News archive for September 2012
Just Posted: Our quick review of the Manfrotto Solo VI DSLR holster bag. The Solo VI is Manfrotto's premiere holster-style bag, and Manfrotto claims it is big enough to accomodate a full-frame DSLR with a 100-400mm lens attached. The distinctive Solo VI belongs to Manfrotto's 'Stile' range of bags, but is there substance behind the stile? Click through to find out.
Following months of speculation, Olympus has confirmed it will enter a partnership with Sony. Sony has bought 21.2m shares in Olympus, at a value of ¥31bn ($397m). The deal does not constitute a merger or takeover, but will see the companies work together and exchange technologies. Olympus President, Hiroyuki Sasa's statement explains 'In the field of digital cameras, we will seek to achieve collaboration in a manner that further improves the competitiveness of the two companies.'
Epson has developed a higher resolution, XGA version of its LCD panel used for electronic viewfinders. The latest version of the company's Ultimicron technology offers the same 2.4m dot resolution (1024 x 768 x 3) as the Sony OLED viewfinders used in recent Sony and Fujifilm cameras. SVGA (800 x 600 x 3) versions of Epson's technology are already used in the Olympus OM-D E-M5, along with add-on finders for Olympus, Ricoh and Leica cameras. This additional option for a high-resolution finder can only be positive for the next generation of mirrorless cameras.
In an ongoing effort to improve the performance and user experience on dpreview, we've completely redesigned the forums from the ground up, and will be launching the new version in the coming week. We want to create something you're happy with, so are looking for feedback, positive or critical, as we make the finishing touches. Click through for an overview of the new design.
Updated: We've just added studio comparison images and a gallery of 'real world' sample shots to our hands-on preview of the Nikon D600. Nikon's latest DSLR offers 24MP resolution and an FX format (full frame) sensor, and is Nikon's most affordable full-frame model yet. As well as studio comparison images shot at all ISO sensitivity settings in both JPEG and Raw capture modes, we've also added a new gallery of real-world samples taken using the 'kit' option AF-S Nikkor 24-85mm F3.5-4.5G ED VR zoom. Click through for links to the extra content.
Manfrotto has announced the Klyp, an iPhone case that allows the use of mini tripods and LED lighting panels. The company rather entertainingly talks in terms of turning the iPhone into 'a complete and professional camera,' but the ability to attach supports and lighting will undoubtedly be useful. The case allows accessories to be clipped-on at various points around the phone, allowing use in different orientations, and packages are available that include the company's compact LED light panels. The case, which fits the iPhone 4 and 4S, will retail for around £25, with lighting a tripod bundles also available
Photokina 2012 was arguably the most exciting show for years, for enthusiast photographers. Whether you've been waiting for a more affordable full-frame camera, looking for a mirrorless camera designed for an experienced user or you want a pocketable camera to live alongside your DSLR, there was something on show for you in Cologne. And much of that risked getting drowned-out by most of these products being launched on the same day. Read our round-up of the show to find out what you might have missed-out on.
Sony is planning to invest ¥50bn ($642m) in troubled medical and photographic company Olympus, according to news agency Reuters. The report says three sources have confirmed Sony approve a move to take a 10% stake in Olympus, which is still reeling from the revelations that its executives covered-up $1.7bn of loses dating back to the 1990s. The report comes a day after former Olympus Chairman Tsuyoshi Kikukawa and two other former executives pleaded guilty to fraud charges relating to the cover-up.
In this Photokina interview - the second of two with Dirk Jasper, Nikon's Product Manager for Professional Products and Product Planning - we spoke to Dirk about the development of the Nikon 1 System, as it marks its first anniversary, and the challenges of creating a hybrid 'connected camera'. In this interview, Dirk explains why the Android-powered Coolpix S800c is a more serious compact that Samsung's Galaxy Camera and how despite the fact that it was never meant to be a 'professional' system, the Nikon 1 became number one in Europe.
Just Posted: Sample images using the Fujifilm X100 with the WCL-X100 wide-angle conversion lens. We attached the converter to a Fuji X100 and used it to take pictures around Seattle for a real world samples gallery that showcases how the camera performs with the adapter. As always original, out-of-camera, JPEGs can be downloaded for closer examination.
ACD Systems has announced ACDSee Pro 6 and ACDSee 15, its image management and editing tools for Windows. Coming a year after the previous versions, the latest incarnations include a selection of tool improvements and smarter keyword handling. Both also gain improved noise reduction for working with high ISO images. On top of these, ACDSee Pro 6 gains native 64-bit support and a non-destructive adjustment brush for applying edits without affecting the underlying file, along with a list of tweaks and changes. The more basic ACDSee 15 gains color management for the first time. ACDSee Pro 6 will cost around $100 with version 15 costing half that.
Adobe has released version 11 of Photoshop Elements, its entry-level image-editing software. This latest version introduces a redesigned UI featuring a brighter background and larger type for greater readability along with easier access to commonly used tools. A Quick Edit mode offers a simplified interface for beginners while seasoned users can take advantage of new lens blur filters, tilt-shift, vignetting and contrast editing tools. It is available for $99.99, or $149.99 as a bundle with Premiere Elements 11, Adobe's video-editing software. Upgrade pricing is available for existing users.
Take Better Photos has published an insightful look at the iPhone5, from a photographer's perspective. In keeping with the site's maxim that photography should be a joy, not a science exam, the article looks at how the latest handset behaves, compared to its predecessor (and compared to cameras including the Nikon D3). However, this photographic focus doesn't preclude some more technical detail about the new camera's program line and just how effective its 'dynamic low light mode' is. Click here to read more.
