News archive for June 2007
Pentax today announced an updated version of the K100D digital SLR. The new K100D Super adds ISO 3200 sensitivity, SDM (Supersonic Drive Motor) lens support and a Dust Removal system which operates in the same manner as the K10D; a combination of a special protective coating on the low pass filter and a high frequency 'shake' of the sensor using the SR system. In addition to the K100D Pentax has also revealed a new compact P-TTL flash, the AF-200G which has a guide number of 20.
Adobe has updated its Photoshop Lightroom workflow to version 1.1. Now including support for multiple computer workflows, assisting photographers with one more than one workstation, Adobe has also made improvements to the Noise Reduction and Sharpening algorithms. Windows Vista compatibility has arrived with certification for 32-bit editions and there is support for the latest major digital camera releases, including the Canon EOS-1D Mark III; Fuji FinePix S5 Pro; Nikon D40x; Olympus E-410 and SP-550 UZ; Ricoh Caplio GX 100; Sigma SD 14 and the Phase One H 20, H 25, P 20, P 21, P 25, P 30, and P 45.
Olympus has today announced a new Zuiko Digital ED 70-300 F4.0-5.6 telezoom for its E-System DSLRs to be introduced in October. Slotting into Olympus' 'Standard' range alongside the existing 14-42 and 40-150 zooms the new lens lives up to the Four Thirds promise of lighter, more compact optics measuring 127mm (5") long and weighing a mere 620g. The 2x crop factor on the Four Thirds system gives this lens a field of view equivalent to a 140-600mm lens in 'old money' and a maximum magnification ratio of 0.5x for effective close-up performance, making it an attractive proposition for travel photographers for whom versatility is paramount.
Summer is on its way and HP has a raft of releases to help capture the fun and games. The headline product is the Photosmart R937 which boasts a huge 3.6-inch touchscreen - the largest currently available - in addition to its 8MP sensor and 3X zoom lens. The remainder of the cameras released are hardly ground-breaking stuff but HP do seem to have all the bases covered price-wise with new cameras starting from $79.99. Also released are two new printers, one with wireless connectivity, and an 'all-in-one' printer, scanner and copier with CD/DVD printing capability.
So we've tried the traditional route, we have contacted this site on numerous occassions to point out their obvious violation of our copyright (and that of other digital camera sites) but to no avail. The legal route is still open but fraught with problems. One option always available to us is to shame such websites and hope that they will see the errors of their ways. This site mixes some original content with stolen images and translated text which it then publishes as its own original work. See inside for some examples. UPDATE: pconline.com.cn public apology, promise to remove content.
Later today I am aiming to apply a site-wide update, the application of this update may take a few hours during which time the site will be unavailable or only partially operational. I expect to start this work at approximately 6 PM BST (1 PM EST). As soon as the update is complete I will add an update to this news article. This update is both infrastructure and cosmetic based, it delivers equal 160 pixel columns (for information and advertising) left and right of a wider center column, it will also enable us to deliver new site features more easily in the future. Any cosmetic issues after the update should be resolved by a 'hard refresh' (hold CTRL or APPLE while clicking reload) or clearing your browser cache. UPDATE: New design applied.
Fujifilm has today announced that it is to introduce the latest model in its 'Big Job' range of ruggedized digital cameras to the UK. Previously unavailable on these shores, the Big Job HD-3W offers a wide-angle (28-84mm equivalent) 3x zoom lens, 3" LCD monitor, hotshoe and ISO 1600 capability all wrapped up in a water, shock and dustproof body. Fujifilm has also equipped this 'tough guy' with a system to detect manipulation of images making it ideal for insurance and forensic photography. Pricing and availabilty are yet to be announced.
Leica has today released firmware version 2.0 for its Digilux 3 DSLR. Headlining the update is the addition of a 'Mode 3' setting to the optical stabilization system which corrects only longitudinal camera movement and is ideal for 'panning' action shots. Other enhancements include improvements to the LiveView system and replay facility - most notably a replay zoom - as well as making adjustment of the ISO value easier whilst in AE mode. Link after the click.
