May 19
Lexar launches 500MB/s USB 3.0 CF/SD card reader
Lexar has launched a high-speed CF and SD card reader, capable of transferring data at up to 500MB/sec. The USB 3.0 device allows compatible computers to take advantage of the increased speeds of the latest UDMA Compact Flash cards as well as the emerging ultra high speed interface (UHS-I) SDXC cards. The device also allows full-speed copying from one card to another, even if your computer communicate with the device at its full speed. The reader features a pop-up design that protects the card slots if you throw it in your bag. It will sell for around $49.99 in the US and £39.99 in the UK.
Samsung gives insight into NX development
Samsung has published the second in a series of articles explaining the development of lenses for its NX mirrorless camera system. The article features video and interviews with a range of the people involved in the planning, design and development of lenses (and various aspects of the NX system). Also included in the article is an image of what appear to be design studies for the NX system - including some retro/futurist, seemingly Hasselblad-inspired mockups. If you have any interest in the NX system, the piece gives an interesting insight into the possibilities the company is considering. (from PetaPixel)
May 18
Gary Fong launches Puffer diffuser for Micro Four Thirds
Flash accessory specialist Gary Fong has launched a version of its 'Puffer' flash diffuser for Micro Four Thirds cameras. The Micro Four Thirds Puffer clips into the hotshoe of the Panasonic GF and PEN E-PL series cameras and hangs a diffuser in front of the pop-up flash. The intent is to mitigate the harsh, direct lighting that can spoil portrait images with on-board flash, though it is likely to further limit the already low-powered internal flash output.
May 17
Canon posts firmware update v1.0.1 for EOS Rebel T3i / 600D
Canon has posted a firmware update for its EOS Rebel T3i / 600D digital SLR. Firmware v1.0.1 clarifies the on-screen feature guide description of the digital zoom function in movie mode, and fixes a bug relating to computer connectivity via USB. The firmware is available for immediate download from Canon's website.
May 16
Just posted: Our in-depth Fujifilm X100 review
Just Posted: Our in-depth Fujifilm X100 review. The X100 has been an object of fascination and desire amongst photography enthusiasts since it was unveiled at Photokina last September. The camera marries elegant retro looks with an advanced viewfinder and a well-respected sensor. A 35mm equivalent F2 lens completes this modern interpretation of the classic fixed-lens rangefinder concept. However, despite the undeniable attraction of the camera, it won't come as shocking news to hear that it's not an unqualified success. As a result, we've taken a little longer than usual over our review, partly because it's a camera that requires some time to really appreciate it. Mainly though, we wanted to rigorously assess which drawbacks prove to be truely significant after extensive real-life use, and which ones you can be charmed into forgiving.
May 13
Nikon S4100 and S6100 still available says Nikon US
Nikon USA has announced that its Coolpix S4100 and S6100 models will continue to be available to American customers. This follows a statement from Nikon Japan that the recently-introduced S4100 was being withdrawn as a result of component shortages following the earthquake and tsunami in Japan. The withdrawal only affects certain markets, says Nikon USA, and confirmed both models will continue to be available in 'The Americas.' We have not yet heard about European availability.
May 12
Panasonic DMC-G3 announced and previewed
Panasonic has announced the DMC-G3 Micro Four Thirds mirrorless interchangeable lens camera. The G3 uses a brand new 16.6MP sensor, producing 15.8MP images and features a considerably downsized body compared to its predecessors. It pushes further towards touch-screen control in an attempt to make the camera ever-more accessible to beginners. We've had a final production standard G3 and have prepared a hands-on preview with both studio test shots and real-world samples.
Panasonic introduces Lumix DMC-FH7 touch-screen compact
Panasonic has introduced the Lumix DMC-FH7 digital compact camera (DMC-FS22 in Europe). Featuring a Leica 4x zoom lenses starting at 28mm and 720p HD video recording, the 16Mp FH7 comes with a similar feature set to the 6-month-old FH5 but boasts a 3" touch-sensitive LCD screen. Pricing and availability have yet to be announced.
May 10
Phase One launches Media Pro asset management tool
Phase One has launched Media Pro, a digital asset management program. The package has evolved from software originally created by iView Multimedia and later sold as Microsoft Expression Media. Now called Media Pro, the Phase One version provides a flexible way of cataloging, organizing and accessing stored media. Media Pro includes the raw image rendering engine from the company's Capture One software, allowing Raw files to be previewed (including any adjustments made in Capture One). Media Pro is designed to be independent of platform or software, to allowing use with the best contemporary processing tools, minimising the the likelihood of you having to re-catalog your media in the future.
