Articles from June 2013

June 29
Buyers' Guide: Best DSLRs and ILCs for under $1000

Good-quality DSLRs and interchangeable lens cameras (ILCs) typically provide plenty of manual controls, comfortable ergonomics, and support a legacy of lenses for years to come. But old or new, getting hold of a quality digital camera still requires you to put down a decent chunk of change. In this article we're going to look at ten of the best DSLRs and ILCs available for under $1,000. We've included current cameras that we really like, and last-generation bargains, too. Click through for a link to the full article.

June 28
What The Duck #1412

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. Click through for this week's strip.

Just posted: Olympus Tough TG-2 iHS Review

We've just posted the second in our series of rugged/underwater camera reviews. This time around, we're taking a look at the Olympus Tough TG-2 iHS, whose main claim to fame is its 25-100mm lens, which has a maximum aperture of F2 at wide-angle. The TG-2 also boasts a fully-featured GPS, limited manual controls, wireless flash control, and a unique 'tap control' feature. For all the details - and our conclusions - follow the link.

Triggertrap Flash Adapter helps capture high-speed photos

Triggertrap's new flash adapter activates any hot shoe-equipped flash from an iPhone using a specialized mobile dongleflash adapter and iOS app - ideal for freezing high-speed action using your off-camera flash. Using sound as its trigger, the app and hardware combination is designed to fire flashes when sound is detected through an iOS smartphone, allowing capture of fast-moving subjects. Learn more about how it works on connect.dpreview.com.

SunTimes/DarkTimes blog highlights effect of Chicago Sun-Times layoffs

A new Tumblr blog, SunTimes/DarkTimes is documenting the effects of the recent layoffs at the photo department of the Chicago Sun-Times. The blog is posting comparisons highlighting the difference between photo coverage in the Sun-Times to that of the Chicago Tribune. The results certainly seem to reinforce the views of many commentators who warned that the Sun-Times' photo coverage would suffer as a result of the cost-cutting. Click through for some images and a link to the SunTimes/DarkTimes Tumblr.

Carl Zeiss drops 'Carl', becomes 'ZEISS'

We've all been there - your friend Carl is over by the fridge, getting some ice, and there you are with an expensive new Carl Zeiss lens, and you're describing it to someone, and Carl keeps saying 'What? What did you say? Do you want ice?' It's confusing. No wonder then that German lens manufacturer Carl Zeiss has decided to officially drop the 'Carl' and will henceforth be known simply as ZEISS. According to the manufacturer's blog, the decision was taken to 'create consistency' across its brand communications. Click through for more details (and no more terrible Carl puns, we promise).

June 27
Nikon D3200 vs D5100 Musings
Even 18 months after its release date, people are still arguing about the merits of the D3200 vs D5100. Which one is best? There's only one way to find out...
Just posted: Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX1R Preview with studio and real-world samples

Just posted: Sony Cyber-shot DSCRX1R hands-on preview. We've had a few days to try out Sony's new Cyber-shot DSC-RX1R, the sister camera to the RX1. The only difference between these two full-frame enthusiast cameras is that the RX1R's 24MP sensor lacks an anti-aliasing filter. We've created a hands-on preview of the RX1R, including a gallery of real-world samples and some preliminary studio tests, to give you an idea of how the new camera performs. Click through for our preview.

Just posted: Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX100 II Preview with real-world samples

Just posted: Our hands-on preview of the new Sony Cyber-shot RX100 II. The RX100 II offers a host of improvements over its predecessor, including a new BSI-CMOS sensor, hot shoe, and articulating LCD. We've had a working sample of Sony's new 20MP 1"-type sensor compact for a few days, and we've prepared a hands-on preview, including a gallery of real-world shots, showing off its improved image quality. Click through for a link to the preview.

Sony introduces HVL-F43M flash with Multi Interface Shoe, video lamp

Sony has announced the HVL-F43M, a high-end flash unit that's based on the HVL-F43AM but uses Sony's Multi Interface Shoe, which can be found on the latest SLT, NEX, and R-series cameras. The HVL-F43M also features a LED video lamp for brightening up subjects for still and video recording. It retains the 'Quick Shift Bounce' feature of its predecessor, which allows you to rotate the flash head 90 degrees for portrait shooting. It will be available in July for $400.

Panasonic announces revised Lumix G 20mm F1.7 II ASPH lens

Panasonic has announced the Lumix G 20mm F1.7 II ASPH, a revised version of its classic fast pancake lens for Micro Four Thirds. The H-HS020A, as Panasonic likes to call it, features a metallic exterior and slightly reduced weight, and will come in a choice of silver or black finishes. The optical design appears to be unchanged, with 7 elements in 5 groups including 2 aspheric elements; not a bad thing as its predecessor is one of our favourite lenses. The 20mm F1.7 II will be available in late July at a price of $399/£349.

Sony reveals AA-filter-less Cyber-shot DSC-RX1R

Sony has introduced the new Cyber-shot RX1R full-frame premium compact camera. In terms of operation and functionality the RX1R is exactly the same as the RX1 that's been on sale since last Fall, the only difference being that it has no anti-aliasing (AA) filter. In theory, this means that you'll get even better resolution than the original RX1, with the trade-off of increased moiré. Everything else remains the same as before, which means that the RX1R sports an F2, 35mm lens, 24MP CMOS sensor, 1080/60p movie recording, and much more. Click through for more details. 

Sony unleashes Cyber-shot RX100 II with BSI CMOS sensor

The other big announcement from Sony today is a 'Mark II' version of its popular Cyber-shot DSC-RX100 compact camera. The RX100 II features a new 1-inch, 20.2 megapixel back-illuminated Exmor R CMOS sensor, which Sony claims is 40% more sensitive in low light than its predecessor. Other improvements including a tilting rear LCD, Multi Interface hotshoe, and Wi-Fi and NFC capability. Click through for more details. 

June 26
Dropbox adds multiple photo sharing to mobile app

File hosting and sharing service Dropbox is becoming an increasingly popular choice for photographers who use the platform to share images. An update launched yesterday for Dropbox's free iOS app now lets users share multiple photos at once - see what else is new on connect.dpreview.com.

