Articles from April 2014

April 30
Fujifilm XF 56mm F1.2 R real-world samples gallery

We've been shooting with the Fujinon XF 56mm F1.2 R - the fast 85mm equivalent prime lens for Fujifilm's X mount mirrorless cameras. Its F1.2 aperture means it gives similarly shallow depth-of-field to an 85mm F1.8 lens on a full frame body, making it an useful portrait or low light lens. We also spent time using the X-E2 with an advance version of firmware v2.0 while putting this gallery together. See gallery and read about our experience with the update

Fujifilm firmware brings swifter viewfinder and sundry features to X-E2

Fujifilm has released a firmware update for its X-E2 mirrorless camera, bringing its viewfinder performance up to the standard set by the X-T1. Firmware 2.0 also adds a choice over the color of focus peaking and the ability to apply Face Detection and EVF/LCD Setting to one of the customizable buttons. A 'Suppressed Flash' option has also been added. The viewfinder now operates with a lag of just 0.005 seconds and maintains its faster refresh rate in low light. The firmware is available for download from the company's website.

Call for entries: Dorothea Lange-Paul Taylor documentary prize

The Center for Documentary Studies is now accepting submissions for the 2014 Dorothea Lange-Paul Taylor Prize. For nearly twenty-five years this competition has provided money to 'encourage collaboration between documentary writers and photographers in the tradition of acclaimed photographer Dorothea Lange and writer and social scientist Paul Taylor'. Learn more

DxO launches upgrade for Optics Pro, now supports Nokia Lumia 1020

DxO has launched an upgrade of its Optics Pro Raw conversion software. Version 9.1.5 now offers support for the Nokia Lumia 1020's DNG Raw files. The Canon EOS 1200D (EOS Rebel T5), Olympus E-M10 and Stylus 1, and the Nikon Coolpix P340 are now supported as well. An upgraded version (2.1.5) is also available for ViewPoint, DxO's software and plugin for geometric corrections. Learn more

April 29
Samsung launches Galaxy K Zoom with 10x optical zoom

Smartphone imaging components have improved a lot in recent years but the lack of an optical zoom is still a major disadvantage compared to traditional compact cameras. Now Samsung is aiming to make its hybrid model more attractive to consumers and has launched the second generation of the Galaxy Zoom series. Learn more

Some Samsung Galaxy S5 units shipped with defective camera

The S5's camera module keeps causing trouble. First there were concerns about problems in the manufacturing process of the S5's new 6-element lens, now Samsung has confirmed that an unspecified number of the flagship phones have shipped with defective cameras. Learn more

Alien Skin Software announces Exposure 6 plugin

Alien Skin Software has announced the latest version of its flagship photography effects software. Exposure 6 now includes a 'Bokeh' focus and lens-simulation feature, an updated image processing engine for instant previews, enhanced user interface for quick workflow, and unlimited creative texture control. The analog film emulation and creative effects software integrates with Photoshop, Photoshop Elements, Lightroom, and Aperture or can be launched as a stand-alone program. Learn more

MIT algorithm predicts photo popularity

Ask the average social media user what makes a photo popular online and they'll probably answer 'cats' or 'pretty women'. That gut feeling has now been confirmed by MIT PhD candidate Aditya Khosla who has analyzed more than 2.3 million images hosted on Flickr to answer the question 'what makes an image popular'? Learn more 

April 28
Sony patent hints at RX compact with even greater pocket power

Sony has patented the design of a series of bright zoom lenses, including a roughly F1.8-2.8 lens that would give 26-100mm equivalent coverage on a 1"-type sensor. The designs suggest the company intends to further develop its RX range of compacts. Such a lens would allow for a camera that made better use of its comparatively large sensor, even at the long end of the zoom. Learn more

Samyang announces 'AE' 35mm F1.4 for Canon, and 300mm F6.3 for DSLRs

Samyang has announced five new manual focus lenses, including a revised 'AE' version of its Canon-mount 35mm F1.4 which allows electronic aperture setting from the camera body. Meanwhile the Reflex 300mm F6.3 UMC CS is a mirror lens designed for APS-C SLRs, which will be available in Canon, Nikon, Sony Alpha and Four Thirds mounts. Finally there are three cinema versions of existing photo lenses - a 10mm T3.1  for APS-C SLRs, a 12mm T2.2 for mirrorless cameras, and a 7.5mm T3.8 fisheye for Micro Four Thirds.  

Get more accurate color with camera calibration

One of the ways in which you can minimize the amount of work you need to do in post-processing is to calibrate your camera. Many digital photographers are familiar with calibrating their computer monitor to help them get accurate results when adjusting images. But few think of calibrating their camera. Professional travel photographer Steve Davey explains why and how to set up a custom profile. Learn more

Getty Images now lets you hang iconic photos on your wall

In March, stock photography house Getty Images rocked the industry when it announced it would allow people to embed images for free on websites and other electronic uses. Clearly looking to monetize the vast collection of images currently gathering digital dust in its archives, it has launched Photos.com by Getty Images to sell prints directly to customers. Learn more

Apple patents 3D interactive hologram display system

AppleInsider has discovered another interesting Apple patent. This time the technology giant has patented a 3D-display system that projects digital images into a medium such as a non-linear crystal, using infrared lasers or similar technologies and accepts user input in the form of gestures. Learn more

Get more accurate color with camera calibration
Improvements in your technique don't have to be dramatic to have a profound impact on your workflow and quality of images. Travel photographer Steve Davey looks at how camera color profiles can speed up your workflow.
April 27
'City of Samba': Rio Carnival in tilt-shift

The breathtaking 'City of Samba' video chronicles the festival of Carnival in Rio de Janeiro through a creative mashup of stop-motion and tilt-shift photography. The world of Carnival is even more impressive when it feels like an immersive model, a cartoon come to life. Captured from a vantage point above the fray, the 'City of Samba' shows the hectic celebration as a crazy animated dance. See video

April 26
12 stunning images from Smithsonian's photography contest

Smithsonian.com has announced 60 finalists for its 11th annual photo contest. More than 50,000 photographs were submitted by photographers from 132 different countries. Ten images were selected from each of six categories: The Natural World, Travel, People, Americana, Altered Images and Mobile. See gallery

April 25
What The Duck #1300

We've come to the end of another week here at dpreview, and as our thoughts drift to weekend shooting opportunities, it's time to take things a little less seriously. Aaron Johnson's comic strip ‘What the Duck’ is just the thing, taking a gently satirical look through the lens of a photographically inclined waterfowl. You can find it published here (and in our newsletter) every week; we hope you enjoy it, and your weekend.

