October 14
Out with the old, in with the new (studio shot)
The publication of today's Panasonic Lumix GF1 review sees the first use of our new, improved fixed studio shot, one of the cornerstones of a review format that, though always developing, has remained essentially unchanged for over a decade. The new studio setup (only the third major change since 2000) has been designed to tell us considerably more about a camera in a single shot - to find out more check out the explanation after the link.
Nikon D3S brief hands-on
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The new Nikon D3S is the manufacturer's first full-frame DSLR to offer a movie mode, and with a whopping ISO 102,400 maximum sensitivity, is capable of capturing images in near darkness. Nikon was kind enough to leave us a pre-production model at the office so we could have a closer look at the new features and differences to its predecessor - the D3.
Nikon unveils D3S high-speed pro DSLR
Nikon has unveiled the D3S professional DSLR. The new model is an upgrade to the popular D3 and comes with 720p HD video recording and a sensitivity range up to ISO 102,400 for improved low light performance. Images are captured on a new 36 x 23.9 mm CMOS sensor and buffer size has been increased for 48 RAW frames in one burst. Futher improvements include a faster contrast detect AF in Live View and in-camera RAW-processing. Body shape, quality and operation are virtually identical to the D3.
Nikon AF-S DX Micro Nikkor 85mm F3.5G VR
Nikon has also introduced an image-stabilised micro lens for DX format cameras, the AF-S DX Micro Nikkor 85mm F3.5G VR. Featuring a whole host of goodies, including an AF-S motor for fast silent autofocus, Nikon's second-generation vibration reduction (VR II) system, and a circular diaphragm for attractive background blur, this lens gives 1:1 magnification at minimum focus distance of 28cm. The 85mm focal length (equivalent to 128mm on full frame) also gives a flattering perspective for portraits. The optical design uses 14 elements in 10 groups with one ED element, and the internal focus design means the front element does not rotate on focusing, enabling the use of lens-mounted macro lights.
October 13
Epson releases PictureMate Charm photo printer
Epson has introduced the PictureMate Charm compact photo printer. With a print speed of 37 seconds for postcard size images, it sports a 2.5 inch LCD and memory card slots for a selection of media. It includes a built-in carry handle and an optional battery pack to enable portability. The printer features Auto Photo Correction and multiple print layout options. It will start shipping this month at a retail price of US $149.99.
Canon posts firmware update for EOS Rebel XS/1000D
Canon has posted a firmware update for its EOS Rebel XS (1000D) DSLR. Version 1.0.6 rectifies the issue pertaining to an "Err 99"- shooting not possible message. It also resolves other issues related to its LCD display, viewfinder information and freezing of the shutter release. The firmware is available for immediate download from Canon's website.
October 12
onOne Software updates DSLR Camera Remote Server
onOne Software, a maker of software and plug-ins for photographers has released a new version of its DSLR Camera Remote Server software, which allows users to remotely control Canon and Nikon DSLRs using their iPhone or iPod Touch. Version 1.2 extends support to the Nikon D300s DSLR and brings in a host of improvements and fixes.
Carl Zeiss Distagon T* 2/28 lens in EF mount
Carl Zeiss has announced the Distagon T* 2/28 wide-angle lens in Canon EF mount, for both analog and digital EOS SLRs. This manual focus lens, with its large f2 aperture, is made up of 10 elements in 8 groups and uses a floating focus mechanism for high image quality across the full range of focus distances. It will start shipping this autumn for a suggested retail price of €965.55.
Adobe releases Photoshop.com Mobile for iPhone
Adobe has introduced Photoshop.com Mobile as an application for Apple's iPhone. It enables users to view, edit and apply effects to images via gesture-based editing. Once edited, images can be uploaded to the user's Photoshop.com account for sharing or back-up purposes. The application is available as a free download from Apple's App Store.
October 9
Eye-Fi releases wireless memory cards in the UK
Eye-Fi has announced the launch of its wireless memory cards in the UK. The cards allow users to wirelessly upload photos and videos within range of their Wi-Fi network. The Eye-Fi Home Video, Share Video and Pro SDHC cards in 4GB capacities will be available from October 11, 2009 at a retail price of £49.99, £69.99 and £119.99 respectively.