Nikon issues firmware update for D7100

Nikon has released a firmware update for its Nikon D7100 digital SLR. Firmware version C 1.01 corrects errors in how certain kinds of shooting data is displayed, and aims to resolve other issues relating to live view shooting of stills and video. Click through for more details and a link to download the latest D7100 firmware.

June 25
645 Pro update brings even more DSLR control to your smartphone

645 Pro's latest update has given the iOS app a complete makeover. Now called 645 Pro Mk II, Jaggr's 'professional' photo app now makes your smartphone's camera interface look and perform even more like that of a modern DSLR. For a detailed look at what's changed, head over to connect.dpreview.com.

Photojournalist gives new perspective on Google Glass

What happens when you give Google Glass to a skilled photographer? Richard Koci Hernandez is a San Francisco Bay Area-based photojournalist and prolific iPhone photographer who's recently been trying Google's new wearable technology to capture his surroundings. See how his style translates behind Google Glass, today on connect.dpreview.com.

Just posted: Canon EF 200-400mm f/4L IS USM Extender 1.4x review

Just posted: Our quick review of the Canon EF 200-400mm f/4L IS USM Extender 1.4x: the world's first SLR zoom with a built-in switchable teleconverter. It's been two years in the making, but when Canon offered to show us a production version of its professional super-telezoom, we couldn't help but be intrigued. In this review we've teamed up with DxOMark to bring you full optical test data of this unique lens, backed up by some quick real-world examples. So how does it perform? Click through to find out. 

Just posted: Our Fujifilm X-M1 hands-on preview

Just posted: Our detailed Fujifilm X-M1 hands-on preview. Fujifilm's latest miniaturised mirrorless model represents something of a design departure from its previous X-system cameras, eschewing the traditional control dials seen on the X-E1 and X-Pro1 for a more contemporary control layout. It also forgoes an eye-level viewfinder, making do with a tilting rear screen instead. Is this a betrayal of everything Fujifilm owners have grown to love about their cameras, or is there more to the little X-M1 than meets the eye? Read our preview to find out.

Fujifilm announces X-M1 mirrorless camera and XC 16-50mm OIS lens

Fujifilm has announced the X-M1, a compact-bodied mirrorless camera that features a rather different design to its previous models. Instead of 'traditional' shutter speed and exposure compensation dials, the X-M1 uses twin electronic control dials to change exposure parameters. It has a tilting 920k dot 3" LCD screen but no eye-level viewfinder, and uses the same 16MP APS-C X-Trans CMOS sensor as the X-Pro1 and X-E1. It comes with a new kit zoom, the XC 16-50mm F3.6-5.6 OIS that offers a 24-75mm equivalent range and optical stabilisation, but has no aperture ring. The X-M1 16-50mm kit will have an RRP of $799/£679.99.

Fujifilm introduces XF 27mm F2.8 'pancake' lens

Fujifilm has introduced the XF 27mm F2.8, a compact 'pancake' lens for its X-system cameras. It's just 23mm thick and weighs only 78g, making it by far the smallest X-mount lens. This means there's no space for an aperture ring, so X-Pro1 and X-E1 owners will need to update their firmware to allow aperture setting from the camera's rear control dial. It'll be available in either black or silver, at an MSRP of $449.95.

Fujifilm updates X-Pro1 and X-E1 firmware for lens compatibility

Fujifilm has announced a set of firmware updates for its X-Pro1 and X-E1 mirrorless cameras. Versions 2.05 for the X-Pro1 and 1.06 for the X-E1 are available to download now; they offer compatibility with lenses that don't have aperture rings, and allow easier focus area selection when shooting with the eye-level viewfinder. The company has also pre-announced further updates (Versions 3.00 for the X-Pro1, and 2.00 for the X-E1) which promise to improve autofocus speed with existing XF lenses, and add the much-requested 'focus peaking' function to aid manual focus. These are due to be available for download on 23rd July.   

June 24
Lowepro introduces Transit AW series bags for urbanites

Lowepro's new Transit Sling 250 AW and Transit Backpack 350 AW aim to help photographers keep a low profile in the heart of the city. The smaller Sling 250 has only one strap and will comfortably house a mirrorless camera or compact DSLR with a couple of lenses, while the Backpack 350, with two straps, provides a bit more room for a standard DSLR, larger lenses and a laptop. Click through for details and pricing.

Forum update: polls added

Forums update: We've just added a new 'create a poll' option for forum threads. Head over to the forums to try it out for yourself. We've also created a test poll here where you can see how it works and give us feedback at the same time!

June 21
CNET Australia shares tips on photographing the Supermoon

This Sunday, June 23rd, the moon will be closer to earth than at any point during the year. It just so happens that on Sunday the moon will be full, too, creating what is commonly known as a 'Supermoon' which if there are no clouds in the way, will appear larger and brighter than normal. A great opportunity for some backyward astrophotography, in other words. CNET Australia has published a short article containing tips for capturing this Sunday's Supermoon in all its glory. Click through for extracts and a link to the full article. 

Eyeist serves up portfolio reviews digitally

Posting your images online for critique is a common practice in DPReview forums as well as on Flickr and other sites. But you usually have to go to a photo festival, or travel to have your portfolio reviewed by a professional curator. One of those curators created Eyeist.com, a service to connect photographers with creative professionals who can help them focus their selection for projects of many types, from books to websites to presentations. Click through for our review of Eyeist.

Roundup: Digital Cameras for Kids

If they’re young enough, your kids may have only ever known a world in which smartphones are the most-popular devices for taking photos. That’s too bad. In this article we've rounded up a selection of cameras that will suit aspiring young photographers of all ages from under-10s to teenagers. Click through for a link. 

What The Duck #1407

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. Click through for this week's strip.

Capture One Pro 7 update extends raw support to multiple new cameras

Phase One has released 7.1.3 of its Capture One Pro software, which includes extended raw support for a number of new cameras, including the Canon EOS-1D C and mirrorless models from Nikon, Panasonic and Sony. It also includes a beta version of a new catalog importer. Click through for a full list of newly supported cameras.

