News archive for October 2007
The PMDA (PhotoImaging Manufacturers and Distributors Association) today announced that Phil Askey of dpreview.com will receive its 'Person of the Year' award for 2008. This award will be presented at the PMDA awards dinner just before the PMA show in Las Vegas on 30th January 2008. The PMDA has members such as Casio, Canon, Kodak, Fujifilm, HP, Leica, Nikon, Olympus, Panasonic, Pentax and Samsung.
Sony has released the first firmware update for its α700 DSLR, improving image sharpness and noise performance as well as tweaking flash performance with non-ADI lenses. Also available are patches for the Alpha's bundled Image Data Converter and Image Data Lightbox software. The update is applicable only to early production cameras with "Ver.1" software which may be checked by pressing and holding the Menu button then hitting Display.
Canon UK has apparently informed dealers that it has temporarily stopped shipments of its EOS-1D Mark III and is asking that unsold units be returned pending an official announcement due over the next few days. The state of play seems to be that Canon will repair affected cameras but is not offering refunds or exchanging for alternative models. We shall of course keep you updated with further details as they become available.
Ricoh today announced the successor to its GR Digital premium compact. The Ricoh GR Digital II carries over the well-received 28mm equiv. lens from its predecessor, matching it to a new 10 megapixel sensor and new GR Engine II image processing system. For those of us with one leg longer than the other there is a new electronic leveling system à la Nikon D3 and the option to shoot TLR-style square images. Performance is said to be improved with a larger buffer memory and halved RAW file-write time with the option of continuous shooting. Battery life is also said to have come on leaps and bounds with up to 370 shots now possible on a charge - the original gave up after 250. The Ricoh GR Digital II will cost £399.99 when it hits UK shops in December.
Just Posted! Our review of the Canon PowerShot G9, successor to the G7 and flagship of Canon's extensive compact camera range. The G9 is very much a case of evolution, not revolution, with a new 12MP sensor and bigger screen plus a few new features including the one thing missing from its predecessor, RAW shooting. The G7 received a rather mixed response at launch (suffering from a surfeit of expectation as much as anything else), so does its successor restore the 'G' series to its former glory? Check out the in-depth review after the link to find out...
Casio has launched a competition in conjunction with Best Buy giving budding film directors a chance to show off their dream 'digs', 'crib' or even just plain old 'place of residence', so long as it's devoted to sport, gaming, movies or hardcore geekiness. Shoot a short film - 2 minutes or less, upload it to Casio's YouTube channel and you could be in with the chance to win a $3000 Best Buy gift card and Exilim EX-V8 with case and a 4GB SD card. In addition there are 1st and 2nd prize packages up for grabs. Click through for further details.
Just posted! Our detailed in-depth review of the Canon EOS 40D. Sixth in line from the D30 announced back in 2000 the 40D features a ten megapixel CMOS sensor with Live View capability, a '14-bit' image pipeline, six frames per second continuous shooting, a larger viewfinder view and of course a three inch LCD monitor. All joking aside the EOS 40D has a lot to live up to and a lot of competition coming its way, see how it performed and how it compares in our thirty page review.
Sony today announced its Cyber-shot DSC-T2 featuring 4GB of internal memory to help make image storage and sharing a snap. The camera, like Sony's previous DSC-G2, will make use of Memory Sticks but the sheer size of the built in storage - combined with its 2.7" touchscreen and extensive in-camera organization and editing features - relegate removable media to back-up status. Face-Detection, Smile Shutter and high ISO (3200 in this case) cover 2007s technology requirements whilst the overall styling - with its clean lines and surfaces uncluttered by buttons thanks to the touch-based user interface - gives it a touch of class, even in the green and pink color schemes. The Sony Cyber-shot DSC-T2 will be available from December 2007 for around $350.
Just Posted! Our review of the Canon PowerShot A570 IS, one of a whole batch of new A series compacts launched earlier this year. The A570 IS is a keenly-priced, fully featured 7MP camera with a 4x stabilized zoom and a wide range of photographic control on offer. Sounds like a bargain, but is it any good? Find out after the link...
Having launched and then postponed availability of its AF28-300mm F/3.5-6.3 XR Di VC lens back in August, Tamron is now to re-launch the lens on October 26th. Canon user will be the first to try out the new optically stabilized superzoom with a Nikon mount following early in 2008. More details after the click.
Datacolor has updated its Spyder monitor calibration and print profiling system, featuring the only seven detector color engine on the market and boasting 400% extra light sensitivity for increased accuracy. Other new features include a built in ambient light sensor, combined desktop cradle and tripod mount and 'before and after' SpyderProof proofing capability. Initially available as the $279 Spyder3Elite which deals with displays only or the $599 Spyder3Studio with printer profiling, the range is compatible with Mac OSX (10.3 and higher) as well as Windows 2000, XP and Vista 32/64.
