News archive for March 2012
We've made our product database available on the mobile version of the site. The addition of the products section (searchable by product name, browsable by brand and product type), is another step towards making the entire site available on-the-go. Our database currently includes cameras, lenses and printers and is probably the most comprehensive on the web. As before, there are small links at the bottom of every page to swap between the mobile and desktop versions.
Sigma Corporation of America has announced the pricing and availability for its stabilized 50-150mm F2.8 APO EX DC OS HSM lens. The lens, designed to offer a roughly 70-200mm equivalent zoom range, will have a street price of $1099. The OS version of the lens is 46% longer than the existing, non-OS version.
We've just posted our review of the Canon PowerShot G1 X. Rather than going down the mirrorless camera route, Canon has opted to create a large sensor zoom compact. The result is the G1 X, a camera that offers a near-APS-C-sized sensor in a slightly enlarged G-series body. With its 28-112mm equivalent, F2.8-5.8 stabilized lens, it offers similar capability to an entry-level DSLR in a more convenient package. So how does the G1 X stack-up as a more compact Rebel replacement? Read our review to find out.
Adobe has launched a release candidate of Photoshop Lightroom v4.1, including a series of bug fixes and support for Canon's EOS 5D Mark III. The release candidate tag means it has been well tested but could still benefit from user input. The update includes support for the 5D Mark III that appeared in the latest Adobe Camera Raw update.
Introduced in the Photoshop CS6 beta, a collection of photography-styled blur filters makes it easy to simulate depth of field adjustments using tools that let you adjust the effect directly on the image. Photographer and author Ellen Anon explains how to make the most of these tools with a tutorial that shows you how to selectively blur an image as well as mimic the effects of lens bokeh.
Sony Japan has released firmware v1.05 for the SLT-A77 and A65 high-end fixed-mirror DSLRs. The latest changes promise a series of improvements, including more responsive control dials, faster post-shot review images and shorter lag when turning the camera off. The A77's AF accuracy in bright light is also improved. The updates also include correction profiles for more lenses. The firmware has not yet been posted by Sony's European or North American websites but should be available soon.
Olympus has announced a firmware update for its M.Zuiko Digital ED 12-50mm F3.5-6.3 EZ power-zoom macro lens. Firmware v1.1 improves image stabilization performance in Macro mode, when shooting with the Olympus E-M5. It also adds support for the 'Zoom Resume' function when used with Panasonic cameras - meaning the zoom returns to the previously-used focal length when the camera is switched on.
Just posted: Canon EOS 5D Mark III studio samples. We've borrowed a production 5D Mark 3 and have been painstakingly shooting our standard test scene with it. Although they're very different cameras, we suspect some people will want to compare the 5D3 to Nikon's D800, which you'll now be able to do from any version of the comparison tool. You can also download the Raw files to process, print or examine in minute detail.
SmugMug has updated its popular Camera Awesome iOS app, including the option to share images via Instagram's photo sharing service. The move comes a week after the popular Hipstamatic processing app added the same capability. So, while the Camera Awesome update includes a series of feature tweaks and the option to buy all add-on filters for $9.99 (or the balance, if you've already paid for some), the bigger news is that Instagram clearly has photo sharing ambitions far beyond its own apps.
Canon has added Google Cloud Print compatibility to its MG8220 and MG6220 Wireless all-in-one printers. The service allows remote printing from Gmail or Google Doc from mobile devices or computers running Google's Chrome browser. Firmware updates may be required for existing printer users. Support will be added to the MX892 in May.
Crowd-funded accessory maker Custom SLR has created a universal tripod plate that can be used with both Manfrotto RC2 and Arca-Swiss tripod heads. The M-Plate includes an off-axis mount for adding a strap that would usually use the tripod socket, so you can quickly use the camera both on and off the tripod. This makes it compatible with Custom SLR's C-Loop and Split Strap or other third-party tripod-socket strap systems.
