September 17
SanDisk board rebuffs Samsung offer
SanDisk's board has rejected a take-over approach from South Korean giant Samsung. A letter from SanDisk's Chairman and CEO to Samsung says the board considers the offer from the World's second-largest chip maker to undervalue its business. SanDisk announced, on September 5th, it had held talks with Samsung but described the latest offer as 'unsolicited' and 'opportunistically timed.' The offer would value the California, US-headquartered flash card maker at $5.8bn and would help Samsung reduce the technology licence fees it currently pays to SanDisk.
Canon EOS 5D Mark II: 21MP and HD movies
Pre-Photokina 2008: After a week or so of teaser ads Canon has finally unveiled the successor to the venerable EOS 5D, the world's first 'compact' full frame digital SLR. The EOS 5D Mark II boasts a new 21MP CMOS sensor, an expanded ISO range of 50-25,600 and a wealth of improvements and new features including full 1080p HD movie recording, live view, 3.0" 920k dot LCD, DIGIC IV processor, increased battery capacity and sensor dust reduction. UPDATE: Body-only prices: US: $ 2,699, EU: € 2,499, UK: £ 2,299.
Canon 24mm f/1.4 L II USM lens
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Pre-Photokina 2008: Along with the EOS 5D Mark II, Canon has announced its latest addition to the EF lens family, the 24mm f/1.4 L II USM fast aperture wide angle prime. The new lens has undergone a complete redesign and now features 13 elements in 10 groups, including two high-precision glass-molded aspheric elements and two UD glass elements, plus a floating focus mechanism to maintain performance across the entire distance range. It also features Canon’s brand-new ‘Sub Wavelength structure Coating’ technology to minimize flare and ghosting, and is sealed against dust and inclement weather.
UPDATE: Exclusive images added of the new lens on the 5D Mark II.
Two new Canon Superzooms including first CMOS PowerShot
Pre-Photokina 2008: Canon has announced a pair of 10 megapixel successors to its PowerShot S5IS 'super zoom' compact digital camera. Both the PowerShot SX10 IS and PowerShot SX1 IS feature 28-560mm (equivalent) 20x zoom lenses, DIGIC IV processors, improved image stabilization system and wealth of new features. The SX1 IS is particularly interesting as it is the first PowerShot to feature a Canon CMOS sensor, which allows the camera to offer 4.0 fps (full resolution) continuous shooting and true 1080p HDTV movie capture at 30fps. UPDATE: The SX1 has now been launched in the US and RAW capability added for existing users.
Canon PowerShot G10: 15MP & 28mm wide
Pre-Photokina 2008: Canon's PowerShot range has a new flagship in the form of the much anticipated G10, successor to the G9. Key changes include a new 14.7 megapixel CCD sensor and, more usefully, a new 28-140mm wide zoom and increased screen resolution - plus a DIGIC IV processor. A new top panel layout adds a dedicated AE compensation dial and there's an improved grip, but overall externally the changes are subtle.
Canon SD 990 IS and SD 880 IS
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Pre-Photokina 2008: Canon has launched the Digital IXUS 980 IS and Digital IXUS 870 IS, including the first IXUS with manual controls. The models, which will be known as the SD 990 IS and SD 880 IS in North America, replace the Digital IXUS 960 IS and 860 IS respectively. The 14.7MP IXUS 980 features a 36 - 133mm equiv optical zoom, 2.5” LCD and is the first IXUS to offer manual controls. The 10MP IXUS 870 IS features a 28-112mm equiv optical zoom and a larger 3.0” LCD. Both cameras use Canon’s new DIGIC 4 processor for faster image processing.
September 16
Sony updates A700 firmware and processing software
Sony has issued a firmware update for its A700 DSLR. The firmware, widely distributed having been posted on the company's Japanese site, makes a number of changes, including a noise-reduction 'off' setting that may address some of the criticisms originally leveled at the camera. Other modifications include changes to bracketing, white balance and dynamic range optimization. Related updates have also been made to Sony's processing software.
