May 4
A fresh look for dpreview.com
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As you may already have guessed dpreview.com has a new design. The biggest changes are the homepage, which has been totally redesigned, and the new site-wide widgets on the right hand column. From a user interface point of view the biggest change regular readers will need to adjust to is that the menu has moved from the left-hand side (where it's lived for a decade) to the top of the page. This will allow us to use the full width of your screen for some of our future developments. We hope you like it, and that you'll bear with us today as we iron out the inevitable bugs that will creep in after deploying such a significant code change. Find out more after the link.
Adobe releases Lens Profile Creator
Adobe has posted a prerelease version of its Lens Profile Creator utility that enables creation of custom lens profiles for Photoshop CS5, ACR 6.1 and Lightroom 3. The process involves downloading and printing a checkerboard test chart from Adobe Labs, and shooting a series of RAW or non-RAW images. These can then be imported to the Lens Profile Creator to generate custom profiles for the Lens Correction feature in Photoshop CS5 and Lightroom 3. Furthermore, these profiles can also be shared via the company's user community.
Olympus unveils the affordable Pen
Olympus has officially announced the E-PL1, a simplifeid, less expensive addition in its Micro-Four Thirds camera range. With an MSRP of $599/€599/£549 the latest PEN ncludes many of the features of its big brothers, the EP-1 and EP-2 and also adds a built-in flash. We've had an E-PL1 for the past few days and have put together a hands-on preview that we hope will provide a little more insight than the bare specs and press images carelessly left lying around the internet.
Samsung wants to 'own' mirrorless market
Samsung wants to 'own' the mirrorless camera sector, according to Seung Soo Park, Samsung’s Vice President, Strategy Marketing and Digital Media. This will include enhanced communication with customers and firmware updates for its cameras based on their requests, he said, in an exclusive interview with dpreview.com.
Just Posted: Sony DSLR-A850 quick review
Just Posted: Our review of the Sony DSLR-A850. This camera was launched in August last year as a slightly down-specced companion to Sony's full-frame flagship DSLR, the A900. The A850 is in terms of specification very close to its bigger brother and Sony says both cameras share the same imaging pipeline. Click through to our review and see all the differences between the two models.
Just posted: Olympus E-P2 Quick Review
Just Posted: Our quick review of the Olympus E-P2. The second-generation PEN was launched just five months after Olympus unveiled the E-P1. The biggest difference is the addition of an accessory port, allowing the attachment of an electronic viewfinder and making it the perfect candidate for our quick review format that looks at the differences between this and its sister model. We've been testing the firmware announced today to ensure the review highlights all the changes made since our E-P1 review.
Just Posted: Canon PowerShot S90 review
Just Posted: Our review of the Canon PowerShot S90 compact digital camera. Canon's answer to the popular Panasonic LX3 offers a sophisticated set of photographic controls in a very compact body and promises to be the perfect pocket camera for the enthusiast shooter. We've been using it fairly heavily for several months now and have finally got round to finishing our full review (yes, yes, we know - apologies for the delay in getting this one out). So is the S90 the perfect compact for the serious photographer or just another point and shoot with pretensions? Find out what we thought after the link...
Panasonic announces Micro Four-Thirds camcorder
Panasonic has announced the first professional camcorder with a Micro Four Thirds sensor. Capable of recording full 1080p HD videos at various frame rates, the AG-AF100 is compatible with the company's line up of Lumix G lenses, filters, and adapters. Building on the success of the DMC-GH1 camera with videographers, the company says this higher-end model is 'targeted at the video and film production communities.'
Panasonic announces firmware for DMC-G1, GH1 & GF1
Panasonic has announced firmware updates for its DMC-G1, GH1 and GF1 Micro Four Thirds cameras. To be released on May 10, the latest updates for all the cameras promises improved autofocus performance with third-party lenses and recognition of the new 14-42mm kit zoom. Amongst other improvements the updates promise improved flash performance for the GH1 and G1.
ACD Systems releases Photo Manager 12
ACD Systems has released its ACDSee Photo Manager 12 image editing and management software for beginners and hobbyists. The latest version focuses on sharing images online with features to directly upload images to social networking sites, an FTP uploader and an Online mode, which connects users to a free 2 GB account on ACDSeeOnline.com. The software is available for US $69.99 for first time buyers and $35 as an upgrade to existing users.
Olympus announces Viewer 2 software
Olympus has announced the Viewer 2 image and video editing software for its E-system and PEN cameras. Successor to Master 2 and Studio 2, it offers movie selection and editing as well as improved compatibility with the latest operating systems. These come in addition to features such as RAW processing and control over Art Filter effects offered by the existing packages. It will be available as a free download from Olympus's website from May 2010.