June 20
Instagram adds video functionality with image-stabilization

Kevin Systrom, co-founder of Instagram, announced today that the app has been updated to include video capture, including a digital image-stabilization feature. While video clips are limited to only 15 seconds in total, multiple clips can be captured by pressing and holding the record icon, releasing the icon to pause and then recording additional scenes until the 15 second limit has been reached. Click through for more details on connect.dpreview.com.

Just Posted: Samsung Galaxy NX Hands-on

Just posted: Our Hands-on with the Samsung Galaxy NX. We were given the chance to play with Samsung's latest phone/camera hybrid - the Android-powered Galaxy NX. It combines a 20MP DSLR-style mirrorless camera body with the vast touchscreen and connectivity of a smartphone, giving a high-IQ camera with 3G, 4G LTE and Wi-Fi connectivity as well as GPS and GLONASS-compatible positioning. What's it like to use, though? Read our Hands-on article to find out.

Samsung announces Android-powered Galaxy NX 20MP mirrorless camera

Samsung has announced the Galaxy NX: the world's first mirrorless interchangeable lens camera running the Android operating system. The Galaxy NX takes a 20.3 megapixel, SLR-style mirrorless camera and adds 3G, 4G LTE and Wi-Fi, connectivity and Android 4.2 (Jelly Bean). The camera sports a gigantic 4.8" HD LCD touchscreen - with which you'll control nearly all camera functions. The Galaxy NX will be available sometime this summer for an undisclosed price.

Asteroid research company will take your portrait in space for $25

Kickstarter backers contributing $25 or more to the launch of a space telescope will get to have their photos taken in space. Planetary Resources, a company devoted to asteroid research, will thank its donors for their support by displaying their images in space and photographing them with the Earth in the background. Once launched, students and researchers will have access to the telescope so they can take their own pictures of the planet from space. Click through for more details.

Aviary 3.0 for Android launched with updated UI and editing tools

Aviary has announced a significant update to its Android photo editing app. Version 3.0 of Photo Editor by Aviary introduces a sleeker interface, modifications to some existing editing tools and availability of new filters previously only on the iOS version of the app. Click through for more details. 

Samsung releases significant firmware update for NX300

Samsung has released firmware version 1.2 for its NX300 interchangeable lens camera. The biggest claimed improvement is to autofocus, though Samsung has not disclosed what kind of improvement to expect. The update also adds new touchscreen features, a microphone sensitivity adjustment feature, auto image rotation, and a minimum shutter speed for Auto ISO. Several bugs are also fixed. For the complete list and a link to download the update, follow the link.

Just Posted: Ricoh GR Review

Just Posted: Our review of the Ricoh GR, compared with the Nikon Coolpix A. We've already reviewed the conceptually similar Nikon Coolpix A and concluded that in some respects it was it out-gunned by the Ricoh, so what does that mean for the GR? We've delved into the Ricoh's menus to get to grips with what it's capable of and explored a range of its interesting features. Read our comparative review to see how it performs.

Cosina says Voigtländer Nokton 42.5mm F0.95 will be available in August

Cosina has announced that its Voigtländer Nokton 42.5mm F0.95 will be available in August, and will be priced at ¥123,900 in Japan. This ultra-fast short telephoto 'portrait' lens is for Micro Four Thirds cameras only, and will offer similar photographic characteristics to an 85mm F1.9 lens on full frame in terms of angle of view, depth of field control, and background blur. It has a 10-bladed diaphragm, and features manual focus and aperture operation - the latter can be made clickless for movie recording.  

June 19
Leica announces $1300 special edition 'G-Star RAW' D-Lux 6

Leica has announced a special edition of its D-lux 6 high-end compact camera, in collaboration with clothing manufacturer G-Star RAW. The special D-Lux 6 (itself arguably a 'special edition' Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX7) will be available from Leica Stores and Boutiques worldwide, and is expected to cost around $1300. What do you get for your money? Well, 'a new dot structure on the leather body trim' and a leather case with 'exclusive carrying strap'. Excited? Click through for more details. 

Lytro unlocks Wi-Fi with firmware update, introduces iOS app

Lytro has released a firmware update that enables the Wi-Fi chips inside its 8GB and 16GB light field cameras. The San Fransisco-based company has also announced a new iOS companion app called Lytro Mobile, which allows you to browse images from the camera on an iOS smartphone or iPod Touch. Replicating some of the functionality of Lytro's existing desktop app, the mobile app allows you to refocus and change the perspective of your images and share the 'living pictures' via social media. Click through for more details. 

June 18
Just posted: Our Canon PowerShot D20 underwater camera review

We've posted the first in a series of six reviews of rugged/waterproof compact cameras. First up is the Canon PowerShot D20, whose fish-inspired design can go for swim, get dropped on the floor, and shoot in freezing temperatures. Once we've completed our reviews of all six cameras, we'll put together a comparison, so you can find out which is best-in-class. Follow the link to see how the PowerShot D20 performed in our tests.

Awards celebrate the best of iPhone photography

The 6th Annual iPhone Photography Awards has announced its winners, celebrating smartphone images across 16 categories of mobile photography. The top three winners of the Photographer of the Year category each received an iPad Mini while the top entry from each category won a gold bar. We take a look at the award winners on connect.dpreview.com.

Olympus UK serves up free Pancakes with PEN Lite and Mini

Olympus UK is offering a free M. Zuiko Digital 17mm 1:2.8 Pancake lens to anyone who buys a PEN E-PL5 or PEN E-PM2 from an authorised UK stockist. The lens can be claimed though the the company's website, and the promotion runs until 15th September 2013.

Lens reviews update: DxOMark data for Nikon-fit full frame wideangles

DxOMark has just reviewed Nikon's latest budget full frame wideangle lens, the AF-S Nikkor 18-35mm f/3.5-4.5G ED. As part of our ongoing collaboration we've added the test results to our lens comparison widget, along with other Nikon-fit full frame wide zooms. You can compare it to its predecessor, the AF Nikkor 18-35mm f/3.5-4.5D IF ED, the AF-S Nikkor 16-35mm f/4G ED VR, the legendary AF-S Nikkor 14-24mm f/2.8G ED, and the Tokina AT-X 16-28mm f/2.8 Pro FX. Click through to see the comparisons in our lens widget, and for the full data on DxOMark.

