News archive for February 2012
Lytro has shipped its first Light Field Camera to a customer and we've had a chance to spend some time with one, to see what their experience is likely to be like. It's a totally unconventional camera that captures images that can be refocused after they're shot, so we haven't shot our usual, 2D test charts but we've tried to sum-up its technology and what it's like to shoot with. Click here to find out what we thought.
Richard Franiec has announced a custom grip for the Nikon 1 V1, adding to the one already available for the J1. The V1 grip slots over the ridge on the camera's front plate, to offer a more substantial surface to hold on to. Unlike Franiec's previous grips, the V1 grip extends across the camera's front and has the camera series '1' etched into it. The grip will be available in the second-half of March 2012 at a cost of $34.95, plus shipping.
Strangely-entitled photo sharing site SmugMug has launched a zanily-named iPhone app. The free 'Camera Awesome' app gives iPhone users greater control over the phone's camera and adds a series of filters and processing tools. This includes the ability to separate focus and metering, and adds a virtual level gauge. It also includes filters, textures and frames from Kevin Kubota as well as an 'Awesomize' button powered by Athentech's 'Perfectly Clear' technology.
Just posted: Our in-depth review of the Samsung NX200. The Samsung NX200 is the Korean manufacturer's fifth NX camera and with its completely new 20.3MP APS-C CMOS sensor, expanded feature set and all-metal body is a significant step up from its predecessor, the NX100. After the Sony NEX-7 the NX200 offers the second highest pixel count in the mirrorless system camera segment which would make it an obvious choice for photographers who want to capture a lot of detail in a portable package. But how do the impressive specs translate into real-life performance? Read our in-depth review to find out.
We're going to be hosting user avatars from now on - removing the need for you to use the Gravatar service. It means you can easily manage your avatar from within dpreview and that changes are reflected much faster. If you already had an avatar hosted on Gravatar, it will have been imported already so you don't need to do anything. However, if you wish to add or update an avatar, or you've changed yours in the past few days, we're prepared some instructions for how the process now works.
Sony has launched four GPS-enabled 18MP CMOS zoom compacts, ranging from the 16x DSC-HX10V all the way up to the 30x DSC-HX200V. The DSS-HX20V adds a 20x zoom to the 10V's specs and the HX30V gains WiFi on top of that. All four CMOS cameras offer nine creative processing filters and latest fast AF which the company says will focus in as little as 0.1sec and 0.2sec in low light, they also have high-res 920,000 dot LCDs. There's also a less-expensive 16MP CCD 16X zoom model, the DSC-H90. All of the cameras feature at least 27mm equivalent wide-angle lenses.
Sony has added depth to its T-series range of slim cameras with the skinny DSC-T66 and svelte-yet-rugged DSC-TX20. It has also added the 10x zoom DSC-WX150 to the top of its conventionally-shaped compact camera lineup - claiming it to be the slimmest 10x camera currently available. The 5x zoom T66 and the WX150 are both based around the company's latest 18MP CMOS sensor, helping them offer high-speed autofocus. The T66 has an OLED touch-screen while the waterproof, 16MP T20 instead uses a LCD touch-panel. Finally there's a DSC-W690, a 16MP CCD camera based around the same 10x, 25-250mm equivalent lens as the WX150.
Nokia has made the startling announcement that it has created a 41MP smartphone, the Nokia 808 PureView. Interestingly, in most shooting modes the camera will output 3, 5MP or 8MP stills, rather than offering its full resolution - promising greater quality and offering some clever features. And this isn't a trade-show concept model, this is a product that will be offered to the public, though details of when and in which countries haven't been announced. What's interesting isn't so much the pixel count as how it's used, so we took a closer look.
Book Review: Visual Stories - Behind the Lens with Vincent Laforet. As Pulitzer Prize-winning photographer Vincent Laforet transitions away from still photography and more towards film and video, he looks back at his photojournalistic and commercial career in this engaging book, published late last year. Adam Koplan takes a look.
Not long after samples of the Fujifilm X10 became available reports started surfacing of 'white orbs' or 'white discs' appearing in images. We mentioned this phenomenon when we included the X10 in our pre-Christmas roundup of high-end enthusiast compact cameras, and Fujifilm has subsequently released a firmware update that promises to address the issue. So does firmware version 1.03 banish the dreaded 'white orbs' for good? Click through to find out.