Kodak Image Sensor Solutions has today announced a new Color Filter Array (CFA) layout (and image processing path) as an alternative to the widely used Bayer pattern which should provide higher sensitivity. This new layout features one 'panchromatic pixel' (monochrome) to every colored pixel (red, green or blue) and there are three proposed layouts. Kodak ISS are presenting this as a technology solution which can be applied to any size, megapixel count or type (CCD / CMOS) of sensor. Kodak claim a one to two stop improvement in sensitivity, the tradeoff is of course color resolution which is effectively a quarter of the traditional Bayer pattern. This interesting development will of course only be proven when we see it actually implemented and we can compare it to traditional Bayer.
Just posted! Our detailed in-depth review of the Olympus E-410 EVOLT. This ten megapixel digital SLR is the lightest and slimmest on the market weighing in at just 435 g (excluding lens) and has design very reminiscent of Olympus' own OM series from the 1970's (and there's nothing wrong with that). The E-410 takes the entry level moniker and proves that you don't need to cripple a camera in order to maintain the rest of your product line, it has Live View, dust reduction, mirror lock-up, exposure bracketing and of course full lens compatibility, a strong range of features compared to the competition. See how the E-410 faired in our extensive review.
Ricoh has released updated fimware for their Caplio R6 digital camera. A minor update by all accounts, this fixes the skew correction feature as well as preventing the step zoom function from being deactivated when the camera is powered off. The third change is to display @settings have been changed' if switched on in the landscape scene mode. Link after the click.
Kodak has today announced six new digital cameras to be made available between now and September, four of them marking the debut of its new 'M-Series'. The M753 and M853 are 3x zoom models with 7 and 8 megapixels respectively. The M873 and M883 meanwhile both sport 8 megapixels, a large 3-inch LCD and all-metal construction with the M883 adding face-detection to the specs list. Also on the way are the Z1275 - a 12MP 5X zoom with 'photographically-advanced features' and the 7-megapixel ZD710 superzoom with 10X lens.
Bibble Labs has today released the latest version of its RAW processing software, adding support for recent cameras from Canon, Fujifilm, Nikon, Olympus and Panasonic. Also included is the ability to tether newer Canons and Fujifilm's S5 Pro. The upgrade is free to current owners of Bibble 4 and new licensees will receive a free upgrade to version 5 when it is made available. Link after the jump.
Just Posted! A quick review of Canon's unusual PowerShot TX1. This ultra-compact 7MP digital camera is has several unique features including a 'camcorder style' vertical design, 720p 'HD' movie capabilities and an optically stabilized 10x optical zoom. Find out what we thought of it after the link...
Ricoh has posted firmware version 1.14 for the GX100, this new revision improves auto focus accuracy and the level of exposure compensation used in long exposures. In addition it fixes no less than five bugs including loss of auto focus mode setting, DNG format metadata errors and problems with the skew correction feature. Ricoh are getting a reputation for regular updates (although most appear to be bug fixes) with no less than three revisions in one month.
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Today we received a joint statement from Hoya and Pentax confirming a 'management integration' agreement. The statement spells out the purpose of the merger as well as the terms; Hoya will pay 105 billion Yen (approx. $860 million) for all outsanding Pentax shares. The deal could go ahead as soon as next Monday (June 4th). We fully expec this deal to strengthen Pentax's position iespecially considering the growing importance of the lens market.
In the Pentax Square in Shinjuku, Japan Pentax has revealed a special 50th Anniversary edition 'Design Study Model' digital SLR with the tentative name of 'Asahi Pentax'. This prototype camera is based on the K10D (as is obvious on closer inspection) but has a very different viewfinder, which is of the same design as that found on the very first Asahi Pentax from 1957, the first Japanese SLR with a fixed pentaprism viewfinder. Note that there are no plans to put this camera into production, rather it is a celebration of Pentax's 50th anniversary and their long contribution to SLR photography.