News archive for April 2012
We've just posted our review of the Olympus OM-D E-M5. The E-M5 is the first in a line of OM-D Micro Four Thirds cameras, featuring an electronic viewfinder and resembling the company's classic OM line of SLRs. It boasts a 16MP Four Thirds sensor and a '5-axis' image stabilization system, wrapped-up in a compact, weather-sealed magnesium alloy body with a tilting rear screen. It's also one of the most customizable cameras on the market. So does the range-topping camera live up to Olympus' promises? Click here to find out.
Triggertrap has announced a mobile app that converts your iPhone into a highly-configurable remote release for your camera. It works in concert with two hardware components, a 'Mobile Dongle' that connects to the phone plus a suitable camera cable, to offer a wide range of methods to release the shutter. These include timelapse, distance lapse (based upon the phone's GPS), face recognition, and sound, motion, and shock detectors. It can also control High Dynamic Range bracketing up to 19 exposures. A free trial version of the app is available for evaluation purposes. The full app and Mobile Dongle each cost $9.99, and are available now from the iTune App Store and Triggertrap web shop respectively.
Just published: Jeff Keller's in-depth review of the Panasonic Lumix DMC-ZS20 (TZ30 outside the US). The ZS20 is the slimmest 20x zoom camera on the market, with a lens covering a 24-480mm equivalent range and featuring the company's latest Power O.I.S stabilization. The 14MP high-speed MOS sensor allows the ZS20 to autofocus in as little as 0.1 seconds, and shoot at up to 10 frames per second (5fps with AF-tracking). It also has GPS and an updated mapping function to show photos on a map with greater detail. The ZS20 can capture 1080p60 movies in AVCHD or, in an interesting step for one of the creators of AVCHD, it can shoot 1080p30 in MP4 format.
Adobe has released a second Release Candidate version of Lightroom 4.1, its Raw conversion and asset management software. The latest version adds support for 13 additional cameras, including the Nikon D3200, Olympus E-M5, Pentax K-01, Ricoh GXR A16 24-85mm and the three latest Samsung NXs. Interestingly, it also adds an improved 'defringe' option to reduce axial chromatic aberrations. A series of blog posts by Adobe explains the latest changes.
We've just received an updated Fujifilm X10 featuring the revised, orb-resistant sensor, announced in March. We've rushed it straight into our studio to see how it performed, alongside the existing X10 we had been putting through our review process. We'll be doing more in-depth testing, to check whether the changes Fujifilm have made have had any other impact on image quality but, given the interest surrounding the issue, we thought we'd show our preliminary results. (Updated with image quality comparison)
Nikon has announced a voluntary replacement scheme for a sub-standard batch of batteries for its 1 V1, D7000, D800 and D800E cameras. EN-EL15 batteries with an E or F as the 9th character of their serial numbers are at risk of overheating and becoming distorted, though the company says no customers have yet reported the problem. Nikon says it will replace any battery from the affected batch (which only became available after February 29th 2012).
We've prepared a samples gallery using the D3200 - Nikon's latest entry-level DSLR. While many of the features are familiar from the D3100, the latest model incorporates a 24MP sensor, so we thought we'd see what the pictures look like. Given the kind of user it's aimed at, we decided to see what the D3200 could do using the 18-55mm F3.5-5.6 VR II kit lens, at a various of ISO settings and in different lighting conditions. Click here to see how it performs.
Fujifilm has updated the firmware of its X-Pro1 high-end mirrorless camera and the three X-mount lenses that go with it. The updates make a series of changes, including a promise to reduce the aperture 'chattering' that has been common when using the camera. It also adds parallax-correction of frame lines to the optical viewfinder in manual focus mode, along with a series of bug fixes.
We've just launched a redesigned and improved on-site search feature. The search system, currently in beta, is designed to give more relevant results from all of dpreview's editorial and forums content. We've also redesigned the way results are presented, to make it easier to get to the information you wanted. We're looking for user feedback during the beta process to help fine-tune the system and how the results are provided, so there's a 'Feedback' link at the top of every results page, to let you report back to us.