Following the refresh of Nikon's pro-level DSLRs, we asked four professional photographers to give us their take on the D800 and D4. We spoke to a group whose work and expertise spans a wide variety of genres and styles to see what they thought Nikon has got right and wrong about the 16MP D4 and the 36MP D800. Their insights aim to add context to our previews of the cameras and give a fresh perspective on Nikon's latest full-frame offerings.
Japanese national broadcaster NHK has said it is developing a sensor capable of shooting 8k video at 120fps. It will be able to support the company's Super Hi-Vision standard of 7680x4320 pixels (generically known as UHDTV) which, at 33MP, is 16x higher resolution than current 1080 HD technology. The high-speed chip is being developed with Shizuoka University and was reported at the IEEE Internation Solid-State Circuit Conference currently taking place in San Francisco. (via The Verge)
Ricoh has prepared a firmware update for its GR Digital IV enthusiast compact camera, based on user feedback. The update includes a series of function and user-interface tweaks to improve the camera's behavior, including the ability to write copyright information to EXIF, and the ability to save the snap-focus distance to the ADJ lever, avoiding the need to delve through the menus.
DxO Labs has updated its Optics Pro raw processing and lens correction software, including support for the Canon G1 X, Sony NEX-7, Nikon 1 system and the Olympus E-P2. The latest versions takes the software to version Pro 7.2.1 and is available free for existing users of Optics Pro 7 and anyone who bought Pro 6 after September 1 2011. Support for all five cameras is included in both Standard and Elite versions of the package.
The European press event for the Olympus OM-D E-M5 gave us a chance to get some proper shooting time in with one of the most discussed cameras of 2012. Our preview already looks over the features and custom options but this trip gave us a chance to really use the camera. Andy Westlake hit the streets of Amsterdam with an E-M5, determined to find out how its features work in real-world use and looks at how well the Art Filters and processing options work.
Venerable photo-sharing site Flickr is reported to be on the verge of its most drastic redesign in many years. The New York Observer's tech blog, BetaBeat interviewed Flickr's 'Head of Product' Markus Spiering, during which he demoed a remarkably Google+-like gallery interface. He also appeared to rubbish the site's clean but rather dated 'small photos, lots of white space and information' appearance. Yahoo says the improved gallery view will apply to the 'From your Contacts' page from the February 28th, with the uploader coming in March. (from BetaBeat) Updated with detail from Yahoo.
Just Posted: Our review of the Nikon Coolpix P7100. The P7100 is Nikon's second attempt at producing an enthusiast compact to go toe-to-toe with Canon's popular G-series cameras. The P7000 showed some promise but slow, quirky operation meant it fell short of the well-established Canon it so clearly mimicked. With the P7100 Nikon has put much of this right and added even more direct control. It offers the largest zoom range in its class, but is this enough to make it stand-out in a highly capable field? Read our review to find out.
PocketWizard has launched its latest camera/flash radio trigger: the PocketWizard Plus III transceiver. The Plus III is a big step forward from the Plus II, offering the ability to trigger four groups of cameras and flashes over 32 radio channels. It also offers faster continuous shooting, triggering at up to 14.5 fps and offers the ability to communicate via a repeater radio transmitter, to extend the system's range. It also gains the ability to half-press, rather than just firing the shutter on remote cameras. The biggest change, though, is the Plus III's back-lit LCD panel, making it easier to use than its predecessor.
We've been taking a look at Fujifilm's recently released firmware update for the X10, which was designed to reduce the much-discussed 'white orbs' blooming effect. Our initial conclusions are disappointing enough for us to pre-empt our forthcoming coverage of the issue with a quick update on our findings so far. Sadly, all the indications from our studio and real-world shooting so far are that the update appears to have very little effect on the appearance or intensity of these artefacts.
Samsung US is showing off a range of tough, waterproof and magnetproof SDHC and Micro SDHC cards. The range includes several high-speed versions in addition to the ones announced in Europe last July. The latest cards include 'Extreme Speed' Class 10 16Gb cards (24MB/s read, 21MB/s write), and 'High Speed' 32Gb (24MB/s read, 17MB/s write) cards also described as Class 10.
