December 8
Just Posted: Leica V-Lux 3 samples gallery

Just Posted: Leica V-Lux 3 samples gallery. We've published a selection of images from the V-Lux 3 superzoom that was announced today. We've put together a selection of 38 images, shot in a variety of situations and using a range of camera settings to give an idea of what the camera's 24x lens and 12MP CMOS sensor can do.

Sony NEX-7 deliveries in USA to start soon - availability still limited

Sony USA has said the NEX-7 will begin to ship this month to some customers who pre-ordered it, following a halt in production cause by flooding in Thailand in October. Production is still limited but the company says it will 'aggressively pursue all efforts to restore full capacity' for the NEX-7 and other affected models (which is thought to include the NEX-5N, A65 and A77).

December 7
First Impressions: Using the Canon PowerShot S100

We've just published our first impressions of the Canon PowerShot S100. Our full review of the S100 is being delayed by concerns that the samples we've used may not be representative of final product. In this article Reviews Editor Barnaby Britton explains the delay, and shares his personal impressions of the camera's handling, operation and image quality.

Compact Flash Association announces XQD card format

The Compact Flash Association has announced the development of the XQD memory card format. The smaller XQD format is based around the PCI Express specifications, allowing write speeds of 125MB/sec and beyond. The association says the first example cards will be shown at the CP+ trade show in Japan, in February 2012. No details of capacities or which camera makers are likely to support the standard are given.

Panasonic GH2 firmware v1.1 with 24Mbps shooting now available

Panasonic has released its promised firmware update for the DMC-GH2, enabling 24Mbps video to be captured at 1080p30 (25p for European units). Firmware also makes a number of other changes including the option to deactivate the touch screen control (which we suspect videographers in particular will welcome). The download is available now from the company's website.

Fujifilm plans X10 firmware in response to 'white disc' concerns

Fujifilm has said it will attempt to address the problem of X10 images showing 'white discs' with a firmware update in response to customer concerns. The company statement comes in response to our enquiries about the problem, and confirms the phenomenon is caused by sensor 'blooming.' It claims the camera is working within prescribed tolerances and that the problem is not uncommon in other cameras but says that it plans updated firmware to 'lessen the effects' of the blooming. We have prepared a quick test of the issue (which we will cover in greater depth in the full review), showing the effects of Fujifilm's suggested ways of mitigating the issue.

Update: We have published a report on the effect of firmware v.1.03 on the orbs issue (Feb 25th 2012)
 

December 6
Nikon updates firmware for discontinued CoolPix P7000

Nikon has taken the unusual step of updating the firmware of its discontinued CoolPix P7000 enthusiast compact. Firmware v1.2 offers a broad selection of improvements and bug fixes, ranging from improved AF targeting to the correction of an error that meant the color temperature scale was reversed when correcting White Balance during in-camera Raw processing. The updated firmware can be downloaded from Nikon's websites.

Olympus report finds management 'rotten' and proposes legal action

Legal action should be taken against the responsible members of a board of directors that was 'rotten to the core,' says the independant report into financial irregularities at Olympus. The report confirms the use of an elaborate scheme to move around $1.7 billion investment losses from the 1990s off the company's balance sheet. Those losses were then disguised as excessive transaction fees when Olympus bought other companies, and in write-downs on the value of newly purchased assets.

Leica issues firmware v1.176 for M9 and M9-P

Leica has announced a firmware update for its M9 and M9-P full-frame digital rangefinders. Firmware v1.176 addresses what the company says is a rare fault that can occur when formatting some SanDisk memory cards. It says it has tested 'all types' of SanDisk card and that the latest firmware guarantees their proper function.

Book review: The Passionate Photographer

Adam Koplan takes a closer look at Steve Simon's 'The Passionate Photographer.' Seasoned photojournalist Simon has deep knowledge of photographic technique and, as a veteran teacher and podcaster, he is adept at explaining its facets. The book is structured as 10 steps toward becoming a more powerful photographer and along the way the author addresses both the art and the craft of creating a gripping photo.

December 5
Ricoh GR Digital IV Preview Samples

Just Posted: Ricoh GR Digital IV Preview Samples Gallery. We've been using a Ricoh GR Digital IV for some time, just long enough to get a quick gallery of samples together. As usual, our 24-image gallery contains images taken at a mixture of different camera and lens settings, in a variety of different shooting conditions. As well as 'straight from the camera' JPEGs we've also included a number of images converted from raw files, using Adobe Camera Raw (ACR) and processed 'to taste'.

