February 1
Developing a new rating system
We're updating - or rather overhauling, our ratings system and we thought some of you might be interested to see the direction we're moving in. We're still ironing out a few wrinkles and fine-tuning a few aspects but we're more or less ready to roll with the new ratings and scores as soon as we publish our next review. To find out a little more about where we're headed and the thinking behind it, check out the blog post after the link...
Sigma 18-250mm DC OS HSM review

Just posted! Our lens review of the Sigma 18-250mm F3.5-6.3 DC OS HSM. Sigma's latest superzoom is essentially an extension of the company's older 18-200mm design, but now sports both optical image stabilization and an in-lens hypersonic autofocus motor for users of Canon, Nikon, Pentax and Sony DSLRs. But in this popular segment of the market it faces stiff competition, not only from the camera manufacturers' own offerings but also from Tamron's superzoom designs. So how does it measure up?

Tokina 11-16mm becomes first Alpha mount lens
Tokina has launched its first lens in Sony's Alpha mount. The AT-X 116 Pro DX 11-16 mm f/2.8 lens will be available in Japan from from February 24th, 2010 at an approximate retail price of ¥94,500 (around US $1046). This announcement means Tokina becomes the last of the big three third-party lens makers to support the Sony format.
Canon releases Pixma iP2700 photo printer
Canon has released the PIXMA iP2700 photo and document printer. It promises grain-free printing at resolutions of up to 4800 x 1200 dpi and can print 10 x 15cm borderless photos in approximately 55 seconds. It also includes two software packages to correct underexposed images and for combining sections of web pages into single documents.
January 29
Bibble Labs releases Bibble 5 Pro v5.0.1
Bibble Labs has updated its Bibble 5 Pro software to version 5.0.1. It extends RAW support to Canon EOS-1D Mark IV, Olympus E-P2 and adds a new one-click option to set black, gray or white points. It also offers a third-party film simulation plug-in called 'Andrea'. Version 5.0.1 is available as a free upgrade for existing v5 customers.
Canon announces 50 millionth EF lens
Canon has announced the production of its 50 millionth EF lens. The specific lens was one of the newly released EF 100mm f/2.8L Macro IS USMs. EF mount lens production started in 1987. In September 2009, Nikon announced the 50 millionth lens for its F mount, launched in 1959.
January 28
Adobe releases Lightroom update for Leica M9
Adobe has released a Photoshop Lightroom update for Leica M9 users. Version 2.6.1 fixes a bug that causes Light room v2.6 to crash while processing certain M9 images. Other camera users need not update their software to v2.6.1.
Canon issues EOS-1D Mark IV firmware update
Canon has posted a firmware update for its latest professional DSLR, the EOS-1D Mark IV. Firmware version 1.0.6 enhances autofocus tracking performance of the camera in specific circumstances. The firmware is available for immediate download from Canon's website.
January 27
DxO Labs updates Optics Pro for Windows
DxO Labs has updated its Optics Pro lens correction and raw processing software for Windows. Version 6.1.2 adds support for the Pentax K-7, Sony's A500 and A550 DSLRs and Panasonic's LX3 and GH1. Version 6 for Mac is promised in the first quarter of 2010.
January 26
CIPA issues 2009 sales figures and 2010 forecast
Japanese trade body Camera and Imaging Products Association (CIPA) has published an overview of 2009 camera sales and a forecast for 2010. Overall sales fell by 11.6% in 2009 to 105.9 million units but within those figures, DSLR and interchangeable lens camera sales grew 2.3% over the previous year and now account for 9.3% of the overall market. For 2010 CIPA, which gets its figures from all the major Japanese camera makers, predicts integrated-lens camera sales will rise 3.0% while DSLRs and interchangeable lens cameras sales will grow 11.1% compared to 2009.
