News archive for November 2010
Nikon, SanDisk and Sony have jointly developed the specifications for a faster type of memory card. The specifications have been submitted to the Compact Flash Association with the aim of them being adopted as a future standard. The proposal uses the PCI Express interface to offer transfer rates of up to 500MB/s, rather than the 167MB/s limit of the most recent Compact Flash 6.0 standard. The proposal hope to provide a card that can cope with future requirements for bursts of RAW images and large quantities of HD footage. The Compact Flash Association has established a working group that will evaluate the proposal by the end of 2010.
Author Peter iNova has released 'Actions! Photoshop CS5,' a pdf e-book optimized for Apple's iPad or computer viewing. It includes over 700 actions for Photoshop CS5 for still images and HD videos. The e-book itself runs to 264 pages that include high resolution images along with interactive hyperlinks and demos. The book is available via GMBooks at a retail price of $25.
Panasonic has released firmware updates for its Lumix DMC-FZ100, DMC-FX700 and DMC-FX75/FX70 digital compacts. The latest versions for all cameras improves the Motion Deblur feature in the cameras' Intelligent Auto mode. Version 1.1 for the FX700 and v1.2 for FZ100 also improves AF performance while recording movies. The updates are available for download from Panasonic's website.
Just Posted: Canon PowerShot G12 test samples as part of our Enthusiast Group Test. The G12 didn't arrive in time to be included in the test itself but we've now had a chance to take it into the studio and shoot our standard comparison shots. The images have been added to our comparison tools and have been included in the 'compared to...' and noise test pages (you can, of course, still include competitors such as Samsung's EX1/TL500 if you prefer).
Hasselblad has announced a 100-unit limited edition of its H4D-40 medium format camera in stainless steel. The company has also said the H4D Ferrari limited edition, announced at Photokina 2010, is now available at retail prices of €21,499 and $29,499. The Ferrari edition comes with the company's 80mm lens, a special case and the Phocus image editing software. It is limited to 499 units.
Just Posted: Our group test of the latest high-end, enthusiast compact cameras. We've taken the the Canon Powershot S95, Panasonic Lumix LX5 and Nikon Coolpix P7000 and pitted them against one another both in and out of the dpreview studio. In this age of comparatively compact mirroless cameras, are these cameras' bright lenses and manual controls enough to help them stand out? Follow the link to find what we think of the three 10 Mp cameras we have chosen for this group test.
The Kuwait government has banned the use of DSLRs cameras in public, according to a local media reports. The English-language Kuwait Times says the country’s Ministry of Information, Ministry of Social Affairs and Ministry of Finance have ruled photography with DSLRs should be used only by accredited journalists. There is currently no official confirmation of the decision, why it has been introduced or detail about how precise a definition of the term 'DSLR' will be applied. The Kuwait Times has subsequently retracted its story as being incorrect and said there was no such ban.
app4cam has released an updated version of its 'gps4cam' iPhone app that allows users to geotag images from any digital cameras even when their phone doesn't have a signal. The app logs the location details as users travel around, then creates a QR-Code that allows this data to be easily synchronized with photos using the associated 'gps4cam Desktop' PC or Mac software. The gps4cam app can be downloaded from Apple’s App Store for $1.99.
Nikon Japan has announced its Speedlight SB-700 flashgun will be available from November 26 at a retail price of ¥44,100. In the US market, it will be available from mid-December at an estimated retail price of $329.95. Announced at Photokina 2010 and a replacement for the company's SB-600 flashgun, it offers a guide number of 28, wireless flash control and multi-step zoom from 24 to 120mm. It also includes a rotating head, built-in bounce card, a supplied diffuser and both incandescent and fluorescent filters.
Sony has issued a firmware update for its NEX-VG10E camcorder that enables autofocus with Alpha-mount SLR lenses equipped with SSM or SAM motors. Covering 14 lens models, AF compatibility also requires a separate update for the LA-EA1 Mount Adapter. The firmware is available now for free download from Sony's website.
Sigma Japan has announced its 70-200mm F2.8 EX DG OS HSM image-stabilised fast telezoom is now available in Pentax K-mount and will be available in Sony Alpha mount from the end of this month. In the US market, they will be available from mid-December and January respectively at a retail price of $2,470. The company has also announced its EF-610 DG ST flashgun will be available for Canon cameras from December at a recommended retail price of $400.
