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September 2013 news and reviews

September 30
Can computer corrections make simple lenses look good?

Modern lenses tend to be large and expensive, with multiple glass elements combining to minimise optical aberrations. But what if we could just use a cheap single-element lens, and remove those aberrations computationally instead? This is the question scientists at the University of British Columbia are asking, and they've come up with a way of improving images from a simple single element lens that gives pretty impressive results. Click through to read more.  

National Geographic's 125th anniversary celebrations continue

As part of the continuing celebration of its 125th anniversary, National Geographic once again features Steve McCurry's famous 'Afghan Girl' photograph on the cover of October's 'The Photography Issue'. Along with the new issue, National Geographic has launched some supporting content, as well as a new blog called Proof, offering 'new avenues for our audience to get a behind-the-scenes look at the National Geographic storytelling process.' 

Meikon Underwater Housing for Sony DSC-RX100 Review

An almost-in-depth review of a more than just affordable alternative to established brands of underwater housings. Read this multi-page Meikon-42 underwater housing review and find out how it compares to competition.

Roger Cicala investigates accuracy of lens adapters

Mount adapters are incredibly useful for their ability to make lenses from one manufacturer usable with camera bodies from another. But do they have any impact on image quality? LensRentals' Roger Cicala, not one to take manufacturer's claims at face value, investigated. Knowing that slight mis-alignments between a lens and even its native mount can cause softness in images, the added complexity with a lens adapter in the mix seemed likely to cause more problems. His findings are indeed interesting. 

September 29
Fair use? US stamp featuring photo of monument nets sculptor $650,000

Heard the one about the sculptor awarded over half a million dollars because a stamp was made including a war memorial he'd designed? At first that may sound surprising, but reading the court's judgement (and the rejections of the various defenses put forward by the US Postal Service), is an informative lesson about copyright and fair use. Click here to read more.

September 28
What The Duck #1436

We've been fans of Aaron Johnson's comic strip 'What the Duck' for years. 'WTD' is one of the best satirical comic strips in the world, and it's published here every week, as well as being included in our weekly newsletter. Barbed, topical and always amusing, we hope you enjoy WTD as much as we do. 

September 27
Miniature wide angle lens under development at UCSD

Researchers at University of California, San Diego's Jacobs School of Engineering are working on a miniature wide angle lens, taking advantage of the benefits of spherical lenses. At just a tenth of the size of a traditional wide angle lens, a spherical lens can create wide angle images without chromatic aberration or loss of resolution at corners. The challenge is capturing the lens' spherical projection on a flat sensor. The team have overcome this by using optical fibers fused to the rear of the lens to relay light to electronic sensors. Click through to read more.

Latest and greatest smartphones battle it out in mobile photo comparison

Thinking of upgrading to the latest smartphone, and want to see which takes the best photos? We pit four top photocentric mobile devices in an imaging showdown to test three new smartphones — the Sony Xperia Z1, Nokia Lumia 1020 and LG G2 — and Samsung's Galaxy S4 Zoom in real world shooting scenarios. See how they fared in our tests on

September 26
Google+ gets improved Raw-to-JPEG conversion

Google+ has introduced improved Raw-to-JPEG conversion for a number of cameras with some help from Nik Photography. As before, Raw files may be uploaded to Google+ for storage, and are automatically converted to JPEGs for previewing. The conversion from Raw has been fine-tuned for about 70 cameras, including high-end models like the Canon EOS 5D Mark III, Nikon D800 and D800E. Click through for the full list of cameras and see how it handles a Raw file from the Sony RX100.

Tablets for photographers: A versatile tool in your capture workflow

Tablets may be used as versatile tools in your photographic workflow, providing instant feedback as you shoot on a much larger format screen than your camera's tiny LCD and helping you experiment with a final look while you still have the opportunity to make major changes on set. We're looking at tools and tips for integrating a tablet into a live shoot with a DSLR, whether you're shooting tethered or wirelessly. Learn more on

Canon PowerShot G16 First Impressions Review

Canon's PowerShot G16 might not be a massive upgrade compared to its predecessor, but it is a a solid camera that evolves the G-series in some interesting ways. In this article, we take a look at the G16's real-world performance and dig into its new Wi-Fi feature as well as taking a critical look at its improved video mode. We've also added many more images to our previously-published gallery of real-world samples. Click through for a link to our first-impressions review. 

September 25
DxO Labs releases ViewPoint 2, with added lens corrections

DxO Labs has released version 2 of its distortion-correction software Viewpoint. Designed to correct for perspective distortions such as converging verticals, Viewpoint can now also use DxO Optics Modules to correct for the lens's barrel or pincushion distortion. It can work both as standalone software and as a plug-in, which is now compatible with Adobe Photoshop Elements and Apple Aperture (as well as Adobe Photoshop CC and Lightroom 5). A one month free trial version is available to download now, and Viewpoint 2 is on sale at reduced prices until 20th October. Click through for more info and download links.

X is for zoom? Our Fujifilm XF 55-200mm F3.5-4.8 R LM OIS review

We've just posted our review of the FUJINON XF 55-200mm F3.5-4.8 R LM OIS, Fujifilm's first telephoto zoom for its X system mirrorless cameras. We've been out and about with the lens taking hundreds of real-world pictures, and looked at them closely to find out what it can deliver in terms of image quality. We've also looked at how the system's integrated software corrections for lens aberrations such as distortion affect the final out-of-camera JPEGs in comparison to RAW files. Click through to read all about it.  