Nikon UK has officially confirmed increases to the prices of its D800, D800E and D4 DSLRs. The move, which Nikon blames on an 'internal systems error', sees the D800's recommended retail price rise by £200 to £2599.99, while the D4's goes up by £500 to £5299.99 and the D800E's becomes £2,899.99. However the company says it will honor the prices on existing pre-orders placed before March 24th. Click through to read a press statement from Nikon UK.
We've updated our Canon EOS 5D Mark III preview with a selection of real world samples images and more detailed descriptions of the camera's behavior. We've shot a range of subjects under different lighting types and light levels to see how the latest 22MP performs. These shots were taken using a pre-production camera running final firmware, so may not be 100% representative of final image quality (though Canon allowing us to publish them suggests they're not far off). We're expecting a production-standard camera and will be adding studio test shots next week.
We've just got hold of Nikon's 36MP D800 full-frame DSLR and have been seeing what it's like to shoot with. We've shot it alongside the D3S to see exactly what effect trebling the pixel count has. In addition we look at the handling, its video shooting controls and how it behaves with vintage lenses. To put our studio samples in context we've also included a 40-image real-world samples gallery and a look at the camera's low-light performance. You may be surprised by the outcome.
We've written a breakdown of the photography-related features Adobe is preparing for Photoshop CS6. The beta version shows a substantially redesigned interface and a selection of new tools and enhancements. These include photographically-styled blur tools and greater support for video editing. CS6 will also include Adobe Camera Raw 7, bringing the Raw processing tool back into line with Lightroom. Read on to find out about the changes CS6 is likely to bring.
Facebook has added high resolution photos and full screen photo viewing. From today, the photo viewer will show the highest resolution image available, rather than offering a download link for higher-res images (up to 2048 pixels along each edge). An option to expand the photo to fullscreen has also been added. The changes also include adding a simplified version of the sRGB color profile to each image, increasing its chances of displaying color correctly.
Pentax has launched the D FA 645 25mm F4 AL [IF] SDM AW wide angle lens it first announced in February 2011. The lens offers a 19.5mm equivalent field-of-view when mounted on the 645D medium format DSLR and features the company's 'all weather' designation to reflect its level of environmental sealing. The lens will be available from March 2012 at an MSRP of $4999.95/£3999.99
Adobe has released a public beta version of Photoshop CS6, the industry standard image editing software. Available immediately for free download from Adobe Labs, it introduces a complete redesign of Photoshop's user interface along with auto and background save options. Other headline features include Content-Aware Patch and Move tools, additional photographic blur filters, increased video editing capability and Adobe Camera Raw 7.
We've just posted our hands-on preview of Pentax's K-01 K-mount mirrorless camera. The K-01 combines the 16MP CMOS sensor from the K-5 DSLR with a full Pentax K lens mount, to create a mirrorless camera with an enviable range of lenses already available. Of course using a full-depth K-mount also means the K-01 is also fairly bulky which, in conjunction with its unusual Marc Newson design, is likely to make it something of a love/hate camera. Read more to determine which side of that line you fall on.
Fujifilm has added more user-interface refinements to its X100 large sensor camera with firmware v1.20. The latest firmware allows the Raw button to be user-customized. It also makes it easier to set up the camera's Auto ISO behavior and built-in ND filter. The update also claims to improve AE and AF performance when shooting movies. A PDF addendum to the user manual has also been released.
Olympus has issued firmware v1.3 for its E-5 DSLR, along with the PEN E-P3, E-PL3, E-PL2 and E-PM1. The updates provide all five cameras with improved stability when using SDXC cards larger than 48Gb. Meanwhile, the E-PL3 and E-PM1 are also tweaked for improved operation when using external flashes in RC mode. The latest versions can be downloaded via the Olympus Camera Updater software.
Just Posted: studio test samples from the Nikon D800. We're running the 36MP D800 through our standard set of studio tests and have completed the shots of our test scene. These have been appended to the D800 preview and include all the Raw files for download. You can also access the shots from other reviews or the standalone comparison tool. Click here to see how it performs.
Western Digital has refreshed its 'My Passport' range of portable hard drives, including a 2TB version. The redesigned drives come in a choice of five sizes and five colors and come bundled with WD's own automatic backup and security software, to allow secure data use on-the-move. All the models, which start at a cost of $129.99, feature USB 3.0/2.0 connection for fast data transfer.