Adobe releases subscription-only Photoshop CC

Adobe has released the latest version of Photoshop: CC for 'Creative Cloud'. It's the first to be made available solely though the company's controversial subscription-only model, that requires users to pay an ongoing monthly charge of £17.58 / $19.99 for access to the software. New features include a revised 'Smart Sharpen' function, a 'Camera Shake Reduction' filter, and the ability to apply Camera Raw edits as layers. The latest versions of other Creative Cloud apps such the video editor Premiere Pro are also now available to download.

June 17
Canon EOS Rebel SL1/100D studio samples and good light samples gallery

Just Posted: Canon EOS Rebel SL1/100D studio samples and good light samples. We've just got hold of a production version of Canon's miniaturized DSLR and, as part of the process of reviewing it, have shot our standard studio scene. We've also taken it out to see how it performs away from the studio lighting and have put together a series of daylight samples. Click through to see how it fares.

MetaRaw plugin offers Photoshop and Elements users broader Raw support

The Plugin Site has created the MetaRaw plugin for Photoshop and Photoshop Elements that allows the conversion of Raw files not supported by the associated version of Adobe Camera Raw. The MetaRaw plugin offers access to three Raw conversion methods - ACR, DNG Converter or its own, dcraw-based converter. It also allows Elements 10 and 11 users to access ACR's lens correction and chromatic aberration tools.

DxOMark investigates lenses for the Canon EOS 700D / Rebel T5i

Our friends and collaborators over at DxOMark have been looking into how lenses score on specific cameras, and most recently they've been examining Canon's latest SLR, the EOS 700D / Rebel T5i. In an ongoing article they investigate how 130 lenses from Canon, Carl Zeiss, Samyang, Sigma, Tamron and Tokina measure up on the 700D's 18MP sensor. As this is essentially a variant of the sensor used in every Canon APS-C camera since the EOS 7D in 2009, the article could be of interest to a lot of Canon users. Click through for the links.    

Sigma UK competition: win a 18-35mm F1.8 DC HSM lens

The Sigma 18-35mm f/1.8 DC HSM has garnered a huge amount of interest from our readers, as the fastest zoom lens ever made for SLRs. UK residents can now win one courtesy of Sigma UK's latest competition, along with a two day landscape photography workshop in Dartmoor with pro photographer Lea Tippett. For a chance of winning, submit your best landscape photo, along with 80 words saying how you'd benefit from the workshop. The closing date for entries is 31st July 2013: click through for full details.  

June 14
Canon EOS 700D / EOS Rebel T5i review updated with lens data

We've updated our review of the Canon EOS 700D / EOS Rebel T5i with lens data and analysis of the camera's EF-S 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 IS STM kit zoom, as usual tested in partnership with DxOMark. We've also looked at the effectiveness of its IS system and shown an example of its AF performance in video mode. As this lens is about the only change of significance with the EOS 700D release, we thought we'd incorporate our findings directly inside the review for your convenience. Click through to find out what this updated kit zoom offers.

Mobile news for photographers: HTC One, Sony Xperia Z, image apps

Week in Review: From our full reviews of the HTC One and Sony Xperia Z cameras, to a do-it-yourself smartphone stand/tripod-mount/lens-mount case to an assortment of image-centric apps, we've rounded up a week's worth of can't-miss stories for mobile photography enthusiasts. Click through to connect.dpreview.com to catch up.

What The Duck #1404

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. Click through for this week's strip.

Accessory Review: GigaPan Epic Pro

The GigaPan EPIC Pro is an affordable motorized panorama head for DSLRs, built to create high-resolution images from multiple frames. In this article, Ireland-based landscape photographer Carsten Krieger takes the device out into the field to put it through its paces. Click through for a link to the full review. 

Video Guide: Smartphone vs Digital SLR

We've just posted the first in what we hope will be an ongoing series of short videos aimed at the novice photographer. In this first segment our hosts Jordan and Mark compare the results from a smartphone and an entry-level digital SLR in everyday shooting conditions such as low light, moving subjects and the challenge of capturing a flattering informal portrait. In future spots we'll be covering more practical shooting advice and diving into creative techniques in an effort to help beginners choose the right gear. Click on the thumbnail to watch the video.

New firmware from Canon, Nikon, Olympus and Sigma

Canon, Nikon, Olympus and Sigma have released firmware updates, for the EOS 650D / Rebel T4i, 1 System cameras, Stylus XZ-2 and DP Merrill-series APS-C compacts repectively. The EOS 650D gains several bug fixes, mainly related to the use of STM lenses. Nikon's 1 System cameras have been updated to add support for the new 32mm F1.2 lens and continuous AF with the Nikon mount adapter FT1 and AF-S lenses, among other refinements. The Olympus Stylus XZ-2 has been updated for support with the new VF-4 electronic finder, and Sigma's DP Merrill-series benefit from several performance and stability improvements. Click through for details. 

Sigma 18-35mm F1.8 DC HSM available in July for around $799 / £800

Sigma USA has announced its 18-35mm F1.8 DC HSM Art lens for APS-C DSLRs - the world's first constant F1.8 zoom - will be available from July at a street price of around $799. Meanwhile the recommended retail price will be £799.99 in the UK, and €999 in Europe. The company has also said the lens will be available for Pentax and Sony mounts, as well as the Canon, Nikon and Sigma mounts originally announced. It covers a 27-52.5mm equivalent range and offers the depth-of-field of a constant F2.7 lens on full-frame. Click through for more information and to link to our first impressions of shooting with the lens.

June 13
Fotodiox announces LED-based DY-200 Fresnel Lights

Fotodiox has announced the new DY-200 LED-based Fresnel Light for film work and studio photography. The lamps use very little power, are cool to the touch, and are flicker-free. They can be controlled via a built-in LED display, wireless remote, or with a DMX-compatible lighting control system. The DY-200 is available in daylight or 'W' tungsten versions, and is now available for $1199.95.

Roger Cicala gets inTouit with a new Zeiss lens

Now that he has his own copies of the new Zeiss Touit lenses, Roger Cicala of Lensrentals decided to crack into the Planar 32mm F1.8 lens. His mission was to see if the renowned build quality of Zeiss optics was compromised to make the lenses more affordable. His teardown detailed the Touit's polymer construction and its use of a DC motor. Click through to see what he thought.