ThinkTank StreetWalker HardDrive backpack review

A good photography backpack is capable of stowing essential elements like a full-size camera body, small family of lenses, laptop, tripod, and all necessary accessories. A truly great backpack can carry all of that while being carry-on friendly and providing a high level of comfort and adjustability. The minds at ThinkTank strove to bring that full package with the StreetWalker HardDrive photo backpack. But does it provide enough bang to justify its $229.75 price tag? Find out in our review

1939: England in Color (part 1)

Color photography has been around in one form or another for a very long time, but has only been the norm for around forty years. Their relative rarity makes the discovery of older color images perennially fascinating. After all, early color offers us a view of the past in the colors and tones of our own experience and memories. Which brings us to a box that editor Barnaby Britton found recently in his Grandmother's attic. See photos and read more of the story

Lost 1960s moon photos recovered from analog tapes

More than 50 years after the satellites that captured the first high-res images of the moon plunged to the surface and were destroyed, a Wired article tells the story of a group of people that found the tapes after they ended up in storage in California. Re-engineering the old drives capable of reading the tapes, they've recovered these historically significant images. Learn more

Famatic connects generations through digital picture frame

A new Kickstarter project is aiming to make digital images more accessible to those without social media accounts. Famatic is a digital picture frame that connects to Facebook and Instagram - or you can email pictures as well. The idea is to place Famatic on your parents' or grandparents' mantelpiece and send them images of their grandkids and family events straight to the frame. Learn more

April 24
Updated: Creating the Leica T

No one will deny that Leica cameras are expensive. But there's more to the cost than just that red dot on the front. Each of the company's new 'T' mirrorless cameras are built by hand in Germany with incredible precision. View the transformation from aluminum brick to finished product. We've just updated this slideshow with some insights from Leica's head of product management, Stefan Daniel. Click through to see (and read) more. 

All teed up: Leica T First Impressions Review

Leica's new T (Typ 701) is the company's first mirrorless interchangeable lens camera with autofocus. While its 'guts' aren't much different than other cameras in its class, the hand-built body is all Leica. We've been able to spend some quality time with the German manufacturer's latest baby, and have put together our first impressions of it. Find out what we think of it thus far.

Leica T and lenses herald arrival of mirrorless T-system

Leica has announced the T-System, a mirrorless interchangeable lens camera system with autofocus. The first camera in the system, the Leica T, features a 16MP APS-C sensor. Two lenses - an 18-56mm F3.5-5.6 and a 23mm F2 prime have been announced alongside the camera, with the promise of an 11-23mm F3.5-4.5 wide-angle zoom and 55-135mm F3.5-4.5 telezoom to follow. The camera is milled from a solid billet of aluminum and features a touchscreen that the company says uses a user-friendly operating concept. An optional electronic viewfinder provides an alternative to the 3.7" LCD.

Behind the photo: Sports Illustrated's 'Boston Strong' cover

About a week prior to Monday’s running of the Boston Marathon, and a year after the bombing at the 2013 marathon, photographer Gregory Heisler addressed a crowd of thousands gathered at the finish line. The group included runners, first responders and Boston Mayor Marty Walsh, all ready to pose for Sports Illustrated's 'Boston Strong' cover photo. Directing the crowd through a megaphone and standing on a raised platform, Heisler captured a portrait of 3,000 proud, resilient Bostonians. Take a peek behind the scenes of this large scale photo shoot. Learn more

Lensbaby adds Android option for its selective focus lens

When Lensbaby launched the  Kickstarter project for its 'Sweet Spot' selective focus lens at the beginning of April it was initially iPhone only. Now the company has added a pledge level for Android users, too. For $50 you can pre-order the Sweet Spot lens and the Android application for your device. Delivery is expected in October. Learn more

April 23
Sony a6000 shooting experience and samples gallery

The Sony a6000 features a 24MP APS-C sensor that includes phase detection AF points across 92% of the frame and 11 fps continuous shooting with subject-tracking. It's the first E-mount camera of its style not to be branded 'NEX'. As we work toward a full review, read our shooting experience report and check out our real-world samples gallery to find out if the a6000 is more than a refreshed NEX-6 by another name. Learn more and see gallery

OnePlus launches 13MP, 4K video smartphone at bargain price

OnePlus is a new smartphone maker based in China founded by a former Oppo executive. Today the company has released its first high-end smartphone, which is simply called the One. With its 2.5 GHz quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 801 SoC, 5.5-inch 1080p screen, 3GB of RAM and a 13MP camera, the One's specifications are on a similar level as other flagship devices released this year. Learn more

SmugMug Films: Master of illusions

We've been following SmugMug Films' ongoing behind-the-lens series and have found the clips to be an interesting look at people who follow their passions in photography. The latest installment features Joel Grimes. He's been a commercial advertising photographer for more than 30 years and is most known for his composite portraits. Grimes considers himself more than a photographer - an artist and illusionist, creating images that are larger than life. See video and read Q&A

Drone films SpaceX rocket launch and landing

These days shots from a flying drone are a dime a dozen - when engagement shoots are being covered from a hovering photographic robot you know that the technology is ubiquitous. It's getting increasingly hard to impress someone with images or video from drones. So it's lucky that privately-owned SpaceX happens to own its own rockets because it gives them the ability to capture stunning video, like this launch and landing test of its Falcon 9 Reusable rocket. See video

NYC Department of Records archives showcase city's history

You don’t have to be a New Yorker to appreciate the 900,000 plus images available online through the NYC Department of Records archives. Some are photographs of well-known icons like the Statue of Liberty and the Brooklyn Bridge, while others are Wee Gee-esque in their grit or as mundane as photos documenting local school buildings. Many of the images date back to the late 1800s. Learn more