British newcomer OMG Life has created Autographer, an 'intelligent' wearable camera that uses an array of built-in sensors to take pictures automatically triggered by changes in its environment. It uses a semi-fisheye lens with a 136° angle of view in front of a 5MP backlit-CMOS sensor, and the shutter is triggered at key moments based on input from six internal sensors. The company thinks it should appeal to anyone interested in recording an event without having to operate a camera, or as an additional tool for documentary photographers. Images are stored in internal memory, and can be transferred to a smartphone using Bluetooth for viewing; alternatively they can be compiled into movies using the supplied software. It'll go on sale in November from the company's website for £399.
The medium format S system was 'the biggest risk Leica has ever taken,' says Stephan Schulz, the company's head of Professional Imaging. But, with the latest S 'our goal is to become market leader,' he says. We spoke to Schulz about his strategy to give professionals faith in the system and how the new Hasselblad adapter will help the company regain the professional market it lost in the 1980s. He also explains why only people with no experience of medium format see the Nikon D800 as a threat to the 37.5MP 'S.'
Photokina 2012: Fujifilm has been showing off the way its X-Pro1's hybrid viewfinder will behave when used with zoom lenses - which we demonstrate in a video. It has also moved to quell suggestions that its XF lenses are ready for a full-frame X-mount camera. 'It would not work - XF lenses could not be used with a full-frame sensor,' said Hiroshi Kawahara, operations manager of Fujifilm's product planning division. He also drew our attention to the way X-Pro1 users will be able to use the hybrid viewfinder with zoom lenses - a feature that will be added in a forthcoming firmware update.
The tech-elves over at iFixit.com have published a complete teardown of the new iPhone 5, barely hours after the handset first became available. Obviously, we're most interested in the camera, which according to Apple, will give improved image quality over its predecessor. Although a teardown doesn't reveal much about how the new device will actually perform, it's interesting to see everything reduced to its component parts. Click through for more information and a link to the complete teardown. But be warned - the more squeamish among you may prefer to look away.
Low weight, portability and ease of use are not words and phrases used to describe the average mid-size tripod, but the Tamrac ZipShot is designed to satisfy all three requirements. Unlike conventional 'telescoping' leg tripods, the ZipShot is constructed of thin, circular aluminum legs that are segmented in four places and strung together via a hefty elastic band. When the two maroon safety bands are released, the tripod's legs will fall, snapping into place in an instant. Is this lightweight, easy-to-assemble tripod the answer to a travelling photographer's prayers? Read our quick review to find out.
'I think Canon has a different approach to us. With the D600 we are really concentrating on the photographic features and we're trying to give the best photographic package that we can' says Dirk Jasper, product manager for professional imaging at Nikon Europe. We spoke to him about Nikon's latest full frame SLR, and he explained some of the choices that went into the creation of the D600, including who it's designed for and how it's different from the competition. Click through to read the full interview.
'Once you use the Galaxy Camera you won't be able to go back to a conventional camera,' says Samsung's VP of Sales and Marketing, Sun Hong Lim. We spoke to him to discuss Samsung's Galaxy Camera that combines the camera of its WB850F with the capabilities of its Galaxy SIII smartphone, to create one of the first true camera/smartphone hybrids. He explains why connectivity will be a keyword in the era of cloud computing and why he's not interested in low-end compact cameras. Click here to read the full interview.
Adobe has reported that earnings for its current quarter will remain flat or decline as customers have signed up for its Creative Cloud subscription services at a faster than expected rate. On this basis, Adobe has predicted Q4 earnings of between 53-58 cents per share on expected revenus of between $1.075 and $1.125 billion, falling shy of analysts' estimates. This reflects an expected 25,000 additional Creative Cloud subscribers. (via Reuters)
Iceland is a destination filled with once-in-a-lifetime photographic opportunities. Professional photographer Erez Marom shares his experiences of shooting this remarkable landscape in all its winter glory. Read what it's like to venture into ice caves, shoot sunsets across a glacier lagoon and experience the northern lights in a locale like no other.
Responding to the swift and negative reaction to its just-announced Lunar mirrorless camera, Hasselblad's business development manager, Luca Alessandrini, forcefully defended the venerable camera maker's new partnership with Sony in an interview with the British Journal of Photography. Alessandrini also says that the decision to use the NEX-7 Sony sensor for the first Lunar camera doesn't preclude the company from making sensor modifications for future models.
Apple has released version 1.1 of iPhoto for iOS, with support for images up to 36.5MP (on the third-generation iPad) and full resolution photo import via iTunes File Sharing. Other additions include six new Ink Effects and the ability to create tag albums by adding custom tags to photos. You can upload video to Facebook and set location and friend tags. iPhoto for iOS v1.1 requires iOS6 and is free to existing v1 users or can be purchased for $4.99 from Apple's App Store.
Pentax hasn't been idle in 2012, and just before the opening of Photokina, it refreshed its popular K-5 DSLR, releasing two new models, the K-5 II and the K-5 IIS, which lacks an anti-aliasing filter, for greater detail resolution. Barnaby Britton caught up with John Carson, Sr. Manager of Sales & Marketing at Pentax Imaging USA, and asked him about the new DSLRs, the tiny Q, and why designers love the K-01.
Leica has announced that it is in discussions with Sir Jonathan Ive - chief designer at Apple - about designing a unique, one-of-a-kind version of its new M rangefinder. In a statement to the British Journal of Photography, Leica has confirmed that the intention is for the resulting camera to be auctioned for charity in summer 2013. Sir Jonathan Ive is one of the most well-known industrial designers in the world, and is responsible for the design of some of Apple's most iconic products, including the iMac and iPhone.
Photokina 2012 is proving a busy show for Leica, with two new M models, the 'M', which succeeds the M9, and offers live view and movie mode, among other refinements, and the ME - a cut-down model, which offers the same functionality as the M9 at a more affordable price. Barnaby Britton caught up with M product manager Jesko von Oeynhausen at the Leica stand.
