News archive for October 2010
Mamiya has announced the RZ22 digital medium format camera system featuring a 22MP 48 x 36 CCD sensor. Similar to the company's previously released RZ33 medium format camera, it features fully integrated electronics for direct communication with the digital back and offers image capture rate of 1.1 seconds per frame. The RZ22 is compatible with all RZ system lenses and most accessories. It is currently available in the US market at a retail price of $11,499.
X-Rite has announced its second generation color profiling software, i1Profiler will be available from next month. The software enables users to create custom profiles for their camera, monitor, printer and projector. It will be available as a part of three bundles - i1Basic Pro, i1Photo Pro and i1Publish Pro, each including the company's i1Pro spectrophotometer and offering different levels of functionality.
Tokina's UK distributor Kenro has announced the AT-X 116 Pro DX 11-16 mm f/2.8 lens is now available in Sony Alpha mount at a recommended retail price of £740.25. Tokina's first lens for Sony's Alpha mount offers an equivalent focal length of 17-25mm and features a 'One-touch Focus Clutch Mechanism' allowing users to switch between AF and MF by pulling the focusing ring towards the camera.
Canon, Olympus and Pentax have released software updates. Canon has updated its Digital Photo Pro, EOS Utility, Picture Style Editor, ZoomBrowser and ImageBrowser software fixing bugs, bringing improvements and extending support to recently released cameras including the EOS 60D and PowerShot S95. Olympus' Viewer 2 has been updated to support the E-5 digital SLR. Pentax Digital Camera Utility v4.21 adds an automatic lens correction feature, and extends support to the K-5 and K-r DSLRs amongst other improvements.
Benro has introduced the Transfunctional Travel Angel compact tripod series. Based upon the company's existing Travel Angel series' 180 degrees fold-back leg design, it allows one leg to be detached and used as a monopod. The company has also updated its Travel Angel tripods with an improved leg locking system, better dust resistance and a new finish.
Eye-Fi has introduced the Eye-Fi View online sharing service and has released an updated version of its Eye-Fi Center software application. The latest version of the software allows users to share full resolution images using a new email-sharing feature. In addition, the company has also released a firmware update for its X2 series of wireless memory cards.
Ricoh has announced a function-enhancing firmware update for its GXR interchangeable lens camera. In response to user feedback, the firmware adds a wide range of features including Spot and Macro AF area selection options, faster AF, auto noise reduction, Exif 2.3 support and 3 magnification ratios to check focus. The firmware will be available for download on November 1 from Ricoh's website.
Nikon has updated its View NX and Camera Control Pro software bringing in a few improvements and minor bug fixes. The company has also announced the launch of 'my Picturetown 3D' - a 3D imaging service currently available only to registered users in Japan. The service offers online image conversion tools to view 3D images on a dedicated 3D digital photo frame.
Adobe has released 'Release Candidates' of its Camera RAW 6.3 and Lightroom 3.3 raw processing software. The updates, available from the company's Adobe Labs site, bring support for 8 additional cameras including the Nikon D7000, D3100 and P7000. Canon's G12 and S95 enthusiast compacts are also supported, along with Samsung's NX100 and TL350 (WB2000). Panasonic's GH2 completes the octet. The company uses the term 'Release Candidate' to denote software that is well tested but not yet the final version.
Samyang has announced its AE 14 mm f/2.8 ED AS IF UMC lens for Nikon F mount will be available from the end of this year at a retail price of €329. Announced at Photokina 2010, the manual focus lens is designed for full-frame cameras, but works with APS-C cameras as well. The lens' electronic contacts allows full support of automatic exposure modes of Nikon DSLRs and includes lens-related data in the EXIF.
Apple has released an updated version of its Aperture raw-conversion and photo management software and has launched a new version of its iLife suite - iLife '11. Available for immediate download, Aperture v3.1 fixes a number of bugs and adds compatibility with iLife '11. The application suite comprises iPhoto, iMovie, iWeb, iDVD and Garageband, and is included with new Mac computers. Existing iLife users can upgrade to the newest version for $49.
Now that the frenetic burst of activity around Photokina is over, we thought it was time to give you a quick update on what we're up to here at dpreview.com. We've recently added a few new beginners' guides to our Learn section, covering photo printing and pocket camcorders, and we're hard at work on our reviews of the hottest products from the show. We've also moved out of our London office and relocated to the United States, which has obviously caused a little disruption, but we've worked very hard to ensure the delay in publishing reviews is kept to a bare minimum. More after the link.