Snapcat app will turn your cat into a photographer

As if the plethora of blurry cat photos flooding social photo sharing sites weren't enough, a new app promises to deliver even more by helping furry felines capture their own self-portraits. Snapcat is the result of a 24-hour coding spree during EyeEm's Photo Hack Day 3 in Berlin. You just have to laugh, and for a few more giggles, click over to connect.dpreview.com to see how Snapcat works.

Berlin Foto Festival features smartphone images in Berlinstagram exhibit

The Berlin Foto Festival is again highlighting mobile photography at this year's show. A new exhibition, Berlinstagram, features the work of Berlin smartphone photographer and prolific Instagrammer Michael Schulz. Schulz uses a smartphone to capture both the street scenes and architectural structure of Germany's capital city. See more of his striking photos on connect.dpreview.com.

Samyang announces 16mm f/2.0 and 300mm f/6.3 Reflex lenses

Samyang has announced two manual focus lenses for cameras with APS-C or Four Thirds type sensors, a 16mm f/2.0 wideangle for SLRs and mirrorless, and a 300mm f/6.3 for mirrorless. The 16mm f/2.0 ED AS UMC CS offers a 24mm-equivalent angle of view with an unusually bright maximum aperture, and comes in a wide range of mounts to fit almost every brand of camera. Its RRP is £419.99 / €395, or £459.99 / €435 for the Nikon mount 'AE' version. Meanwhile the Reflex 300mm f/6.3 ED UMC CS is a compact catadioptric or 'mirror' lens to fit Micro Four Thirds, Canon, Sony and Fujifilm models, and comes in a choice of silver or black for £289.99 / €259. Both will be available in July.

June 12
Forum updates

We've just deployed an update to the forums that adds tabbed filtering by thread type and a new 'photo post' option, designed for users wanting to share images. We've also added filtering by product (to the product forums) and a swanky new 'grid view' for browsing forums by images (rather than thread titles). Finally we've fine-tuned the 'classic' skin and deployed some fixes and enhancements to the text editor.

First impressions and real-world samples from the Pentax K-50

Fresh from the Pentax Ricoh launch event in New York, we've put together a real-world samples gallery from the Pentax K-50. The 16MP mid-range DSLR builds on the very likeable K-30 and promises improved image processing. We take a closer look at the K-50 and its similar sibling, the K-500, to see just what they bring to the table, as well as presenting a selection of full-resolution sample images.

Pentax announces K-50 and K-500 mid- and entry-level DSLRs

Pentax has refreshed its entry level DSLR lineup with the announcement of the K-50 and K-500. The K50 is an update of the K-30, featuring less controversial styling and slightly tweaked processing, helping it offer a maximum ISO of 51,200. The K-500, meanwhile, gets most of the K-50's features - the main loss being weather sealing - in a less expensive package. While not radically different from the K-30, both cameras bring twin dial controls and 100% glass prism viewfinders to price points ($799 and $599 respectively), where both those features are rare. Alongside the cameras, Pentax is launching revised, DA-L versions of its 18-55mm F3.5-5.6 WR and 55-200mm F4-5.6 WR lenses.

Pentax announces Q7 with larger 12MP BSI CMOS sensor

Pentax Ricoh has announced the Q7 - its latest Q-mount camera and the first to feature a larger, 1/1.7" type sensor. The 7.44 x 5.58mm, 12MP BSI CMOS sensor is the same size as the one used in many enthusiast compacts, with the company claiming a 60% improvement in S/N ratio over the existing Q10. This improvement also allows the camera to focus faster in low light. The Q7 will cost around $500 with the '02' 5-15mm zoom lens and can be custom-ordered in any of 120 color combinations. The company has also introduced a body-cap 'Mount Shield' lens for the Q system - the 11.5mm F9 lens will cost around $80.

Sony Xperia Z Camera Review: Do its impressive specs measure up?

Sony’s flagship Xperia Z offers some head-turning specs, including a 13-megapixel primary camera and a high-definition 1920x1080 443 ppi display on its 5-inch screen. It's even water- and dust-resistant — the ad campaign shows users rinsing the Xperia Z off by pouring water over it. We were eager to see if these exciting features make for a quality mobile camera. See our findings on connect.dpreview.com.

Apple updates Digital Camera RAW compatibility

Apple updated its Raw engine to include more cameras. The new update applies to Aperture 3 and iPhoto '11. Cameras now supported include the Canon EOS-1D C, Canon EOS Rebel SL1 / 100D / Kiss X7, Canon EOS Rebel T5i / 700D / Kiss X7i, Hasselblad Lunar, Nikon Coolpix A, Nikon D7100, Nikon 1 J3, Nikon 1 S1, and Sony Alpha NEX-3N.

Photographers turn to moving images to hold audience

In a world that can feel visually oversaturated with images, some photographers are seeking solutions that draw viewers' attention and ask them to linger a little longer. Model Coco Rocha recently shared her take on the dynamic image trend, exploring how animated GIFs, Cinemagraphs, Lytro images and interactive 360-degree panoramas are helping photographers stand out. We take a longer look at connect.dpreview.com.

Film scanner employs smartphones to digitize negatives

A new smartphone gadget promises to use your mobile device to digitize your 35mm film. Compatible smartphones snap photos of backlit film inserted into the device while an app automatically inverts the negative image. See the Lomography Smartphone Film Scanner in action on connect.dpreview.com.

Microsoft updates Windows Raw support - adding 22 cameras

Microsoft has announced a Raw compatibility update for Windows Vista, 7 and 8, adding support for 22 cameras. This includes the previous generation of Canon Rebel cameras, along with the Pentax K-01, Sony RX100 and the Fujifilm X10. It also adds support for the Canon EOS 6D and Nikon D600, along with 'richer' support for images shot in AdobeRGB.

Samsung unveils Galaxy S4 Zoom camera/phone hybrid

Samsung has officially unveiled the Galazy S4 Zoom - the nearest thing yet to a true camera / phone hybrid.  The 'camera side' features a 24-240mm equivalent F3.1-6.3 lens with a zoom ring around the barrel, in front of a 16MP 1/2.3" CMOS sensor. It includes optical image stabilisation, a built-in xenon flash, ISO 100-3200, 4 fps continuous shooting, and 1080p30 HD video; images are stored to internal memory or microSD. On the 'phone side' you get a 4.3" Super AMOLED display, Android 4.2 Jelly Bean, and all the other features you'd expect of a modern smartphone. The S4 zoom will go on sale this summer.