Adobe Camera Raw 7 and Lightroom 4 feature a revamped tool set for making tonal edits to raw (and non-raw) files. The changes are substantial and allow for more refined and intuitive editing options. Professional photographer and best-selling author Martin Evening shows how you can use these latest tools to make extreme corrections to both high and low contrast images.
Adobe has announced Photoshop CS6 and CS6 Extended as part of its latest suite of creative packages. The latest version includes all the features seen in the recent public beta, including a content-aware move, video editing, the blur gallery and Adobe Camera Raw 7, which features a revised series of controls. More than ever Adobe is pushing its subscription option and Internet-based Creative Cloud service. Prices range from $999/£794 ex VAT to buy Photoshop CS6 Extended down to $19.99/£14.29 ex VAT per month for an annual subscription of the basic version.
Medium format maker Mamiya Leaf has launched the Leaf Credo range of digital camera back designed for working with cameras such as the 645DF. There are 80MP, 60MP and 40MP, all CCD based. The Credo backs feature 1.15 million dot touch-screens with touch-sensitive regions that extend beyond the display area. They also all feature FireWire 800 and USB3 connections for fast data transfer.
CameraBag from Nevercenter has been popular with lo-fi photo fans for years as an iOS app. With CameraBag 2 it has redesigned it from the ground up, for desktop computers. With a series for customizable filters, batch processing and support for RAW files, CameraBag 2 is significantly more capable than its mobile ancestor. Click here to read our review.
App developer Jag.gr has launched 645 PRO, a flexible photography and processing app that provides access to the lossless output of the iPhone's camera. The company grabs the processed camera output before the phone compresses it, and saves it as a TIFF file. These files, which it slightly optimistically calls 'Developed Raw,' can then be accessed via iTunes. The app also offers a series of features such as spot metering and exposure, focus and white balance lock, as well as a series of film simulation options and aspect ratio options, but it's the uncompressed output that is, as far as we are aware, unique.
DSLRnewsshooter's Dan Chung has been speaking to Canon USA Technical Advisor Chuck Westfall for more details about the company's 4K Cinema EOS offerings. Both the 500C and 1D C are skewed towards cinema and high-end television production, rather than documentary and news work, Westfall says, but hints that 'peaking' and 'zebra' focusing and exposure aids could be added to the 1D C if the market demands it.
Samsung has completely refreshed its NX series with a range of W-iFi-connected cameras, the NX20, NX210 and NX1000. The NX20 and NX210 replace the NX10 and NX200, while the NX1000 broadens the range with a less expensive, entry-level option. All three cameras are built around the company's 20MP sensor, can shoot at up to 8fps and capture Full HD 1080p24 movies. The NX20 features a high-res SVGA electronic viewfinder and swivel, 'Clear' AMOLED screen with no air gap between the display panel and the protective glass, for improved reflection resistance. The NX210 has the same (non-Clear) AMOLED screen as its predecessor, while the NX1000 has a VGA display. We've had a chance to handle an NX20 and have prepared a first impressions article.
Samsung's launches of the NX20, NX210 and NX1000 bring the company's smartphone connectivity to its NX series, making them the first large sensor cameras to have built-in Wi-Fi as standard. During a recent visit to see Samsung we got an exclusive opportunity to ask senior executives about their vision for the future of the NX line, and for digital photography in general. Read on to find out what Samsung's 'Smart Camera Ecosystem' is all about.
Nikon has announced the D3200 24MP entry-level DSLR that can be used with an optional WU-1a Wi-Fi module. The camera can now shoot up to 1080p30 video (rather than the D3100's 24p) and has a 920k dot LCD, up from 230k dots. Beyond this, and improved continuous shoot rate despite the pixel-count hike, the biggest change is the ability to add the Wi-Fi unit. The WU-1a will sell for a recommended sale price of $59.95/£54.99/€59 and will be able to broadcast to smartphones over a 49ft range. The D3200 is expected in late April at an MSRP of $699.95/£649.99/€699.
Nikon has announced the AF-S Nikkor 28mm f/1.8 G, a fast wideangle lens for full frame SLRs such as the D800. It uses two aspherical elements in its 11 element / 9 group construction, along with Nano Crystal Coat to combat flare and ghosting. It can also be used on DX format cameras, giving a 42mm-equivalent 'normal' angle of view. It will be available from the end of May 2012 at a suggested retail price of $699.95. Updated with specifications.
