Articles from July 2013

July 31
Canon announces unique Vixia Mini camcorder with fisheye lens

Looking more like a projector than a camera, the Canon Vixia Mini made its debut today, its aim to serve bloggers, youtubers and apparently guitarists. Its 16.8mm equivalent fisheye lens is designed to capture video and stills with a unique perspective, and users can switch from wide to close-up mode while recording for an interesting live 'cut' effect, while maintaining Full HD video recording. Its built-in touch-sensitive LCD flips to face forward or backward, and a tripod mount can hold the device firmly in place. Click through for more information, and images.

Make prints from your phone: Impossible Instant Lab closer to reality

Back in 2008 the Impossible Project took on the task of reproducing Polaroid instant film. Since then, their product line has expanded to include the Impossible Instant Lab. Similar to the analogue Daylab that Polaroid (and Fuji instant film) fans use(d) to create instant prints from 35mm and 120 film, transparencies, snapshot prints and 3D objects, the Instant Lab operates in much the same way using onscreen images from your iPhone as the source. Click through for more details. 

Adobe announces ACR 8.2 and Lightroom 5.2 release candidates

Adobe has announced the latest 'release candidates' of Adobe Camera Raw and Photoshop Lightroom, adding support for ten cameras - including preliminary support for the Canon EOS 70D and Sony RX100 II. The release candidates of Adobe Camera Raw v8.2 and Lightroom 5.2 also fix some bugs introduced in the previous versions. ACR v8.2 acts only as a camera and lens profile update for users of Photoshop CS6. Both are available to download from the Adobe Labs site, with the usual reliability caveats about release candidates. A release candidate of DNG converter 8.2 is also available.

Breathtaking images from Red Bull Illume 2013's finalists

The finalists in the annual Red Bull Illume photo contest have been revealed, and action and extreme sports never looked so good. A total of 250 finalists have been announced with entries in 10 different categories. Come August 29th, a winner will be crowned from 50 finalists invited to the reveal in Hong Kong. Click through and take a look at some of these incredible contenders for the grand prize.

Editorial: 5 Reasons why I haven't used my DSLR for months

Compact cameras, smartphones and mirrorless interchangeable lens cameras are getting seriously good these days, and for a lot of photographers, they're supplementing or even replacing older, bulkier DSLR kit. After he finished our recently-published review of the Fujifilm X100S, dpreview editor Barnaby Britton realized that he hadn't picked up his DSLR for months. In this short feature, he explains why.

12 stunning photos of Godafoss - Waterfall of the Gods

Godafoss - Waterfall of the Gods - is one of the most striking natural features of Iceland, a country famed for, well... striking natural features. My Modern Metropolis has published a gallery of 12 stunning images of Godafoss, including a shot taken by dpreview contributor Erez Marom. Click through to feast your eyes, but be warned - it will make you want to take a trip to Iceland. 

July 30
SmugMug launches totally redesigned website

Photo sharing site SmugMug has rolled out a totally redesigned website, which was 'rebuilt from the ground up'. The look-and-feel of the site is radically different, and somewhat resembles the recently redesigned Flickr. Some of the new features on SmugMug include a large selection of default templates for the consumer, plus the ability for pros to create their own custom designs. Organizing photos has been much improved as well, with a new drag-and-drop interface.  Follow the link to see what the new SmugMug looks like.

Sample gallery: Nokia Lumia 1020

After our hands-on look at the Nokia Lumia 1020 last week, we were excited to spend a few days really shooting with the device. We've now had time to test out the Lumia 1020 in a wide array of lighting conditions and on an assortment of different subjects, and been able to more thoroughly explore the many settings available through the new Nokia Pro Cam capture app. Click through for the full gallery on connect.dpreview.com.

Photography campaigners close to saving Fox Talbot archive

A campaign launched by Oxford University's Bodleian Libraries to acquire a valuable archive of images by photography pioneer Fox Talbot has been thrown a £200,000 lifeline. Campaigners want to 'save' the archive of images, which has been transferred to a New York dealer with an eye to selling it on the open market. If the campaign is successful, the historic collection will remain in the UK. The massive £200,000 (~$300K) donation takes the campaign to within £375,000 of its target of £2.25 million. Click through for more details. 

OMG Life starts sales of Autographer 'intelligent wearable camera'

British company OMG Life has announced that its Autographer camera is now on general sale. Billed as the 'world's first intelligent, wearable camera', it uses an array of built-in sensors to take pictures automatically triggered by changes in its environment. It has an ultra-wideangle lens with a 136° view, a 5MP sensor, and 8GB of internal memory for up to 28,000 images. Images can be shared with smartphones using a Bluetooth connection, and assembled into stop-motion movies. It's available from the company's website for £399, shipping initially to the UK and most European countries.

July 29
Just Posted: Fujifilm X100S Review

We've just posted our long-awaited review of the Fujifilm X100S - Fujifilm's flagship fixed-lens compact. The 16MP X100S offers a fixed 35mm equivalent F2 lens, and builds on the appeal of the popular but quirky X100 by adding improved automatic and manual focus, an overhauled interface and a 16MP X-Trans sensor. Do the on-paper refinements add up to better real-world performance? Click through for a link to the full review, and a note from the editor.

Macro photographs reveal the tiny, brutal world of ant warfare

Think ants are only interested in crashing your summer picnic? When they're not after our stray watermelon slices, it seems they're busy in engaging in ant-to-ant combat. Alex Wild's macro photography reveals the warring nature (and surprisingly frightening jaws) of these seemingly unassuming insects. His photos reveal fights over territory, conflicts between colonies and brutal take-downs that rival UFC brawls - all going on otherwise unnoticed at our feet.