Leica unveils V-Lux 20 digital compact with built-in GPS
Leica has unveiled its first compact superzoom, the V-Lux 20 which also features built-in GPS tagging. A near-identical twin of the Panasonic ZS7/ TZ10, but with a more expensive price tag of US $699/£495 GBP, the camera includes almost all of the features including a 12.1MP sensor, 460k dot 3" LCD and 12x optical zoom (25-300mm equiv.). Like the ZS7 it also features 720p HD video recording, however it can only shoot it in a less sophisticated Motion JPEG format than the Panasonic's AVCHD Lite format.
Pentax announces Optio M90 5x zoom compact
Pentax has announced the Optio M90, a 5x zoom compact camera. The lens on the 12 megapixel camera offers a zoom range equivalent to 28mm to 140mm. Pentax says it includes improved face recognition, along with smile capture, blink detection and twenty scene modes. The M90 features a 'soft-feel' rubber finish over an aluminium body. The M90 will only be available in Europe.
Just posted - Canon EOS 550D in-depth review
Just Posted: Our in-depth review of the Canon Rebel T2i/EOS 550D. The EOS 550D combines high-end features adopted from the 7D, with the low-cost, user-friendly ergonomics of previous entry-level models like the EOS 500D. On paper its the most compelling Rebel-series DSLR to date, so can it span the bridge between first-time DSLR buyers and more experienced users? Read our full test to find out.
Just Posted: Samsung NX10 in-depth review
Just Posted: Our review of the Samsung NX10. It's been just over a year since Samsung announced its NX mirrorless interchangeable lens camera system, the first to feature an APS-C sized sensor as used in the most popular DSLRs. It packs a 14.7MP sensor and 'VGA resolution' LED screen into a small, DSLR-like body that exactly resembles the mockup shown by the company back in March 2009. We've been thoroughly testing it to see whether its combination of high resolution sensor and small body is enough to win over people who would otherwise buy a DSLR or Micro Four Thirds mirrorless camera.
Adobe discusses Photoshop Creative Suite 5
On the eve of the release of Photoshop CS5 - the twelfth version of Photoshop, we got a chance to speak to its product manager Bryan O’Neil Hughes. He told us what's in store for photographers and how will they benefit from the new features. 'We have incorporated many exciting features and improvements in this new version,' he said: 'It is our most innovative release to date.'
'House' season finale filmed with Canon 5D Mark II
A Canon 5D Mark II has become the first video-capable DSLR to film a whole episode of a US primetime series. Greg Yaitanes, director of FOX broadcasting company's medical drama series 'House', used the camera, a selection of Canon's prime lenses and, the 24-70mm and 70-200mm lenses to shoot its season finale. Speaking via Twitter, he said that this was to achieve a shallow depth of field and a 'richer look'. He also said he 'feels it’s the future'.
Photoshop CS5 Lens Correction to support Sigma
Sigma has announced its lenses will be compatible with Adobe Photoshop CS5's upgraded Lens Correction feature. The latest version of the image-editing software will automatically fix distortion, chromatic aberration and vignetting for all current Sigma lenses.
Panasonic announces pricing for DMC-G2 & DMC-G10
Panasonic has announced the price and availability of its latest Lumix G series Micro Four Thirds cameras. The DMC-G2 and DMC-G10 with 14-42mm F3.5-5.6 ASPH Mega O.I.S. kit lenses will be available from the next month at suggested retail prices of $799.95 and $599.95 respectively. The G2 will come in red, blue and black, while the G10 will be available only in black. In the UK the G2 will cost £629.99 with kit lens while the G10 kit will sell for around £499.99. Body-only and two lens kits will also be available for the G2.
Olympus PEN firmware available & tested
As announced, firmware updates for the Olympus PEN series are now available for download. The updates can be downloaded via the Olympus Digital Camera Update software application. We've been testing the final version of firmware v1.1 for the E-PL1 and here include the autofocus tests from our forthcoming review of the camera.
Nikon announces 200-400mm f/4 ED VR II
Nikon has announced the AF-S Nikkor 200-400mm f/4 ED VR II, a revised version of its super telephoto zoom lens. The VR II version gains an improved image stabilization mechanism, nano crystal coating and the A/M focus mode that has appeared in recent Nikon lenses. The VR II supersedes the original VR lens, launched in 2003. It is expected to go on sale in May 2010, for a estimated price of $6,999.95/ €7400.00.
Adobe offers RAW converter Release Candidates
Adobe has released 'Release Candidates' of Photoshop Lightroom 2.7, Camera Raw 5.7 and DNG Converter 5.7 for immediate download from Adobe Labs. Both provide additional RAW support for 9 more cameras, including the Canon EOS 550D, Panasonic G2 and Olympus E-PL1. According to the company, the term 'Release Candidate' means the downloads are well tested but not yet final versions.
Canon relaunches CPS support service
Canon Europe has relaunched its after-sales support system for professional photographers and videographers. The Canon Professional Services (CPS) program is open to owners of multiple Canon bodies and high-end lenses, and offers benefits including direct support and a priority repair service. The revised program includes multiple levels of membership and better support. Existing CPS community members are required to update their details to the new system before June 2010.