April 22
Nikon Coolpix P340 real-world samples gallery

The Coolpix P340 is Nikon's latest pocket enthusiast camera, featuring a large 1/1.7", 12.2-megapixel BSI CMOS sensor, full manual controls (P, S, A, M) and Raw image capture. The P340 has a versatile 5x (24-120mm equivalent) wide-angle to telephoto zoom range plus 10x Dynamic Fine Zoom and a fast F1.8 maximum aperture lens with Lens Shift VR image stabilization. We've spent a few days shooting with it to see if these specs add up to impressive performance. See gallery

Nokia device division may become 'Microsoft Mobile'

Microsoft is in the process of acquiring Nokia's Devices and Services division, and in March both companies confirmed the $7.2 billion deal would be closed by the end of April. Now Windows Mobile Power User got hold of a leaked letter which Nokia supposedly had sent out to its suppliers in Finland. In the letter it says that the name of Nokia Oyj will change to Microsoft Mobile Oy. Learn more

Lytro announces Illum light field camera

Lytro has unveiled the Illum light field camera, its first new hardware since the original Lytro launched more than two years ago. Like its predecessor, the Illum captures information about the angle from which light has arrived, allowing it to calculate images with different perspective and focus. The biggest change is the use of a much larger sensor: now a 1" type, rather than 1/3" type usually found in smartphones. Learn more

Q&A with Lytro's CEO and founder on the Illum

Before the launch of Lytro's new Illum camera, we spoke with Lytro CEO Jason Rosenthal and Founder and Executive Chairman Ren Ng about the the new product, to find out what's been added and improved over the original Light Field Camera. Learn more

Blurb collaborates with Amazon to distribute self-published photo books

Blurb, an online self-publishing platform for photo books, is announcing a new program that will allow books created with its online tools to be sold on Amazon. Once a book is created through Blurb, authors may choose to create an ISBN, name a price and list the book for sale with the online retailer. Blurb charges a base price per book to cover printing, and Amazon charges a fee based on list price. Profit left over is paid to the author via Paypal. Learn more

April 21
For starters: Nikon D3300 review

Nikon's introduction of the D3300 at this year's CES didn't shake up the industry, but it was still a noteworthy launch. The entry-level 3000 series have been popular with consumers looking to making a first step into more advanced photography, and the 24 megapixel D3300 is the latest generation in that popular line. With 1080/60p HD video capture, 5 fps burst shooting and 700-shot battery life it provides a beginner with some useful tools to experiment with. Is it a clear winner in the entry-level class? Read our full review

A travel-sized large-format 4x5 camera?

Ever wanted to shoot with the incredible image quality of large-format 4"x5" film? Well now you can without lugging around a massive view camera. Wanderlust’s Travelwide 4x5 camera is small enough to go wherever you go. At 6.3 x 3.9 x 5 inches and 9.7 ounces it’s relatively compact and definitely lightweight. Constructed of glass-filled ABS plastic, the point-and-shoot camera features a focusing screen, focusing marks on the barrel, and a trio of cold shoe accessory mounts. Learn more

National Geographic editor tells how photography changed her life

Photographer, producer and Senior Photo Editor at National Geographic, Pamela Chen first picked up a camera at around 9 months old. Although she was pointing the camera the wrong way, as children often do, the photo that Chen shares with us in this video is a sweet remembrance. During the video, which is sponsored by Microsoft OneDrive, Chen tells the story of how capturing one blurry photograph when she was a college student changed the course of her life. See video

April 20
In photos: 'Paris in the Springtime'

'Paris in the Springtime' is a new photography exhibition at the Beetles+Huxley gallery in London featuring notable photographers such as André Kertész, Robert Doisneau, Henri Cartier-Bresson, Willy Ronis and Elliott Erwitt. These classic black and white images are some of the scenes that have defined Paris' romantic street life cliché found in modern pop culture. The collection of mid-twentieth century photos are on display from April 7 - May 3. See gallery

April 19
Ryan Brenizer on how to shoot engagement sessions

Engagement photo sessions are not only an additional source of income for photographers but, as New York City-based wedding photographer Ryan Brenizer explains, these shoots provide the perfect opportunity to establish a relationship with the couple and learn how to make them feel comfortable in front of the camera before the big day. See video

April 18
What The Duck #1324

We've come to the end of another week here at dpreview, and as our thoughts drift to weekend shooting opportunities, it's time to take things a little less seriously. Aaron Johnson's comic strip ‘What the Duck’ is just the thing, taking a gently satirical look through the lens of a photographically inclined waterfowl. You can find it published here (and in our newsletter) every week; we hope you enjoy it, and your weekend.

Toshiba unveils UHS-II Class 3 microSD memory cards

Toshiba has announced the industry's first microSD memory cards to comply with the UHS-II standard. Also being UHS Speed Class 3 (U3) enabled will allow the new cards, available in 64GB and 32GB capacities, to capture 4K video at constant minimum write speeds of 30MB/s. The 64GB cards offer a maximum read speed of 260MB/s and a maximum write speed of 240MB/s. The 32GB cards have a maximum read speed of 145MB/s and maximum write speed of 130MB/s. Learn more

Olympus Stylus SH-1 real-world samples gallery

The Olympus Stylus SH-1 brings the manufacturer's well-regarded 5-axis image stabilization to a fixed lens compact for the first time. The SH-1 looks the part too with its Pen-inspired styling, and offers a substantial 25-600mm equivalent zoom. Who could resist taking it for a spin? That's exactly what we did, and we've come back with a gallery of real-world samples to prove it. See photos

Pixels.com licensing service promises full control of images

Pixels.com is a new image licensing marketplace that aims to give photographers more control than competing services. Users can set their own prices for images and manage the type of licenses they want to offer. There is even an option to create custom licenses with your own terms and conditions. Learn more

Helping children one print at a time

National Geometric is a social enterprise that brings a personal touch to charitable giving. Through the sales of single-edition, 10x15 prints of a person with a specific need, National Geometric helps provide food, water, medical care, tuition for school, and other basic necessities. The cost of each photograph reflects the amount needed to help the person in the photograph. Learn more

Google Camera app now on Kitkat and adds Lytro-like effect

So far Google's in-house camera app has only been available on Nexus devices but now a new version of the app is available to anyone in the Google Play Store. The app only works on devices running Android Kitkat 4.4 but Google is planning to make it work on older versions too. It comes with a minimalist design and a brand new feature called Lens Blur to simulate shallow depth-of-field. Learn more