October 8
Samyang delays shipping of 14mm f/2.8 lens
Samyang Optics has announced a delay in production of its new 14mm f/2.8 IF ED MC Aspherical lens. According to the company, the delay is due to partial redesigning of the lens construction and further improvements. The lens will now be available in the first quarter of 2010.
Sigma releases firmware update for DP2 digital camera
Sigma has released a firmware update for its DP2 large-sensor digital compact. Version 1.03 improves accuracy of the camera's auto white balance and decreases occasional freezing. The firmware is available for immediate download from Sigma's website.
October 6
Nobel  Prize for inventors of the CCD image sensor
Two physicists who co-invented the CCD image sensor have been rewarded with a share of this year's Nobel Prize for Physics. Willard S. Boyle and George E. Smith developed the charge-coupled device in 1969 while working at Bell Laboratories, producing the world's first solid-state video camera just a year later. Each receives a quarter share in the $1.4 million prize.
Leica X1 hands-on preview
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Just Posted: Our hands on-preview of the Leica X1. This retro-stlyed compact promises SLR-level imaging with its fixed high quality lens and large APS-C sensor, but in a much more portable package. We borrowed an early sample camera from Leica for a week to take a close look at its design and operation.
October 5
Ricoh updates firmware for CX2 digital compact
Ricoh has posted a firmware update for its CX2 digital compact camera. Version 1.13 fixes minor issues related to manual focus and step zoom. The firmware is available for immediate download from Ricoh's website.
October 2
Just posted: Our Pentax K-7 review
Just Posted: Our in-depth review of the Pentax K-7. When it arrived in May we were impressed by the way the K-7 managed to squeeze all the features of its predecessor and a handful of new tricks into such a compact package. It still has a 14.6 megapixel CMOS sensor but gains a new metering system, revised autofocus, a faster shutter mechanism, a high resolution LCD, faster continuous shooting and the ability to shoot HD movies. And, as that svelte little magnesium alloy body has been passed around the office, it's continued to leave a good impression. So, how did it fare in our studio tests?
Sigma releases DP1s digital compact camera
Sigma has announced the DP1s digital compact camera, a slightly revised version of its DP1 large-sensor compact camera. Featuring the same sensor and processor as the DP1, it assigns the QS (Quick set) function from Sigma's DP2 to its digital zoom button and the ability to simultaneously shoot separate RAW and JPEG images. The company says it also performs better when shooting backlit subjects.
October 1
Panasonic suspends LX3 update
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Panasonic has suspended the availability of the firmware update for its Lumix DMC-LX3 digital compact camera. Version 2.0 was meant to bring a host of additional functions as well as feature improvements for the 14-month-old camera. A revised update will be available 'around October 20th' the company says.
Fujifilm starts shipping 3D imaging system
Fujifilm has announced the US price and availability of its 3D imaging system including the W1 digital camera, V1 picture viewer and 3D prints. The W1, is now available for a retail price of US $599.95 and the digital viewer is available for US $499.95. 3D prints will be made available from mid-October, through the company's printing website SeeHere.com for approximately US $6.99 per print.
September 30
Canon to miss PMA and concentrate on CES
Canon has said it will have no presence or representation at the annual PMA trade show in Anaheim, California, in February. Canon USA has traditionally had one of the largest stands at the show and the Japanese parent company has regularly sent senior figures to the event. However, in light of the convergence of technologies from across its range: 'the decision has been made by Canon USA to only participate in 2010 trade shows and events that have the broadest reach,' the company said. It will still attend the International CES show organized by the Consumer Electronics Association. The event, which covers a wider range of electronics, takes place in Las Vegas, Nevada on January 7-10th.
Ricoh releases firmware update for GR Digital III
Ricoh has released a firmware update for its GR Digital III compact camera. Version 1.21 fixes minor issues related to playback and manual focus. It also rectifies an occasional Exif data error when using conversion lens GW-2. The firmware is available for immediate download from Ricoh's website.
September 29
Sense and Sensitivity
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Sensitivity (ISO) in digital imaging is the subject of quite a lot of confusion - it's becoming common to hear talk of manufacturers 'cheating with ISO.' Here we look at why sensitivity can be hard to pin down, why we use the definition we do and how it's really as complicated as it can seem.

ACD Systems releases ACDSee Pro 3
ACD Systems has released the final version of its ACDSee Pro 3 image browsing software, that was previously available for beta testing. It features an improved interface, more online publishing tools and advanced image processing options allowing both non-destructive and pixel-level editing on most file formats. The software is available for a free 30-day trial and for purchase at US $169.99 via the ACD Systems website.