September 24
Photoshop Elements 12 adds useful editing tools, without the subscription

Adobe has released version 12 of its Photoshop Elements software for Mac and Windows. One of the highlights of the latest version of this consumer-friendly photo editor is 'Mobile Access', which uses Adobe's Revel cloud service to let users view and retouch photos on their mobile devices, keeping everything in sync. Other new features include 'Content-Aware Move', guided editors, and 64-bit support for Macs. Best of all, there's no monthly subscription fee. Read on to learn more about Elements 12, and if it may be a good substitute for its big brother.

Editorial: Why I can't stop taking iPhone Panoramas

DPReview editor Barnaby Britton spent his weekend taking pictures on the new Apple iPhone 5s, which among other refinements features a new camera, larger sensor, built-in filter effects and a unique two-color flash. It also offers an improved panorama mode with adaptive 'live' metering across the frame. In this short article he explains why even if you don't have any interest in the new iPhone, you should definitely pay attention to the iPhone 5s' panorama feature.

NYT offers a look at 'hometown' across the U.S. through the eyes of teens

The New York Times' Lens Blog asked teenagers across the U.S. to submit photos of their hometowns for a project simply called 'My Hometown.' Thousands of teens responded to the call, with submissions coming from 45 states. The resulting collection is a yearbook of sorts, documenting the friends, family and places closest to a small sampling of the country's young people. Lens Blog has published a selection of 145 Editor's Choice photos, and the whole collection is available online - searchable by student or state. Take a look at a few standouts.

September 23
More of a good thing: Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX100 II review posted

We've just posted our full review of the Sony Cyber-shot RX100 II. Following on the success of the RX100 is no easy feat, but just the same the RX100 II does so with a new BSI CMOS sensor. Also new to this model is an accessory port/hotshoe, Wi-Fi connectivity with NFC, and a tiltable display. Did Sony make a good camera even better? Click through to read our full analysis.

iPhone 5S real-world Samples Gallery

Apple's new iPhone 5S features a number of refinements that make it attractive to photographers, including a new, larger 8MP sensor, faster lens, improved panorama mode with 'dynamic auto exposure', built-in filter effects and a unique two-color flash for better low-light shots. DPReview editor Barnaby Britton spent the weekend shooting with the iPhone 5S, and you can see a large gallery of samples over at 

Kenko Tokina enters cine lens market with 16-28mm T3.0 wide zoom

The ever-increasing video capability of digital SLRs has seen manufacturers such as Canon, Samyang and Zeiss make video-optimised versions of their conventional lenses, and now Kenko Tokina is getting in on the act. The Tokina 16-28mm T3.0 is a manual focus version of the AT-X 16-28mm f/2.8 Pro FX wideangle zoom, with a redesigned barrel that features the usual refinements for video work, including geared focus, zoom and aperture rings, and scales designed to be read from the side of the camera. It'll be made in Canon EF and Arri PL mounts, with a suggested retail price of ¥580,000 - almost 5 times that of the lens it's based on.

September 22
Decaying dresses make photographer's landscapes personal

Jean Albus mixes dresses into her Montana landscapes by letting them decay, sometimes for years, before photographing them. She hopes their weathered forms invoke emotions about aging, memory, transformation and more. Her final images sometimes feature a dress as she's found it, sunken into the elements. She also often superimposes the worn dress over another image of the landscape, floating the decaying dress within "Big Sky Country." A new video explains her process. Click through to see more.

September 21
iPhone 5s compared in our new studio test scene

We lined up for the new Apple iPhone 5s this morning, and Dpreview's Studio Manager Kelcey Smith wasted no time in getting it into our studio, to take a critical look at how its new camera performs. We're taking the smartphone out for the weekend to gather shots for a gallery planned for this Monday, but in the meantime, you can take a look at how the iPhone 5s compares to the competition in our new studio widget. Click through to check it out.

September 20
Where the sharpness comes from: A tour of Sigma's factory

Some people are happy to shoot with lenses and think only of the results, but it can also be fascinating to think about how such complex, precision pieces of engineering are made. Some insight is provided by Dave Etchells over at Imaging Resource, who has just posted a story about his visit to Sigma's factory in Aizu, Japan. However, no matter how hard you try, you can't make every lens perfect - as Lensrentals Roger Cicala explains in his recent blog post. Click through for more.

Your smartphone camera: How many megapixels do you need?

Megapixels. How did such a simple concept become so wrapped up in hyperbole, controversy and confusion? The current generation of premium smartphones includes a 4MP model from HTC, 8MP from both Apple and Google, 13MP from Samsung and LG, 20.7MP Sony and 41MP from Nokia. Surely they can’t all be right? We examine how many megapixels you really need on your phone, over on

Behind the Shot: Lost in Space

In this article, nature photographer Erez Marom takes us through the complicated process he used to achieve his image 'Lost in Space'. As well as equipment choice and location, Erez also explains in detail exactly how he went about adjusting and manipulating multiple images in software to create the final result. Click through for the full article. 