April 17
1991 Nikon-Kodak hack was first DSLR in space

What was the first digital camera in space? It turns out in 1991 NASA sent a modified Nikon F3 with small Kodak CCD sensor and external processing unit on a shuttle mission. Called the Hawkeye II, this system used a RS-232 serial port to connect to its external gear. Kodak would use this platform as the basis for the DCS system, the first commercially available digital camera. Learn more

Sigma 50mm F1.4 DG HSM 'Art' lab test report

The Sigma 50mm F1.4 DG HSM 'Art' is a fast normal prime for full frame cameras, with an unusually complex optical design. Its premium price tag of $950 / £850 makes it substantially more expensive than either its predecessor, or Canon and Nikon's 50mm F1.4 lenses. However Sigma's recent high-end offerings such as the 35mm F1.4 DG HSM and 18-35mm F1.8 DC HSM have been truly excellent, so how does the new 50mm measure up? See the lens test data and our analysis

Sigma 50mm F1.4 DG HSM 'Art' real-world samples gallery

The 50mm F1.4 DG HSM is Sigma's latest fast normal prime for full-frame cameras, and one of the most hotly-anticipated lenses of the year. But how does it perform in real-world use?  We've been using the lens for a couple of days, and put together a gallery of samples. We've concentrated on large-aperture shots to show sharpness and bokeh, but have also included several taken at smaller apertures. See photos

Eyefi announces photo sharing cloud service

The maker of popular Wi-Fi SD cards has launched Eyefi Cloud, a private photo-centric cloud service that makes photos instantly available on a smartphone, tablet, PC or smart TV. Once users send images from their camera to mobile device using the Eyefi Mobi SD memory card and updated iOS and Android Eyefi apps, images can now be transferred to Eyefi Cloud for viewing on any browser-enabled device. Learn more

Behind the scenes: Small lighting, big results with Joe McNally

Nikon's latest in a series of behind the scenes videos features photographer Joe McNally. An off-camera lighting wizard, McNally shares some useful tips from three different flash scenarios. No diffusion panel? No worries, McNally explains you can get the same results by placing a bed sheet between the flash and the subject. And as natural light began flowing through his studio, like any good photographer, McNally moved his model to make some pictures — without flash, this time. See video

Call for entries: Getty Images grants

Getty Images has announced a call for entries for its Getty Grants, a series of photographic grants for editorial and portrait photographers totaling $130,000 (~£77,737). To celebrate the 10-year anniversary of its grant program, Getty Images is offering six prizes for editorial photography, three creative grants for non-profits and individual photographers, and one for portrait photographers. Learn more

April 16
Canon G1 X Mark II First Impressions Review

Canon's PowerShot G1 X Mark II is an intriguing update. It keeps the 1.5"-type sensor from its predecessor, but adds a faster processor, longer and brighter lens, tilting LCD, dual control rings and has Wi-Fi with NFC. The big change for 2014 is no more optical viewfinder. Our first impressions review covers the usual aspects of the camera (Controls, Body and Design, etc.), but also has our Shooting Experience report where we talk about it handles in the real-world. Learn more

Fuji adds grips, grip strap, and extended eye-cup accessories for X-T1

Fujifilm UK has announced a host of accessories for its X-T1 mirrorless cameras. These include two extra accessory grips for the X-T1, which build on the features offered by the MHG-style grips already available for the X-series cameras. The MHG-XT Small and Large offer a choice grip sizes and include integrated Arca-Swiss compatible flanges, as well as full-time access to the battery port. Other accessories include a deeper viewfinder eye-cup and a handgrip-style strap that's compatible across the X-mount range. Pricing and availability dates have not yet been announced.

Fujifilm announces 1.4x teleconverter for X100/X100S

Fujifilm has formally announced the TCL-X100, a 1.4x teleconverter for the X100 and X100S that was first shown at CP+ back in February. The converter brings the focal length up to 33mm (50mm equiv.) and features an HT-EBC coating to reduce flare. Owners of the X100 and X100S will need to update their firmware in order to take advantage of the TCL-X100. The teleconverter will be available this May in your choice of black or silver for $349.99.

Google applies for contact lens camera patent

If you are the kind of person who gets uncomfortable at the thought of somebody recording you on Google Glass, the search company's latest patent application will probably make you feel even more uneasy. In January Google announced its smart contact lens project and now has filed a patent application for a micro camera module to go with the smart lenses. Learn more

Sony releases update for QX10 and QX100 lens modules

Sony has released a firmware update for its QX10 and QX100 camera modules that bring a couple of improvements. The shutter button can now be used to pre-focus with a half-press which allows you to focus and recompose with the QX modules just like you would do with any digital camera. Learn more

April 15
Never lose your lens cap again with HACkxTACK

We all know the situation just too well. You're out shooting with your DSLR or mirrorless camera when you decide to swap lenses and have no idea where you've put the lens cap for the lens that's mounted on your camera body. Usually it's in the very last place you look for it. In the worst case scenario you never find it at all. Two Canadian designers have a solution to this problem. Learn more

Compact smartphone shootout: Sony vs HTC vs Samsung

Most manufacturers of Android devices have designed smaller versions of their flagship smartphones to cater to those user who prefer more pocketable devices. In this shootout we pit three of those models against each other: the Sony Xperia Z1 Compact, HTC One Mini and Samsung Galaxy S4 MiniLearn more

Pulitzer Prize 2014 winners announced for photography

Two New York Times photographers are honored with Pulitzer Prizes in photojournalism this year. Tyler Hicks takes the award for Breaking News Photography for his work documenting a terrorist attack at a mall in Kenya, and Josh Haner's photos of a Boston Marathon bombing survivor take the top award in Feature Photography. Five finalists also receive recognition for their contributions to photojournalism in 2014. Read more

Hands on with the Pentax 645Z

It's hard to resist the opportunity to play with a new medium format DSLR, so we quickly took up Ricoh's offer to try out its 645Z. While it may look intimidating, the 645Z is surprisingly accessible, with an experience that feels strangely familiar to those who have handled Pentax cameras like the K-3. It's also a bargain by medium format standards, and not a huge step up from full-frame. Learn more about the 645Z.