Fujifilm has released firmware version 2 for the X-Pro1 mirrorless camera, that it promised before Photokina. The update improves aspects of the camera's operation that we criticised in our review, most notably focusing, both auto and manual. Firmware updates for each of the lenses are also required, and downloadable from Fujifilm's website. We've quickly tested the firmware and seen substantial improvements in both manual focus operation and autofocus speed - indeed we'd recommend all X-Pro1 owners install it. Click through for more details.
Sony and Hasselblad have announced a partnership that will result in an E-mount camera, a compact camera and a product for the DSLR segment. Hasselblad says the aim of the partnership is to 'cultivate new markets for photo enthusiasts and consumer digital imaging products' and will begin with an E-mount camera, called the Hasselblad Lunar. The use of the words 'DSLR segment' implicity doesn't rule-out the possibility that Hasselblad will adopt Sony's SLT system (or simply re-brand one of its models).
Photokina 2012: Hasselblad plans to release a mirrorless interchangeable lens camera utilizing Sony's E-Mount. The Hasselblad Lunar, which is expected to cost around €5000 (~$6500) appears to share a lot of technology with Sony's recent NEX-7 model, including the same 24.3MP CMOS sensor, OLED 'True Finder' EVF, and the 'TriNavi' navigation system. The Lunar, which is set for launch in the first quarter of 2013, will be available 'in a choice of standard models plus a variety of exclusive hand grips and precious materials on special order.' [Updated with images of mockups]
Bag maker Think Tank has announced two new products. The Airport Navigator is a rolling pilot's case that allows access to your gear from both the top and front. It is designed to hold two pro-size bodies and three to six lenses, two flash units, an iPad and laptop. The company has also announced a new line of CityWalker messenger-style shoulder bags. These come in three sizes, each capable of holding a standard-size camera body and medium range zoom. Both the Airport Navigator and CityWalker bags are to be released in November.
Google has acquired Nik Software, the San Diego-based maker of standalone and plug-in image editing tools. While Nik has a wide portfolio of products for photographers, industry insiders agree that the impetus behind the move was to acquire Snapseed, Nik's mobile image editing and sharing app. In light of Facebook's earlier acquisition of the highly popular Instagram app, the acquisition of one of its rivals is seen as an effort to make Google+ more attractive to mobile photographers. Financial terms have not been disclosed but Google's Senior Vice President of Engineering has stated the company's committment to Nik's plugins and high-end software.
Photokina 2012: Leica has announced its latest M series rangefinder - the 24MP CMOS Leica M. The company says all future M models will also simply be called the 'M'. The latest model (referred to as 'Typ 240') becomes the first of its rangefinders to feature live view, and offers a choice of magnified view or focus peaking for precise through-the-lens focusing, allowing Leica to promise compatibilty with R-mount lenses. It also becomes the first M capable of movie shooting - capturing 1080p footage at 25 or 24 frames per second. It includes a 920k dot LCD with smartphone-style Gorilla Glass cover, and accepts the same plug-in EVF as used by the X2. Availability is scheduled for early 2013 with a retail price of $6,950 in the US and £5100 in the UK.
Photokina 2012: Leica has announced a more affordable rangefinder: the Leica M-E. Built around the familiar full-frame 18MP CCD, the company describes the M-E as being a stripped-back camera, offering just the basics required for photography. Its core specifications are essentially the same as the M9's, including an ISO range of 160-2500, 0.68x magnification viewfinder, and the same 230k dot 2.5" screen. It'll be available from Leica dealers later this month with a retail price of $5,450 in the US and £3900 in the UK.
Photokina 2012: Leica has announced its latest S series medium format camera body. The new model retains its predecessor's 37.5MP resolution but has improved image processing, a sensitivity range of ISO 100-1600, a 2GB image buffer and 166MB/s transfer rate. A new predictive AF system and 920k dot resolution rear LCD panel round out the highlights, along with an internal GPS module. The camera will be available in December for a retail price of US $21,950. Three new lenses for the system have also been announced; the Super-Elmar-S 24 mm f/3.5 ASPH, Vario-Elmar-S 30-90 mm f/3.5-5.6 ASPH and TS-APO- Elmar-S 120 mm f/5.6 ASPH. tilt/shift lens.
Just Posted: Our hands-on preview of Canon's enthusiast-grade full frame DSLR, the EOS 6D. The 6D features a newly-developed 20.2MP CMOS sensor and a magnesium alloy body. To distinguish it from the more expensive 5D Mark III, the 6D features a simpler, 11-point AF system with a single cross-type focus sensor. It also features a smaller, 97% coverage viewfinder. What do these, and a handful of other, omissions mean for the 6D and how to it match up to Nikon's D600? Read our hands-on preview to find out.
Just Posted: Our Panasonic Lumix DMC-GH3 preview. The GH3 builds on the success Panasonic had with its GH2. With more rugged magnesium alloy construction and a new 16MP sensor, it offers plenty for stills photographers but it's the video specifications that make it a stand-out. Panasonic has been asking video professionals what they wanted out of a camera. Is the GH3 the camera they've been asking for? Read our hands-on preview to find out.
Just Posted: Our hands-on preview of the Olympus PEN E-PL5 and PEN E-PM2. The two baby PENs, the Lite and Mini have done a good job of offering some of the least exensive mirrorless cameras on the market but have, until now, relied on an ageing 12MP sensor. Now the OM-D's 16MP sensor makes its way into both the latest PEN Lite (the E-PL5) and the PEN Mini (the E-PM2). They also gain touch screens and a series of other updates. Read our preview to find out more, which includes a small gallery of real-world samples from the E-PL5.
Just Posted: Our Fujifilm XF1 hands-on preview. Fujifilm has starting making cameras worth taking seriously with its X-series, both at the compact camera and interchangeable lens end of the spectrum. The XF1 uses the 2/3"-type sensor from the XS1 and X10, and builds it into an attractive, retro-styled compact body with a usefully fast lens that includes a retracting mechanical zoom ring. How does it stack up against its rivals? Read our preview to find out.