Panasonic unveils DMC-ZS7 / TZ10 with built-in GPS
Panasonic has unveiled the Lumix DMC-ZS7 compact superzoom (TZ10 outside the US) with GPS that geo-tags and identifies over half a million locations. The latest in the popular TZ7, TZ5, TZ3 series, it also gains the company's 'Power O.I.S' image stabilization system, claimed to be twice as effective as on the old model. Full P/A/S/M control modes increase its photographer appeal, while the brightness and saturation optimizing 'Happy Mode' helps boost its point-and-shoot potential. The improved Venus Engine HDII processor offers differential image processing based on image content. AVCHD movie recording, SDXC support, high-res 3" display and 12x optical zoom (25-300mm equiv.) help fill-out the list of goodies.
Panasonic introduces DMC-ZS5 / TZ8 compact superzoom
Panasonic has introduced the Lumix DMC-ZS5 (TZ8 ouside the US) with 12x optical zoom starting at a wide 25mm. Successor to the DMC-TZ6, the TZ8 features the company's new Intelligent Resolution technology that applies different image processing to different content within each image. It supports SDXC memory cards and offers manual control. The 14MP camera features the same lens as the ZS7 but with a smaller, 2.7" LCD and Motion JPEG compression for its 720p HD movies.
Panasonic offers  DMC-FT2 rugged compact
Panasonic has launched the Lumix DMC-TS2 rugged compact (FT2 outside the US), the successor to last year's DMC-TS1. The TS2 features a tougher body that is dustproof, waterproof to 10m, shockproof against a drop of up to 2m, and freezeproof down to -10°C. It uses a 14MP sensor, 2.7 inch LCD, and 28 - 128mm equivalent lens with Power O.I.S optical stabilization. It also features AVCHD Lite HD movie recording and a faster Venus Engine HD II processor, plus SDXC support and the company's curiously-named 'Happy Mode'.
Panasonic announces DMC-ZX3 digital compact camera
Panasonic has announced the Lumix DMC-ZX3 compact with an 8x optical zoom lens starting at 25mm equiv, made possible by super thin 0.3mm lens elements. Successor to the DMC-ZX1, the ZX3 features the company's new 'Happy Mode' that optimizes the color, saturation and brightness of both photos and videos. It offers AVCHD Lite video recording, SDXC support and Power O.I.S. lens stabilization, and comes with a 14MP sensor and a 2.7 inch LCD.
Panasonic releases DMC- FX66 digital camera
Panasonic has released the Lumix DMC-FX66 ultra-compact. The 14MP camera features Intelligent Resolution technology and Power O.I.S. image stabilization. It also includes the company's new Happy mode that apparently optimizes the color, saturation and brightness of the recorded image to match your memory of the scene, plus a Cosmetic mode that enhances skin texture. It incorporates a 25-125mm equiv. wide-angle lens, 2.7 inch LCD and an HD output.
January 25
Pentax Optio i10 looks back to Auto 110
Pentax has unveiled the Optio I-10 compact camera that replicates the look of the company's Auto 110 micro-SLRs. Behind the cute, retro styling is a 12MP sensor, 2.7" LCD and a 5x zoom covering a 28-140mm equivalent range. It also includes sensor-shake image stabilization, 720p HD movie shooting, a dynamic range expansion feature, the ability to be remotely controlled and can recognise the faces of cats and dogs.
Pentax Optio H90
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Pentax has released the premium-styled Optio H90 digital compact. It features a 12MP sensor and the 28-140mm equivalent zoom lens seen in the i-10. The company's new 'functional beauty' concept lends the H90 a pleasant minimalism but the lack of optical image stabilization suggests the austerity might have gone a bit far. The H90 can shoot 720p HD movies and is optimized to work with Eye-Fi wireless SD cards.
Pentax announces Optio E90 budget camera
Pentax has announced the Optio E90 budget compact. The camera features a non-slip rubber coating and a simple, large-buttoned interface similar to previous E series models. It is built around a 10MP sensor, includes a 2.7 inch LCD and 3x optical zoom lens (32-95mm equiv). It gains smile recognition to ensure shots are snapped while your subject smiles.