Samsung releases AMOLED 12M Camera/Phone
Samsung Electronics has released the AMOLED 12M mobile phone which contains a 12 megapixel camera complete with zoom rocker, shutter button and mode dial. The phone's camera has a 3x optical zoom and includes features seen in recent compact cameras including 720p HD video recording, AF Tracking, Smart Auto and Face Recognition. All other functions are controlled via a WVGA (800x480 pixels, 1,152,000 dots) AMOLED (Active Matrix Organic Light-Emitting Diode) touch screen display. Initiailly only available in the Korean market, the phone/camera is a product of Samsung Electronics, which contains Samsung's mobile phone business. The company is reported to be considering absorbing Samsung's digital camera business - currently a separate company called Samsung Digital Imaging.
ISO and Sensitivity: Part 2
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We've just posted the second part of our blog post about ISO and Sensitivity. Last week we looked at what the ISO standard is supposed to tell us (the key thing being that it's based on JPEG middle gray and therefore is dependent on the manufacturer's chosen tone curve). This week we have a little look at what's going on behind the scenes when many modern cameras try to boost their ability to capture highlights.

September 28
Phase One introduces 645DF medium format camera
Phase One has released the 645DF medium format camera developed with Mamiya Digital Imaging. The camera, which will be available under both brand names, offers flash sync speeds of up to 1/1600 of a second as well as faster AF and capture rates than its predecessors. It is the only digital 645 series camera offering both focal plane and leaf shutters and it is compatible with most digital backs designed for the Phase One and Mamiya AFD mount, including those from Phase One, Leaf and Mamiya. The two companies have also announced a partnership with lens specialist Schneider Kreuznach. The first results are 55mm, 80mm and 110mm F/2.8 leaf shutter lenses designed for the 645DF. The new camera and lenses are expected to start shipping by the end of this year. The 645DF is priced at $5990/€4290 and the lenses start at $2490/€1790.
Tamron releases 60mm F2 Macro for Sony
Tamron has announced the availability of the its 60mm F/2 Di macro lens in Sony mount, to join the Canon and Nikon versions which are already shipping. The lens features a built-in AF motor, and provides 1:1 magnification with an unusually fast maximum aperture for a macro lens. It's designed excusively for APS-C sensors, and will vignette when used on full-frame camera such as the Alpha 850 and 900. The lens will start shipping from October 2009.
Hasselblad releases  H4D-60 &  H4D-50 medium format cameras
Hasselblad has introduced two new cameras to its H System of medium format cameras. First comes the H4D-60 with a 60MP sensor. It features the 'True Focus' AF system that can measure the movement of the camera when recomposing after focusing to ensure that focus remains on the target - a system Hasselblad calls Absolute Position Lock. Along with the H4D-60, the company has also launched the H4D-50 with a 50MP sensor, replacing the H3DII-50. The H4D-60 will start shipping from November 2009 at a retail price of €28,995 and the H4D-50 will ship in the first quarter of 2010 at a retail price of €19,995.
Panasonic updates firmware for DMC-LX3
Panasonic has posted a firmware update for its Lumix DMC-LX3 digital compact camera. Version 2.0 brings a host of additional functions as well as feature improvements for the 14-month-old camera. Changes include a 20% AF-speed increase at the wide-angle position, the addition of white balance bracketing and an expansion of the available exposure compensation. It also adds a High Dynamic scene mode, 1:1 aspect-ratio shooting and improves white balance performance.
September 25
Panasonic Lumix G 20mm F1.7 lens review

Just posted! Our lens review of the Panasonic Lumix G 20mm F1.7 ASPH (also known, somewhat cyptically, as the H-H020). There's little doubt that this year's small-bodied Micro Four Thirds cameras have attracted a lot of attention, and by way of an appetiser for our upcoming Panasonic GF1 review, we take a look at its compact, large aperture kit lens. True to the system's spirit of cross-brand co-operation, we've also taken the opportunity to shoot an extensive samples gallery using the Olympus E-P1. Click through to discover whether we found the lens to be up to standard.