Ricoh announces medium-format Pentax 645Z

Ricoh has launched the Pentax 645Z, a medium-format camera with a 51.4 megapixel CMOS sensor. Boasting an articulated 3.2-inch LCD, top ISO of 204,800, 3 fps continuous shooting, and 1080/60i video, the 645Z is cold-resistant, dustproof and weather-resistant with 76 weather-seals. It's also compatible with the Pentax FluCard, offering wireless remote control and image sharing from the camera to a smartphone, tablet or computer.

April 14
Windows XP is dead. Long live Windows XP 'Bliss'

In 2001 Microsoft released the Windows XP operating system and with it an iconic desktop photograph. Referred to as 'Bliss', the lush landscape of rolling grass hills and a crystal-blue sky has, to Microsoft's estimation, been seen by at least a billion people. To celebrate the retiring of the XP operating system, Microsoft tracked down the original photographer and talked to him about the shot. Learn more

Object of desire? Our Fujifilm X-T1 in-depth review

The Fujifilm X-T1 is surely one of the most desirable cameras of the year so far, with its SLR-like styling, huge electronic viewfinder, and wealth of external controls on its compact, weathersealed body. It also promises class-leading autofocus performance, including the ability to track focus on moving subjects -  something that's traditionally eluded this type of camera. But is this enthusiast-oriented mirrorless model really a match for a traditional SLR? Read our in-depth review to find out.

Past and present: NYC's changing streetscape

Ten years ago, James and Karla Murray set out photographing New York City's distinct and varied storefronts. The project was known as Storefront: The Disappearing Face of New York. With ten years passed they revisited the same locations and photographed them again, where over and over one-of-a-kind signage has, in fact, disappeared. Banks and fast food restaurants have sprung up in some places, while others decay behind bars and graffiti. See gallery

Mary Ellen Mark to receive Sony World Photography award

The World Photography Organization has announced that American photographer Mary Ellen Mark is the recipient of the 2014 Sony World Photography Awards for Outstanding Contribution to Photography. She has published eighteen books, with her nineteenth available this spring. Mark is known for becoming deeply ingrained in the lives of her subjects, providing a unique view of their lives without making those on the edges of society look inhuman. Learn more

April 13
Blood moon eclipse: Night of April 14-15

Photographers and astronomy fans in North America are gearing up for a rare meteorological event the night of April 14-15. According to Sky and Telescope magazine, on April 15th, the lunar eclipse will begin around 1:20am ET. While astronomers race to observatories, many photographers will take to the outdoors to capture this unique event. Here are a few tips for those looking to capture a good image of the moon. Learn more

April 12
In photos: Taking the lid off America's trash cans

On average, Americans send about half of their waste to landfills. Focused on spreading awareness about this issue, The Glad Products Company sponsored award-winning photojournalist Peter Menzel and writer Faith D’Aluisio's project called 'Waste in Focus.' The photo series looks at what eight families around the U.S. are recycling, composting and sending to landfill. See gallery

April 11
Shooting with the Samsung NX30

The Samsung NX30's launch got rather drowned-out by the other launches around CES. We've been shooting with it over the past few weeks and have written about our experiences. The NX series boasts a strong range of lenses, one of the more advanced Wi-Fi systems and the innovative i-Function system. What impact do these have on how we used the camera? Learn more 

Lensbaby releases 5.8mm F3.5 circular fisheye lens

Lensbaby, maker of popular selective focus lenses, has announced a 5.8mm F3.5 circular fisheye lens for Canon and Nikon mounts. With a 185° angle of view, the lens produces a full-circle fisheye image when used with APS-C-sized sensor cameras. The lens also allows you to focus as close as 1/4-inch. Lensbaby is taking pre-orders now. The circular fisheye will sell for $299.95. Learn more

What The Duck #1238

We've come to the end of another week here at dpreview, and as our thoughts drift to weekend shooting opportunities, it's time to take things a little less seriously. Aaron Johnson's comic strip ‘What the Duck’ is just the thing, taking a gently satirical look through the lens of a photographically inclined waterfowl. You can find it published here (and in our newsletter) every week; we hope you enjoy it, and your weekend.

Tamron gives pricing and availability for 16-300mm F3.5-6.3 superzoom

Tamron has announced pricing and availability for its 16-300mm F3.5-6.3 Di II VC PZD Macro 18.8x superzoom for APS-C SLRs. The lens, which was announced in February, will go on sale in mid-May at a street price of $629. The 16-300mm F3.5-6.3 Di II VC PZD Macro will offer an unusually wide angle view for its class (24-450mm equivalent), while also allowing close-up shooting with 0.34x magnification. It has an ultrasonic-type autofocus motor, splashproof construction and optical image stabilization. Learn more

Sony Alpha 7S in low-light: See video at ISO 409,600

Earlier this week Sony got a lot of attention with its Alpha 7S announcement - a 12MP full-frame mirrorless camera with 4k video capabilities and ISO expandable to 409,600 for stills and video. This sounds impressive, but how does it actually perform? See for yourself as Sony just released a video demonstrating the high ISO performance of the Alpha 7S. Watch video

Sigma announces 50mm F1.4 DG HSM Art pricing and availability

Sigma has released pricing and availability information of its new 50mm F1.4 DG HSM Art lens. First announced in January at CES, the 50mm F1.4 DG HSM Art is a completely new lens, rather than a revision of Sigma's existing 50mm F1.4 EX DG HSM. The lens employs the company's Hyper Sonic Motor (HSM) system and has 13 elements in eight groups. It will be available for Sigma, Sony, Nikon, and Canon mounts in late April for $949. The UK RRP will be £849.99. Learn more 

Lomography launches Russar+ for L39 and M mount cameras

Designed by Lomography and manufactured in Russia by Zenit, the Russar+ is an update to the 1958 Russar MR-2 wide-angle lens. The new lens is handmade out of brass and offers a 20mm focal length. It's compatible with L39 and M mount cameras. The lens can also be used on mirrorless systems using adapter mounts. Lomography is taking pre-orders now for $649.00, or £499 in the UK. It is expected to ship in July. Learn more

Prototype battery fully charges in under 30 seconds

While smartphone processing power, screen resolutions and camera performance have all improved significantly over the last few years, one area of development is seemingly standing still. Under heavy use most smartphone batteries still won't make it through the day, and once plugged in, devices take a long time to charge. Faster charging batteries are certainly welcome news to smartphone and tablet users but could also reduce the need for carrying spare batteries on longer photographic excursions. Learn more