Just posted! Our latest lens review starring Sony's Carl Zeiss Distagon T* 24mm F2 SSM. Rounding out the company's premium lens range with a fast wideangle, this latest design is sure to be attractive to users of full frame and APS-C cameras alike. But with Canon and Nikon both offering 24mm F1.4 designs, does the Sony have what it takes to provide a compelling option in this sector? Click through to our detailed review to find out.
DxO Labs has announced version 6.5 of its DxO Optics Pro Raw conversion software. A few days before the announcement, we got a chance to speak to the company's Sales and Marketing Director for Photography, Cyrille de La Chesnais. He highlighted the new and improved features the latest version has to offer, along with key elements of the company's new HDR plug-in that will be available around the same time as the Raw conversion software.
DxO Labs has updated its DxO Optics Pro raw converter to version 6.5 for Windows and Mac. It offers a number of key improvements to Raw processing and noise reduction, and a new Single Shot HDR processing feature that corrects exposure in high contrast images with minimal noise. Version 6.5 extends Raw support to 5 additional cameras including the Canon EOS 60D, Pentax K-x and Sony Alpha DSLR-A290 in the both Standard and Elite editions, and comes with 150 new DxO optical modules.
DxO Labs has announced an HDR plug-in for the upcoming version 6.5 of its Optics Pro raw converter. Designed to combine exposure-bracketed Raw files to give a single high dynamic range image, it offers a number of presets and tools for fine-tuning, shadow/highlight recovery, and removal of ghost images arising from objects that move between exposures. According to the company, the plug-in can also be used to stack multiple images shot at higher ISOs to reduce noise beyond the sensor's capability. It will be available for both Windows and Mac OS from late November alongside DxO Optics Pro v6.5, at a price to be confirmed.
Olympus has announced that its E-5 digital SLR will start shipping from October 29 at a suggested retail price of $1700. Announced at Photokina 2010, the weather-sealed camera offers a 12MP Live MOS sensor, 920k dot 3.0" articulated LCD, Live View with Contrast AF, HD video recording and shutter speeds of up to 1/8000th sec. In addition, the company will, on the same day, also start shipping the M.Zuiko Digital ED 40-150mm 1:4.0-5.6 Micro Four Thirds zoom lens at a suggested retail price of ¥47500 (~$580).
Print-on-demand book publisher Blurb has introduced the Bookify online book design tool. To create books using Bookify, users need to add images either from Flickr online photo sharing website or from their computer into available templates, and customize the layout to suit their needs. Users can also download the company’s free design software application called BookSmart or submit PDFs directly from their favored software.
A2Z Keywording has announced the Keyword Perfect 2.0 Image Tagging Studio automated image tagging software. It enables photographers to keyword each image for stock or archival purposes by selecting a number of pre-defined or user-generated tags, thus promising better access to potential buyers. The software is available for an introductory launch price of $199.
Panasonic has announced its AG-AF100 series professional Micro Four Thirds HD camcorder will be available from December 27 at a suggested retail price of $4995. Announced in May 2010, the camcorder is capable of recording full 1080p HD videos at frame rates from 12 to 60 fps. It includes HD SDI and XLR connectors, twin SDXC slots and is compatible with the company's line up of Lumix G lenses, filters and adapters.
Casio has released firmware updates for three of its recently released compacts. The latest firmware for the Exilim EX-Z800 and EX-S200 increases speed of image review after shooting, while the update for EX-Z550 is a minor bug-fix. The firmware updates are available for immediate download from the company's website.
Canon has exhibited a 4K concept hybrid camera at its expo in Paris. First showcased at the company's Expo 2010 in New York last month, the camera is built around an 8MP CMOS sensor, 20x (24-480mm equiv.) zoom lens and offers 60fps 4K resolution video recording - almost four times the resolution of full HD videos. Apparantly, the company has no plans to release a working model.
Sigma has announced its 85mm F1.4 EX DG HSM lens is now available at a retail price of $1,400. Announced at PMA 2010, the large-aperture short telephoto lens features a hypersonic focus motor with full-time manual focus override. It includes a hood extender for APS-C/DX users and is available in Canon, Nikon, Pentax, Sigma and Sony DSLR mounts.