Images of a Panasonic GF5 have begun to appear on various websites. First an Instagram image of a camera, looking a lot like a GF3 refresh, appeared on the site of an Hong Kong actress/model Angelababy, who just happens to have promoted Panasonic products in the past. Plausible manufacturer product shots (consistent with the Instagram image), have also appeared. We won't speculate about specifications, but it seems reasonable to assume there's another GF on its way. (via 43 Rumors)
Phase One has knocked around 25% off the price of its Capture One 6 Raw processing software. It has also increased, to 60 days, the free trial period for both Capture One Express and the more fully-featured Capture One Pro. The company's updated website shows Capture One Pro costing $299/€229 and Capture One Express reduced to $99/€69.
Just published: studio test samples from the Olympus OM-D E-M5. We've just received a production-standard E-M5 so have rushed it into the studio to shoot our standard test scene. These shots have been added to our preview, but can also be accessed from other camera reviews or from the standalone comparison tool. Have a look to see how it stacks up against its rivals, or download the Raw files to subject them to your favored workflow.
Carl Zeiss has announced the Distagon T* 2,8/15, a super-wide-angle lens for Canon EF and Nikon F mounts. The lens can focus from just 25cm (10") and offers a 110° field of view when mounted on a full-frame camera. It uses aspherical elements and abnormal partial dispersion glass in order to control distortion and chromatic aberration. It features an integrated lens hood and accepts 95mm threaded filters. It will be available from May for an MSRP of €2,148 or US $2,948.
'Once the cloud computing era truly dawns, a non-connected device will be meaningless,' says Samsung Imaging's Sales & Marketing VP, Sunhong Lim. Speaking to dpreview, he suggested a combination of customer expectations and wireless carriers' desire for greater data usage will encourage compact cameras to become ever-more-connected devices. Indeed Lim believes that desire might even see telecomms networks help pay for your next camera. Click here to read his ideas about connected cameras.
Apple has added Raw support for eight additional cameras, including Nikon's D4, Canon's G1 X, Sony's NEX-7 and the Samsung NX200. Digital Camera Raw Compatibility Update v3.10 also brings Panasonic GX1 and FZ35/38 support to Aperture and iPhoto, taking the number of cameras covered to 260. The update requires Mac OS X 10.6.8 or Lion 10.7.1 or later.
Samsung has refused to confirm reports that it is working on an Android-based camera, only to say it is looking at the idea. The non-denial, which says 'it is something we are monitoring,' comes in response to reports from tech website Engadget that it is considering an 'open' camera operating system. However, while the site goes on to speculate that Android makes sense, based on its parent company's use of the OS on its smartphones, we think there are other reasons for Samsung to use Android.
Leica has announced it will bundle Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 4 with many of its cameras. The latest version of Adobe's raw processing and management software offers extensive support for Leica cameras and lenses. It will be included with future purchases of the S2, S2-P, M9, M9-P, X1 and D-Lux 5 cameras.
Software maker DSLR Guru is oftering a 50% discount on its ProFX pack of presets and film emulation plugins for Adobe's Lightroom 3 and 4. The ProFX pack includes the company's ToolkitPro series of develop and adjustment presests, along with the XProcessPro cross-process effects and FlimFXPro film simulation profiles. The pack would usually cost £19.99 but will be available for £9.99 until the end of March 2012. Update 2 April: DSLR Guru Pro FX is no longer available.
Just posted: Our in-depth review of the Canon Pixma Pro-1. Canon's latest 13-inch pigment-ink printer is aimed at enthusiasts and professionals, with a 12 channel inkset, 4800 x 2400 dpi print head resolution and direct support for third party fine art papers. The printer is optimized for b/w printing with a total of five monochrome inks and is compatible with Canon's free ICC profiling software. Does the Pro-1 have what it takes to compete against rival and fine art market leader Epson? Read our in-depth review to find out.