UN Company launches retractable lens cap for Olympus XZ-1
Japanese accessory maker U.N has announced a retractable lens cap for the Olympus XZ-1. Using a design similar to Ricoh's LC-2, the U.N unit features a custom-machined mounting ring that uses Allen bolts to secure it to the front of the camera. The company describes the unit as craftsman-made but a spokesman said they believed they could make enough for customers outside Japan. These can be bought direct from the company using PayPal, at a cost of ¥7350 (around $90), including shipping. (From DC.Watch)
Studio comparisons improved. Fujifilm X100 and others added
Just Posted: Our improved studio comparison tool, with five additional cameras. As something of a trailer for our forthcoming in-depth review, we've added Fujifilm X100 samples in both Raw and JPEG. The Samsung NX100, Nikon Coolpix P300, Canon 5D Mark II and Sony DSLR A900 have also joined the list of available cameras. But the biggest change is that we've updated our comparison tool to make it more flexible: you can now create your own comparisons of up to four cameras, even if they haven't been fully reviewed. You can then copy the URL from the address bar of your browser, allowing you to easily share or bookmark your chosen comparisons.
May 5
ABSoft releases Neat Image 7 plug-in
ABSoft has announced an upgraded version of its Neat Image Pro noise reduction plug-in for Adobe Photoshop and Apple Aperture. There are also standalone versions of the software for Mac OS and Linux systems. Version 7 includes a redesigned user interface, support for 32-bit images and and a 'Smart Profile' system to improve noise profiling. Priced at $69.90 it is available for immediate download as a plug-in or a stand-alone application for Windows, Mac and Linux. A simpler version, 'Neat Image 7 Home' with limited features is also available for $39.90.
Samyang ships 35mm f/1.4 AS UMC & 8mm f/3.5 Fisheye CS VG10
Samyang Optics has announced it has started shipping its 35mm F1.4 lens in Canon and Nikon mount, as well as the 8mm F3.5 CS VG10 Fisheye lens for Sony's NEX-VG10 camcorder. The 35mm lens is available €399 for Canon's EF mount and €419 for the Nikon's AE mount. The 8mm fisheye lens is available for €299.
May 4
PMA 2011 trade show cancelled
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The PMA has cancelled its 2011 trade show and convention. The show, which was re-branded as CliQ 2011 earlier this year, had been scheduled for September 6-11 in Las Vegas, Nevada, a move away from its traditional spring timing. The show will instead take place alongside the 2012 Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas as PMA@CES in January next year. The move is likely to give increased importance to the PDN PhotoPlus International Conference + Expo in late October.
Seagate introduces 1TB per platter external hard drives
Seagate has announced the world's first 3.5" external hard drive with 1TB platters. The move represents a 30% increase in storage capacity over the previous limit of 750GB per platter. The first product to be launched is the 3.5-inch Barracuda desktop hard drive with 3TB of storage on 3 disk platters, offering greater storage for photographers struggling with the space demands of video, and making it easier to establish large-capacity RAID arrays for data security.
Olympus announces LS-20M pocket camcorder
Olympus has announced the LS-20M pocket camcorder with built-in 24 bit/96 hHz Linear PCM stereo sound recording (or perhaps one of its sound recorders with built-in video). Capable of recording full 1080p HD videos, it features a 2" color LCD, an additional 1.46" data LCD, two microphones and HD output. It also includes the company's 'Magic filter' processing effects. The camcorder will be available from June 2011 at a suggested retail price of $299.99.
Tamron 18-270mm F/3.5-6.3 Di II VC PZD sample gallery
Just posted: Tamron 18-270mm F3.5-6.3 sample gallery. We've borrowed a Canon-mount version of Tamron's latest comparatively-compact DSLR superzoom lens and taken the opportunity to shoot with it in a variety of situations. The Tamron 18-270mm F/3.5-6.3 Di II VC PZD, to give it its full name, is an image-stabilized 15x zoom for APS-C sensor cameras, available in Canon, Nikon and Sony mounts. Despite the impressive zoom range, when un-extended the lens is a mere 3.5" (89mm) long, making it an appealing travel and general-use lens for DSLR owners. This latest version is one of the first to include Tamron's piezoelectric autofocus drive motor.
May 3
Sony publishes Czech manual of 'NEX C3'
Sony has published the instruction manual for a camera called the NEX-C3 on its Czech website. The manual shows the camera as being smaller than the existing NEX-5 model but with a 16MP sensor and a series of Picture Effect modes including Toy Camera and Retro Photo. The camera retains a similar button arrangement to the NEX-3 and 5 but appears to offer greater control over the function of those buttons than the existing models. The manual was placed on a password-protected directory but with the login details publicly posted elsewhere on the site.
