides Fast Hybrid AF support with multiple E-mount lenses. Owners of NEX-6 and 5R cameras who use the 50mm f/1.8 or 30mm f/3.5 E mount lenses must first update the latest lens firmware that adds the Fast Hybrid AF capability. Click through for more details and a link to the updates. 

CP+ 2013: First impressions of the Olympus XZ-10

CP+ 2013: The show was a bit short on high-end camera launches, but the Olympus Stylus XZ-10 - a small-sensor camera with a good degree of manual control - generated a lot of interest. We got a chance to get our hands on a pre-production unit and were talked-through its Photo Story feature, as well as having a good dig through the menus to see what it's capable of. Click here to read our first impressions.

Talk of 'ultrapixels' leads to speculation about Foveon-like HTC smartphone

Early tech blog reports suggest HTC's much-anticipated 'M7' smartphone could have a Foveon-like layered sensor. All the information appears to stem from a Pocket-lint report about the phone, expected to be revealed at press events to be held in New York City and London on February 19. The suggestion is that the M7 could have a multi-layer sensor, rather than a conventional 13MP chip with a Bayer filter pattern. Foveon itself once tried to develop a sensor for smartphones and other companies are working on similar concepts. However, we wonder if the story comes from a translation error of Sony's 'Stacked CMOS' technology - which is used in a 13MP Exmor RS sensor.

Nikon posts firmware update for V1 small sensor mirrorless camera

Nikon has posted a firmware update for its 1 V1 enthusiast small sensor mirrorless camera. Firmware version 1.21 resolves a minor bug related to live view performance immediately after a lens is attached. The firmware is available immediately for download. Click through for more details and a link to the update.

Sony announces firmware for SLT-A37, A57, A65, A77 and A99

Sony has announced firmware updates for its SLT-A37, A57, A65, A77 and A99 digital SLRs. Firmware version 1.01 for the SLT-A99 adds Dual-AF compatibility with key A-mount lenses. Updates for the rest of the SLTs including the A99 add automatic lens correction with several A-mount lenses. Click through for more details and a link to the updates. 

February 4
CamRanger offers DSLR control from your iPad

Developer Dave Pawlowski and his wife Melissa have announced the CamRanger that lets users wirelessly control Canon and Nikon DSLRs to Apple's iPad, iPhone or iPod touch. The standalone device connects the cameras with a USB cable and creates an ad-hoc Wi-Fi network for the Apple devices. It allows live live view control and playback of images and videos. Head over to connect.dpreview.com for more details.

Just Posted: Nikon Coolpix S800c Review

We've just posted our review of the Nikon Coolpix S800c, in collaboration with Jeff Keller of The Digital Camera Resource Page. The S800c was the first compact camera from a major manufacturer to openly use the Android mobile operating system when it was released last year. On one side it's a 16MP BSI-CMOS compact camera with a 10x, 25-250mm lens built in, on the other it's a 3.5" OLED touchscreen device running Android 2.3. Click through for a link to the full review. 

Casio's Jin Nakayama rules-out mirrorless, promising fast future for compacts

CP+ 2013: Casio wants to make cameras that allow non-photographers to take better images, and that could mean large sensor compacts, says Jin Nakayama, Senior General Manager of the company's QV Digital Camera Division, but don't expect a mirrorless camera. The company, which makes some of Japan's best-selling compacts, has a development strategy Nakayama believes will distinguish it from smartphones while also staying a step ahead of its camera rivals, he says.

Panasonic discusses its GH3 and the challenge of making a high IQ compact

CP+ 2013: Panasonic is considering which cameras it needs to appeal to the different demands for Micro Four Thirds in different countries. We spoke to Michiharu Uematsu, Special Adviser, Imaging Business Group and Yoshiyuki Inoue, Senior Engineering Planner, Marketing Team, Imaging Business Group. They explain the challenges of making and marketing a high image quality compact and suggest the GH3 won't get focus peaking.

Panasonic promises high sensitivity sensors using 'Micro Color Splitters'

Panasonic has devised a method to increase the sensitivity of image sensors, by replacing the near-universal colour filter array with prism-like 'Micro Color Splitters' to generate colour information. The key advantage is that all of the incoming light is directed to the sensor, instead of half or more being absorbed by the colour filter dyes. This promises to deliver images with less noise in low light. The development is published in the journal Nature Photonics, and outlined in a press release on Panasonic's website.   

February 2
Olympus' Toshi Terada discusses the future of Four Thirds and compacts

The long wait for the next generation of cameras for Four Thirds may soon be over, suggests Olympus' Toshi Terada, Manager, Product Planning SLR products. He also discusses the role the OM-D has played in increasing uptake of mirrorless cameras in the USA and the future of compact cameras now that smartphones have become many users' cameras of choice.

Panasonic puts 43mm F1.2 portrait lens and 150mm F2.8 on lens roadmap

CP+ 2013: Panasonic has added a 42.5mm F1.2 portrait lens and 150mm F2.8 super-telephoto prime to its lens roadmap for Micro Four Thirds, for release in the near future. The lenses, shown in prototype form at Photokina 2012, last September, are shown as being ready for release just after the 14-42mm II ASPH. kit zoom launched this week.

February 1
Ten tips for better mobile photography

Stock photography website iStockphoto recently began accepting smartphone images from photographers who sell images through the service. Now they're offering tips to photographers who want to improve their mobile photography skills, which includes both basic photography advice about composition and framing, as well as specific advice for mobilographers. Check out the post on connect.dpreview.com.

Astronaut tweets impressive space photographs

Astronaut Chris Hadfield is tweeting some impressive photos from his five-month journey aboard the International Space Station. Images are stripped of their data, so it is unclear what camera Hadfield is using. Popular Photography magazine speculates that it might be a Nikon due to the company’s history of cooperation with NASA. Click through to check the photos on connect.dpreview.com.

Sony NEX-6 preview extended with the addition of test data

Just Posted: an extensive update to our Sony NEX-6 preview. The NEX-6 is an enthusiast level mirrorless camera that features the high-resolution OLED viewfinder we first saw on the NEX-7 and builds on the capabilities that appeared on the recent NEX-5R. Click through for a link to the expanded preview, including six new pages of test data. We'll be adding more pages as we work towards the publication of our full review. 

CP+ 2013 - lenses from Nikon and Sigma

CP+ 2013: Nikon has several samples of its 18-35mm F3.5-4.5G ED consumer-level wide-angle full-frame zoom on show, while Sigma has re-designed and re-worked several of its most interesting lenses, which are being shown in prototype form at its stand. This includes a new version of its 30mm F1.4 for APS-C DSLRs. And, while none are available to shoot with yet, we got a chance to handle them, along with the portrait-friendly Sigma DP3 Merrill. 

Canon's imaging CEO promises 70D and talks about the future of compacts

CP+ 2013: There will be a Canon EOS 70D, but the future of semi-pro DSLRs is probably full-frame, says Masaya Maeda, Managing Director and Chief Executive, Image Communication Products Operations at Canon. However, while he says new concepts are needed to save the compact camera, he doesn't see larger sensors as being the answer for the mass market.

First Impressions: Metabones  Speed Booster lens adapter

The recently released Metabones Speed Booster is a unique lens adapter that promises near-full frame coverage on an APS-C camera and an extra stop of light gathering ability to boot. Intrigued not only by the actual product, but by the potential of the technology behind it, we spent a few days with the Speed Booster, a Sony NEX-6 and our favorite Canon EF lenses. Here's what we found.