September 26
Photokina 2012 round-up - the most exciting photo show for years?

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 to become Olympus' biggest shareholder with $650m investment

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.

Photo contest: Enter for a chance to win $5,000

What does the word connect mean to you? Share your vision with us through our photo contest: Enter for your chance to win a grand prize of $5,000! Read on for contest details. 

September 25
Photokina 2012: Interview - Dirk Jasper of Nikon (Part 2)

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: Fujifilm X100 wide conversion lens real-world sample images

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 issues ACDSee Pro 6 and ACDSee 15

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 announces Photoshop Elements 11

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.

September 24
Take Better Photos offers photographer's take on iPhone 5 capabilities

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.

OMG Life creates Autographer - a wearable automatic camera

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.

September 22
Photokina 2012: Around the Show
The Photokina show extends far beyond the big camera brands, with hundreds of companies selling a vast array of accessories, services and related widgets. Then, of course, there are the visitors, reps and dealers who combine to give the show its character. Here's what we saw beyond the main stands.
September 21
Photokina 2012: Casio Stand Report
Casio's stand plays host to the interesting-looking Exilim EX-ZR1000 raw-shooting, flip screen, fast-featured CMOS compact.
Canon DSLR shots can look pretty plain straight out of the box. Learn how to customise your DSLR Picture Styles so that you can get great colours straight out of the camera.
Background blur and its relationship to sensor size
This article tries to provide a practical guide on how to estimate the maximum strength of background blur for a given camera / sensor type.
Photokina 2012: SLR Magic Stand Report
SLR Magic, the Hong Kong-based lens company, announced an ambitious selection of lenses at Photokina and its stand plays host to prototypes of them.
iFixit tears down iPhone 5, reveals new camera sensor and sapphire glass lens

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.

Photokina 2012: Interview - Stephan Schulz of Leica

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.'

Fujifilm shows-off zoom lens on X-Pro1 and denies XF lenses allow full frame

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.

Photokina 2012: Tamron Stand Report
Tamron shows the new 18-270mm F/3.5-6.3 Di II PZD and SP 70-200mm F/2.8 Di VC USD lenses at its stand in hall 4.
Accessory Review: Tamrac ZipShot

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. 

September 20
Adobe forecasts subscription increases and slower revenue

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)

Photokina 2012: Interview - Dirk Jasper of Nikon

'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.

Photokina 2012: Sigma Stand Report
Sigma will re-brand its lenses into three categories to make it easier to chose the right lens. Its stand features a new lens in each of these categories, as well as playing host to the company's SD1 Merrill and DP Merrill series of cameras.
Photokina 2012: Hasselblad Stand Report
The Hasselblad stand is abuzz with people queueing to see the controversial Lunar - its 24MP E-mount camera.
Photokina 2012: Schneider Kreuznach Stand Report
Schneider Kreuznach is to make high-end autofocus lenses for the Micro Four Thirds system and mock-ups can be seen on its stand.
Photokina 2012: Interview - Sun Hong Lim of Samsung

'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.

September 19
Apple releases version 1.1 of iPhoto for iOS

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.

Hasselblad responds to Lunar criticisms

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.

Article: Winter in Iceland
85

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.

Photokina 2012: Interview - John Carson of Pentax Ricoh

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.

Photokina 2012: Carl Zeiss Stand Report
Carl Zeiss has autofocus lenses for mirrorless cameras on show, alongside its traditional manual focus prime lenses.
Photokina 2012: Fujifilm Stand Report
The new XF1 compact and the X-E1 mirrorless system camera are the stars of the show at the Fujifilm stand.
Photokina 2012: Sony Stand Report
Full-frame is order of the day at Sony, but the star of the stand is safely behind glass.
Fujifilm improves X-Pro1 focusing with updated Firmware 2.0

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.

Sir Jonathan Ive to design one-of-a-kind Leica M rangefinder

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: Samsung Stand Report
Big, blue and very very connected. That's Samsung in 2012, and the Korean electronics giant has a large stand at this year's photokina, the better to showcase its range of compact and interchangeable lens cameras, all of which feature Wi-Fi connectivity.
Photokina 2012: Interview - Jesko von Oeynhausen of Leica

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.

September 18
Think Tank announces 'pilot's case' and messenger-style camera bags

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.

Modifying a Holga DSLR lens to really be f/8
Illustrated instructions for removing the sieve and aperture plates from the Holga lens for DSLR. Includes sample pictures and discussion of what the modified lens delivers.
Google acquires Nik Software with focus on mobile users

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: Pentax Ricoh Stand Report
This is the first Photokina for the unified Pentax Ricoh with a stand in hall 2 of the Cologne Messe complex.
Photokina 2012: Olympus Stand Report
The OM-D is grabbing all of the attention at Olympus stand. It's those same customers Olympus is hoping to entice with its 17mm F1.8 lens, which we tracked-down a prototype of.
Sony and Hasselblad announce partnership with DSLR on the horizon

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).

Hasselblad announces 24MP Lunar - an 'ultimate luxury' mirrorless camera

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]

Photokina 2012: Canon Stand Report
Canon has been busy this year, and the demonstration areas are thronged with enthusiasts keen to get their hands on Canon's latest products including the mirrorless EOS M and the 6D - Canon's most affordable full-frame DSLR yet.
Photokina 2012: Nikon Stand Report
Nikon has a large, and very yellow presence at this year's show, and the Japanese manufacturer has a lot to show off. 2012 has been a busy year for Nikon, and crowds several people deep are lining up to get their hands on the latest releases, including the recently-released D600.
Photokina 2012: Leica Stand Report
Leica announced quite a few cameras at this Photokina, but it's the M that's getting all the attention.
Photokina 2012: Panasonic Stand Report
Panasonic occupies a large stand in hall 3 at this year's Photokina, with the new Lumix GH3 being the star of the show.
September 17
Leica announces S-System 37MP medium format body and lenses

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.

Leica announces V-Lux 4 superzoom with F2.8 lens

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.

Leica reveals D-Lux 6 fast-lensed enthusiast compact

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.