Just posted: Our Canon EF 40mm f/2.8 STM lens review

Just posted: Our review of the Canon EF 40mm f/2.8 STM lens. In the latest of our lens reviews brought to you in partnership with DxOMark, we take a look at Canon's slimline 'pancake' prime for its APS-C and full frame SLRs. It's one of the smallest and cheapest lenses currently on the market, and includes a stepper motor for silent focusing during movie recording. But does its small size and low price result in compromised optics? Read our review to find out. 

Fujifilm and Panasonic collaborate on 'industry-leading' organic/CMOS sensor

Fujifilm and Panasonic have announced the joint development of a sensor technology that combines a light-sensitive coating on top of a CMOS chip. The companies claim higher dynamic range and sensitivity than current CMOS sensors, along with the ability to receive light at steeper angles - making it easier to design cameras with wide-angle lenses and allowing lenses to be mounted nearer to the sensor. The announcement extends from the work Fujifilm has been conducting on organic (carbon-based) photo-senstive materials and combines it with CMOS underpinnings developed by Panasonic. The result is a chip that uses CMOS technology only for circuitry - with the organic layer taking over the role of converting light into electrons.

June 11
Modern digital media collages take Deutsche Börse Photography Prize

Adam Broomberg and Oliver Chanarin have won the 2013 Deutsche Börse Photography Prize for their War Primer 2 publication — a collection of screen grabs and smartphone images paying homage to Bertold Brecht's original War Primer project from 1955. "The jury awarded the prize to Broomberg & Chanarin for their bold and powerful re-imagining of Brecht's War Primer," said Brett Rogers, director of The Photographers' Gallery. Learn more on connect.dpreview.com.

Build your own tripod-mountable smartphone case: DIY instructions

Do-it-yourselfers will love our instructions for a scrappy smartphone case that better serves your photography needs - complete with a tripod mount - which can be built for the bargain price of $7.38. A trip to the hardware store, some super glue and these directions will help you create a case designed with the serious mobile photographer in mind: click through to connect.dpreview.com.

Samsung introduces 10mm F3.5 Fisheye for NX

Samsung has announced a 10mm F3.5 Fisheye lens for its NX mirrorless cameras, which it says is the smallest and slimmest of its type. It offers a 180 degree diagonal angle of view, and includes Samsung's unique 'i-Function' button that allows the manual focus ring to re-purposed to operate other camera controls. It's just over 26mm / 1" thick, and is a featherweight 71g (2.5 oz). It'll be available at the beginning of July, in black or white.  

Leica announces X Vario  zoom compact with APS-C sensor

Leica has officially announced its much-teased (and leaked) X Vario - the world's first compact camera with an APS-C sensor and fixed zoom lens. Its Vario Elmar 18-46mm 1:3.5-6.4 ASPH lens offers a 28-70mm equivalent range, and sits in front of a 16.1MP CMOS sensor. Viewing is via a 920k dot 3" LCD, or the same optional plug-in EVF as used by the M Typ 240 and X2. The camera has control dials on the top plate for shutter speed and aperture, and zoom and focus rings around the lens barrel. The price tag is a hefty $2850/£2250.

June 10
Just Posted: Canon EOS 700D / EOS Rebel T5i review

Just Posted: Our review of the Canon EOS 700D / EOS Rebel T5i. The 700D may be a near-identical twin of the short-lived EOS 650D, but it's still a worthy option for novice DSLR upgraders, combining high image quality and an articulated LCD with a comprehensive touchscreen interface. This new model also ships with an STM version of the 18-55mm kit zoom, providing another welcome option for faster, silent AF. What else does the 700D have to offer? Read our review to find out.

What Apple announcements mean for mobile photographers

As expected, Apple revealed iOS 7 today at the 24th annual World Wide Developers Conference, and there's plenty for mobile photography enthusiasts to be excited about. From photo filters built into the Camera app to better automatic organization within the Photos app, we take a look at Apple's forthcoming revamped mobile operating system and what it will bring to photographers on the go.

Hasselblad Lunar interchangeable lens camera now shipping

Swedish camera manufacturer Hasselblad is finally shipping the 'Lunar'. This 24 megapixel camera - essentially a rebadged Sony Alpha NEX-7 - was announced at Photokina last year and comes with your choice of grips: black or brown leather, carbon fiber, and wood: mahogany or olive, to be precise. The Lunar includes an 18-55mm lens and is priced at $6995/£5280. 

First impressions shooting with the Sigma 18-35mm F1.8 DC HSM

We've just published our first impressions of shooting with the Sigma 18-35mm F1.8 DC HSM | Art lens. We've tried to express just why we're so excited about this lens, which offers APS-C DSLR users access to some of the depth-of-field and low-light capabilities that full-frame shooters get from their F2.8 zooms. We're hoping to hear about pricing and availability soon so, in the meantime and in the light of our first impressions, what would you expect to pay for this lens? Click through for a link to the article and for your chance to comment. 

Adobe releases Camera Raw 8.1 and DNG Converter 8.1

Adobe has released Camera Raw 8.1 and DNG Converter 8.1, as final versions of updates that were originally posted as 'release candidates'. ACR 8.1 is designed to work with Photoshop CC but, as promised, is also compatible with Photoshop CS6. It brings support for 7 additional cameras, including the Olympus PEN E-P5 and E-PL5, Ricoh GR and Panasonic Lumix DMC-G6, along with profiles for 16 more lens, including Sigma and Zeiss's latest models. Click through for more details and how to download.

Adobe releases Photoshop Lightroom 5

Adobe has released Photoshop Lightroom 5, the latest version of its workflow and image editing software. Available as either an individual license or as part of a Creative Cloud subscription, Lightroom 5 adds a more advanced healing/cloning tool, automatic image leveling and perspective correction, a new selective editing tool and the ability to edit files that are offline. US pricing is $149 for new customers and $79 for the upgrade. Click here for more information, including our features preview and download links.