Just Posted: Our Canon PowerShot G15 hands-on preview. It would have been easy to assume the small-sensor PowerShot G series was at an end when Canon introduced the 1.5" sensor G1 X, but the G15 continues the 1/1.7" sensor tradition and looks back to the series' beginnings with the addition of a bright lens. The 28-140mm equivalent, F1.8-2.8 lens offers a pretty impressive specification in anyone's book (it's over a stop brighter than the G12, all the way through the range). So is the camera to stand up to the enthusiast camera onslaught? Read our preview to find out our early thoughts.
Just Posted: Our Canon PowerShot S110 hands-on preview. Canon's latest enthusiast 'shirt-pocket' compact looks very similar to last year's S100, but gains a touchscreen and built-in WiFi connectivity at the expense of its predecessor's GPS. But the S110 is entering a more-crowded market place, with larger-sensored rivals now available. So what does it offer to stay competitive? Read our preview to find out more about it.
Photokina 2012: Canon has announced the EOS 6D, a smaller, lighter and more affordable full frame DSLR for enthusiast photographers. The 20.2MP camera uses a newly-developed sensor and features an 11-point autofocus system with a single cross-type sensor. Canon says it will focus in lower light than any of its previous cameras. The 6D becomes the company's first EOS model to include GPS and Wi-Fi, to make sharing images easier. It uses its large sensor to offer a native ISO range of 100-25,600, expandable to 50-102,400.
Photokina 2012: Panasonic has unveiled the DMC-GH3, its most movie-orientated Micro Four Thirds camera yet. The GH3 is built around a new 16MP sensor, which the company promises will offer improved image quality. In addition the camera, which now features a larger and weather-sealed magnesium alloy body, is packed with videographer-friendly features. These include 3.5mm mic and headphone sockets, 60p/60i/30p/24p output, All-I or IPB compression options (at up to 80 or 50 Mbps respectively) and timecode support. There will also be the option of a battery grip to allow shooting for longer periods.
Photokina 2012: Olympus has refreshed its PEN series with the PEN Lite E-PL5 and PEN Mini E-PM2 16MP touch-screen mirrorless cameras. Both models feature the 16MP sensor and TruePic VI image processor first seen in the OM-D E-M5. Both cameras also gain 460,000 dot, touch-sensitive rear LCDs, with the ability to focus and shoot by touching the screen. They can also shoot at 8 frames per second. The E-PL5 offers a mode dial, an extra button, flip-up LCD and E-P3-style screw-on front grip over the PEN Mini. The E-PL5 will cost $699 with the 14-42mm retractable zoom, while the E-PM2 will cost $599 with the same lens.
Photokina 2012: Olympus has unveiled the XZ-2 enthusiast compact camera with a 12MP 1/1.7" back-illumination CMOS sensor and touch-screen. The XZ-2 features the same 28-112mm equivalent F1.8-2.5 lens as the XZ-1 but adds a more modern sensor, screw-on hand grips, tilting touch-screen and a two-mode control dial around the lens. In one mode the dial features click-stops, allowing control over discrete features such as aperture or exposure compensation, but flip the switch on the front of the camera and the ring rotates smoothly, and switches to controlling zoom or manual focus. The XZ-2 will sell for around $599/£479.99.
Photokina 2012: Canon has refreshed its G-series enthusiast compact with the G15, and created the implausible SX50 HS. The G15 is a successor to the G12 and is built around a 12MP, 1/1.7" CMOS sensor. Its lens also gets an upgrade - retaining its 28-140mm range but now with a maximum aperture of F1.8-2.8. It loses the G12's articulated screen but gains a higher-resolution, 920k dot panel. Meanwhile the SX50 HS features a remarkable 24-1200mm equivalent 50x zoom, thanks to its smaller 1/2.3" CMOS sensor.
Photokina 2012: Canon updates its S series with the PowerShot S110. The S110 is a gentle refresh of the S100, gaining Wi-Fi capability and a touchscreen, alongside an updated 12MP CMOS sensor. It retains the stabilized 24-100mm equivalent, F2.0-5.9 zoom, Digic 5 processor and GPS capability from its predecessor. The only visual change from the S100 is the loss of the ridge grip on the camera's front. The S110 will cost around $449 and will be available in black or white.
Leica has announced the D-Lux 6 - a fast-lensed compact designed for enthusiast photographers. It's Leica's reworking of the Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX7, and shares that model's key features; a super-fast F1.4-2.3 24-90mm equivalent lens in front of a 10.1MP 1/1.7" CMOS sensor. It has an aperture ring around the lens, records FullHD movies at 60fps, and accepts a high resolution plug-in electronic viewfinder, the EVF3.
Photokina 2012: Leica has revealed the V-Lux 4 - a 24X superzoom with an impressive constant F2.8 lens and high-resolution electronic viewfinder. That fast lens means that it should be easier to capture high-quality images at the full extent of the zoom, without having to use high ISO settings. It also has a 1.3m dot equivalent electronic viewfinder and a 460k dot, 3" articulated screen. The V-Lux 4 can also shoot at 12 frames per second and can capture 1080p video at 60fps or 720p at up to 120fps.
Photokina 2012: Fujifilm has launched the XF1, a 12MP pocketable enthusiast compact camera. The XF1 features classic styling, a 25-100mm equivalent, F1.8-4.9 image-stabilized lens and a fairly large 2/3" CMOS sensor. The XF1 uses Fujifilm's EXR technology to offer improved noise or dynamic range modes at 6MP output. The camera features aluminium construction with a synthetic leather grip in one of three colors, and has a unique retracting mechanical zoom ring. Fujifilm promises fast response times and rapid focusing.