Sony gives more details of OLED EVF from A77, A65 and NEX-7

Sony has published details of two OLED displays, giving more detail about the electronic viewfinders used in its SLT A65, A77 and NEX-7 cameras. The displays are based on white LEDs shining through color filters, rather than direct-emitting colored LED technology, helping them to offer higher resolutions combined with 90% coverage of the NTSC color gamut. The company also claims a contrast ratio of 10,000:1 - ten times greater than that offered by its latest WhiteMagic rear LCD screens, also detailed in the company's latest semiconductor newsletter. Their appearance in the newsletter is likely to mean they are available for sale to other manufacturers, raising the prospect of other makers' cameras appearing with high-resolution OLED EVFs.

TriggerTrap universal camera trigger goes into production

The crowd-funded universal camera trigger, TriggerTrap, has gone into production its creator has announced. TriggerTrap is a light, laser and sound-sensitive programmable camera trigger with built-in time-lapse function. It also has an auxilliary input and is built around Arduino open-source architecture, meaning it can be programmed to trigger a camera in response to almost any electrical input. The TriggerTrap is compatible with a large range of cameras, via cable or infra-red communication, it will be available from February at a cost of $125.

December 4
Photographers can have lots of different kinds of portfolios. With the advent of Apple's iPad, we can now have app portfolios. This article discusses how to make your very own app portfolio, to advertise your business, garner revenue from app purchasers, or simply show off your photography.
Article: Creating and adding textures to your photographs

Photographer and author Ellen Anon explains how to add textures to your images for a more 'painterly' effect. She takes you step-by-step through the process of combining and blending individual image layers in Photoshop. She also provides helpful tips and resources, whether you want to create your textures from scratch or begin with pre-existing material.

December 2
Buyer's Guide: 10 Essential Color Management Devices
Matt Golowczynski examines ten of the best color management devices on the market. A color-managed workflow is vital if you want to maintain accuracy between camera capture, your computer monitor and your prints. This three-page Buyer's Guide investigates the options from kit-bag accessories to full calibration and profiling suites.
Sigma to launch non-stabilized 17-50mm F2.8 EX DC HSM for Sony and Pentax

Sigma is launching a non-stabilized version of its 17-50mm F2.8 EX DG HSM for Sony and Pentax. The lens replaces the existing OS versions for these two mounts, for which most cameras have built-in stabilization. The latest version will be available from December 9th. The Japanese recommended selling price remains the same as for the OS version.

December 1
Nikon resumes DSLR shipments, full production expected by March 2012

Nikon has re-started limited production of DSLRs, following the flooding of its Thai factory, but does not expect to reach full production volumes again until March 2012. 'Alternative and limited production at our partner factories in Thailand has started earlier than expected,' a company statement says: 'we have started shipment of certain digital SLR camera and interchangeable lenses since November 30th.' The company also says the industrial park in which its main factory is based has now been pumped-out, allowing its preparation for resuming production. Nikon still estimates its lost sales at ¥65bn (around $840m).

Former CEO Woodford quits Olympus board to call for new management

Olympus' former CEO Michael Woodford has resigned his position as director of the company and called for a shareholder meeting to dismiss the rest of the board. The company's share price had started to recover some of the 88% value it had lost in the weeks since Woodford was removed as CEO for highlighting unusual payments by the company (he remained a director). Since then the company has admitted using these payments to cover up losses on earlier investments. An independent committee established by the company has reported it has found no evidence of the rumored involvement of organized crime syndicates in the deals. However, three board members, including the President and Vice-President have resigned over the issue. (via Reuters)

Roundup: Portfolio Apps For iOS

Joanne Carter of theappwhisperer.com examines eight leading portfolio apps currently available for Apple's iOS. Smartphones and tablets can be useful for photographers in all sort of ways, but its easy to overlook one of the things that they're best at: showing off your images. So which app should you use to show your best shots in their best light?

November 30
Leica highlights its customers' work, on a calendar and on the web

Leica has launched a website to showcase the work of users of its S2 medium-format DSLR. The S-League website allows users to show-off their work to an International audience and see what other users are doing with their equipment. Leica S users can also use the site to apply for a free loan of Leica S equipment. Meanwhile, the company has also announced it has created a 2012 calendar made up of images shot by photographers from the Magnum co-operative, using the M-9 rangefinder. The 16.5 x 28.3" calendar will feature six mono and six color images and will cost €45.

