Cosina has announced a Voigtländer branded Nokton 50mm F1.1 high speed lens for the Leica M mount, in a launch which marks the 10th anniversary of Cosina's Bessa series of rangefinder cameras. The Nokton becomes the second-fastest lens currently available for the M mount after the Leica Noctilux 50mm f/0.95, yet despite its speed weighs in at a relatively manageable 15 ounces and uses 58mm filters. The lens is constructed with 7 elements in 6 group and has minimum focusing distance of 1m. It will start shipping from the end of this month at a retail price of approximately 130,000 yen.
Fujifim Japan has released the Finepix Z300, its first camera that offers touchscreen shooting. With this new feature, users can focus and shoot images by touching the subject on the LCD screen. This 10MP camera with its 3.0" LCD and 5x (36-180mm equiv.) optical zoom incorporates features such as Image Stabilisation, an improved macro mode and Infrared Connectivity. The camera is available in Pink, White Gold, Purple and Glossy Black, but currently only in the Japanese market.
Just Posted: Our in-depth review of the Nikon D5000. Nikon has been on something of a roll with its recent DSLRs and, with the D5000, we see much of the technology from the D300 trickle down to the entry-level for the first time. In addition to that 12 megapixel CMOS sensor, the D5000 gains a tilt/swivel LCD monitor to help make the most of its 720p HD movie capabilities. Is this enough to fend off the very competent cameras it will be up against? Find out in our full review.
Jun 11, 2009 at 08:00
Casio has unveiled its first ultra-compact superzoom in the shape of Exilim EX-H10. Its 10X optical zoom starts at an extremely wide 24mm equivalent. Its battery can shoot an impressive 1000 images on a single charge (using standard CIPA tests). The 12.1MP camera also has a 3.0" LCD and features such as Auto Best Shot and Make-up Shot.
Eye-Fi has developed a version of its wireless SDHC memory cards aimed at the pro market. The Eye-Fi pro supports RAW file transfer and allows the creation of ad hoc connections to a computer or mobile device (without the need for a wireless router or internet connection). It also incorporates a new selective transfer feature that downloads only images that the user has marked as locked or protected. The Eye-Fi Pro is now available for a retail price of $149.
Canon has introduced the Selphy CP790 compact dye-sublimation photo printer. With a print speed of 47 seconds for postcard size images, it sports a 3.0" LCD, memory card slots for a selection of popular media and a Pictbridge port. It comes with a built-in carry handle, storage basket and an optional battery pack to enable portability. The printer includes Auto Image Correction functions and built-in templates and layouts for customizing images before printing.
Canon has also announced the Selphy CP780 compact dye-sublimation photo printer. Replacing the CP760, it offers faster print speed of approx 47 seconds per print and features a 2.5" LCD with image preview and takes a selection of memory card formats. It will be available in pink, blue, silver or white.
Just Posted: Our review of the Canon EOS 500D (Digital Rebel T1i in the United States and Kiss X3 Digital in Japan). Canon's xx0D series has for many years been one of the industry's most successful products. This latest incarnation comes with a (yet again) higher resolution sensor, a 920k pixel 3.0 inch LCD and 1080p HD video recording. Are these upgrades enough to defend one of the top spots in the 'entry level' segment of the market? Click through and find out in our review.
Apple has released a Digital Camera RAW Compatibility Update for Aperture 2, iPhoto '08 and iPhoto '09. Update 2.6 supports RAW files from the Canon Digital Rebel T1i (EOS 500D in Europe and EOS Kiss Digital X3 in Japan), Nikon D5000 and Olympus E-30 digital SLRs. The update is available for immediate download from Apple's website.
Olympus has published the third installment of its video series celebrating the 50th anniversary of its Pen cameras. The compact, cropped-format cameras evolved into the Pen-F, one of the smallest mass-market interchangeable lens cameras ever made. The site says there will be another installment next week but, with few milestone Pen series cameras left to cover, its layout appears to leave room for more videos. Coincidentally, Olympus has said there would be more news this summer about its Micro Four Thirds camera, a distinctly retro mockup of which has been shown at recent trade shows. Update: Olympus UK has told us there will be a public hands-on event in London on June 25th.