April 10
Olympus sued for $273 million over accounting scandal

Reuters reports six Japanese trust banks have filed a lawsuit against Olympus for ¥27.9bn (around $273 million) in damages relating to the company’s false financial statements. According to the report this is the fifth publicly recognized lawsuit stemming from a 2011 accounting scandal. Olympus said it would set aside ¥17bn ($166.49m) to settle three of those five suits. Learn more

Fully loaded: Pentax K-3 review

Pentax cameras have always been innovative, and Ricoh has upped the ante with the K-3. Its image stabilization system not only reduces shake, but it can also simulate an anti-aliasing filter. The K-3 marks the latest evolution of one of the best-handling DSLRs in its class. It features a new autofocus system, 24 megapixel CMOS sensor, 8.3 fps continuous shooting, and USB 3.0 support. Has Ricoh put together a top-notch DSLR in the K-3? Read our review to find out

Nikon adds underwater housing and flash to 1 System

For those who want to take a swim with Nikon's latest 1 System mirrorless camera - the J4 - the company is also releasing both an underwater housing and speedlight. The WP-N3 housing lets you take the camera up to 45m underwater and supports several 1 System kit lenses. It also has a port for connecting to a strobe, such as the new SB-N10, which has a maximum depth of 100m and works with the already waterproof AW1, as well.

Nikon 1 J4 sports new sensor, improved AF system, and Wi-Fi

Nikon's recently announced flagship V3 1 System camera gave us a look at the latest technology the company has been working on, and many of those features have trickled down to the new, less-expensive J4. The camera features an 18MP CX-format sensor, an improved Hybrid AF system with phase detect points across nearly 100% of the frame, 20 fps burst shooting with continuous AF and, of course, Wi-Fi. Learn more about the Nikon 1 J4.

Nikon Coolpix S810c with Android continues connectivity trend

Nikon introduces the Coolpix S810c, a compact point-and-shoot running Android 4.2.2 Jelly Bean. With a 16 megapixel BSI-CMOS sensor, a 12x (25-300mm equiv.) zoom lens with VR stabilization and built-in Wi-Fi, it replaces the Coolpix S800c. The S810c offers 1080/30p HD video and built-in GPS, both offered in the preceding model, and adds a larger 3.7-inch touch screen LCD with 1.2 million dots of resolution. 

Nikon debuts lighter 18-300mm F3.5-6.3 to DX lens lineup

Nikon has unveiled the AF-S DX NIKKOR 18-300mm F/3.5-6.3 ED VR (27-450mm equivalent). It doesn't replace the company's existing 18-300mm lens - rather it's 1/3-stop slower at the long end and 30% lighter, weighing 19.4 ounces. The new 18-300mm has Nikon's Vibration Reduction system, which can reduce shake by up to 4 stops. Built with three Extra-low Dispersion (ED) glass elements and Nikon's Silent Wave Motor for quieter focusing, the 18-300mm F3.5-6.3 will be available in May for $899.95.

April 9
Canon recalls about 14,000 PowerShot SX50 cameras

Canon U.S.A. has recalled about 14,000 PowerShot SX50 HS digital cameras. According to the United States Consumer Product Safety Commission, 'A chemical used in the rubber part of the viewfinders on the camera can cause skin or eye irritation or an allergic reaction to the user'. The cameras in question have serial numbers beginning with 69, 70 or 71 and have 1 as the sixth digit of the serial number. Learn more

Atomos launches Shogun 4K external recorder

Atomos has released the latest in its series of field video recorders, the Shogun, at the NAB show in Las Vegas. It's capable of 4K Apple ProRes and Raw recording in 24, 25 or 30p, and up to 120p in HD. The device features a 7-inch touchscreen for operation, and accepts two SSD or HDD drives. Additionally the Shogun offers wireless remote control to trigger recording. Learn more

Call for entries: W. Eugene Smith Grant for Humanistic Photography

The W. Eugene Smith Grant for Humanistic Photography is seeking entrants to win a $30,000 (~£18,062) grant to work on a current or future documentary project, and up to $5,000 (~£3,010) if a finalist is deemed 'worthy of special recognition'. Up to forty images may be submitted for the grant. Photos must be from an ongoing project but can include past work that is representative of the photographer's vision of a proposed project. Deadline for submission is May 31, 2014. Learn more 

NYT photo editor gives career tips for photojournalists

As part of their continuing video series, Photo District News has released an interview with James Estrin, founder of the New York Times 'The Lens' blog. Estrin provides a series of tips for the aspiring photographer. While many of these aren’t groundbreaking, the video has some real gems. Notably, in his advice to photographers looking to document strife or crisis in exotic places, he says to pursue stories that are closer to home. Learn more

April 8
Adobe Camera Raw 8.4 and Lightroom 5.4 now available

Camera Raw 8.4 is now available as a final release for Photoshop CS6 and Photoshop CC. Lightroom 5.4 is also now on Adobe.com and available through the update mechanism in the application. The updates include bug fixes, new features and support for a number of new cameras such as the Nikon D4s and D3300, Canon PowerShot G1 X Mark II, Olympus OM-D E-M10 and Fujifilm X-T1. Learn more

DxOMark Mobile report: Sony Xperia Z2 takes top spot

The Xperia Z2 is Sony's latest flagship smartphone and replaces the Z1. The full-HD display measures 5.2 inches and offers better viewing angles than its predecessor's 5-inch equivalent. While a new Snapdragon 801 processor and 3GB of RAM offer plenty of power, the camera specification is nearly identical to the Z1's. Images are captured by a 20.7MP 1/2.3-inch CMOS sensor on a F2.0 lens. Nevertheless, Sony has managed to improve the image quality of its new flagship. Learn more

Adobe Lightroom goes mobile, but only for subscribers

Adobe has released Lightroom mobile for Apple's iPad as a companion app to the Lightroom desktop application. The app offers many of same image editing and organizing functions found on the desktop version. It also uses cloud technology to synchronize your edits across various devices with the image catalog on your desktop computer. Learn more

Get the story behind the photograph

Most photographs - especially photojournalistic work - exist in a void with little insight from the photographer that captured the image and what they were trying to achieve. 'The Image, Deconstructed' looks to turn this around. The website provides interviews with photographers, asking them about their techniques, their gear, their preparation, and their mindsets when they photograph. Learn more