New cheat sheet tells you how to keep photos sharp when sharing

The cautious photographer is always conscious of what's happening to their images when they're being shared online - whether they're being resized, re-compressed or otherwise modified from the original. Social networks like Facebook and Twitter all treat images differently, but a new cheat sheet can help you keep your pictures sharp by detailing the pixel dimensions of just about every component on the major social networking sites. Click through for more details on connect.dpreview.com

July 27
Then and now: Photographing the Bay Bridge

Peter Stackpole was just 21 when he brought his Leica A to the top of the still-under-construction San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge. It was 1934, and Stackpole had no official authorization to capture images that would eventually land in Vanity Fair. Decades later, photographer Joseph Blum captured yet another bridge project in the bay area. Despite considerably tighter safety restrictions, he made soaring images of the modern construction site. Click through to see samples, then and now.

July 26
What The Duck #1421

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. 

Photojournalist Ben Lowy shows off updated EyeEm app

Photojournalist Ben Lowy famously brought mobile photography to mass media when his Hipstamatic images from Kabul, Afghanistan were published by the New York Times Magazine in 2011. He's also well known for an image of Hurricane Sandy taken with his iPhone which made the cover of TIME Magazine last year. Today on Connect we look at some of his most recent work using EyeEm's new Clara filter to document life in Sarajevo.

 

Just posted: Sony Cyber-shot DSC-TX30 Review

We've just posted the sixth and final review in our round-up of compact rugged cameras. This review is of the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-TX30, which offers a much thinner body than its peers. It also has a large 3.3-inch touchscreen OLED display, a host of fun features, and a 1080/60i movie mode. Next week we'll publish an article comparing all of the cameras, but while you're waiting, check out the TX30 review after the link.

Blending modes: Tools for post-processing

In this article, Seattle-based photographer Thomas Park shows how you can use Photoshop's layer 'blending modes' to remove stains and blemishes from scanned images, sharpen up your photographs and even warm up cold hands! (sort of). Click through for a link to the full article, 'Blending modes: Tools for post-processing'.

ACDSee 16 and Pro 6 gain Raw support for 14 additional cameras

ACD Systems has extended the Raw support offered by its ACDSee Pro 6 and ACDSee 16 software packages. Version 6.3 of the Pro version and and ACDSee v16.1 gain support for an additional 14 cameras including the Canon EOS 100D and 700D, Nikon D7100 and Coolpix A, Sony NEX-3N and SLT-A58, Olympus XZ-10, and the Panasonic DMC-G6. This update also includes performance improvements. Click through for more information.

Fujifilm posts revised X-Pro1 firmware 3.01 with movie mode fix

Fujifilm has posted firmware version 3.01 for the X-Pro1, which resolves a bug in the recently-released v3.00 that caused movies to be recorded incorrectly under some circumstances. It's otherwise the same, meaning that it promises faster AF speed, and adds a 'peaking' display mode to aid manual focus, compared to prevous versions. Click through for the download link.     

Just posted: Canon EOS 100D / Rebel SL1 Review

We just posted our Canon EOS 100D / Rebel SL1 review. Canon's smallest SLR to date was built to take on mirrorless cameras while maintaining the optical viewfinder and compatibility with the company's existing suite of EF and EF-S lenses. We put it through its paces in a busy family environment to see how well it held up in the type of setting it's most likely to encounter. Click through for our review.

July 25
What the new Nexus 7 tablet means for photographers

Google debuted the second iteration of its popular Nexus 7 tablet yesterday at a San Francisco press conference, inciting excitement amongst fans of the Android device and plenty of comparisons to Apple's iPad mini. Of course we're most interested in how this second-gen device might fit into a photographer's workflow. Click through for our opinion on connect.dpreview.com.

Lomography seeks crowd funding for new production of Petzval lenses

The people at Lomography have built a business around promoting and selling lo-fi cameras and accessories. What's (really) old is new again in their latest Kickstarter campaign, an effort to bring the centuries-old Petzval lens back into production. The 'New Petzval' lenses look and function much like the originals with a brass exterior, and would be produced in both Canon EF- and Nikon F- mounts. Click through and read more about the project.

Manfrotto creates Arca-Swiss compatible 'Top Lock' quick release

Manfrotto UK has announced a 'Top Lock' quick release system for its tripod heads that's compatible with standard Arca Swiss-type plates. It uses a clamp design that allows the camera to dropped in from above rather than slid in from the side, and three bubble levels to help keep the camera straight. The Top Lock release is available as an add-on adapter, or pre-installed on the company's top-end 054, 055, 056 and 468MG ball heads.

July 24
Extra images added to Sony Cyber-shot RX1R Samples Gallery

We've just added several more photographs to our gallery of real-world samples from the new Sony Cyber-shot RX1R. The RX1R shares the same feature set as its forebear the RX1, but its 24MP full-frame CMOS sensor lacks an AA filter for additional sharpness. We've been impressed by the RX1R's image quality as we work through our usual studio and real-world testing, and we've added more samples (both JPEG and converted Raw) to our gallery for you to take a look at. Click through for a link. 

Unified Color Technologies introduces HDR Expose 3 and 32 Float v3

Unified Color Technologies has announced HDR Expose 3 and 32 Float 3 - the latest versions of its HDR software. HDR Expose is the company's stand-alone software, which works in the company's 'Beyond RGB' 32-bit color space and attempts to manipulate chroma and luminance data separately, while 32 Float is a Photoshop plugin built on the same principles. The latest versions gain improved tone mapping tools that attempt to retain local contrast while increasing the overall range of tones included in the final image, along with upgraded alignment and de-ghosting.