Ricoh updates firmware for CX3 digital compact
Ricoh has released a firmware update for its CX3 digital compact. Version 1.08 for the back-lit CMOS based camera fixes an occasional playback error of 720p HD movies. The firmware is available for immediate download from Ricoh's website.
Adobe unveils Photoshop CS5 & CS5 Extended
As rumored, Adobe has launched Photoshop CS5 and CS5 Extended - the latest versions of its image manipulation software. They will be available separately or as components of the Creative Suite 5 family of design and production software bundles. Both include revised interfaces and a host of new tools and refinements (discussed in the accompanying story). Photoshop CS5 and CS5 Extended are expected to begin shipping next month for around US $699 and $999. Licensed users of the previous versions can upgrade for $199 and $349 respectively.
Olympus releases GetOlympus app for iPhone &  iPad
Olympus has introduced the GetOlympus app for Apple's iPhone, iPod Touch and iPad. The app gives access to company news, user photo gallery, photography tips and information on special offers. The free app is available for download from the Apple App Store.
Sigma 8-16mm f/4.5-5.6 DC for Canon, Nikon & Sigma
Sigma UK has announced its latest 8-16mm F4.5-5.6 DC ultra wide angle lens will be available soon in Canon, Nikon and Sigma mounts. Announced at PMA 2010, the lens is designed for APS-C cameras and offers a wide angle of view of 121 degrees. It will be available in all three mounts from the end of this month for a retail price of £799.99.
Olympus PEN firmware promises faster AF
Olympus has announced a firmware update for all three of its PEN Series cameras (The E-P1, E-P2 and E-PL1). To be released on April 22, the latest updates promise faster auto focusing speeds and improvements when using the recently announced 9-18mm lens. There are also improvements and bug fixes for individual cameras. The company has also announced a stand-alone Digital Camera Update software application exclusively for camera and lens firmware updates.
Samsung promises faster memory with 20nm chips
Samsung has announced production of the first flash memory cards to use its 20-nanometer (nm) process technology. It will incorporate the new 32 gigabit MLC NAND chips into memory cards ranging from 4GB through 64GB capacities. According to the company, the 20nm-class MLC NAND chips deliver 50% higher productivity level and 30% faster write speeds than the previous generation 30nm chips. Samsung has started shipping 20nm-class 32Gb NAND based SD card samples to customers and plans to expand production later this year.
Adobe Lightroom 2.7, ACR 5.7 & DNG Converter 5.7
Adobe has released Photoshop Lightroom 2.7, Camera Raw 5.7 and DNG Converter 5.7. These are final versions of updates that were originally posted as 'release candidates' on the Adobe Labs site, and are now available for immediate download. The latest versions provide final RAW support for nine recent cameras, including the Canon EOS 550D, Panasonic G2 and Olympus E-PL1.
Apple releases RAW compatibility update
Apple has released a Digital Camera RAW Compatibility Update for Aperture 3 and iPhoto '09. Update 3.2 extends RAW support to nine additional cameras and addresses processing issues of files from the Canon EOS 30D, Pentax K-x and K-7 digital SLRs. The update is available for immediate download from Apple's website.
Olympus 9-18mm F4-5.6 on-sale date announced
Olympus Japan has announced its latest M Zuiko Digital 9-18mm F4-5.6 wide-angle zoom lens for Micro Four Thirds cameras will be available soon. Priced at ¥71,000 (~US $700), the lens will start shipping from April 23. The company has also announced that the 14-150mm F4.0-5.6 will start shipping from the end of next month.
Pentax announces DSLR firmware updates
Pentax has announced firmware updates for four of its DSLRs. Updates for the K-m/K2000, K20D, K200D and K10D improves stability while recording images in some SDHC cards. The latest firmware versions are available for immediate download from Pentax's website.
Canon posts firmware update for EOS 7D
Canon has posted a firmware update for its EOS 7D digital SLR. Firmware v1.2.1 brings in both improvements and fixes bugs such as the magenta banding that can appear in still images shot under specific conditions in movie mode. The firmware is available for immediate download from Canon's website.
Leica posts firmware update for S2 digital camera
Leica has released a function-enhancing firmware update for its S2 medium format DSLR. Version 1.0.0.16 adds a white balance preset for working with HMI (Hydrargyrum Medium-arc Iodide) lamps, provides additional viewfinder information and offers selectable OLED screen standby time. It also brings in a host of improvements including more options for customization of buttons. Registered users can download the latest firmware via the Owner's Area on Leica's website.
Adobe releases Creative Suite 5 bundles
Adobe has released the final versions of its Creative Suite 5 software bundles that include Photoshop CS5. The five bundles contain various tools selected for use at different levels of print, web and video design and editing. Many of these tools, including Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign, Premier and After Effects are also available separately. Trial downloads of all the suites are available from the Adobe website. Refer back to our interview for more details of the changes made for photographers in Photoshop CS5.
Olympus M ZD 9-18mm F4-5.6 lens review