The former President and Chairman of Olympus who oversaw the financial mismanagement that has seen the company's value more than halved, has been arrested. Tsuyoshi Kikukawa and his former vice-president Hisashi Mori who has also been arrested, were only forced out of the company after ex-CEO Michael Woodford spoke out, saying he was removed for uncovering their actions. Company auditor Hideo Yamada and four bankers connected to the cover-up of billions of dollars-worth of investment losses were also arrested. (from Reuters)
We've shot our standard test scene with Canon's latest PowerShot G1 X large-sensor compact camera. The images have been shot using a production-standard G1 X and, as usual, have been shot in both Raw and JPEG with all original files available for download. The images have been added to our comparison tool and the G1 X preview. They can also be called-upon from other reviews or the standalone comparison tool.
Dpreview.com is looking for a Mobile Imaging Editor to join our growing team based in Seattle, WA. This is a unique opportunity to play a key part in the design and launch of an entirely new content area, and to drive the expansion of the dpreview platform into the fast moving world of connected photography.
Controlling depth of field is of great importance when photographing subjects at a close distance. Nature photographer Erez Marom continues his series on macro photography with a discussion of the challenges this presents when shooting at extreme magnifications. He examines problems common to both beginners and experienced macro photographers and shares two approaches that allow you to overcome shallow depth of field.
CIPA has started publishing sales and shipment figures for mirrorless cameras, giving a clear picture for their take-up around the world. The Japanese trade body will issue separate figures for 'Non-reflex' cameras and Single Lens Reflex cameras, rather than a combined 'interchangeable lens camera' category. The first batch of figures show mirrorless cameras are becoming increasingly popular in all major markets.
Just posted: Our in-depth review of the Panasonic Lumix DMC-GX1. As the long-awaited spiritual successor to the highly-regarded Lumix GF1, this enthusiast-oriented offering from Panasonic combines its 16MP sensor and latest touchscreen interface with a rangefinder-inspired design. The wealth of external dials and buttons speaks to the photographer who prefers to take control over camera operation and exposure settings. Is this the camera GF1 owners have been waiting for? Read our in-depth review to find out.
Lensbaby's products have always rather swum against the tide, but the company's latest optic offers something a little different from its existing range. The Edge 80, as its name might suggest, is an 80mm optic that behaves almost - but not quite - like a conventional tilt lens. It's designed for selective focus applications, and its short telephoto focal length makes it ideally suited for subjects such as portraits and abstracts. In our quick review we have look at how the lens works, and what it can bring to your photography.
Mobile imaging company Scalado has created a multi-shot technology that identifies differences to allow unwanted objects to be removed. The 'Remove' technology, currently being shown-off in the form of an Android app, is the first object removal software on a mobile device, it says. The technology allows passers-by to be selected or automatically removed, or cars to be simply edited out of the scene you're trying to capture, without the need for Photoshop.
Lensbaby has announced an addition to its unique range of selective-focus lenses, in the shape of the Edge 80. It's an 80mm F2.8 short telephoto that, unlike the company's existing products, is conventionally optically-corrected, and designed to be used as a tilt lens to produce 'slices' of sharp focus across the frame. It has a 12-blade circular aperture diaphragm for attractive out-of-focus blur, and a built-in extension tube for close focusing down to about 19". It's available to order now from the company's website for $300.
Edward Weston was one of America's most celebrated photographers. Published to mark the 125th anniversary of his birth, Edward Weston: One Hundred Twenty Five Photographs showcases his work through both photographs and excerpts from his journals and letters. Adam Koplan takes a look at this lavish limited-edition collection.
Spanish photographer Samuel Aranda has won the World Press Photo 2011 award. The prize comes for his image of a woman holding a relative wounded during protests against Yemen's President Saleh. The World Press Photo Contest 2012 also awarded prizes in 18 other categories ranging from Arts and Entertainment to Portraits. Some of these images may be familiar from news coverage throughout the year but they make a compelling and inspiring reminder of the breadth of photography, even within the confines of press usage.
Facebook is making its first steps towards taking photography seriously with the launch of its Lightbox display interface. The change, which is being rolled-out to users in the coming weeks, darkens the rest of the screen when a photo is selected and shows images in greater detail than before (up to 960 pixels in each dimension). How does this presentation compare to the more obviously photo-friendly Google+ service?
Award-winning photographer Dan Chung explains why he thinks there's no future for traditional photojournalism. As a staff photographer for the Guardian and Reuters, Dan has been touring the world's trouble-spots for more than a decade, supplying images to newspapers and websites all over the globe. But although he made his name as a stills photographer, he's been shooting increasing amounts of video both for the web and for TV. We asked him why.