Canon introduces two all-in-one Pixma printers

Canon has introduced two Pixma printers, the  MG2420 All-in-One and MG3520 Wireless Photo. The Pixma MG3520 supports printing via WiFi networks as well as Apple's AirPrint feature, allowing direct printing from many iOS devices. It also offers auto duplexing and Canon's FastFront ink and paper loading. Both models provide Full HD Movie Print with compatible Canon cameras and ship with My Image Garden photo organization and sharing software. Click through for the full press release and pricing.

First impressions and photos from Nokia's 41MP Lumia 1020

Nokia's Lumia 1020 is the company's second attempt at a 41-megapixel camera phone, and it's been generating a lot of hype. As the follow-up to last year's 808 PureView phone, Nokia's latest has much to prove. The 808 remains one of the best smartphones we've ever looked at in terms of its photographic capabilities, so we've been keen to get our hands on the 1020 which melds Nokia's innovative 'oversampling' technology with a more modern Windows operating system. We offer our first look at the Lumia 1020 on connect.dpreview.com.

July 23
Eric Kim: What to consider when buying a camera for street photography

Eric Kim is one of the most prolific street photographers around, but he's also a keen blogger. In this article, originally posted on his site back in spring, he offers some advice on how to buy a new camera for street photography. Rather than a simple buyers' guide, though, Kim delves into the psychology of purchase decisions, citing research by psychologist Barry Schwartz which divides us into two categories - 'maximizers' and 'satisficers'. Click through for a link to the full article. 

Cassini spacecraft takes spectacular pictures of Saturn (oh, and Earth)

Last Friday, while orbiting Saturn, the Cassini spacecraft turned its camera lens on earth from almost a billion miles away. NASA has released the images, which show not only Saturn and its rings, but also the Earth in the (very far) distance. The original 'raw' images taken by the spacecraft are grayscale, but astronomy enthusiast Valerie Klavans has converted some of them and added color. The results look pretty spectacular. Check them out after the link.

Royal photographer shares tips on photographing babies, #royalbaby etc...

As Prince William and the Duchess of Cambridge celebrate the birth of a baby son (OMG! #shinynewprince), official Royal photographer for The Sun (that's the British tabloid newspaper) has shared some tips for photographing babies. Arthur Edwards knows what he's talking about, having photographed the proud father, William, when he was an infant. Click through for some of Edwards' top tips for photographing babies - assuming of course that you're not utterly bored of the whole thing by now. 

Fujifilm adds XC50-230mm F4.5-6.7 OIS to X-mount lens roadmap

Fujifilm has updated its X-mount lens roadmap to include a 50-230mm F4.5-6.7 OIS lens as part of its more affordable 'XC' series. The 75-350mm equivalent tele-zoom joins the 16-50mm F3.5-5.6 XC and the ten existing or announced high-end XF series lenses in Fujifilm's lineup. The company also highlights the three Touit lenses available or planned by Zeiss for the X-mount system. The Fujinon XC50-230mm F4.5-6.7 OIS appears in the fourth quarter of 2013 on the roadmap.

July 22
SanDisk debuts new line of wireless memory storage devices

Sandisk has announced its new Connect line of wireless flash memory storage devices, including the SanDisk Connect Wireless Flash Drive and SanDisk Connect Wireless Media Drive. SanDisk says its Wireless Flash Drive allows for wireless connectivity from a smartphone, tablet or computer without an Internet connection. It's available in 16GB or 32GB capacities, priced at $49.99 and $59.99 respectively. Click through for more details on our sister site, connect.dpreview.com.

KaleidoCamera teaches your DSLR new light field tricks

A prototype for a new DSLR add-on is poised to bring plenoptic capabilities to consumer cameras. The KaleidoCamera is designed to sit between a standard DSLR's sensor and lens. A diffuser splits light passing through the lens into nine different beams, each passing through a filter before it reaches the camera's sensor. Click through to read on about this prototype's capabilities and potential applications.

In case you were curious, here are the 10 most expensive photos ever sold.

Photography has been around for almost two hundred years, but amazingly, it's only in the past couple of decades that it has gained widespread acceptance as an artform. These days, images by significant photographers command very high prices. But just how high is 'very high'? Internet community FreeYork.org has published a list of the ten most expensive photos ever sold. Click through for the list.

Hasselblad announces distinctly RX100-esque 'Stellar' compact

Hasselblad has unveiled a rather familiar-looking compact camera - the Stellar. The very RX100-esque compact offers the same 28-100mm equivalent Zeiss-branded zoom and 20MP 1"-type sensor as the Sony, but comes with a substantial hand-grip made from a choice of exotic materials and, we suspect, a significantly higher price tag.

July 21
High Speed Sync with YN560 flash

This article explain the way to do High Speed Sync with YN560 flash.

July 20
Modular concept camera captures photographer and subject simultaneously

It's not uncommon for photographers to feel much more at ease behind the camera rather than in front of it. Duo, a concept from Chin-Wei Liao, a Korean design school graduate, aims to transform the person behind the lens into photographer and subject simultaneously. Each half of the Duo is an individual camera. Assembled as one unit, pressing the shutter will record an image while capturing a picture of the person using the camera. Click through to read more about this modular camera system.

July 19
Just Posted: Pentax WG-3 GPS Review

We've just posted our review of the Pentax WG-3 GPS. This uniquely shaped camera can handle whatever nature throws at you, and the fast lens (at wide-angle) doesn't hurt, either. There's one more review left in our waterproof camera series, followed by a wrap-up article that will help you pick the best one. In the meantime, you can read more about the WG-3 GPS after the link.

What The Duck (from the vaults)

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 one from Aaron's archive. Appropriate this week, we think...

Has Sony developed an interchangeable lens for smartphones?

Rumor and tech sites have been buzzing about Sony's upcoming smartphone, code-named Honami. Recent rumors have shifted to the possibility that the new phone will be capable of working with an interchangeable lens that may have its own sensor and some sort of storage built in, with the ability to communicate with smart-devices wirelessly and via NFC. Click through for more details about the rumors at our sister site, connect.dpreview.com.

