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December 2005 news and reviews

December 28
Bibble updated to 4.5
The excellent professional workflow and RAW conversion application Bibble has been updated to version 4.5. This new release adds support for the Nikon D200, Olympus EVOLT E-500, SP310, SP350 and SP500UZ, Pentax *ist DS2 and Sony DSC-R1. It also includes improvements to color rendition when converting Canon .CR2 RAW files, a new Fill Light feature and overall Sharper Output (by providing the option to reduce artifact reduction).
Apple Aperture 1.0.1
Apple has updated its professional photo application, Aperture. Version 1.0.1 includes improved white balance adjustment accuracy and performance, image export quality, book and print ordering reliability, auto-stacking performance and custom paper size handling. The update is available as a 11 MB download. Also of interest to anyone investingating Aperture will be Imaging-Resource's excellent 'Aperture Diary' which is a hands-on look at how Aperture fits into a day by day workflow.
Digital Imaging at CES 2006
Pre-CES 2006: The Consumer Electronics Association (CEA) has posted a press release summarizing digital imaging at the upcoming Consumer Electronics Show (5th to 8th January 2006). There will be a day long event showcasing the wide range of complementary services which can be applied to digital imaging, an Industry Insider session presented by Antonio Perez, president and CEO of Eastman Kodak as well as exhibitors such as Kodak, Fujifilm, HP, Nikon, Olympus, Panasonic and Sony on the show floor.
Leica Digital M announcement for PMA?
Much to the delight of many Leica aficionados there's now more than a hint that Leica are readying a digital version of the M7 rangefinder camera. Stefan Daniel of Leica is quoted in the latest edition of LFI (Leica Fotografie International) magazine as saying "The Digital M will be introduced as a complete package that will include new wide-angle lenses." The rumour mill also carries some specifications; 10 megapixels with a 1.3x crop factor, 2.5" LCD monitor and SD storage. We expect to hear more at PMA in February.
December 25
Merry Christmas on our seventh anniversary
Christmas Day always has a double meaning for me, as it was seven years today that I published the first articles and went live with the first version of dpreview. I'd like to take this opportunity to thank all our friends, readers, sponsors and fellow webmasters for their continued support of our site. Next year we're aiming to refine and expand our reviews, add a swathe of new features to the site (and forums) as well as continuing our daily news, detailed reviews, hands-on previews and live show reports.
December 22
Just posted! Kodak EasyShare P850 Review
Just posted! The EasyShare P850, which has an image-stabilized 12x zoom Schneider-Kreuznach, is a direct competitor to the likes of Canon's S2 IS, Sony's H1 and Panasonic's FZ20 and is the first in a new class of 'advanced digital cameras', which Kodak hopes will provide an alternative to entry-level DSLRs.. As well as the new image stabilizing feature the P850 boasts RAW file capture and a flash hot shoe, plus a real wealth of photographic controls. Find out how it fared in our concise review, after the link.
Sigma confirm issue with Nikon D200
Sigma has confirmed that there is an incompatibility issue between its HSM equipped lenses and the new Nikon D200. Specifically the HSM lenses do not operate when the 'AF-ON' button is pressed on the rear of the camera. This does not affect auto-focus carried out using the shutter release button (half-press). Sigma has stated that this is due to a firmware bug in the lens itself and will soon be introducing a free of charge firmware update for affected lenses.
December 20
Sony China Ltd has suspended sales of several compact cameras after they failed quality tests carried out by China's National Camera Quality Supervision and Inspection Center, according to a report by Interfax China. Nine Sony cameras were selected for inspection and six failed. The affected cameras are the DSC-H1, DSC-L1, DSC-P200, DSC-W7, DSC-W5 and DSC-S90. Chinese consumers who purchased these cameras can return them to Sony for a refund. There were also 13 cameras from other manufacturers that failed quality tests.