Just posted! Our world-first review of the Olympus M Zuiko Digital 9-18mm F4-5.6 wideangle zoom for Micro Four Thirds. We've had an early production sample of this tiny collapsible lens for the last week or so, and been been putting it through its paces both in the studio and out in the big wide world. Click through to find out how it fared, and how it compares to the alternative options available to Micro Four Thirds users.

X-Rite announces ColorChecker Passport online demos

Color technology specialist X-rite has announced two free online color workflow demonstrations for Adobe Camera Raw using its ColorChecker Passport color calibrator. The one hour demos will cover a number of topics including creation of camera profiles and color editing in Adobe Photoshop and Lightroom. They will take place on April 15 at 13:00 EDT (17:00 UTC) and 15:00 EDT (19:00 UTC).

Carl Zeiss introduces cine lenses for DSLRs

Carl Zeiss has introduced a set of cine prime and zoom lenses that offer interchangeable mounts for use with video enabled DSLRs. With a choice of Canon EF, Nikon F and Arri PL mount for professional cine cameras, the CP.2 compact primes offer a choice of 18mm to 85mm focal lengths with maximum apertures ranging from T2.1 to T3.6 and can be used on full frame cameras such as Canon 5D Mark II. The LWZ.2 lightweight zoom lenses cover the 'ANSI Super 35' image area (24.9 x 18.7mm) that is a fraction larger than APS-C sensors (24 x 16mm). The lenses will be available from June 2010.

March 31
Sony updates Image Data Converter software
Sony has released the latest version of its Image Data Converter camera software. Version 3.2 is based around new image processing algorithms and features additional noise reduction at ISO 800 and above, with minimised color noise up to ISO 12800. Registered Alpha DSLR users can download the latest version from Sony's website.
Leaf releases Aptus-II 10R with rotating sensor

Leaf has announced the availability of its latest Aptus II 10R digital back equipped with an internal rotating sensor. Previously available in its AFi-II cameras, the system can change from portrait to landscape orientation without removing the back. Priced at €24,995, the back includes a 56 x 33mm sensor (with 56MP on an area over twice the dimensions of a 'full-frame' sensor), 3.5" touch screen LCD, 80-800 ISO range and is compatible with most medium and large format cameras.