Nikon updates distortion correction data for DSLRs, adding latest lenses

Nikon has released distortion correction data v1.009, adding support for additional lenses for the D4, D90, D600, D800, D800E, D3100, D3200, D5000, D5100, D5200, D7000 and D7100. The latest update means these cameras can now correct distortion in 107 Nikkor lenses. The latest update includes recent launches such as the Nikon AF-S Nikkor 18-35mm f/3.5-4.5G ED and can be downloaded from Nikon's global website.

Can Photojournalism Survive in the Instagram Era?

With newspapers laying off photographers and picture editors, and the rise of 'citizen journalism', can traditional photojournalism survive? Nonprofit news organization Mother Jones has published an interesting interview with photographer Fred Richin, whose new book 'Bending the Frame: Photojournalism, Documentary and the Citizen' aims to explore the current state of the profession, and answer some of the questions about its future. Click through for extracts from the interview, and a link to the full article. 

DxOMark investigates lenses for Canon EOS 6D, and Sigma 30mm F1.4

Our friends and collaborators over at DxOMark have been investigating lenses for the Canon EOS 6D, and have tested no fewer than 95 lenses from Canon, Samyang, Sigma, Tamron, Tokina and Zeiss to see which score highest. The results are presented in a multipart article, that also compares the EOS 6D results to those from the EOS 5D Mark III and the Nikon D600. Meanwhile for APS-C SLR users, this week DxOMark also reviewed two fast lenses from Sigma, the 30mm F1.4 DC HSM and (in case you missed it earlier this week) the 18-35mm F1.8 DC HSM. Click through for the links.  

Misho Baranovic: 50 lessons I've learned about mobile photography

We love this 50 Things I've Learned About Mobile Photography List (and iPhone Photography) by Misho Baranovic, an accomplished mobile photographer and Connect contributor. You'll find some universal truths in there and maybe a few things you disagree with, but Baranovic's list is guaranteed to get you thinking, and laughing, too. Click through for some extracts and a link to the full article. 

July 18
Great summer photo projects

A good summer photo project doesn't necessarily require a lot of expensive equipment, just a camera, an idea and the persistence to see it through. Chances are you've already got everything you need to kick off a photo series of your own. At DPReview we're always looking for new and interesting photos on the web and lately we've noticed a lot of inspired projects. Some are fairly laborious, while others take a simple idea and run with it. Check out these projects and why not get started on your own?

Panasonic launches Lumix DMC-XS3 slimline zoom compact

Panasonic has announced the Lumix DMC-XS3, a budget zoom compact camera that's just 14mm thick. It sports an optically-stabilised wideangle 5x zoom lens (24-120mm equivalent), a 14.1MP 1/2.3" High Sensitivity MOS sensor, and can record Full HD video in MP4 format. It includes a range of Creative Filters which can be applied either during or after shooting, and can also be used when shooting panoramas. The XS3 appears to be a Europe-only release, and will be available in September at a price of £119.

Panasonic announces Lumix DMC-FZ70 with 60x optical zoom

Panasonic has announced the Lumix DMC-FZ70, a 16MP compact superzoom with a 60x optical zoom that more than doubles the zoom reach of its 24x FZ60 predecessor. Spanning the equivalent of 20-1200mm, the FZ70's zoom lens has a maximum aperture range of F2.8-5.9 and is claimed to be both the longest and widest in its class. The FZ70 effectively replaces the FZ60, but the constant-F2.8 Lumix DMC-FZ200 remains in the lineup.

July 17
DPReview launches GearShop

Today, DPReview officially opens GearShop to the public. GearShop is a highly curated and content-rich online store for buying cameras, lenses and photography accessories. Utilizing DPReview’s comprehensive testing and research, GearShop provides photography enthusiasts with expert guidance when buying photography equipment online. In celebration of the launch, GearShop customers will be able to claim up to $150 in free accessories with select camera purchases now through July 27, 2013. Click through for more details. Apologies to our international visitors: At this time GearShop is only able to ship to customers in the USA.

Magic Lantern firmware boosts dynamic range of Canon 5D III, 7D

The folks at Magic Lantern are no stranger to adding new features to Canon DSLRs, courtesy of their EOS Camera Tool software. Their latest creation, Dual ISO, increases the dynamic range of the 5D Mark III and EOS 7D by four stops, bringing the total dynamic range to 14EV. This allows you to pull detail out of the shadows with a lot less noise than with the 'stock' firmware. Click through for more details.

2013 UK Picture Editors' Guild Awards open for entries

The 2013 UK Picture Editors Guild Awards are now open for entries. Amateur photographers can show off their skills by entering the 'BT Citizen Photographer of the Year' category; images must have been taken between July 17th, 2012 and July 16, 2013, and the final date for submission of entries is September 1, 2013. Meanwhile professionals can enter images into a range of categories, for a £20 fee. Click through for full details and entry links. 

Fujifilm revises upcoming X-Pro1 and X-E1 firmware updates

Fujifilm has given more details about its upcoming firmware updates for the X-Pro1 and X-E1 (Versions 3.00 for the X-Pro1, and 2.00 for the X-E1). In addition to the existing promise to improve autofocus speed, it says that focus accuracy will be improved with difficult subjects. The updates will also add a 'focus peaking' function to aid manual focus, and improve image stabilisation during movie recording with the 18-55mm F2.8-4 lens. They are due to be available for download on 23rd July.   