June 7
What The Duck #1402

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. Click through for this week's strip.

Northern lights play over the USA

Photographers and star-gazers in the upper United States were treated to a rare display of Aurora Borealis when the 'Earth passed through a region of south-pointing magnetism in the solar wind,' according to spaceweather.com. More aurorae are expected in the late hours of June 8 or early June 9, with NOAA forecasters estimating a 65% chance of geomagnetic storms. Click through for images and more details.

Koloid app offers digital darkroom experience

A new app asks users to step back into the darkroom as it offers digital equivalents of the developing process. Koloid is inspired by 19th century's wet-plate collodion photography. The app creates a unique texture and exposure on a black and white image. Koloid takes a little longer than most camera apps but it also gives the satisfaction of using something other than a one-touch filter. We give it a go on connect.dpreview.com.

Nokia EOS rumors abound: A look at what's likely

Rumors are flying about a supposed Nokia EOS smartphone that would surpass even the 41-megapixel Nokia 808 PureView model. Reports indicate that the 'EOS' will sport the same size sensor that made the Nokia 808 so remarkable. Photos of a purported EOS prototype also show a similar raised camera profile as the 808. See what other speculations are likely by clicking through to connect.dpreview.com.

'Dark Matter': Erez Marom takes us behind the picture

In this article, photographer Erez Marom explains how he created his image 'Dark Matter', which was captured at glacier beach in Iceland earlier this year. Marom sheds light on everything from from composition and gear choice to post-processing, and finally, what to call the final, dramatic picture. Click through for a link to the full article.

Wanted: Freelance news/features writers. Also, DPReview is hiring!

We're on the lookout for freelance writers to contribute news and short feature content for our homepage. If you're an experienced writer with great editorial instincts who loves ferreting out interesting and unusual photo-related content, we want to hear from you. Also, DPReview is hiring! We have two open full-time positions available: we're looking for an Editor to join our team of writers and reviewers, and a Software Manager. Click through for more details.

Former Chicago Sun-Times Visual Editor speaks out at CNN.com

Following the widely-reported layoffs at the Chicago Sun-Times a former Visual Editor at the paper, Robb Montgomery, has written a thoughtful piece for CNN.com about what the decision to move to a freelance work force means for the paper, and the industry as a whole. The same article also includes a video interview with Pulitzer price-winning photographer John H. White, who was among those laid off at the Sun-Times last week. Click through for extracts and a link to the full article at CNN.com.

June 6
Tokina offers US pricing for AT-X 12-28mm F4 Pro DX lens

Tokina has announced a US price of $599 for its AT-X 12-28mm F4 Pro DX lens. Soon to be available in both Canon and Nikon mounts for APS-C bodies, this lens was announced at the CP+ tradeshow back in January and will replace the company's existing 12-24mm F4 wideangle zoom for APS-C cameras. 

Spinpod wants to help you snap better panorama pictures

Capturing the perfect panorama shot with a smartphone can be tricky. A new gadget currently gaining ground on Kickstarter could help you achieve a perfect panning motion, and even aid in motion time lapse photography. Spinpod works with both iOS and Android devices, as well as cameras. See it in action on connect.dpreview.com.

A photographer's wishlist: 5 things we want to see from Apple's WWDC

In advance of Apple's World Wide Developer's Conference next week, we're sharing our photographer's wishlist of the announcements we're hoping to see from the annual event. Compare our thoughts with yours on an expected new iOS 7 mobile operating system, whether or not we'll see a new iPhone and more at connect.dpreview.com.

Just Posted: Our Nikon Coolpix A review

Just posted: Our review of the Nikon Coolpix A. With a 28mm-equivalent wideangle lens, and the same 16MP DX format sensor as used by the D7000 SLR, the Coolpix A is designed as a serious compact camera capable of professional-quality results. But it's up against stiff competition, in the shape of the similarly-specified but cheaper Ricoh GR that was announced a month later. In our 16-page comparative review, we take a detailed at how the Coolpix A measures up to the challenge posed by its close rival.

Just posted: Our Canon EF-M 11-22mm f/4-5.6 IS STM preview

Just posted: Our hands-on preview of the Canon EF-M 11-22mm f/4-5.6 IS STM. Canon's third lens for its EOS M mirrorless camera is its first image-stabilized wideangle zoom, and first with a collapsible barrel design. With an 18-35mm equivalent angle of view and silent STM focusing, it could be an interesting option for photographers wanting the wider view but looking to travel light. Click through for our first look.

Canon announces EF-M 11-22mm f/4-5.6 IS STM wide zoom

Canon has announced the EF-M 11-22mm f/4-5.6 IS STM - an image-stabilized wideangle zoom for its EOS M mirrorless camera. It's Canon's first wide zoom with IS, promising three stops of stabilization for stills and 'Dynamic IS' for video. A linear stepper motor offers silent autofocus during movie shooting, and a retractable barrel design makes the lens about the same size as the 18-55mm kit zoom. It should be in shops at the end of June, at an MSRP of £379.99 / €399. A firmware update for the EOS M (v.2) will give full compatibility with the 11-22mm, and faster autofocus with all lenses.

June 5
Classic lines when clients want you to work for free

If you've ever spent any time as a self-employed photographer, you've no doubt heard countless rationales from clients about why you should work for free, or at least lower your rate. PhotographyTalk.com posted a pitch-perfect list of five classic lines that not only ring true to those of us on staff with freelance backgrounds, but would be perfect punchline setups in an Aaron Johnson 'What The Duck' comic strip. Click to see if any of them sound familiar. (via PhotographyTalk.com)

Chronicler of NYC art scene can't give away his collection

For nearly forty years, photographer D. James Dee has documented artwork and installations for seminal artists like Jean-Michel Basquiat, Julian Schnabel and prominent New York City galleries. He's now closing up shop and faces the prospect of finding a home for roughly 250,000 color slides and negatives that chronicle the explosive growth of the Soho art scene of the 70s, 80s and 90s. So far he's found no takers. Is this trove of recent art history headed for the dumpster? Click through to read more. (via The New York Times)

DxO releases FilmPack 4, with 65 new creative effects

DxO Labs has announced availability of FilmPack 4, the fourth version of its film-simulation software. FilmPack 4 adds 65 'even more aesthetically-pleasing renderings'. Available in two editions, Essential and Expert, a single DxO FilmPack 4 license can be used as a plugin for Adobe Photoshop, Adobe Photoshop Elements, Adobe Photoshop Lightroom, Apple Aperture, and DxO Optics Pro, and as a standalone application for Mac and Windows. Click through for the press release.