Breeze Systems releases DSLR Remote Pro v1.0 for Mac
Software maker Breeze Systems has launched a Mac version of its DSLR Remote Pro software. Version 1.0 for Mac brings the remote control of Canon DSLRs to the Apple platform, allowing users to control focus, shoot time-lapse sequences and display live images from their computers. The software is now available at an introductory price of US $75.
September 24
Canon PowerShot G11 samples gallery

Just Posted: Our preview sample gallery from the Canon PowerShot G11. It's the first time in the G-series' history that the nominal resolution has decreased on a new model. We've got hold of a production version of Canon's latest flagship compact camera and so you can see for yourself what impact this move has had on the image output. As usual we've made sure to include a variety of light situations and ISO-settings.

Wacom refreshes Bamboo tablet line-up
Wacom has refreshed its Bamboo line of interactive tablets to include multi-touch and gesture-based control. First up are the Bamboo for office users and Bamboo Fun aimed at photographers and artists. They use either a pen or a multi-touch option that allows finger gestures to zoom, flip and rotate documents and images. There is also a less-expensive touch-only model called the Bamboo Touch. Beyond these three core products Wacom has also launched regional models including Pen-only models.
September 23
Lomography offers Diana F+ adaptors for Nikon & Canon
Lomography, distributor of optics from Hong Kong-based Diana has released affordable F+ lens adaptors for Canon EOS and Nikon F-mount DSLRs. These adaptors are compatible with Diana's special effect 20mm, 38mm, 55mm and 110mm lenses. While the adaptors are priced at €12 each, the lenses range from €35 to €50.
ISO and Sensitivity: Part 1
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We're seeing an increasing number of posts on our forums expressing confusion about ISO and asking why we don't test cameras based on their 'true' ISO values. So we've just posted the first of a two-part explanation of ISO, what it means, the role it plays in photography and how apparent discrepancies in reported values can occur.

Sigma 70-300mm f/4-5.6 HSM for Nikon
Pre-PMA 2008: Sigma offers Nikon D40 and D60 DSLR owners more reach for less outlay with the launch of two tele zooms with built-in focus motors. The popular 70-300mm f/4-5.6 DG Macro lenses in both standard and APO flavors have been motorized for owners of Nikon's D40 and D60 which lack support for tradition screw focusing. More details after the link...
Google announces Picasa 3.5
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Google has announced version 3.5 of Picasa, its free image-editing software program. The latest version features improved tagging and import options and enhanced geo-tagging with integration of Google Maps. In addition, the company has also launched a Mac version of the software including most of the features of its PC version.
Adobe releases Photoshop Elements 8
Adobe has released version 8 of its Photoshop Elements image-editing software. Both the Windows and Mac versions see the addition of functions such as 'Adobe Photomerge' Exposure, Recompose and Quick Fix previews. Automated analysis tools can be used to add tags and identify people in your images for easy organization. Priced at US $99.99 and £75.82 in the UK, this latest release is now available for Windows, with a Mac version to follow soon.
September 21
Just posted: our in-depth Sigma DP2 review
Just Posted! Our review of the Sigma DP2. Sigma was the first company brave enough to put a large sensor in a compact body and its DP1 was an interesting, if flawed creation. The DP2 is its second attempt - featuring a 41mm equivalent F2.8 lens and a series of improvements derived from the company's experiences with the DP1. However, it is no longer the only compact camera claiming to offer 'the power of DSLR' so can the DP2 see off the interlopers and does its unique sensor design give it hidden depths?
Fujifilm Finepix F70EXR samples gallery
Just Posted: Our preview sample gallery of shots taken with the Fujifilm FinePix F70EXR, current holder of the 'world's smallest 10x zoom camera' and the first model to sport the new 10 megapixel version of the new Super CCD EXR sensor. We've had an F70 EXR for a few days now and managed to find a break in the clouds long enough to produce a quick gallery of images taken in a wide variety of lighting conditions, using all three EXR modes.
September 18
Canon PowerShot S90 samples gallery
Just Posted: Our preview sample gallery from the Canon PowerShot S90. We've just got hold of a production version of this latest photographers' compact, so, given the apparent level of interest, have put together a preview samples gallery. Canon made a big play of its 'high sensitivity' 10 megapixel sensor so we've made sure we've tried it at a range of ISO settings, and have included a couple of low-light portraits under challenging tungsten lighting.