Sigma updates firmware for 35mm F1.4 and 17-70mm F2.8-4 lenses

Sigma has announced firmware updates for two of its most recent lenses. Version 1.02 for the 35mm F1.4 DG HSM A012 (Canon mount) and version 1.01 for the 17-70mm F2.8-4 DC Macro OS HSM C013 (Canon, Nikon and Sigma mounts) bring improvements to autofocus operation and, for the latter, optical stabilisation. The lenses must be updated using Sigma's USB Dock, and owners should download the latest Version 1.1 of Sigma Optimization Pro software first. Click through for more details and the download link. 

iPhone 5s teardown: iFixit digs into Apple's newest phone

While iPhone fanatics worldwide are lining up for Apple's new iPhone 5s, the folks at iFixit are already taking the smartphone apart. The team has already torn into the latest flagship iPhone to take a closer look at a revamped iSight camera, that new A7 chip and more. Dig in with us at

September 19
Nikonos reborn? Our first impressions review of the submersible Nikon AW1

The Nikon 1 System has been around for a couple of years now, but the emergence of the AW1 signals a radical departure from what has been the norm. Functionally very similar to the 14MP J3 which Nikon announced earlier this year, the AW1 is waterproof to 15m (49ft), shockproof from 2m (6.6 ft), and freezeproof. It's being announced alongside two equally rugged lenses, and a range of colorful silicone skins for underwater and wet weather use. We had the opportunity to use the new camera recently, and we've put together a first impressions review covering its design, operation and key features. Click through for a link. 

Nikon 1 AW1 is world's first rugged, waterproof digital mirrorless

Nikon has announced the 1 AW1, the world's first rugged, waterproof mirrorless interchangeable lens camera. It has also made AW versions of its 11-27.5mm f/3.5-5.6 and 10mm f/2.8 lenses that are both shock and waterproof. The Nikon 1 AW1 features similar underlying specifications to the J3, featuring a 14MP sensor capable of shooting at up to 15 fps with continuous AF (60 fps with focus fixed), but is waterproof to a depth of 15m (49ft) and shockproof from a height of 2m (6.6 ft). It will cost around $800/£750/€799 with 11-27.5mm lens and $1,000/£950/€1019 with the 10mm f/2.8 added to make a two-lens kit.

Nikon creates Nikkor 1 AW 10mm f/2.8 and 11-27.5mm f/3.5-5.6 lenses

As part of its 'AW' launches, Nikon has announced the Nikkor 1 AW 10mm f/2.8 and 1 AW 11-27.5mm f/3.5-5.6 lenses. Both lenses are existing designs built into waterproof, shockproof housings and are only compatible with the Nikon 1 AW1 body. The 1 AW 10mm f/2.8 offers a 27mm equivalent field-of-view and will be sold separately for around $200/£300/€319. The Nikkor 1 AW 11-27.5mm zoom offers a rather limited 30-74mm equivalent range and will only be available as part of a kit with the camera - meaning there are no image-stabilized AW lenses yet.

September 18
Apple's new iOS 7 from a photographer's perspective

While early reviews of the iPhone 5c and 5s may have mobile tech fans talking hardware today, the bigger news in our opinion is actually Apple's free iOS 7 software update. iOS 7 offers plenty of features aimed specifically at mobile photography enthusiasts, and we're taking a look at the updated Camera and Photos app today on

Studio Test Scene launched - with 23 cameras (and counting)

After many, many months of design and testing we are happy to announce the official unveiling of our studio test scene. The new scene was designed to address certain drawbacks with the previous test scene, as well as providing the opportunity to show more real-world relevant information about how cameras behave. We've increased the number of cameras supported to 23 and we'll be continuing to add models (old and new) in the coming weeks.

Studio Test Scene

We've worked hard over the last few months to develop a new test scene and a protocol for shooting it and processing the results. The underlying idea is to give a clearer idea of how a camera will perform in the real world - not just an idealized setting.

DxOMark tests Canon EOS 70D Dual Pixel AF against the Sony SLT-A77

DxOMark has tested the Canon EOS 70D's live view autofocus system in comparison to the Sony SLT-A77, looking at focus speeds and accuracy in both movie and stills modes. The two cameras offer an intriguing contrast in technologies; the 70D uses Canon's latest 'Dual Pixel AF' on-sensor phase detection, while the A77 employs a separate phase detection AF sensor which receives light via a semi-transparent mirror. Click through to see how the two cameras fare in DxOMark's head-to-head testing.    

September 17
Phase One makes Capture One 7.1.4 available

Phase One has released the latest version of its Raw processing software, Capture One 7.1.4. This update offers support for more cameras and lenses, and also promises improved performance when working with large numbers of photos. With this version, Capture One 7 now supports the Sony Cyber-shot RX100 II, Fujifilm X-M1 and Olympus E-P5 among others, and adds 32 new lens profiles. Click through for the full press release.

Adobe releases Camera Raw 8.2 and Lightroom 5.2

Adobe has released Camera Raw 8.2 and Lightroom 5.2, as final versions of updates that were originally posted as 'release candidates'. ACR 8.2 is designed to work with Photoshop CC but, as promised, is also compatible with Photoshop CS6. It brings support for 16 additional cameras, including the Canon EOS 70D, Fujifilm X-M1, and Sony RX100 II, along with new lens profiles and bug fixes. For users of older Photoshop versions, Adobe DNG Converter 8.2 is also now available. Click through for more details and how to download.

Our Fujifilm X-M1 review: big photo quality in a small package?