Canon EOS 5D and 1D Mark II N firmware updates
Canon has today posted firmware updates for the EOS-1D Mark II N and EOS 5D. Both updates improve the brightness of the LCD monitor and fix mistakes in the language menus. Version 1.02 for the EOS-1D Mark II N also fixes a file numbering error that occurred during bulb shooting. The 5D had a problem with the creation of large files (1.7GB) and operational abnormality in AEB shooting, which has now been fixed by firmware version 1.03.
Carl Zeiss lenses for Nikon-F mount?
Carl Zeiss have gone all mysterious in their placement of a message on their home page, it reads "Millions of SLR Photographers Will Soon Discover a New Dimension in Photography." At the moment we have no idea what this means, speculation on our forums and elsewhere ranges from a new Zeiss digital system (Sony?) to Zeiss lenses for Canon / Nikon mounts (a leaked image shows Nikon F-Mount Zeiss lenses). UPDATE 21/12: As predicted it looks as though this will be Carl Zeiss lenses for Nikon F-Mount, the latest reveal names 'ZF'.
December 19
Microsoft has released an update to its RAW Image Thumbnailer and Viewer for Windows XP, which was made freely available in June this year. Version 1.0 adds support for RAW image files from selected Canon and Nikon cameras. The two Canons are the EOS 1D Mark IIn and the s EOS 5D. Supported Nikon cameras include the entry-level DSLRs, the D50 and D70s, plus the D2Hs It also fixes other bugs relating to the the TIFF file locking issue and problems with RAW files produced by the 5D.
December 16
Ricoh Caplio R3 firmware version 1.27
Ricoh has announced a firmware upgrade for its 5.1 megapixel, 7.1x optical zoom Caplio R3, which was announced in September this year. Version 1.27 for Windows and Mac platforms improves the accuracy of the AF algorithm in the macro mode as well as the vibration correction function, which moves the CCD in the opposite direction to counterbalance camera shake.
December 14
Nikon Capture software version 4.4.0 and 4.4.1
Nikon's image management software, Nikon Capture version 4.4.0 (Windows) and 4.4.1 (Mac) is now available for download. The Windows update adds support for D200 RAW images. A new black and white option in Advanced RAW tool palette has been added to Color Modes. And finally, there have been improvements to the way tones are reproduced in highlight areas to prevent a loss of detail when the exposure compensation is set to less than 0. The Mac update addresses a problem that caused a type 3 error to occur and the program to unexpectedly quit when attempting to print.
December 13
Olympus E-500 firmware version 1.1
Olympus has just announced the latest firmware upgrade for its 4/3 digital SLR the E-500. Version 1.1 adds three new features. The first increases the time between when the button is pressed and when the camera reverts back to the current mode to eight seconds. Once the new firmware is installed users will also be allowed to select a WB OFF option. And finally, a new security step now warns users that when erasing RAW and JPG files of the same picture both images will be deleted. To download the new firmware follow the instructions at the end of the press release.
Casio EX-Z750 firmware version 1.02
Casio has today posted firmware version 1.02 for the Exilim Zoom EX-Z750. The minor update adds Revive Shot mode to the BEST SHOT scenes. Revive Shot was included in the list of scene modes for the last camera that Casio announced, the slim line EX-S600, and is designed to refresh faded colors of old album photos.
December 12
Two professors at the University of Rochester in New York have designed a prototype CMOS chip that uses a fraction of the energy used today, captures better images and can run for years on a single battery. Mark Bocko, professor of electrical and computer engineering and assistant professor Zeljko Ignjatovic, are also working to incorporate further technology that will compress the image with far fewer computations than current compression techniques. It's likely that the technology will be tested first in wireless security cameras, and, Bocko says, as the chips are developed further, they will look into using them in consumer cameras and cell phones.
December 8
Nikon View software version 6.2.7