Tamron has announced that the availability of Sony and Pentax versions its 10-24mm wide-angle zoom APS-C cameras. The lens, which received a Recommended rating when tested in its Nikon mount guise, will be available in Japan from June 12th, the company says, with sales then expanding to other markets.
Atlantic Light Works has released PercepTool, a tone mapping plugin for Photoshop CS3 and CS4 that attempts to mimic the brain's interpretation of light and shade. Developed with photographer George DeWolfe, it takes either mono or color images and re-maps the tone response to offer a more 'realistic' rendition with greater depth. It is available priced at $89.95 or for trial download, for both Windows and Mac platforms.
reviewMay 27, 2009 at 12:12
Just posted! Our lens review of the Hartblei Superrotator 120mm F4 TS Macro. In this latest review we deviate from the beaten track and delve into the slightly esoteric world of tilt and shift optics, taking a look at the longest lens of its type currently available. Like the rest of Hartblei's lenses, the 120mm F4 sports an 'Optics by Carl Zeiss' tag and is available in mounts for most DSLRs, but does it offer enough to justify the price tag?
Canon has announced a firmware update for its EOS 5D Mark II digital SLR enabling manual exposure when shooting videos. With the updated version, users will be able to manually adjust the shutter speed, aperture and ISO settings in the video mode. The new firmware will be available for download on 2 June 2009 from Canon's website.
Adobe has released a release candidate of Photoshop Camera Raw 5.4 for immediate download from its Adobe Labs site. The latest version extends RAW support for 26 additional cameras and camera backs including the Canon EOS 500D, Nikon D5000, Olympus E-620 and 18 Hasselblad models. The 'Release Candidate' label indicates the update is tested, but not yet the finalized version.
May 21, 2009 at 10:15
Panasonic has launched the worlds first 'Class 10' series of SDHC cards. Class 10 is a new speed specification developed by the SD Card Association, it inherits the attributes of the current 'Class 6' line with further enhanced speed performance of up to 22MB/s. In addition to its Gold series Class 10 cards, it has announced a Silver series of Class 4 cards with a maximum speed of up to 20MB/s. The Gold series will start shipping by the end of this month in 4, 8, 16 and 32 GB capacities.
Panasonic has announced the DMW-MA2M M-mount adaptor and the DMW-MA3R R-mount adaptor for its Lumix G Micro System. Both Panasonic adaptors allow the use of movable MF assist function, which enlarges a selected area when focusing manually. The new adapters add to the list of third-party adapters designed to attach Leica M or R lenses to the DMC-G1 and DMC-GH1.
Pentax has announced the K-7 mid-level DSLR, based around an updated version of the Pentax/Samsung 14.6 MP CMOS sensor. The specifications - magnesium alloy body, 5.2 fps shooting, 720p HD video, 920,000 dot LCD - will not come as a surprise to the Pentax faithful, following comprehensive leaking of its details. However, we've been lucky enough to get hold of a pre-production camera to bring you a detailed hands-on preview of the K-7.
Along with the K-7 DSLR, Pentax has launched the smc PENTAX-DA 18-55mm F3.5-5.6AL WR and smc PENTAX-DA 50-200mm F4-5.6ED WR weather-resistant lenses. Treated with Super-Protect (SP) coating for dust resistance and designed with environmental sealing, both the lenses complement the latest Pentax weather-resistant DSLRs. Priced at $199.95 USD for the DA 18-55mm and $249.95 USD for the DA 50-200mm, the lenses will start shipping in July 2009.
Just Posted! We've had a Canon Powershot SD970 IS (IXUS 990 IS) in the office for a few weeks and - since we had the opportunity to use it extensively over the May Bank Holiday weekend - we thought we'd produce a quick gallery to give you an idea of what the camera, one of the latest additions to Canon's Powershot SD/IXUS range, is capable of.
Sony has announced three new entry-level DSLRs. The A230, A330 and A380 replace the Alpha 200, 300 and 350. The restyled cameras offer new ergonomics and easy-to-use interfaces, but retain the underlying specification of the predecessor models. As before, the basic model is a 10MP DSLR, the intermediate model adds Sony's fast live view system and the range-topping model gets a 14.2MP sensor. The new Alpha DSLRs are better differentiated from one another, with individual color schemes and grip finishes helping to distingush between the models.