Casio announces Exilim EX-FH20 high speed camera
Casio has launched the Exilim EX-FH20 high speed digital compact camera. Building on the interest in its EX-F1 model, the FH20 offers a burst rate of up to 40fps and movies at 1000fps. The camera is built around a 9.1MP, 1/2.3” CMOS sensor and 20x zoom lens (26-520mm equiv) Priced at £399, the EX-FH20 is considerably less expensive than the EX-F1 and will be available from October.
September 15
Three Prime lenses launched by Leica
Pre-Photokina 2008: Leica has, amongst its latest announcments, launched three new prime lenses - the SUMMILUX-M 21 mm f / 1.4 ASPH, SUMMILUX-M 24 mm f / 1.4 ASPH and Elmar-M 24 MM F / 3.8 ASPH Lens. Ideal with the M8/8.2, the all three lenses are specifically designed to keep vignetting and distortion to a minimum.
Leica offers World's fastest Aspherical lens
Pre Photokina 2008: Along with the M8.2, Leica has unveiled the world’s fastest asphercial lens, the NOCTILUX-M 50 mm f/0.95 ASPH. offering the market a faster lens than the SUMMILUX-M 50 mm f /1.4 ASPH. The wide maximum aperture gives extremely shallow depth of field and very low light capability. Priced at £6290 it will be made available in February 2009.
Leica announces M8.2 rangefinder update
Pre-Photokina 2008: Leica has launched an updated version of its M8 digital rangefinder camera. The M8.2 features the same body as the M8, but includes the previously optional upgrades announced at PMA in January 2008. These include a low vibration, extra quiet focal plane shutter with the option to re-cock the shutter at a more convenient moment. The camera body also sports a new vulcanite finish and a scratch-resistant sapphire crystal cover glass for LCD protection.
Leica announces D-Lux 4 and C-Lux 3
Pre-Photokina 2008: Leica has announced the D-Lux 4 and C-Lux 3 digital compact cameras. D-Lux 4 features a 1/1.63” CCD image sensor, 3.0”, 460,000 dot LCD monitor and a 24 to 60mm (equiv) lens. Compared to D-Lux-4, C-Lux 3 has a smaller 1/2.33” CCD sensor, 2.5”, 230,000 dots LCD monitor and zoom range of 24 to 125mm (equiv). Both include 50MB internal storage, support SD/SDHC storage and video recording.
Carl Zeiss lenses for Canon SLRs
Carl Zeiss has confirmed that the mysterious 'ZE' mount it will start making lenses for is the Canon EF mount. Initially the company will make its Planar T* 50mm and 85mm F1.4 manual focus lenses available. Both will be available by the end of 2008. The range of lenses in the Canon mount will be expanded in future. Now with US prices.
September 12
Two Micro Four Thirds System Lenses by Panasonic
Pre-Photokina 2008: To coincide with the announcement of Lumix DMC-G1, Panasonic has also announced two new  Micro Four Thirds System zoom lenses; the LUMIX G VARIO 14-45mm/F3.5-5.6 ASPH./MEGA O.I.S. and LUMIX G VARIO 45-200mm/F4.0-5.6/MEGA O.I.S. Both lenses offer Image Stabilization and produce an equivalent field of view of 28-90 mm and 90-400 mm respectively.
Exclusive: Panasonic Lumix G1 previewed
Pre-Photokina: Panasonic has unveiled what it is calling the World’s First Full-time Live View Digital Interchangeable Lens Camera - the Lumix DMC-G1. Utilizing the Micro Four Thirds standard announced last month, the G1 drops the mirror / prism optical viewfinder that has been standard in SLR cameras for over half a century in favor of a newly developed high resolution electronic viewfinder. Squeezed into the diminutive body are a new 12MP Four Thirds Live MOS sensor with SSWF, new processor (Venus Engine HD) and a comprehensive combination of DLSR and compact camera features (though surprisingly, no movie mode). We've had a prototype G1 in the office for a week or so and have produced a detailed hands-on preview to whet your appetite whilst we wait for reviewable sample.