Pentax has issued updated firmware for its K-5 mid-level DSLR. Version 1.01 increases the number of RAW images that can be shot in a burst during continuous shooting at both low and high ISO settings. The latest version allows the camera to capture up to 20 images in a burst, rather than 8. It also claims 'improved stability for general performance.' The update is available now from the company's websites.
Sony has announced it is to develop a professional E-mount camcorder. The as-yet-unnamed model will be available from mid-2011 as an addition to the company's NXCAM line-up of broadcast-standard camcorders. It will feature a CMOS sensor equivalent to the Super-35mm film format (which is essentially the same size as the APS-C format seen in existing E-mount cameras). It will record videos in AVCHD format with plans to implement 1080p (60p / 30p / 24p or 50p / 25p) recording in the MPEG4-AVC/H.264 format. This will be the company's second camcorder compatible with E-mount lenses, following the NEX-VG10E consumer-grade model.
Olympus has announced the Japan-only E-PL1s and, more significantly, the M.Zuiko Digital 14-42mm II 1:3.5-5.6 kit lens. The camera is a slightly tweaked version of the existing EPL1 but the lens is a completely new design, featuring internal focus for faster, quieter autofocusing. As such the Mark II lens, which is expected to become available worldwide in the near future, gains the company's MSC (Movie and Stills Compatible) designation. It is slightly smaller than the original 14-42 design and, at 112g, is 25% lighter than the existing version. The E-PL1s itself extends the main body color to most of the camera and gains the ability to shoot at ISO 6400.
Just Posted: comparison data for the Nikon D7000 and Pentax K-5. Alongside the Canon EOS 60D we've been testing a series of the other hot releases announced at this year's Photokina and two of the hottest are undoubtedly the 16MP mid-range DSLRs from Nikon and Pentax's. Following the hype and excitement about the D7000 and K-5, we thought it'd be nice to see what their output actually looks like so have added them to our list of cameras that can be compared. We've also included them in the Canon EOS 60D review to show them in context.
Just Posted: our Canon EOS 60D full review. It's been a busy period here at dpreview but behind the scenes we've been shooting with and testing many of the big Photokina 2010 releases. The 60D is not the direct replacement for the 50D that many Canon users expected but there's still an awful lot of 7D fitting into a smaller, lighter body with an articulated screen that is likely to appeal to video shooters. It has the same 18MP sensor as the 7D and 550D and the large, bright viewfinder from its predecessor. It becomes the first X0D camera to have a plastic, rather than metal, body but it also becomes the first to have an articulated screen - a variant of the excellent 1.04 million dot 3:2 screen from the 550D. So how well do all these elements come together and do they create a 'super Rebel' for entry-level users to aspire to?
Panasonic has announced the Lumix DMC-GF2 Micro Four Thirds camera. A simplified version of the company's GF1, it inherits the same flat-body design but with revised control layout and touch-screen control. It is built around a 12MP CMOS sensor but with a more powerful processor than its predecessor, allowing AVCHD video recording of 1080i60 movies from 1080p30 capture. It is also compatible with the company's recently released 3D lens. We've had a pre-production GF2 in the office for a few days, so click through to read all about it in our hands-on preview.
Photo-i editor Vincent Oliver has released 'A Guide To DSLR Photography', the company's latest DVD that promises to help photographers improve their shooting and editing skills. The topics covered include camera set-up, exposure, white balance, lens choice, DSLR movie capture and editing. Playable in all regions, the DVD is available now at retail price of £14.99
Digital Frame maker Nix has released a series of motion-sensing digital picture frames. Hu-Motion series frames go into a power-saving mode when they sense no movement within a range of 2.5 meters. They are available in a choice of 8" or 12" models, are compatible with a range of memory cards and come with remote controls.
Accessory maker Tether Tools has announced the latest version of its JerkStopper cable management device. Users can clip the JerkStopper onto USB or power cables to stop cables from causing damage to cameras by being accidentally pulled out. It extends supports to cables such USB, HDMI, power adapters etc with a diameter of 3.5mm to 8.5mm. JerkStopper is available as stand-alone product for $16.95 or as a kit with computer support devices for $21.95.
Canon Japan has announced a delay in production of three recently announced lenses. The EF 8-15mm F4L USM fisheye zoom and the EF 300mm and 400mm F2.8L IS II lenses that were supposed to hit the shelves next month, will now be available from March 2011. However, the EF 70-300mm F4-5.6L IS USM and the 2x III and 1.4x III Extenders will start shipping as scheduled on November 19 and December 2010 respectively.