We've completed our review of the Fujifilm X-M1, which is the company's lowest-priced X-Trans-based mirrorless camera. It takes the sensor from the X-E1 and X-Pro1 and puts it in a simpler, more portable body. Fujifilm also added a tilting 3-inch LCD and Wi-Fi, which puts the X-M1 on much the same level as mirrorless cameras like the Panasonic Lumix GF6 and Sony NEX-5T. For a detailed look at the X-M1, follow the link.

Fujifilm unveils X-A1: an entry-level mirrorless with a conventional sensor

Fujifilm has announced the X-A1, its most basic X-mount mirrorless camera yet. The X-A1 shares a body with the X-M1 but is based around a 16MP sensor with a conventional, Bayer color filter array, rather than the X-Trans design used in the other X-series models. The X-A1 retains the 920k-dot tilting LCD and Wi-Fi offered by the X-M1, and is being launched with an MSRP of $599 with the XC 16-50mm F3.5-5.6 OIS zoom lens - $200 cheaper than the X-M1 cost at its launch. The company has also announced the Fujinon XC 50-230mm F4.5-6.7 OIS - a relatively small, lightweight telezoom that would pair well with either the X-A1 or X-M1.

September 16
CreativeLive to broadcast six days of free photography workshops

The folks behind CreativeLive, an online resource for photographers co-founded by Chase Jarvis, have kicked off Photo Week: six days of educational workshops streamed live online for free. Workshops will be broadcast over three channels with topics including wedding, family and portrait photography. It begins today - click through for more details.

Photographers Bruce Weber and David Bailey try the Nokia Lumia 1020

Nokia is working hard to promote the imaging abilities of its 41-megapixel smartphone, the Lumia 1020, most recently by sending two famous photographers on a shoot with the device in Harlem, New York. David Bailey and Bruce Weber used Nokia's flagship phone during the 24-hour shoot this July, which was Weber's first time using any kind of digital camera. Sixty of their images are now available to view online and also at an exhibition in London. Learn more on

These impressive photos will trick you into thinking they're paintings

Photography, as an art form, can be quite elastic. It can be used to capture the 'decisive moment' or a once-in-a-lifetime split-second shot. Or, the form expands into more studied, careful, fine art approaches. These photos fall into the second category. Their use of color and lines, artificial lighting and repetition give them a lot in common with paintings - so much so that they might just trick you at first glance. 

September 15
Accessory review: Vanguard Up-Rise 33

With a smart look and clean design, the Vanguard Up-Rise 33 stands out from the pack. Capable of holding a small to medium DSLR, the Up-Rise 33 also expands to allow room for a 13-inch notebook computer, or contracts if you have less to carry. It has served as a good commuter companion for one of our reviewers for about eight months. Read how it performed in his review.

September 14
IFA roundup: What's new in mobile photography tech

Following the major mobile technology exhibition IFA in Berlin this week, we've got a roundup of some the most interesting photocentric tech we tested during the show. From the newest version of Samsung's Galaxy Note III to an innovative camera phone from Acer with an actual ring flash, manufacturers are paying special attention to the imaging abilities of mobile devices. Take a look at what caught our eye at IFA on

September 13
What The Duck #1435

We've been fans of Aaron Johnson's comic strip 'What the Duck' for years. 'WTD' is one of the best satirical comic strips in the world, and it's published here every week, as well as being included in our weekly newsletter. Barbed, topical and always amusing, we hope you enjoy WTD as much as we do. 

Canon releases sample video from high-sensitivity full frame CMOS sensor

Canon has released a short video produced with a unique full frame CMOS sensor. Announced in March, it's a sensor dedicated to extreme low light video recording with unusually large pixels. The test subject? A group of Yaeyama-hime fireflies on Japan's Ishigaki Island. Click through to read more.

SanDisk introduces first CFast 2.0 memory card

Cementing its commitment to the 'CFast' standard, SanDisk has introduced the Extreme Pro CFast 2.0 memory card, the first of its kind. The card boasts read speeds of up to 450MB/s and write speeds of up to 350MB/s, and will be sold with 60 or 120GB of storage. As a competitor to the Nikon-backed XQD standard, this first CFast 2.0 card is introduced alongside with an ARRI AMIRA documentary-style camera that records to internal CFast 2.0 cards. Click through for more details and full press release.

Apple adds support for Olympus E-P5 in latest Raw compatibility update

Apple has released version 4.09 of its Raw Compatibility software for Aperture and iPhoto '11. This update adds support for the Olympus PEN E-P5, and also restores lens correction to the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX100. There's an additional fix related to white balance for images from Nikon cameras that have been edited in third party software.

Olympus OM-D E-M1 - Review extended with more AF insights

We've had more time to shoot with the Olympus E-M1 and have extended our coverage of its AF performance. In addition to incorporating real-world Continuous Autofocus examples and commentary, we've also spent more time shooting with it alongside an E-5, to see exactly how the two compare, and amended our impressions accordingly.

September 12
SanDisk offers 'world's first' 256GB CompactFlash card

SanDisk has introduced a high capacity CompactFlash card with 256GB of storage. The card boasts write speeds of 65MB/s and transfer speeds up to 160MB/s. It's also rated with a VPG-65 Video Performance Guarantee, promising adequate speed for 4K video capture. As is the case with SanDisk's other Extreme Pro cards, it's designed to withstand shock, vibration and extreme temperatures. Click through for all of the details.

Smarter cameras may help bring autonomy to space robots

Space robots, including the Curiosity rover currently roaming Mars, have been great at following orders. Now, scientists are looking for ways to put more decision making power within the grasp of the rover itself. A team at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory is developing a camera system called TextureCam to do just that. They've developed an algorithm to allow the rover to analyze 3D images and determine whether an object in front of it deserves further investigation. Click through to read more.