Kodak will stop making digital cameras within the next few months. The company, currently in bankruptcy protection, will also stop making pocket video cameras and photo frames as a cost-cutting measure. Instead it is looking to license its name to other manufacturers who wish to sell cameras under the Kodak brand. Closing the business will cost around $30m, mainly in the cost of laying-off workers, but will save around $100m per year in running costs. All product warranties will be honored.
Fujifilm has released the promised firmware update for its X10 enthusiast compact that aims to reduce the 'white orb' blooming effect that users have complained about. The firmware claims only to reduce, not eliminate, the problem that we'll look at in our forthcoming review. The latest firmware adds a series of extra functions and improves behavior of some existing ones. This includes adding face tracking AF to both stills and video mode and preventing the ISO and dynamic range settings changing when you switch between exposure modes. The update also enables the RAW button to be reconfigured as a function button.
Sony has confirmed it will be making a full-frame replacement for its flagship A900 DSLR. No further details were given during a round-table discussion at the CP+ show in Japan, but we find it hard to believe the result will step away from the SLT technology the company has invested so heavily in. The company has also finally announced the A-mount 500mm F4 lens that it has been showing in various states of preparedness since PMA 2007 will be available from late March.
Sony has said it will have 15 lenses ready for the NEX system by the end of 2013. It made the annoucement of an expanded E-mount roadmap at the start of the CP+ trade show in Yokohama, Japan. The roadmap includes a variety of zooms and prime lenses, including a high-end standard zoom with Sony's premium 'G' branding. There will also be a pancake prime and a mid-telephoto prime lens some time during 2013.
Ricoh has announced that its Pentax Ricoh Imaging (PRI) business unit will take full control of the design, development and sales of the company's cameras, worldwide. PRI was created when Ricoh bought Pentax and is the business that has been responsible for the design, manufacturing and sales of Pentax cameras. It will now absorb the consumer businesses of Ricoh's Personal Multimedia Product Company, which was responsible for the design, manufacture and sale of Ricoh cameras. The change will take effect from April 1st 2012.
The E-M5 is the first of Olympus' OM-D range of Micro Four Thirds cameras and is styled to look like the its classic OM series SLRs. We've had a chance to use one of the most rumored and speculated-about cameras of recent years and have prepared a full, hands-on preview. We take a look at the camera's features and explain its levels of customization. Click here to find out more about what goes on behind the E-M5's pretty exterior.
Sigma has totally reinvented its DP series of large sensor compacts with the DP1 Merrill and DP2 Merrill. The DP Merrill models are named after Dick Merrill, inventor of the Foveon sensor and include the most recent version of his technology - the 15x3MP APS-C sensor first seen in Sigma's SD1. Because the Merrill cameras feature full APS-C sensors, they also feature totally redesigned lenses, with the DP1M including a 19mm F2.8 lens to offer a 28mm equivalent field of view and the DP2M having a 30mm F2.8 lens to give a 45mm equivalent field-of-view.
Sigma's new CEO, Kazuto Yamaki has announced the re-branding and re-pricing of the company's flagship camera. The SD1 DSLR will now be know as the SD1 Merrill, in honor of Dick Merrill, inventor of the Foveon sensor technology on which it is based. The price will also be revised, falling to what should be a street price of around $2,299, which Yamaki attributes to work conducted to reduce production costs of the sensor. Despite these changes, his letter promises the performance and characteristics of the sensor have not changed. To avoid disappointing existing SD1 customers, Sigma will offer a support program with 'points' that can be exchanged for Sigma products.
Cosina has announced the Voigtländer Nokton 17.5mm F0.95 manual focus prime lens for the Micro Four Thirds system. The lens gives a 35mm equivalent field-of-view on the system and has been designed with silent, stepless aperture control for videography. The lens offers a wider-angle alternative to the company's Nokton 25mm F0.95. The Japanese price translates as around $1500. (via DCWatch)
Olympus has finally announced the long-rumored E-M5, the first of its OM-D range of Micro Four Thirds cameras. The E-M5 is built around a 16MP sensor and features the company's latest 5-axis image stabilization system that works for both stills and movies. It can shoot 1080i60 movies in MOV format (h.264 compression) and includes a 1.44M dot EVF in its weather-sealed magnesium alloy body.