Toshiba has announced the Exceria range of UHS-I compliant high-speed SDHC and SDXC cards, available in a range of speeds and sizes. The fastest, Type 1, cards will equal the fastest cards currently available - offering 95MB/s read and 90MB/s write speeds - and will be offered in capacities up to 32Gb. There will also be 95/60MB/s and 90/30MB/s versions. All the cards will exceed SD Class 10 performance and UHS-I Class 1 performance in the latest, UHS-I compatible cameras. No details are yet available for prices or availability outside Japan.
We've been able to borrow a pre-production Sony A57 and have prepared a preview that includes both real-world and studio sample images. Many of the camera's features - 16MP sensor, 1.44m dot LCD viewfinder are familiar but they all come wrapped in a larger, more comfortable body, powered by a larger battery. We've shot samples in a series of the A57's modes, including its Auto Portrait Selection Framing mode - in which the camera crops an image with a face in, in-accordance with the rule-of-thirds.
Sony has announced the SLT-A57, a replacement for the original A55 fixed-mirror, electronic viewfinder DSLR. The A57 still features a 16MP sensor and LCD viewfinder but incorporates them into essentially the same body as the more expensive A65. Use of the latest Bionz processor means the A57 offers a wider-than-ever selection of photographic features and image processing modes. Updated with more information about the optional HVL-LE1 video-lighting LED panel.
Nikon USA has defended its decision to stop supplying spare parts to companies outside its authorized service network. Its intention is to deliver 'the best service experience to the customer,' says David Dentry, General Manager of Customer Relations at Nikon Inc, explaining that the complexity of modern cameras and the need for specialist analysis and calibration tools meant that repair attempts by ill-equipped retail or unauthorized repair shops could end up causing delays, increase the cost and risk voiding the camera's warranty. However, an independent service center we spoke to said its statements misrepresented the situation and is likely to mean small repairs take longer.
Fujifilm has released a statement explaining the causes of the 'white disc' blooming issue that affects certain images shot with the X10 high-end compact. The statement says the company is developing a modified sensor in response to the problem, that can also affect the X-S1 premium superzoom. It encourages X10 and X-S1 owners experiencing 'the white disc phenomenon' to contact their local Fujifilm service center.
First released for Android, Adobe recently unveiled an iPad-targeted version of Photoshop Touch for Apple's iOS. Boasting support for layers and featuring familiar Photoshop effects and filters, Photoshop Touch is one of the best-specified image manipulation apps available, but does it live up to its promise on the world's most popular tablet? Joanne Carter of theappwhisperer.com puts it through its paces.
We've just received an Olympus OM-D E-M5 that we can use to publish sample images and have shot an ISO sequence. We aim to bring you a real-world samples gallery in a few days time, but to whet your appetite we've prepared a quick series of studio-based shots showing how the camera behaves under the challenge of low-level tungsten lighting at all ISOs. Olympus describes our sample as 'initial production' and it's running firmware version 1.0, so these should give a pretty good idea of what you'll be able to expect from the camera when it hits the shops.
Sigma has announced details of the promised support scheme for customers who bought the company's SD1 DSLR prior to the price cut. Buyers of the SD1 at the original price of $6,899 can claim 40 'points' that can be redeemed against other Sigma products. The points are worth up to around ¥400,000 (roughly $4800) when used against Sigma products at their MSRP on the day the SD1 price cut was announced. Customers have until May 31st to register for the offer.
The BBC has an interesting short interview with Magnum photographer Elliott Erwitt, in which he talks about looking for sequences of shots, rather than one-off photos. The video coincides with the launch of his book 'Sequentially Yours' and looks at how a series of photos can sometimes tell more of a story than a single shot in isolation.
One of the challenges in macro photography is balancing technical details with sound compostion. Nature photographer Erez Marom continues his photo technique series with a discussion of compositional principles for macro photography. Learn to incorporate these fundamental concepts into your own work for more professional results.
Apple has unveiled the latest iPad with its highest-ever resolution screen, alongside an iOS app of the iPhoto image processing and management tool. The third-generation iPad will feature a 2048 x 1536 pixel 'Retina' display along with a quad-core graphics processor to power it. It also gains a 5MP back-lit CMOS camera with a five-element f/2.4 lens (a similar spec to the unit in front of the iPhone 4S's 8MP camera). There's also a $5 iPhoto app that allows a series of simple image corrections and sorting options to easily find your best images and get the best out of them.