July 16
Toshiba announces first UHS-II SD cards as world's fastest

Toshiba has announced the Exceria and Exceria Pro ranges of SD cards - the first to conform to the UHS-II standard and the fastest SD cards yet announced. The Exceria Pro cards will be available in 16GB and 32GB sizes from October 2013 and will offer read/write speeds of 260MB/s and 240MB/s respectively. 32GB and 64GB Exceria series cards offering the same read speeds but half the write speed will follow a month later.

'Letting Go of the Camera': Olivier Duong concludes look at gear addiction

Florida-based photographer and blogger Olivier Duong has concluded his examination of so-called 'gear acquisition syndrome' with an article that explains how he broke free from his addiction. Starting with the mantra 'there is more to photography than gear', Duong describes how he make a conscious effort to appreciate the equipment he already owns, and to concentrate on using it to improve his photography. Click through for more details.

Researchers in Tokyo develop high-speed subject tracking system

Engineers at Tokyo University's Ishikawa Oku Laboratory have come up with new technology to track extremely fast motion. Their new system - which uses 'Saccade Mirrors' for pitch and tilt, a 'pupil shift system', and very fast image processing - is able to keep even the quickest subject in the center of the frame at all times. According to engineers, the initial application for this system could be to capture video at sporting events. They expect it to be market-ready in about two years. Follow the link for a video demonstration of this intriguing new technology.

Aptina's Clarity+ sensor tech promises 1EV improvement

Sensor maker Aptina has given more details of its Clarity+ technology that it claims will offer a 1EV improvement in sensitivity over conventional sensors. The company believes it has found a way to use clear pixels to capture more light while retaining the image quality of a standard Bayer sensor. Although initially intended for smartphone sized sensors, the company says it could have applications in larger formats. Find out more over at connect.dpreview.com

Sigma 18-35mm F1.8 DC HSM preview updated with lens test data

We've just updated our preview of the Sigma 18-35mm F1.8 DC HSM with lens test data, courtesy of DxOMark. This lens has generated a lot of excitement as the fastest zoom ever made for SLRs, but the big question is whether its speed comes at the cost of optical quality. We've looked into this by comparing the 18-35mm to some current benchmark designs - and the results may surprise you. Click through to read all about it.

A quick review of the LightZone Photo Editor

A quick review of the LightZone version 4.0 raw developer and photo editing software. LightZone 4.0 is Free software, available for Windows, Mac and Linux.

July 15
New study investigates online reviews - makes surprising discoveries

Online product reviews are a huge part of our lives these days, and often, they're the nearest thing we get to a 'hands on experience' before we buy something. But how do we know they're honest? Dishonest reviews are a serious problem for retailers (and indeed for content websites like dpreview.com) and a team at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology has been investigating why people are driven to leave reviews of products that they haven't actually used. Their findings might just surprise you. Click through to read more. 

DxO Optics Pro 8.3 with Samsung NX, Go Pro, and smartphone support

DxO Labs has released version 8.3 of its Optics Pro RAW conversion and image correction software, adding support for the Samsung NX system, GoPro cameras, and the most popular smartphones. The Samsung models added are the NX10, NX11, NX20, NX100, NX200, NX210, and NX300, along with the EX-1 and EX-2 compacts. The GoPro HERO3 line (Black, Silver, and White editions), and the HD HERO2 are also now covered, along with the iPhone 4, 4S and 5, and the Samsung Galaxy S3 and S4 smartphones. Click through for the full press release, including download links.

July 13
Shooting Goðafoss: Erez Marom takes us behind the picture

In the second in a series of articles, landscape photographer Erez Marom takes us through the process of getting his striking shot of Goðafoss - the 'waterfall of the gods' in Northern Iceland. As well as gear choices, Marom explains his compositional approach, and the software techniques that he used to get the final result. Click through for the full story. 

Teen photographer puts surrealist spin on summer photo project

With summer finals out of the way, 17-year-old photographer Ian Komac has devoted his newfound free time to a photo project. Called 60 Days of Summer, the Belgian teen's manipulated photos give landscapes and everyday objects a whimsical twist. Click to see more of his photos and gain a little inspiration for your own summer photo project.

July 12
First image samples from Nokia's 41MP Lumia 1020

Nokia has released some images showing off the photographic capabilities of the Lumia 1020 smartphone it announced yesterday, and the results have us eager to try out the 41-megapixel model ourselves. Check out the results for yourself over at connect.dpreview.com. 

What The Duck #1419

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: Panasonic Lumix DMC-TS5 Review

We've just posted our review of the Panasonic Lumix DMX-TS5/FT5. In the latest of our series of reviews of this year's crop of waterproof tough compacts we've put the TS5 through our usual studio and real-world tests to get a feel for how well it performs. On paper, the 16MP TS5 is one of the best specified cameras of its type, offering built-in GPS, Wi-Fi and NFC (near field communication) inside a tough body and Leica-branded lens. Does it live up to expectations? Read our review to find out.

Camera review: Samsung Galaxy S4 smartphone

Samsung's successor to the popular Galaxy S3 has a lot to live up to, especially given the S3's impressive performance as a camera. We've put Samsung's latest flagship smartphone, the Galaxy S4, through our rigorous imaging tests to see if it meets the high expectations set for the new model. Read our full camera review now on connect.dpreview.com.

DxOMark investigates Samsung NX cameras and lenses

Our friends and collaborators over at DxOMark have been investigating Samsung's NX system, and have recently published reviews of the NX210 and NX300 cameras, alongside an article covering how the company's lenses measure up in comparison to those from the Sony NEX system. Other reviews on the site this week include lens tests on Nikon super-telephoto primes, an assessment of the Sony RX100 II's new back-illuminated CMOS sensor, and the first installment of a multi-part article looking into which lenses score best on the Canon EOS 6D. Click through for the links.