Olympus has issued a firmware update for the OM-D E-M5, fixing a few minor issues. Operation with SDXC cards larger than 48Gb is now more stable and the display of the focal length for powerzoom lenses has been improved. The v1.1 update is available for installation immediately via the Olympus Digital Camera Updater.
Columbia University has announced the 2012 Pulitzer Prize winners for photography. The prize for Breaking News Photography was awarded to Massoud Hossaini of Agence France-Presse for, 'his heartbreaking image of a girl crying in fear after a suicide bomber’s attack at a crowded shrine in Kabul.' The winner in the Feature Photography category is Craig F. Walker of The Denver Post, 'for his compassionate chronicle of an honorably discharged veteran, home from Iraq and struggling with a severe case of post-traumatic stress.' The annual awards include a cash prize of US$10,000. Information on this year's awards and the winning photographs can be found on the Pulitzer Prizes site.
Corel has announced Service Pack 1.0.1 for AfterShot Pro, the company's photo management, editing and raw processing solution. With this update Corel has added bug fixes, support for 20 new cameras and enhancements such as improved highlight recovery processing and a couple of new plugins. Click through for a link to the download and a full list of the new features and supported cameras.
Blackmagic Designs, a company perhaps best known among film-makers for its external recording boxes, has announced its first camera - the Blackmagic Cinema Camera. It captures 2.5K (2432 x 1366) 12bit RAW footage with a claimed 13 stops of dynamic range on a sensor that is, at 16.64 x 14.04mm, slightly smaller than the Four Thirds standard. It features a Canon EF mount and the compact body includes a capacitive touchscreen and a Thunderbolt connection. EOSHD.com has published first impressions of the camera and what it offers the market.
Carl Zeiss has launched the CZ.2 70-200/T2.9 cine lens at the NAB show in Las Vegas. The company says it allows movie makers to only use one lens to cover the short to long tele range. With a weight of only 2.8kg the lens is also a good addition to smaller and lighter HD video and cine cameras and ideal for hand-held operation. The Compact Zoom CZ.2 70-200/T2.9 will be available in the fourth quarter of 2012, for a recommended retail price of US$19,900/€14,900 (excluding VAT).
Canon has published a product advisory notice acknowledging the existence of a 'light leak' issue on the EOS 5D Mark III. Users of the camera have reported that in dark conditions, switching on the top-LCD's back-illumination or shining a light on it alters the camera's metering, suggesting light is leaking into the body and reaching the metering sensor. The company says it is investigating the problem and possible countermeasures, and will make further announcements once a decision has been made on resolving the issue. The full advisory note is on the Canon USA website. Petapixel reported on the issue and has linked to user videos which illustrate the problem.
Photojournalist and videographer Dan Chung has just got back from Canon's 4K demonstration and product launch, where he saw some footage from pre-production EOS-1D Cs. He also asked some more questions about the EOS-1D C and C500. He spoke to Canon's Tim Smith, who further clarified how the company's Cinema EOS range fits together and says the inability to shoot in PAL-compatible 25p footage 'might need to be looked at.'
Accessory maker Richard Franiec has announced a clip-on cable-release mount for the Samsung NX200. The NX200 has no infrared or USB cable release option, so Franiec has created an arm that extends from the hot shoe to the shutter button and adds a thread to screw in a traditional mechanical cable release. The mount, made from the engineering polymer Delrin, will cost $19.95.
The announcement of Canon's 4K EOS-1D C DSLR, have caused a lot of uncertainty about what the company is trying to achieve and who they're doing it for. Andrew Reid at EOSHD has taken a look at the camera's capabilities and omissions and what they mean for professional cinema production and how it sits alongside the EOS C500. We also spoke to Canon about how it sees the two models co-existing and who it sees at the audience for each camera.