Just Posted! Our concise review of the Canon SD870 IS (or IXUS 860 IS if you live in Europe). The replacement for the popular SD800 IS has the same versatile 28-105mm wideangle zoom but ups the resolution to 8MP and screen size to a whopping 3.0 inches - and throws in a few new features to boot. Find out if SD870 IS improves on its well-respected predecessor after the link...
Sony today announced its HDMS-S1D Digital Photo Album - an 80 GB storage and slideshow unit featuring HDMI output. Able to import photos from flash media CD/DVD or Ethernet and featuring powerful slideshow-creation software, photos may be shared via card or disk and a compatible printer may be hooked up to its USB port for hard copies. With viewing, sharing, printing and archiving all in one 'living-room friendly' box this looks set to be a big hit with those who love digital photography but not the computer time that goes with it. The HDMS-S1D will be available from October priced at $400.
Sandisk today announced the imminent availability of its highest capacity Extreme III SDHC card to date. The 8GB media is bundled with a free Sandisk MicroMate USB 2.0 reader worth $20 and is a class 6 SDHC device guaranteeing write speeds of 6MB/s or faster. The pair are expected to ship within 30 days and will retail for around $179.99.
Alongside the E-3 Olympus has also released four new Zuiko Digital lenses, three of which feature Olympus' Supersonic Wave Drive focus system and splashproofing. Let's kick off with the 12-60 f/2.8-4.0 which offers a 5x 24-120mm equiv. zoom range and 25cm closest focus as well as the aforementioned SWD and weathersealing. Next up is the 50-200 f/2.8-3.5 which Olympus claim is twice as fast to focus as its predecessor thanks to SWD. Splashproofing and a polarizer-friendly lens hood also boost its appeal. No other manufacturer can offer a 28-70 equiv. lens at f/2.0 but the 14-35 f/2.0 is just that - a fast, high quality 'normal' zoom with quiet and swift focus which doesn't mind the occasional soaking. The 70-300 f/4.0-5.6 is a little more humdrum but offers Four Thirds users a 140-600mm field of view in a compact and versatile package. Also announced is a new 2.0x teleconverter - the EC-20. The 12-60, 50-200, 70-300 and EC-20 should be available come November 2007 with the 14-35 following in early 2008.
Back in May 2001 Olympus began to make noises about a professional five megapixel Four Thirds format digital SLR, two years after that in June 2003 they revealed the E-1. After much hinting, several 'accidental' leaks and some four and a half years, Olympus has today announced the ten megapixel E-3 professional digital SLR. We had been promised an E-3 before embargo to enable us to produce a preview but that for reasons best known to Olympus this fell through so all we can provide you with is a press release, specs and a couple of images. Body only price will be £1099 in the UK.
If the four colors in which Olympus offers its tough little µ 790 SW don't quite float your boat, there's no need to panic. There is now a fifth option in the form of this fetching shade of lime green. Guaranteed to attract the attention of any (conscious) subject you should choose to aim it at, the camera also promises exclusivity with a mere 5000 to be distributed across Europe. The pricing should remain the same as the 'standard' edition.
Canon has given the world a glimpse of its lens development program, unveiling two all-new super telephotos. First up we have the EF200mm f/2L IS USM - aimed at portrait and indoor sports photographers and the seeming successor to the legendary 200 f1.8L USM (discontinued in 2004). The EF800mm f/5.6L IS USM meanwhile slots above the current 600mm f/4L, whose performance it is said to surpass. Further details on the lenses are scant but they are due to be shown at the PhotoPlus Expo in New York City from October 18-20.
Jobo today announced its latest portable storage device - The GIGA one ultra - promising doubled transfer speeds compared to the previous GIGA one. This means up to 5.47 MB per second or 1GB in around three minutes. The new device will be available in four capacities ranging from 40 GB to a whopping 200 GB with US pricing expected to be $149 - $329 depending on capacity when it arrives in stores at the end of October. Europeans can expect to pay the same figures in Euros. More after the jump.
Just Posted! After a longer than anticipated delay we're finally all set up to start posting reviews again, starting with one we've had sitting around for a while now, Sony's ultra compact Cyber-shot DSC-W80, an ultra-slim 7.2MP model with 3x zoom and HDTV output. And for those of you waiting for our reviews of the current 'headline' cameras - fear not; they're well under way!