Capturing colorful high-speed lightbulb explosions with a low-cost rig

Ever since Harold Edgerton photographed a bullet tearing through an apple, it seems the urge to document these split seconds of destruction has not flagged. In photographer Jon Smith’s case, his victims are lightbulbs filled with colorful objects. He creates the images using a DSLR, a pellet gun and a relatively inexpensive lighting setup all in his garage. Click through for more details. 

Nikon gets social with Facebook app

After company president Makoto Kimura made it clear that Nikon really is forward-thinking in an interview earlier this week, the camera manufacturer has launched its My Nikon World Facebook application and community. My Nikon World is designed for photographers to display and share images, compete in challenges and learn from pros and peers. Click through for more details at connect.dpreview.com.

How to find (and keep) models
Having trouble finding models for your formal portrait and glamour projects? This guide will help get you started.
July 11
Hands-on with the Nokia Lumia 1020

Today Nokia unveiled the Lumia 1020, its flagship 41MP camera-centric smartphone for Windows Phone 8. Aimed squarely at photo enthusiasts, the Lumia 1020 employs a large and extremely high resolution 41MP imaging sensor that we first saw in the ground-breaking 808 PureView. However, the 1020 has the decided advantage of running on the Windows Phone 8 platform instead of the end-of-life Symbian OS. Our sister site, connect.dpreview.com is at the launch event in New York and has published a detailed hands-on look at the new phone. Click through for more. 

41MP Nokia Lumia 1020 brings PureView camera tech to Windows Phone

After months of rumors and leaks, Finnish handset maker Nokia today officially launched its latest flagship Windows phone, the Lumia 1020, at a press event in New York City. As far as we're concerned of course, the most interesting feature is the Lumia 1020's 41MP imaging sensor, an iteration of the groundbreaking technology that Nokia debuted last year in the 808 PureView phone. Click through for more details and some hands-on pictures on our sister site connect.dpreview.com.

Blogger Olivier Duong continues look at 'Gear Acquisition Syndrome'

Florida-based photographer Olivier Duong has expanded his ongoing examination of so-called 'Gear Acquisition Syndrome' with a description of how he overcame his own personal addiction to buying photographic equipment. Categorizing G.A.S. as a 'habit', Duong identifies three components - trigger, routine, and reward, and describes how he went about overcoming his addition by 'changing the routine [but] keeping the trigger, and the reward'. Click through for more details. 

Just posted: Olympus Body Cap Lens 15mm F8 review

Just posted: Our review of the Olympus Body Cap Lens 15mm F8. In essence this is a tiny three element optic hidden inside a body cap, and probably the cheapest lens of any description made by any camera manufacturer. But is it any good? In the latest of our lens reviews in collaboration with DxOMark, we take a look both at how well it performs in studio testing, and in real-world use. Does it have any place in the Micro Four Thirds user's camera bag? Click through to find out.

July 10
Pentax Q7 added to our studio comparison database

We've added the Pentax Q7 to our database of studio comparison images. The Q7 is the first Pentax Q-mount camera featuring a 1/1.7" sensor to match its enthusiast compact peers. We'll be adding a comprehensive review in the coming weeks but, in the meantime, click through to see how the Q7 stacks against the competition. 

DxO Viewpoint 1.2.1 now compatible with Photoshop CC and Lightroom 5

DxO Labs has updated its distortion-correction software Viewpoint to version 1.2.1, meaning it's now compatible with Adobe Photoshop CC and Lightroom 5. Viewpoint works both as standalone software and as a plug-in, and is designed to correct for perspective distortions such as converging verticals, and to restore more natural proportions to objects at the edge of the frame when shooting with wideangle lenses. The company has also announced that all of its software is on sale at reduced prices until 31st July. Click through for more info and download links.

Robotic Nikon cameras capture Wimbledon 2013

In the aftermath of Andy Murray's historic victory at Wimbledon 2013, Nikon UK has been explaining how its cameras were used in a robotics setup to capture images from unique angles during the championship. The system was developed in partnership with Mark Roberts Motion Control, and operated by photographer Bob Martin. It used a Nikon D4 mounted on the roof above Centre Court, with 200-400mm and 80-400mm lenses. Click through to see some of the resultant images.

Just posted: Olympus PEN E-P5 real-world samples

We've been shooting with the Olympus PEN E-P5 for the past few weeks, in preparation for our review. Using a selection of lenses, we've put together a real-world samples gallery showing what the latest big PEN can do. In addition to shooting at the default settings, we've also tried adjusting the noise reduction and sharpening settings, and have included both out-of-camera JPEGs and Adobe Camera Raw conversions to give an idea for the choices you're offered. Click through for a link to the gallery.

Are you an addict? Photographer blogs about 'Gear Acquisition Syndrome'

Florida-based Olivier Duong has been blogging about a common addiction among enthusiast and professional photographers  - G.A.S., or 'Gear Acquisition Syndrome'. Among its symptoms are 'hoarding gear that you don’t really need and getting stuff for the sake of getting it'. Does this sound painfully familiar? In his blog post, entitled 'How buying cameras and lenses made me miserable and lose thousands', self-confessed former 'gear addict' Duong explains how his gear acquisition got out of control. Click through for a link to the full article.

July 9
DIY 'blimp' case makes Nikon D800 silent and waterproof for $80

So-called 'blimp' cases are designed to greatly reduce the sound of a camera's shutter, making it safe to take record shots during filming for TV and movies. Typically, commercial blimp cases cost upwards of $1000, but pro photographer Dan Tabár made his own using a Pelican case, some ABS pipe fittings, a wireless shutter release, and other simple parts sourced at a hardware store, for around $80. Click through to see how well it works for both sound suppression and underwater shooting.