Weye Feye connects your DSLR and smartphone

The Weye Feye connects Nikon and Canon DSLRs without built-in Wi-Fi capabilities to a smartphone for remote controlling and image transfer. Some more recent DSLR models come with built-in Wi-Fi functions, but for those that don't the Weye Feye looks like an interesting option. We take a closer look on

Canon EOS 70D review gains test scene samples

We're working towards completing our review of the Canon EOS 70D and have been shooting our test scene with a production camera. We've published the test shots, including downloadable Raw files of both the daylight and low light scene. The EOS 70D review will also be one of the few chances to see our outgoing test scene and our new, more challenging, more informative scene alongside one another. Click through to see how it performs.

September 11
PhotoSmith app for iPad offers image organization, syncs with Lightroom

The PhotoSmith app for iPad lets photographers catalog and filter their photos on the move. There are no editing capabilities, but users can add ratings, labels, keywords and other metadata, and group photos into collections. It can export to Facebook, Flickr, Dropbox and iPad Albums, but its party trick is the ability to sync tags and ratings with Lightroom. Read more in our full review on our sister site,

Photo project documents rivers of the interior U.S.

Jeff Rich's photo project started at the French Broad river outside of Asheville, North Carolina. Since then, 'Watershed Project' has taken him to the Tennessee River and now the Mississippi in an effort to document and raise awareness of the safekeeping of these rivers. To create some boundaries for the project, he's limited the scope to capturing the stewardship, pollution and control of the rivers. Click through and check out some of his images.

Fujifilm X-M1 real-world samples gallery

The X-M1 may be the cheapest model in Fujifilm's X-mount lineup, yet it retains the same 16 megapixel X-Trans CMOS sensor as its more expensive siblings. We were impressed with the image quality from the X-Pro1 and X-E1, and if you want to see if the X-M1 fared just as well, click below to head to our 37-shot real world photo gallery.

September 10
What Apple's new iPhones mean for photographers

As expected, Apple revealed two new iPhones today: the high-end 5S, and a more inexpensive and colorful model, the 5C. However, though there are minor tweaks to the lens and sensor, both models are touting a fairly underwhelming spec of 8 megapixels, especially when compared to Nokia's 41MP Lumia 1020 or Sony's latest 20.7MP Xperia Z1. Are Apple's newest offerings enough to keep photography enthusiasts interested? We take a look on

Olympus OM-D E-M1: First Impressions Review

The O-MD E-M1 has just been announced and takes its place as both Olympus' flagship Micro Four Thirds camera and the successor to the E-5 DSLR. We've been spending some time with a production unit, taking the new 16.3 megapixel Live MOS sensor for a spin in a variety of conditions. Follow the link to learn more about this high-end mirrorless interchangeable lens camera.

Olympus blends E-M5 and E-5 to create OM-D E-M1 flagship ILC

Olympus has announced the OM-D E-M1, now the flagship of its Micro Four Thirds lineup. Rather than calling it the follow-up to the E-M5, Olympus says that the E-M1 is actually the 'successor' to the E-5, the Four Thirds camera introduced back in 2010. The E-M1's standout feature is its new 16.3MP Live MOS sensor with on-chip phase-detection autofocus, designed to work with legacy Four Thirds lenses. 

Olympus introduces M.Zuiko Digital ED 12-40mm F2.8 'Pro' zoom

Olympus has unveiled a high-end standard zoom to match the E-M1: the M.Zuiko Digital ED 12-40mm F2.8 PRO. It offers a 24-80mm equivalent range and is dust, splash and, freezeproof, and uses a manual focus clutch design similar to the 12mm F2 and 17mm F2.8 primes. Olympus has also announced the development of a matching 40-150mm F2.8 telezoom, which is scheduled for release next year. Click through for more details. 

September 9
Sample gallery: Sony's 20.7-megapixel Xperia Z1 smartphone

We've spent the weekend shooting with Sony's new flagship smartphone, the Xperia Z1. Eager to see what the device's camera and 1/2.3 20.7MP CMOS sensor can do, we've put together a gallery of images and two video samples that demonstrate the Xperia Z1 in action, including its 8x digital zoom. See how we got on with the device at

Six things iPhone photographers want from Apple's next release

Apple looks set to release at least one new model iPhone tomorrow, and since the announcement of the iPhone 5, Samsung, Nokia, HTC and Sony have collectively raised the bar on smartphone camera hardware, leaving iPhone photographers glancing enviously at phones with physical zoom lenses, 41-megapixel sensors, so-called 'ultrapixels' and detachable lens hardware. In this article, Lauren Crabbe examines the current state of the various iPhone rumors, and takes a look at what current iPhone owners want in a new model.  

Now you 'C' it: the Leica C enthusiast compact with built-in EVF

Leica has announced an enthusiast compact with a 12MP 1/1.7" MOS sensor, 28-200mm equivalent F2.0-5.9 zoom, and built-in 200k dot EVF, which it's calling simply the Leica C (Typ 112). If the specs look familiar, that's because this is essentially Leica's reworking of the Panasonic DMC-LF1.  It offers such goodies as Full HD movie recording, optical image stabilisation, built-in Wi-Fi and NFC, and RAW format recording. It'll be available in October with a choice of two rather fetching finishes, 'Dark Red' and 'Light Gold'.     