The Photo Marketing Association (PMA) has released an initial list of exhibitors for PMA 2008, to be held in Las Vegas, Nevada between Jan. 31 and Feb. 2 next year. With over 600 exhibitors occupying a floor area in excess of 12 acres, the show promises to be as hard on the feet as ever. Click through for the concise list with links to the full line-up.
DxO Labs has introduced Optics Pro v5, the latest release of its image quality enhancement software with a new demosaicing system to better deal with RAW data. The new algorithm uses information from a much wider area when reconstructing image detail, helping to minimize artefacts which contribute to the 'digital look'. This latest release also applies noise reduction during the demosaicing process thus avoiding unnecessary amplification of noise artefacts. Windows users will be able to get their hands on DxO Optics Pro v5 from the end of October 2007 with a Mac release expected one month later. More info after the click.
Epson's A3+ printer line has received an upgrade with the Stylus Photo R1900, incorporating new UltraChrome Hi-Gloss2 Ink technology for enhanced color gamut, better skin tones and improved glossy finish. The new system replaces blue ink with orange in addition to modified magenta and yellow pigments and is said to offer 18,446,774 trillion colors - impressive stuff. The printer also features a new LUT (look up table) developed in conjunction with the Munsell Color Science Laboratory. The Epson Stylus Photo R1900 will be available from November 2007 at a price of £399.99, more after the jump.
ACD Systems has released version 10 of ACDSee - its popular workflow, editing and image organization application. ACDSee now features an upload facility which aims to simplify the process of getting images onto photo-sharing sites such as Flickr and Smugmug as well as blogs and personal websites. The program can now deal with .zip archives and has the capability to create PowerPoint presentations. Priced at US $49.99, ACDSee 10 is available now via the ACD Systems site where a 30-day trial is also offered.
Sigma has made available firmware v1.05 for its SD14 DSLR. The big news with this latest release is the addition of ISO 50 to the camera's extended mode. This comes with the warning of reduced 'headroom' - read dynamic range - and suggestions on how to cope with this side-effect. The update also implements fixes aimed at improving stability of the camera and is available now from Sigma's site, link after the jump.
The CIPA (Camera & Imaging Products Association) has today released a statement on the recent re-classification of certain digital cameras as 'video camera recorders'. The new EU rule states that any digital still camera with a resolution higher than 800x600 and the duration of video of 30 minutes of more (at 23 fps or higher) must now be classified as a 'video camera recorder' and hence be taxed at a higher rate. This new legislation will undoubtedly mean that any promise of serious video capture on digital still cameras becomes an even more remote possibility. The only plus side to the EU's recent announcement is that the threat of retroactive charges appears to have been dropped. CIPA's standpoint is: "Arbitrary and unilateral tariff classification having been executed by the EU authorities for the products eligible for the ITA (Information Technology Agreement) is infringement of the ITA. Thus, the CIPA will continue to make claims for the invalidity of the relevant action similar to this case in the trade area from now on so that other IT products will not be affected by such action."
Breeze Systems today announced availability of DSLR Remote Pro v1.5, adding support for Canon's EOS 40D and 1D Mark III. The software allows the live view feature of these cameras to be operated remotely including contrast-detection autofocus. This is currently a unique capability with interesting possibilities for many fields of photography. DSLR Remote Pro v1.5 is available now at a price of US $95 - or $75 until the end of October for users of Breezebrowser Pro. A 15 day trial version is also available from Breeze Systems, link after the jump.
Pentax today announced its 18-250mm 14x superzoom covering an equivalent focal range of 27.5 - 383 mm. Alongside the hulking zoom range it also boasts internal focus and a closest focus distance of 45 cm (17.7 in) throughout the zoom range - giving a reproduction ratio of around 1:3. One ED (Extra-low Dispersion) and two AL (Aspherical) elements in its design help to minimize optical aberrations. The lens will be available from October 2007 with a recommended price of US $499.95. More info and specifications after the jump.
The Pentax Optio V10 is a 8.0 megapixel digicam featuring 3x optical zoom and 3.0" LCD squeezed into an aluminum alloy shell just 19mm thick - Pentax having achieved this feat of miniaturization through a redesigned circuit board and extra-slim battery. Face Detection AF & AE, Digital Shake Reduction and a wealth of automatic scene modes round off the specification. The Pentax Optio V10 will be available from October 2007 with a recommended price of US $249.95, more after the jump.
Pentax today unveiled the Optio A40, a 3x zoom compact featuring a large 1/1.7" sensor for improved low-light abilities. CCD-shift image stabilization keeps the shakes at bay whilst the videos are recorded in DivX format allowing for smaller file sizes. Shutter-priority and manual exposure are here alongside Pentax's customary automatic modes. The camera will be available from October 2007 with a recommended price of US $299.95. More after the click.