2
Easily make silky, cotton candy waterfalls, streams, or fountains, straight out of your camera. It's easier than you think, and the results are beautiful.
Nikon announces SB-910 high-end Speedlight

Nikon has announced the SB-910, the flagship flashgun in its Speedlight range. Replacing the SB-900, the 910 gains the simpler graphic user interface (GUI) of the less powerful SB-700. Its more advanced thermal protection system slows the flash recycle time, rather than it simply shutting down to prevent overheating. It comes with hard filters for matching fluorescent and tungsten lighting and automatically switches the camera's white balance to match the filter. Similarly it adjusts the available zoom steps to suit the body (FX or DX) that it's attached to. The SB910 will be available from mid-December, priced around $549.95.

November 29
Sony releases firmware v1.04 for SLT-A77 and SLT-A65

Sony has released the long-rumored firmware v1.04 update for its A77 and A65 SLT models. The updates add two more lenses to the list that the cameras can correct for and also promise to improve image quality, response time and 'usability.' The updates are currently available in Asia and Europe but haven't been formally announced in the US. Following our reviews of the A77 and A65 we will install the latest firmware and update the reviews as necessary. Update: Firmware v1.04 now also available from Sony US.

November 28

Nature photographer Erez Marom explains the role that magnification plays in successful macro photography. In this latest installment of his instructional series, he examines the relationship between a subject's actual size and the size at which it is projected onto the imaging sensor. He also details an accurate method for determining the magnification capabilities of your lens.

Ricoh to make 16MP APS-C GXR zoom module

Ricoh has added a 24-85mm equivalent zoom camera unit, based around an APS-C sized CMOS sensor, to its product roadmap. The roadmap on the company's Japanese site shows the module, scheduled for an 'Early 2012' launch, will be built around a 16MP APS-C CMOS sensor. Given the company's use of 12MP Sony sensors in its A12 modules, it seems likely this zoom module will be built around a version of Sony's impressive 16MP chip that underpins several recent Sony, Nikon and Pentax models. No details are given on price or aperture range. (via DC Watch)

November 25
Roger Cicala looks at lens variation and getting a 'good copy'

Roger Cicala of LensRentals has written an article about why 'soft' lenses occur and how you'll know if you have one. The article summarises his experience and testing of the phenomenon and explains how the pursuit of a 'perfect' lens is a fool's errand.

Samyang updates 8mm F3.5 fisheye with CPU for Nikon

Samyang has updated its 8mm F3.5 fisheye lens in Nikon mount, adding a CPU to allow better-integrated operation in auto exposure modes. The Samyang AE 8mm 1:3.5 Aspherical IF MC Fish-eye CS allows for full control over exposure from the camera, enables i-TTL flash exposure control, and records lens-related data into image EXIF data. Like its predecessor, the optical design includes 10 elements in 7 groups, with one hybrid aspheric element. The lens is manual focus only, and is designed for use on DX format SLRs. It will be priced at €325 (approx $430 / £280).

November 24
Fujifilm releases X-S1 premium EXR 26X superzoom

Fujifilm has announced the X-S1, a premium-grade superzoom compact. The X-S1 is part of the company's high-end 'X Series' and is built around the same 12MP 2/3" CMOS sensor as the X10 compact. Despite the comparatively large sensor, it manages to include a 26X 24-624mm equivalent F2.8-5.6 zoom lens. It also features Raw shooting, a 1.44M dot electronic viewfinder and 460,000 dot rear LCD along with a rubberized coating and metal dials to emphasize its premium 'Made in Japan' status.

November 23
Site updates & Tamron Challenge Winners

We've successfully migrated dpreview.com to its new web servers. And, now that most of the teething problems have been ironed out, we're confident that the errors and degraded performance that some users have been experiencing over the last few weeks are well behind us. We've also got a couple of minor feature updates to tell you about - and the winners of the Tamron Prize challenge are revealed after the link.

Just Posted: Olympus PEN Mini review

We've just published our review of the Olympus E-PM1: the PEN Mini. The Mini is the least expensive, and most compact-camera-user orientated, Micro Four Thirds model yet released. It's built around the long-serving 12MP sensor but includes the latest, impressively fast AF system from the most recent PENS. In keeping with its point-and-shoot ethos, the PEN Mini features few external controls, yet has extensive customization if you want a camera to grow into. Does this result in a model with broad appeal or a camera with an identity crisis? Read our review to find out.