Hands-on with Eye-Fi Mobi card

Eye-Fi's X2 wireless SD cards, which provide your camera with a Wi-Fi connection have been around for a few years, and now the company has come out with a new range of 'mobi' cards. The Eye-Fi Mobi, which is available as a 8GB/Class 10 SDHC card for $50 and a 16GB/Class 10 SDHC card for $80, lacks some of the features of the X2-series but offers the ability to send full-resolution photos wirelessly as they’re captured to iOS devices and Android devices. Click through for our hands-on article over at connect.dpreview.com.

Panasonic releases firmware updates for Lumix GH3 and G5

Panasonic has released firmware updates for its Lumix DMC-GH3 and DMC-G5 mirrorless cameras. Version 1.2 for the GH3 adds 'Low light AF' that works down to -3 EV, a 'Silent Mode', and an 'Exposure Compensation Reset' function. Meanwhile version 1.1 for the G5 only corrects wording of the Motion Picture menu on cameras sold in PAL broadcast regions, and therefore isn't required by US owners. Click through for download links.

July 8
French student creates SLR using 3D printer

We normally don't cover film cameras on DPReview, but this one's too cool to pass up. Twenty-four year old Léo Marius has created a 35mm film SLR using a 3D printer, complete with a viewfinder and compatibility for any lens mount (once the appropriate mount is created and attached, of course). The camera isn't available for sale, but Marius provides instructions for creating your own. Click through for more details, and pictures of the homemade camera. 

Gallery: Photographers capture the spirit of summer

Photographers around the world are sharing their favorite photos of summer (and winter, for those in the Southern hemisphere) across various social photography sharing sites. We scoured the web for some of the best shots of the season and are sharing them on connect.dpreview.com. Click through to see our selection, and remember that you can share your own photos on our busy Forums, and via our Galleries system. 

Nikon looks beyond cameras as compact sales continue to slide

Nikon President Makoto Kimura says the company could make a non-camera consumer product, prompting speculation that it's eyeing the smartphone market in response to falling compact camera sales. With compact camera sales down by around 25% across the industry, Kimura says he expects the company's DSLR sales to support the loss of compact sales for 'several more years' until it can produce 'a product that will change the concept of digital cameras.' Read more over at connect.dpreview.com

Just Posted: Update to Sony RX100 II Samples Gallery

We've just posted an update to our samples gallery taken with the new 20MP Sony Cyber-shot RX100 II. Now that we've had a little more time with the camera we've concentrated on getting a wider range of real-world shots, highlighting the potential of the camera's fast wideangle lens setting, and its improved low-light performance. Click through to see our expanded gallery of real-world samples. 

July 5
Olympus executives sentenced, avoid jail time

More than a year after their arrest in February 2012 for hiding massive corporate losses dating back to the 1990s, three former Olympus executives received suspended jail terms for crimes they admitted committing. In a story marked as one of the largest frauds in Japanese history, the executives conspired to cover up approximately $1.5 billion in investment losses. Olympus itself was fined ¥700 million (about $7 million) for the actions of Tsuyoshi Kikukawa, former chairman, Hideo Yamada, former auditor, and Hisashi Mori, former executive vice president.

What The Duck #1408

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: Nikon Coolpix AW110 Review

We've completed the third in our series of underwater/rugged camera reviews, this time covering the Nikon Coolpix AW110. This camera is loaded with features, including a GPS system with maps and landmarks, plus Wi-Fi that gives the ability to control the camera from your smartphone. Click the link to read the review, and don't forget that we'll be comparing all six cameras in a few weeks.

Lens reviews update: DxOMark data for Sony NEX primes

DxOMark has been busy testing lenses for the Sony NEX system, and has just published an article detailing which lenses score best on the NEX-7. As part of our ongoing collaboration, we've added the test data for most of Sony's own E-mount primes to our lens widget, which you can use to assess their performance and compare them against each other. We'll be adding Sony's zoom lenses and third-party primes very soon, but for now you can explore the test data for the Carl Zeiss Sonnar T* E 24mm F1.8 ZA, E 20mm F2.8, E 30mm F3.5 Macro, E 35mm F1.8 OSS and E 50mm F1.8 OSS. Click through for the links. 

July 4
Dynamic range and Noise pages added to Sony RX1R Preview

We're working on Sony's flagship compact camera, the 24MP RX1R, and as part of our usual testing we've updated our preview with noise and noise-reduction analysis, and our standard page looking at dynamic range. This is in addition to our studio comparison scene pages, and a real-world samples gallery showing just what the RX1R - which lacks an AA filter - can do. Click through for a link to our updated preview. 

Pentax releases new firmware for Q and Q10

Pentax has announced firmware updates to two of its tiny Q-series interchangeable lens cameras, the original Q and last year's Q10. Firmware version 1.13 for the Q and 1.02 for the Q10 add support for the PENTAX-07 Mount Shield Lens, and bring 'improved stability for general performance'. Click through for links to download the new firmware. 

Metabones introduces Nikon F Speed Booster for NEX and Micro Four Thirds

Metabones has introduced Nikon G-type versions of its Speed Booster lens adapter for Micro Four Thirds and Sony NEX cameras, which include a control ring for aperture setting with lenses that don't have aperture rings of their own. The Speed Booster itself is a lens adapter that that reduces the focal length by a factor of 0.71x, and increases the maximum aperture by 1 stop, effectively allowing lenses to give very similar angle of view and depth of field control on APS-C mirrorless cameras as they do on full frame. The Nikon G-type adapters are available to buy now for $429 from Metabones' website. 

Pentax unveils blue and white K-01 in Japan

Pentax Japan has unveiled a new colour variation of its Marc Newson-designed K-01 mirrorless camera, with a white body shell, blue grip covering, and black accents. There are no spec changes or updates compared to the existing K-01, which was announced early in 2012 and available in black, silver, or yellow. So the camera sports a 16MP APS-C CMOS sensor, in-body image stabilisation, 3" 921k dot LCD, and the same K-mount as the company's SLRs. It comes with the ultra-slim smc PENTAX-DA 40mm F2.8 XS pancake lens, and will go on sale in late July.