DxO releases Optics Pro 8.2 with additional cameras, FilmPack 4 support

DxO Labs has released version 8.2 of its DxO Optics Pro software. Both the Elite and Standard versions gain support for the Canon EOS Rebel SL1, the Sony SLT-A58, and the Ricoh GR. Version 8.2 of DxO Optics Pro also supports all features of the newly announced FilmPack 4 as a plugin. Click through for a download link and the full press release.

June 4
Just posted: In-depth HTC One review: Do ultrapixels offer more?

The HTC One smartphone made headlines with its claims about 'ultrapixel technology,' which the company used to describe the device's 4MP CMOS sensor. While current competitors boast 8-13MP cameras, HTC is betting on fewer, larger pixels a same-sized sensor to offer better image quality. But does the innovative approach work? We've put the HTC One and its ultrapixels through our rigorous real life and studio testing trials to find out. See how it fared at connect.dpreview.com.

Bell Labs creates lensless single-pixel camera

Scientists at Bell Labs have built a prototype camera that uses no lens and a single-pixel sensor. This idea is based around a grid of small apertures that each direct light rays from different parts of the scene to the sensor, and can be opened and closed independently. The sensor makes a series of measurements with different combinations of open apertures, and uses this data to reconstruct the scene in front of the camera. No lens to focus the resultant image means infinite depth of field and low cost. Click through for more details and a link to the original research. 

Sun-Times photographer uses iPhone to document life after layoffs

Rob Hart was amongst the 28 members of the Chicago Sun-Times photography staff laid off last week. He's been pointedly documenting his experience via Tumblr ever since, deliberately opting to use his iPhone over his Nikon D3 because, as he says of himself in his blog, he was "replaced with a reporter with an iPhone, so he is documenting his new life with an iPhone, but with the eye of a photojournalist trained in storytelling." We spoke to him about it for connect.dpreview.com.

Just posted: Our Sigma 18-35mm F1.8 DC HSM preview samples gallery

We've been lucky enough to get our hands on an early pre-production sample of one of the most anticipated lenses of the year, the Sigma 18-35mm F1.8 DC HSM, and bring you a gallery of full-resolution sample images shot with it. This lens is the fastest zoom ever made for SLRs and, in principle, should provide the depth-of-field control and low-light image quality on an APS-C DSLR that you'd get using an F2.8 zoom on 35mm full-frame. We've shot a samples gallery including a variety of subjects, using a range of apertures, focal lengths and subject distances, to try to give an initial flavor of how the lens performs.

Just Posted: Pentax K-5 II / K-5 IIS Review

We just posted a review of the Pentax K-5 II, which also covers its near-twin the K-5 IIS, a version of the camera that lacks an AA filter for higher resolution (in theory). Offering 16MP CMOS sensors, a unique shake reduction system, and a rugged weatherproof body, the Pentax K-5 II and K-5 IIS are compelling little cameras and in this review we'll explore their various standout features, as well as look at the difference in image quality between the two models. Click through for a link to the full review.

Pentax announces Efina budget compact and white WG-3 waterproof

Pentax has announced a white version of its WG-3 rugged waterproof camera and an entry-level point-and-shoot compact. The white version of the WG-3 shares all the features with the existing model but comes in a different color scheme (we'll let you guess what that is). We'll be testing the GPS version of the WG-3 as one of our forthcoming waterproof camera tests. Meanwhile, the 'Efina' is an inexpensive 14MP CCD-based camera that's exactly the sort we thought Pentax had stopped making. Still, it comes with decorative patterns on it, which seems to be this season's thing - so that's something. The Efina, announced in Japan in January, will cost around £80, while the white WG-3 will retail for $299/£289.

June 3
Eye-Fi Mobi SD card easily connects cameras and smartphones

If you own a digital camera without Wi-Fi and want to quickly transfer photos to your smartphone or tablet, then the new Eye-Fi Mobi SDHC card might be for you. Setup is simple: just download the app for iOS or Android, enter a 10 digit code, and you're ready to roll. After that, photos you take on your camera will automatically be sent to your mobile device. For more on the Eye-Fi Mobi, read the full story on Connect.

Roger Cicala gives first impressions of new Zeiss Touit 32mm F1.8

Roger Cicala of Lensrentals has published a blog post in which he gives his first impressions of the new Carl Zeiss 32mm F1.8 'Touit' lens, in Sony E-mount. Unlike Roger's normal approach, where he exhaustively tests multiple samples of the same lens, he was only able to look at a single example of the 32mm F1.8 on the Sony NEX-7. Click through for some details of his findings, and a link to the full article at the lensrentals blog.

Nikon UK announces cashback on SLRs, and Coolpix promotion

Hot on the heels of its cashback offer for its 1 System cameras, Nikon UK has announced similar promotions on its D600 and D5200 SLRs. Buyers will be able to claim back £50 / €60 on the D5200, and £150 / €180 on the D600, when purchased either body only or with a new Nikkor lens. Meanwhile buyers of various Coolpix compacts will have the chance to win one of over 1200 'exhilarating prizes', including an indoor sky diving experience.

Zeiss announces pricing & availability of Touit lenses for mirrorless cameras

Zeiss has announced that its first two Touit lenses for mirrorless cameras are now available for sale. The 12mm F2.8 wideangle has been designed according to the 'Distagon optical concept', and has an RRP of €920 / US$1,250 excluding VAT. Meanwhile the Planar-type 32mm F1.8 normal lens will cost €670 / US$900 excluding VAT. The lenses will be available to fit Sony NEX and Fujifilm X-system cameras, and include autofocus but lack optical stabilisation. The X-mount versions also feature aperture rings with 1/3 stop detents. The next model in the line, a 50mm F2.8 Macro, is expected to appear at the end of the year.