Photokina 2012: Samsung has announced two lenses for its NX mirrorless camera system, a 12-24mm F4-5.6 ultra-wideangle zoom and a 45mm F1.8 short telephoto prime. With angles of view equivalent to 18.5-37mm and 69mm respectively, both are billed by Samsung as lightweight and portable, and feature the company's unique i-Function control system. The 45mm also uses a stepper motor for fast and quiet autofocus.
Photokina 2012: Olympus has launched two lenses for the Micro Four Thirds system, including the M.Zuiko Digital ED 60mm 1:2.8 Macro, and announced it is developing a 17mm F1.8 fast prime. It has also made an unusual 15mm F8 'body cap lens' that's just 9mm thick. The final lens is a special edition black version of its existing high-end 12mm F2.0 prime. The 60mm Macro will cost around $499/£429, and the black 12mm F2.0 will be $1099/£849.
Photokina 2012: Panasonic has formally announced the Lumix G X 35-100mm F2.8 lens, a fast telephoto zoom for Micro Four Thirds cameras such as the co-announced DMC-GH3. The metal body is dust- and splash-proof to match the GH3, and both zoom and focus are internal. The lens also features 'Power OIS' optical image stabilization, and uses Panasonic's Nano Surface Coating to minimize flare and ghosting.
Photokina 2012: Sigma has announced it will brand its lenses in three categories and has introduced a new lens in each of the categories. The 'Contemporary' range will cover compact, flexible zooms, such as the new, smaller 17-70mm F2.8-4 DC OS Macro designed for APS-C DSLRs. The 'Art' range will include lenses such as primes, wide-angles and macros, and a new 35mm F1.4 DG HSM covering a full-frame imaging circle. Finally, the 'Sports' range will encompass Sigma's telephoto primes, telephoto zooms and superzooms, such as the new 120-300mm F2.8 DG OS HSM.
Lexar has announced its Professional 256GB SDXC UHS-I memory card, offering the industry's highest storage capacity to date in an SDXC card. In addition to providing longer recording times for HD video capture, the Class 10 card offers a guaranteed read speed of 60MB/s, enabling faster transfers of video files and high resolution images to a computer. It will become available in October with a retail price of $899.99 in the US and £670.99 in the UK.
Photokina 2012: Phase One has announced the 645DF+ camera platform and Schneider Kreuznach 28mm LS f/4.5 Aspherical lens. The 645DF+ supports more than 50 digital backs and 80 lenses and can be used both with a focal plane or leaf shutter lenses, leading Phase One to call it 'the world's more versatile camera platform for high end photography.' The 645DF+, which will also be sold under the Mamiya brand name by Mamiya Leaf, can shoot at shutter speeds of up to 1/4000th of a second and can sync with strobes at up to 1/1600th with leaf-shutter lenses such as the Schneider 28mm. The lens offers a 102° field-of-view (equivalent to around 17.5mm in 135 terms) and will focus down to 35cm. The camera and lens command prices of around $5990/€4290 each and will both be available from October 2012.
Photokina 2012: Hong Kong lens maker SLR Magic will be showing four prototype lenses for mirrorless cameras at Photokina - 25mm T0.95, 35mm T0.95, 35mm T1.4, and 23mm F1.7 designs. The SLR Magic HyperPrime 23mm F1.7 has been completely redesigned from the previous version, and will be introduced in February 2013 at an MSRP of US$399 in Micro Four Thirds, Sony E and Fujifilm X mounts. The SLR Magic CINE 35mm T1.4 will be made in the same mounts, and go on sale in December 2012 for US$279. Meanwhile the 25mm T0.95 and 35mm T0.95 are based on the existing 50mm T0.95 design, and will cost US $649 and US $1,249 respectively. All will feature manual focus and aperture control.
Just Posted: Our review of the Sony Alpha SLT-A57. The A57 replaces the A55 which co-launched Sony's translucent fixed-mirror SLT lineup. While the A57 retains the same 16MP resolution of its predecessor, it inherits an impressive host of features from more recent NEX and SLT models. A 10fps full resolution burst mode, manual focus 'peaking' and class-leading 1080p60 video headline the specs of a beginner-friendly DSLR that, on paper, stacks up very well against the competition. At a street price of $700 with kit lens, is the A57 a compelling alternative for users looking for an affordable and versatile DSLR? Read our in-depth review to find out.
Photokina 2012: Samyang has announced that it will be showing a protoype of a 10mm 1:2.8 ED AS UMC CS lens at Photokina. With its 15mm-equivalent, 110 degree angle of view, it will be the widest-angle rectilinear prime lens for APS-C/DX format SLRs. As usual for Samyang, focusing will be manual only. The lens is expected to go on sale towards the end of 2012.
Just Posted: Sample images from the Nikon D600 24MP full frame DSLR. We got the chance to go shooting with the D600 in New York and have prepared a real world preview samples gallery. We grabbed a series of shots covering a range of subjects in a variety of lighting conditions to give a taste of the camera's image quality. As always original, out-of-camera, JPEGs can be downloaded for closer examination. We hope to add to the gallery as soon as we get some more time. [Updated with full ISO range series]
Just Posted: Our hands-on Nikon D600 preview. The D600 is the much-rumored, long-awaited and much-in-demand enthusiast-level full-frame DSLR. The D600 combines a 24MP full-frame sensor with a feature set that seems to build from the familiar and well-regarded technologies on the D7000. It also gains a dash of D800, for substantially less money. We've been getting-to-grips with the D600 for a while and have prepared a hands-on preview article, looking at exactly what the D600 offers for $2100/£1955/€2149.
Photokina 2012: Tamron has announced the SP 70-200mm F/2.8 Di VC USD, a fast telephoto zoom lens that features optical image stabilization and an ultrasonic-type autofocus motor. Designed for both full frame and APS-C cameras, it's billed as the smallest in its class. It features moisture-resistant construction, and has a circular aperture diaphragm for pleasing rendition of out-of-focus backgrounds. It'll be available in Canon, Nikon and Sony mounts towards the end of 2012, but pricing is not yet available.