September 11
32GB SanDisk Extreme III CompactFlash Card
Pre-Photokina 2008: SanDisk has announced a 32GB version its Extreme III CompactFlash Card. It offers a read and write speed of 200x (30 MB/s), supporting the new generation of high-resolution DSLRs. Priced at $299; it will be available in the month of October.
September 10
Leaf AFi-II 10, 7 and 6 Medium Format Cameras
Pre-Photokina 2008: Leaf has announced the AFi-II 10, 7 and 6 digital medium format cameras and corresponding Aptus-II 10, 7 and 6 digital backs. AFi-II 7 and 10 have the first 90° tilting LCD screens on medium format cameras. In addition, the AFi-II 10 and Aptus‐II 10 use a 56 megapixel, 56 x 36mm wide imaging sensor. All of the new cameras backs feature 3.5" touch screen LCD displays, 12-stop dynamic range, 50-800 ISO range and 16-bit output.  Leaf has also introduced a new version of its capture software, Leaf Capture version 11.2.
Just posted! Nikon 50mm 1:1.4D lens review

Just posted! Our new lens review featuring Nikon's stalwart standard lens, the AF-Nikkor 50mm 1:1.4D. In the third instalment of our latest series in which we've also recently examined the equivalent fast primes from Sigma and Canon, we see how this ageing optical design stands up under the scrutiny of our exacting studio tests.

September 9
Sony DSLR-A900, Preview and Gallery
Pre-Photokina: Nearly 18 months after it first appeared as a prototype at trade shows, Sony has announced its eagerly anticipated flagship digital SLR, the Alpha 900 - finally giving Minolta/Konica Minolta users a full frame option. Featuring the 24.6 MP CMOS sensor announced in January, the Alpha 900 offers several enticing features, including sensor-shift image stabilization, a super 100% coverage viewfinder and the same high resolution screen as the Alpha 700 (the new model also inherits most of the 700's features, menus and external controls). We've had an Alpha 900 for a few days now, just enough time to produce a detailed hands-on preview and a quick gallery of sample images.
Sony launches 70-400mm F4-5.6 and Carl Zeiss 16-35mm F2.8
Pre-Photokina 2008: Alongside the A900 announcement, Sony has introduced two new high-end lenses to augment its full-frame lens range. The addition of the Carl Zeiss Series 16-35mm F2.8 and G Series 70-400 F4-5.6 means Sony now offers premium grade zooms all the way from 16mm to 400mm. The 16-35mm complements the recently introduced Carl Zeiss Series 24-70mm F2.8 and means F2.8 zooms are available from 16mm to 200mm. Both the new lenses feature customizable AF stop buttons that can operate the A900's 'Intelligent Preview' function.
September 5
New 5D to eclipse competition?
Canon has just added a mysterious teaser to its US website. The page shows a silhouette of a camera with the words 'Destined Evolution.' Maybe it will be updated to include more detail in the future, we don't know. It's almost as if the company is building up to the launch of a camera to replace one of its older models. We have no specific information but it doesn't require any profound market insight to predict an EOS 5D replacement is coming.
September 4
Phase One introduces 3.5/45mm TS lens
Pre-Photokina 2008: Phase One has announced the 3.5/45mm TS, a tilt-shift lens developed in collaboration with Hartblei. The 45mm lens offers up to 12 mm shift (combined with a 360 degree rotation) and 8 degrees tilt. In addition, it is bundled with Phase One’s Capture One 4 Lens and Focus optical correction technology.
September 3
Photokina 2008 show report preview, predictions
Pre-Photokina 2008: In just under three weeks time Photokina, the biggest photography trade show will get under way. As usual the lead-up is long and drawn out with announcements of 'Photokina products' stretching back to the beginning of August. To help you make sense of these and the coming swathe of new products we have activated our Photokina 2008 show report page. This provides you with an index of new product releases as well as a placeholder for our live 'from the show floor' reporting as it happens. We've also added a short preview / predictions list. Bookmark our show report page or subscribe to our Photokina 2008 RSS feeds.
Ricoh GX200 firmware update
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Ricoh has released a firmware update for the GX200 compact digital camera. Version 1.14 fixes two minor errors that occur in very specific conditions. This update closely follows the Version 1.10 update that was released in mid-July.