Article: Gearing up for an African safari

Wildlife photographer and tour operator Dallas Dahms explains how to choose the most appropriate photo gear when embarking on an African safari. His article shares camera lens and accessory combinations best suited to particular modes of transport and specific types of photo opportunities. He also supplies a handy tip for safely carrying your gear aboard in-country flights.

DxO Labs announces Optics Pro 7 with faster performance

DxO Labs has announced that Optics Pro 7, the latest version of its Raw processing and optical correction software, will be available from November 30th. The company says version 7 has been extensively re-written to make it faster - up to four times faster in the case of batch processing. Version 7 also includes support for popular enthusiast cameras, such as Fujifilm's X100 and Sony's A77, as well as more than 300 additional camera/lens Optics Modules. Refinements include an improved lens softness tool that attempts to correct for inherent lens softness without interfering with bokeh in out-of-focus regions. DxO Optics Pro 7 will be available with a 33% discount until December 24th (and free to users who bought version 6 after September 1st).

Going Professional, Where to Begin?
With a decade of experience in the business, here are some tips on what it takes to get started in professional photography. It might not be what you think...
November 22
Adobe faces criticism for change of upgrade policy

Photoshop trainer and author Scott Kelby has published an ‘open letter’ to Adobe requesting it re-thinks its product upgrade policy. The company, in a recent blog post about its ‘Creative Cloud’ online computing service, revealed that it will only allow owners of the most recent versions of Photoshop and Creative Suite to upgrade to the CS6 versions, when they become available. This moves away from its traditional position of allowing owners of the previous three versions a discounted upgrade. The company is offering a 20% discount for these owners to bring themselves up-to-date in time for the policy change.

November 21
Just Posted: Nikon Coolpix P7100 studio comparison samples

Just posted: JPEG and raw studio samples from the Nikon Coolpix P7100. In preparation for a forthcoming review, we have shot our standard studio test scene with the Nikon Coolpix P7100. To allow easy comparison with its peers, we have now added these shots to our comparison database. As such the P7100 can now be selected from the pull-down list within both our standalone studio comparison tool and the comparison pages in any review.

Book review: The Photographer's Mind

Adam Koplan takes a closer look at Michael Freeman's 'The Photographer's Mind'. In this follow-up to his widely regarded book, 'The Photographer's Eye', documentary photographer Freeman has published a fascinating text that aims to help photographers to be more thoughtful in their picture-making.

Digital Outback Photo publishes The Art and Craft of HDR Photography

Digital Outback Photo has published 'The Art and Craft of HDR Photography' by Uwe and Bettina Steinmueller. The 100 page e-book, written and published by the authors of dpreview.com's 'The Art of HDR' series of guides, can be downloaded as a printable pdf. It is available for an introductory price of $15.95, rather than the usual $19.95.

Complete our survey for the chance to win an iPad 2

US photographic trade body PMA and dpreview.com are conducting a survey looking for the views of dedicated amateur photographers. The ten minute survey asks about your photographic use, the features you'd like to see in cameras and your use and experience of photo sharing sites and printing services (as well as helping us make dpreview a better place). It aims to get a clearer understanding of what committed non-professional photographers want from their cameras and related services and may even result in those things getting a bit better. Responses will be discussed at the forthcoming 6Sight conference. As a reward one lucky respondent will be sent a shiny new Apple iPad 2. Update: the survey has now closed. We will announce the winner of the iPad soon.

Nikon updates firmware for Nikkor 1 zoom lenses

Nikon has released firmware updates for its Nikkor 1 10-30mm f/3.5-5.6, 30-100mm f/3.8-5.6 and 10-100mm f/4.5-5.6 lenses. The 10-30mm and 30-100mm lenses are upgraded to firmware v1.02, which corrects a bug which causes an incorrect aperture value to be recorded. Meanwhile the 10-100mm power zoom firmware moves to v1.01 that, like the 1.01 upgrades for the other two lenses, addresses a problem by which images could 'be blurred when shot immediately after the camera was shaken or moved quickly'.