Nikon has announced update version 6.2.7 for its software Nikon View. It addresses a number of problems for users on the Mac platform and just two things for Windows users. Both updates, however, add support for RAW images capture with the D200 and there are changes to the Color Aberration Control feature in Nikon Capture 4. Additionally, version 6.2.7 now supports Mac OS X version 10.4 and the structure of the Color Management tab in the Preferences dialog has been changed. The Open ColorSync button has been removed which leaves just two profiles provided; Default RGB Color Space and CMYK separation.

December 7
Just posted! Samsung Pro815 review
Just posted! Samsung's 8MP, 15x 'super zoom' bridge camera boasts a lot of 'world firsts' including the largest LCD on a digital camera (3.5 inches), world's longest zoom on a high-end camera and world's largest capacity lithium-ion battery. The Pro815 sports a Schneider-Kreuznach lens and boasts a color data LCD screen for waist-level shooting, 2.5fps continuous mode and a wealth of photographic features. But is it enough to for Samsung to compete with the big boys? Read our full review after the link to find out what we thought...
December 6
Nikon has announced that further batch numbers of the rechargeable lithium ion EN-EL3 batteries used in the D50, D70, D70s and D100 are being recalled. Some batteries may be defective and can overheat while being charged. All owners of Nikon cameras that use this battery are asked to carefully recheck their batteries with the new batch numbers which are listed on the next page. Faulty batteries will be replaced free of charge.
Sigma 10-20mm for Pentax and KM
Sigma has announced a 10-20mm DC lens is now available for Konica Minolta and Pentax mounts. The super wide angle F4-5.6 EX DC lens is designed exclusively for digital SLR cameras and is suited to cameras with APS-C-sized image sensors. Special features include a new multi-layer lens coating, three pieces of Special Low Dispersion glass and three aspherical lens elements. It also has a minimum focusing distance of 24cm at all focal lengths.
Just posted! Sony DSC-R1 review

Just posted! Our in-depth review of the groundbreaking Sony Cyber-shot DSC-R1. The R1 is the first all-in-one (fixed lens) digital camera to feature a large APS-C size sensor, in this case a ten megapixel CMOS unit. Obviously if you can't remove the lens then you'd expect it to be good, and in this case it is, a bright and sharp 24 - 120 mm equiv. with a maximum aperture of F2.8 to F4.8. See how the DSC-R1 performed in our tests and how it compares to the competition, read our review in full!

Following the news that Adobe completed the acquisition of Macromedia (3 December 2005), the company has now announced three new product bundles for design, video and web solutions. The Adobe Design Bundle includes Creative Suite 2 Premium with Flash Professional 8 software; the Adobe Web Bundle brings together CS 2 Premium and Studio 8; and the Adobe Video Bundle offers video solutions coupled with Flash Professional 8. The Adobe Design Bundle and Web Bundle are available now priced £1381 and £1656 respectively. The Adobe Video Bundle is expected to ship in early 2006.
December 1
Pentax DA Fish-Eye 10-17mm lens
Pentax has announced its first DA Fish-Eye ED IF lens. The optic has a focal length of 10-17mm and aperture of F3.5-4.5. The lens is designed exclusively for use with the Pentax *ist D series and will capture fish-eye imagery with a 180 degree angle of view. The image circle of the lens will match the image recording area (23.5mm x 15.7mm) of the *ist D series to ensure precise optical performance ideally suited to the camera's digital imaging characteristics. The lens will ship in January 2006 for around $579.95.
Pentax *istDS firmware version 2.00

Pentax has announced a firmware upgrade for the *istDS that adds a number of new features. Version 2.00 will add Continuous AF mode to the AF settings in the Record Mode menu, auto ISO has been added to the sensitivity menu and the AE-L button on M has been added to the Custom Function menu. Dutch and Swedish users can now read the menus in their native tongue as these two languages are now available. For a full list of changes see the next page.

Sony DSC-R1 firmware update
Sony has today announced a firmware update for the recently introduced DSC-R1 digital camera. This update appears to correct for hot pixel artifacts at certain exposures. This update is intended for application to a range of cameras as designated by their serial number (details inside). There is no other information about any other fixes included in this update.