Sony has announced firmware version 03 for its NEX-5 and NEX-3 interchangeable lens cameras is now available for download. The latest version makes major changes to the user interface amongst other enhancements. A separate firmware update for the LA-EA1 A-mount adapter also adds AF support for 14 Sony SAM and SSM lenses. We have now updated our review of both cameras to reflect the changes.
Sony's announcement of revised firmware for the NEX mirrorless interchangeable lens cameras was easily missed amongst all of the excitement of Photokina 2010. Version 03 brings extensive revisions, including the ability to set the aperture when recording movies and the enabling of autofocus when using SAM and SSM Alpha-mount lenses via the adapter. But, perhaps most importantly, it addresses some of the major criticisms of the user interface made by reviewers and users alike. We've had a bit of a chance to use the latest firmware so thought we would publish our initial thoughts, ahead of revising the camera review. The review itself is in the process of being updated and will be re-published with updated scoring as soon as firmware 03 becomes publicly available.
Just posted: Our Panasonic GH2/14mm F2.5 samples gallery. Panasonic's latest video-focused Micro Four Thirds camera features an entirely new 18MP multi-aspect-ratio sensor and has been released alongside a 14mm F2.5 pancake lens. We've got hold of production examples of both and have taken them out shooting to get a flavor of how they perform with a variety of lighting conditions, subject distances and apertures. Rather than shooting the same scene at all ISO settings, we've shot an outdoor scene at ISO 160 to ISO 800 and indoors 1600 to 12,800 to give a more realistic impression of what you can expect in situations you might actually encounter.
Ricoh has announced a firmware update adding functions to its GR Digital III camera. In response to user feedback the firmware adds High Contrast Black & White and Cross Process shooting modes and, 4x screen magnification as against the current 2x. It also adds options for resetting various customized settings to the factory defaults. The firmware will be available soon from Ricoh's website.
Samsung has posted firmware updates for the NX10 and NX5 interchangeable lens cameras adding key features from the recently released NX100. Version 1.20 offers compatibilty with the i-Function feature of the newly introduced 20mm and 20-50mm lenses. It also adds support for the GPS10 GPS module and improves AF performance. There is also a 'distortion compensate' function to correct lens distortion. The updates are available for immediate download from Samsung's website.
Sony has announced the world's first 1/2.8" 16MP Exmor-R back illuminated sensor for mobile phones. Offering the smallest unit pixel size of 1.12μm, it will also be incorporated into what is claimed to be the smallest and thinnest mobile phone lens module. The sensor is capable of recording full HD 1080p30 videos and offers continuous shooting speed of 15fps. The company has also announced a similar 1/3.2" 8.13Mp sensor with a corresponding 28mm lens module. Both start shipping from 2011.
A special edition of the Leica M9 rangefinder has been included in Dallas based luxury retailer Neiman Marcus' Christmas fantasy gifts list. The 50-piece ostrich-leather-covered limited edition costs $17,500 and sits alongside other specialist gifts including a life-size gingerbread playhouse, His & Hers houseboat and a $6000 Ukulele.
One of the few real surprises at Photokina 2010 was Sigma's announcement of its forthcoming SD1 DSLR, and that at its heart would be a new Foveon sensor that would offer 15.4x3MP resolution rather than the existing 4.7x3MP. We spoke to Sigma Chief Operating Officer Kazuto Yamaki, Foveon Vice President for Technology and Operations, Shri Ramaswami and its Vice President for Strategic Marketing, Rudy Guttosch about the work that's gone on.
Just posted! Our samples gallery from the Canon PowerShot S95. We have just received a production sample of Canon's latest enthusiast compact and have put together a gallery of sample shots to give you an impression of the image quality of this premium compact. The gallery includes a mix of shots using various ISOs and apertures, shot under a variety of lighting conditions to give a feel for what you can expect.
Panasonic is set to extend its Lumix digital camera brand to include mobile phones. A teaser campaign on the company's Japanese site indicates that the first Lumix-branded phone will be announced at CEATC electronics trade show in Tokyo on October 5. Its processor has been branded as Mobile VenusEngine and it will offer microSD/SDHC slots.