April 29
Silkypix releases Developer Studio Pro 5 beta
Japanese software developer Ichikawa Soft Laboratory has released a limited beta version of its Silkypix Developer Studio Pro 5 raw conversion software. This provides an opportunity for users to test and provide feedback for the forthcoming final version. The beta version supports a wide range of cameras including the recently released Nikon D5100 and Fujifilm X100.
April 28
Blurb announces Blurb Mobile app for iPhone
Print-on-demand publisher Blurb has launched a free app for Apple's iPhone that allows users to compile photos, videos and audio to create visual stories. The launch marks the company's first foray into non-printed media collections and away from its exiting print-on-demand business. The company has announced its fourth annual international Photography Book Now competition with a chance to win a US $25,000 cash prize. Category winners will receive $5000 from Adobe amongst other goodies. Entries need to be submitted before July 14, 2011.
Getty Images acquires PicScout
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Getty Images has acquired image copyright identification company PicScout. PicScout has a series of image identifying and copyright association technologies. These allow photographers and copyright holders to find unlicensed image use and to make associations back from an image to the copyright holder, to make it easy for would-be users to legitimately licence an image. Getty Images explains the acquisition will provide its contributors with more tools for protecting the copyright of their images and provide licensing information for their content.
Phase One releases Capture One 6.2
Phase One has updated its Capture One PRO 6 and Express 6 Raw workflow software. Version 6.2 brings additional features and extends RAW support to cameras including the Nikon D7000, Canon EOS 600D/Rebel T3i and 1100D/Rebel T3, Fujifilm X100 and Samsung NX series cameras. The update is available for immediate download from the company's website.
April 27
Adobe releases Lightroom 3.4 and ACR 6.4
Adobe has released Photoshop Lightroom 3.4 and Camera Raw 6.4. These are final versions of updates that were originally posted as 'release candidates' on the Adobe Labs site, and are available for immediate download. The latest versions provide final RAW support for thirteen additional cameras including the Canon EOS 600D/T3i and 1100D/T3, Nikon D5100 and Fujifilm X100, alongside profiles for over 25 more lenses. The updates also address a number of issues reported via customer feedback.
Nikon formally announces AF-S Nikkor 50mm f/1.8G lens
Nikon has formally announced the AF-S NIKKOR 50mm f/1.8G lens for both DX and FX DSLRs. The lens, whose details had previously been revealed by the company, features a totally new optical formula featuring an aspherical element - an unusual feature for this type of optic. The 50mm F1.8G features a built-in AF-S focus motor to allow autofocus with all Nikon DSLRs. The company says it expects the lens to retail for around $219.95/£199/€229 including a lens hood, pitching it around the same level as the Nikkor AF-S 35mm F1.8G and making it an accessible (if slightly short) portrait lens for owners of Nikon's APS-C DSLRs.
Product page improvements and additional features
Since we released the major upgrade of our product database pages four weeks ago, we have been hard at work fixing bugs, refining details and addressing your feedback. We’ve reached the point where all the major issues have been addressed and everything is running along smoothly. Our development team will be moving on to work on other new features, but first we wanted to give you an update on what’s been done over the past few weeks.
April 26
Canon updates DPP camera software
Canon has released an updated version of its Digital Photo Professional raw conversion software. Version 3.10.1 extends support to the EOS Rebel T3i / 600D and EOS Rebel T3/1100D DSLRs. The update also fixes a number of bugs and offers lens abberation correction support to additional Canon lenses.The update can be downloaded from the DSLR support pages of individual cameras from Canon's website.
Canon posts firmware update v1.2.5 for EOS 7D digital SLR
Canon has posted a firmware update for its EOS 7D digital SLR. Firmware v1.2.5 fixes bugs relating to stills and video recording with specific CF cards and image stabilization with specific lenses in custom setting mode. The latest version also improves read/write speeds when using UDMA 7 compatible CF cards. The firmware is available for immediate download from Canon's website.
Just posted: Nikon D5100 in-depth review
Just posted: Our in-depth review of the Nikon D5100. Sitting between the entry-level D3100 and the upper mid-level D7000, the D5100 is a hard camera to categorise. It combines the user-friendly ergonomics of the D3100 with the impressive 16MP CMOS sensor of the D7000, but throws in a couple of neat tricks of its own, including an articulated LCD screen, and a set of all-new 'Effects' modes. So is the Nikon D5100 just an entry-level camera with delusions of grandeur, or is it a wolf in sheep's clothing? Read our 23-page in-depth review to find out.