Blackmagic Design launches Blackmagic Studio Camera

Touted as 'the world's smallest broadcast camera with the world's largest viewfinder', Blackmagic Design has announced its new Studio Camera. The Studio Camera employs a 12.48mm x 7.02mm sensor and a Micro Four Thirds lens mount. It also has a 10-inch viewfinder and a four-hour built-in battery. Learn more

AJA enters cinema camera market with 4K Cion

AJA has announced the Cion - a production camera featuring a 4K APS-C sized sensor - at NAB in Las Vegas, Nevada. This is AJA Video System's first camera, the company being known primarily as a manufacturer of video interface and conversion products. The camera accepts lenses with a PL mount and records to a single proprietary SSD drive. Learn more

April 7
JVC Kenwood joins Micro Four Thirds with 4K Super 35 prototypes

Update: Consumer electronics maker JVC Kenwood has joined the Micro Four Thirds standard and said it will develop products for the system. The company is showing two prototype 4K-capable cameras, including a compact, handheld model at NAB in Las Vegas. We stopped by the JVC Kenwood booth and got a first glimpse of the cameras on display. Interestingly, the company says both cameras will have Super 35 sensors (around 21 x 12mm), which is wider than the original Four Thirds sensor format which the standard was designed around. Learn more

Canon PowerShot G1X Mark II real-world gallery

Now that we have our hands on not one, but two PowerShot G1 X Mark IIs, we've running around out taking photos like crazy. This first installment of 24 photos - some of which may look familiar - should give you a taste of what the camera can do, and there are plenty of additional samples on the way. See gallery

Blackmagic Design announces Blackmagic URSA with 10-inch screen

Blackmagic Design has unveiled its latest and most expensive camera to date, the URSA. The camera features a changeable sensor design, allowing the user to swap out the Canon EF lens mount and 4K Super 35 image sensor for a similar sensor with a PL mount. The URSA features touch screens for operator control - including a 10-inch flip-out screen. It also has another 5-inch screen showing timecode, histogram, and other indicators such as a spectrum scope for checking focus. Learn more

Light it up: Phottix Mitros Flash for Canon review

The Phottix Mitros flash is a high-end TTL flash designed to compete with Canon's 580EX II at well over half the price. The Mitros for Canon shares many features with the 580EX II, including high-speed sync and built-in IR triggering with Master and Slave modes. But is the Mitros mighty enough to match one of Canon's most beloved flash models? Find out in our review

A first look at the Sony Alpha 7S 12MP full-frame with 4K output

Sony has just announced a 12MP full-frame addition to its Alpha 7 series, designed to output 4K footage over HDMI. We've just got back from Sony's press conference at the NAB show in Las Vegas, where we got a chance to see the camera. We hope to get more hands-on in the coming days, but for now, here's some more details of the Sony Alpha 7S.

April 6
Sony announces a7S full-frame mirrorless with 4:2:2 4K video output

Sony has announced the Alpha 7S, a 12MP full-frame mirrorless camera designed for both stills and video. The camera can read out its entire sensor fast enough to output 8-bit 4:2:2 4K video over HDMI at up to 30p, without line skipping or pixel binning. This also promises higher quality for the 1080p video (at up to 60p) it can record internally. Unlike the a7 and a7R, the latest model is not constrained by the AVCHD standard, also offering the XAVC S system, with bitrates of up to 50Mbps.

Meet the UK's first female press photographer

The Museum of London is celebrating the acquisition of a collection of images from Christina Broom, the UK's first female press photographer. Self-taught, Broom photographed London life and British military from 1903 to 1939. She started small, learning on a borrowed camera, and in 1904 she became the official photographer for the Household Division. See gallery

April 5
In photos: Swimming with jellyfish

When Seattle-based photographer Nadia Aly was diving in Jellyfish Lake in Palau, an island in the Pacific Ocean, and found herself surrounded by a swarm of jellyfish, she took advantage of the moment. Since the jellyfish in the lake have no natural predators, they have lost their sting. This enabled Aly to get unusually close and shoot thousands of photos over the course of a few days using her Canon 5D Mark II in an Aquatica Underwater Housing unit. See gallery

April 4
What The Duck #1459

We've come to the end of another week here at dpreview, and as our thoughts drift to weekend shooting opportunities, it's time to take things a little less seriously. Aaron Johnson's comic strip ‘What the Duck’ is just the thing, taking a gently satirical look through the lens of a photographically inclined waterfowl. You can find it published here (and in our newsletter) every week; we hope you enjoy it, and your weekend.

Acclaimed AP photographer Anja Niedringhaus killed in Afghanistan

The Associated Press is reporting today that veteran AP photographer Anja Niedringhaus was killed, and an AP reporter was wounded, when their car was fired upon by an Afghan police officer. They were traveling in a convoy of election workers bringing ballots to regions outside the city of Khost. Niedringhaus, 48, was pronounced dead at the scene and AP reporter Kathy Gannon was shot twice. She is listed as being in stable condition after surgery to treat her wounds. Learn more

'Dedicated': A Nikon D4s video about photographers using the D4s

Photographer Corey Rich's most recent project, titled 'Dedicated', is a video detailing the working lives of three other notable photographers - Dave Black, Robert Beck and George Karbus - using Nikon's latest flagship camera, the D4s. Along with the final cut of 'Dedicated', a making-of video that shows the 21-day whirlwind tour to capture the footage and interviews for the documentary project was released. See video

Waterproof camera returns to owner after being lost at sea

An Olympus camera lost by a Finnish diver on a trip in Thailand has made its way back to its owner. Reported by the travel site Sail In Finland, in January the Finnish diver's tethered camera floated away after some rough weather. The point-and-shoot was found the next day by Krzysztof Torzynski, a Polish diver from Denmark who was in the same waters. He then used photos on the camera to look for the owner. Learn more

Lensbaby brings 'Sweet Spot ' selective focus lens to iPhone

Lensbaby is well known among DSLR photographers for its array of special-effect lenses. Now the Portland, Oregon-based company wants to expand into mobile photography and has launched a Kickstarter project to fund the final development stage of its Lensbaby Sweet Spot lens for iPhones. Learn more