What Digital Camera arranges auction for Haiti
What Digital Camera has arranged an auction of camera gear in aid of the victims of the earthquake in Haiti. All the goods have been donated by their respective UK distributors and all the proceeds will go directly to the Disasters Emergency Appeal (DEC) Haiti Earthquake Appeal (a collaboration of 13 major UK aid agencies, led by the Red Cross). Lots include compacts, premium-brand accessories and even a Nikon D3000. Bids must all be made by PayPal and all auctions end on January 30th.
Kenko releases converters for Canon & Nikon
Kenko has updated three of its teleconverters available for both Canon and Nikon mounts. The DGX versions now communicate the effective focal length and aperture of the lens/converter combination to the camera for recording in the EXIF data. The PRO 300 AF 2.0x DGX, MC4 AF 1.4x DGX and MC7 AF 2.0x DGX are otherwise the same as previous 'DG' versions.
January 22
Canon plans update of EOS 1D Mark IV firmware
Canon has announced it is working on updating the firmware for the EOS 1D Mark IV. The forthcoming firmware, version 1.0.6, will improve the camera's performance when tracking receding subjects and subjects that are approaching the camera slowly. The firmware will be available from late January, the company says.
dpreview.com launches user Galleries
We're proud to announce the public beta of our new Galleries feature, providing a place for you to upload and share your photos. It's something we've talked about wanting to do for many years so we're really excited to be able to launch the first wave of features. Every dpreview.com member automatically has a free account, providing the ability to upload up to 200MB worth of images per month, up to 1,000 images in total. Pro accounts with unlimited upload capability will follow soon, along with a raft of other features. Galleries already offers the ability to upload, tag and arrange images into albums with a simple way to including photos into forum posts. It's a beta for now, so may be prone to the occasional bout of hiccups, but we think it's too much fun to keep to ourselves.
January 21
Sigma UK reduce specialist lens prices
Sigma UK has announced a reduction in retail prices of several of its specialist, professional lenses. This, it says, is the result of securing lower cost prices from its parent company in Japan.
January 20
Leica announces Oskar Barnack Award 2010
Leica has announced its 31st Oskar Barnack Award for themed photo series, with a first prize of €5,000. The award is made for a series of ten to twelve images expressing 'the interaction between man and the environment.' For the second time, there is also a 'Newcomer' award open to photographers under 25 years, with the chance to win €2,500. Winners in both categories can also opt for their prize's value in Leica camera equipment. Submissions are open until 15 March 2010.
Cosina announces Voigtländer M-mount 12mm F5.6 lens

Cosina has announced a Voigtländer branded Heliar 12mm F5.6 Aspherical II ultra wide angle lens for Leica M mount. Capturing a 121° angle of view, the manual focus lens can be fitted on Micro Four Thirds bodies using an adaptor. Cosina has also released a 12mm External Viewfinder alongside the lens. Priced at 85,000 yen (approx. US $932) and 34,500 yen (approx. US $378) respectively, the lens and viewfinder will start shipping from March 2010.

Sony introduces TransferJet Memory Stick
Sony has announced the TransferJet wireless Memory Stick. The technology can transfer files at speeds of up to 560Mbps, matching the latest 802.11n standard Wi-Fi transfer rates, but only within a range of 3 cm between two devices that support TransferJet. This therefore would seem to be of most use to people who struggle with card readers. The company will launch an 8GB version of the wireless card on February 5, 2010, priced at US $99.99.
January 19
Nikon releases Capture NX2 v2.2.4 for Mac
Nikon has released v2.2.4 of its Capture NX2 software for Mac. The latest version, released last month for Windows, fixes minor bugs and extends support to Mac Snow Leopard (v10.6.2).
