News archive for February 2008
Just posted! Our concise review of the Canon PowerShot SD1100 IS (the IXUS 80 IS in Europe / SE Asia). This model was announced only a few weeks ago, just before PMA in Las Vegas and is an upgrade to the previous SD1000 IS. Headline features include an eight megapixel sensor, a 3x zoom and a 2.5 inch high resolution LCD monitor, all wrapped up in an ultra compact body.
Just posted! Our lens review of Nikon's 18-200mm superzoom for DX-format DSLRs. The AF-S DX VR Zoom-Nikkor 18-200mm f/3.5-5.6G IF ED, to give it its full title, crams a hefty 11.1x zoom into a package smaller than its name might imply. But does this lens' enviable convenience come at the cost of compromises in its optical performance?
Just posted! Our new lens review covering the latest iteration of Nikon's 18-55mm kit lens, as seen on the new D60 DSLR. The Nikkor AF-S DX 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6G VR adds this season's must-have feature - optical image stabilization (or Vibration Reduction as Nikon would have it). This entry-level offering could help sway prospective buyers towards the Nikon brand, so can it live up to the fine reputation of its predecessors? (Note that this is the first ever review of this lens).
Sony has announced a successor to its DSC-H9 'super zoom' digital camera in the form of the 9.0 megapixel Cyber-Shot DSC-H50. As well as the inevitable rise in pixel count the H50 has several improvements over its predecessor, including an ED lens element, user-selectable noise reduction (thank you Sony), white balance and color mode bracketing, and an upgraded DRO (Dynamic Range Optimizer) function. It also has an improved sports mode and, last but by no means least, Sony's unique 'smile shutter' and adult- or child-priority face detection.
For anyone worrrying that the megapixel race was starting to run out of steam Sony has raced ahead with the annoucement today of a 13.6 megapixel compact digital camera, the Cyber-Shot DSC W300. The titanium-clad W300 also boasts a 2.7" LCD screen, HDTV output and all Sony's clever new 'intelligent' technologies, such as 'Smile Shutter' and DRO.
Just posted! Our review of the Olympus E-3. The long-awaited successor to the original Four-Thirds D-SLR (the E-1), the E-3 is packed with features designed to tempt professional and enthusiast photographers away from the likes of Canon and Nikon. With live view, a vari-angle screen, in-body stabilization and a splash-proof body the 10MP E-3 certainly looks competitive on paper, but how does it stand up in the face of such strong competition at the high end of the DSLR market? Check out the in-depth review after the link to find out...
Ricoh has launched the Caplio R8, a 10MP compact with a lens covering a range equivalent to 28-200mm. Like previous Ricohs, it includes several non-mainstream features such as snap focus, the ability to step the zoom to specified focal lengths (28, 35, 50, 85, 135 and 200mm equivalents), and the 1:1 picture ratio that has proven popular in the company's G100 and GRD II models.
Just posted! Our concise review of the Canon PowerShot SD850 IS (the IXUS 950 IS in Europe / SE Asia). This model is an upgrade to the previous SD70 0IS, headline feature changes include an eight megapixel sensor, a higher resolution LCD monitor, face detection and new Auto ISO shift. See how the SD850 IS shaped up and how it compared in our review.
Sigma UK has announced the price of its DP1 large sensor compact. The basic camera will initially sell for £549 or £599 with the optional viewfinder. This puts it squarely in entry-level DSLR territory - distinctly affordable for photographers committed to achieving large-sensor image quality. Sigma US has set an MSRP of $999.
Olympus UK has posted a service announcement for the ZUIKO ED 12-60mm 1:2.8-4.0 lens on its website. A small number of these lenses do not autofocus properly due to a manufacturing fault. Free inspection and repair is offered by Olympus. Click through for more information and to find out if your lens is affected.
DxO Labs has updated it's Optics Pro software to support the Nikon D3 and three popular lenses it might be used with. The update also offers addition lens coverage for a number of Canon combinations and a handful of lenses for the Nikon D300. DxO Labs has also reset its demo limitations, allowing potential customers who have already demoed the software to try the latest version.
Apple has launched the latest version of its Aperture raw-conversion and photo management software. The latest version has a redesigned interface that aims to be more accessible and intuitive. As well as adding "over 100 new features," version 2 is faster than V.1.5.6 (about two thirds of a stop faster?), and more attractively priced. Mac users who already own Aperture will be able to upgrade for $99, while the purchase price drops to $199 for newcomers. Users who bought Aperture 1.5 since January 1st 2008 can, before March 14th, upgrade for $9.95.
Just Posted! Nikon COOLPIX P50 Concise Review. Nikon is a company with a proud history in photography, including some interesting and innovative digital compact cameras. The Coolpix P50 is one of its more humble offerings: an 8 megapixel compact camera with a zoom starting at a pleasantly wide 28mm equivalent. It even has Nikon's latest 'Expeed' branding applied to it. But does it deserve to wear such a well respected name?