Six things to expect in mobile from Microsoft's Nokia Acquisition

Following Microsoft's purchase of pretty much all of the best bits of Nokia, what does this mean for the mobile industry? Microsoft has the cash, but has been hammered for lacking innovation, whereas Nokia has fought back from a position of irrelevance to release some truly exciting products, but has struggled to make an impact with consumers. Click through for our thoughts on what this might mean over at


Young man with autism turns to photography for communication

For some of us, photography is a hobby. For others, it's a way to make a living. For Forrest Sargent, a 22-year-old with autism who is unable to speak, it's a veritable lifeline. His communication is limited to spelling out words using a letter board, a method which allowed him a much-needed way to express himself. Beyond that, he communicates with a gift from his parents bought for his 19th birthday: a camera. Click through to see some of his work.

September 8
Enfojer project turns your smartphone into an enlarger for B&W prints

Billed as a way to bring back the romance of the darkroom in the smartphone era, Enfojer is an indiegogo project which promises to make your smartphone into an enlarger to create real prints. Part app and part hardware, Enfojer enlarges the image displayed on a smartphone's LCD, projecting it onto real photo paper to create genuine darkroom chemical prints. Click through to for more on Enfojer's efforts to bring smartphone photography into the darkroom.

American Society of Media Photographers warns about new Facebook T&Cs

Another day, another controversial change to Facebook's terms of service. The American Society of Media Photographers has warned its members to 'beware' Facebook's proposed new terms of service, which - the A.S.M.P claims - would allow the social media giant to 'exploit your name, likeness, content, images, private information, and personal brand by using it in advertising and in commercial and sponsored content - without any compensation to you'. Click through for more details. 

Playing with food: Stephanie Gonot's colorful culinary photography

Photographer Stéphanie Gonot's food photos aren't the stylized, sexy kind you'd see on the cover of magazines like Bon Appetit. Images in her 'Fad Diets' series are frightening visual documents of some of the weirder diets out there, while also being striking experiments in color and texture. Gonot's work may not make your mouth water, but it's a lot of fun, and might just make you reconsider that crash diet...

September 6
What The Duck #1434

We've been fans of Aaron Johnson's comic strip 'What the Duck' for years. 'WTD' is one of the best satirical comic strips in the world, and it's published here every week, as well as being included in our weekly newsletter. Barbed, topical and always amusing, we hope you enjoy WTD as much as we do. 

Rumors of inexpensive Fujifilm X-series camera hit the web

Leaked details of a possible inexpensive Fujifilm X-series cameras have hit the web today. The camera pictured in the leaked images is apparently named the X-A1, and appears to be built around a 16MP APS-C CMOS sensor with a more traditional Bayer filter instead of X-Trans, but otherwise it looks pretty similar to the recently released X-M1. Other leaked details mention a 3-inch tilting LCD, Wi-Fi, and 5.6 fps burst mode. Click through to see what it (might) look like.

Fujfilm XF 55-200mm F3.5-4.8 R LM OIS Real-world Samples

The Fujinon XF 55-200mm F3.5-4.8 R LM OIS is the first telephoto zoom for Fujifilm's X system cameras, and offers an 83-300mm equivalent angle of view. It has built-in optical image stabilization with 4.5 stops claimed benefit, and uses linear stepper motors for silent autofocus. The lens features an (unmarked) aperture control ring, and offers high quality all-metal barrel construction. Click through for a link to our gallery of real-world samples taken in a range of different environments. 

Cokin revamps square filter lineup as 'Creative Filter System'

Cokin has announced a complete overhaul of the branding and packaging of its square filters. The existing different-sized ranges ( 'A', 'P', 'Z-Pro' and 'X-Pro') have been rebranded into a single 'Creative Filter System', with the four sizes relabelled 'S', 'M', 'L' and 'XL'. Gone are the old bulky plastic storage boxes too, replaced by a slimmer 'SlidePack' design which takes up half the space, and uses a microfibre-lined sleeve to help keep your filters clean. Photographers nostalgic for the good old days can breathe a sigh of relief though - old classics such as Tobacco Grads and Sunset filters are still in the catalogue.

September 5
Ricoh unveils 360-degree, smartphone-controlled Theta camera

Ricoh has unveiled their new Theta digital camera, which can take 360-degree panoramas with its two ultra-wide-angle lenses. The stylish and thin Theta can be controlled via your iOS device after you've downloaded the appropriate app. There's no live preview of the photo you're about to take, so you have to cross your fingers and hope for the best. If you're using your smartphone to capture the image, the photo will be automatically downloaded to your mobile device. Click through for more details - and samples - on

Lexar introduces 600x 64GB microSDXC UHS-I card, four-way reader hub

Lexar has introduced a new 64GB MicroSDXC UHS-I card and a reader hub capable of copying data from four memory cards simultaneously. The new 600x MicroSDXC card is capable of 90MB per second transfer speeds, and will be sold bundled with a USB 3.0 reader. The card reader hub, called the 'Professional Workflow Reader Solution,' uses one USB 3.0 port to transfer data from four (separately sold) memory card readers. SDHC/SDXC UHS-I, UDMA 7 CompactFlash, and XQD card readers are available for the hub's four bays. Click through for more detail about the new card and reader hub.