Alongside its E-M5 enthusiast-class mirrorless camera, Olympus has launched the M.Zuiko Digital ED 75mm F1.8 and M.Zuiko Digital 60mm F2.8 Macro lens to its Micro Four Thirds lineup. It's also announced the FL-600R the latest in its range of wireless-compatible flashguns and its first to feature an LED continuous lamp for video work. The 75mm lens is a higher-end portrait lens than the existing 45mm F1.8 we rather like, and features the same solid build-quality as the premium 12mm F2.0. Meanwhile the 60mm Macro offers true 1:1 magnification and is weather-sealed to match the E-M5.
Olympus has launched the SZ-31MR iHS, a 24x superzoom featuring the company's iHS intelligent high-sensitivity / high-speed technology. This stems from its use of a 16MP back-lit CMOS sensor that allows high-speed capture and 1080p Full HD video capture. The camera features a 25-600mm equivalent zoom lens and twin TruePic V processors and a high-res 920k dot touchscreen.
Olympus has updated its rugged offerings with the TG-820 iHS. It's based on a 12MP back-lit CMOS sensor, which allows it to keep up with the recent trend of Full HD-capable underwater cameras. The back-lit sensor has prompted the company to apply its 'iHS' branding, indicating 'Intelligent High-Sensitivity and High Speed' capabilities.
We've managed to get a bit more information about the Nikon D800E and have had a little longer to prepare our side-by-side comparison images, so have updated our preview. Nikon has given us more detail about how the D800E cancels-out the effect of its optical low-pass filter and we're now able to show how the D800 compares to the D700 and Canon EOS 5D Mark II. Click here to read our updated preview.
Pentax has beefed-up its compact camera lineup with updated versions of its rugged models, the WG-2 and WG-2 GPS. The WG-2 is built around a 16MP back-illuminated CMOS sensor, allowing 1080p30 Full HD movies to be captured. Both versions build on Pentax's macro light design by adding an extra LED for illuminating objects close to the lens, they also feature upgraded 460k dot LCD screens. As before the WGs offer 28-140mm equivalent stabilized zooms. The GPS version features the latest GPS chip to improve acquisition times and reduce battery consumption.
Pentax will use the CP+ show in Japan to show a series of lenses and accessories it has in development, including a 50mm F1.8 for the K mount and a thin lens for the recently launched K-01. There are also super-telephoto lenses for the K mount, three additional lenses for the Q camera and a 90mm F2.8 for the 645D, many of which the company says will be available before the end of the year.
Pentax has announced tethering software to allow the 645D to be triggered from a computer and its images transferred across to a designated location. The Pentax Image Transmitter software, available for both Mac and Windows, doesn't allow any other camera control over the camera but is still likely to broaden the camera's appeal for studio work. It will be available from March 2012 at a recommended price of $199.99.
We've had some time with a pre-production D800 and have prepared a detailed in-depth preview. Nikon's latest DSLR boasts core technology borrowed from the top-end D4, married with a 36.3MP CMOS sensor that comfortably eclipses the rest of the DSLR market in resolution terms. As well as first impressions of handling and operation, and an in-depth look at the D800's specifications we've also dived a little deeper into the D800E, the D800's sister model, which cancels-out the effect of its anti-aliasing filter.
Canon has released three EF lenses, including an updated 24-70mm F2.8 II USM. The latest version features what is promised to be a more durable body, despite being a little smaller. In addition to this high-end full-frame standard zoom, there are completely redesigned semi-fast 24mm and 28mm F2.8 primes, both of which feature USM focus motors and image stabilization. Ultimately, the most interesting thing about these launches is the fact that Canon feels the need to update various full-frame lenses, almost as if something likely to test the quality of its existing versions was in the offing.
Canon has launched the ELPH 530 HS and ELPH 320 HS, Wi-Fi and touchscreen versions of its recently released style compacts. The cameras, sold as the IXUS 510 HS and IXUS 240 HS respectively outside North America, have several different ways to allow wireless sharing to home networks, smartphones or the internet. The ELPH 320 HS, like its non-Wi-Fi ELPH 110 HS brother, is a 16MP camera while the smaller ELPH 530 HS uses a 10MP section of the same 16MP sensor. The 530 HS uses Micro SD but this is less problematic, thanks to its wireless capabilities.