Think you've got what it takes to be a dpreview DSLR reviewer? Are you passionate about the techniques and technology surrounding digital photography? Do you want the dubious pleasure of working alongside the rest of the dpreview team on what is arguably the most exciting photography website in the world? We're looking for someone who has the experience, knowledge and familiarity with our reviews to come in and begin work straight away. We expect you to have a solid photographic knowledge as well as experience using our chosen authoring tools (see inside). This position will be at our office in London (UK).
Delkin showed some interesting new products - and a few familiar ones - at PMA 2008. The ImageRouter is a daisy-chainable four slot CompactFlash reader which is designed to offer the busy professional a more efficient method of transferring large amounts of data from multiple cards. The Dual Universal Charger shouldn't require much explanation; it has two charging positions and may be adapted to a plethora of different battery designs through the use of customized charging plates. The SensorScope inspection and cleaning solution gets an overhaul for 2008 and for those to whom exterior condition is as important as the image itself the Snug-it Pro camera skin range will keep easily-damaged casings from attracting knocks and scrapes. Media-wise, Delkin now has SSD (Solid State Drive) hard-drive replacements in ExpressCard 34 format and capacities of 4, 8 or 16 GB. Additionally flash media is now available in 16 GB capacity as 305x CF or Class 6 SDHC. Last but not least, there are new Pop-up LCD shades for the Canon EOS 40D.
Tamron announced yet another lens at this year's PMA show, the SP AF70-200mm F/2.8 Di LD (IF) MACRO. This fast telezoom gets in close thanks to its 0.95m minimum focus distance, realizing a magnification ratio of 1:3.1 at 200mm. Plenty of coatings keep stray light to a minimum whilst a removable tripod mount and clutched focus ring (Canon and Nikon only) help speed up operations. Canon users will see the lens first with release scheduled for March. Nikon, Sony and Pentax fittings will follow.
Kodak has announced a new sensor which promises to improve the efficiency of CMOS designs with extremely small photosites. The new technology is to be offered initially in 1/4" format suitable for mobile phone cameras but should be scalable to larger formats should the concept prove successful. Conventional designs count electrons which are generated when light hits the silicon from which they are constructed but this new chip works in roughly the opposite fashion, reversing the 'polarity' of the silicon in order to measure the 'holes' which remain when electrons are generated. The Kodak KAC-05020 also incorporates Kodak's TRUESENSE Color Filter Pattern which adds panchromatic (transparent) filters to the usual Red Green and Blue, further improving luminance sensitivity. Click through for the lowdown. Updated with further details.
Fujifilm has released firmware v.1.01 for its Z10fd and Z100fd digital compacts. The updates speed up the power on cycle of both cameras when using xD-Picture Cards, enables camera to computer transfer when using 4 GB media in the Z10fd and tweaks the underwater whitebalance of the Z100fd. Click through for the links.
PMA 2008: PMA may be over but that doesn't mean we've finished working, yesterday we had our hands on an early Sigma DP1 and have produced a quick gallery (just 20 images) shot around Vegas. As expected the DP1's images are beautifully sharp (thanks to its Foveon X3 sensor) and it continued to deliver good images up to its maximum ISO 800. For those unfamiliar the DP1 becomes the first compact, fixed lens camera to feature a large sensor (in this case approximately 'Four Thirds' size; 20.6 x 13.8 mm). Dive into our gallery and see if a DP1 deserves to make its way into your camera bag.
PMA 2008: Tamron has three lenses in the pipeline suitable for Nikon camera bodies lacking in-body focus motors - namely the D40, D40x and D60. The 18-220 f/3.5-6.3 and 17-50 f/2.8 are for crop sensors only but the 70-300 f/4-5.6 will cover 24x36mm sensors. Click through for specs and compatibility information.
PMA 2008: Tamron has announced a new ultra wide angle zoom which is currently under development. The SP AF 10-24MM F/3.5-4.5 DI II LD Aspherical (IF), to give its full designation, is designed for APS-C sensors and Tamron claim the performance will exceed its current 11-18mm f/4.5-5.6 whilst offering greater speed and range of focal length. The design incorporates both exotic glass materials and aspherical elements to minimize aberrations. whilst the optical layout itself is intended to approach telecentricity.
PMA-2008: GE has announced new cameras for 2008, bring its total range to 15 models. One model in particular - the E1050 - packs quite a punch, on paper at least. A 5x 28-140mm equivalent lens is matched with a 10.5 megapixel sensor and the camera is capable of recording 720p HD video. If all this weren't enough , the E1050 sports a touch-screen interface utilizing a 3.0" LCD and has in-built GPS capability. All this for just $249? How does GE do it? Click through for full specs of the E1050 as well as details of GE's other releases.