Silicon Power announces 128GB 400x CF card
Silicon Power has announced the world’s first 128GB 400x Compact Flash card. Offering the largest storage capacity we've yet seen with write speeds of 90MB/s, it allows the recording of HD video without compromising continuous shooting performance. The card will also be available in 64GB, 32GB, 16GB and 8GB capacities.
Samsung unveils HZ35W & HZ30W superzooms
Samsung has unveiled the HZ35W and HZ30W compact superzooms. The new image-stabilized cameras increase their zoom ranges to 15x, starting at a very useful 24mm equivalent. (A worlds first in a camera so slim) The HZ35W (WB650 in Europe) includes built-in GPS and a 3.0" AMOLED display while the HZ30W (WB600) has neither, instead featuring a 3.0" LCD. Both cameras feature 12.2MP sensors and 720p HD video recording using H.264 compression. They succeed the TL320 (WB) and HZ15W (WB).
Samsung releases TL110 & TL105 digital cameras
Samsung has released the TL110 and TL105 ultra compact cameras. The 14.2 megapixel TL110 (ST70 in Europe) and 12 megapixel TL105 (ST60) offer 2.7 inch LCDs, wide angle zoom lenses starting at 27mm equivalent and offer 720p HD video recording using H.264 compression. Both include scene modes such as Fisheye, Lomo and a DeFog Clear/Fog Lifting mode that claims to cut through haze to take clearer images.
Samsung announces SL630 digital compact
Samsung has unveiled the SL630 budget compact camera. The camera, called PL80 in Europe, is designed with a 12.2 megapixel sensor, 5x (28-140mm equiv.) zoom lens and 2.7 inch LCD. It includes image stabilization, focus tracking and 'Perfect Portrait' system. Priced at £129.99, the camera will be available from March 2010.
January 18
Canon US announces short film contest
Canon US has announced an HD video competition with a chance to win either an EOS 7D or 5D Mark II. The 'Story Beyond The Still' contest asks budding US videographers to create a video that continues where Vincent Laforet's "The Cabbie" ends. Each winning entry becomes the start point of the next 'chapter.' The overall winner, chosen by the users of video site Vimeo, will help Laforet film the work's conclusion.
January 14
Kodak challenges Apple and RIM on patent
Kodak is challenging Apple and Research In Motion Limited (RIM) companies over alleged infringement of a camera technology patent. Kodak is claiming image preview technologies used in Apple's iPhone and RIM's camera-enabled BlackBerry mobile phones are covered by one of its patents. This follows a similar dispute with Samsung that was settled earlier this week.
Nikon updates Camera Control Pro software
Nikon has updated its Camera Control Pro remote control software to recognize the firmware changes in its D3 and D700 DSLRs. Version 2.7.1 modifies the behaviors of Auto ISO and Focus tracking to reflect the revisions made in the recent firmware updates.
January 13
Toshiba shows 64GB SDXC card
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Toshiba has exhibited its first SDXC (Extended Capacity) memory card at the CES 2010 show in Las Vegas. The 64GB cards with read and write speeds of up to 60MB/s and 35MB/s respectively, were first announced in August 2009 as the world first 64GB SDXC cards. CES 2010 has been a success for the SD formats, with the launch of SDXC compatible digital cameras from Panasonic and Canon, while Sony and Olympus introduced cameras using SDHC cards, rather than being restricted to their own proprietary memory formats.
Olympus pens firmware v1.2 for E-P1
Olympus has released a firmware update for its E-P1 Micro Four Thirds camera. Version 1.2 changes the duration of the enlarged MF Assist view, 'to improve operability'. It also changes the camera's behavior when the screen backlight is turned off. Firmware updates can be downloaded via the Olympus Master/Studio software.