April 25
Panasonic releases TS3, TZ20 and TZ22 firmware updates
Panasonic has released firmware updates for its Lumix DMC-TS3/FT3, DMC-TZ20/ZS10 and DMC-TZ22 GPS-enabled digital compact cameras. The latest version for all cameras improves location tagging accuracy of European landmarks. The updates are available for immediate download from Panasonic's website.
Nikon posts firmware v1.02 for D7000
Nikon has posted a firmware update for its D7000 digital SLR. Firmware v1.02 brings a host of bug fixes and improvements relating to noise reduction, movie playback and editing, and RAW processing with Capture NX 2 or ViewNX 2. The firmware is available for immediate download from the company's website.
April 22
Ricoh posts firmware update v1.36 for GXR system
Ricoh has posted a firmware update for its GXR system, covering the A12 28mm, 50mm macro, P10 28-300mm and S10 24-72mm equiv. zoom lens units. Version 1.36 rectifies a minor bug related to the Cross Process scene mode in all units. The update also rectifies additional minor bugs for the A12 28mm and 50mm equiv. units. The single firmware file will make appropriate changes for each unit and is available for immediate download from Ricoh's website.
April 21
Fujifilm updates X100 firmware to v1.01
Fujifilm has issued a firmware update for its X100 larger sensor compact. The update, to firmware v1.01, corrects a glitch by which the camera wouldn't turn back on if shut down while ISO bracketing in Quick Start mode. No other corrections are mentioned by the manufacturer. The update is available from the Fujifilm website.
Olympus updates firmware for XZ-1 compact camera
Olympus has released a firmware update for its XZ-1 enthusiast compact. Version 1.2 adds the ability to manually change orientation of images during playback.
April 20
Sigma USA celebrates 50th anniversary
Sigma Corporation of America has launched a website to celebrate its 50th anniversary. In addition to videos detailing the company's history and technologies, the site offers the chance for US residents to sign up for a chance to win various prizes, including the as-yet-unreleased SD1 DSLR. The site also provides the chance for Sigma owners and users to learn, interact and share their photos. The familiy-owned photography company, best known for its lenses, was founded by optical engineer Michihiro Yamaki, who remains the company's CEO.
Fujifilm posts firmware update for Finepix HS20EXR
Fujifilm has released a firmware update for its Finepix HS20EXR advanced superzoom. Version 1.02 rectifies a bug related to display of temperature warning.
Pentax Japan offers colorful grip options for K-r
Pentax has released a series of multi-colored variants of its K-r DSLR for the Japanese market. A collaboration with music store Tower Records results in a rainbow-themed version, including colorful Pentax logo and candy-colored handgrip. Meanwhile the company has also introduced a series of camouflaged grips for Japanese customers. These range from the traditional militaristic khaki through to a red and white mélange that will presumably blend in perfectly with the strawberries and cream at Wimbledon. The grips can be ordered with new camera or retro-fitted to existing purchases.
Oloneo to ship PhotoEngine v1.0 from May 2011
Paris-based software maker Oloneo has launched the final version of its image processing suite, PhotoEngine. The Windows-based software includes RAW processing, HDR merging and a method for combining images shot under different lighting conditions to give control over the individual light sources. The software is based around a 32-bit per channel wide color gamut that allows users to edit tonal range and color with minimum data loss. Priced at $149 / €125, the software wil be available from May 31, 2011, with 25% discount for those who register before that date.
Samsung announces W200 rugged pocket camcorder
Samsung has announced the W200 rugged pocket camcorder, capable of recording full 1080p30 HD videos. Built around a 5MP back-illuminated CMOS sensor, a 2.3" LCD and a F2.2 lens with anti-fog coating, the camcorder is shockproof to 2m/6.5 ft and waterproof to 3m/10 ft. It will be available from May 2011 at a suggested retail price of $159.
Samsung releases ST93 compact camera
Samsung has announced the ST93 compact camera. The 16MP CCD-based camera offers a 5x optical zoom lens starting at a useful 26mm equivalent. Its features include 720p HD video recording, a Panorama mode, the company's latest Smart filters and Magic Frame templates. Further specifications are not currently available.
April 19
Nikon updates Capture NX and Camera Control Pro software
Nikon has announced version 2.2.7 of its Capture NX and version 2.9.0 of the Camera Control Pro software. The latest versions extend RAW support to the D5100 digital SLR.