Sony has announced four new lenses to accompany its new Alpha models. Aimed squarely at the first-time DSLR owners it's done so much to attract, all feature inexpensive construction (including plastic mounts) and a new in-lens autofocus system designated SAM (which stands for Smooth Autofocus Motor). First up is a pair of new kit zooms (standard and telephoto), in the shape of the DT 18-55mm F3.5-5.6 SAM and the DT 55-200mm F4-5.6 SAM. These are accompanied by a pair of primes; the DT 50mm F1.8 SAM and the DT 30mm F2.8 macro SAM. Prototypes of all four lenses were first shown at PMA earlier this year.
Just Posted! We've had a Panasonic GH1 to play with for a couple of weeks and - since it's going to be a while until we can publish a full review - we thought we'd produce a quick gallery of stills and a handful of HD quality movies to give you an idea of what the camera (and the new 14-140mm zoom lens) are capable of. Updated 19/5/2009 - a few higher ISO samples included.
Canon has released a service notice for its EOS-1D Mark III and EOS-1Ds Mark III DSLRs. It addresses the issue of ring-shaped spots appearing in the images of some cameras - caused by lubricant from the mirror box getting onto the Low Pass Filter. Owners of affected cameras can contact Canon's customer support centre for for a free cleaning of the mirror box.
Just Posted: Our Compact 'Superzoom' Group Test. We continue our series of group tests with six cameras that all combine a compact 'take-anywhere' body with the versatility of a 10x or 12x zoom lens. Throw in some extras such as HD video, super wide-angle lenses and image stabilization and you've got yourself a very tempting recipe. But which one is the most tasty dish? Find out in our review.
Sigma UK has announced the price and availability of the DP2 digital compact camera. Announced at the Photokina 2008 exhibition, this 14MP camera (4.7 million pixel images with three pieces of color data recorded at each location) with a large FOVEON X3 sensor has started shipping in the UK at a suggested retail price of £599.99. The optional VF-21 Viewfinder and HA-21 Hood adapter are available for £114.99 and £19.99 respectively.
Just Posted! Our preview sample gallery from the Sigma DP2. We were lucky enough to be loaned a full production version of Sigma's latest camera on a recent trip to Japan for just long enough to put together a quick gallery of sample images. We used a variety of subjects and color modes, and ISOs from 100 to 800. Click through to get an idea of the image quality this new large sensor compact can deliver.
May 8, 2009 at 09:51
Panasonic has announced recommended prices and availability for the Lumix DMC-GH1 Micro Four Thirds camera. The camera as a kit with the Lumix G VARIO HD 14-140mm/F4.0-5.8 ASPH/O.I.S. lens will sell for a suggested retail price of $1499.95 in the US. Panasonic Germany reports a recommended price of €1550 though it doesn't specify that includes the lens. It will be made available in both markets from June 2009. The US will only receive the camera in black, while different European countries will have varying options that can include red or and interesting Champagne gold color.
Ricoh has posted a firmware update for the CMOS-based CX1 digital compact camera. Firmware Version 1.19 rectifies the problem where the camera would shut down without retracting the lens when the battery is depleted. The update closely follows the recent CX1 firmware update (v1.16) which rectified minor operational issues.
Just Posted: Our review of the Fujifilm FinePix F200 EXR. Fujifilm has built up a reputation for following its own path when it comes to sensor technology, which has resulted in cameras such as the F30, F31fd and S5 Pro that have developed devoted followings. Now we have the FinePix F200 EXR, the first camera to incorporate the company's Super CCD EXR technology. So does this latest wizardry live up to the promises of improved low-light performance and greater dynamic range? And, just as importantly, what's the camera like to use? Find out the answer to both questions in our in-depth review.
Phase One has announced the P40+ medium format digital back. The new system incorporates the company's Sensor+ technology that offers both a full 40MP resolution capture mode and a second 10MP 'Sensor+' mode for faster image capture. The Sensor+ mode also increases maximum sensitivity from ISO 800 (in full resolution mode) to ISO 3200. The camera has started shipping at approximately €14,990 for the digital back and €16,990 for the camera system.