January 12
Kodak and Samsung settle patent dispute
Kodak and Samsung Electronics have agreed a licensing pact that will allow access to each other’s patent portfolio, settling a dispute between them. The agreement also saw Samsung pay towards what Kodak describes as 'its royalty obligation.' In November 2009 Kodak had challenged Samsung over alleged patent infringement of technology used in their Blackjack II camera phone.
January 11
Casio shows EX-10HG 'hybrid GPS' camera prototype
CES 2010: Casio has unveiled a prototype compact camera with what the company is calling 'Hybrid GPS'. The EX-10HG appears to be essentially a modified Exilim EX-H10 that aims to allow the use of GPS when indoors or away from the GPS satellite signals. According to a report from Japanese site DC Watch, the camera uses three-axis accelerometers and its orientation sensor to calculate how far it has traveled since it was last able to receive a signal. (Image courtesy of DC Watch)
January 7
UK Christmas camera sales get a boost
UK shoppers spent nearly one fifth more on cameras this Christmas than they did at the same time last year. Market research company GfK's figures show that although camera sales volumes only rose a little, the amount of money spent between December 20 and 26th climbed by 19%. Fixed-lens (compact) cameras led the way, with unit sales up 2%, while interchangeable lens cameras sales volumes fell 4%. However, because the average selling price of interchangeable lens cameras has increased since late 2008, their sales were up 20% by value.
CES 2010 compact camera round-up
CES 2010 only opened today and we've already seen the announcement of 45 new compact cameras. To a great extent these launches have been about manufacturers refreshing their product ranges, but there have been a few interesting additions along the way. As try to dry ourselves off after the latest compact camera deluge, it's worth taking stock of where these latest models leave the market. What sort of specification should you be able to expect from the class of 2010?
Panasonic releases SDXC memory cards
Panasonic has announced its first SDXC (Extended Capacity) memory cards. The 64GB and 48GB cards offer Class 10 speed with maximum data transfer speed of up to 22MB/s. Their launch complements the company's SDXC-compatible cameras announced today. Both cards will start shipping in February 2010 with suggested retail prices of $599.95 and $449.95, respectively.
Olympus announces mju TOUGH 3000
Pre-CES 2010:The first part of substantial compact camera range refresh by Olympus begins with the µ (mju) Tough 3000 (Europe / Asia name). As with previous Tough cameras the 3000 is shockproof to 1.5m, scratchproof, waterproof to 3m, and able to withstand temperatures as low as -10°C (or "freezeproof" if you like). Behind its monocle-like lens-cover sits a 3.6x wide angle zoom (28-102mm) and a pretty tiny 12 megapixel CCD sensor. Must-haves are sensor stabilization, HD movie, HDMI connectivity and "Magic Filters" (known as Art Filters elsewhere). Credit though for 1GB of internal memory and USB charging.
Olympus mju 5010, 70x0 and 9010 pocket zoomers
Pre-CES 2010: The next installment from Olympus comes with no less than four new pocketable super-zoom models. They are the first Olympus compacts to use the common SD memory card format (to allow for HD movie capture, the company says). The name sort-of indicates the amount of zoom available; 10x for the µ-9010, 7x for the µ-7040 & µ-7030 and 5x for the µ-5010. All four cameras pack a fourteen megapixel CCDs, sensor stabilization, either 1 or 2 GB of internal storage and HD movie recording. Best of all these models will be available in a range of vivid colors.
Olympus makes FE-5030, 40x0 and 47 light on/in your pocket
Pre-CES 2010: Saving the best cheapest most cost-effective for last, Olympus has launched four FE series cameras to line the shelves. With either four or five times optical zooms these cameras will no doubt rely heavily on noise reduction to keep their fourteen megapixel CCDs in check. Credit for USB charging, sensor stabilization, use of SD memory cards, and a rather attractive design for the 5030. Available in March.