September 2
Other news from Tamron
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Pre-Photokina 2008: Tamron has also announced the availability of the AF18-270MM Di II VC ultra high power zoom lens in Canon and Nikon mounts (with AF motor for Nikon) and the recently reviewed SP AF70-200mm F/2.8 Di LD [IF] Macro  zoom lens in mounts for Pentax and Sony SLR cameras.  Both the lenses will be initially launched in Japan later this month.
Tamron macro focuses on mini-Nikons
Pre-Photokina 2008: Tamron has announced a revised version of its popular 90mm macro lens with an autofocus motor for Nikon cameras. The move allows the use of this venerable lens design as a telephoto macro with the Nikon D40, D40X and D60 models. The lens will be available from the late September in Japan with other markets following.
Tamron ultra-wide released for Canon and Nikon
Pre-Photokina 2008: Tamron has announced the availability of the SP AF 10-24mm f/3.5-4.5 Di II LD Aspherical (IF) lens for Canon and Nikon APS-C DSLRs. This ultra wide-angle lens offers a minimum focus distance of 0.24m throughout its range and a maximum magnification ratio of 1:5 at 24mm. The lens will be available later this month, initially in Japan. Pentax and Sony versions will follow at an unspecified date.
Just Posted! Canon EOS 50D Sample Gallery
Just posted! We've now got a full production pre-production Canon EOS 50D and over the weekend produced a quick sample gallery to add to our preview of this 15 megapixel update to the EOS 40D. We're still waiting for a production quality copy of the new EF-S 18-200mm 1:3.5-5.6 IS lens; we'll add samples from it as soon as we've got one. Update: we've just been informed that contrary to our original understanding, this is actually not a final production camera, so please consider these samples as 'pre-production' Beta quality.
Canon fixes firmware for 450D
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Canon has posted a firmware update for the EOS 450D / Digital Rebel XSi. The latest version (1.0.9) fixes Auto Exposure Bracketing (AEB) problems, errors with the Live View Exposure Simulation warning indicator and playback problems after continuous shooting when a printer or a video display is attached.
Just posted! Canon EF 50mm F1.4 USM lens review

Just posted! In the second instalment of our latest series of lens reviews, we focus on Canon's mid-range standard prime, the EF 50mm F1.4 USM. With a distinctly traditional optical formula dressed up in a modern AF body, and designed as a standard lens for 35mm film but now more frequently serving as a short portrait lens on APS-C, how does this relative veteran compare to Sigma's brand new 50mm F1.4 EX DG HSM which we reviewed last month?

September 1
Pentax K200D review
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Just Posted! We've just posted our in-depth review of the Pentax K200D entry-level digital SLR. The new model replaces the K100D and comes with a higher sensor resolution, a larger screen and a dust reduction system. Are these upgrades enough to let the K200D stand its ground in a fiercely competitive segment of the market? Find out after the link.

Just Posted! Nikon D90 Sample Gallery
Just posted! We've spent a couple of days with a full production Nikon D90 and have put together a gallery of samples shots taken with the new camera and its new kit lens, the 18-105mm f3.5-5.6 G ED VR. There are also a few short sample movies after the click...
August 28
SanDisk introduces Extreme III 30MB/s SD Card
SanDisk has introduced the Extreme III 30MB/s Edition line of SD High Capacity (SDHC) memory cards. Featuring a 50% speed boost from previous 20MB/s cards, the new card makes it possible to record 39 6MB images while shooting at 4.5 fps - complementing the new range of DSLRs. In addition, they are also capable of operating in temperatures ranging from -13 to 185 degrees Fahrenheit or -25 to 85 degrees Celsius.
Sony Cyber-shot DSC-T500
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Pre Photokina 2008: Sony has launched Cyber-shot DSC-T500 with high definition video recording. This 10MP ultra-compact camera with a 3.5" touch panel LCD and 5x optical zoom can create 720p HD movie clips at 30fps. It also features a dual photo and video capture mode which lets one take still images while recording a video, with no interruption. Other features include Face Detection and optical Image stabilization.