Canon has launched six 16MP A-series entry-level PowerShot cameras, completely refreshing the lineup. The models are best understood as three distinct groups within the range: the A810 and A1300 are traditional AA-battery A-series cameras with 5x, 28-140mm equivalent zooms, the A2300, A2400 and A3400 are slim cameras with the same lens and lithium ion batteries, and the A4000 tops the range with an 8x zoom.
Canon has launched its second waterproof rugged camera, the 12MP D20. It has a 5x, image stabilized 28-140mm equivalent zoom lens, featuring the company's latest 7-mode IS system. It also includes GPS and a 460,000 dot 3.0" LCD. The camera's back-lit CMOS sensor allows the D20 to shoot 1080p24 movies accessible with a dedicated movie record button. Unlike the company's D10, the D20 is a relatively small, periscope-lens card camera. It is waterproof to a depth of 10m and shockproof from a height of 1.5m.
Canon has launched two SX series compact superzooms, the SX 260 IS and SX 240 IS. The difference between the two is that the SX 240 IS doesn't include GPS and isn't being announced by Canon USA, so may not be widely available if it reaches North American shores. Beyond that, both are 20x compact superzooms with 25-500mm equivalent lenses featuring the company's latest 7-mode image stabilization system. They feature 460k dot screens and the ability to shoot burst of images at 10.3 frames per second. Both use 12MP back-lit CMOS sensors.
Nikon has announced the D800 and D800E 36MP full-frame DSLRs. The pixel count of the long-awaited replacement for the D700 means it also trumps the D3X as the highest-resolution camera in Nikon's lineup. As well as the 'stock' D800, Nikon has also revealed a more expensive model, the D800E that will be free from the effects of an anti-aliasing filter. Aimed at studio and landscape professionals the D800E should theoretically begin to rival medium format digital equipment in terms of resolution.
Tamron has announced a 24-70mm F2.8 zoom for full frame cameras that features inbuilt optical stabilisation - a first in this class of lens. The SP 24-70mm F/2.8 Di VC USD, to give it its full name, also incorporates an Ultrasonic Silent Drive motor for autofocus, which allows full-time manual focus. The lens is moisture-resistant and features a circular aperture diaphragm for the attractive rendition of background blur. It will be produced in Canon, Nikon and Sony mounts, with price and availability to be confirmed at a later date.
Until recently, LCD was the only technology used for digital camera displays. This is beginning to changes with the emergence of Organic Light Emitting Diode (OLED) technogy. OLED offers a series of advantages over LCDs, particularly for photographers. Whether it's the display panels on the back of the Olympus PEN E-P3 or the microdisplays used as electronic viewfinders in Sony's SLT-A77, OLED is starting to make an impact on the camera market. Ron Mertens, editor-in-chief of OLED-Info, explains some of the advantages and disadvantages of this type of display, and gives an insight into some of the latest developments in this emerging field.
Are High Dynamic Range photos appropriate for illustrating news? That's the debate that's been started by the Washington Post's use of an HDR image on its front page in January. Sean Elliot, president of the National Press Photographers Association came down firmly against it, saying, 'HDR is not appropriate for documentary photojournalism.' John Omvik, Marketing VP with HDR software maker Unified Color understandably disagrees. He's written us a response arguing that what we see is closer to HDR than, say, a mono photo shot with Tri-X film.
Kenko-Tokina will exhibit a mockup of a 70-200mm F4 telephoto zoom that features both a ring-type ultrasonic autofocus motor and optical image stabilization at the CP+ trade show in Japan. The AT-X Pro SD 70-200 F4 (IF) FX will be the company's first stabilized lens, and will likely be especially interesting to Nikon SLR users who currently have no option that's directly comparable to Canon's popular and highly-regarded 70-200mm F4 designs. Further details are limited, but the lens appears to feature both internal zoom and focus mechanisms, and has a usefully-close minimum focus distance of 1m. (via Megapixel.il)
Kenko-Tokina has added the mirrors back into mirrorless with the launch of an ultra-compact Reflex 300mm F6.3 for Micro Four Thirds. This fixed-aperture, manual focus lens revives the catadioptric lens design that was especially popular in the 1970s and '80s for producing small high-magnification telephoto lenses. With a 55mm filter diameter and weight less than 300g, this is possibly the smallest lens of this type that's ever been made for stills cameras. The spec is rounded-off with a minimum focus of 0.8m and 0.5x maximum magnification, making the lens potentially interesting for chasing insects and the like, just as long as you can hold it steadily enough.