Samsung updates firmware for NX10 & NX100
Samsung has released firmware updates for its NX10 and NX100 interchangeable lens cameras. The latest firmware for both cameras improves auto-focusing while recording movies and when shooting in low contrast and low light conditions. The firmware also adds Panorama Shot to the available scene modes and an 'i-Function setting help' guide in the menu. In addition, image stabilization (OIS) can now be enabled from the menu for i-Fn lenses that have no OIS switch. The updates are available for immediate download from Samsung's website.
Sigma announces scholarship contest winner
Sigma has announced the winner of its second annual scholarship contest. 17-year-old Andrew Lu from Yorktown Heights, New York has been awarded cash prize of $5,000 and a $1,000 gift card toward Sigma products for his sequence of black and white images.
April 18
Fujifilm posts firmware updates for F550EXR & F500EXR
Fujifilm has released firmware updates for the recently released F550EXR and F500EXR digital compacts.The updates for both cameras fix occasional LCD display issues while connecting the cameras to PCs via USB cables. Version 1.10 for the GPS-enabled F550EXR also reduces power consumption. The latest versions are available for immediate donwload from the company's website.
April 15
Ichikawa Soft Laboratory updates Silkypix Developer Studio
Ichikawa Soft Laboratory has released updated versions of its Silkypix Developer Studio Pro and Basic raw conversion software. The latest versions extend RAW support to several recently released cameras including Canon's 600D/T3i and 1100D/T3, Olympus's XZ-1 and Fujifilm's HS20EXR and F500EXR cameras.
What should mirrorless cameras be called?
Just what should we call mirrorless cameras? Ever since the launch of the Micro Four Thirds system, the photographic world has struggled to find a satisfactory generic term to describe similar systems. The current front-runners appear to be 'mirrorless' or 'compact system camera' but there's nothing like consensus yet. We've put some of the more common options and some alternatives we've had suggested to us, in a poll to see how you think of these cameras. It's a chance to have your voice heard, since we've had more than one camera maker ask us which name is most widely recognized. So have a look to the right of this story and register your vote.
April 14
RCP-Technik releases Rollei 8x zoom lens for iPhone 4
Building on the brand's illustrious heritage in the medium format sector, RCP-Technik has applied the Rollei name to a clip-on 8x F1.1 telephoto zoom lens for the iPhone 4. Priced at €34.95, the manual focus lens will be available by the end of this month including a hard case, a mini tripod and tripod mount.
Just Posted: Canon EOS Rebel T3 / 1100D in-depth review
Just Posted: Our full, in-depth review of the Canon Rebel T3 / EOS 1100D. The 1100D is the second camera in the budget-focused sub-range of Canon's mainstream Rebel lineup. It's made up of a selection of components we've seen before, including a 12MP CMOS sensor and 9-point AF system that suggest competence at a tempting price. The DSLR market doesn't sit still, though, so can tried-and-tested keep up with more contemporary competitors? And have too many corners been cut in an attempt to make the Rebel T3's price more compelling? Find out in our full review.
April 13
Nikon reveals AF-S Nikkor 50mm f/1.8G lens
Nikon has published details of an AF-S NIKKOR 50mm f/1.8G lens on its US website. With a built-in Silent Wave focusing motor, this not-yet-formally-announced design should autofocus on all entry-level Nikon DSLR bodies, including the recently-released D5100. It uses an all-new optical design with 7 elements in 6 groups, including one aspherical element. The lens can be used on both FX and DX format DSLRs, with a short-telephoto 75mm-equivalent angle of view on the latter. The web page has now been removed from the Nikon site.
Sony announces HVL-F43AM flash for Alpha DSLR and SLT
Sony has announced the HVL-F43AM external flash for its range of Alpha SLT and SLR cameras. It has a guide number of 43 (at 105mm, ISO 100) and features the same Quick Bounce System as the HVL-F58AM. This allows the position of the flash head to be adjusted quickly for landscape and portrait-format compositions. The HVL-F43AM can be used with Sony's Wireless Ratio Control and is dust and moisture resistant. Also announced is the VCT-55LH Bracket, which can be used to attach various accessories to the Alpha and NEX range cameras, a soft carrying case (the LCS-AMB) designed to protect A-series cameras, and a lens hood (the ALC-SH111) which is designed to fit the DT 35mm f/1.8 and 85mm f/2.8 SAM lenses. 
The art of HDR photography - part 2
We've just published the second in a series of articles by Uwe Steinmueller of Digital Outback Photo on the art of HDR photography. The second chapter (of what will eventually become Uwe's next E-book) covers the challenges faced by HDR photographers. Future chapters will cover capture, workflow and advanced HDR techniques. For now, enjoy this exclusive second part of what we hope will develop into a useful manual for anyone interested in getting more of the dynamic range they see in the scenes they photograph into the images and prints they produce.