November 19
Buyers' Guide: 10 photography accessories for under $250
Affordable accessories roundup published. Photography can be an expensive hobby, but there are plenty of photographic accessories available that won't break the bank. In this buyers' guide Matt Golowczynski focuses on ten accessories for less than $250 that deserve a place on your holiday season shopping list.
Fuji X10 EXR camera, suggestions for optimum performance

The Fujifilm X10 camera has an EXR sensor. This article is designed to help owners understand the capabilities of the sensor and use that understanding to elicit optimum performance from the camera.

Planned site maintenance on dpreview.com

Planned site maintenance will mean the site will be temporarily unavailable for a period today (Saturday November 19th). For around an hour from 20:00 GMT / 15:00 ET / 12:00 PT, it will not be possible to log into the site. This will mean commenting, forums and challenges will be read-only during this period. A banner across the top of the page will make clear when this work is in progress and we hope to bring an improved user experience as a result of the work. We appreciate your patience.

Update 15:44 PT: We've completed the necessary maintenance, and site functionality has been restored. However, due to the inherent latency in DNS (Domain Name System) propagation, a very small percentage of users may be unable to post to our forums for the next 24-48 hours. If these issues persist, or if you continue to experience performance or functionality problems with other areas of the site, please feel free to send feedback via the link at the bottom of this page.

November 18
Just Posted: Canon Powershot S100 studio comparison samples

Just Posted: JPEG and Raw studio samples from the Canon Powershot S100 and Nikon J1. In preparation for our forthcoming reviews, we have shot our standard studio test scene with both the Canon Powershot S100 and Nikon J1. To allow easy comparison with their peers, we have now added these shots to our comparison tool. Both the S100 and J1 can now be selected from the pull-down list within any review or in our standalone comparison tool.

US customers willing to spend more for Nikon

Product advice/market research website 'MyProductAdvisor' is claiming that US customers are willing to pay more for Nikon than for other camera brands. Strong consumer engagement with camera brands will come as no surprise to anyone who's spent time on camera forums, but it's interesting to see figures suggesting this translates to a willingness to spend more. The company's figures suggest Canon can command the second-largest price premium with customers showing some willingness to pay more for Olympus, Panasonic and Fujifilm. This could explain the logic behind Nikon's comparatively high pricing of its 1 System.

Article: Aviation photography technique
Aviation photographer and editor of Pacific Wings magazine, Rob Neil, explains the basics of shooting aircraft. His article discusses the techniques and equipment you'll need for capturing great images of both moving and static aircraft. He also talks about some basic photographic lessons you might do well to un-learn.
November 17
Leica invites entries for its Oskar Barnack Award 2012

Leica has announced the Oskar Barnack Award 2012 international photo competition will open for entries from January 16, with a first prize worth €15,000 (~ $20,200). The 2012 winner will receive an M9-P digital rangefinder and lens in addition to a €5000 cash prize. To enter, participants need to submit a portfolio of up to twelve images expressing 'the interaction between man and the environment.' In addition, the Newcomer award, open to photographers under 25 years of age, offers an M9-P and lens as prize. Submissions are open until 1 March 2012.

November 16
Roundup: Third-party Lenses for Enthusiasts

We've published our roundup of ten of the most interesting third-party lenses for enthusiast photographers. There are a huge number of lenses available from third-party manufacturers that at least match, and sometimes exceed the quality of more expensive models from camera manufacturers. In this four-page roundup, Matt Golowczynski highlights ten stand-out lenses by category.

Just published - a quick Pentax 645D sample gallery

Just Posted: A few weeks back we spent a little time with the Pentax 645D - just long enough to grab a small gallery of 'real world' samples using the FA 645 55mm F2.8 standard lens. The 40 megapixel 645D, which took an unprecedented 5 years to progress from announcement to production, is the company's first digital medium format camera. We wanted to see how practical it was to use the 645D 'in the field' as a replacement for a smaller sensor SLR, and - aside from an aching shoulder after a day of lugging it around - we were pretty impressed with what we saw. Until we get the 645D back into the studio to complete our testing, check out our quick 24-shot gallery after the link (or click here to jump straight to the gallery page).

Canon updates EOS 5D Mark II firmware to v2.1.1

Canon has released updated firmware for its EOS 5D Mark II full-frame DSLR. Firmware v2.1.1 corrects a bug that meant only a single image was captured in continuous shooting mode or AE bracketing continuous mode. It also corrects some menu errors for Dutch language users. Click here to find out more and download the firmware.