Hands-on with the 20.7MP Sony Xperia Z1

We're at the IFA trade show in Berlin this week, checking out new tech aimed at photography enthusiasts. One stand-out is the latest flagship smartphone from Sony, the Xperia Z1 (which had the codename of 'Honami'). Sony's certainly put the focus on imaging here with an F2.0, 27mm equivalent lens and a 20.7 megapixel, 1/2.3" BSI-CMOS sensor, as well as a new physical shutter button. Read about our first impressions of the device on


Sony encouraging mobile app development with release of API

Sony has released the API for developing mobile apps to control a number of their Wi-Fi equipped digital cameras. Developers will now have access to camera control, and could create things like Photo Uploaders and Time Lapse Control, according to Sony. Currently supported cameras include the NEX-5R/T, NEX-6, and the recently announced QX twins. Learn more at

Fast and wide: Fujifilm releases XF23mm F1.4 R for X system

Fujifilm has announced the FUJINON XF23mm F1.4 R, a premium fast wideangle lens for its X system mirrorless cameras. It offers the same moderate wideangle view as the fixed-lens X100S, but with an extra stop of brightness. The overall design approach is similar to the company's recent XF14mm F2.8 R, with distance and depth of field scales for manual focusing, and fully optical (rather than digital) correction of distortion. The 23mm F1.4 will be available in October 2013 with an SRP of $899.95 / £849.99. Click through for the full press release. 

The same but different: Nikon announces Coolpix P7800 with EVF

Nikon has announced the Coolpix P7800, which sits at the top of its compact camera lineup, replacing last year's P7700 as flagship zoom camera. The P7800 is extremely similar to its nominal predecessor, the most notable change being the addition of an electronic viewfinder. Other specifications are more or less unchanged. The camera is built around a 28-200mm (equivalent) F2-4 zoom lens, and features a fully-articulating rear LCD screen, and plenty of manual control and exposure options, at an expected MSRP of $549.99. Click through for pictures and Nikon's press release.

Nikon unveils tiny Coolpix S02 for 'trendy individuals'

Nikon has taken the wraps off the Coolpix S02 - a tiny metal-bodied 13MP compact camera with a smartphone-sized CMOS sensor and 2.7-inch touch-sensitive LCD. The entire package, built around a 3x (30-90mm equiv) zoom lens is small enough to fit in the palm of your hand. In possibly the most cringeworthy press release we've seen from a major manufacturer this year, Nikon describes the S02 variously as 'stylish', 'hip', and 'fashionable', and suggests that it would make an ideal gift for a 'trendy individual'. If this is up your street, note that the S02 will be available later this month in no less than three colors, at an MSRP of $179.95.

Nikon reveals LD-1000 LED movie light for 1 System and Coolpix

Nikon has announced an LED movie light for its Coolpix and 1 System cameras. We could swear the LD-1000 was already available, but maybe that's because we've been seeing mockups of it attached to 1 System cameras at tradeshows for a couple of years. The lamp is fairly compact and uses LEDs behind a diffusion panel for soft, even light. Although it comes with a bracket to mount it onto compatible cameras, the LD-1000 can be hand-held for more control. It will be available next month at an MSRP of $99.95.

September 4
For those on the leading edge, Sony announces enthusiast 4K Handycam

Sony has announced a consumer 4K camcorder, the FDR-AX1 Handycam, which gives enthusiast videographers a way to capture four times the resolution of a Full HD camera. The AX1 is able to save the massive amounts of data gathered by a 4K, 60fps camera thanks to its XQD memory card. Its G lens covers a 20x zoom range equivalent to a 31.5 - 630mm, and includes Optical Steady Shot. Click through for more.

Sony announces action cam, wrist controller and music video recorder

Sony has updated its Action Cam with a new name, a lighter waterproof housing, and GPS. The Action Cam HDR-AS30V can capture an 11.9-megapixel still image on its back-illuminated Exmor R CMOS sensor as well as Full HD footage. Its new waterproof housing is smaller and lighter than its predecessor, and also a little less rugged. Built-in Wi-Fi offers easy connectivity to a smartphone, as well as the new Live View Remote wristwatch. Click through for more details of this, and also the new 'Music Video Recorder' announced at the same time.

Adobe introduces cheaper Creative Cloud with Photoshop + Lightroom

Adobe has added a new pricing tier to the Creative Cloud product, possibly in response to the negative response from the photography community when it announced that all Creative Suite products would require a monthly subscription. The Photoshop Photography Program gives users Photoshop CC, Lightroom 5, Bridge CC, Behance, and 20GB of storage for $9.99 per month. That price will never change, as long as you sign up before the end of this year. You must already own Photoshop CS3 or newer to be eligible for this offer.

64-bit Corel PaintShop Pro X6 now available

Corel has announced Paintshop Pro X6 'Ultimate', which improves on the previous version of PSP X6 with the addition of built-in automatic image correction by Athentech Imaging. The update to 64-bit architecture should result in better performance on modern operating systems, as well. Apparently, the new software was created after a research study indicated that 'more power, more speed and improved usability were the changes users most wanted to see in X6'. Who knew? Click through for the press release. 