August 27
Nikon D90 plus hands-on preview
Pre-Photokina: After a steady trickle of leaks and rumors Nikon has announced the successor to its popular D80 middleweight digital SLR in the shape of the D90. The D90 looks very similar, but underneath it's a completely new camera that's inherited advanced features from further up the line and user-friendly features from the D40/D60 range. Oh, and it's the world's first digital SLR with a movie mode. Oher features of note include a new 12.3 MP CMOS sensor, the D3/D300/D700's fab high resolution 3.0-inch screen and continuous shooting at up to 4.5 frames per second. We've had a D90 for a few days now, just enough time to produce a detailed hands-on preview.
Nikon launches AF-S DX NIKKOR 18-105MM F/3.5-5.6G ED VR lens
Pre-Photokina 2008: Nikon has today launched the AF-S DX NIKKOR 18-105mm F/3.5-5.6G ED VR zoom lens. This lens incorporates features such as Nikon's Extra Low Dispersion (ED) glass, Silent Wave Motor technology (SWM) and Enhanced Vibration Reduction (VR II) and will be supplied as the kit lens with the Nikon D90.
August 26
Adobe launches Photoshop Elements 7 & Premiere Elements 7
Adobe has announced Version 7 of Adobe Photoshop Elements and Adobe Premiere Elements. Apart from a few new Quick Fix tools, Photoshop Elements 7 offers a new Scene Cleaner option that lets the user brush away unwanted objects from a scene and a Smart Brush which lets the user apply effects to a particular area of a photograph. Adobe Premiere Elements 7 now supports AVCHD format and features a Videomerge option that allows users to create a "green screen" effect and automatically place themselves within a scene.
Canon EOS 50D & 18-200mm hands-on previews
Just Posted! We've just posted our in-depth hands on preview of Canon's new digital SLR, the EOS 50D. We've also produced a preview of Canon's new 'super zoom' lens - the EF-S 18-200mm F3.5-5.6 IS - which will be offered as a kit lens with the new camera. Find out more after the link.
Canon EOS 50D
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Pre-Photokina2008: No surprises to hear that Canon has launched the much anticipated EOS 50D, an upgraded version of EOS 40D. On the surface it looks almost similar to its predecessor. However, there are quite a few significant improvements; fifteen megapixel CMOS sensor, faster DIGIC 4 processor, 3.0" VGA LCD monitor with Live View mode offering 3 AF modes, ISO sensitivity expandable to 12800 and an HDMI connection for high Quality Image viewing. It also includes a new Quick Control screen which shows the most commonly used settings and Creative Auto mode for automatic focus and exposure. We're expecting to be able to bring you a full in-hands preview later today.
Canon announces EF-S 18-200mm f/3.5-5.6 IS  lens
Pre-Photokina 2008: Canon today has also introduced the EF-S 18-200mm f/3.5-5.6 IS Zoom lens. With an equivalent focal length of 29-320mm, the lens offers 11x zoom range. It also features a 16 element, 12 group construction including UD and aspherical lens elements and a 4-stop optical Image Stabilizer.
Canon PowerShot SX110 IS
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Pre-Photokina 2008: Canon has launched the super-zoom PowerShot SX110 IS, which replaces the SX100 IS. With an increased resolution and a more compact build than its predecessor, the 9MP SX110 IS offers a 3.0” LCD, 10x optical zoom, Image Stabilization, Face Detection, Motion Detection and a new Easy Mode.
Three new Canon Powershots
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Pre-Photokina 2008: Next up from Canon today is this trio of entry-level compact digital cameras. The PowerShot A1000 IS and PowerShot A2000 IS replace the PowerShot A580 and PowerShot A720 IS respectively. Smaller in size than previous A series cameras, the new models have a 10.0MP sensor, advanced noise reduction, faster buffering speeds, Face Detection and Image Stabilization. These are joined by a 'ladies-exclusive' PowerShot E1, available in white, blue and pink. This curvaceous 10MP digital compact camera has 17 shooting modes, 2.5” LCD, Face Detection, Motion Detection and Long Play mode for videos.. All cameras offer beginners the option of switching to an Easy Mode enabling them to have a simplified menu, both for shooting and viewing.