Transcend UHS-I Class 3 memory cards support 4K video capture

Transcend has announced SDXC/SDHC UHS-I Class 3 (U3) rated memory cards with read and write speeds of up to 95MB/s and 85MB/s. The Transcend cards meet requirements to give smooth video capture on new 4K cameras such as the Sony FDR-AX100, Panasonic Lumix GH4 and Canon EOS C500. Featuring 32GB to 128GB capacities, the new cards will available by mid-April in Japan and soon after in the U.S. Learn more

April 3
Kenro launches Nissin i40 compact flash with video light

Kenro has announced the Nissin i40 compact flash gun that also has a built-in video light. It's compact in size and has a flash output of GN40 at 105mm with wireless TTL mode. The new model also has a LED video light providing nine steps of output level adjustment. The Nissin i40 is now available for Nikon and Canon, with Sony and Fujifilm fits coming soon. It will sell for £204/~$338. Learn more

Nokia unveils 20MP Lumia 930 with Windows Phone 8.1

Nokia has launched a new high-end smartphone. The Lumia 930 is the international version of the Lumia Icon that was launched a few weeks ago as an exclusive model for U.S. carrier Verizon. Looking at the specifications, the 930's camera module appears to be identical to the unit used in Nokia's 6-inch phablet, the Lumia 1520. The 1/2.5-inch BSI CMOS sensor offers 20MP and the F2.4 aperture is combined with an optical image stabilization system and a dual-LED flash. Learn more

Up close: The beauty of butterfly wings

Some look like impressionistic paintings, while other look like colorful ribbons. It's hard to imagine the subjects of British photographer Linden Gledhill's macro photos are actually butterfly wings. A biochemist by training, Gledhill says, 'I’m completely enchanted by the physical world around me and obsessed by its natural beauty. My career in science has magnified this feeling of awe'. See gallery

Roll with it: Official World Cup ball goes HD

With the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil just around the corner, Adidas is getting the ball rolling with an eye-catching video series. They've outfitted a match ball, also known as Brazuca, with six GoPro-style cameras for a unique point-of-view as Brazuca's six 'eyes' provide a 360-degree view around the field from cleat-level. Watch Brazuca in action

Tiny lens turns your smartphone camera into a microscope

There is a large number of third party lens attachments for smartphones available. You can choose from fisheye, wide-angle, macro or tele lenses, or even attach an entire camera module. The Micro Phone Lens Kickstarter project is different though. It's a minuscule lens attachment made from a scratch-proof polymer that turns your smartphone or tablet into a microscope with a 150x magnification factor. Learn more

April 2
Ricoh to offer limited edition Pentax Q7 Premium Kit

Ricoh Imaging will soon be offering a limited edition Pentax Q7 Premium Kit. The kit includes a black Q7, four lenses (standard prime, standard zoom, tele zoom, wide zoom) plus four hoods, a polarizing filter, and a camera bag that will surely be noticed. Only 1000 kits will be available worldwide, and those in the U.S. can pick up one later this month for $1199.95.

Legendary photographer David Goldblatt shares insights from career

Goldblatt has photographed everyone from Nelson Mandela to divorced housewives, and is especially noted for his stark portrayal of South Africa during Apartheid years. In a presentation at the 2014 Indaba Conference, Goldblatt talks about the challenge of managing the difference between his corporate work and his personal work. See video

Canon launches XF205 and XF200 HD professional camcorders

Canon has introduced its new compact XF205 and XF200 professional camcorders aimed at broadcast news and wedding videographers. They come equipped with a wide-angle 26.8 mm (35mm equivalent) 20x optical zoom lens and support two recording formats - MXF, a file format used by broadcast stations, and MP4. The XF205 and XF200 will be available in mid-July for $4,400 and $3,900 respectively. Learn more

Canon announces Cine-Servo 17-120mm and HJ18ex7.6B HD zooms

Canon has announced its new Cine-Servo 17-120mm T2.95 zoom lens for shoulder-mounted application or as a traditional cinema lens. It has an ENG-style Digital Drive handgrip with zoom rocker switch and will be available in either PL- or EF-mount. Canon has also launched the HJ18ex7.6B portable HD zoom lens for broadcast news and documentary situations. Learn more

Apple patents bayonet mount for mobile devices

The guys at Apple Insider have spotted another camera-related Apple patent at the US Patent Office. A few months ago Apple patented a magnetic lens mount. This time the iPhone maker from Cupertino is looking at interchangeable lenses for mobile devices that will attach via a bayonet mount, just like on a DSLR or mirrorless system camera. Learn more

April 1
Sony RX10 added to enthusiast compact buying guide

We just added Sony's RX10 to our enthusiast compact camera buying guide and also updated our aperture comparison chart with Canon's PowerShot G1 X Mark II. While image quality in this class won't compete with a good mirrorless camera paired with a good lens, they pack enough features that should satisfy serious photo enthusiasts. Many cameras in this range make an excellent choice as a more portable second camera, or as a single do-it-all option. See how the RX10 ranks

Mockups emerge of new Olympus OM-D 'OM-G'

Mockups have been published showing a new Olympus OM-D OM-G. Apparently released to mark the 30th anniversary of the original film OM-G (sold as the OM-20 in Europe), we understand the OM-G will offer full native support for legacy manual focus Olympus lenses, and a full-frame BSI-CMOS sensor. Details are scarce but rumors suggest the OM-G will offer a hybrid optical and electronic viewfinder with a ground glass focusing screen and six-axis image stabilization. Click through to read more.

Enthusiast compact camera roundup (2013)

Which capable compact, with plenty of control, should I buy?

Budget lighting: Flashpoint 180 Monolight review

Adorama's Flashpoint 180 Monolight is a battery-powered 180-watt strobe designed for on-location shooting in the middle of nowhere. The kit comes with everything needed to provide adequate fill light for scenes or soft key-light for portraits, minus the stand, which must be purchased separately. Despite its budget price tag, does the 180 Monolight have what it takes for professional use? Find out in our review

SmugMug Films: Capturing what you can't control

The latest video from SmugMug Films' ongoing behind-the-lens series is a look at water photographer Sarah Lee. She uses the unpredictability of nature and creates art that captures the interplay of people, water and light. SmugMug's videos aim to show people who follow their passions in photography. They plan to release a new clip every two weeks. See video