July 3
Canon videos showcase 70D's innovative AF system

Canon's new 70D features a ground-breaking 'Dual Pixel CMOS AF' sensor which splits every single pixel into two photodiodes for on-chip phase detection autofocus, promising greatly improved AF performance in live view and movie mode. Canon has created a sample video, called 'Handmade', shot with the 70D, which showcases the new AF technology, alongside another short video feature going behind the scenes. Click through to watch the videos. 

Sigma blog posts tips for photographing 4th of July fireworks

Sigma has posted an informative article on its blog by photographer Jack Howard, sharing tips on how to photograph fireworks. The article comes just in time for the 4th of July celebrations in the USA, but is equally relevant to various festivals, year-wide, all over the world. Tips include obvious pointers like making sure you have a good, sturdy tripod, but also more detailed advice about how to set up your camera's exposure and focus modes, as well as how to trigger exposures. Click through for a link to the article at blog.sigmaphoto.com.

Just Posted: Pentax Q7 Real-world Samples Gallery

Just posted: Our real-world samples gallery shot with the Pentax Q7. The latest in Pentax's series of tiny interchangeable lens cameras, the Q7 is the first to offer a larger 1/1.7 inch 12MP BSI CMOS sensor. We're working on a full review, and as part of the process we've been out and about taking plenty of sample pictures on the Q7 in a range of different situations, to see how it performs. Click through for a link to the our gallery.

DxOMark looks into lenses for the Sony SLT-A99

Our friends and collaborators over at DxOMark have been looking into how lenses score on specific cameras, and their latest round-up takes a look at Sony's 24MP full frame flagship, the SLT-A99. The article covers 22 lenses, including both current models from the likes of Sony, Sigma and Zeiss, and some older Konica Minolta optics. They've published a number of reviews of new Sony-mount lenses alongside, including the 300mm F2.8 G II SSM telephoto and the Tamron SP 24-70mm F2.8 Di USD, plus the ZEISS Touits for NEX cameras. Click through for the links.    

'Liking Isn't Helping' - ad campaign uses jarring press photos to spur action

It's all very well 'liking' a charitable cause on Facebook, but what difference does it make? Crisis Relief Singapore is running an ad campaign called 'Liking Isn't Helping' which uses photos showing victims of war and natural disasters to encourage volunteerism - with an ironic twist. The images are composites of real press photos and Facebook-style thumbs ups, accompanied by the message that 'Liking isn't helping'. Click through for more details.

July 2
Pentax Ricoh changes name and reveals branding strategy

Hot on the heels of Carl Zeiss's decision to become simply Zeiss, Pentax Ricoh has decided that from August 1st it will be known simply as Ricoh. It's not all bad news for Pentax fans though - the brand name will continue to be used on the company's SLRs and interchangeable lens cameras. Meanwhile the Ricoh name will be used for compact cameras and, cryptically, 'new technological innovations'.

Just posted: Our Canon EOS 70D hands-on preview

Just posted: Our hands-on preview of Canon's latest mid-range SLR, the EOS 70D. From the outside it looks very similar to the EOS 60D, but on the inside it sports a brand-new 'Dual Pixel CMOS AF' sensor that promises much-improved focusing in live view and movie mode. It also borrows most of the best bits of Canon's existing SLRs, including the AF module from the EOS 7D, the articulated touchscreen from the EOS 700D, and built-in Wi-Fi from the EOS 6D. In our detailed preview we take a closer look, and try to get to grips with its innovative sensor technology. Click through to read all about it.

Canon announces EOS 70D mid-range SLR with 'Dual Pixel CMOS AF'

Canon has announced the EOS 70D, a mid-range SLR for enthusiast photographers. Its headline feature is a brand-new 20.2MP 'Dual Pixel CMOS AF' sensor which splits every single pixel into two photodiodes for on-chip phase detection, promising vastly improved autofocus performance in live view and movie mode. It also gains the 19-point AF module from the EOS 7D for viewfinder shooting, touchscreen control via its fully articulated 3" LCD, and built-in Wi-Fi for image sharing and remote camera control from your smartphone or tablet. Click through for more details, including full specifications.

Amateur filmmaker builds 'bullet time' rig for less than $100

Ever wanted to add a little spice to your video creations, perhaps your next Matrix fan-fiction video, by adding a little slow-motion bullet-time effect? Jeremiah Warren did just that, employing a ceiling fan, a GoPro 3 video camera, and a handful of bits of wood, effectively side-stepping thousands of dollars worth of individual cameras and rigging, not to mention computer-controlled timing equipment. Click through for more details and to see the results.

July 1
Just posted: Pentax MX-1 review

We've just posted our Pentax MX-1 review. Designed to recall the golden days of camera design, the Pentax MX-1 features a bright F1.8-2.5 28-112mm equivalent zoom lens, a 12MP 1/1.7" sensor, and a 3-inch, 920K-dot tilting LCD screen. Brass plates top and bottom are a minor feature of the MX-1 that Pentax was nevertheless careful to highlight as giving that old camera feel, even showing signs of wear over time. A retro look and feel is great, but does that translate into a good camera for modern times? Click through to read our review.

Shutterbug Remote looks to launch next-gen device

The creators of the Shutterbug Remote are looking to fans of the remote camera trigger technology to fund version 2.0 of their device. Aimed at photographers who want to capture time-lapse videos, time-delay portraits, low-light images, and other complex shots, developers are envisioning even more features and broader compatibility in a next-gen version; learn more at connect.dpreview.com.