Mobile madness? Our opinion on Sony's QX clip-on cameras

The Sony QX cameras are mobile-photography-targeted modules that allow you to clip a larger sensor, zoom lens and additional battery to your smartphone to extend its capabilities. The modules use a Wi-Fi connection to allow their control from a camera app - making them some of the most connected cameras yet. So just what do we make of the compact 10x QX10 and the larger-sensor QX100? Click through for links to our first impressions content at and

Sony reveals QX10 and QX100 camera modules for smartphones

Sony has announced a pair of mobile photography camera/lens modules, the QX10 and QX100. Both units are essentially self-contained cameras that can be controlled by smartphones, using Wi-Fi. The QX10 features a standard compact-camera 1/2.3" sensor and a 25-250mm equivalent zoom lens. The QX100 uses the 1" sensor and 28-100mm equivalent zoom used in its high-end RX100 II compact. Both are NFC-compliant to make connection to some smartphones even easier. We've had both modules in the office and have had a close look - click through for more details.

DxO Optics Pro 8.3.1 adds support for five recent cameras

DxO Labs has released version 8.3.1 of its Optics Pro RAW conversion and image correction software, adding support for the Panasonic Lumix GF6 and G6, the Olympus PEN E-P5, the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX100 II, and the Pentax K-50. It also adds 490 extra camera/lens combinations to the library of optics correction modules. Click through for the full press release, including download links.

Olympus fraud saga rumbles on with UK prosecution

Olympus will be prosecuted by the UK Serious Fraud Office over charges that it provided 'misleading, false or deceptive' material in accounts submitted by its medical supplies subsidiary Gyrus Group Limited. Earlier this year three former senior executives of the company were handed suspended jail sentences for their part in a massive accounting scandal which hid huge investment losses dating back to the 1990s, and was uncovered by former CEO Michael Woodford. A statement issued by Olympus states that the potential impact on the Group's business is unclear, as it's difficult to estimate the level of any fines which may be imposed if the prosecution is successful.

September 3
Microsoft to acquire Nokia's smartphone business

Microsoft is moving forward with a deal to purchase Nokia's Devices and Services business for $7.2bn (€5.44bn EUR). The Finnish hardware maker's mobile phone division has been struggling since the dawn of the smartphone era, recently reporting a $150 million revenue loss even after surging sales of its Lumia line of Windows Phone 8 smartphones. For Microsoft, the acquisition is an opportunity to unify its mobile brand. Click through for more details on

DxOMark tests Canon EOS 70D sensor and lenses

Our friends and collaborators over at DxOMark have been looking at the Canon EOS 70D, and testing out how its innovative 20.2MP 'Dual Pixel AF' image sensor measures up in terms of RAW image quality. They've also looked at how Canon's three currently-available STM lenses score on this latest mid-range SLR, as the start of a larger multi-part lens recommendation article for the camera. Click through for links to these and DxOMark's other recent reviews, including tests of the Sony Cyber-shot RX1R. 

Back to the future: ten one-of-a-kind cameras from the 21st century

At the turn of the 21st century, consumer digital cameras really took off. Technology was evolving at an incredible pace, and camera makers came up with features that we now take for granted, most notably live view on DSLRs. There were plenty of unique ideas going around, as well. Some were genuinely useful, while others may leave you scratching your head. In this article, DPReview's Jeff Keller takes a look at ten cameras that have stood out over the last thirteen years.

September 2
Need the speed? Sigma 18-35mm F1.8 DC HSM in-depth review

Sigma's 18-35mm F1.8 DC HSM has generated a lot of excitement since its announcement in April, as the fastest zoom ever made for SLRs. Designed for use on APS-C / DX format cameras, it offers a 28-54mm equivalent zoom range, and promises similar depth of field control to an F2.8 zoom on full frame. But can an F1.8 zoom really work? Read our detailed review to find out.  

Ilford opens US lab to meet demand for black and white film development

While digital has truly swamped film for most common purposes, demand for black and white film development and printing is sufficient that ILFORD has expanded its processing and printing service to include a mail-order lab in San Clemente, California. Unlike most local labs, ILFORD's service offers black and white printing on silver gelatin photo paper.

Goldfish all gone? Turn that empty tank into an underwater housing

If you have a digital SLR and don't want to blow two grand on an underwater housing, check out the alternative the folks at Digital Camera World came up with. Just put your camera into a clean fish tank, attach a remote shutter release cable, lower the tank into the water, and fire away. Naturally, this only works in calm water, so don't take it into the ocean unless you fancy buying a new camera. Details and a photo after the link.

Black-and-white images capture the power of summer storms

Summer in North America means severe weather for much of the continent. Powerful storms are accompanied by unusual cloud formations, signs of the violent atmospheric conditions that spawn turbulent weather. Photographer Mitch Dobrowner and guide Roger Hill have spent the past few summers traveling the US chasing storms, and creating stunning black-and-white images in the process. Click through to see some of these gorgeous photos of some ugly weather.

September 1
Billboards offer tourists a glimpse of smog-free Hong Kong

With worsening air quality spoiling the view, authorities in Hong Kong have come up with a novel solution for snap-happy tourists - giant panoramic billboards showing what the city would look like if there weren't so much pollution, for them to take pictures of. The initiative follows what has been dubbed China's 'Airpocalypse', earlier this year where pollution hit levels 25 times those considered safe in the USA.

Winners of Red Bull Illume 2013 contest announced

Back in July we highlighted some of the finalists in the 2013 Red Bull Illume action and adventure sports photo competition, and now the winners have been announced in each of the contest's 10 categories. This year's overall winner was Lorenz Holder who also triumphed in the Playground and Experimental categories. Click through to see his winning shot as well as the work of this year's other winners.