Samyang offers 14mm F/2.8 IF ED MC Aspherical lens
Samyang Optics, the Korean manufacturer of industrial optics and photographic lenses has announced a 14mm F2.8 IF ED MC Aspherical super wide-angle lens. It is designed for full-frame cameras, but works with APS-C cameras as well. It features two ED, one hybrid aspherical and one glass aspherical lens element. The lens offers an impressive 114° field of view on full frame cameras and 92.5° on APS-C cameras. It will be available from November 2009 in Canon, Nikon, Sony and Pentax mounts.
September 17
Panasonic updates firmware for G1 & GH1 cameras
Panasonic has posted firmware updates for its DMC-GH1 and DMC-G1 Micro Four-Thirds cameras. Both updates improve autofocus performance in low contrast conditions and the stability of auto exposure (AE) for the recently released Panasonic Leica 45mm F2.8 Macro lens. The GH1 firmware v1.2 also decreases the AF operation sound of the 20mm F1.7 pancake lens for quieter video recording.
Panasonic issues firmware for 45-200mm lens
Panasonic has released a firmware update for its Lumix G Vario 45-200mm F4.0-5.6 OIS Micro Four Thirds lens. Version 1.1 enhances several aspects of the lens's operation, including continuous autofocus while shooting stills, and autofocus and image stabilization performance in movie mode.
Pentax announces K-x entry level DSLR
Pentax has announced an upper-entry level DSLR, the K-x. Based on the K2000 (K-m) body, the K-x adds a number of features including a 12.4 Mp CMOS sensor, 11-point autofocus, Live View and HD video mode. It will be available in a choice of colors - black, white, and limited editions of red and navy - from October 2009 at a price of $649.95 with the 18-55mm DA-L kit lens. To accompany the K-x Pentax has also released a budget 'L' version of its 55-300mm F4-5.8 telephoto zoom lens.
Pentax K-x brief hands-on
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Pentax's K-x offers an awful lot of K-7 features in what is essentially the same body as the K2000 (K-m). In fact, its high specification and low price are most reminiscent of the much-loved K200D, which could make this a welcome addition to the upper-entry-level market. We were able to borrow a pre-production model so that we could look beyond the various color options to see just what this latest little Pentax offers.
September 15
Sinar assets spun off to two new companies
Swiss medium format manufacturer Sinar has been hived-off into two companies with its Swiss distributor Tekno AG taking over development, sales, service and support for the brand's products and manufacturing passed to Femron, a management buyout of its production facilities. A new company called Sinar Photography formed by Teckno will take over the relevant assets. Former owner Jenoptik withdrew from the medium format market in July 2009 following the collapse of its partner in the Hy6 system: Franke & Heidecke.
Hartblei creates medium format camera with 35mm lens mount
Germano-Ukrainian specialist lens maker Hartblei has announced a medium format camera designed with a 35mm lens mount. The Hartblei CAM can mount any digital or film medium format back up to 4.5x6cm and will be available in Canon EF, Nikon F or Sony Alpha mounts. The company is working to develop the EF-mount version so that it can electronically control the apertures on Canon's latest 17mm and 24mm TS-E lenses. Mounting the Nikkor 14-24mm F2.8, either on the native Nikon version on the EF mount version with an adapter, gives a viewing angle of 135°.
Adobe releases Lightroom 2.5 & Camera Raw 5.5
Adobe has released Photoshop Lightroom 2.5 and Camera Raw 5.5. These are final versions of updates which were originally posted as 'release candidates' on the Adobe Labs site, and are now available for immediate download. Both provide additional Raw support for Nikon D300S, Nikon D3000, Panasonic DMC-GF1 and Olympus E-P1. Although support is offered for Panasonic DMC-FZ35, it doesn't extend to the Japanese and European version of the camera (the FZ38). In addition, the ACR update also includes corrections for sensors with non-conventional color filter arrays (as introduced in the most recent DNG specification).
Olympus posts firmware updates for E-P1 Micro Four Thirds camera and kit lenses
Olympus has released a firmware update for its E-P1 Micro Four Thirds camera. Version 1.1 improves the camera operation in Continuous AF mode (C-AF). The company has also posted firmware updates for the E-P1's kit lenses: the M. Zuiko Digital ED 14-42mm 1:3.5-5.6 and the M. Zuiko Digital 17mm 1:2.8 pancake lens. The updates promise to improve the autofocus operation of both the lenses. Firmware updates can be downloaded via the Olympus Master/Studio software.