Sony unleashes twelve Cyber-shot compact cameras
Pre-CES 2010: Sony has unleashed twelve Cyber-shot compacts. First come the feature-rich HX5 and TX7 with 10MP Exmor R back illuminated CMOS sensors, 25mm wide angle lenses and offer AVCHD 1080i Full HD movie recording, image stabilization and Intelligent Sweep Panorama. The HX5 also comes with built-in GPS and compass, while the TX7 includes a 3.5 inch touchscreen LCD. Next come eight new compacts in the W-series, with 14MP CCDs and wide-angle lenses, including features such as Sweep Panorama and HD movie recording. Lastly, we have the S2100, S2000 with 12 megapixel sensors, 10x optical zoom lenses and 3.0 inch LCDs. The latest line-up of Cyber-shots support SD/SDHC memory cards and will be available from the end of January 2010.
January 6
Panasonic releases FS30 and FS33
Pre-CES 2010: Panasonic has released a slew of compacts, starting with the Lumix DMC-FS33 and DMC-FS30. Both cameras feature 8X image-stabilized zoom lenses starting at a 28mm-equivalent wideangle, 14MP 1/2.33"-type sensors with image processing by Panasonic's Venus Engine IV, and HD video recording in the MJPEG format at 720p. They are distinguished by their screens - the FS33 has a 3" touch-screen with an anti-reflective coating, that allows users to select the focusing and metering areas simply by tapping the desired point on the preview image. Meanwhile the FS30 makes do with a conventional 2.7" LCD. As usual both cameras will be available in a range of colors.
Panasonic reveals slimline FP1, FP2 & FP3
Pre-CES 2010: Next up from Panasonic are three slimline Lumix compacts, in the shape of the 12MP FP1, and the 14MP FP2 and FP3. All three models feature a 4X non-extending image-stabilized zoom lens (35-140mm equivalent range) and the Venus Engine IV processor; the FP1 and FP2 use 2.7" LCDs, whereas the FP3 uses a 3" touch-screen with Touch AF and metering area selection. The cameras all come in a generous range of pretty colors - 8 for the FP1 and FP2, and no fewer than 12 for the FP3.
Panasonic FS10 and FS11 - wide, 5x on a budget
Pre-CES 2010: Rounding off Panasonic's early 2010 Lumix range are the FS 10 and FS11. Both cameras come equiped with 28mm wideangle 5X zoom lenses with Mega OIS, 2.7" screens, Venus Engine IV processors and 720p MJPEG format HD video recording. The FS11 sports a 14Mp sensor, while the FS10 has to make do with just 12Mp. Again there's a choice of colors including silver, black, blue and pink; the FS11 will also come in red, but if you really want an orange camera you'll have to buy the FS10 instead.
Samsung TL210 and TL205 update 2View camera range
Pre-CES 2010: Samsung has updated its 2View range of dual LCD compact cameras with the launch of the TL210 and TL205 (PL150 and PL100 in Europe). The cameras share a 12MP sensor but the TL210 features a 5X image stabilized zoom starting at a useful 27mm equivalent, while the TL205 makes do with a less flexible, unstabilized 35-105mm equiv. (3X) lens. The TL210 also offers 720p HD video and a 3.0" rear LCD, whereas the TL205 offers VGA recording and a 2.7" screen. Both cameras are designed to lean backwards slightly when placed on a flat surface which, when combined with the dual LCD design, helps when taking self-portraits.
Samsung lauches CL80 and TL240 hydro-formed compacts
Pre-CES 2010: Samsung has launched the CL80 and TL240 stylish touch-screen cameras. Both cameras feature 14MP sensors housed in hydro-formed metal bodies. The CL80 (ST5500 in Europe) offers a 3.7" AMOLED touch-sensitive display while the TL240 (ST5000) has a simpler 3.5" LCD screen. The CL80 also offers both Wi-Fi and BlueTooth connectivity for transferring movies and images. Both have 7X zoom lenses and 720p HD video. Both models are inclined towards self-timer photos - they tilt backwards at 7 degrees to ensure they point up towards the subject.