Fujifilm USA has announced its recommended pricing for the X-Pro1 high-end mirrorless camera. The MSRP will be $1699 for the body and $599-$649 for the lenses, meaning you can expect it to create around a $2300 dent in your pocket if you want to be able to take pictures with it. Canadian prices will be dollar-for-dollar equivalents. Fujifilm UK meanwhile hasn't yet announced pricing, but one of the country's retailers is taking orders at £1429 for the body and £549-599 for the lenses, which gives a good idea of how much you'll need to scrape together.
Alongside the announcement of the K-01 mirrorless camera, Pentax has updated its K-mount lens roadmap to include planned releases for 2012 and 2013. In a PDF document published on the company's website, it indicates that three lenses will be introduced during the course of this year - a 50mm 'standard' lens, a superzoom in the 18-200mm class, and a super telephoto in the 500-600mm range. Four zooms covering the full wideangle to telephoto range are projected to follow later, alongside a 1.4x teleconverter.
Pentax has formally announced the K-01 K-mount mirrorless interchangable lens camera and a revised 40mm F2.8 pancake lens to match. Built around a 16MP APS-C sensor, the camera can mount most of the lenses the company has ever made. It features sensor-shift image stabilization, a 920k dot rear LCD and can shoot at up to 6 frames per second. The rather interesting design is the work of respected product designer Marc Newson and features a logo of his signature on the base of the camera. The K-01 (which the company says should be pronounced 'kay-zero-one'), will cost around $749 body-only and $899 with the 'XS' version of the 40mm lens.
Ricoh has released a 24-85mm equivalent F3.5-5.5 zoom module with a 16MP APS-C sensor for its GXR system. The latest camera unit offers a flexible focal length range that starts slightly wider than the average kit zoom, without making the camera excessively large. It's the first GXR module to be built around a 16MP sensor. Announced back in November, it is the first zoom module for the system to offer APS-C image quality. If our suspicions are correct and it uses the excellent Sony 16MP sensor, this promises a lot both in terms of image quality and focus speed (the faster readout of the sensor helps contrast-detection systems to more quickly ascertain correct focus).
Nikon has updated its photographer-friendly P series with the Coolpix P510 and P310. The P510 gains GPS and an extended zoom, now reaching from 24-1000mm equivalent. This 42x range is likely to be quite a challenge for its VR image stabilization system, so we'll be interested to see how it performs. The P310 is a more subtle upgrade of the P300. Like the P510 it gains a 920k dot LCD and moves to using a 16MP back-lit CMOS sensor, with all the high-speed, multi-shot image processing modes it enables. More than any of the technology changes, we're most interested to see the addition of a 'Fn' button on the front - if this can be set to control useful functions, it may improve the handling of an already pleasant-to-use camera.
Nikon has refreshed its line of S series style compact cameras, which ranges from $140 6x zoom models through to bells-and-whistles-including 18x compact superzoom. The range is topped by the S9300 which offers that 18x, 25mm-450mm equiv. stabilized lens, 16MP back-lit CMOS sensor, 1080p30 with stereo sound recording and built-in GPS. The S6300 is a slim, 10x 25-250mm equiv camera built around the same sensor. The S4300 and S3300 are more modest, CCD-based affairs with 6x, 26-156mm equivalent zooms.
Nikon has updated several of its simpler compacts with the launches of the Coolpix L810, L26 and S30. The L810 is a mid level 26x superzoom with a 920k dot LCD and 23-585mm equiv zoom. A 16MP CCD helps keep the cost down to around $279.95 but also means the L810 can only capture 720p video. Meanwhile the S60 is a shock- and water-proof 10MP camera with 3x, 29-87mm equiv lens. Finally, the L26 is a pretty standard AA-powered entry-level camera with a 16MP CCD and 26-130mm equiv stabilized lens.
Four full-size images from the Fujifilm X-Pro1 have been released by the two photographers commissioned to shoot with the camera (apparently using a pre-production unit). Australian photojournalist Michael Coyne and landscape photographer Christian Fletcher are shooting with the camera and have published four images taken with the 18mm lens, alongside a video explaining their first impressions. All the images, shot at a range of ISO settings, have been passed through Photoshop, according to the EXIF, but are said to be unprocessed. (via PetaPixel) Following a request from Christian Fletcher, we've removed links to the images.