Canon has unveiled its promised 4K capable DSLR, the EOS-1D C, which can capture 4K (4096 x 2160 pixel) video at up to 24p without downscaling, from an APS-H crop of its 18MP full-frame sensor. The camera, which shares the majority of its specifications with the still-awaited 1D X, can also capture 1080p60 or 50p or output it uncompressed over its HDMI connector. Full HD can be captured from a 16:9 crop from the whole sensor, or a smaller, APS-C-like Super 35mm sub-frame that allows the use of Canon's EF Cinema Zoom lenses. The camera will cost around €10,000 (exact price to be confirmed) and will be available from October.
Canon has announced it is developing the EOS C500, a 4K (4096 x 2160 pixel) capable camera in both EF and PL mounts. The camera will be a continuation of the concept of the C300, will be able to capture of Raw 4K video footage and will offer frame rates of up to 120fps in compressed 4K. It will also be be able to capture 2K footage (2,048 x 1,080 pixels) at 12-bit, with 4:4:4 Y'CbCr chroma sub-sampling for high colour resolution. Canon adds that it plans for the camera to be available later in 2012 at a target price of around $30,000.
Canon has said its EOS-1D X professional DSLR will be available from mid-June 2012, following a 'delay to the start of mass production.' The company's latest fast full-frame standard zoom, the EF 24-70mm F2.8L II USM will follow in early-July 2012, it says. No details were given for the causes of the delays, for either product.
Alongside its 4K camera announcements, Canon has also announced two extra Cinema Zoom lenses in both PL and EF mounts. The wideangle CN-E15.5-47mm T2.8 L S and telephoto CN-E30-105mm T2.8 L S are the EF mount versions, with SP suffixes denoting the PL mount versions. Both cover the Super 35mm format and are designed to be lightweight for handheld shooting.
Technology and engineering company Danaher has agreed to buy color specialist X-Rite, for around $625M. X-Rite, which includes the GretagMacbeth and Pantone brands, has color matching products across a variety of industrial sectors, including medical, textiles and beauty products as well as photography and print production. Danaher says the purchase will complement its Esko packaging and print, and Videojet product coding and marking businesses. X-Rite will continue to operate as a stand-alone company within Danaher's Industrial Technologies group.
We've just published our review of the Panasonic DMC-FZ150 24x superzoom. Successor to the slightly underwhelming FZ100, the Raw-shooting CMOS-powered FZ150 incorporates a lower-resolution 12MP sensor that the company says will outperform its predecessor's 14MP chip. The camera's 25-600mm equivalent lens incorporates 'Nano Surface Coating' to mitigate the effects of internal reflections. It can also shoot 1080p60 HD movies in the recently-created AVCHD Progressive standard. Is this the serious superzoom that enthusiasts have been waiting for? Read our review to find out.
DxO Labs has launched DxO Optics Pro v7.2.2, adding support for the Nikon D4, Olympus XZ-1 and PEN E-P1. The additions, which include a selection of camera/lens pairings for the PEN and D4, take the number of optical correction modules in DxO Optics Pro to more than 6000, with 500 added since February 2012. The D4 is only available to users of the Elite edition of Optics Pro. As usual, a 30-day free trial of the software is available.
Just posted: our review of Sigma's SD1 Merrill, the company's flagship 15MPx3 DSLR. The SD1 is the first camera to use the latest APS-C Foveon sensor, which detects three-color data at each location, giving what Sigma says is resolution equivalent to a 30MP conventional Bayer design. We've used both an original SD1 and SD1 Merrill, which are identical in terms of function and output, and the review reflects the behavior of the latest firmware for each. So does the no live view, no video SD1 deliver enough to carve out its own niche?
Just as Instagram looked to expand its ambitions as a mobile photo sharing network, it has been bought by Facebook for $1bn. Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg says his company 'need[s] to be mindful about keeping and building on Instagram's strengths and features, rather than just trying to integrate everything into Facebook.' He stresses the importance of growing the service independently of Facebook and voices support for Instagram's recent expansion to easily share images from other Apps, such as Hipstamatic and Camera Awesome.
We've just posted a gallery of real-world sample images shot using a production-standard Canon EOS 5D Mark III. We've been out shooting with a range of lenses and in a variety of lighting conditions with Canon's latest full-frame DSLR, superseding our preview gallery that was shot with a pre-production camera. The gallery includes some shots processed with Adobe Camera Raw and a shot using the camera's multiple exposure feature.