DxO Labs has updated its FilmPack film simulation software to v3.2, adding 64 bit support and plugin versions for Lightroom, Photoshop and Aperture. The move of both the Essentials and Expert versions to 64 bit means they are almost twice as fast at processing as v3.1. There are improvements to the user interface to make it easier to preview the grain effects offered by the different film effects. Both Mac and PC versions are available, with a free 30-day trail downloadable from the company's website.
We've been using Nikon's D4 full frame professional DSLR continuously since a factory-fresh production version arrived in our office last week. Barnaby Britton, who previously shot professionally with a D3S, explains what it's like to use, and includes real world samples and videos. What's improved over the D3S, what has Nikon got right and has it got anything wrong? Click through to find out.
We've just added a mobile version of dpreview, to make it easier to get to our content from your cellular, mobile or generally portable devices. In this first iteration we've made it easy browse reviews, news stories, articles and previews. Forums and commenting support will come in later versions. However, although we think m.dpreview will make it easier to enjoy the site, we've placed small links at the bottom of every page to swap between the mobile and desktop versions.
Alongside Lightroom 4, Adobe has release the latest release candidate of Adobe Camera Raw. This not-quite finalized version of ACR v6.7 brings all the cameras and lenses supported in Lightroom 4 to users of Photoshop CS5, plus the Canon EOS 5D Mark III as something of a bonus feature. As usual, it is being released on Adobe's Labs site to allow feedback before its final launch.
Nokia's developer website is showing the 41MP 808 PureView as being available globally, with the exception of North America. However, Windows Phone website WPCentral is reporting that the company will bring its PureView technology to a phone running Windows Mobile - something likely that become truly global product. Meanwhile, Nokia has published a blog post about the 808's Carl Zeiss lens and how its molded plastic design allows it to out-perform some pro-grade DSLR glass.
Just posted: Our six page review of the now-less-expensive Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 4. Adobe has released and halved the price of the latest version of its workflow and image editing software, and we've prepared an in-depth review exploring the changes. Along with Book and Map modules, and a revised editing workflow, Lightroom 4 brings Raw file support for a number of recently announced cameras, including the Canon EOS-1D X and Nikon D4. Are the changes in Lightroom 4 worth the upgrade for current users? Find out in our detailed review.
We've been taking a closer look at the latest Sigma products, on show at the Focus on Imaging event in Birmingham, UK. A lot of the buzz at this year's show may be around the big new SLRs from Nikon and Canon, along with the Olympus OM-D E-M5 and Fujifilm X-Pro1, but Sigma is also quietly showing its recent announcements. The 15x3MP Foveon sensor-equipped DP1 Merrill and DP2 Merrill, along with the Digital Neo 19mm F2.8 and 30mm F2.8 lenses for Micro Four Thirds are all on show, so we decided to dig a bit deeper.
Canon has announces the Pixma MX892 wireless all-in-one printer, its flagship office printer. The MX892 can print documents using Pixma Cloud Link or Google Cloud Print for remote printing (including from Picasa Web Albums in the second instance). It can produce a 4x6" photo print in 20 seconds and can output color at 9.3 ipm. It can also scan at 2400 x 4800 dpi. The MX 892 is also compatible with Apple's AirPrint to allow direct printing from iOS devices.
Adobe has released and reduced the price of its workflow and image editing software, Photoshop Lightroom 4. Version 4 will cost $149/€109, around half the previous price. It features a books creation module, increased support for video files, soft-proofing capability and a Google-Maps-powered geo-tagging module. The final release version comes on the heels of a relatively brief public beta process in which new and current users had the opportunity to provide feedback to Adobe. Upgrades and academic editions have also been reduced to $79/€62.
Camera Zoom FX is a camera control and image enhancement app for Android-based phones, currently available at a 40% discount ($2.99). It offers a wide range of functions including image processing effects and enhancement filters. Boasting a slick, intuitive interface Camera ZOOM FX is one of the most popular photography apps in the Android Marketplace. Joanna Carter of theappwhisperer.com takes a look.