Photokina 2012: Nikon has announced the D600, the smallest, least expensive full frame DSLR on the market, aimed directly at enthusiast photographers. The D600 is built around a 24MP, 36x24mm, CMOS sensor and crams many of the features of the more expensive D800 into a distinctly D7000-esque body. It features a 100% coverage viewfinder and 39-point autofocus system, nine of which are cross-type points. It can capture 1080p HD video at 30, 25 or 24 frames per second and can stream uncompressed footage out over its HDMI port. There's also an optional Wi-Fi unit allowing the camera to be controlled remotely from an Android or iOS device. The D600 will have a list price of $2,099 body only, or $2,699 with the 24-85mm F3.5-5.6 lens and will be available from September 18th.
Nikon has announced the 1 Nikkor 18.5mm F1.8 fast 'normal' prime lens for its 1 system mirrorless cameras. The 18.5mm lens offers a field of view equivalent to that of a 50mm lens on a full-frame camera. Its wide maximum aperture makes it easier to get the most out of the 1 system cameras in low light and to produce shallow depth-of-field images. The lens will be available in black, white or silver, at a cost of around $189.95.
Just Posted: Our hands-on Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX1 preview article with video preview. You may well have already heard about Sony's full frame compact camera with a fixed 35mm F2 Carl Zeiss Sonnar T* lens. We've had a chance to play with a pre-production RX1, delve through the menus and discuss its technologies with Sony. We've prepared a four-page preview detailing the RX1's features and capabilities and discussing whether we think the world is ready for a $2800 full frame, fixed-lens camera.
Just Posted: Our hands-on Sony SLT-A99 preview article and video. The A99 is the company's flagship full-frame interchangeable lens camera, offering a 24MP CMOS sensor with on-sensor phase-detection autofocus. This combines with the dedicated conventional phase-detection sensor to offer a series of never-before-seen features. We look at these and several of the A99's other key stills and movie shooting capabilities in our hands-on preview.
Just Posted: We've had a chance to use the Sony Alpha NEX-6 with its 16-50mm F3.5-5.6 power zoom kit lens and have prepared a hands-on preview. The NEX-6 is an enthusiast level mirrorless camera that features the high-resolution OLED viewfinder we first saw on the NEX-7 and builds on the capabilities that appeared on the recent NEX-5R. Does the addition of a mode dial and the Quick Navi interface make for the most coherent NEX camera yet? Read our preview to find out.
Apple has shared a gallery of images from the new iPhone 5, one of which particularly caught our eye. Dpreview’s own Scott Everett just recently traveled to Big Sur in California, capturing with his iPhone 4S a nearly identical image of the coastline as that which Apple shared today in the iPhone 5 sample gallery. We thought we’d post the two side-by-side so that you can compare results from the iPhone 4S with those from the iPhone 5 yourself. We also take a look at the EXIF data for some interesting observations about sensor size and a new lower ISO.
Apple unveiled the highly anticipated iPhone 5 featuring an updated 8-megapixel backlit CMOS sensor, durable sapphire glass lens cover and larger, 4", 16:9 screen. A more powerful A6 processor allows improved noise reduction, 40 percent faster capture and improved low-light performance through a 'dynamic low light mode' that Apple isn't giving further details of. Now that it’s here, you probably want to know: is it worthy of the hype? Read on for more news on that larger screen.
Photokina 2012: Sony has announced the NEX-VG900, a full-frame NEX camcorder along with the VG30 APS-C model and an 18-200mm powerzoom lens for APS-C E-mount cameras. The VG900 is built around the company's 24MP sensor that also appears in the SLT A99 and RX1 and confirms the theory that the E-mount can accommodate a 36x24mm sensor. The lack of full-frame E-mount lenses means the VG900 must be used with an adapter such as the LA-EA3 which allows the use of full-frame A-mount lenses. The SELP-18200 E PZ 18-200mm F3.5-6.3 adds a third 18-200mm lens to the NEX system, this time with a lever-controlled powered zoom for video work. The VG900 will sell for around $3,300 with A-mount adapter, the VG30 will cost $2,700 with 18-200mm or $1,800 body-only.
Photokina 2012: Sony has officially announced the Cyber-shot DSC-RX1, a full-frame compact camera with a fixed 35mm F2 lens. The camera features a 36x24mm CMOS sensor and a leaf shutter for near-silent operation. It includes a manual aperture ring and dedicated exposure compensation dial for direct manual control. It can also capture video at frame rates of up to 1080p60 and includes a series of video-friendly features. As rumored, the camera will retail for around $2,800.
Photokina 2012: Sony has announced the SLT A99, its flagship full frame interchangeable lens camera. The A99 features a 24MP 36x24mm CMOS sensor that features on-sensor phase detection, creating a dual AF system that promises improved focus tracking and focus precision. It also includes the Quick Navi interactive status panel and a host of features for video shooters, including a 'silent' control dial, mic and headphone sockets and focus peaking, to make the most of its 1080p60 HD capability.
Photokina 2012: Sony has announced the Alpha NEX-6 16MP enthusiast mirrorless interchangeable lens camera and three additional E-mount lenses for its NEX cameras. The NEX-6 builds on the features first seen on the NEX-5R announced last month, including Wi-Fi, in-camera apps and on-sensor phase detection. In addition it gains the high-resolution, 2.3M dot OLED viewfinder previously seen on the NEX-7, plus an external mode dial. In addition, the NEX-6 becomes the first NEX camera to feature the Sony's revived Quick Navi interactive control panel and an ISO-standard hotshoe. The NEX-6 is launched along with a 16-50mm F3.5-5.6 retractable power zoom lens creating a much smaller zoom kit than was previously possible with the NEX system.