March 29
Blurb announces Photography Book Now competition

Print-on demand book publisher Blurb has announced its third annual international Photography Book Now competition with a chance to win a US $25,000 cash prize. Participants must design a photo book in one of three categories, using the company's software. A soft copy or three hard copies must then be submitted with an entry fee of US $35 per category. Category winners will receive a Sony DSLR-A850 plus 28-75mm f/2.8 lens amongst other goodies, with the top prize awarded to the best of those three winners. Entries need to be submitted before July 15, 2010.

Sony 70-200mm F2.8 G lens review

Just posted! Our Sony 70-200mm F2.8 G lens review. Sony's fast telephoto zoom is the reincarnation of a Minolta design which first appeared in 2003, and features goodies such as professional-level build and quiet ultrasonic autofocusing. But like many camera makers' own-brand lenses, it costs much more than third-party alternatives from the likes of Sigma and Tamron, without (on paper at least) offering a huge deal more. So does it justify this premium, and how does it measure up to the standard set by Nikon's latest 70-200mm F2.8 VR II we reviewed last month?

March 26
Sigma releases Photo Pro 4.0
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Sigma has released the latest version of its Photo Pro RAW conversion software for its DP and SD camera series. The latest version is based around new image processing algorithms and features additional noise reduction at ISO 400 and above, amongst other enhancements. It is available for immediate download via Sigma's website. In addition, as previously announced, firmware v1.04 for the DP2 compact that adds the non-hardware aspects of the DP2s' faster AF is now available for download.
Phase One, DxO Labs & Apple update RAW converters
Phase One, DxO Labs and Apple have released updates to their RAW workflow software. Phase One has updated its Capture One 5, PRO and DB programs to version 5.1.1, bringing in improvements for Sony cameras and extending tethered shooting and RAW support to the Canon EOS 550D, Mamiya DM40 and Leaf Aptus II 8 digital cameras. DXO Labs has added 70 lens and cameras combinations to its Optics Pro software. And finally, version 3.0.2 of Apple's Aperture brings in several improvements and bug fixes. All updates are available for immediate download.
March 24
Adobe discusses latest Lightroom 3 Beta
The start of the second public beta of Lightroom 3 gives the first glimpses at a new raw processing engine from Adobe. While at PMA 2010, we got a chance to speak to senior product manager and writer of Adobe’s Lightroom blog, Tom Hogarty about the Lightroom 3 public beta program and he told us about some of the changes that had been made. We also did some processing to see how it compares to the current version of Adobe Camera Raw.
Adobe announces release date of Creative Suite 5
Adobe has put up an online teaser for the forthcoming versions of its Creative Suite design and production software packages. To be unveiled on April 12, photographers are likely to be particularly interested to see what the CS5 version of Photoshop has to offer.
March 23
Eye-Fi introduces Connect X2 & Explore X2
Eye-Fi has announced the addition of two wireless SD cards in to its X2 line-up of memory cards. The 4GB Connect X2 and 8GB Explore X2 both feature the Endless Memory Mode first seen in the RAW-compatible Pro X2 card. They also share its class 6 (6MB/s ) transfer speeds and high-speed 802.11n Wi-Fi. In addition, the Explore card uses location data from nearby WiFi points to geotag images. Both cards are now available in the US at a retail price of $49.99 and $99.99 respectively.
Carl Zeiss celebrates 120 years of lens production

Carl Zeiss is celebrating 120 years of camera lens production this month. The German company started off in 1846 manufacturing microscopes before moving onto lenses in 1890. A press release from the company stresses milestones in its history, including its lenses being used in man's first lunar expedition and Hollywood movies such as Barry Lyndon (which famously used an f/0.7 Zeiss lens to shoot scenes by candlelight). Along the way, Carl Zeiss's notable technical achievements have included the Planar and Tessar lens designs, its T* anti-reflective coatings and the development of MTF testing to measure lens quality.

Adobe releases Lightroom 3 Beta update
Adobe has opened the second public beta of its Photoshop Lightoom 3 software for immediate download from its Adobe Labs site. Lightroom 3 will be based around a new processing engine and the second iteration adds luminance noise reduction to the color noise reduction options that appeared in the initial beta. The latest beta also supports tethered shooting for a number of Nikon and Canon DSLRs, enables importing and management of video files and improves overall functioning of the software.