Fujifilm has said it will provide a 'definitive solution' to the white orb blooming problem on its X10 enthusiast compact camera. No further details are available at this point but Fujifilm UK, speaking at the Focus 2012 show in Birmingham UK, said that it is aware of customer concerns and that there will be making a full statement on March 12th.
At the opposite end of the spectrum from its forthcoming 50mm T0.95 lens, SLR Magic has launched three Toy lenses across several mirrorless camera systems. They include a glass-covered 24mm equivalent Pinhole lens for Micro Four Thirds, a 60mm equivalent f/1.4 for the Pentax Q and a 'Bokehmorphic' lens with shaped filters for the Sony E-mount. The 42mm equivalent E-mount lens comes with seven aperture inserts that give differently-shaped bokeh. All three lenses will be available from April 2012.
We've just published images of our standard test scene taken with Nikon's latest professional DSLR, the 16MP D4. These have been shot using a production-standard D4 and, as usual, include both Raw and JPEG images with all original files available for download. Added them to our comparison tool means they can be called-upon from other reviews or the standalone comparison tool. For this test we used the recently-announced Nikon AF-S Nikkor 85mm f/1.8 and we'll be publishing 'real world' galleries from both the D4 and 85mm in the coming days.
We've had a chance to prepare a set of full-resolution studio-based JPEG samples from a pre-production Canon EOS 5D Mark III, at all available ISOs from 50 to 102,800. We've chosen to shoot under low level halogen lighting, which provides a stern test of the camera's sensor and noise reduction systems. Click through to explore what the camera can deliver.
Pentax has announced a silver special edition of its K-5 DSLR, this time combined with the slim DA 40mm F2.8 XS prime lens redesigned by Marc Newson. The latest package, following the silver K-5 body offered in 2011, will be limited to 1,500 examples worldwide. It will be available in April exclusively from Pentax or Ace Photo, at a price of $1599.95 ($100 less, with the lens, than the previous, body-only version).
We've had a chance to handle Canon's EOS 5D Mark III 22MP HD DSLR and have prepared a detailed preview and video. The specifications may initially look a little familiar but almost every component has been updated or improved. It gains most of its ergonomics from the EOS 7D but inherits the sophisticated 61-point AF system from the EOS-1D X. It also comes with a range of movie-focused features and promises of a 2-stop improvement in low-light performance. The camera will be available from the end of March 2012. Click here to find out more.
Canon has announced the Canon EOS 5D Mark III, the latest in its enthusiast full-frame 5D series and successor to the popular EOS 5D Mark II. Based around a 22MP full-frame sensor, it can shoot 6 frames per second and features a 61-point AF system much like the EOS-1D X. It can capture 1080p movies at 24, 25 or 30 fps and offers high quality intraframe (All-I) video compression amongst a host of movie-related improvements. It will be available from the end of March with an MSRP of $3499 / €3299 / £2999.99.
Canon has announced the Speedlite 600EX-RT flash, its first to include wireless radio control, alongside a selection of EOS accessories. A radio frequency transmitter, the Speedlite ST-E3-RT, has also been released and can trigger up to 15 Speedlites at up to 30 meters. Meanwhile, the GP-E2 GPS unit allows for automatic geotagging of images from the latest Canon DSLRs and the WFT-E7 wireless file transmitter can use either a Wi-Fi or Gigabit Ethernet connection to move files from camera to computer or to control the camera. There's also the BG-E11 dual-slot battery grip for the EOS 5D Mark III.
We've just posted our review of the Canon 510 HS (known as the IXUS 1100 HS in Europe). It's a small, stylish point-and-shoot camera with a 12x, 28mm-336mm equiv zoom lens, a backlit 12MP CMOS sensor and a 3.2" touchscreen LCD. Although Canon has recently refreshed its PowerShot lineup, the ELPH 510 HS, released late last year still boasts a compelling feature set - is it the perfect pocketable point-and-shoot? Read our quick review to find out.