Canon launches SELPHY ES3 & ES30 Photo Printers
Pre-Photkina 2008: Canon has launched the SELPHY ES3 and SELPHY ES30 compact photo printers, that are minor upgrades to the SELPHY ES2 and SELPHY ES20 respectively. With a more compact design and larger LCD screens of 3.5” in ES3 and 3.0” in ES30, the printers offer Gold and Silver Easy Photo Packs for enhanced printing. The ES3 also comes with 1GB of built-in memory.
August 25
Olympus announces Mju 1050SW
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Pre-Photokina 2008: Olympus has chosen today to slip out a handful of new compacts, starting with the Stylus 1050SW digital compact camera, which is claimed to be shock-proof to 1.5m, water-proof to 3m and freeze-proof to -10°C. Sporting a 10.1MP sensor, 2.7” LCD and 3x (38-114mmequiv) zoom lens, it has features such as Advanced Face Detection, Shadow Adjustment, Noise Reduction and 'Image Stabilization' (aka high ISO). The new TAP control lets one adjust settings and review images with a tap on the shutter release button.
Olympus unveils FE-20
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Pre-Photokina 2008: Last but by no means least comes another entry-level digital compact camera, the Olympus FE-20, which joins the two FE- series cameras (the FE-360 and FE-370) announced last week. The 8MP FE-20 sports a 2.5” LCD and 3x zoom lens (36-108mm equiv) and includes features digital (high ISO ) 'Image stabilization' and Face Detection.
Olympus launches SP-565 UZ
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Pre-Photokina 2008: Olympus has also announced a second 20x (26-520mm equiv) zoom-lensed 'ultrazoom' camera that appears to be a slightly down-sized version of the SP-570 launched in January. The 10MP SP-565 has a 2.5 ” LCD (the SP-570 has a 2.7"), reduced movie frame rate and ships with a MicroSD adaptor, but otherwise looks very similar.
Olympus announces Mju 1040
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Pre-Photokina 2008: Next up from Olympus today is the Mju 1040 ultra-compact digital camera, sporting a 2.7”LCD and 3x (38-114mm equiv) zoom lens. The 10 MP super slim camera is 16.5 mm wide and includes features such as Advanced Face Detection, Shadow Adjustment and Intelligent Auto Mode. Looking at the styling it would appear that Olympus is going after the Sony Cyber-Shot market with this one...
August 21
Create 3Ds with your camera
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Microsoft has publicly released Photosynth, a way of combining conventional images to create 3D scenes. After you upload a set of images, the software analyzes each for similarities to the others, and then it uses this data to build a model of where the photos were taken.  A viewer can then browse through the final photograph, navigating smoothly and zooming in tiny details.
Fujifilm unveils FinePix J100, J110W, J120 and J150W
Fujifilm has announced four new FinePix J-series compact cameras. The J100, J110W, J120 and J150W all include a 10 Megapixel CCD but vary in LCD size and lenses. The FinePix J110W and J150W offer a focal length range of 28mm-140mm and the telephoto range of the FinePix J100 and J120 is extended upto 175mm but they lose wide-angle capability. The J100 and J110W have a 2.7” LCD screen and the FinePix J150W and J120 offer the bigger 3” LCD screen.
August 20
Casio launches EX-Z300, EX-Z250 & EX-Z85
Casio has launched the 10.1MP EXILIM EX-Z300, 9.1MP EX-Z250 and EX-Z85. Both Z300 and Z520 have 3.0” LCDs and 4x (28mm - 112mm equiv) zoom lenses. Apart from Image Stabilization, Noise and Moiré reduction, these two cameras have features such as Makeup function, Multi-Motion Capture and an advanced Night mode. The EX-Z85, with a smaller 2.6” LCD and 3x (38 - 114mm equiv) zoom lens, has features such as Face Recognition, Auto Shutter and an Easy mode for beginners.