Canon has announced a service notice for its PowerShot G10 compact camera. It addresses the appearance of lines in certain images shot with a specific batch of G10's. Affected cameras can be identified by their serial numbers, where the 4th and 5th digits correspond to the numbers listed in the notice. These cameras will be repaired for free by contacting the company's customer support center.
PictureCode has updated the standalone version of Noise Ninja, its noise analysis and reduction software. Version 2.2.0 features a new Sidekick mode enabling external image-editing applications such as Photoshop Lightroom to send files for automatic batch processing. This update also fixes a bug in the Mac version.
Just posted! Our lens review of the Pentax smc DA 15mm F4 ED AL Limited. Following our recent tests featuring many of the wideangle zooms currently on the market, we turn our attention to Pentax's latest design: a compact wideangle prime for APS-C DSLRs. As a member of Pentax's 'Limited' range, it has the undeniable attraction of finely-engineered aluminium construction, but does the quality of the optics match the build?
Cosina has today announced a Voigtländer branded adapter to connect M-mount lenses with Micro Four Thirds camera bodies. The VM Micro Four Thirds adapter only provides a mechanical connection (no electronic data transfer) for lenses from Leica, Carl Zeiss and Voigtländer. It can also be used in conjunction with the company's M/L adapter to allow the use of Voigtländer L lenses. Click through for further infomation on the Cosina website (in Japanese) and a list of compatible lenses.
Canon has released firmware updates for its 50D, 450D and 1000D digital SLRs. Firmware versions 1.0.6, 1.1.0 and 1.0.5 for EOS 50D, Rebel XSi (450D) and Rebel XS (1000D) respectively, support the AF assist beam feature of Canon's latest Speedlight 270 EX flashgun. Additionally, the 50D update rectifies other issues including vertical banding noise.
Just Posted: Our review of Sony's new superzoom: the HX1. Superzoom is a fitting name for a camera that features a 20X zoom range of 28mm to 560mm equiv. It also features ultra-fast 10 fps continuous shooting speed, 1080p HD video recording and a sweeping panorama mode. All this built around a new 9 Megapixel CMOS sensor. How does this impressive sounding package perform? Find out in our review.
Apr 22, 2009 at 09:21
Ricoh has released a firmware update for the GR Digital II compact camera. Version 2.30 includes manual flash control as well as the ability to to save white balance compensation values under 'my settings'. A new feature, 'Today's Shots' displays the number of images recorded on a particular date when the power is turned off. The update follows the recent firmware update (v1.16) for the CMOS-based CX1 which rectifies a few minor issues.
Nexto, a manufacturer of portable backup storage devices, has announced the NVS2500 backup device claiming to offer back up speeds of up to 80MB/s. Primarily designed for video professionals, it is compatible with Compact Flash, SDHC and MemoryStick Pro, though its fastest speeds are reserved for SxS media. Built around a 2.5” SATA hard drive, it offers eSATA/USB and FireWire support. It also allows simultaneous backup to both its internal HD and an external USB hard drive. It also features a 2.4" preview LCD, rugged construction and a free-fall sensor for maximum drive protection. The NVS2500 is available in 160GB, 250GB, 350GB and 500GB storage capacities.
Panasonic has announced the addition of three new compact cameras to its Lumix FS series. The 12MP FS12 with 4x (31-124mm equiv.) optical zoom and a 2.7" LCD incorporates Intelligent Auto mode, Optical Image Stabilization and Face Detection. The FS42 and image-stabilized FS62 are both packed with 10 megapixel sensors, 2.5" LCDs, 4x (33-132mm equiv.) zoom lenses and include features such as Intelligent ISO Control, Intelligent Scene Selector and Face Detection. We expect the FS62 to be widely available, the other two models through select retailers.
Nikon has released a firmware update for its D40 and D40x DSLRs. Version 1.12 for the D40 and Version 1.01 for the D40x improve compatibility of both cameras with Nikon's new EN-EL9a batteries. With the updated firmware, the D40 should deliver approximately 510 shots in single-frame shooting mode using the EN-EL9a, according to CIPA standard tests, rather than 470 with the original EN-EL9 pack.
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