Photokina 2012: Sony has announced three extra E-mount lenses for its NEX cameras, a 10-18mm wide zoom, a 16-50mm retractable power zoom and a 35mm F1.8 prime lens. The 10-18mm F4 is a mid-level wide-angle zoom covering a 15-27mm equivalent range. The 16-50mm F3.5-5.6 power zoom offers a compact standard zoom covering the 24-75mm equivalent range. Finally the 35mm F1.8 is a bright 53mm equivalent normal prime lens. All three feature Sony's Optical Steady Shot image stabilization. The 10-18mm will cost around $850, the 16-50mm power zoom will cost around $350 and the 35mm F1.8 will be priced around $450.
Photokina 2012: Hasselblad is to update its full line up of H System medium format camera and lenses, promising better focus features and 'the largest, brightest viewfinder image on the market.' The H5D series is expected to start shipping by December, and will include 40, 50 and 60 megapixel models, as well as 50 and 200 megapixel multi-shot versions. The latest cameras feature an updated user interface and revised image processors for improved JPEG output. The Swedish company will also introduce a 24mm F4.8 lens, equivalent to a 17mm lens on a 135 format DSLR. An additional macro converter will work with wide angle lenses.
Sigma UK is running a photographic competition, with the prize of a DP1 Merrill and a two day photo workshop in Cornwall with landscape photographer Lea Tippett. To enter, simply email in your favourite landscape photograph, along with a short paragraph saying how you would benefit from a weekend’s landscape photography tuition. The competition is open to UK residents only, and the closing date is 23rd September 2012. Click through for a link with full details on how to enter.
Photokina 2012: Pentax Ricoh has announced its latest flagship DSLRs - the K-5 II and K-5IIs. The 's' version, which costs $100 more, comes without an anti-aliasing filter, to offer higher resolution at the risk of more prominent moiré interference patterns. Both cameras feature 16MP sensors and the weather-sealed magnesium alloy build of the original K-5. The biggest difference is the latest, SAFOX X, autofocus sensor. This is designed to work in lower light than any of its rivals (down to -3EV) it will also provide greater accuracy when working with F2.8 and fast lenses. The K-5 II will be available from October at a cost of around $1350/€1099 with 18-55mm WR kit zoom. The K-5 IIs will be available, body-only for around $1300/€1249 - a $100/€250 premium over the standard version.
Photokina 2012: Pentax Ricoh has expanded its Q system with the addition of the Q10 body and adapter allowing the use of K-mount lenses. The Q10 features a slightly redesigned body and updated 12.4MP 1/2.3" back-lit CMOS sensor. Improvements include faster operation and autofocus performance, the company says. There is also a 15-45mm F2.8 fast 80-250mm equivalent telephoto zoom, the Pentax 06 Telephoto Zoom lens. There's also an adapter for mounting and manuallty focusing K-mount lenses on Q-mount bodies - where the Qs' compact-camera-sized sensors will give a roughly 5.5x crop factor, meaning a 28mm lens will give a 154mm equivalent field of view. The Q10 will cost around $700 with the 02 Standard kit zoom, with the fast zoom costing around $300 and the K-mount adapter roughly $250.
Photokina 2012: Pentax Ricoh has announced the Pentax DA 18-270mm F3.5-6.3 ED SDM superzoom and a the HD Pentax DA 560mm F5.6 ED AW super-telephoto prime. The 18-270mm offers a 15x superzoom covering a 27.5-414mm equivalent range and is based around the company's SDM 'supersonic AF' motor. Meanwhile the 560mm F5.6 becomes the first Pentax lens to be given its 'HD' coating which, the company says, denotes high performance. The 859mm equivalent super-telephoto lens is environmentally sealed, to match the performance of the company's higher-end DSLRs. The lenses will cost around $800 and $7,000 respectively.
Pentax Ricoh has revealed the HD Pentax D FA 645 Macro 90mm F2.8 ED AW SR, an image-stabilized 71mm-equivalent macro lens for its 645D medium-format DSLR. The lens offers maximum magnification of 0.5x, when focused at its 41cm (1.36") minimum focusing distance. It features the company's HD and nano-scale Aero Bright coatings to maximise light transmission while reducing internal reflection. The design features 11 elements in 9 groups and the Quick-shift system for switching between autofocus and MF modes.
Arnold Newman, who died in 2006 was a master portrait photographer who captured many of the most iconic figures of his day, from artists and actors, to presidents. 'Masterclass', a handsome new book of images by Newman, the first published since his death, contains more than 200 images. Many will be familiar, but several have never been published before. Adam Koplan takes a look at this extraordinary collection.
The BBC has published an interesting article examining the life and work of British photographer Giles Duley. Duley, a documentary photographer, lost both of his legs and one arm in an explosion near Kandahar, Afghanistan, in 2011. He survived, and is currently covering the Paralympic Games in London. The article describes Duley's protracted recovery and the ways in which he has adapted to his new life as a triple-amputee in order to return to photography. Click through for more details and a link to the full article.
Photokina 2012: Carl Zeiss will show prototypes of a 55mm F1.4 Distagon prime lens for DSLRs and the first lenses for mirrorless system cameras. The lenses for mirrorless cameras will be autofocus designs and will become available in mid 2013. The prototypes on show will include a wide-angle prime, a standard prime and a macro lens. No details are given for which systems will be supported. The manual focus Distagon* 1.4/55 will be available in the second half of 2013 for Canon and Nikon mounts.
Carl Zeiss has announced the Apo Sonnar T* 2/135 telephoto lens, which it will be showing at the Photokina trade show in Cologne later this month. This premium manual focus optic uses a floating focus system to maintain high image quality at all distances down to 0.8m. It uses anomalous partial dispersion glass elements to minimize chromatic aberrations, resulting in an apochromatic design. It will be available in mounts for Canon and Nikon SLRs from December 2012, at a recommended retail price of approximately €1600 / $2000 (excluding VAT).