Tamron USA has announced pricing and availability of its SP 24-70mm F/2.8 Di VC USD image-stabilized fast zoom lens. Canon and Nikon mount versions of the lens will be available from April 26th 2012, at a MSRP of $1299. The Sony version, without image stabilization, will follow at a later, unspecified date. The lens is compatible with both full-frame and APS-C cameras, includes a moisture-resistant body, and a rounded aperture for attractive background blur.
Panasonic has formally announced the much-discussed DMC-GF5. We've had a pre-production GF5 for a couple of days, so we've had a look at what's changed and what the diminutive Micro Four Thirds camera offers to compact camera users looking for better image quality but still wanting the option to simply point and shoot. The 12MP camera is a subtle revision over the GF3, but a higher-res screen, refined user interface and the inclusion of Panasonic's retractable 14-42mm power zoom lens for a list price of $749.99/£579 makes it worth looking at.
Carl Zeiss has announced two videography-orientated lenses to add to its CP.2 Compact Prime range, a 15mm and a 135mm. The lenses, to be unveiled at the NAB broadcast industry trade show in Las Vegas, are the CP.2 15mm T/2.9 and CP.2 135mm T/2.1. Both lenses are color-matched to allow consistency in footage shot with different lenses, and feature interchangeable mounts, allowing use with PL, EF, F, MFT and E mounts. The two lenses will be available in the fourth quarter of 2012 at an MSRP of €4,200 / US$5,700 (excluding VAT).
Fujifilm has issued another firmware update for the X100, fixing a couple of bugs introduced in the previous update. Firmware version 1.21 fixes some problems with using the AEL/AFL button to perform a focus acquisition in manual focus mode, that occurred with v1.20. It is available for immediate download.
Award-winning photojournalist and videographer Dan Chung from DSLR News Shooter has just posted a video shootout pitting the Canon EOS 5D Mark III against the Nikon D800. In the interesting and in-depth article accompanying it, Chung looks at the video features of both cameras in detail and compares them, not only in terms of output quality, but also usability.
Flickr has added the option to use the Aviary photo editing service, following Google's decision to close the Picnik service that had previously been offered. Flickr users will be able to make basic edits and image corrections using Aviary which, unlike Picnik, is HTML 5-based - allowing its use on non-Flash devices such as the iPad. However, while Aviary offers similar cropping, filter and sticker options, it loses Picnik's paintable curves adjustments and other more advanced options.
Just Posted: First impressions of the Fujifilm X-Pro1. We've been using a production standard X-Pro1 for a little while now, as we work on our review. We took this opportunity to write about our impressions of the camera, including a look at the lenses Fujifilm has developed and whether the Pro1 features the quirkiness of the elegant but initially troubled X100. What's it like to shoot with the X-Pro1 and are the images as attractive as the camera's design? Read on to find out.
Instagram, one of the most popular photo processing and sharing apps is now available for Android. The free app, which works with Android 2.2 or newer, is initially missing a couple of the iOS app's features (such as tilt-shift and blur), which the company will add soon. As well as processing, the app uploads images to Instagram's sharing service, which has recently been expanded to include submissions from other popular apps such as Hipstamatic and Camera Awesome.
Canon has launched the EOS 60Da, a variant of its 60D DSLR tuned for astrophotography. The camera features a re-worked infra-red filter leaving the camera more sensitive to a specific emission frequency (656nm) of hydrogen, key to capturing images of features such as nebulae (gas clouds) in space. The 18MP camera continues where 2005's 8MP EOS 20Da left off. It will be available from a limited number of authorized dealers at a price of around $1499.00/£1174.99.
Sony has announced the NEX_FS700 pro-grade 4k-capable E-mount camcorder. The camera will initially offer 1080p video, switchable between 50Hz and 60Hz frame rates (including 60p, 50p, 60i and 24p). A later upgrade will enable 4k capture and Raw output from its built-in 3G-SDI connector. The camera is also able to capture slow-motion footage, shooting at up to 960 fps at reduced resolution (240fps in Full HD). It also offers built-in 2- and 4-stop ND filters (which can be combined), to allow lenses to be used at wide apertures in bright light.