Samyang has announced it will be presenting a perspective control 24mm F3.5 lens at Photokina 2012. The Samyang T-S 24mm 1:3.5 ED AS UMC is a wide-angle, full-frame lens that offers tilt and shift movements, allowing control of subject geometry and depth of field. It offers up to 12mm of shift and 8.5° of tilt; the shift movement can be rotated +/- 90° relative to the lens mount, and the tilt movement 90° relative to the shift axis, allowing lots of flexibility over adjustments. The lens will be available in Canon EF, Nikon F, Pentax K and Sony Alpha mounts.
Just Posted: Resolution and dynamic range test samples and analysis of the Pentax K-30. Our full review of Pentax's K-30 mid-level DSLR is well underway and we will be posting content as it becomes available. This time we are adding our standard resolution and dynamic range test pages with analysis. As usual this means the dynamic range samples are accessible from other reviews and can be used for comparison our dynamic range widget.
Just Posted: Our hands-on Fujifilm X-E1 preview. We've had a chance to get to grips with Fujifilm's latest X-mount mirrorless interchangeable lens camera and have prepared a preview looking at its key features and technologies. The X-E1 is Fujifilm's second mirrorless interchangeable lens camera and the first to rely solely on an electronic viewfinder for operation - we look at how the camera handles this, while we get a handle on how it sits alongside its peers.
Photokina 2012: Fujifilm has announced the X-E1 - its second mirrorless interchangeable lens camera - along with two additional XF-mount lenses. The X-E1 uses the same 16MP 'X-Trans' APS-C sensor as the more expensive X-Pro 1 model. It offers a high-resolution 2.4m dot OLED electronic viewfinder in the place of the Pro1's opto-electronic hybrid finder and gains a pop-up flash in a smaller body. Alongside the X-E1 come a 18-55mm F2.8-4 stabilized kit zoom that promises AF times as fast as 0.1 seconds when the two are used together. The kit will sell for a recommended price of around $1,399.95, or $999.95 without a lens.
Photokina 2012: Fujifilm has also announced firmware v2.00 for the X-Pro1 high-end mirrorless camera, promising performance improvements. Firmware 2.00 addresses many of the criticisms that have been levelled at the camera by many reviews. This includes improved autofocus speed, better manual focus behaviour and less waiting for processing and card-writing. We've been using a beta version of the firmware and have prepared some notes on its effects. The final version of the firmware will be available for download from September 18th 2012.
Photokina 2012: Alongside the X-E1, Fujifilm has announced two additional lenses for its XF-mount - the promised 18-55mm F2.8-4 standard zoom and a 21mm-equivalent 14mm F2.8 prime lens. The 18-55mm will be offered on its own or as a kit lens with the X-E1 and adds a semi-fast image-stabilized standard zoom with a linear motor for fast focusing. Meanwhile, the 14mm offers an optically-corrected 21mm equivalent field-of-view and a push-pull focus ring to engage manual focus, revealing a distance scale.
Nokia has announced the Lumia 920, the next generation of its phones to wear the 'PureView' branding but, despite the name, the camera technology isn't up to the standard of the 808 PureView. Rather than the 808's 41MP, 1/1.2" sensor, the 920 has a slightly oversized 8.7MP CMOS. Nokia is still making big claims about the 920's camera capabilities, it has a Carl Zeiss-branded lens featuring ‘floating lens technology’ image stabilization, prompting claims of better low-light performance than other smartphones. The Lumia 920 and the co-announced Lumia 820 both run on Microsoft's Windows Phone 8 operating system – an improvement over the Symbian model on the Nokia 808, which we gave our Gold Award to in our July review.
Corel has announced PaintShop Pro X5, the latest version of its photo management and editing software. This latest update includes more extensive image tagging and management tools, including improved geotagging and face recognition, allowing the creation of geographically-related slideshows and tagged uploads to Facebook. Pro X5 also gains a series of 'Instant Effects' presets allowing different 'looks' to be achieved simply. The software's HDR features have also been improved, including better handling of changes between the images being combined. The software will cost $79.99, or $99.99 for the 'Ultimate' edition which includes ColorEfex Pro 3.0.
DxO Labs has created DxO ViewPoint - a piece of software to remove geometric distortion from images. As the name implies, ViewPoint is designed to remove the distortion introduced by the position of the shooter, whether that be the distorting effect seen at the edge of wide-angle images shot close-up, or the correction of converging verticals caused by perspective.ViewPoint is available either as a stand-alone tool or as a plugin for Adobe PhotoShop (CS3 or newer) or Lightroom (version 3 or newer). It is available for both Mac and PC.
A wireless flash trigger enables you to fire one or more flashguns remotely, without being encumbered by wires. There are plenty of wireless TTL flash triggers on the market, making it difficult to find the ideal setup to meet your needs. The Phottix Odin (available for Canon and Nikon) is a wireless radio controller which offers a user-friendly control interface and a compelling feature set. Can the Odin system live up to the hype? Click through for our review.
The British Journal of Photography has published an interesting article on its website entitled 'The New Economics of Photojournalism: The rise of Instagram'. In the article, author Olivier Laurent addresses the significance of services like Instagram for photojournalists, and investigates how these photographers are adapting to a platform where interactivity and immediacy are paramount. Click through for more details and a link to the full article.
The discontinuation of Polaroid film in 2008 led to much despair among its fans. The Impossible Project, founded in the same year, set out to recreate the out-of-production films that Polaroid users had come to depend on. In advance of a new 8x10 monochrome emulsion becoming available to the wider public, The Impossible Project shared it with some of their test users - photographers they call their 'Pioneers', and has created an exhibition in New York City, from the resulting images. Adam Koplan takes a look.